Tech Notes

Personal record for links in this post.

By the time you read this, I hope Steve Jobs will have changed personal computing again with Apple’s long awaited tablet. I invest in vanilla bond and stock index funds, except for one stock, AAPL. Wednesday night, I expect the value of my AAPL shares to be flat or slightly down due to the Obama-effect, unrealistic, unmeetable expectations. More importantly, I’m hoping the tablet makes reading even easier and more enjoyable, makes flying more tolerable (via a mobile library or t.v./movie viewing), is as simple as a toaster to use, and enables me to reduce my personal tech footprint. Bonus points if it drags me into the 21st Century cell-phoning, texting world.

I recently purchased a desktop computer which, four or five years ago, I swore I’d never do again. At that time, I didn’t factor in my worsening vision. One complication is keeping the university’s laptop and my personal desktop in sync. Apple’s MobileMe program was okay, but I didn’t want to pay $100/year for it. So I resorted to thumbdriving, which is a hassle. Then I read this. Love it. Hard to believe the Late Adaptor is cloud computing. Check it out if you’re digital life is out of sync.

I also joined the DVR-world recently, Tivo more specifically. What was I thinking trying to watch t.v. without Netflix and Tivo? To quote my previously brilliant/illuminating review, “love it.” One unintended benefit. Fourteen is watching a lot more t.v. That translates into worse grades, which translates into a less expensive college. Genius. Sometimes I amaze myself.

The New York Times has announced plans to charge nonsubscribers for some content in about a year. Others have tried this unsuccessfully and I predict this effort will fail too. There’s simply too much competition, meaning substitutes. Tonight in the tub I’ll read an article from GQ and the Atlantic Monthly. That reminds me, I also hope the tablet is water proof.

Lastly, if you fancy yourself a runner, swimmer, or cyclist, check this blog post out. The triathlete author is a blogging and technology savant.

Dear Steve Jobs

Dear Jobster,

Took a look at Time magazines top ten iPhone apps the other day. Given there’s 300,000 apps, I assumed there had to be some in the top ten that I couldn’t live without. I thought these “gotta have” apps would be just the excuse I need to buy myself an iPhone for Christmas.

1—Tweetie 2. Surprisingly, too few Positive Momentum readers have begged me to begin tweeting and I don’t read others’ tweets, so the number one app creates zero “gotta have” juice.

2—Yelp. Finds restaurants, bars, and other businesses and provides reviews. I like the potential, but the problem with most review services is the anonymity and mismatched subjectivity. Anonymity means it’s impossible to tell whether company shills are praising products in an attempt to increase sales. And subjectivity is fine if you know the reviewer and he/she has similar interests/tastes, but that’s hardly ever the case. Of more value than Tweetie 2, but hardly a “gotta have”.

3—Slacker. Sounds like a more robust version of Pandora, which I like. Custom playlists, no commercials, nice. I’d use it on occasion, but out of 300,000, the bronze medal?

4—Flight track pro. Don’t fly nearly enough for this to create any excitement.

5—Mint. Money and budgeting program. I’m not a budgeter. I can see why some people would like this app, but of little value to me.

6—Sling player mobile. Remote t.v. Cool, and I’d use it on occasion, but watching t.v. on the iPhone screen doesn’t seem too appealing. As you know, I’m waiting for the tablet. Tablet in hand, I’ll purchase this one.

7—The small chair. Stories, short films, readings, interviews, art. Exclusive content. Hard to say not knowing what the quality of the content is. Again, the screen size is a limiter and maybe I’d give it a go with tablet in hand. At the same time, I try to keep up with too many periodicals already, so this one doesn’t get generate much juice either.

8—Runkeeper. Basically a Garmin with one important advantage, much easier to read. Obviously, most personal technologies are made for people far younger than me with much better vision. Love the screen shot of this app. No more huddling in the laundry room trying to see if that was a 4:55 or 5:05 mile I just ran. :) First “gotta have” deserving of top ten status. But wait, my  iPod nano and Garmin easily slip into my back running short pockets, but the iPhone is too big (and heavier too). I’m not an arm strap guy so this complicates things.

9— Mobile photo editing. I don’t take a lot of pics and prefer working with those I do take on a much larger screen. Detecting a pattern? Tangent. I just got my first pair of bifocal contacts. Utterly amazing. I can read tiny footnotes, I can see Oregon and Canada clearly, and I’ve retained my boyish good looks. The optometry trifecta.

10—Locavore. Find locally grown, in-season foods. That’s the galpal’s job and she knows exactly where the food-coop is. Another one that doesn’t move the needle.

So SJ, that’s all you got?  Makes me wonder how most consumers adapt personal technology. Instead of consciously concluding this device is going to improve the quality of their lives, I suspect they feel a need to conform. There’s a tipping point (that would make a good book) where holding out translates to a loss of social standing. Since I’m not much of a social standing guy, I want to know the new device is going to make a positive difference in the quality of my life.

My final verdict? Not nearly enough juice to get me to iTouch or IPhone up.

Peace Out,


Name Your Price

I’m way too frugal for my own good, but there are a few products I’m willing to pay whatever the seller asks. Take Costco’s California Pistachios for instance. They continue to climb in price but I don’t care because I’m addicted. Just take my wallet and give me back whatever you think is fair. The second is the much rumored Apple Tablet. Hurry up and bring it to market Steve. Here’s my credit card, ring it up for whatever you think is fair.


Foxconn to Manufacture Tablet for Q1 2010 Launch?

Wednesday October 07, 2009 09:18 AM EST
Written by Eric Slivka

Mac Rumors

DigiTimes reports that Foxconn Electronics has been named as Apple’s manufacturing partner for its much-anticipated tablet and that the device is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2010.The device is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2010, with initial shipments from Foxconn being in the 300,000-400,000 range, the sources said.

The device will have a 10.6-inch display, and the sources speculated that perhaps Foxconn could secure panels from its subsidiary Innolux Display.

While a number of rumors have previously pegged the display on Apple’s device in the 7-to-10 inch range, this report of a possibly slightly larger display than previously thought nearly matches recent claims of a 10.7″ screen. Speculation that Innolux may provide screens for the new device conflicts, however, with earlier reports that Wintek had already been tabbed as the display provider.

Finally, the report notes that the device will place an emphasis on e-Book functionality, echoing claims that Apple is aiming to redefine print media with the device. Apple’s extended-life battery technology such as that found in recent MacBook Pro revisions, Internet connectivity, and Apple’s typical attention to user interface detail are all expected to be featured in the new device.