Pokemon Go

What’s the big hook about this smartphone game? It’s the thrill of the hunt, both for monsters and for pokeballs. You need the latter to go after the former.

You also need an external battery and unlimited data because this game sucks both. Fun way to get your exercise.  Look forward to hunting when I return to Asia.

Frozen over…

Unlocked! iTunes say so...

Hell has begun to freeze.  AT&T is finally allowing customers who are out of contract to SIM unlock their iPhones.

Prior to April 9th, if you were a sucker customer with AT&T and you were out of contract, you could unlock any phone, except for the iPhone.  All sorts of tap dancing resulted with AT&T blaming Apple and Apple (correctly) blaming AT&T for not being able to SIM unlock your property.

Some of the stories the AT&T CSRs defending this policy were beyond outrageous.   “Why unlock?  You can roam on AT&T internationally”.  “Apple doesn’t unlock iPhones”.  And the best one, “There’s no such thing as an unlocked iPhone”.

Of course, I fired back, telling the CSR about being in Singapore and Hong Kong, where there is an abundance of unlocked iPhones.  In Singapore’s case, they’re sold that way because it’s illegal to SIM lock a cell phone.

Now we are beginning to emerge out of the GSM dark ages here in the States; you can finally unlock your iPhone without having to deal with the hassle of jailbreak and hacks.  Yay!

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Mobile update

Well, here’s the first entry from my iPhone. To make blog entries this easy will hopefully wean me away from FB.

Here’s a random photo!

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It’s small, easy to park and fun to drive, especially with the top down.  It also gets 29MPG in the city despite being aggressively driven.

Rebirth

After close to 10 years using the Movable Type platform, I finally took the plunge and converted the site to WordPress.  Why?  A few things.  First off, it’s easier to customize using themes than MT was, resulting in a more visually interesting site.  Second, the tools provided by WP for controlling comment spam works very well and is easier on the servers than MT was.  Third, there are all sorts of interesting add ons to control your WP blog, including an iOS app.  Overall, a much more user centric package that doesn’t require knowledge of code to work.

Interview

Inputting photos is easier too.  See photo above of Congressman Darryl Issa (R-Vista) and Amber Lee, KTVU reporter working at a recent event here in San Francisco.

Blog redesign and Delta house

I’ve redone the site so it’s easier to navigate and fixes the broken links that resulted from the last site change. Yay.
This past summer has been a busy one for me. I’ve been learning “home improvement” at a house in the Sacramento Delta. I now know how to rewire lights, install doorknobs and locks, learned the ins and outs of the Home Despot and Lowes, how to clean and polish hardwood floors (on yr hands and knees!) and how to replace a garbage disposal. The aircon works and the gas has been turned on. As a result, the house is now livable save for a broadband connection. I wonder how long THAT will take?
One plus about being out in the middle of nowhere is that there’s a two slip boathouse on the levee across from a slough. On a clear day it’s kinda nice as long as you can deal with oodles of flying stinging bugs. Yuck.
boathouse.jpg

Apple? Dull? Netbooks?

Flying, generally, isn’t a completely bad thing, if done properly. One of the things that has to be done “properly” is learning how to pack. Baggage should be light, as well as the non-clothing things that are now travel essentals.
I’ve been a MacHead for close to two decades now. I’m of the opinion that the MacOS is the best operating system for end user use and general headache avoidance. However, after spending the past couple of years lugging a MacBrickBook around the world, I’ve come to a realization about what I really use a comp for when I’m traveling.
Email, websurfing, blogging, booking travel, photo dumping (from the camera’s memory card) and Skype.
Many of the netbooks out there can do all these things AND are a lot easier to lug around airports and the like. The problem is that the wizards at Infinite Loop refuse to build a netbook. Period. Which is a pain, considering the last true portable Apple made was the 12″ aluminum that, if you ignore the warped cases, the G4 that generated enough heat to make shabu shabu and the squishy keyboard, was the perfect size for flashpacking. So, since Apple won’t make one, guess it’s time to make one myself. Kinda.
I held my nose and ordered a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook. Since it’s bad enough to order a Dell Dull, and worse off to have to pay for windoze, I ordered the bare bones stock model with Unbuntu on a 4 GB SSD, 512K RAM, a webcam and bluetooth since it’s MUCH cheaper to order the upgrade bits through third party vendors. 32 GB SSD and 2 GB RAM for under US$100.
Now, why have I sullied my credit card to a company that makes crap pee cees that only IT geeks and people that don’t know any better worship? Because, they got it right with the Mini 9. It’s a good form factor, the screen is not too big or too small and you can actually do real work with it. Did I mention that you can install OSX on it? Yes you can!
Now here’s the question. Are these netbooks made of precious metals? Made by hand by skilled artesians? Nope. Then why does it take a MONTH?? I’ll update when and if it ever gets here…

MT plugin for iphone

I’ve just installed a plugin for MT called iMT (clever!). What it does is provide an iPhone friendly interface to make blog entries from (you guessed it) your iPhone.
It works well, so far. I can write basic, text only entries (no pix or links); said entries can be edited later on when I’m back on mah Mac.
Hmm. Is this now one less reason to bring my Macbrick along on the plane now?
Update from mah Mac: Here’s the link to iMT. And since I do most (but not all) of my flying on UA, I’ll still need my Macbrick for AVOD since UA dun have any. Of course, if I could convert my .avi files to iphone format, then I wouldn’t have to lug my Macbrick…

MacWorld? Har? And bailouts galore!

Well, the first week of January has come and gone and MacWorld has done the same. My reaction: “Har”?
Prior to this year, I’ve been to 12 of these shows. Strangely enough, nothing worth going for this year. All the buzz is in Vegas at CES where Palm (remember them?) may have a device (with a very dumb name) that will give Apple a run for its money (and incentive to improve features and lower its price on the iPhone).
Besides CES, there’s another convention happening concurrently. In fact, the industry that this other convention is showcasing is asking for a bailout (as are the rest of American industry). I wonder if they’ll actually get some?
I’m waiting for the “Legacy Airline Bailout”. Once they get that, nothing will change, except the fares, which will go up. More of the same…