Posts tagged ‘Apple’

Why can’t Siri announce caller name

Everyone is so hyped about the possibility of an iWatch. An iWatch certainly would be awesome, especially if Apple does it. But they still haven’t been able to get a built-in standard feature.

Seems to me it would be more important to get Siri to announce a caller’s name like any old LG phone like the enVTouch can do.

Why should I have to trust a third party app that takes forever to assign individual ringtones to each Contact’s ID… just to get it to do something as standard as speaking the caller ID, even if it only did the caller ID as a Contact name it would be awesome.

The only other way apparently is to turn on VoiceOver in the Settings > General > Accessibility. Whenever you receive a call it will automatically speak the callers name. This from the Verizon Announce Caller forum posting and the person also said,

But as a heads up, the Voice Over feature is designed to speak everything you touch on the phone and will change the way your phone is used.


iMac G4, Ten Years Ago Already

The Exceptional iMac G4: Ten years later – Macworld

A decade after its debut, we remember what made this flexible Mac special

Posted ImagePosted Image

Steve Jobs in YouTube video showing off their new at that time G4 iMac!

Wasn’t this also the cute little Pixar icon that hopped across the screen and drove the letter i of the Logo into the ground replacing it? Nope, that was an adorable little animated white desk lamp. Pixar was spun off by Lucas Films in 1986 with funding by Apple, Inc cofounder, Steve Jobs (who became Pixar’s majority shareholder, and later sold to Walt Disney Company in 2006. That is such a precious thing to see that little animation on all Pixar films. Those Pixar animators can animate anything! :D And the YouTube video below actually shows why they use that adorable little animated white desk lamp animation for the Logo on all their productions. I love it! Very small video, little over 2 min long (good to know for those of us on capped bandwidth).

Why Pixar’s Logo includes a Lamp – YouTube


But I digress, back to the revolutionary, yep, revolutionary, G4 iMac.

Yes, it was revolutionary, ground breaking, exceptional for the day … 10 yrs ago in January 2002!

Apple also introduced iPhoto for the first time at the same time as the new iMac G4, as well as making the ground breaking move to from CRTs to flat screens. And writable DVDs (first optical “Super Drive” featuring writable DVDs — as you will remember the “Combo Drive” was CD/DVD but only the CD was writable, the DVD side was read only).

The new iMac G4 also shipped with AppleWorks 6 (an Office-like productivity suite), PCalc 2 (scientific calculator software), World Book Encyclopedia, and Otto Mattic (a 3D action game).

And it the first iMac to boot by default to OS X (10.1 Puma) instead of Mac OS 9.

It launch in January 2002, the iMac G4 came in three flavors: a low-end model for $1299 that included a 700MHz G4 PowerPC processor, 128MB RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and a CD-RW drive; a mid-range model for $1499 that upped the RAM to 256 MB and included a CD-RW/DVD-ROM “Combo Drive”; and a high-end model for $1799 that included an 800MHz G4 processor, 256MB RAM, a 60GB hard drive, and a CD-RW/DVD-R “Super Drive.”

Interesting to note that all this was happening just as the original iPod revolution was getting under way.

I first got to play with one of these little wonders in about 2005 I think it was when I worked on one for a client. It was an amazing little guy. The only thing I was not happy with was the inability at that time to make it do a right-click on the mouse (which was common among PCs at the time), but had to quickly learn you could use the control-click to get the “right-click” menu. But it was amazing what it could do for such a tiny half ball dome-shaped PC! I have to say it was actually the first Mac that I was truly impressed with.

It would be a few years before I got my first Mac, a much faster (1.4Ghz) G4 Mac Mini running Mac OS X Tiger (10.4). I never really got what it meant to hear people say ‘it just works’ until I got that Mac Mini. It really did just work, and was very intuitive. And this from someone coming from Windows and DOS computers before that. I was using Windows XP Pro on my other computers and I still loved Windows XP too but this, this was different. I fell in love with this tiny little box that hardly took up any room on my desk and could do so much.

And all that constant annoying vigilance on the Windows PC was gone! Just like with Linux, but it was so polished (which sadly for me is very important). Linux has gotten so much more polished now but back then, not so much. OK, so sure one still had to be careful and do maintenance, but gone was the true concern about all the bazillions of viruses, worms, Trojans, RATS, rootkits like it was on Windows … that were a thing of the past … at least for 6 yrs anyway. But even now, even though this year introduced the first ‘real’ threat to the Mac, it still isn’t the same as it is on Windows.

Yep, I love my Mac. I also love my Windows 7 as it is the very best Windows to date and comes as close to ‘it just works’ without being a Mac, and I love my Debian Squeeze running KDE for more reasons than I can say, but it’s mostly about being open and free; Open Source, Free as in Beer yes, but mostly because it’s Free as in Free Speech. You can do anything with Linux you can set your mind to. If you learn to code with it, you can freely create, modify, build up the code, and help the open source community progress in real tangible ways. Linux is the best of all worlds.

But, for its simplicity, polish, and beauty, and yes, even its innovation, which is so often ahead of the pack, I very much love my Mac. Now if I can get a new Mac someday that will run, Mac OS X Mountain Lion… 😉 And an iPod Touch that will run iOS 6… Yeah, I’m hooked on Mac too.

I will always run Windows for many reasons, most of which is that it is the main stay for my business and I will always run the Mac because I just love it for the reasons given above, but if both of those went away tomorrow, I would still have my Linux.

I guess I just love technology…I started out in computers before home computers were universal like they are today. I originally had a RadioShack Color Computer, then went to an 8088 running DOS, a 386SX running DOS and Windows 3.1.1 WFW, and then to 486 computers running Windows 95, Win98SE, eventually P4 running Windows XP and now AMD Dual Core Athlon 64 that can run Windows Vista (groan!), and Windows 7 and Debian Squeeze. And of course my newer Intel Mac Mini 2Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM that runs Snow Leopard, and can run OS X Lion, but will never run Mountain Lion, and an older 2nd Gen iPod Touch that I also love but has trouble with many new apps and upgraded apps now, and will never run IOS 5 or IOS 6.

Pick one? No way. I love them all! I do not want to part with any of them. But like everyone else, I do want to get faster machines and gadgets! 😀

It is amazing to me that it’s been 10 yrs, 10 1/2 yrs now, since that first iMac G4 came out for PPC (Power PC) Macs. Approximately the same length of time that Windows XP has been running on PC computers. Amazing.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs

[tweetmeme source=”bambismusings” only_single=false]Apple says Steve Jobs has died – MSNBC

Apple’s Steve Jobs Dies – Bloomberg

609px-Steve_Jobs_WWDC07 - wikimediaWhether you agreed with his corporate philosophies or not. He was a still a brilliant 56 year old fellow human being who has finally lost a terrible battle with cancer. On the plus side, he co-founded Apple, Inc. and several other companies of note while he was away from Apple, then came back and pulled Apple out of it’s economic doldrums to become a technological giant in first the mobile devices arena and has begun to play catch up on the desktop/laptop arena as well.

I definitely didn’t agree with a lot of his philosophies, corporately or patently, but he did bring about some great innovations. I would love to have seen Apple move the other direction to keep up their old revolution persona from 1984, but that was obviously not to be in this corporate environment.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. No one deserves to battle or lose the battle with the demon called cancer. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Statement by Apple’s Board of Directors (Yahoo News/Business Wire)

4G Data Connection Problems

[tweetmeme source=”bambismusings” only_single=false]If you have 4G available in your area, wow, the speeds and bandwidth are amazing!!!! I have been reading about it and drooling! LOL!

If you are on the fringe of 4G capable towers, or have no 4G towers in your area, it can be a nightmare.

4G Phones have been available since last year. They were generally careful not to push them in areas where there were no 4G towers early on. But apparently that’s not the case now.

People on all the cellular networks have had situations with frustrations with their 4G smartphones/devices. Whether it is AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. Whether it’s handset makers like Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, etc.

The build out continues and it will likely be great when it’s done, but in the meantime…

Phones seem to work fine for calls (unless a specific phone has issues with that), but data connection problems have abound since they started pushing these 4G data phones it seems especially in fringe or no 4G tower areas.

18.1 Million results on Google for a search on 4g device data connection problems.

In the last month or two is the first time I have seen one of these 4G cellular Internet devices in action in our rural areas where there are no 4G towers — and there are not likely to be 4G on the towers for a long time to come while cellular companies ramp up in city and suburb areas where it is more economically profitable to do so.

We were using two separate USB cellular wireless 3G devices that were working great on the close 3G tower. But one of the devices died. We needed two devices to get at least 10GB monthly. Still too little for our needs really, but we made it work. It cost us; first the cost of each device, and then $60/mo plus taxes and fees for each of those two devices and so much a MB (not GB) for overages if we went over 10GB a month.

So OK, one breaks, and now we were down to a single USB cellular wireless 3G device. And we were mid month when this happened. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

We wanted a 3G MiFi 2200 or at worst case a 5 Spot for 3G, but we were told neither one was available. So we ended up with a 4G MiFi device from Verizon Wireless.

It was a total disaster. And I mean total disaster in our area.

The bad things I had heard about these 4G devices in areas with no 4G on the towers were so true!

We went through 1-2 weeks of major issues/connection problems due to this very nice looking 4G MiFi device. Data was on again, off again, like a crazy monkey. It couldn’t stay connected to the tower to save it’s life. Seemed to be constantly looking for 4G and when it did, it would drop the 3G connection while it looked, and when it couldn’t find it, it would go back to the 3G. Back and forth, back and forth.

It was so bad, even though we had it plugged in all the time, it couldn’t maintain a charge so (as was typical when the battery was low as we found out) it would then get so low on the charge that it would go on and off like a crazy monkey even worse. The first device wouldn’t stay connected from day one for more than a few minutes at a time.

It was a nightmare to say the least.

We got a replacement unit from Verizon, and it worked for a whole 12 hrs before it got so low on battery power that it would go on and off again like a crazy monkey till you turned it off and let it charge up again. But it never stayed on for 12 hours again after that first 12 hours, even with a fresh charge after 3 hours offline to charge it.

Eventually, we were sent a 3G MiFi 2200, and it and the tower are very happy with each other, and we are again happy with them and Verizon.

We live in a rural area that will not be getting 4G anytime soon so the 3G MiFi 2200 was a much better choice for us. At least at this time.

NOTE: There was a setting in the 4G MiFi to set it to 3G only but it didn’t work. The Verizon technician installed the newest firmware on the replacement 4G unit (this was before they finally sent us a 3G unit), but that didn’t work either. He was hopeful. No go.

Verizon Wireless Tech Support was great. They tried their level best to fix the situation. And after it was all said and done, Verizon took care of us, so we didn’t have a bunch of charges related to all this mess either. So we are thankful to Verizon for that and although their service isn’t as impressive on the MiFi 2200 as it was on the USB devices, it is still quite nice and solid except for the daily reconnects which seem to normal for Verizon’s cellular 3G data service.

We lived through a terrible time and we were very frustrated to say the least. I wouldn’t want to live through that again. Especially since cellular Internet is the only viable solution in this rural area.

I don’t want to get started on the caps because we will never be happy with their $80/mo 10GB caps and $10/1GB overage charges, but those are better than what we were paying before with the USB devices at $120/mo for 10GB and having to change out the devices and watch the bandwidth closely so we changed before each device went over every month. But I digress…

In many cases where folks are complaining about smartphones and their data connections, I wonder how much of their problems are related more to the chipset in the devices and on the towers, or the firmware, or the lack of available settings within the software/firmware to stay in 3G if 4G not available like for our 4G devices?

And in that case, are the smartphone and other 4G device makers themselves really taking the heat for the slowness on the cellular companies on getting 4G built out? But who really is at fault?

Were the handset makers buying into what chipset makers are saying in an over confident way about their chipsets and how they will work right in all environments. Were those chipsets tested in real world environments with both 3G/4G avilable, not available, and intermittently available, before they were ‘sold’ to the smartphone/cellular device, and wireless cellular internet companies when they commission devices themselves from companies?

And what about the complimentary chipsets on the towers which were sold to the cellphone companies themselves and put on the towers?

Hardware, software, firmware … back and forth. Whose really at fault for all this apparent misdirection on what is wrong with the 4G scenarios particularly today in areas where there still are no 4G towers and people are getting frustrated with the service being provided after paying good money for their devices and service when maybe it’s really just the wrong device for the job in that area.

I have seen folks in Michigan putting up with horrible service from Sprint due to the 4G hardware they were sold in anticipation of 4G being in their area within 6 months. They are still waiting and being frustrated as it’s their only hope in their rural area where there is no tower close enough to give them even solid 3G speeds especially with the 4G device they were sold over a year ago, maybe closer to 2 yrs at this point.

What about all the frustration that folks in rural areas have had to deal with over this 4G fiasco?

We were a squeaky wheel and got some satisfaction but that was close to 2 weeks I never want to have to relive.

Our friends in Michigan have not gotten any satisfaction from Sprint. Just constant empty promises of 4G will be there soon….still. And constant, intermittent connections and frustrations.

Apple: Too little, too late?

[tweetmeme source=”bambismusings” only_single=false]Newest MacDefender installs without password (Fran’s Computer Services blog)

Read it and weep … part of it is not just for Mac users either…the spammers/scammers have a new URL shortening scheme that will make all Fake AV easier to get infected by for both PCs and Macs.

Nice to see Apple doing the right thing!

[tweetmeme source=”bambismusings” only_single=false]Over at Fran’s Computer Services blog, there is an article entitled “New Mac Malware – Is Mac no longer safer?” about the Mac Defender malware and how Apple has now done the right thing and will be taking care of it, not only by helping users clean up their Macs by providing the removal instructions in a Support document on their Apple support website, but they will also be putting out a programs to automate the process soon. In the blog posting above, there are links to various articles from the start of this fiasco till now when Apple has not only admitted that the malware exists, but is taking steps to help their users.

Nice to see them doing the right thing. Even Microsoft does that regarding malware on Windows.

Hello World – From a mobile device

This is just too much fun! And also green if you care about such things. I am posting from my iPod Touch to my blog. I am getting ready for our JimmyLee and Bambi Show on at 7PM EDT, but had to take a minute to post a little something on this topic with the device.

Couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift!! Thanks! You know who you are! 🙂

Well back to other things and see you all later for the show. Hope you can make it with the holiday and all.

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