Monday, January 18, 2010

What I've Been Upto

In the few weeks I've been spending a lot of time with some new media and technologies that I'd like to share.

First, I'd like to say that this post, and the last two, were written using my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard; this is easily the nicest feeling, and most beautiful keyboard I've owned (a shout-out to Eman, who has gone through at least a dozen mice in the last few years, I fully understand the desire for the right ergonomics now, this being my 4th keyboard in a few years as well).

I'm happy to say that my brain is safe thanks to my new iPhone case by Pong Research (my Christmas gift from Bunny).  The bright lime-green case you see in the photo has a tested and verified technology inside (don't even ask me how it works) that deflects 60% of the radiation output from my phone away from my head.  The case makes it a little hard to flip the silence switch on my phone, but overall it's a great case and I really like having a day-glo iPhone.

 I've been fooling around with a few different apps lately that have really managed to wiggle their way into my daily life;  The first is called xGPS which, as the name implies, is a GPS driving app for the iPhone with 1 really unique feature: the ability to download Google Maps data on a PC and transfer them directly to the iPhone.  While the app isn't perfect (it loses connection and sometimes gets lost), as a free app it's been a really nice addition to my driving experience.  It reads street names and directions to me while muting music playback in the process, perfect for keeping my eyes on the road.

Another app that proved itself (if only momentarily) is called, applicably, iPhone Modem 3.  A device that I'm currently enamored with is called the "MiFi", a portable 3G modem/router that allows any computer/cell phone with WiFi to connect to the internet, up to 5 at once.  Very cool for a little credit card sized device, but my phone is already connected to the internet all the time anyway.  What iPhone Modem 3 allows me to do is turn my iPhone into a MiFi of sorts and get my MacBook Nano online wherever I have cell signal.  Bunny tested this on the road and while the connection isn't exactly stellar when driving, it did work and would work fine in a pinch.

I'm also going to be trying out a couple of software-side technologies soon as part of a daily regiment;
The first one is called www.Gowalla.com - my understanding of Gowalla is that it's a "social location game" where you check into wherever you are in real life through the app and "earn" badges and achievements for being in different places.  I'll explain it better when I understand it more, but it gives me something to do when I'm standing in line or waiting at a drive-thru.
The next is called Ustream.  The app on my iPhone allows me to live-stream video from my phone to the internet; It's like a webcam except the viewer would see what I see rather than look at me talking.  I'll see whether or not I can make it useful.

Finally, I'm going to make a blanket statement about my excitement regarding the rumored Apple "tablet"/"iSlate".  Whatever this device turns out to be (expect an announcement on Jan 27th), I can't wait to get a hold of one.  I'm thrilled with my Mac Mini, my iPhone, and my hackintosh netbook - but I eagerly await the release of a device that bridges the gap between portable handheld computing (e.g., iPhone) and notebook
computing.  Something that I can get online with, create notes/emails on, but is more useful than the
3.5" screen on my phone and has a better battery than my 2.5 hr notebook.  We'll see but I'm saving up.








 My Apple aluminum keyboard and Pong Research iPhone case

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