Tag Archive for ipod touch

Photo Friday: Going Mobile

I decided to inject a little marketing into this week’s Photo Friday.

Whatever youve got, there we are.

Whatever you've got, there we are.

Thanks to the magic that is Amazon Kindle, you can get a copy of The Pack: Winter Kill on most mobile devices. Here we’ve got a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod touch, and my wife’s Kindle. If my particular BlackBerry had been supported, I’d have slipped it into the picture, too.

I did a simple photo setup on this one: I arranged the devices, used an old curtain for a backdrop, and bounced the flash off the ceiling. I could probably have used another light source on the touch and the Kindle to brighten them both up, but I didn’t have anything available. (I’d buy some more lighting rigs, but I wouldn’t use them near enough to justify the expense.)

Of course, if you’d rather carry around a few slices of dead tree than a collection of bits, there’s still the paperback edition! All you have to do is order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, take this form to your local retailer, or just wait a few days until I get my bookstore up and running (from which you’ll be able to buy a signed copy direct from my office, ooh ahh).

Okay, pimping and photography done. I need  some sleep after last night’s boilermaker outing kept me up ’til the wee hours of this morning.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

I Feel So Dirty

I just ordered the iMac for the family.

Mmmm, Kool-Aid.

And someone please tell me why the iPod touch doesn’t have Bluetooth. If you could access the Internet through a cell phone, it would make Safari and Google Maps much more useful. Some of us live in the boonies where public wi-fi is still an urban legend and AT&T coverage sucks.

Not to mention a Bluetooth keyboard would be nice when someone adds some kind of word processing ability via the software SDK due this month.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Getting Her Geek On

The Wife got her first hands-on look at the iPod touch yesterday, and was blown away by how small it is. She’s now excited to be owning one soon, mostly because it will take significantly less space in her purse than the calendar and address book she carries around now. She walked out of the store sporting phantom wood, looking forward to the day she can proudly show off pictures to people who ask (as opposed to bitching that her lazy husband never prints any of them out).

It’s easy for a geek like myself to get excited about new technology, but for non-techies it’s a bit trickier. Despite there being PC’s and laptops in the house throughout our marriage, the Wife has only been using email actively for the last two years. She’s embraced online shopping and Google Maps, and thought my being able to download missed television episodes was “pretty cool.” She only recently started using text messages and fiddling with ringtones on her cell phone, but hardly ever uses the camera. She’s fully embraced DVR technology, but could care less about high-def televisions beyond the fact a flat-screen hanging on the living room wall will free up all kinds of floor space.

In short, the Wife looks at technology as a tool, not a toy. She sees practical uses for the iPod touch, and a new layer of convenience seals the deal. The maps, multi-touch screen, and even the music and video playback are all just a slick bonus. The bulky Palms and other PDA’s have never tripped her trigger, especially with a stylus to lose, easy-to-scratch screens, and clunky interfaces.

I think Apple understands this. Yes, Apple gear is shiny, sleek, and cool. But they definitely have the user in mind, whether we’re talking about hardcore users, newbies, or somebody in between. We all have work to get done, and there are many times we’d like to make that work as simple as possible.

It doesn’t get much easier than iPhoto.

The Wife shares one big gripe with me: price. You get the Cadillac or nothing, something I talked about earlier. This slows adoption to general audiences, but those who can afford said Cadillac couldn’t be happier. We’re discussing putting an iMac in my office so she’ll be able to more easily manage her iPod touch, as well as share photos with family by burning them to DVD with iMovie. She doesn’t have the patience to do the same things in Linux.

In other words, she now sees the value in spending the extra cash, especially now that we’re in a position to afford it.

I may pull the trigger on a new iMac this week, before her phantom wood subsides. It will be interesting to see if an iMac changes her view of computing or not, and whether or not she’ll take advantage of things like the iLife suite.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Drinking the Apple Kool-Aid

One of the Apple execs I met yesterday made a good statement about their products: you don’t get it until you try it.

Apple users extol the virtues of their OS all the time. Three of my friends, including (former) die-hard PC user John Roling, have switched to Mac and vow to never go back. A school in Indianapolis employing a 1-to-1 initiative dropped their PC laptops in favor of MacBooks and couldn’t be happier. A Minneapolis-area school switched their 8 buildings from PC to Mac and offered to load Windows for anyone who wanted it; not one teacher requested it.

The rest of us ask “It costs how much?

The MacBook I purchased in December was my first real experience with a Mac, and it’s been growing on me ever since. Wednesday, on the way up to Chicago for our Apple briefing, my superintendent and I stopped off at the New Lenox School District 122. A teacher showed us how she used Macs, and I picked the tech coordinator’s brain about the back end. Both of them couldn’t be any happier with their Macs, and the downside on the back end is far from a deal-breaker.

That night, we hit the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue. I played with an iPod Touch. I fiddled with an iPhone, then browsed the MacBooks, Apple TV, and the iMacs. I chatted with the sales reps, and I damn near came home with an iPod Touch for the Wife.

Yesterday we sat in on the briefing, learned about Apple’s sales and growth, and got a lot of hands-on experience. We created a podcast in Garage Band in minutes (complete with pictures), and fiddled with a lot of the features that would really help in an educational setting, such as the built-in Dictionary and the Speech text-to-speech engine. We even got to see a lot of the thoughtful extras, like Webclips.

We drove home stunned.

Sure, I still have a few beefs. The closed nature of some of their products, for starters (the iPod Touch may be open to more developers soon, but the iPhone will be AT&T-only for some time). The lock-in to iTunes. The lack of true GPS on the iPhone and the Touch (every time someone tried to show me the triangulation feature, it failed or at least failed to build directions off of it). The way the Nike+iPod is restricted to the iPod Nano. And, of course, the price tag.

Yet it’s hard to argue with the value. Like people say, most of this stuff is just cool to use. Apple has put a lot of thought into the layout and design of both the hardware and the software, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the system’s stability. OS X is loaded with features you just don’t get on Windows (or at the very least aren’t as polished in Windows), and the iPhone and Touch interfaces are an order of magnitude better than the Palm’s (there’s no stylus to lose, either).

The Wife scoffed when I told her I almost brought home a Touch for her. She had been looking at one of those credit card-sized photo viewers to show pictures to people, and she carries a calendar and address book in her purse. The Touch would fill all those functions and then some, saving her space in her purse and give her a much better screen and interface to boot. When I got home, I sat her down in front of my MacBook and gave her a tour of the Touch on Apple’s site. Sure enough, she’s impressed and looks forward to getting one in the near future.

Even tonight, despite my irritation in being forced to purchase an iPod Nano if I want to use the Nike+iPod gear when I try the Cool Running 5k plan this Spring, I found myself pricing out both the gadgets and a pair of Nike+ shoes or the Shoe Pouch. All day I’ve been trying to figure out if I should sync the Wife’s iPod Touch with my school MacBook or if I should buy an iMac for the family, and she doesn’t even have the damn thing yet. I yammered about Apple crap all night, and the Wife says I haven’t been this excited about computers in a long time.

Right now, if someone asked me what kind of computer they should buy, I would tell them “If you can afford it, buy a Mac. If you can’t, buy the best machine you can afford and slap Ubuntu on it.”

I feel so dirty.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.