January 24, 2012

A Surprising Conclusion

Honestly, when I started writing this series of posts, or even when I wrote last week's post, I did not think that this would be the conclusion of this series of posts about me and the different Apple products I use, but here it is:
I think my next desktop is going to be a Mac Mini.
The reason for this is the new iBooks software and the new authoring tools issued by Apple.
Now the funny part, the part that made me think a lot is why I'm going to do this. You see, I'm annoyed about the Apple EULA as much as the next guy, and I'm annoyed at the fact that I can't BUY books from iBooks (or from Google Books for that matter) probably more than the next guy.
So why am I willing to go along with this?
For two main reasons:
  1. I think the books that I plan to write and sell are important enough that I will use the best available (and cheap or free) tools to make them.
  2. I'm sure I can use the Apple software and then somehow export the files to a format that I can sell on other bookstores.
This whole thing taught me that I have my own ideology, and that it is not directly related to Apple's 'Style' ideology, or the Linux 'Open' ideology. I mean I don't mind Style, and I certainly don't mind Open, but this is not what I'm about.
What am I about? we'll get to that in a few months...

January 17, 2012

How I Got an iPhone 4

So I had my iPhone 3GS for almost a year, not a bad machine, like I said last week.
Then my daughter had this great idea on one of the cooler days last October. Why not go to Anabeh park? I liked this thought: I spend one afternoon a week with my kids (my son likes to play with my iPhone at least half that time), and the Anabeh park is a mere 20 minute walk from their school.
Here is a picture of the park:

See the lake in the middle? That's our suspect. Because right after we rented a boat (again my daughters' idea) see suggested that we steer it so that we'll be at the business end of the fountain that you see in the middle of the lake. Even though my phone was in a fairly watertight bag it started acting funny after that.
I asked for it to be sent for a checkup at the lab, next thing I know I get an iPhone 4 back!
Needless to say I was very pleased, and the rest of the staff at my cell carrier were a bit pissed: "How come you got that, and we didn't? What did you say was your problem? What was it exactly? We want to say the same thing!"
What can I say, the iPhone 4? Not a bad machine.

January 10, 2012

What Can I Say? The iPhone is a Good Product!

So on November 2010, I walked into an Orange (the name of my Israeli cell carrier) store, and told them I was tired of my Nokia 5800 'smartphone'. I won't go into the details of why I did not love it, but I didn't. I asked them if they could offer me something better.
They said sure. Because I was a student I could get an iPhone for 149 shekels a month (about 40$), and if I talked that amount I would pay no extra charges. At the time I was really in awe with Google (more about Google later in this series), so I asked if there were any Android smartphones available. There were, but they were more expansive. I have no idea how that made economic sense, but only about now Android phones and tablets are beginning to be cheaper than their iOS counterparts here.
So I said, OK I'll get an iPhone (3GS). I've had it for about a year (now I have the the iPhone 4, but more about that next week). 
Though some people are not too thrilled that I can't be reached whenever I'm next to my children (because they play with it), it's a good machine.
I've bought apps, I've bought Kindle books and read them on it, I took some really good pictures (not on any artistic level, just pictures I'm happy with). I can read mail. I'm very pleased.
It's the first Apple product that I actually owned, and I like it.
But does it live up to the hype? I'm not so sure!
So once again, it's hard to call something 'insanely great', because we are all looking for different things, and facing different limitations (remember no iTunes here, but also severely limited podcasts, no buying videos etc.)
So going back to the subject of these posts, Steven Jobs.
There can be little doubt that the man pushed the envelope, with the iPhone, with the iTunes store, with the original mac etc. but other guys pushed too, and some of them were nicer, or just plain pushed harder IMHO.
Steve was one of the good guys (in terms of contribution to society), but I don't think that he was the BEST or anything like that.