Friday, April 30, 2010

As April grinds to a halt

I am in the process of setting up my new iPad. It was actually set up hours ago - in fact, I did it quickly while I was at a client's office this afternoon. That fast and that easy. Really.

However, it's taken me a little while to get "HD" versions of my apps (most were free, and I spent about $15 on upgrades), and to find a cloud-based Office suite for the iPad (I went with the $7.99 "Office2 HD", which has Google Docs and iDisk support). Then I had to set up the local sync parameters, which resulted in a 1024x768 version of my 13k+ photo library being generated and then synced up. It took about an hour and a half to re-res everything, even with an i7 under my Mac's hood. It's uploading to the iPad now.

The only thing I'm kind of waiting for is a iPad-centric version of Tweetie, my Twitter app of choice. I figure that'll come pretty soon now that Twitter owns the app. The iPad is, in the end, one of those game-changing devices that will ultimately redefine what a computer will do for most people. And in the end, it's just too important to my career and life for me to not jump on the wave near the beginning.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HP buys Palm. Woulda Coulda Shoulda.

HP has come to the rescue of struggling Palm - but I think it's doomed anyways. Sure, WebOS is a fine accomplishment. In the year+ since the original WebOS device (the Pre) was announced the OS has matured nicely. And if the Pre had come out in early 2008 instead of mid 2009 Palm would probably be riding high again. Problem is, Apple and RIM had already gobbled up all the mindshare for smartphones (enough to convince Microsoft to reboot their platform entirely) and there was nothing left. Plus, when Palm introduced the Pre it was a US-only CDMA device and was only on the smallest CDMA carrier.

Since then, they've broadened the line of WebOS devices but it's too little, too late. In buying Palm, HP gets WebOS - a nice hedge against Android and Apple that lets HP come back into the mobile space and with an OS they control. And WebOS in theory should scale nicely for tablets and other cloud-based devices.

The catch is that HP has never shown any ability to market mobile devices. They have also never really had an aptitude for mass marketing outside of their printers. HP is pretty much a consumables and services company right now. They have more market share than Dell right now, but that's mainly a function of Dell's ineptitude more than HP's prowess. Someone has to be the market leader.

Fortunately, HP is big enough and profitable enough to keep a Zombie Palm running for a long time to come, enhancing WebOS enough to keep it competitive but never a major player in the market. I don't see them ever leveraging Palm into a major market share play. That ship sailed a long time ago and I think Android was the last entrant into the market.

My last Palm was a Treo 700p - which I ditched in favor of an iPhone the day the iPhone came out 3 years ago and I haven't looked back since.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

iPad month one

I've set up a few. I'll have one myself soon. Now that it's out, I see a lot more practical value than I originally did. Typing on it is actually pretty good. But here's the missing links to it right now:

- No direct printing. There are a few workarounds and 3rd-party print methods, but no Apple-sanctioned way to get print output to even a small group of supported devices. I don't think OS 4.0 will change that, either.

- The filesystem isn't shared between apps yet, and there's no true wireless server access or file sync. So the killer app would be a local (maybe as an app written in HTML5) app that has its own cache in local filespace that syncs to Google Docs and has a desktop component that does the same sync. That puts all your real storage in the cloud, with the iPad mainly caching so that it can be used offline. Internet isn't quite ubiquitous yet.

Resolve these and the iPad will be the biggest thing ever.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just finished an ugly read

I read "The Year of the Cock", by Alan Wieder. To save you time, here's the synopsis:

- Moderately successful reality TV producer gets a case of ego, leaves long-suffering wife.

- Moves into apartment, starts screwing a diverse array of women.

- Decides his dick is too small after seeing Fred Durst naked. Goes off on obsessive dysmorphic streak and freaks out.

- Flies to NYC to win back wife. Succeeds for a while. Gets a little less neurotic and gives props to his shrink.

- After reconciliation, has a kid who he loves. Wife divorces him in the end anyways.

- Tells us how stupid he was.

Amen to that. I think I'll stay married. Then again, I was anyways.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

When I was 14

The day I turned 14, I don't remember. I'm pretty sure it involved a sparsely attended birthday party (I wasn't the most popular youth), and my hormones bubbling over.

The day I turned 24, I went out for drinks and food (but mostly drinks) with my girlfriend and a few of my friends who lived around Boston. Went to work at my crappy dead-end pseudo-sales job that I had back then (I was making about $20k working the floor at Egghead for a dedicated porn enthusiast), and went home to our rented apartment.

The day I turned 34, I went to work at a much better job (it was a Tuesday), and then I went out for a quiet dinner with my wife - the same person who was my girlfriend at the birthday ten years prior (we got engaged later that year). We had owned our house for seven years. I think I played golf that afternoon before dinner.

The day I turned 44, I got to go to back to bed for a couple of hours after being awakened by a tantrum when my son couldn't get a toy to work at 7AM. Followed by a lovely session of trimming nose hair because that's something you get in your forties. After breakfast, we watched a rented movie, and we are going to a school meeting before dinner at a Mexican restaurant where I will be made to wear a goofy sombrero at some point during the evening.

After which I shall work on a proposal, write instructions for one of my employees' use tomorrow, and do laundry.

Life goes on. 54 should be interesting, you think?