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Apple iPad

The iPad? Really, Steve?

That is one epically bad choice of names. I over-heard one female colleague suggest that it may be the first pad that most males won’t feel ashamed to purchase. I’m not sure that I’m convinced…

Apple is making a bold statement about the viability of micro-niches with the iPad. Wedging open the position between the iPhone and the MacBook, Apple seems to want to take on the NetBook and Kindle markets in one fell swoop. One elegant and well-thought-out swoop.

The iPad hits most of the major sweet spots for such a device. It has the horse-power, the graphics capabilities, the form-factor, the user-interface, the extant 150K+ apps ready to go, the iBook Store, the provocative price-points, and Apple’s legendarily elegant industrial design and marketing prowess.

One would have to be a fool to bet against the iPad’s game-changing success.

Only one thing has irked my ire in regard to the iPad:

  1. 3-month wait

Oh, well, maybe also the name. Steve, call me next time you need to brainstorm product names, ok?

How Magic is Apple’s New Mouse?

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The Magic Mouse

Maybe it’s not magic. But it’s well-designed and cool.

First, I have to say that it took me awhile to get over thinking I was pushing around a very hard and high tech Madeleine (as in the pastry). I suppose that had something to do with me drinking coffee at the time of my first magic mouse experience.

But once I had the short-cake metaphor out of my head, I found Apple’s new mouse to be quite efficient and easy to use.

The top of this mouse is basically one shiny touch-pad that responds quite well to all finger movements and clicks. You can program the behavior of this surface quite easily with the Mouse System Preference pane. I especially like the Scroll with momentum feature which lets you scroll in any direction with a natural slowing-down effect.

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The Magic Mouse Preference Pane

My primary complaint about wireless mice in the past has been poor battery life. And I was skeptical about Apple’s claim that this mouse would last on average 4 months on two AA batteries with normal use. I noticed that the mouse automatically turns itself off at shutdown, and seems to go into a sleep mode after a period of inactivity. While I’ve only had it for 3 weeks now, my battery life is still at 95%, so I’m optimistic.

The $69 price tag seemed a bit steep for me, but I’m starting to understand that excellent design and quality come at a price. If you’re completely happy with your current mouse and don’t think that these new features will add much to your computing experience, then save your money. But, if you are looking for a better way, or maybe just curious about new technology, I’d suggest test-driving one of these puppies down at your local Apple store.

You might be pleasantly surprised.

Co-Location For Your Server

If you’re interested in having a website which runs on OS X, having full control of the server with multiple fail-safes and redundencies, and a very large pipe to it, then you might want to consider the offerings from MacMiniColo.net.

These folks are part of a larger operation run by Switch Communications in Las Vegas, Nevada. Switch runs one of the biggest high-speed data centers in the country.

MacMiniColo specializes in running MacMini servers with OS X server. You can send them your MacMini, or buy one from them. The monthly costs start at $35, and go up from there depending on what add-on services you require.

While you can certainly get hosting packages for less then this, remember that your site will be the only one on your server. Also, these guys offer a very fat pipe to your server.

Check them out: http://www.macminicolo.net

The iPhone Has Landed

I did it. I bought one.

I have been feeling angst about buying the iPhone since before they were introduced. It just seemed like too much money. But when Apple announced the 16GB iPhone, along with the promise of the SDK for developers, I decided to go ahead and get me one.

It’s beautiful.

It arrived last weekend. The activation process was simple, easy, and all done from iTunes on my laptop at home. This should be a model, studied in business courses throughout the world, on how to make the customer experience a pleasant one. Since I was already an AT&T customer, the process took all of 5 minutes. A buddy of mine who switched from Verizon said the process was equally easy, taking about 20 minutes (including porting over his addresses).

Apple should be announcing some very cool new apps for the iPhone in the next 2 weeks. Since I couldn’t wait, I have already started experimenting with loading several 3rd party applications. Over the next week or so, I will be posting here about what apps I found particularly useful, and the process I used to load them.

Stay tuned…

16GB iPhone

iphone_home.gifI’m vexed. I’m consternated. I’m flummoxed.

I was hugely disappointed by Apple’s failure to announce anything substantial about the iPhone at MacWorld 2008. (OK, some of the new software was kind of cool.) But now, Apple is announcing more memory for the high-end model. Another 8GB of memory; nothing else. And, you must shell out $500 for this puppy.

It’s really too much money for too little. But, I’ve been waiting for some small sign from the powers-that-be that it’s time to go ahead and buy one. I’m willing to believe that this is that sign.

Hmmm… what can I sell on Craigslist to rustle up the $500?

Using TimeMachine with a Network Device

I am loving Leopard and have found very few snafus since installing it almost 2 months ago. One of the great features in Leopard is the automated backup software called TimeMachine.

Like many busy computer users, I am quite lax about doing backups on a regular basis. It usually takes a catastrophic loss of data to remind me that I should’ve been doing backups. A lesson learned the hard way.

But TimeMachine handles this for me now. I connect an external USB drive to my machine and, once every hour, TimeMachine does an incremental backup of my hard drive