A cordless and seamless transition from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5

Chrome just crashed and took this entire article to davy jone's locker so I'm typing it again.  Darn.

Anyway I ordered an iPhone 5 a few weeks back and watched with interest while it worked its way from China through Anchorage, AK, Louisville, KY through customs and to my local UPS store for pickup.  I got it this afternoon and wanted to get the thing set up right away.  Sorry. No unboxing photos, but there are already dozens if not thousands up already.  My phone came almost fully charged and not scratched one bit.

Then I turned it on to find it was almost fully charged.  I logged in to iCloud and hit "restore."  I should pause here to talk about my chat with AppleCare last night...


I called AppleCare yesterday evening to go over the upgrade process.  In the old days. I mean the really old days of Palm before NVFS, I could do a brain transplant to a new device in a matter of minutes.  So I asked the guy whether I had to use the cable and deal with iTunes or if everything would "just come back".  He said the apps wouldn't come back.  He made it sound like I'd get to spend countless hours in the app store trying to remember whether this purchased item or that purchased item was recently on my phone or something I'd already deleted. Not to mention dragging everything around to recreate all the folders I had on my old phone.  He put me on hold a second to go find out that... yes indeed. I could simply restore and absolutely everything (but music) would come back.  Fine. That's what I wanted to hear....

Sound Revenge

I finally found a car I can drive to exact revenge on all those teenagers with those subwoofers in their cars.  Perhaps a nice rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever" at 97 decibels will do the trick. Photo originally appeard on engadget.

Jeff Takes Another Bite of the Apple...

I've been limping along with a 2008 Macbook. I put a hybrid SSD inside. I put in 6GB of RAM.  I tried a full SSD but I must have picked a bad brand or perhaps it was defective because the Agility 4 sent my Macbook to pinwheel kingdom.  I was happy to be back on the hybrid SSD.  Then I got iOS 6 and shared photostreams.  I really would like to manage them from my main machine not just my phone.  And that means Mountain Lion.  Of course, there's other reasons for me to want ML but shared photostreams is certainly one of them.

I've been trolling he refurb list at apple.com. I found the anti-glare MBP from 2011 for $1800.  It used to be over $2000.  It was tempting. Sort of.  Then I wandered in to Microcenter and saw the same machine for $1599.  Wow.  That's $200 cheaper than an Apple refurb and this one is new in box, eligbile for Mountain Lion up to date, full warranty and everything.  I was tempted last year when this thing came out but I decided I could wait.  Well I waited.  At 30% off, I convinced myself now was the time.  MC tried to sell me an accidental damage policy for $450.  That would have wiped out the money I had just saved so I told them "no thanks".  I also picked up 8 GB of DDR3-1333 RAM but I'll wait a few days to crack my machine open and put it in.

Microcenter also had 2 lower priced models on sale for $1399 and $1299 respectively but they were sold out today when I went to pick mine up.  I had several criteria in mind. I wanted quad core for faster performance during video transcoding and facial recognition. I wanted to avoid any "bottom feeding" since that has led to me owning several Macs that can't run Mountain Lion.  In a few years, I'm sure Apple will cook up some new secret sauce to kick the cheap machines "off the island".  

Another thing I wanted was the new trackpad. I've been living with the pre-multi-touch trackpad for a long time and every time I play with the trackpad on somebody's newer Mac or in the Apple store, I'm convinced it's better than what I deal with now which is an external BT mouse.

iOS 6 After One Day of Use

Getting Started

I couldn't upgrade right away on the first day. It seems I walk around with 5GB of photos on my phone and while Photostream gets most of them off, I rarely find the time to connect the USB cable and use Image Capture to get the movies off onto my Mac.  For this reason, I had to wait until I got home from work to upgade. 
Once I had enough free space on my device I allowed the upgrade to run. It ran smoothly enough once the download was completed. I had been asked to free up 2.5 GB of space but the download dialog said it was about half a gig so I guess it needs space on the phone to "move stuff around" during the upgrade.  After the upgrade, I lost about 100 MB of free space.
Once I had access to shared photostreams, I regretted taking absolutely all my photos off my phone's camera roll.  Then I rememebered many of them were still there in Photostream.  Sure enough, I could pick the photos in photostream and "share" them without having to copy them to my camera roll first.  I created a couple of shared photostreams within minutes.  Easy. Very easy.  
I'm very happy with the performance of iOS6 on my relatively old iPhone 4.  It is responsive and even the camera app works better. No more launching the camera only to find the phone is so busy doing something else it doesn't respond to shutter clicks while the vehicle that flipped over is still in the air (hypothetical example of course). Ironically, having access to a more responsive OS slightly reduces my incentive to move to iPhone 5.  Only slightly.  I'd still like to have the better optics and better low light performance.
For me, three new features of iOS6 are a very big deal... 

To use iPhone5 LTE in At&t today... I would have to drive to Cleveland, Oh or Muncie, In?

I've been considering the iPhone 5 mostly as a better performing camera that will outperform the "never ready" camera in my iPhone 4.  For me, 4G was mostly a "nice to have".  Today, I found out it's a "not to have" in Michigan.  Despite all those At&t commercials extolling more 4G in more places than Verizon, when it comes down to it, I have to drive 4 hours to use the 4G LTE on an iPhone 5.  On money.cnn.com, they have an excellent chart that compares LTE rollout between Verizon, At&t and Sprint.  For anybody considering iPhone 5, it's a big eye-opener.

At&t is fond of showing their 4G map "all colored in" but I now realize that the 4G LTE coverage is only indicated by those rather sparsely isolated yellow dots. **

UPDATE: After I hit "publish" on this post only a few hour ago, Engadget did an article saying At&t LTE was live in the "Detroit metro area" and sure enough, the image on the At&t web site is now updated to show Detroit and Grand Rapids added to the list of "coming soon" cities.  So strictly speaking the CNN story is still accurate if you don't take the "coming soon" cities into account.

The good news is that if I pick up an iPhone 5 in the coming weeks, I won't be waiting around 'till 2013 to use LTE.  

A thought provoking reflection on Sept 11, written Sept 12, 2001... from space...

In my RSS feeds today, I found a link to astronaut Frank Culbertson's letters written 11 years ago on Sept 12, 2001.  I knew the damage to lower Manhattan was visible from space.  I never realized the ISS was passing over at the time the second tower was falling.  More at nasa.gov...


The Greening of Detroit

This past weekend I had an opportunity to volunteer with the Greening of Detroit planting trees at Erma Henderson Park and Marina.  It is located south of East Jefferson next to the Jeffersonian appartments. This is where my uncle used to keep his boat but the marina is empty now.  I was there because one of our boy scouts is doing this as part of his eagle project.  Our troop turned out in force as did a bunch of my friends from work.  It was very hard work.  We had to dig holes about 2 feet deep and 4 feet in diameter.  This would have been easy but the ground was dry, hard and rocky. My group got 2 trees planted.  It was hard work but I will definitely do this again. 

When we arrived, we could see about a dozen old growth trees in the park but there were places where trees obviously should be that they were missing.  All the teams working together in small groups planted about 20 trees over a period of about 4 hours.  It was a very hot day and the work was very tiring.  The spot chosen for us for our first tree seemed to be on top of a coal seam.  Our second tree was easier but not much easier.  I haven't swung a Mattock or Pick Axe so many times in years.  Actually I think it was 2008 during community service conservation project at Philmont.

My Galaxy Player 5.0


After spending close to 12 hours trying in vain to set up my work email on my Sylvania 7 in tablet, I went in search of an alternative.  I was looking for a "larger" form factor than that of my iPhone 4 and the various iPod Touches we have lying around.  I don't want to spoil either my iPhone or iPad with the work-issued exchange profile that makes the device clumsy with a 5 minute (might as well be 5 second) screen lock and other restrictions like mandatory passcode changing.  

My goal was to shell out less than a Galaxy Tab 2 would cost, even if you count the $65 I spent on the Sylvania, without winding up with something gimpy and difficult to use or that flat out didn't work.  I considered the Galaxy Player 3.6, 4, 4.2 and 5.  I also considered the Amazon Kindle, Nook color and Pandigital Novel.  I decided to avoid other "noname" tablets in the $139 range available at Microcenter because another gimp solution would get me close to the Galaxy Tab 2 out of pocket but I'd still be without a working device.  I played around with the Galaxy Tab 2.  It's very nice and I do like ICS better than either Gingerbread or Froyo.  And to think it was lack of ability to get Froyo that drove me to go iPhone for my primary device in the first place.

Welcome to my Bond movie - SpaceX docks with ISS

We are finally acting out a recurring theme from Bond movies of the 1960s and 70s.  A private spacecraft has docked with the space station.  I wonder if a little hairless kitten with a frickin' laser beam on its head will go on board to subdue the crew...

The above image from NASA is not as quite impressive as the images from Moonraker, but impressive nonetheless...

Math Fail: 40% off ten bucks is 5 bucks?

Our friends over at binary bakery are having a sale and they are offering 40% off a $10 app and charing $4.99.  Yay! 

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