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Man, I have not written in awhile on this – anyways, I’ve been busy running another similar blog that’s internal to a specific audience.

Anyways, I’m doing some spring cleaning, and I’m selling my stuff on ebay.

Right now, I have my koolsink mac powerbook g4 12″ aluminum stand for sale.

koolsink.jpg

I used to have a 12″ powerbook, and I loved this stand. It’s aluminum to match the powerbook, and I used to use it when using my 17″ LCD hooked up to my powerbook g4. It really does cool your powerbook, and you can even check out more details on their site: www.koolsink.com

Anyways, since then I’ve upgraded to my MPB, core 2 duo, which I love – so no more need for this Koolsink stand.

It costs about $60 when including shipping, but I’m starting my bid at $15. Don’t let it get away!

I’m also selling my used video card, 128mb PCI express card. Bidding starts at only $1.

Good luck and happy bidding!

I’ll be posting more stuff later, but in the meantime, I want to give a plug for GarageSale, a mac software for posting ebay items. It’s awesome, and so easy! The templates are great! You should try it out – you can post up to 3 items for free as a trial.

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There is a website called Jott (free) which lets you call their phone number, designate a person to “jott” in your address book, and leave a voice note.  Then they will transcribe the note, and then send it to you, or whoever is in your address book as a text message and/or email.

There is even a feature to upload your whole gmail address book, but turns out this is not a good idea.

There seems to be a bug where if you don’t say a name right in the list, then it will keep asking you to choose one of the say 3 on the list.  But if the one you wanted to choose is not on the list, then you’re out of luck.  Need to hang up and call again.

Just keep a few in your Jott address book to minimize confusing Jott’s voice recognition system.

Note:  it’s in beta stage, so their website is a bit slow – hope it gets better.

iphone.jpg

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile! I’ve been busy over the Christmas season – but anyways, I have time now for about a 10 minute quickie commentary on the new iPhone by Apple.

If you’ve been keeping up w/ the news, there’s a lot of hype surrounding this phone. Believe me, I love macs myself, and I’m typing on one now, but I try to be pretty objective. I saw apple’s site about this iPhone, and the demonstrations are impressive if not mindblowing. I couldn’t help thinking “now this is a true smartphone, what a phone SHOULD be!”

I’m not going to bother you with the tech specs of this phone, b/c a million other websites probably do that by now.

But here are some questions you should ask before you think about if you want to shell out $499 (for the 4gb) or $599 (8gb) for the iPhone. Ask yourself:

1.  What are the features I really need in a smartphone? It looks like to you that you might want to use every feature, but get realistic. Do you really schedule your appts in your Mac now? If not, the calendar feature won’t be of any use, b/c you probably won’t do it on your Mac to sync it over to your iPhone. How does it handle to do lists or memos (both of which exist in Palm)? I didn’t see any presentation on that. I’m a major to-do list guy, I get nothing done without a good to do list with alarms. Can I enter one on the fly into the iPhone? Does it even have a To Do list? What about reading/editting Word docs? Palm does that, so does Windows. But the word is, iPhone will not have it. I mean, will Microsoft make an iPhone version of Office for them? I doubt it. Do you read ebooks? I do – a lot. Will the iPhone have an ebook reader natively installed? I hope so, b/c you can’t download and use one. The word on the street is that it will not support 3rd party apps, at least for now, so don’t count on some company stepping up to the plate to fill some functional gaps. So if having mobile office is important to you, iPhone may not be for you, unless you want to carry a separate PDA with it.

2.  Do you have the money? Did you count the hidden costs? What I mean by this is that just b/c you have $499, it doesn’t mean that you’re set to bring this iPhone home. First of all, how much is Cingular going to charge you? You will probably need to buy a new plan that includes a data plan so that you can access the internet – otherwise, what’s the use of an iPhone? So I guess that will be around an extra $40 per month (just a guess). That will mean an extra $480/year. Also, if you already have a cell plan w/ another mobile carrier, say Verizon, you will have to pay a cancellation fee of $250. Then, on top of that, you will probably want to buy a new nice case to protect your baby. Another $20-30. Then for you really careful guys, you will want maybe insurance? (yes, there are insurance companies out there that cover electronics/computers for accidental coverage – search ‘insurance’ in my blog, I’m too lazy to look it up). That will be more $/year. Total that up, and that’s the real cost of ownership, you do the math.

3.  What if you accidentally drop it and don’t have insurance? or stolen? or plain lose it? Self-explanatory, call me a pessimist… then you’re out loads of cash.

4.  Will another smartphone do the job for me for cheaper? For example, windows smartphones can do pretty much all that the iPhone can do in terms of functionality (minus the easy gestures w/ your fingers on the iPhone). Read about it here. I don’t know much about windows mobile, but I’m not sure if windows mobile can multitask, so that’s something to consider. Palm on the other hand, can’t multitask at all! They are so behind (yes, I own a palm myself) but they are banking on the Linux platform to save them, but no news about them in awhile, so I’m not sure how the development is going on that. I need to stop, I’m geeking out, not helping the average joe.

5.  Will the first edition of iPhone be stable enough? If you’ve followed the MacBook, or any new invention or major release software, you’ll know that the first release is always a bit buggy. MacBook and the MacBook Pro had some heating issues and other minor glitches (just google “macbook problems”). Also, the second edition of the MacBook Pro is much better, and less buggier – problems fixed. Problems that they probably knew about upon the first release. I’m not bashing Apple on this, it’s just expected for the first release of anything.

6.  Can this multifeatured iPhone not fall to early obsolescence? What I mean is, with all its bells and whistles, how long will it last? The rule of thumb for mechanical/electrical devices is that the more features it has, the more it’s prone to break down. For ex., how long will that nifty touch screen last? Will it be just as sensitive and responsive after 2 years? Something to think about. It’s made in China by the way (I heard), but then so are their laptops.

7.  Lastly, how long is the battery life? How long do I need it to be and how will it impact my routine? My guess is about 4-5 hours. But if you plan to use it a lot to watch movies and surf the web, I expect significantly less, perhaps 2 to 3? Is the battery replaceable? (I heard that it’s not, at least not unless you want to take it apart!). What if you don’t have your charger, and you need to make that crucial phone call? Even if you have your charger, uh, what if you are in a place with no outlet? It happens to me and my Palm at times.

    I hope this brings you down to earth before it comes out in May/June ’07 so that you don’t just shell out $$ because you just found yourself drooling for it.

    Whew, this was long, I think I might take another month long break!

    If you’ve been busy with the shopping and haven’t had time to take a good look at all the different websites from which to order your holiday/Christmas cards, then take a look at Costco.com’s photo center.

    Yes, Costco sells everything, but I bet you didn’t know they do Holiday photo cards well. They have a variety of templates from which to choose from, and the price is just right. You just upload your digital picture, choose a template, then order.

    FYI, they are 5×6 cards and here is the pricing:

    5×6 Photo Card Prices

    1st set = $15.99

    Additional sets = $5.99 per set

    First set contains 50 cards and envelopes. Each additional set contains 25 cards and envelopes.

     

    That’s only about 32 cents each. The best part of all is that you can literally pick them up the next day from your local Costco. I just picked up mine today, and they are great quality! 1 day turnaround, you can’t ask for more.

     

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

     

    With the proliferation of different software out there, one thing that becomes a problem for the average joe is that there are different file formats to deal with, and quite honestly, the average joe doesn’t understand the many formats out there too well. What in the world is the difference between jpeg and bitmap anyways, and how do I save one as the other or vice versa?

    Also, now there are different audio and video formats. There is .mov which is used by quicktime (belongs to Apple) and then the more generic .mpg. And now you don’t know what software players you need for all of them, or just don’t want to deal with it.

    You can do various file conversion for free at the following website!

    www.zamzar.com

    I’m not sure what the name means, but it sure is a nifty idea (esp. that it’s free).

    You just upload your file that you want to convert (sorry, just one at a time), and then you select the type you want to convert it into. For example, you can convert a video file in .mov to .mpg or vice versa. A nifty feature is that you can download a google video (.gvi) playable only on their google video player to a regular .mpg type that you can play on any typical video players (such as your windows media player). Then it emails you a link to where you can download the converted file.

    Anyways, try it out. I just converted a .pdf (adobe) to a generic word document (.doc) for free! It was 5mbs and over 700 pages, but now my .pdf file, I can edit in Microsoft Word! Took only about 10 mins total. Pretty amazing.

    Give it a try.

    I’m surprised at how often I encounter people that don’t know how to select multiple files in their windows explorer folder without using their mouse awkwardly to try drag all the ones they want. But then again, I think about how you can’t really know this unless someone told you, b/c it’s not like it’s very intuitive or written clearly in a manual somewhere. As a matter of fact, if you click on the Windows XP Help section, and type in “select multiple files” you get zero results.

    Anyways, here is how you do it to select just certain files.

    1. First, go into ‘detail’ view by right-clicking anywhere in your folder, and then going to view > details (it’s the easiest way to view all your files if you have a lot)

    2. Hold down the CONTROL key on your keyboard, and select the first file. Then while still holding down that button, select the second, third, etc. file. You have more than one selected.
    controlselect.jpg
    3. Now you can right-click again, and cut or copy the files to move/copy them to your desired destination.

    Now here is how you select a range of files:

    1. Assuming you’re still in detail view, hold down the SHIFT button, and then click the first file.

    2. Then scroll down to the last file you want to select with the SHIFT button still down. Now you’ve selected everything in between as well. Simple. Again, you can cut/copy to whereever you want.
    shiftselect.jpg

    another tip:
    Many windows applications work this way with CONTROL select and SHIFT select. Programs such as Picasa photo manager by Google uses the same select keys. It’s a fast way to select mutiple files.

    Hope today’s tech tip for the average joe was helpful.

    By the way, on a personal note, I’m feeling a bit lonely! I’m not sure if I’m talking to an empty room or if anyone is actually finding my tips helpful. Please leave a comment if you can – otherwise, I guess it’s better if I just stopped wasting my time.

    “If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, then does it make a sound?”

    If you’re a coffee drinker, or just want to be extra careful, I highly recommend the following keyboard cover:

    iSkin

    It’s a silicone-based keyboard cover, which you do not have to remove to type. It will protect your keyboard from dust, liquid, hair, etc. I use it myself and I’m going over a year strong, and I have no regrets. Did I mention that it’s washable?

    They also have a variety of other protectors for your iPod as well. You should check it out, before the coffee spills on your Mac!

    FYI, you can also try to look for their products on ebay, and you might find some of them to be slightly cheaper – but not by much.