Yep, I’ve been away for a while again…. not that I haven’t been busy. I’ve been up to my eyeballs ( and beyond 🙄 ) in work. It would seem all that volunteer work I’ve been doing for some of the local websites in town has turned into a demand for businesses to update/manage/create their websites…. Hey I’ve got toy money again! Now if I only had the time to play with my toys…. let alone write about them 😥 !
So as you can no doubt tell by the post title, I’ve fallen down the Rabbit Hole. And while I’ve never been a fanboy of Microsoft, or Apple. I am kinda falling into a trance with what Apple has done, how well they have done and where they are going. To the point that I have their iDisk running on my Ubuntu desktop…. Wow. Just where will this lead to next?!
It all started with my daughters iPhone, it broke on her and she had to send it away for repairs ( at no cost to her I might add. ) Since it was gone for a while she started to reuse her old Blackberry and it quickly reminded her of what she liked about it, and what she didn’t like about her iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, she likes the iPhone, but not the fact that her partner and her kids like it more ( all the apps and games on it. ) To the point that it was either in “their” hands all the time, or being charged! The Blackberry worked very well as a phone, email, text messages and camera…. but no games for the kiddies…. So when she got her iPhone back she decided to stick with Blackberry.
So she sold me the phone… My current phone ( before iPhone so to speak ) was a Windows “smart phone” that didn’t work as well as it should have, if at all, and I was getting frustrated having to pull out the battery to reboot the sucker every time I wanted to use a different “feature”. Frustration doesn’t begin to describe the issues…. So I decided to giver her phone a try…
So after jumping through a whole bunch of hoops, it was mine. There were a few challenges with it. One of the first was getting it updated and synced with iTunes running on my Ubuntu Virtualbox. More at my end than on iTunes….. which eventually turned the phone into a paperweight for me….. But thankfully Apple designed in a feature to resurrect an iPhone with screwed up software and it worked… Matter of fact it worked better than anything I’ve ever played with in a long, long time…
So I got some apps on it ( mainly free ) and found the functionality and interface beyond intuitive…. I had a reason to use a smart phone and have it always with me and always charged. Now I was beginning to understand why people like and have smart phones! Wow! It really wasn’t all hype!
So my iPhone experience, made me think…. “What about the iPad2?” It was just being released and my laptop was rapidly dying. Maybe I could use the iPad as a make-do until I could set aside the funds ( now starting to roll in from all my web support activities ) to get a new one. I figured if all else, I could use it for reading PDF documents that were just too frustrating to try and read on my Kindle 3 ( did I tell you about that one….. maybe later – 😳 ). So I ordered one on-line. Because I wanted the “free” engraving…
The iPad finally arrived and what can I say…. The angels almost started to sing once I started using it! It really took the experience and functionality of the iPhone and took it several levels higher! It’s become my morning newspaper, and my research engine and my multimedia centre and so, so much more! It really is hard to describe. The iPad isn’t anything like a computer ( although yes that is what it is! ) It’s an experience…. and until the other tablet makers get that into their head, they really don’t stand a chance!
Well while using the iPad I come across Apple’s “MobileMe” software ( I was originally trying to find a way to sync my calender on my computer with the calender on my phone. ) Essentially MobileMe gave me 10GB of “Cloud” disk space called iDisk ( storage space on the Internet,) yet another email address, and a sync’d calendar with my iPhone (more about syncing Ubuntu later – maybe…. )
But again…. it’s about the experience. Everything works seamlessly! The MobileMe email is accessibly as an application ( don’t have to log into anything anywhere else, ) but I can access it from either my iPhone or my iPad and if I delete a message from one, it disappears from the other… I didn’t have to do anything to make this work. It just does! And it does very very well. If I find something during my research on my iPad I just have to click an icon and can instantly send the link to whomever I choose from my contact list and the sent message is saved and available instantly from either of my apple devices…. So then I took a closer look at iDisk ( that Internet disk drive. )
It’s all well and good to have that much storage available on an Apple product, and they do seem to have something out there for Windows, but what about Ubuntu??? What about my platform. Well with a bit of research I found that solution too. It’s not quite as seem-less, but it’s working ( more on that one later too – I hope! ) So now I can instantly copy files/pictures/whatever from my Ubuntu machine, put them on my iDisk and instantly have them available to both my iPhone and my iPad. Freakin’ Brilliant!
This article is getting a bit long, so let me close by saying that TeamViewer ( another article on that one too later I hope. ) Also runs on Ubuntu AND the iPad and even the iPhone ( but my eyes aren’t that good anymore to make use of it 🙁 ) So here we were in Quebec City, about 400+ km from my base computer and we were showing off pictures of our grandsons on my iPad. My wife asks me to show a recent picture of the youngest one wearing a great fedora which his aunt gave him for his birthday ( which he looks great in by the way. )
Unfortunately, it wasn’t yet copied over to my iDisk and only resided on my Ubuntu machine at home. So using TeamViewer I logged into my machine back in my office, copied the file to the iDisk there and was able to then load the picture up in my iPad. All done in under two minutes! True story! Did I look good or what!
So…. the “?” in the title. Well Apple has announced a major improvement in their laptop line, using Intels “SandyBridge” technology. Making their laptops one of the fastest, and most powerful laptops out there. If you recall I’ve been saving my pennies for a laptop and I should have enough in another month or two….. My wife says it’s a no brainer as to my choices, and I have had an amazing Apple experience to date. So…. I’m wondering…… Interesting times ahead.