iCan haz iPhone? Yep

A funny thing happens when you wait in line forever and eventually get your phone. You end up too tired to remember to write about it.

So what you missed at the end of Thursday’s drama was me finally getting my phone after 16 hours. Waaaaay too long to wait for anything. And as my girlfriend pointed out the next day, her brother-in-law got his phone in 20 minutes at Walmart.

I’ve taken the weekend with the iPhone 4 so far sans case. I laughed off the antenna issue it’s been having since I thought it only applied to left-handed people. For those who haven’t heard, the antennas (antennae?) use the band around the phone as an amplifier. That’s great until you hold it in a way that bridges the gaps on the bottom of the phone. Then you can kiss your reception goodbye.

Like I said though, I thought this was a lefty issue. Then I realized when I’m trying to surf the web or write long messages like blog posts, I tend to hold it in my left hand and type with my right. Oops.

Aside from that though I’ve seen nothing but good out of this phone. Before you read this though, realize I’m upgrading from a 3G to this one so I skipped last year’s 3GS. The differences I notice are magnified.

The phone itself runs much more snappily. As I type, the letters actually keep up with my speed. My 3G had significant lag, especially with text messages. This means I can actually write posts from this *gasp*!

Unlike the 3G, I can actually use the camera on this phone. The shutter lag is completely gone and when I tap to adjust the focus, the settings change almost instantly. I’m not impressed with the magical illuminator thing they’re not calling a flash but actually is a flash. But then again I hate using my normal camera’s flash anyways. I’ll include a couple of samples with this post.

The speed difference for me overall is significant. Take for instance the game Peggle – which if you haven’t played, stop reading and find it. It’s on the iPhone, Mac, PC, Steam, xbox,etc. so there’s no reason you haven’t played it. Ok end of diversion – which begins on my 3G with a 10-second loading screen that plays a tune whose name eludes me. On my iPhone 4, I’m three notes into the song and it’s loaded.

I’m also impressed with the fact I’ve had this phone for three days and it’s shown no smudges or scratches. The fingerprints tend to disappear quickly. And it’s not been because I always wash my hands. Well, I wash my hands, but I’ve let half the office practically fondle the thing so it’s been somewhat stress tested. No drop tests yet though. This thing came out of my own wallet so if you want to know how durable it is, either wait for my clumsiness or do it yourself. But before you do, buy me an iPad since you’re Rich Uncle Moneybags.

The last thing I can think of was the upgrade which was a snap. Make sure to make a backup of your old phone first though. From there it’s just a matter of plugging it in and telling it to restore. The longest wait will be for your music and movies to transfer. All your saved game progress should transfer too. The only thing that doesn’t will be any passwords you have stored.

Whether or not you upgrade is up to you. Personally it wasn’t worth the 16-hour wait in line, but that’s because nothing is. However if you have to wait an hour or so and have money, you’re solid. Gazelle.com is offering me $83 on my functioning 8GB iPhone 3G and $94 with the transfer cord and charger plug. Frankly I think only $11 isn’t worth it, and you’re better off just holding onto the charger.

It’s still on AT&T, but outside of one gap on my commute, it’s not an issue for me. Verizon for some reason won’t work in my house.

It’s a bigger upgrade than from the 3G to a 3GS, so I’d recommend it if you’re in the market for a phone. Speaking of which, check with AT&T if you bought your phone before this year as you’re likely eligible for an upgrade.

iStill don’t have an iPhone

Well I thought I had the right idea when I started my search for an iPhone.

I got word late Wednesday night that the Walmart in Marysville would have iPhones in stock starting at 8 am. After waiting around until 3 am, I found out from one of the managers that even though I was fourth in line, they only had two phones in stock. The three guys that were there brought lawn chairs, water and a steeled resolve not to move.

Instead of giving up hope though, I decided on a lark to try the Roseville Apple Store. It sounded like a good idea at first, but it’s lost its luster after 28 hours without sleep. Unfortunately poor planning has made this more of a headache than it’s probably worth.

Let’s start with outside the mall before it opened. There were two lines stretching from the entrance outward in opposite directions. Nobody knew why there were two lines. There were just two lines.

When the mall opened, the Apple Store reps decided to take a handful at a time from each line. I waited with anticipation to see if I’d get in the door or get the runner-up prize of a couple of hours of sleep. When I finally got in the door I realized that from here they were separating people into those with reservations and those without. The shorter line was those with. The massive human hydra snaking through the mall was my line.

And so we the unwashed masses waited until the store opened at 7 am. There were only just over 130 of us so in theory we would be gone by noon. Then the line didn’t move for an hour. And finally when it did, one of the most sinister plans took place. For every one person that walked in from our line, 30 others went in from the reserved line, essentially grinding out line to a groaning halt.

But wait there’s more!

On top of this, AT&Ts servers took a massive dump. Phone order processing ground to a halt under the server load of thousands of phones being verified. Orders were now going from the typical 10 minutes to a half an hour or more.

The only solace is we’ve been fed relatively well. The Apple Store has supplied us with doughnuts, water and Chipotle throughout the day. Still, lukewarm water isn’t going to make up for the poor planning that’s taken place today.

I’m still waiting in line but if there’s one thing I’ve learned today, it’s this.

Given the choice to get ahead on your bills or preordering an Apple product on the first day, choose the latter. That way you can sleep

iDon’t have an iPhone 4

Well I thought I was going to have a scoop today on Walmart having the iPhone at midnight tonight, but I just called and found out it won’t be in until at least June 29. I also called the Best Buy in Chico and was told if you didnt preorder between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. tomorrow that it would be a 2-month wait. Which tells me what’s a place not to get an iPhone.

Anyone out there have tips on places to get one in the Yuba-Sutter area without selling the first-born child I don’t have?

And don’t say AT&T stores because if you haven’t reordered you’re screwed.

Apple releases iOS 4.0

Just a heads-up in case you haven’t checked already: Apple has released iOS 4.0 for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The download is free for iPhone and iPod Touch users, since Apple changed its accounting practices last year. As much fun as slogging through the financial minutia of Sarbanes-Oxley is, I’m going to wait for another day to explain that.

Simply plug your iPod Touch or iPhone in and tell iTunes to check for an update on the device screen and the download should start.

And a warning for those of you who own both an iPod Touch and an iPhone, you’ll have download both and no you can’t do them at the same time.

If a fire breaks out in the woods, how is your data?

It’s summertime in the Mid-Valley and that means one thing: It’s only a matter of time before a massive fire breaks out. Granted 2010 probably won’t be the same smoke monster 2008 was, but the danger is still there.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why am I reading about fire season in a freaking technology blog.

One word: Backup.

It’s the thing nobody wants to bother doing because it takes actual planning and following a regular schedule. The only time we think of backup is when our computer has a meltdown shortly after Macworld, taking notes and pictures with it.

Unfortunately, this critical task is something we ignore way too often until it’s too late. And with fire season here, it’s time to think about how you’re safeguarding your most important information.

Everyone has a different backup solution for their data. There are online options available such as Carbonite and built-in options like Apple’s Time Machine. Whatever your solution is, make sure you won’t be screwed if your drive dies.

A regular backup in the home will make sure you’re ready if your computer dies. But what if your house burns down, floods or someone breaks in and steals all of your electronics? Suddenly your entire backup system is blown by one single point of failure.

Here’s how I maintain my backups:

My main machine is my laptop that moves back and forth from work. Plenty of important data on there that if it fails, I need to get back immediately.

The software I rely on most is Bombich’s Carbon Copy Cloner. It’s donationware, which means free to use, but don’t be a prick and never give them a dime. In one click, it makes a bootable backup of my hard drive on an external hard drive that can be restored fairly easily. The only downside is it’s Mac only.

I have one drive at home and one drive on my desk at work. If one fails, I’ll have the other ready as another backup. All of my data exists at least twice, if not three times.

I’m curious to hear what solutions you have for backing up your computer, or the ones you plans to use after reading this. Either leave me a comment or e-mail me.

Apple moves 10.6.4 update and iTunes 9.2

In advance of the iPhone 4 release next Thursday and iOS 4.0’s coming out party this Friday, Apple’s moved two important updates. On my machine the combined size weighs in at 437MB.

It’s important to note that the 10.6.4 update includes Safari 5, so be aware of this if you’re thinking about updating. I haven’t run into any issues with Safari 5 yet, but you never know.

Here’s the nitty gritty from Apple

iTunes 9.2 comes with several new features and improvements, including:

• Sync with iPhone 4 to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on-the-go
• Sync and read books with iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 and iBooks 1.1
• Organize and sync PDF documents as books. Read PDFs with iBooks 1.1 on iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4
• Organize your apps on your iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes
• Faster back-ups while syncing an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4
• Album artwork improvements make artwork appear more quickly when exploring your library For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

The 10.6.4 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It includes Safari 5 and general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:

resolve an issue that causes the keyboard or trackpad to become unresponsive

resolve an issue that may prevent some Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications from opening

address issues copying, renaming, or deleting files on SMB file servers

improve reliability of VPN connections

resolve a playback issue in DVD Player when using Good Quality deinterlacing

resolve an issue editing photos with iPhoto or Aperture in full screen view

improve compatibility with some braille displays

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4150 . For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 .

June 2010 Appeal-Democrat pages

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