Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why I Chose the Ultrabook Toshiba Portege z830 instead of the MacBook Air

Z830 next to Apple's 13" MacBook Air
An Ultrabook is a computer in a category of higher-end thin and lightweight ultraportable laptops, defined by a specification from Intel. The name Ultrabook is an Intel trademark. By this marketing initiative and an associated $300M fund, Intel hopes to reinvigorate the PC market, against rising competition from tablet computers, which are powered by rivaling ARM-based processors and of course from the Apple MacBook Air from which the Ultrabook’s specifications are clearly designed.

Z830 next to iPad 1
The Toshiba Portege z830 is one of the first Ultrabooks to be made within Intel’s specs and this Ultrabook is pretty awesome. The size and weight is perfect for mobility and portability. I have the Apple iPad and have become accustom to a light and portable computing package. The iPad is great and the Logmein Ignition application makes it a near laptop replacement. Despite this, there is still a need for a full computer while on the go. For my job, I do most of my work on remote computers and servers, but there times I need to work locally. The things that I do locally on the computer are mostly simple tasks like email, word processing, spreadsheet calculations, etc. I do; however, enjoy manipulating photos and videos that I capture on my many devices like the iPhone 4s. The Portege z830 is not perfect, but is still a very good and very usable device. I refuse to carry a heavy laptop ever again.

Whenever I look to upgrade my laptop, I always get the faster machine available for the model that I chose to use. I wanted to get an Apple MacBook Air, but my boss insisted that I stick with the Windows platform. While I purchased a lot of Apple products lately, my preference for the MacBook Air was not because of the operating system but for the lightness and thinness that the MacBook Air could provide. When I first learned of my boss’ decision to stay in the Windows camp, I was bummed because I did not want to get a heavy laptop to lug around. Fortunately I heard about the Ultrabook category and so I began my quest to find the perfect Ultrabook from the bunch.

I won’t bore you with the process I took to decide which Ultrabook to pick, but I will tell you that the Toshiba Portege z830 had all of the features that I wanted in my portable computer. The main things that I wanted were Core i7 processor, at least 6GB of RAM, backlit keyboard, thin design and ultra-light weight form. The next things that I desired were full sized ports so I didn’t have to have extra cables or dongles to remember to bring along. The z830 has a full VGA port. Today I used the z830 for a presentation at our Christmas lunch. I was able to hook it up to the projector via the standard VGA cable; better than that I was able to close the lid (after disabling the sleep when lid is closed feature) and place the z830 under the projector. This device is so thin and strong that I could place the portable projector on top and not be concerned that the weight would damage the z830. This arrangement worked great because I had limited space for the equipment. Having the full size VGA was very useful.

The z820 has a full SD card slot. This allows pictures to be moved from a camera without an issue. I mainly work with Wi-Fi, but it is good to know that I have a full sized LAN port for a RJ-45 cable if required. Sometimes when traveling, this is the only way to get an Internet connection. The LAN port is poorly designed though. It has a slot at the bottom for a tab of a LAN cable to slide, but the edges are very sharp and can cut you or damage clothing if caught on the edges. I know the tab is normally plugged in on the bottom when a LAN cable is plugged into a LAN port; however, I would be willing to flip it upside down if Toshiba flipped their design to make the slot be on the top and out of the way. The way it is, I have snagged my pants while shifting the z830 around on my lap. If you grab the z830 by gripping it behind the screen on the right side, there is a possibility that you could get cut (at least the first time when you don’t know this hazard exists). While I am talking about sharp edges, let me talk about the other area of the z830 that is literally a pain.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The z830 is slighter than the Apple MacBook Air. It is very thin. The z830 is very rectangle with very sharp edges. I know Apple loves to sue any competitor that copies their design too closely, but this is an area that Toshiba should have been willing to copy. I have rather hands that are often stuck by the z830’s sharp corner edges located below the keyboard. Toshiba is not the only PC maker that don’t get why pointed corners are not good on a laptop; many manufactures are guilty of this to this day. I am from Detroit – Motown. Years ago all car makers built vans with rear doors only on the passenger side – how silly was the idea people wanted to enter and exit only from the passenger side. Today, you might not be able to see a van with this design. One day, a laptop with sharp pointy corners near your hand rest will be a thing of the past too. Aside from the MacBook Air, the Asus Zenbook UX31 and the Acer Aspire S3 are the other Ultrabooks with rounded corners. While this is not a showstopper, the Toshiba Portege z830 would be much better off without this square cornered design.

Well I might as well get my last gripe out before I move on to all the things I do like about this computer. The z830 has a circular opening on the bottom of the device that sucks air in and blows it out of the rear of the computer. This process creates a buzz or whine that is quite noticeable. It isn’t a showstopper either, but it is very noticeable. The z830 doesn’t run hot, nor do I feel any warm air escaping from the rear vent. It makes me wonder if the setup was purely precautionary or if Toshiba engineered it so perfectly that air flow is constant to prevent heating issues. With it being so light and quick starting like my iPad, I guess I just want it to be quiet just like my iPad.

There is plenty to love about the Toshiba Portege z830. The matted screen is great; no reflections of the lights above or behind me. I love the backlit keyboard; no more tilting of the screen to cast light on the keys anymore. The fingerprint reader makes logging on quick and safe; no worries about someone looking over my shoulders while I type my password.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Find apps to delete from the hundreds available on my IPad's home screens

To see all apps and have the ability to delete them, launch the Settings app.

Click in General an then Usage. Let the progress circle spin and then it will show you the apps that consume the largest disk space. Click on "Show all Apps" to see every app installed. Locate the app you want and select it. Click "Delete app". Click Click "Delete app" on the confirmation dialog box and the app is gone.


Carl W. Brooks

On Nov 22, 2011, at 2:00 PM, "zanec" <zanec36@.com> wrote:

> This is a problem I created and now need some help.... I have over 500 apps on my pad, obviously many in folders. I use the "find" feature frequently to help me locate apps, but this option does not tell me where on my home screens the app is hiding. I know I can open it from the "find" window, but if I want to delete it or move it, I have to find the unopened app..... Any idea on how to do this?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Google Launches Google Music; Plays on iOS devices

Google Music: Google announced that it is opening its Music service to everyone for free for up to 20,000 songs. In addition, the company is adding a music marketplace through the Android Market, adding a catalog of millions of songs.

Google is curating the store using recommendations from staff members and personalized recommendations based on artists you’ve indicated that you like. Hooking in its social network, Google+, the company is also making it easy to share songs either publicly or with select groups of friends through the network’s Circles feature.

I started to upload my measly 1975 music files into the service. It has rejected the music from Apple that have DRM licenses in them. This can be avoid by burning the DRM music files to a CD and then ripping them off in in non-DRM formats.

The Google Music can then be accessed from any connected device, including the iPhone and iPad.
Here is some of my music playing on my iPad.

Watch Steve Jobs: One Last Thing on PBS App for iPad

PBS has a video about Steve Jobs called "Steve Jobs: One Last Thing".

You can watch it from within the free PBS app for iPad or even online at their site.

PBS Presents


Now you can watch PBS programs online! Hundreds of hours of award-winning feature films, documentaries, and television shows are available at http://video.pbs.org.

You can find the PBS iPad app in the iTunes AppStore

Friday, November 11, 2011

How to activate iPad 2 multitasking gestures on the iPad 1

Summary: Your iPad 1 can now do the same multitasking gestures the iPad 2 has had since iOS 5 … but you have to switch them on!

The iOS 5.0.1 update brings the multitasking gestures found on the iPad 2 to the first-generation iPad 1 … but only if you switch them on!

To turn on the multitasking gestures click Settings > General and scroll down to Multitasking Gestures and flick the switch.

There are three multitasking gestures, all making use of four of five fingers (is the thumb a finger?):

  • Pinch the screen when in an app to go to the Home screen
  • Swipe up to get to the multitasking bar (this one is the most awkward to get right in my opinion)
  • Swipe left or right to move between apps that are open

I am using these gestures on my first-gen iPad, and while they do take some getting used to, they workas advertised. Given that, I’m not sure why Apple decided to have them off by default.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apple Release 5.0.1 Update for iOS device

Apple today released iOS 5।0।1 for the iOS devices. The update is an over the air update so you don't need a PC, but you do need a WiFi connection.

This could could be an inconvenience for users that don't have immediate access to a WiFi network।Without the WiFi connection, the download link was not selectable। Once I connected to WiFi I was able to download and install itI did have a hiccup during the download. My wife called me on the phone during the download and it failed; however, it continued after the call had ended.

Since WiFi was being used, it should not have failed so it may have been an issue because many others were updating their devices too।The update is intended to fix the poorer than expected battery life for some iPhone 4s users।It fixed some issues with Documents in iCloud.Siri issues with Australian speaking uses.It added gestures support for the generation 1 iPad devices.I'll report back to let you know if my battery life improves and how the gestures work on my iPad 1. The whole process took 25-30 minutes.

Zombie Highway - Both a Thrilling and Terrifying Ride

If you want an inexpensive thrill ride with tons of zombies to make that trip a short lived one, Zombie Highway is the way to go. Packed with gangs of the living dead that leap at your vehicle, with one intent on their hapless minds; to eat your brains - Zombie Highway is worth the play and the pay!

The game is comprised of a very simple concept; drive your vehicle down the highway for as long as you can. Zombie Highway is very simple in concept, buy quite challenging in execution. If you ever watched the Walking Dead series, you may have thought, "Why don't they just get in a vehicle and drive as fast as they can until there are no more zombie around?"

You wouldn't be the only one to think this nor the only one to attempt it. The highway is scattered with abandoned vehicle whose drivers have long become breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a light snack for the hungry zombies that roam the earth.

The two facts of the game that are unavoidable are you will try as many others have and you will die for your efforts. The only variables that you have any control over are how long you live in your attempts; the vehicles to have to drive, the weapons you have at your disposal and the difficulty of the challenge.

The controls are simple, tilt your device to steer your vehicle through the maze of abandoned vehicles while tapping on the screen to shoot your chosen weapon at the zombies that leap and hang onto your moving vehicle. In addition to the in-vehicle weapons, you can use the abandoned vehicle to help scrape the zombies from the sides of your vehicle. Sounds simple, but some of the zombies are tough and require multiple slams against the obstacles. The problem is made more difficult than it sounds because you are driving at top speed, more zombies are leaping at you at the same time requires you to multitask with draws your attention away from driving. The zombies are strong and will tip your car over quickly if you don't get them off your vehicle as soon as possible.

Think you got the game licked? Try doing it in the fog with your visibility limited. How about doing it with no weapons available to you. There are enough changes that you can tweak it so that the game has more life than you do during any given attempt.

The game is an universal app and will play on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The game is $0.99. There is also a lite version which is free, so there is no excuse not to have some fun. I love free and normally stick with the free versions, but it only took me a few tries before I slapped down the $0.99 for the paid version.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Amazon's "Flow" iPhone App Blends Augmented Reality With eCommerce

Amazon's "Flow" app is pretty cool.

Since Amazon's products are usually shipped free (over $25) and without (immediate) sales tax, it is cool to at a store and point your camera at a product and immediately get a price for the item.

The App is super fast. Point the iPhone, with the app open, at the cover of a book, video game, or movie and instantly get a result.

It works well with the items that it recognizes whether you are scanning a barcode, front of a physical item or a picture on a store flyer.

It doesn't recognize everything, but promises that it constantly adding new items to the database.

Obviously Amazon will collect data that can use to add items that it previously didn't carry as users reveal that they have interest in buying from Amazon.


Carl W. Brooks

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

View iPhone 4s (Sprint) Speed Test Results

0.44 Mbps (436 Kbps / 53 kB/s)
Transferred 1536 KB in 28.9 seconds.
Test Result Details
Your connection is: 0.44 Mbps (436 Kbps)
You downloaded at: 53 kB/s 
You are: 0.27 times faster than EDGE.
Test key: s1768Fe1976H
Test time: 10/25/2011 03:42:19 PM
Connection type: 3g
Test type: Download
Tested from: iPhone
Latency: 7694 ms 

Click here to view my iPhone speed test results 

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Will Steve Jobs&apos; final vendetta haunt Google?


Published: Oct 23, 2011 8:02 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google can only hope that Steve Jobs' final vendetta doesn't haunt the Internet search leader from his grave.

The depths of Jobs' antipathy toward Google leaps out of Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Apple's co-founder. The book goes on sale Monday, less than three weeks after Jobs' long battle with pancreatic cancer culminated in his Oct. 5 death. The Associated Press obtained a copy Thursday.

The biography drips with Jobs' vitriol as he discusses his belief that Google stole from Apple's iPhone to build many of the features in Google's Android software for rival phones.

It's clear that the perceived theft represented an unforgiveable act of betrayal to Jobs, who had been a mentor to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and had welcomed Google's CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, to be on Apple's board.

Jobs retaliated with a profane manifesto during a 2010 conversation with his chosen biographer. Isaacson wrote that he never saw Jobs angrier in any of their conversations, which covered a wide variety of emotional topics during a two-year period.

After equating Android to "grand theft" of the iPhone, Jobs lobbed a series of grenades that may blow a hole in Google's image as an innovative company on a crusade to make the world a better place.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told Isaacson. "I'm going to destroy Android because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty."

Jobs then used a crude word for defecation to describe Android and other products outside of search.

Android now represents one of the chief threats to the iPhone. Although iPhones had a head start and still draw huge lines when new models go on sale, Android devices sold twice as well in the second quarter. According to Gartner, Android's market share grew 2 1/2 times to 43 percent, compared with 17 percent a year earlier. The iPhone's grew as well, but by a smaller margin - to 18 percent, from 14 percent.

Both Google and Apple declined comment to The Associated Press when asked about Jobs' remarks.

Jobs' attack is troubling for Google on several levels.

It suggests that Apple, which has pledged to be true to Jobs' vision, may try to derail Android in court, even if Google obtains more patent protection through its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of phone maker Motorola Mobility Inc. The derision comes across as a bitter pill for Page and Brin, who have hailed Jobs as one of their idols. It also appears to contradict Schmidt's repeated assertions that he remained on friendly terms with Jobs even after he resigned from Apple's board in 2009.

Most of all, Google should be worried whether the Android brand is damaged by the withering criticism of a revered figure whose public esteem seems to have risen as friends, colleagues and customers paid tribute over the past few weeks.

"The words of cultural icons have a lot of power after death," veteran technology analyst Rob Enderle said. "This almost sounds like a spiritual leader declaring a jihad on Android as his dying wish."

Apple fans tend to be fiercely loyal, making it more feasible to envision an anti-Android movement taking shape like some kind of political protest, Enderle said.

It's also possible that Jobs' criticisms of Google may be seen as hypocritical. That's because some of Apple's computing breakthroughs were based on technology developed by others. The Mac's easy-to-use interface and its mouse controller, for instance, came out of Xerox Corp.

The bitter divide between two of the most beloved and successful technology companies would have seemed inconceivable a few years ago.

In 2006, Google and Apple were on such friendly terms that Jobs welcomed Schmidt to Apple's board of directors with these words: "Like Apple, Google is very focused on innovation and we think Eric's insights and experience will be very valuable in helping to guide Apple in the years ahead," Jobs said.

But in 2008, a year after the iPhone came out, Google unveiled plans to release Android as a free software system that phone makers can use to make devices that compete with the iPhone. Jobs was so infuriated that he went to Google's Mountain View headquarters - about nine miles from Apple's Cupertino office- to try to stop the project, according to the biography.

Jobs' persuasive powers failed to sway Google's leaders.

Now, more than 550,000 devices running on Android are being activated each day. Apple, meanwhile, sold about 3 million fewer iPhones than anticipated in the July-September quarter, contributing to a sharp drop in the company's stock. The newest Android challenger to the iPhone, the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung, is scheduled to go on sale next month.

Although there's no indication in the book that he ever forgave Google, Jobs set aside his disdain for the company long enough to counsel Page nine months ago, according to the biography.

After Google's Jan. 20 announcement that Page would replace Schmidt as CEO in April, Page called Jobs for some pointers. Jobs told Isaacson that his first instinct was to reject Page with a curt expletive, but he reconsidered as he recalled his times as a young entrepreneur listening to the advice of elder Silicon Valley statesmen including Bill Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co.

Jobs didn't mince words when Page arrived at Jobs' Palo Alto home. He told Page to build a good team of lieutenants. In his first week as Google's CEO, Page reshuffled his management team to eliminate bureaucracy. Jobs also warned Page not to let Google get lazy or flabby.

"The main thing I stressed was to focus," Jobs told Isaacson about his conversation with Page. "Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It's now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest because they're dragging you down. They're turning you into Microsoft. They're causing you to turn out adequate products that are adequate but not great."

Page has shut more than 20 Google products and services in his first six months as Google's CEO as part of an effort to "put more wood behind fewer arrows." It was the type of discipline Jobs instilled on Apple when he returned in 1997 after a dozen years of exile. Jobs killed such products as the Newton handheld device and the PC clones that were allowed to run on Apple's operating system.

It still remains to be seen whether Jobs' words of wisdom or his grievances will leave a bigger imprint on Google.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Can I Ask Siri on the iPhone 4s?

Every since I received my iPhone 4s, I have enjoyed using Siri to help manage my life and schedule. Here are some example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interactions.

Here are Apple-supplied examples plus the ones I discovered by category.

Address Book

Querying Contacts
  • What's Carl's address?
  • What is Susan Brooks' phone number?
  • When is my wife's birthday?
  • Show Don's home email address
Finding Contacts
  • Show Carl Brooks
  • Find people named Park
  • Who is Shawn Campbell?


My mom is Mary Brooks
Tom Susko is my brother
Call my brother at work
Who is my Mother?


Adding Events
  • Set up a meeting at 9
  • Set up a meeting with Michael at 9
  • Meet with Lisa at noon
  • Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9am
  • New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3
  • Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom
Changing events
  • Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30
  • Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Manning to next Monday at 9am
  • Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason
  • Cancel the budget review meeting
Asking about events
  • What does the rest of my day look like?
  • What's on my calendar for Friday?
  • When is my next appointment?
  • When am I meeting with Michael?
  • Where is my next meeting?

Alarms or Clock Related

Setting Alarms
  • Wake me up tomorrow at 7am
  • Set an alarm for 6:30am
  • Wake me up in 8 hours
  • Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:45
  • Turn off my 6:30 alarm
  • Delete my 7:30 alarm
  • Checking the Clock
  • Set alarm for 7:30 PM Get Bus card
  • Change time to 7:30 AM
  • Change to 8:00 PM
  • Show alarms
Time and Date
  • What time is it?
  • What time is it in Berlin?
  • What is today's date?
  • What's the date this Saturday?
  • What month is it?
  • What is the day of the week?
  • How many hours are between 6 AM and 4 PM
Using a Timer
  • Set the timer for ten minutes
  • Show the timer
  • Pause the timer
  • Resume
  • Reset the timer
  • Stop it


Sending Messages
  • Email Lisa about the trip
  • Email Jennifer about the change in plans
  • New email to Susan Park
  • Mail Dad about the rent check
  • Email Dr. Manning and say I got the forms, thanks
  • Mail Chontiel Brooks about the party and say I had a great time

Checking Messages
  • Check email
  • Any new email from Michael today?
  • Show new mail about the lease
  • Show the email from Lisa yesterday
Responding to Messages
  • Reply Dear Susan sorry about the late payment
  • Call him at work


Checking Up on Friends
  • Where's Jason?
  • Where is my sister?
  • Is my wife at home?
  • Where are all my friends?
  • Who is here?
  • Who is near me?


  • How do I get home?
  • Show 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California
  • Directions to my dad's work
  • Local Businesses
  • How do I get to work?
Locations Near Me
  • Find coffee near me
  • Where is Starbucks?
  • Find some burger joints in Baltimore
  • Find a gas station within walking distance
  • Good Mexican restaurants around here


Sending Texts
  • Tell Susan I'll be right there
  • Send a message to Jason Russell
  • Send a message to Lisa saying how about tomorrow
  • Tell Jennifer the show was great
  • Send a message to Susan on her mobile saying I'll be late
  • Send a message to 408 555 1212
  • Text Jason and Lisa where are you?
  • Tell my wife I love you
  • Tell my Mom I am on the way
Reading Texts
  • Read my new messages
  • Read it again
Replying to Texts
  • Reply that's great news
  • Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes
  • Call her


  • Play The Light of the Sun
  • Play Trouble
  • Play Taking Back Sunday shuffled
  • Play Alicia Keys
  • Play some blues
  • Play my party mix
  • Shuffle my roadtrip playlist
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Skip


Creating and finding notes
  • Note that I spent $12 on lunch
  • Note: check out that new Alicia Keys album
  • Find my restaurant note
  • Create a reading list note
  • Add Tom Sawyer to my reading list note
  • Show me a list of my notes


Phone calls
  • Call Jason
  • Call Jennifer Wright mobile
  • Call Susan on her work phone
  • Call 408 555 1212
  • Call home
  • FaceTime Lisa


Requesting reminders
  • Remind me to call mom
  • Remind me to call my mom when I get home
  • Remember to take an umbrella
  • Remind me take my medicine at 6am tomorrow
  • Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here
  • Remind me when I leave to call Jason
  • Remind me to finish the report by 6


Checking Stocks
  • What's Apple's stock price?
  • What is Apple's PE ratio?
  • What did Yahoo close at today?
  • How is the Nikkei doing?
  • How are the markets doing?
  • What is the Dow at?


Checking the Forecast

  • What's the weather for today?
  • What's the weather for tomorrow?
  • Will it rain in Cupertino this week?
  • Check next week's forecast for Burlington
  • What's the forecast for this evening?
  • How's the weather in Tampa right now?
  • How hot will it be in Palm Springs this weekend?
  • What's the high for Anchorage on Thursday?
  • What's the high temperature today?
  • What's the temperature outside?
  • How windy is it out there?
  • When is sunrise in Paris?
  • I'm going to Chicago tomorrow, will I need an umbrella


Looking up information
  • Search the web for Bora Bora
  • Search for vegetarian pasta recipes
  • Search the web for best cable plans
  • Google the war of 1812
  • Search Wikipedia for Abraham Lincoln
  • Search for news about the World Cup
  • Bing Alicia Keys

Using Wolfram Alpha
  • How many calories in a bagel?
  • What is an 18% tip on $86.74 for four people?
  • Who's buried in Grant's tomb?
  • How long do dogs live?
  • What is the Gossamer Condor?
  • What's the square root of 128?
  • How many dollars is €45?
  • What was the Best Picture of 1983?
  • How many days until Christmas?
  • How far away is the Sun?
  • When is the next solar eclipse?
  • Show me the Orion constellation
  • What's the population of Jamaica?
  • How high is Mt. Everest?
  • How deep is the Atlantic ocean?
  • What's the price of gasoline in Chicago?

Having some fun with Siri
  • Take me to your leader
  • Are you male or female?
  • Do you love me?

By Carl W. Brooks
Editor, iamthereforeipad.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Last Time I Saw Steve (Jobs)

I came across the article at this blog.

I worked at Apple from April of 1999 through July of 2011. I've never written publicly about that experience, but I wanted to share a little moment that will always be with me, even though it's not of any great significance.

After leaving my job at Apple, I dropped in for lunch one day. I was exiting the main building, Infinite Loop One, and just ahead of me was Steve Jobs, walking with the usual spring in his step that never seemed to go away even as he started looking more frail. Bumping into Steve was a surprisingly common occurrence for such a large company as Apple.

Steve was heading towards a car parked next to the curb with its door open, waiting for him. The car was idling. A family was standing near the Apple sign outside the building, a common site for people to take photos on their pilgrimages to Apple.

The father turned to Steve as he passed close by and asked, "Excuse me, sir, would you mind taking our photo?"

Steve paused for a moment as an iPhone was extended to him, realizing that they didn't seem to know who he was. With a hint of enthusiasm, he said "Sure!" as he took the iPhone into his hands.

Steve took a great deal of care composing the photo, backing up a few steps several times, tapping the iPhone screen to lock focus, then said "Smile!" as he snapped the photo, grinning a little bit himself to encourage the family to follow suit.

He handed back the iPhone and they said "Thank you, sir" as Steve stepped into his car, closed the door, and was driven away. The family looked at the photo that Steve had taken and all agreed that it looked great. Then the iPhone was pocketed and they were on their way.

And that was the last time I saw Steve Jobs.

By Carl W. Brooks
Editor, iamthereforeipad.com

Mac OS X 10.7.2 Update Released

The 10.7.2 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. It also includes support for iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content on iCloud and push it to all of your devices. iCloud on OS X Lion includes the following features:
  • iCloud stores your email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, and Safari Reading List and automatically pushes them to all your devices.
  • Back to My Mac provides remote access to your Mac from another Mac anywhere on the Internet.
  • Find My Mac helps find a missing Mac by locating it on a map and allows you to remotely lock the Mac or wipe all its data.
Getting started with iCloud is easy. After installing the update, OS X will automatically present an iCloud setup panel. Simply enter an existing Apple ID or create a new one and then follow the on screen instructions. To learn more about iCloud visit http://www.apple.com/icloud.

The 10.7.2 update also includes Safari 5.1.1 as well as fixes that:
  • Allow reordering of desktop spaces and full screen apps in Mission Control.
  • Enable dragging files between desktop spaces and full screen apps.
  • Address an issue that causes the menu bar to not appear in full screen apps.
  • Improve the compatibility of Google contact syncing in Address Book.
  • Address an issue that causes Keynote to become temporarily unresponsive.
  • Improve VoiceOver compatibility with Launchpad.
  • Address an issue that causes a delay in accessing the network after waking from sleep.
  • Enable booting in to Lion Recovery from a locally attached Time Machine backup drive.
  • Resolve an issue that causes screen zoom to stop working.
  • Improve Active Directory integration.
For detailed information about Safari 5.1.1, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4922.
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4767.
For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: iOS 5, Available Today for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Apple's newest operating system update to the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod Touch, called iOS 5, is available to download from Wednesday.

iOS 5 brings an entirely new notifications system, aBlackBerry Messenger-rivaling free messaging app, a systemwide Twitter integration and increased performance, giving users the feeling of a brand new phone.

The software update is free and brings more than 200 new features to the iPhone, the iPad and theiPod Touch, including a location-aware reminders app, newsstand and wireless syncing. The update aims to separate the iDevice from the personal computer, with what Apple is calling "PC Free," meaning any iOS 5 device can be operated entirely without a computer, finally making the iPad a true netbook competitor.

iOS 5 is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone, iPad, iPad 2 and iPod Touch third and fourth generation.

Notification Centre

Notifications have been pushed to iOS devices for a few years now, but they provided little information, forcing the user to quit what they're doing and go to the relevant app requesting attention. Now, though, all notifications are displayed in a panel that can be accessed by swiping down from the status bar, whether you're at the home screen, or in an app already.

This swipe-down panel is very similar to that found on Android phones, but it carries the usual Apple garnish of a slightly textured background and a share price ticker scrolling from right to left.
Notification Centre can be customised to show a ticker of your share prices, the local weather and, of course, notifications from the phone, mail, messages,Facebook, Twitter and any other apps that demand your attention. Previews of messages and e-mails are shown, and the notification can be acted upon by tapping it.

Before, notifications always appeared in the same way an SMS-style box in the centre of the screen that had to be dismissed before being able to do anything else. With iOS 5, notifications can be set to appear as a small message at the top of the screen, which doesn't interrupt what you're doing. Games don't pause, for example, and the box disappears after a few seconds.

The lock screen has also been tinkered with, showing a clearer list of any calls, messages, and e-mails that have been received while the phone has been locked. Swiping over a text or email takes you right to the relevant app.


In a move that will no doubt annoy BlackyBerry users, who have suffered days of network problems, Apple has brought a free messaging system to iOS, mimicking the popular BlackBerry Messenger.

You can read out up-to-date news on the BlackBerry network outage here.

iMessage is available exclusively to iOS 5 users and is built right into the current messaging app. Text messages from users who have iOS 5 (and a data connection) will appear in blue instead of the usual green for text messages. Choosing between a text message and an iMessage requires no input from the user at all; if the phone has a data connection - be it GPRS, EDGE or 3G - and the recipient has iOS 5, then text messages will be sent as free iMessages.

Delivery reports are included and an icon appears on screen to show when the recipient is typing a new message.

Text, images and video can be sent as iMessages, which is great news for anyone who doesn't have an unlimited text plan, or for those with an iPod Touch, who can now send messages to iPhone, iPads and other iPod Touches free of charge - providing they have a Wi-Fi connection.

iMessage could well be a killer blow for BlackBerry, with BBM arguably the most popular feature among non-business users. With the recent data blackouts and iPhone 4S announcement, iMessage might convince users to move away from BlackBerry.


There's a whole range of to-do list apps available for the iPhone, but Apple has decided to make their own and include it with iOS 5.

Simply add something to be reminded of - buy some milk, for example - set a time, and you're done. A notification just like any other will appear - along with an alarm if you so wish - at the time the user sets.

What sets Reminders apart from the crowd is that it's location-aware. If you want to get that milk after work you can set Reminders to notify you when you leave work -- providing you have GPS turned on and you have work set as a contact in your address book.

Having to select a location from the address book is a pain; hopefully the ability to drop a pin on a map and select that as a location to be reminded at will be available in a future update.

Twitter integration

While Android offers great Facebook integration, Apple has gone down the other social networking group and got into bed with Twitter. The result is that, once signed into the microblogging service, Twitter is available systemwide, letting you tweet links and photos from anywhere in the iDevice, and attach your current location, too. Any contacts who appear on Twitter and in your address book will be synced together, automatically attaching Twitter handles to the correct contacts.


Reader is a new feature of Safari, letting users save Web pages to read later, offline. Your reading list is kept up-to-date between all iOS devices. Fully tabbed browsing is coming to the iPad, so navigating between tabs takes just one tap instead of two.

Volume up as camera shutter

The iPhone has always been criticised for having an on-screen shutter button for the camera app. The button is awkwardly placed and difficult to press while holding the phone still. Apple has finally noticed this and has given users the option to take a photo using the volume up button, which is located roughly where the shutter button would be. The only downside is now the lens isn't where it would be on a conventional camera. It's under your hand. Not ideal, but at least now users have the option, and in testing we found that clicking a physical button is better than tapping the screen.

Ability to access camera app from lock screen

Apple wants more people to take photos with the iPhone 4 and 4S - despite the 4 already being the most popular smartphone on Flickr - and to speed this it's now possible to access the camera app from the lock screen.

Click the home button twice when the iPhone is locked and an icon appears next to the slider; tapping this opens the camera app. This even works if your iPhone is locked with a passcode, but don't worry, nothing else can be viewed apart from the photos taken at that moment, and the passcode is still needed to access any other part of the phone.

Wi-Fi Sync

iOS 5 lets devices sync wirelessly with the computer that they're paired with. So just plug your iPhone into its charger at night and Wi-Fi sync does the rest, keeping your music, photos, contact and everything else up-to-date on your phone and computer - providing they're both turned on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network, obviously.

Devices with iOS 5 do not lock themselves while syncing, meaning that incoming text messages can be read, and the device works as normal, as syncing is done entirely in the background.

Over-the-air updates have finally made their way to iOS, meaning that the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch can receive software updates wirelessly, without the need to be plugged into the computer with which they sync. Over-the-air updates are also significantly smaller due to only replacing updated elements of the device's firmware, not the entire operating system. A reminder badge appears on the Settings app when an update is available and it can be downloaded over 3G or Wi-Fi, providing the device believes it has enough batter power to complete the update.

Photo editing

Photos taken with the camera app can now be edited, with the ability to crop, apply red-eye reduction and auto-enhance photos, providing a quick and easy way to tidy up snapshots before sharing them.

Overall, iOS 5 brings some much-needed features to the iDevice range, and with the promise of a speed increase users will feel like they have upgraded their phone with more than just software. Those who own an iPhone 4 and are considering the 4S - due out on Friday - should give iOS 5 a try and decide then if this update is enough, without the full-fat upgrade of the new model.

The iPhone 4S is the only model to support Siri, Apple's new voice-controlled personal assistant. Sadly, that won't be available on the iPhone 4 or 3GS.

Updating the notifications system was much-needed, and iMessage is a welcome surprise, although only being supported on iOS 5 leaves owners of older models in the dark, despite it being a relatively basic application.

iOS 5 requires iTunes 10.5, both of which are now available to download for free.

Read more about iOS 5 here.

Apple usually releases iOS updates to the UK around 5pm on the day of release, but a specific time is not mentioned, so keep an eye out on iTunes throughout the day.

Apple iOS 5 Release: A Guide to the New Features

Apple plans to release its most advanced mobile operating system, iOS 5, on Oct. 12 at midnight. The company did not respond to initial inquiry whether the update will be released globally on this date, or if it will be rolled it out over a period of time. Every new iOS device sold after Oct. 12 will have iOS 5 pre-loaded, but current iOS owners will be able to download the free upgrade from the iTunes Store.

To install iOS 5 on current hardware, users will need to connect to their Mac or PC and follow a set of instructions in iTunes. Once the update is complete, users will thankfully never need to plug into their computers ever again. One of the key features of iOS 5 is total device independence.
iOS 5 is Apple's most comprehensive and complete system upgrade ever with over 200 new features. Here's what iPhoneiPad, and iPod Touch owners can expect to see.

iCloud: iOS 5 will be the first platform to run on Apple's new cloud infrastructure called iCloud. iCloud is a free service and users get 5 GB by signing up, but users can buy more storage if they so choose. By plugging into a power source, iCloud automatically pushes all documents, apps, calendars, mail, contacts, photos, and music to all of the user's other iOS devices. As Tim Cook says, "It just works."

iMessage: Accessibility is the theme for Apple's fall 2011 line-up of mobile devices. iOS 5 replaces the Messages app with iMessages, which Apple's new free text messaging service. Similar to BlackBerry's Messenger, iMessages allows iOS users to send unlimited texts to anyone who owns an iPadiPhone, or iPod Touch. With wireless syncing, users can start a conversation on one device and continue it on another, and can also track their messages further with delivery and optional read receipts. iMessage works for sending texts, photos, locations, and contacts.
Notification Center: In iOS 4, all phone activity was paused in order to display a new notification. Notifications are no longer in the way in iOS 5, as incoming messages and app notifications appear briefly at the top without interrupting activity on the phone, and all messages are kept organized within a convenient Notification Center. It's easy to access—users need only swipe down from the top of the screen to enter the Notification Center. Furthermore, new notifications can be viewed and attended to directly from the Lock Screen, making for quick and easy access.
New Lifestyle Apps: iOS 5 is all about making life easier for the user. An Apple-designed Reminders app aims to keep users organized and on time, and Newsstand neatly arranges news app subscriptions all in one place and automatically updates the user with the latest issue. The new Cards app is Apple's response to the greeting card industry. Cards lets users quickly design and send beautiful, cheap, 100 percent cotton "tree-free" cards to friends and loved ones. The app goes one step further by notifying users the second the card is delivered by the postal service. Find My Friends is a great way to organize events with other users, whether for a temporary rendezvous or a days-long event. And for those parents still wondering where their children are at 10 p.m., Find My Friends app, paired with the right Parental Controls, can allow parents to instantly view their location of their children on a map.
Overhauled Apps: Mail and Calendar are two old apps that will look brand-new on iOS 5. In Mail, users can write in rich text, indent paragraphs, flag important messages, and search the archive in the body of messages. In Calendar, events are easier to create, manage, and view. iCloud syncs calendars to other devices, and even with select family and friends. Photos is also completely redesigned; no longer is the app simply a library for your photos. Users will be able to edit and crop their photos, add enhancements, or even remove red eye directly on the iOS device.
Camera Upgrade: Apple's latest mobile upgrade will change the phone's camera interface. With two clicks of the home button, users can access the camera from the lock screen and start shooting. Users can pinch the screen to zoom, tap the screen to focus and can now shoot photos with a click of the + volume button.
Safari Overhaul: Apple doesn't like that its Safari browser is the third most popular Web browser after Google Chrome and Firefox. With iOS 5, Safari finally catches up to its competitors with tabbed browsing, a Reading List to save articles for later reading on any iOS device (thanks to iCloud), and the Reader, which removes ads and other clutter from articles, allowing for a clean reading experience.
Game Center: Apple has already broken into the gaming industry with its easily accessible App Store. Game Center's been around since iOS 4, but few tweaks here and there give it a completely different feel. Users can upload profile pictures, find friends they know and discover new ones and see how they fare against their competitors over time.
Parental Controls: Thanks to iOS 5, now we won't have kids running amok on their iPhones. The new system has built-in parental controls to manage use of Safari, Camera, FaceTime, Game Center, Location Services, YouTube, the iTunes Store, the App Store, and more. Parents can also lock the settings so kids can't go in and change them later.
Tweet Everything: Apple took social media seriously in the latest iOS. The company has elected to optimize nearly every one of its apps for Twitter, so users will be able to tweet new photos, pages from Safari, YouTube movies, and even their location. Just sign into Twitter once and iOS 5 does the rest.
Device Independence: Starting Oct. 12, all iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches will come pre-loaded with iOS 5. This will be the first system update that allows all Apple devices to be set up sans computer. Once you're all set up, you won't need to use cords to connect to your computer ever again. Thanks to iCloud, all information will back up and sync automatically with other laptops and iDevices you own.
When everything's said and done, from the settings and the set up to the app tweaks and iCloud optimized features, iOS 5 offers users more than 200 new features that make using an iPhone even easier. iOS 5 will be a free download from the iTunes Store starting on Oct. 12, and will be compatible with the iPod Touch, iPad 1 and 2, the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the iPhone 4S.
Apple's iPhone 4S, available in stores starting Oct. 14, sold more than one million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, breaking the company's previous record set by the iPhone 4 of 600,000 first day orders.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I ordered an iPhone (For the 1st time ever)

I have never owned an iPhone. That is right, I have never owned an iPhone ever. I was a huge Palm OS guy. I loved the Palm OS and most of the hardware that carried it. When they made the Treo 650, I made sure our managers all had one. When the iPhone came out back in 2007, I was in line at my local mall. I waited hours just like everyone else, but when I got inside the store - I didn't buy an iPhone. I didn't buy an iPhone, but I did make an video with it next to my Palm Treo 650. So was I more interested in the story than with the phone itself? Not at all, I was not a fan of AT&T and I was not going to give them a single cent. I liked the potential that the iPhone showed. While the iPhone gets a lot of phrase today, the first generation iPhone was not much to boast about. Next to my Palm Treo, it was not much to get excited about other than the huge capacitive touch screen.  The App Store had not been created yet.

As the iPhone OS began to improve and the iPhone began to develop into a great device, I started to pay more attention to it. Finally I bought my first Apple device, but it wasn't an iPhone. It was a first generation iPod Touch. I loved the device, but had some issues. The main things that it didn't have, that bothered, were the lack of an external speaker, no camera and the fact that it wasn't connected to the Internet all the time. In order to get all of the things I wanted, I would eventually have to get an iPhone.  But I wasn't ready to jump the Sprint ship to AT&T. In the mean time, the iPad was release and I jumped at the opportunity to get one.  The purchase of my iPad 1 delayed my purchase of what would have been my first Apple computer purchase.  I wanted to get the Mac Mini.

I waited for the iPhone to become available on any other networks before I would even consider purchasing one. My first opportunity came last year, in 2010, when the iPhone became available on the Verizon network. My co-managers (who are all woman) all wanted iPhones. We would have to convert our numbers and account from Sprint to Verizon in order to make this possible; they were ready to do it. I let one of them play with a co-worker's iPhone and this co-manager thought that the touch screen would be inconvenient to type on because of their long finger nails. Since the managers were used to the Palm Treo and its physical keyboard, they decided that the Samsung Epic was a better way to go.

Since I had the iPad 1, I went along because it gave me an opportunity to use and learn more about the Android ecosystem.  Additionally I thought it redundant to have both the iPad and an iPhone.  This year in May, I purchased an iMac 21" desktop computer instead of buying the Mac Mini, Mac Book Pro, the Mac Air or even upgrading to the iPad 2.

Suddenly, I was a full-fledged Apple guy; iPod Touch, iPad 1 and iMac.  Well not quite "full" fledge yet, because I carried the Android loaded Samsung Epic.  After owning the Epic for over a year, I have become very displeased with it.  The battery life is terrible.  The Android Market never seems to offer compelling apps.  I mean my Android has the core apps that I enjoy, like Stitcher Radio, Dropbox, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, White Noise and others.

Truthfully, the Android could do a lot of the things that I wanted to do; however, if I actually used it to do any of those things the battery would drain to nothing.  I carried 2 extra batteries to get through the day.  The main thing that I used the phone for was talking, texting, picture taking, door to door navigation and looking up places near my location thanks to the GPS.  Bluetooth is also huge for me. I have the LG HBS-700 Bluetooth headset.  My Grand Prix has a Bluetooth equipped radio, so I am listen to my phone's streamed audio in my personal headset or through the car's speaker system.

The truth of the matter is that my phone doesn't see a lot of work because I have the iPad.  The bigger screen is always preferred over the smaller phone's screen.  Still there are certain apps that I will always prefer to use on the smaller, pocketable phone.  Most apps that I own for the iPad, have an app for the  iPhone as well.  To get the equivalent app on the Android phone would involve purchasing the app again, whereas in most cases, I can download the app purchased for the iPad on the iPhone for free.

I could live with it, but my co-managers are hungry for the iPhone.  They have reading and viewing every bit of content on the newly released Sprint iPhone 4s.  It was inevitable that I get one, but the decision to allow Sprint to finally sell the iPhone has made it possible.  I preordered the White 32GB iPhone 4s (I owned the 16GB iPod Touch and the 16GB iPad 1 and have never had enough space) and can't wait for it to arrive this Friday or Saturday.

By Carl W. Brooks
Editor, iamthereforeipad.com

Dot: 360º video capture for the iPhone 4

If you have an iPhone, then you know how awesome it is to have a camera available when and wherever you need one. A picture is great, but video is better. The cameras on the latest iPhones can capture some great video. The problem with most camera is that it normally only catches one field of view. What if your iPhone could catch everything around you? That's right, you can capture 360º video on your iPhone with the help of a little gadget called Dot.
Dot lets your iPhone capture immersive, fully navigable, panoramic video in real-time - and share with friends on your phone, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, or streamed online using our awesome panoramic video web platform and player. It’s a stylish, durable and downright pocketable.

So you can take it with you anywhere. Dot is a 360º (panoramic) lens attachment and an app for the iPhone 4. Snap Dot onto your iPhone 4, download the free Looker app, and instantly record fully immersive 360° videos right on your iPhone. Going to a concert? You can record the show and the audience. Heading out on a road trip? Leave Dot on the dashboard and record your highway adventures. No matter what you're recording, Dot sees everything!

Dot was made possible with funding by users at Kickstarter. Kickstarter had made many great iPad and iPhone gadget come in existence; if you haven't heard of them or haven't visited, please do so and search for iPad or iPhone to see what is going on there.

Kogeto is the maker of this incredible device. Check out some user videos. Dot is available in black, cherry red, green and pink. Dot retails for $79.00 USD. Dot is available for pre-sale and expected to ship in late October 2011.

Is Your Mac protected? Orbicule's Undercover for Mac

Hey gang, many of you have Macs so I'll share this with you. I know Kris recently had his iPad stolen and most of you already kno...