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New technology section

I tend to live on the edge of technology.  I’m a tech geek.  From time to time I see a new app that does something cool.  I might event find a new gadget that is actually useful.  So, when that happens, I thought I would share with the group.

imgresSo, let’s start this new tech section out with something simple.  I mean, c’mon we don’t want to pull a hammy here or anything.  My first bit of tech is a little app that is currently free (but only for this weekend, so jump on it). I like to get apps when the company gives it away as part of special.  Lots of companies give their app away on the apps anniversary or because a site is offering a one day special.  I subscribe to several blogs that keep track of these kinds of deals, so I usually download them, even if I don’t think I will use it, but you never know.

Well, the story with this app is that I saw they were giving away 3 free apps (from AppyFriday).  I looked at what this does, which is simply to let you type to your phone using your computers keyboard.  After I downloaded it and hooked it up to my iPhone, I tried it and realized that this may be the most worthless app ever.  So, I closed it out and then proceeded upon my day.

About 10 minutes later, I got a text from my beautiful wife.  (Let me pause there to share how I have my office work set up.  I have an iMac that is my primary work computer and on that same desk, I have a JBL OnBeat Dock that I keep my phone on at work.  Its a good little speaker and I am usually listening to Slacker Radio or Pandora, all the while keeping my phone charging.) Well, I always jump to answer any text from my wife and when I do, I have to take the phone off the dock which stops the music.  Then, after I send my text, I have to scroll back to Slacker or Pandora and fire it back up to resume my music.  Then usually the conversation is not over and I have to repeat the process once again.  (By the way, typing this story, I keep saying “First World problem”, but I digress.)

I said, “Wait a minute here” and fired back up the Type2Phone app I was so quick to dismiss.  I touched the text area on my phone WITHOUT interrupting my music and typed my message using my iMac’s keyboard.  The big difference between your phone and a full keyboard is speed.  So, I whip off my message to Mrs. Souza and hit send.  Genius.

I have had a computer work weekend and so I have had my phone by my side for most of the weekend and have replied to a dozen or so texts using my new free app.  Pretty cool solution to a problem that I didn’t even know I had.

 

Aside

Steven P. Jobs, 1955 – 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with Steve Job’s family, both immediate and work.

In 1987, I wrote my first report on an Apple. I worked at my high school newspaper on an Apple. The office I worked in at college was an Apple computer. I entered the business world and it was IBM only. In 2004, I bought my first iMac and I was back with Apple and I never looked back. When I started my own investment firm, I bought iMacs against the industry standard. I bought the first iPhone two days after it’s release. I have owned 2 MacBooks, 1 MacBook Pro, 5 iMacs, 3 iPads and 3 iPhones (not to mention the 5 iPods for my family). I made my 72 year-old dad buy an iPad for my 70-year-old mother, and she loves it. My son is watching Toy Story 3 (Pixar) as I type this.

Apple products have been there for most of my life. I wish the best to Apple the company, Steve’s family and the computing world.

We lost one of the great visionaries today. Every computer on every desk, every laptop at every coffee shop, every tablet everywhere was influenced by in a way by Steve. He’s left his mark on the world. If the goal was to leave this life better than you found it, Steve Jobs did just that. Thanks for encouraging us to “Think Different”.

Rest in Peace, Steve. May god bless your family during their time of loss.

Aside

Ted talk on Education

I found this video last week and was blown away.  The Kahn Academy is promoting a brand new way to teach.  Watch the Ted Video first, then check out the organizations website: http://www.khanacademy.org/ Enjoy!!

Aside

In line at the Apple store

Somewhere in the past couple of years, I jumped the Apple shark. A downward spiral where Steve Jobs has taken my soul and replaced it with one of those free Apple stickers you get in every Apple box.

I’m a month shy of my 40th birthday, its 4:22am back home, and I’m standing in line at the Keystone mall in Indy waiting to buy the new iPhone 4. I’ll let that sentence soak in for a minute, I know I had to.

There are over 1000 people here(there could be more as there was 1000 when I got here an hour ago). I made it inside the mall, one of the lucky ones. They stopped letting people inside the mall about 50 people back of me. So, my best guess is that I’m about number 200 in line. Not bad as I hear people lined up all through the night.

I’m not the oldest, by far, but the average age of the crowd is about 24. I committed to putting in my two hours before the store opens. My one hope now is that the activation servers don’t crash.

Once I get my new iPhone, I will share a video or two. If you got a new one too, hit me up for some FaceTime!

…Update…

Well, after about 7 hours, my old iPhone went dead, so I was unable to give any more updates.  You will see from the picture where I ended up spending 9 hours yesterday.  I did get my phone, as shown by the attached picture. 

All in all, it wasn’t that bad.  The way that I look at it, it was my Apple right of passage.  I have seen the lines in blog posts and read the stories online about rabid Apple fans lining up for days (if not weeks) before the launch of a major Apple release.  I guess that since I had never be able to do that before I felt that I hadn’t earned my Apple street cred.  I have it now, bitches.

It wasn’t without it’s highlights.  I stood behind an older couple and one of the guys that I was standing with shot this video and uploaded it to YouTube before we even knew it.  (He had a new iPhone 4 that he got the day before in the mail, he was buying another for his mother.)  She kept offering us carrots that she with her, by the end of the day, I think they had been dipped in LSD.

So I have my new iPhone 4, and after a good night sleep last night to rest my aching back from standing most of the day, I think it’s great.  The camera is amazing and it’s hella fast compared to my old iPhone.  Never mind that fact that you can probably walk up to the store today and buy one without waiting, that’s fine.  You missed the experience.

I forgot about the band.  My Yellow Rickshaw played before the mall opened.  They also had free snacks, water, and Starbucks for us.

Aside

Wolfram|Alpha & I'm halfway there.

wolframalphaWolframAlpha was launched this week. It’s been touted as the possible Google killer. While that is yet to be seen, it is pretty cool. I see it as Google for math geeks, but then again I have only tried it out for about 1/2 hour.

If you type in your birthday, you get all kinds of info about the date. I am officially 38 years 9 months and 29 days old. Or for the more math-happy 2026 weeks, 14182 days or 38.83 years ago. I was born on the 199th day of the 29th week.

Half my life is over

According to WolframAlpha, the life expectancy for a 38 year-old male is 77.54 years. Divided by 2, you get 38.77. Wait a minute. Didn’t I say that I was 38.83 years old? That means that this week marks the halfway point of my life. (In fact, if I do the math, it was yesterday) Wow, that’s depressing. Or is it?

I don’t want to dwell on this for too long. However, we all know that I will.I guess the real question is: What will I do with the remaining 14182 days? Enough for now, this post is about WolframAlpha.

Other Cool Wolfram Stuff

Did you know that my son is 6″ taller than the average 7 year old?
I finally know how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?
If you are vain (and who has not “Googled” themselves?) you get your name rank. (Before you ask, Smith is number 1)
You can compare stocks.
Want all the information about weather you can handle?
And of course, how far is it from Danville to Cleveland?

Wolfram is still in alpha, meaning that it was just launched and there are plenty of bugs. Gotta run, my life is 1/2 over and I got a bunch of crap to do!!!