Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category


Get An iPhone

In Accessories,Apple,Emerging Technology,Opinion,Tips & Tricks on December 1, 2011 by

First photo I took with original iPhone in 2007. Kitchen of our new home.

After having a late lunch at Olive Garden on July 1, 2007, I walked over to the AT&T store and bought my first iPhone. All that was left from the biggest launch in Apple’s history was a 4GB model and I took it. (No waiting, no lines)

I must admit, my friend Andy twisted my arm to give it a chance.  I have to thank him for pushing me to try it.  Who knows, I might have given Android a chance like most of my other friends avidly use & recommend. Yuk!

I was undecided at the time because I didn’t want to give up, of all things, the QWERTY keyboard on my Blackberry Curve. Can you believe that? Makes me chuckle everytime I reminisce about it.

Needless to say, the iPhone was the best electronic device I’ve owned by far!   I’ve kept my original iPhone thinking it will some day be a collector’s item.  I have it on display in my living room, since it is the most expensive art piece I own.  Well, other than the other Apple products in my home.

I have been upgrading every two years to the latest model.  I currently own a 32GB iPhone 4 running iOS 5.0.1 with 1,709 songs, 10,273 photos and 91 apps.  Waiting for upgrade eligibility in Feb. 2012 for the 4S.

I won’t make this into a post of why I believe the iPhone is simply the best choice out there.  There’s about 90 million iPhone users and countless stories on the web to convice you of that. 

It’s about a question I’m asked from time to time:  What phone do you recommend?  I simply say, “Get an iPhone”  and it usually results in one of two things:

1) A follow-up visit a few months later thanking me for the recommendation and them sharing their favorite features they didn’t know a phone could do. (Demonstration included)


2) A text message asking me to guess what phone they just bought.  This is my favorite of the two. Since iOS 5, it’s been a pleasant surprise to receive that first iMessage from someone who just switched to an iPhone. It’s made it easier to identify the switch.

By my count, the number of converts is at 15 and rising.  Their ages range from 17 – 58 years of age.  The list includes friends, family, married couples, college students, teachers & my mom.

Thanks to subsidies, owning an iPhone has become fairly affordable.  For those new to the iPhone, there was no such thing when the original came out.  It was either $499 or $599 cash money! Also, it’s now available on all relevant carriers with a variety of plans to suit every need.

So if you’re in the market for a new smart phone, just get an iPhone! I’ll see you or reply to your first iMessage soon.



I Jailbroke My iPhone 3G

In Apple,Procedures,Reviews,Tips & Tricks on March 10, 2009 by Media Specialist Tagged: , , ,

After much internal debate on whether I should Jailbrake my iPhone 3G or not, I took the plunge on Sunday. You may wonder why I had not done it already? I don’t know if it’s just me, but every set of instructions I read were to complicated or risky. Simply not worth the hassle. When I’m unsure of something technical, I usually just wait.

A friend of mine emailed me the Gizmodo Post on instructions on how to do this. I read them over and they were the first instructions that seemed simple enough to make me do it.

It took me a few downloads and restarts on my iMac and I was ready to run QuickPwn for Mac OS X. After about 10 minutes the iPhone rebooted and I started loading programs on Cydia. A weird feeling of betrayal comes over you for a second. Then you start using programs you’ve been missing and you feel like Neo from The Matrix. Jailbrake = Unplugged! Why has Apple or AT&T decided to keep us from these basic features you find on every other phone?

The final process of the Jailbrake process

The final process of the Jailbrake

The #1 reason I Jailbroke my iPhone was for video capabilities. (Come on Apple! Probably AT&T…) The first programs I installed were Qik and Cycorder. Both programs are just what I was missing from my iPhone. Instant satisfaction!

I played around with other applications like Snapture, which I will purchase, and Winterboard. I like some of the features of Winterboard but I don’t want my iPhone looking like a MySpace page. So I kept my default Springboard.

I also tried the Cut & Paste application called Clippy. Although it’s in Beta, it works remarkably well. (Again, Come on Apple!)

This comic describes how I feel about my improved iPhone:


Before you start passing judgment, I also Jailbroke my wife’s iPhone and she loves that she can now play her childhood’s favorite game Mario Bros and record her dog Cochi playing around.

For now I am happy with the 4 apps on my Jailbroken iPhone. I haven’t seen any lag or experienced any crashes on my iPhone. If you are debating whether to Jailbrake or not, the Gizmodo post is easy and harmless. I encourage you to try it. In keeping with the Matrix theme, Morpheus compares it “to trying to free your mind.”

Make sure you run a new back-up on iTunes of your iPhone before trying this. Worst comes to worse, you can ALWAYS RESTORE.

Thanks for the URL himess33.


Imaging USA 2009 Photography Expo

In Accessories,Apple,Audio Visual,Emerging Technology,Entertainment,Laundry Room,Reviews on January 16, 2009 by Media Specialist Tagged: , , , , ,

Imaging USA 2009 Expo

Imaging USA 2009 Photography Expo

Attended the Imaging USA 2009 Photography Expo in downtown Phoenix on Sunday and one thing is for sure, this event is a photographers dream. It certainly exceeded my expectations. I figured I would see many booths with over zealous vendors trying to sell me photography equipment I do not need. It was anything but that!

It was a well organized 223,000 square feet showroom floor featuring the biggest players in the photography industry. This expo gave you the opportunity to try out any camera out on the market, from least to most expensive. No point & shoot’s here.

Best Buy or Circuit City don’t display the high-end Nikon and Canon cameras. Here you can try everything hands on. I mean everything. The digital explosion of photography has taken over! I don’t think I saw one thing that involved film

Green Screen

Green Screen

It’s amazing how the big companies like Sony, Canon and Nikon try to entice you to purchase their product. They do it in such a professional & convincing way, I almost dropped $4,000 on Canon XH GI HD Camera. I wish!

Here’s a brief summary of what I saw at some of the biggest booths. No surprise that Canon and Nikon were the most popular at the expo because of their elaborate setups. It was a toss up between those two on how well they used their floor space to encourage you to hang out.


I was disappointed with Sony’s space, since they only had 1 camera with various lenses. 1 camera, come on Sony!

They were featuring their new SnapLab™ Digital Photo Printer which was fun to play with. Wasn’t too impressed with the quality on some prints we got off our SD cards on sight.

We participated in their green screen presentation with a quick lesson in an after-effects software called eXpress Digital. Green screen looks like a fun way to photograph with the ability to manipulate backgrounds. The photographer presenting this session was from the UK and was very engaging. He was using a Canon.

That’s about all Sony had. Oh and the cool lanyards they were handing out.


I enjoyed the presenters Canon scheduled to display their work in a small, intimate setting. Had the opportunity to see Joe Buissink, the photographer that shot Jennifer Lopez‘s wedding. He explained how a photographer should make his photos count and how important it is to sell yourself. After all you are the image of the company. Very interesting speaker. Had me sold!

Canon also had on display every camera they make. One could go up to the representatives and ask any questions while you play with the camera that interests you.

The workshops they had with live models were quite informative and onlookers paid close attention to the tips the Pro’s were giving. Bob Davis, famous for photographing Eva Longoria’s Wedding and others, was doing one-on-one with anyone who stopped by the booth. Time well spent for those people!

Every color printer Canon makes, big or small, was available for you to test and compare print quality. I believe we spent the most time in this booth!


One thing caught my eye right away as we got closer to the Nikon booth. It was the enormous LCD screen they were using to display photographs. At the time, Jim Reed was presenting his unique weather photographs. Simply said, they were beautiful photographs of nature in action. He is a well known storm chaser.

Jim Reed Presenting At Imaging USA Nikon Booth

Jim Reed Presenting At Imaging USA Nikon Booth

Nikon also had all their cameras on display for us to play with. One of my friends fulfilled his goal of using the Nikon D3, the hottest camera on the market. The smile it brought to his face was worth price of admission. Easy to see why digital has replaced film, the quality is unmatched. I tried some of the Nikon cameras with the long-throw lenses. The clarity you can get from a distance is unbelievable. Those things can get heavy carrying around.


All in all it was a fun way of spending a Sunday afternoon with friends. I should also point out that MacBook Pro‘s and iPhone‘s were being used by everyone. They were either displaying or instructing with a MBP or running through a gallery on their iPhone. I guess if you want to be a photographer, those two items are a must!

Our next stop will be CES 2010, where hopefully Apple will show up, Steve and all!


Apple TV Impressions From A Non-Apple Fanboy Perspective

In Apple,Audio Visual,Entertainment,Hardware,Reviews on October 13, 2008 by Tech Support Tagged: , , ,

For awhile now I have had the idea to see my movies, pictures and music from one central location that would connect to my big screen TV and home theater system. I figured I would rip my movies so the kids could watch them without having to handle the DVDs and scratch them all up. My wife would be able to listen to her music on our stereo system while doing house chores and not have to be changing CDs every time. We could show our pictures to family and friends when they came over to the house without having to connect a laptop to the TV every time. What a concept, a device that does all of this with ease of setup, no hassles. High on the list of importance was this device has to be easy for the kids or wife to operate.

I had looked up various methods of accomplishing this with Windows Media Center, Media Extenders, Software, all kinds of hacks that would deliver on the promise of consolidation. However, none of these options was easy to setup, or required too much work for someone that might not know too much about technologies.

A friend of mine and my brother, that happen to be Apple Fanboys, had told me I should get an AppleTV. That this was the device I was looking for and that it would do the things I described. Well after several months of not wanting to give in, I finally bought the AppleTV. I’ve now been using it for several weeks. I want to share my thoughts and impressions on this wonderful device.

Impressions of the installation

The AppleTV has a very nice form factor. It is square, about the size of school book, but half as thick. It looks very elegant and does not take up much room on your entertainment center. (You got to give it to Apple; they put a lot of thought into the product design.)

The connections are very straight forward and easy to hook up to the TV and stereo. It took me about 2 minutes after I rolled the big screen TV to reach the back of it.

After turning on the power it boots up and shows a welcome screen. You then connect it to your home network over a wired or wireless connection. (This sounds complicated but it’s not.) I connected mine through a wireless connection. All you need is the network name and your password. Then, you take a code that the AppleTV gives you and enter it into you iTunes account on your computer. After that, the AppleTV starts synchronizing with your computer. It’s that easy.

Let the fun begin

Now that it’s all set up, you can begin having fun. First of all, you get access to the iTunes store through the AppleTV.

MOVIES – You can:

1.      Watch the movies you own that you have ripped to iTunes

2.      Watch movie trailers of upcoming movies.

3.      Rent movies in Standard definition or High definition

4.      Buy movies instead of renting them

MUSIC / AUDIO – You can:

1.      Listen to your music library in iTunes

2.      Buy music directly from the iTunes store

3.      Listen to Podcasts (or watch Video podcasts)

OTHER – You can:

1.      Look at your pictures that are on your computer

2.      Look at pictures that are on Flickr and MobileMe

3.      Watch YouTube videos

So far, I haven’t rented any movies with this. I’ve seen a couple of movie previews and they look good on my TV.

My favorite features so far…

My wife started using the music library right off the bat. This is saying a lot, since I had not had a chance to teach her how to use it. She really likes being able to listen to the music from the home stereo.

My kids like being able to pick the movie they feel like watching and have it playing without having to mess with DVDs.

I have really enjoyed watching YouTube videos and pictures from Flickr, especially the ones from my friends and family. Last weekend we were able to show some pictures to our family on the big screen without any hassles and had background music playing with the slideshow to boot. Totally awesome!

I would definitely recommend getting one of these if you are like me and trying to have easy access to your media from one place that is easy to use, easy to keep synchronized, and easy to manage.

Couple of things to keep in mind

I regret getting the 40GB AppleTV. It just isn’t enough space for my media. This is not a problem since AppleTV will stream the files from your computer. But it’s much nicer to have them on the hard drive that comes on the device. Apple sells a 160GB model; I should have got this one instead. I have checked on the Internet for ways of expanding the capacity, but have not found a way that doesn’t involve hacking it.

Overall, I am happy with my purchase of the AppleTV. (I hope I don’t end up being a Fanboy. Is this a bad thing?)


iPhone 3G USB Adaptor Replacement

In Apple,How To,Troubleshooting on October 10, 2008 by Media Specialist Tagged: , ,

Don't Get Shocked!

Apple issued a recall for the USB Adaptor that’s used to charge your iPhone 3G. I guess there was a risk of electrical shock. It’s simple to order your replacement. You will need your iPhone 3G serial # and having an Apple ID makes the process faster. If you don’t you’ll probably have to create one. You can either do it online or walk in to the nearest Apple Store with your iPhone 3G and USB Adaptor in hand.

For the lazy ones exchanging adaptor online here’s what you do.

1) Log on to the following website:

2) Select Your Country

3) Enter your Serial #. Which you can get by tapping on Settings->General->About->Serial Number.

4) You will enter your shipping information by login with your Apple ID (same as your iTunes account) or creating a new one.

5) You will get a confirmation page which you can print to PDF just in case package is lost.

6) It took 5 days for my replacement to come. Once you receive it, exchange it with the one in the box which has a bright green dot and ship your faulty one back within 10 days. If you don’t, you will be charged $29.

In the US they have a return label behind the shipping label that just peals off. I took my sealed box to DHL Drop-off at Office Max or you can schedule a pick-up online or on the phone with DHL.

That’s it. Simple!

Sorry I didn’t tell you sister! I thought I did, I don’t want you to get shocked…