App of the Week: Icoon - A Bunch of Drawings That Might Save The Day

January 16, 2009 by Juan Magdaraog  
Filed under Computers

ICOON_iPhone_sml.jpg

If you travel a lot, this 99 cent application might just save your day. Icoon is offering an iPhone/iPod Touch version of their best selling global picture dictionary.

It’s basically a bunch of drawings classified into 12 categories. Line drawn icons that will address basic things that you need to communicate while traveling. An image can communicate a lot of things and can transcend language barriers. So if you can’t say bathroom in Chinese, you just pop-up your iPhone and show them the icon of the bathroom.

Sure you can technically take pictures/draw the icons that are found in Icoon but seriously for 99 cents, why go through the hassle. Just download this baby and save yourself the trouble.

Check out Icoon’s web site here and the buy the app here.

Gadgenista Reviews iPod Touch 32GB

December 29, 2008 by Juan Magdaraog  
Filed under Computers

iPod Touch

[image courtesy of Gadgenista]

Our very own Lia over at Gadgenista got an iPod Touch 32GB (2nd Gen) this Christmas. Lucky girl. She writes about her initial thoughts about this wonderful gadget.

From squelching here lust for the iPhone to raving about Wifi and the battery life, Lia’s experience might just help you decide if the iPod Touch is right for you.

I for one am a happy iPod Touch user. Sure it’s still a 1st gen but I’m happy with it nonetheless.

2008: The Year of the iPhone

December 16, 2008 by Juan Magdaraog  
Filed under Computers

iphone.jpg

[image courtesy of Apple]

[via CNET]

Apple had a rocky road at times with the iPhone in 2008, but it finished the year having turned its first phone into its most important product. The iPhone began the year as a gadget status symbol in four countries and ended the year as the world’s second-best-selling smartphone, putting Apple in perhaps the best financial shape in the tech industry as the world entered a severe economic downturn.

2008 truly has been the year for the iPhone. Looking back this is the year that Apple’s new jewel made its mark not only with Apple fanboys but in the mobile world.

With the help of the App Store, the iPhone made significant inroads into the territory of companies such as Nokia, RIM, etc. The third quarter saw the iPhone selling more units than RIM’s Blackberry as well as Windows Smartphones. For a phone that’s only been around for a couple of years, that’s quite an achievement.

The App Store was a huge success driving a lot of developers to make applications. Over 10,000 made its way to the App Store. Even if most of them are 99 cent applications. Never have we seen something like it.

The iPhone is not the best phone. It’s hard to text message, there are some basic features such as MMS and copy/paste that are still missing but it is a great mobile computing platform. In the age of the internet that’s something that makes up for it’s short comings as a phone.

This is also the year that the iPhone made its way around the Globe. Opening up a whole lot of new territory for Apple to spread iPhone love.

2008 is certainly the year of the iPhone.

Read the CNET article here.

ZiPhone

February 14, 2008 by Juan Magdaraog  
Filed under Computers

While I do not officially endorse unlocking your iPhone, as news, I’m posting the link to ZiPhone. Apparently this is one of the easiest ways to unlock your iPhone even at the new firmware. Check it out here.

Again, please do this at your own risk.

Add External Storage To Your Apple TV

July 30, 2007 by Juan Magdaraog  
Filed under Computers

[via Gizmodo via Apple TV Hacks]

The Apple TV hasn’t really caught the world by storm. One reason is due to the fact that it has a ridiculously small amount of storage plus no ability to attach external storage out of the box. Well now some ingenious people have developed a hack to allow the Apple TV to store and use content on an external USB drive.

Here’s the instructions how to do it. It’s not yet in the graphical stage so you have to be at least moderately geeky to try this out. Or just one brave person. Either way, enjoy!

Apple’s Market Share Will Get Bigger

June 16, 2006 by Juan Magdaraog  
Filed under Computers

Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek Online writes that he sees Apple’s world wide market share growing. He cited Charles Wolf of Needham and Co.’s analysis that by 2011 Apple’s world wide share would have grown to 5% from a dismal 1.9% in 2005.

Do I agree with this article? Yes! I do think however that this number is to conservative. With the release of the Intel based Macs, the popularity of the iPod plus the stagnant state of Windows development, I forsee that Apple’s market share will increase much more significantly and at a more rapid rate.

Why do I say this? Well just in the past week I’ve managed to convince two friends to convert to Macs. They both bought the Macbook. I know this isn’t scientific but it’s a growing trend. People just want things to work. They were afraid to try the Mac before because of fear of not being able to run Windows program that makes up for majority of the software available. However with the Macs ability now to boot Windows via Bootcamp, they now have a safety net.

Check out the article for yourself. It’s an interesting read.

My favorite sign

February 28, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Computers

The Apple Store is updating. Two minutes to go. You guys are probably holding a vigil like me. I’m as jittery as a bedbug. Geez, the anticipation is killing me…

The Before Mac

February 26, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Computers

If you want to split hairs, no, of course it isn’t a Mac. But before the Macintosh, there was the Apple II, the original Personal Computer. It was one of the precursors, and most likely the first Apple product people ever came across on a mainstream level. Certainly it was my first Apple product - an Apple II which didn’t even have a hard disk or a disk drive - I used a cassette tape recorder connected to an audio-in jack to upload and save programs (heh - more like games; I used to load up Centipede from an audio cassette, and it took about ten minutes to upload!).

I still have that Apple II somewhere in my Dad’s old house, and as far as I know it’s still working, along with a green phosphor Apple monitor and a pair of big, heavy, boxy 5.24″ floppy drives, although I’ll be damned if I can find them. I’d eventually graduate to an Apple II+ and an Apple //e, and then a Mac Classic and the later progeny. But I never forgot that first computer.

I loved the Apple II family. Still do, I find. I did everything I could on them - learn BASIC and CP/M, start my journal on WordStar, log onto bulletin boards, play Jordan Mechner’s Karateka and Lode Runner

I recently acquired an old, dirty, beat-up, not-quite-sure-it’s-working Apple IIe for next to nothing (thanks, Floyd Piedad!). Inside were the usual peripheral cards you’d expect inside an Apple II, all original, and I was delighted. It didn’t have anything else, just the Apple IIe itself, not even a power cord, but I was ecstatic all the same. I started my long-standing love affair with computers on one of these, and having a chance to tinker with one again is fantastic.

Disassembling it was second nature: I’ve taken it apart completely and cleaned it thoroughly, something I used to do more than two decades ago. I cleaned up the motherboard and the contacts (discovering inside the case, among other things, moldy pieces of crackers, two halves of a walnut shell and many empty cockroach eggs). I soaked and scrubbed the beige casing (and discovered to my dismay that the logo chipped a little, no doubt because of the age). Now it’s as immaculate and as clean as I can get it, and as soon as I have time I’m going to Dad’s house and dig up the monitor and the drives. I have the floppy disks with the OS and other programs stored away properly and they should work if the mold hasn’t completely taken over the disks.

I marveled at the simplicity, durability and hardiness of the thing, which is a testament to Apple and the two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) even back then. Today’s complex (and delicate) PowerPC and Intel Macs are good, but the old, hardy Apples (you could hurl an Apple II down a flight of stairs and chances are it would still work!) are perfect examples of economy and clever design. Simplicity is indeed the ultimate sophistication. This is one restoration project I’m going to savor.

Here’s a before-and-after album of what took me the better part of the morning:

The Apple Style

February 25, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Computers

I don’t know if there really is a definable, quantifiable “style” that Apple can call its own outside of its hardware/software output, but nowhere is it more apparent when Steve Jobs makes a keynote presentation at an annual Macworld conference, and by the same extension, all of Apple’s staff worldwide when they make a presentation in the different markets. Sure, it’s probably a mandated corporate style, complete with months of intensive training, rigid instruction and constant practice before they’re even allowed anywhere near a black mock turtleneck.

I say this because on the day of the local launching of the MacBook Pro and Intel iMac last week (the one Jayvee mentions in a recent post), I attended another company’s product launching literally just minutes before Apple’s (interestingly enough, the other company was also launching an Intel Dual Core notebook), and you couldn’t avoid comparing the two even if you tried.

The other company’s event was largely underwhelming and was more a litany of specs than a presentation meant to impress. It seems they forgot the ages-old cardinal rule of presentation: show, don’t tell. All the company’s officers and regional principals sat in a firing squad panel on the stage looking uncomfortable. An introduced speaker spent five minutes trying to find and get his Powerpoint presentation off the ground, and no, not privately on his laptop’s screen - he did it while the whole thing was projected, warts and all, on the stage’s big projection screen, while the entire room of press and media folk watched uneasily while eating their chicken lunch.

In contrast, Apple’s presentation was orchestrated to appear simple - a bare stage, a big projection screen, a speaker, a Keynote presentation. But the effect is far from simple. You focus on the simple, fact-supported spiels, and you are shown what they are talking about, not just told. It’s an easy-going, casual script that is creative and imaginative and subtly escalates to the high point of the day, the one-more-thing item. In this case, it was the Intel Macs. I just wish they had a MacBook Pro in time for the presentation; the shipping got delayed at bit. At least we got to paw at the Intel iMac.

It just underscores the different approaches manufacturers make in promoting their products, regardless of, and separate from, whether those products are any good or not. From a pure showmanship point of view, Apple’s got it down pat. If you’ve ever seen a Steve Jobs Keynote presentation, you’ll know what I mean. The double whammy is that, from where I’m sitting, they got the products down pat as well. Which is a great thing.

Would that other manufacturers reach this level as well.

My Mac Desktop

February 22, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Computers

I’d just like to show everyone how my Mac desktop at the office looks like:


Photo by Rikki Arquiza.

No shortage of uses for that Apple logo. It does look like the top of a Powerbook, doesn’t it?

Heh.

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