Bringing another over to the Dark Side

My brother just bought a shiny new iPhone 3GS.  He had a smart phone, but didn’t like it. The User Experience on that phone just plain sucked.  It wasn’t  just that the phone used the Microsoft WINCE OS, although that is a damn good start for a poor user experience, the had the nasty habit of randomly dialing from his pocket, and loading apps or ending his call while using it as a phone because it thought his ear was the phone’s stylus.

Now, as Leo Leoporte said a few weeks ago, using Apple products is like living in Mussolini’s Italy.   Ya, the trains run on time, but there is some nasty stuff going on to make that happen.  The iPhone UI is second to none for a smart phone, but crap like blocking the Google Voice app and limiting desktop access to iTunes ensures that a good chunk of their user base will switch as soon as a more open alternative has 60% or more of their functionality and a slick user interface (can you say Android kiddies?).

Well, Android isn’t there yet, so I’m still sticking with my iPhone, especially since the camera on it is greatly improved.  I’ve seen posts by multiple professional photographers who have stopped carrying a “pocket camera” all the time, because they think their iPhone is “good enough.”

Here is my entry for a damn good iPhone photograph.


Remote PC Access

I setup remote PC access on a family member’s computer using gotomypc, and I have to say that it really was as easy as advertised.   I tested it using my laptop and was able to connect, and transfer files, right off the bat.  The interface is clean and simple to use.

One thing I’ve learned in my years in high tech, making things simple is hard work.

Today’s Nifty Gadet

As my gentle readers  may have noticed, I am a big fan of gadgets, from simple to bright & shiny electronics.

This gadget falls under the simple, yet useful and cool category. It’s a six in one multitool shaped like a key, and this fits very nicely on your key ring.  The small blade is very handy, and the design keeps it safe when it is on your keyring.

This is one of my favorite multitools.  It’s handy, I typically have it with me (the massive Swiss Army Multitool my brother game me years ago did a lot of stuff, but it was too damn big to carry around.  A tool you don’t have is of no use), and the tools on it (screwdrivers, small knife) are useful in everyday life.

“Orion Light” proposed

Bigelow Aerospace is  proposing a scaled down version of NASA’s own Orion project.  They claim they can have it up and running by 2013, while NASA’s projected date of March 2015 for getting Orion in space is seen as fuzzy at best.

Cleaning up after the “pros”

The PC the dojo I train/teach at caught a nasty virus.  I cleaned it up, but the owner “knew this guy” who would “clean up” the system fairly cheap.   “This guy” logged in remotely, and “cleaned up” the system until it would only boot to the “Blue Screen of Death.”

I’m talking serious “BSoD” here. That is what you got if you tried to boot in safe mode, even command mode safe mode.  The Windows recovery mode won’t even recognize the Windows XP install after this guy got through with his “professional” cleanup.

So, I had to clean up after the “professional.” I managed to recover all the data off the drive, in addition to get the data they had backed up on Carbonite.

Once the apps & data are back and running on another system, I’ll rebuild the system the “professiona” trashed.

Best use of Federal Stimulus money I’ve seen so far.

NASA somehow has gotten hold of $50 Million of the 9% of the federal stimulus money being spent in 2009 and is using it “to seed development of commercial passenger transportation service to space.”

NASA does some good stuff, but they couldn’t agree on the basic specs without spending more than $50 million dollars.  Given that the shuttle fleet is being retired next year, and that will leave the US government without a reliable method for getting men safely into space, handing the problem over to the private sector makes damn good sense.

Bad move by Apple

Apple barred the new Google Talk App from the iTunes App Store.

The initial claim was that the app duplicated core services of the iPhone.

To get around Apple’s monopolitics ban, point your iPhone browwer to

There has been other fallout from Apple’s ban, besides pissed off customers, the FCC is asking questions and Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors.

Then there is also the added buzz about Google Talk this has generated. Perhaps it would have been better for Apple just to have allowed the app in the iTunes app store.