I usually write about technology, but I felt compelled to share something I really enjoy and that is music. Anyone that knows me knows that I am infatuated with music. I collect vinyl records, by the hundreds,buying 20 at a time, when I visit some old record store. My favorite of course is Armadillo Records in Davis, CA. They always have a great selection. I just finished listening to the new Aerosmith CD titled, Music from Another Dimension, on Spotify. It is really good. It’s a mix of old and new styles with that ripping good rock-n-roll sound, Tyler and company are known for. My second favorite track on the album is called Another Last Goodbye. After so many decades of making great music, it always surprises me when an artist brings me back. They take you on a great trip through their current mind. I love listening to a CD or record, from track 1 to the end. Usually the artist arranged the songs in a particular order. It’s that artistic endeavor that I love to hear. I want to hear what the artist had in mind for me when I bought the record. They obviously wanted me to hear each song in a particular order. Usually this means listening to the good and the bad, but this CD is great from beginning to end. several good ballads and even a couple anthems are in-store for the listener. the last track, Sunny Side of Love, is about the most familiar song on the album. When you listen to it you will know what I am talking about. It’s a great tune and happens to be my favorite.
I really need to spin this off in to its own business. I tore down an AT&T iPhone4 in about 10 minutes the other day. It was rather easy after about 5 times. I can fix any part that breaks in any iPhone. That’s pretty cool really. Inside the iPhones, for those that have never done this before, is a land of miniaturization that rivals the best computers on the planet. The design of the inside of the iPhone4 is an art form. I must admit I am impressed. I must also say that contrary to what has been written before about he differences between an AT&T iPhone4 and a Verizon iPhone4; it is indeed different. The Verizon iPhone4 is put together much better underneath the monozygotic exterior because inside it really is a dizygotic interior. The screw locations are arranged differently, more solid, and reinforced on the Verizon, and the vibration motor does not rely on the ancient “off-balance motor concept vibrator” so famously put in items such as pagers, used on remote cars, and are just smaller versions of their toothbrush and vibrator cousins. (I had to put that in there… its funny, but true.) The motherboards are different and constructed differently inside the phone. The camera is connected better, lots of tension springs to create a snug environment. The speaker has better acoustic sound ports, the circuit boards are actually braced. About twice as many screws are used in the Verizon iPhone4 as the AT&T iPhone. I have taken both of them apart to repair the glass screens, LCD’s, and replace batteries; side by side it was much easier to take apart the AT&T version, than the Verizon. So… there you have it, the Verizon iPhone4 is better built. I said it. I let the cat out of the bag! Now the glass is also different on the iPhone4 than on the 3G and 3GS, but I will save that for another posting.
We are in the process of creating a simple interactive ABC book for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch platforms. Original artwork is being created by hand which will be imported into Photoshop to create the interactive pieces for publishing with Kwiksher a very good rapid development tool for App Store apps. I am hoping for a submission to Apple by March so let’s keep our fingers crossed. If this all goes well, we are going to followup with a Russian and Spanish version.
Keeping in with this creative theme topic, the holidays are just around the corner. I would like to share with you a favorite dish we have served in our household for many decades. My late aunt Carolyn passed this little recipe on to me one Thanskgiving at her house. It’s stuffed celery but with an added item that I have never found in most dishes.
- Several Bushels of Celery (adjust for qty)
- 3 Boxes of Philly Creme Cheese. (make sure its Philly, it tastes better)
- 1 half a jar of sliced Spanish Olives (with or without pimientos(love em))
- Christopher Ranch chopped garlic, or Garlic Powder(chopped adds more crunch and flavor)
- and the magic ingredient!! 3 tablespoons (or dollops in our family) of butter (NOT MARGARINE, YUCK!)
- Mix all this together and spread onto your 3 inch sliced pieces of celery. Then chill for about an hour in the fridge till ready to serve to your guests.
Make plenty of these gems. They are great before, during, and days after the holiday meals. We often end up eating these from extra mixture in the fridge. The mixture will keep for several weeks sealed just like butter and cream cheese would. My aunt would love it if you made them for your family, then gave them all the recipe. It’s a tradition in our world to hand down recipes and information to our youth and fellow earthlings. I know I remember many times getting to spend wonderful moments of time with aunts and uncles. I am thankful for that time we spent. I hope everyone this holiday season can spend time with their favorite family member and build lifelong memories that you will cherish forever.
Simply put Spotify so far is the winner of the streaming music wars. Although I give it that Apples new iTunes Match service is just about ready for prime time ,and usually Apple comes out smelling like roses. But… I have to add this small bit. I enabled iTune Match on my Apple TV. Wow.. it works great. So far so good. The desktop is working as well.
I love Spotify. I’m Swedish and Spotify is Swedish. I love Apple. I currently own one of every product Apple currently sells. I find it hard to recommend a product that only half works. Let me explain. Apple’s iTunes Match software is based around the premise that you purchase music from the Apple, you own any music that you have on your hard drive, or currently from the CDs that you’ve purchased, honestly or physically own, you can then store up to 25,000 songs in the iCloud(doesn’t count against storage). All this excitement can be yours for a paltry $24.99 a year. It sounds like a bargain because really its not unless you are some pirate, or a ripping, crazy person who legitimately has 25,000 songs or about 2800 CDs (avg. 9 songs a CD). Although, I do know a guy who has over 5000 CDs, many of which are stored inside boxes in his garage. He is selling them now on Discogs and making a grand fortune, but we’re not all that lucky to have seen the future 10 years ago and started purchasing CDs for .25 cents at AM-PM bargain bins. Alas, here we are today uploading our music that iTunes Match cannot find 1600 songs out of 3654. iTunes Match uploads the remaining artwork and remaining songs to music it cannot find in its online catalog. So let’s shimmy over to the Facebook/ Zuckerberg/Sean Parker/ Spotify camp co-owned by Sean Zuckerberg (typo??). That integration costs money… Don’t be fooled Mark is making bucks on the deal. Spotify has been called a cloud-based Winamp (WTF?) or iTunes playlist (Vomit) please, people.. please.. pull your headphones off and listen. Spotify is it! It is the it that Apple should ban from the iTunes store. I can get any music now for $9.99 a month or $120 a year essentially. I don’t have to wait… it’s on it. It’s the Netflix of music services and its hot!!. Today on iTunes, several new CDs were released and I listened to all of them for my $9.99. I didn’t have to wait to have them download, or sync, or for a transaction to purchase. I got Justin Bieber’s new Christmas album for my daughter, Wale’s Ambition, Miranda Lambert’s Four the Record, Megadeth, U2 Deluxe, all of them for $9.99 a month in my playlist. If I was to get iTunes Match I would still have to purchase that music for the right to have it physically. Who cares? Life is finite and you can’t take it with you. I take my music in my car via my iPhone, and listen at work, its streaming from my account there. It’s great!! So where was I… oh yes the songs that iTunes Match couldn’t find. I searched the iTunes store and found them listed there.. some of them (12) that I searched for. (i’m not going to do that because I have Spotify!) What’s up with that Apple? (posted later) Apple fix it… I must admit it works as promised. (posted later)
Wow, the past few months have been a rush of time. Like sticking your head out of the car and feeling the wind blow your worries away. Many things have happened since I last posted on my blog. I bought, then remodeled a home, and I lost weight (15lbs and counting). In the world, a new iPhone was released, Steve Jobs died, all in the same week. iOS 5 was also released. 9/11 was celebrated with the finished Memorial Park in New York, and today October 20, 2011, the Libya dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed. It was with such fanfare that has been going on in the world, as the U.S has struggled along with Europe to contain a rather large financial crisis that seems to be so interlocked its causing a slid of titanic proportions that many are not aware of what is really going on. I will not bore you with Macroeconomics, but lets just say its very bad and the U.S. is unable to push it faster away from their shores.
On the technology front, I saw today the amazing and sexy Lytro camera. This camera has taken digital cameras and turned it on its ear. The ability to capture an image and refocus any part of the image is an amazing feature not to mention the 11 mega rays of light it captures to create amazing low light photos instantly with no worry about shutter speed or hesitation. At $399 fo the 8GB version you can take approximately 350 images. Check out the amazing gallery of photos to see for yourself. I am trying to get my hands on one of these beauties to take it through its paces. This camera can only get bigger, badder, and better as time goes on. Soon, I am sure they will be making seriously long 250mm versions for sports photography.
When iOS 5 was released last week, I was eager to load up my trusting developer iPad and take it for a spin. It was beautiful. I will say that I got rid of it after a day and happily went back to version 4.33. I took iOS 5 beta off because it was slooow on my 1st gen iPad. I mean wow slow and after restarting a few times it kept crashing apps. A testing buddy also experienced the same slowwy-goodness, but still is enjoying it not wanting to take it off just yet. Apps Crash! For those of you who don’t understand what an app crash on the iPad involves its rather painless. The app just quits, or goes to the background. If you double click on the command button you can see it still running in the background, but it just shut down. I love my iPad and go everywhere with it so don’t accuse me of being a hater, but I am not a fan-boy either. I’m just an avid Apple user that expects a great product to work consistently.
I realize that iOS is a beta product and yes, I can confirm it is really a beta product. Very few applications ran well on my first gen iPad with this iOS. I have the 64GB 3G model. It normally runs great and I look forward to the next iteration of the iOS 5 versions, but this is a huge slowness that hampers the running of products. Certain websites that are intensive with HTML5 elements just drop like flies, whole pages don’t load in the new Safari. The greatest part of iOS5 that worked without fail was the new iMessenger and the Alert system. Wow, what a great upgrade of those to systems. I was able to add outside email addresses and after a rather long 30-50 sec pause it was able to verify the address otherwise it just kicks a red exclamation up saying something to the effect of “try again!”
The new alert system works great when the unit is in lock mode, then when you want to act on an alert the lock slider is at the alert line and requests you key then goes straight to the item that was sending the alert. This feature is very convenient. The new feature that is very invasive is the slowness. If Apple can fix that then, I will go back to beta testing this next gen gem, but until then I will watch on the sidelines. Wish I could test it with an iPad 2, now that would be fun. Wait for the next beta release or brave it now. It’s really great, but slow.
iCloud is really interesting, but will get very interesting after iTunes Match gets added for testing. I will write more soon with some screenshots of the iPad iOS5 and iPhone iOS5 installation and setup. I will also cover the new iMessenger, and some pitfalls for Apples new iTunes Match… can you cheat the system finally?
I have worked in the computer industry a long time, even before AOL, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Groupon, and even 90% of the current computer users and half of those 90% weren’t even born yet. Computers were expensive, not very many features, and lacked a complete overall understanding by most people around the world. It was a mystery box. CD-ROM drives had not been invented yet, the 3.5″ diskette ruled the day having replaced the stalwart 5″ floppy disk. The 20MB drive was all the rage at local computer shows where 50 or so computer geeks would gather to share software and scanned images found on some bulletin board(BBS) in the Netherlands. CompuServe and Prodigy ruled the BBS world with bulletin board access to leave message posted so you check the next day for an answer. It was amazing dialing in with a 1200 baud modem the size of a toaster. IBM was hyping the OS/2 operating system stating it was much more stable, faster processing, and simple to use than the leading computer OS. The problem was it was impossible to program for, it was far too complex for normal consumers who couldn’t even use an ATM, it had virtually no support in the way of add on tools, software, or an easy office software package that worked together seamlessly. The DOS/Windows PC was very new, multimedia (buzzword) was just about to take off with the SoundBlaster card but people didn’t know what it was, how to use it, and so they proceeded to climb up the Windows hill to now.
Now jump forward several decades to today and we have a similar issue of hype. All this hype that surrounds the Android OS. Yes, it’s open source (buzzword), capable of some quick processing, but consumer usability is not its strong point. Configurability and usability are two different monsters for consumers. There are several types of consumers. “The Mistake Buyers” The one that heard it was what they needed so they, their family must have it. Another is the “Tinkering Geek” that must have the latest bleeding edge. The “First Year PEBKAC Power-user” who “knows more than you do, belittles your 20 years of knowledge, but comes asking for help every time the computer “did something” “ I just turned it on”, yet you find every downloaded virus ever conceived on their PC. Then finally, we have the “Solid State “if it isn’t broke, don’t mess with it” Computer User”. This is the kind of user that can listen to a computer and just know what’s wrong and fix it themselves. Which one of these computer users are going to use Android OS? Umm… none intentionally except for maybe the “First Year PEBKAC Power-user”. That person will most likely encounter it on their new shiny phone because they heard it was better than the iPhone, but soon found as I did just by counting only 1600 apps in the Marketplace (800 games, 800 applications) compared to their iPhone friend who had 350,000 apps (and counting) to choose from. This person claims there are a million android apps (count’em ).
The normal consumer is going to gravitate to the easiest, most popular computing platform, that has the most practical choices. AOL provided an easy (single disk, then CD) way to get Windows online for a decade till the masses “learned” and at least got familiar with their ISP’s and mice. Then along came the laptop pc to take everywhere you go, then wireless, then cell phones, then smartphones, and now tablets. Android is certainly not going to find its way into the enterprise anytime in the next decade. Apple beat it to the punch. And like the PC, enterprise workers needed to expand their skills so they bought a computer like the one they had at work so they could “self-learn” to stay ahead. Now enterprises are choosing iPhones and iPads. With the massive choice of iOS versus Android OS, it’s like Windows and OS/2 all over again. The shiny new faster nimble “green” OS that is better technology or you have the easy, friendly, “cute bird throwing game,” toting OS that has all you need now on store shelves capable of working with everything even replacing your remote control, (ahem..except flash…but who really cares now that YouTube supports HTML5). But hey! I hear there’s an App for that!
I made it. Its been an amazing ride to get to this juncture. I know this is just another hill in life, but I have my friends and family to thank for making sure I didn’t give up. I know I drove everyone nuts talking about the subject of psychology and of course every other subject I was in. I hope I have encouraged some to return to class to finish a degree, or inspired my chidlren to stay the course. I am especially proud that my mom and dad are here to see me finish this even though its 20 years late. I have heard it hundreds of times that “I was the one, who was supposed to go to college” and when I didn’t it was disapointing. So at least now this will be one thing completed for my bucket list, not that I am going any time soon, unless someone didn’t tell me something.
Everyone asks me if I am going to be a psychologist. As much as my professors want me to become one I would have to say no. No, because its just not my cup of tea, to sit and listen to people and assist them with their issues. I have been told I am good at that, but I can’t see myself doing it everyday. I like what I am doing now. Learning psychology has opened my eyes to human potential and has answered questions that I had about, growth, human potential, deception in the workplace, factors pertaining to succeeding, and people management through emotions.
In addition to the physical attributes of human management, learning how humans think has provided me with insight towards, basic skills, traits, design limitations on the internet such as why certain designs work while others don’t , and why simple group think can bring down projects. It’s not just about psychology it’s about everything that is involved with humans from mistakes in human management, to succeeding in planning.
…I wish I could have stayed in Seattle longer but I got bitten by a stomach flu that … well lets say it was a trip… get it???. ok bad joke aside. It’s for lack of a better word painful, but I hope to be back up and running tomoorow at work. Finished my last class with a solid B. It was Sports and Social Psychology but it was more like sports sociology. I really had hoped psychological theory would be prevalent in the class rather than more about Title IX and social classes. My current class is Mythology and is part of my general education class. National University is really a great educational experince, but it is not for the faint of heart. With one class a month it is really meant for working professionals. I am currently finishing my BA in Psychology with my emphasis on organizational psychology and communication. Its been great learning body language and how people unconsiously communicate with facial microexpressions. Paul Ekman is really the main library of knowledge in the world of microexpressions. I am just getting started learning it but its fascinating. Check out his website and try you luck at trying to recognizing an emotion. I just finished his out of print book The Faces of Man (Ekman, P. (1980). The face of man: Expressions of universal emotions in a New Guinea village. New York: Garland. ISBN
0824071301 / 9780824071301 / 0-8240-7130-1) It was to say the least brilliant and moving. These photos are in his private collection now and are proof of his theories. Fantastic but collectible.