November 2, 2008

Mac vs. Mac

Filed under: Tech — darthryan @ 9:49 pm
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My six-and-a-half year-old Mac finally started showing its age tonight.  While playing a DVD, importing a CD and chatting online my processors maxed out and caused applications to crash one by one.  First DVD Player then followed by iChat and iTunes.  When I purchased my Power Mac G4 MDD system it was practically the creme of the crop.  It sported dual 1.25 GHz G4 processors, 2 GB of RAM, a 64 MB Radeon 9000 graphics card, gigabit ethernet and Wi-Fi.  I even paired it with a 17″ LCD Apple Studio Display.  The MDD was able to handle everything I threw at it and got me through my web design/maintenance stint.  Over the years I’ve upgraded it with dual DVD burners, Bluetooth, SATA and USB 2.0 ports.  But alas, all that is now somewhat sub-standard even with today’s budget systems.

It’s time that I retire my MDD.  The question now becomes which system to get–an iMac or Mac Pro?  The iMac is a great value but the Mac Pro is uber-expandable.  I think I’ll have to delay my decision and purchase until after my trip to Macworld SF in January.


October 21, 2008

iPhone 3G: Missing Features

Filed under: Tech — darthryan @ 11:04 pm
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I’ve been using my iPhone 3G for a tad over three months now and it has served me quite well. It’s not just a phone and far more than a “smartphone”–it’s an ultra-portable computer. Aside from all the jazzy features you no doubtably already know about (phone, internet, iPod, etc.), the iPhone has afforded me one much-appreciated luxury: not needing to bring my work laptop on business trips. This translate into less baggage to deal with and a quicker trip through security checkpoints.

However, having just come back from a Strategic Planning Session, I am now painfully aware of a few missing features:

  • Copy & Paste. I don’t need it often but it sure would be handy to have at my disposal.
  • Custom Email Tones. I can prioritize calls by using ringtones. Why can’t I do the same with email?
  • Disk Usage. Sometimes I need to access PDFs, Excel workbooks and other documents during meetings. It’d be great if Apple provided iPhone users with a way to copy over files to the iPhone. I understand that Apple wants and needs to protect the file system of the iPhone but they should be able to find a way to enable Disk Usage. As it currently stands, I have to use a third-party application called Air Sharing.
  • Teethering. This is more of an AT&T Terms of Service issue than an Apple issue. There are times when I need more processing power than my iPhone but can’t catch an open Wi-Fi signal on my laptop. It’d be great if I could use my iPhone as a wireless modem.
  • Better 3G coverage. Again, this is more of an AT&T issue. When the 3G network is available, connectivity is great. When it’s not, I’m fated to use the painfully slow EDGE network. AT&T needs to double its efforts in network infrastructure upgrades.

Overall the iPhone 3G is an awesome device that works wonderfully but it’s time Apple started adding a few wish-list items that everyone’s been asking for. AT&T also needs to do its part in supporting the infrastructure on which the iPhone 3G depends.

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