Sean Tells Himself Jokes

So my son was watching the Disney channel the other day, and he saw this clip where two actors appear to be four people.  He thought the idea of “copying” himself would be “so cool.”  I made the mistake of saying it was actually pretty easy to do.  So he made me prove it.  This is the result.

Not bad for 15 minutes shooting and 15 minutes editing.  Another 15 minutes to render it out and upload to YouTube, and Sean learned just how quickly you could make a copy of yourself.  I actually think he’s somewhat disappointed that he didn’t have a real clone of himself to play with.  But he still thought the result was cool.

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The iPad. How’d I do?

Alright, so I put myself out there and made my own predictions on Apple’s new tablet, the iPad.  Here’s how I did.

  1. It will be under $900 dollars.  Most likely $799 and $899.
    1. I’m claiming correct on this one.  The iPad pricing is as follows:  $499 for the 16gig model and $599 for the 32gig and $699 for the 64 gig.  Adding 3G is another $130. The 16gig model is kinda small for what all it is designed to do, so really for the iPad I was envisioning, the pricing is $729 and $829.  Not bad, Mike.
  2. It will have a 10″ screen that blows the iPhone screen away, which is saying something.
    1. Okay, it’s a 9.7 inch screen.  Which for all real purposes is a ten inch.  I’m claiming victory here.  It looks nice a big for a device without a keyboard.
  3. It will be full of gesture driven technology.
    1. No brainer.  Okay so that one was easy, but seriously…  What Jobs showed on the stage makes this device look amazing.  Like using it would be absolutely natural… even more so than the iPhone.
  4. It will run all of the iPhone/iPod touch apps out of the box.
    1. Bingo!  Nailed it!  In fact, it can run them one of two ways.  In native view mode, where the iPhone app looks just like on the iPhone in the center of the screen, or in double pixel mode so that the app fills the screen.  Both look great.
  5. A new store will be developed to support it
    1. I’m not sure about this one.  It’s a 50-50.  The iTunes music store is “built in” so that just like the iPhone, the store is based on that.  But there is clearly going to be a app store and content just for the iPad.  So yes, a new store inside the old one.  Just like the iPhone.
  6. New content agreements will be announced with the device, further expanding the store.
    1. Not only was content agreements announced, but displayed.  Books available via the iTunes store.  Newspapers, Major League Baseball.  More to come.
  7. It will have wifi, cellular and bluetooth, but not be connected with a carrier like AT&T.
    1. Oops.  It will have WIFI.  It will have Cellular with G3.  It will have bluetooth.  But it will be only AT&T.  But the plan with AT&T is no contract and affordable.  $29.99 for unlimited.  $14.99 for limited.  50% here.
  8. It probably won’t have a camera built in.
    1. It does not.  SCORE!  So this is the first portable computer from Apple in a while that can pass security at Army Bases.  And won’t freak out corporate security.
  9. It will have an amazing battery that is hardwired into the unit like the iPhone, iPods and MacBook’s.
    1. Right again!  10 hours of active use, weeks on standby.  Outta the park!
  10. It will revolutionize the way tablet computers will be used.
    1. I suppose this is yet to be discovered, but I’m thinking I’m right.  This raises the bar on how people will use the internet.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions.  For one, I haven’t read anything on handwriting recognition, and I had really hoped that the ability to do handwritten notes would be there.  Also, no mention of business apps.  I know that the Apple retail stores now have iPod Touch with credit card readers for point of sale.  This iPad could  become a fantastic point of sale machine that doubles as ad display and lots of other devices.

Whatever else, this is the beginning of the redefinition of portable computing.  I’m not convinced yet that Apple hit it out of the park, but it is a standing triple.  And if the rest of the computing world does like they did with the iTunes music store and the iPhone/iPod touch…  Apple will be stealing home.

BTW, my final score?  9 out of 10.  Not bad.

Apple’s Tablet

I decided to get in on the hype and talk a bit about Apple’s rumored upcoming tablet.  I have absolutely no inside information on what the tablet is, if it is really coming, or anything else.  But I have a few ideas about the tablet, and am going to make a few predictions.

I’ve read a good deal about how the new tablet is going to be an iPhone on steroids, and frankly I don’t buy it.  While plenty of people, myself included, have nearly replaced there generic computer needs with an iPhone, such as simple web browsing, email and social networking, the iPhone isn’t a computer replacement.  Not even close.  The tablet has to be something more.

It’s going to be big.  No, not Cinema display big, but no one is going to replace the small, sleek iPhone with a ten inch screen version, no matter how much beefier the OS.  Nor will such a large device replace an iPod.  The iPhone is of a size to make the need for both an iPod and an phone, and I use it this way.  So, in a sense, the iPhone is already an iPod on steroids, so the idea that the tablet is an iPhone on steroids is unlikely to me.

It’s not just going to be an e-reader of some sort.  Amazon has the book market sewn up.  I’d be more likely to believe it will work with Kindle, or have a Kindle app, like the iPhone.  But if it is an e-content device, it will be something new.  More than just a book/newspaper replacement.

It’s going to be cheap, at least in terms of Apple pricing structure.  From everything I’ve seen, this is not going to be a full on computer, so it won’t be competing with the MacBook line.  It’s going to be “something different.”

And that’s what I think is important to remember.  Apple didn’t invent the portable music player, they invented a whole new market niche with the iPod.  They didn’t invent the simplistic computer, but they revolutionized it with the iMac.  And we all know they didn’t invent the cell phone, but they sure changed the game with the iPhone.  So whatever the tablet from Apple is, it won’t be something already out there.   It will define a new market.

With that said, here are my predictions.

  1. It will be under $900 dollars.  Most likely $799 and $899.
  2. It will have a 10″ screen that blows the iPhone screen away, which is saying something.
  3. It will be full of gesture driven technology.
  4. It will run all of the iPhone/iPod touch apps out of the box.
  5. A new store will be developed to support it.
  6. New content agreements will be announced with the device, further expanding the store.
  7. It will have wifi, cellular and bluetooth, but not be connected with a carrier like AT&T.
  8. It probably won’t have a camera built in.
  9. It will have an amazing battery that is hardwired into the unit like the iPhone, iPods and MacBook’s.
  10. It will revolutionize the way tablet computers will be used.

And finally, and most importantly, it will “just work.”

I have one fear.  While the iPhone was an amazing device from the gate, it really wasn’t “finished” till the iPhone 3G with OS 3.0 came about.  Prior to that, the phone was crippled.  I hope that Apple doesn’t repeat that with the tablet, and releases a “finished” product.  No one else has anything nearly as revolutionary coming down the pipe.  Everyone is too busy playing catch up with the iPhone.  So the time is ripe for Apple to introduce a new game-changing device.

Here’s to hoping.  I’ll revisit this after the announcement and see how well I did.

I am a iPhone GOD.

Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch.  I’m probably more like a demi-being of some sort.  I’ve been wanting to do some podcasting, sort of audio blogging I suppose, but the major downfall is how to get people to call in and carry on a conversation with them and record it.  Radio stations use some specialized recording equipment to do it.  I have one at work, but not in my home studio.

Besides, I don’t have a landline at my house.  At all.  So I figured I’d have to do it the low tech way…  put my cell phone on speaker and put a mic up close to it.  Not exactly the best way, but I’ve done it in the past and it works.

But I got to thinking, and I knew there must be a better way to do this.  There had to be.  I’ve got an iPhone, damnit, I should be able to record with style.  I just had to figure out a way.

I looked at the connector for the headphones that come with the iPhone.  Its a pretty standard four ring connector, and I knew that the cable for my camcorder was a four ring plug.  If I could figure out the pin out on the connector, I could make this work.

The standard pinout on a camcorder cable isn’t the same as the pinout on the iPhone.  For one thing, the iPhone doesn’t have video out!  It has microphone in.  A little research and here’s how it breaks down, and you can use any camcorder cable sold at most any big box store.

white: right audio
red: Mic in
yellow: left audio

So, using my handy dandy Roland VM3100pro mixer (and ancient artifact, but still does what I need it to do) I plugged the white and yellow into an input on the mixer, and the red into a bus out.  The mic I was planning on using for the podcast is sent to the bus out, and there you have it…  a perfectly working iPhone podcast recording.

Okay, so YOU don’t have a mixer, but you wanna record a conversation from you iPhone?  I can’t help ya much.  I mean, really…  you gotta have something to record on.  But assuming you do, you could use the same cables to plug into whatever… a tape deck or the mic input on your computer.  Either would work.  Then find you a simple mic that will connect to the red RCA jack on the camcorder cable.  You might need to visit Radio Shack and get some adapters.

But ultimately, my system works, and works well.  I can answer the phone and record a conversation with no trouble.  And incorporate said recording into my podcast.  And for figuring all that out for ZERO BUCKS…  and a cool new use of my iPhone… that’s worth a little smidge of godhood, right?

Chuck is back

I love technology. Today I’m geeking over my DVR. It gave me a special gift. I knew NBC’s Heroes was on tonight with the third episode of the new season. Since I prefer to watch my shows off disk than live, I didn’t rush home to watch but let technology do it’s thing and capture the comic book saga so I could bypass the crass comercial messages all night long.

I’d captured the wonderful BBC series Primeval that I’d not yet watched so I figured I had two TV hours, or roughly 45 minutes of regular time, of quality geek TV.

I was wrong.

I was unprepared for the return of the head of the Nerd Herd himself. For my wonderful technological marvel had remembered my love of all things Chuck and gave me an extra 18 minutes of nerdvana as as Zachary Levi blundered through another spy filled episode of “Chuck.”

Sometimes the technology gods smile upon my dorkness. Tonight was just such a night.

Of course seeing Yvonne Strahovski in skimpy underwear didn’t upset my night any either.

And props to my man, Adam Baldwin, no relation to the daughter screamer Baldwin, for his continued greatness on the show. What kind of geek would I be if I didn’t share the Joss Whedon love?

Life Changing Technology

Technology can be lifechanging. In medicine new tech could be a matter of life or death. But forget all that heady stuff, here is my list of the most personal life changing tech of the past twenty some-odd years.

Everything from Apple:
Okay, this is a big topic. Apple computer has certainly changed my life over the past couple of decades. From there revolutionary computers (which Is why we all have mice in our hands) to the iPhone I’m using to write this blog, Apple impacts my life more than any other technology on the planet.

Before I am labeled a MacEvangelist, although I am, let me say this: I use PCs to and even like them. This isn’t about which is the better computer but which impacts my life the greatest. I use Final Cut Pro daily. I love my iPhone. My home has 20 Macs, with most of them working including a Mac 128, with the signatures in the case. (for the uninitiated, that’s a really old mac) Apple permiates my life in a way no other company does. If I was richer, it would be even more in my life. I want a big screen tv with an apple tv box.

Microsoft Office:
Love it our hate it, Office dominates much of what we do on a computer. Word has all but eliminated the idea of a secretary while powerpoint has addicted more executives than meth. I don’t think I go through a day without dealing with some sort of office document.

DVR:
The digital video recorder has become the main way I watch television today. I would never have kept up with Michael and Fiona (Burn Notice, I love that show) without it. I watch very few shows with any regularity. All of them are watched through the DVR rather than “live.”

Cellular Telephones:
I know I’ve recently become enamored with my iPhone lately, but I’m talking cell phones in general. For nearly two years I have been a part of a growing number of Americans who have given up landlines in favor of going compleatly wireless. My first phone was a massive contraption in a bag back in 1988. Today it Is this tiny iPhone that can do things that bag phone couldn’t dream of. But it has the same phone number. That’s right. Twenty years this christmas.

Fingerprint scanners
Okay, I don’t really know if that technology I’d new or not. And frankly I hope I never need it again. I adopted both my kids and in Alabama you need a background check. Usually one goes to the local sheriff and gets one the old fashion ink and paper way. That gets sent off and scanned and a few weeks later you get a report. Only it didn’t work that way for us.

With a court date looming and my wife’s fingerprints rejected we needed drastic measures. So my wife drove to Montgomery and had her fingerprints scanned directly into the system. The result was a report on the judges desk in minutes. And a new baby in or home.

Now that is truly life changing.

In love

I love this phone. No doubt getting the iphone was the best purchase ever. It is one of those rare life changing products that don’t happen often enough.

What it really means is freedom. No longer am I restricted at work to a desktop run by an IT department. I can get whatever I need for work or for myself however and whenever I want it.

No longer am I teathered to a desktop or even a laptop. Pure freedom.

Till the battery died.

New phone

So I got a new iPhone today. I am just now figuring it all out, but so far I am totally in love with it. Typing on it I’d getting easier and quicker and the correction feature makes it nice when it does figure out what you meant instead of what you blondered with your giant fingers.

I even managed to post this via the phone. Cool huh?

The photo below is the boy last year at this time.