Gone back to iPhone

So I tried it. I really did. I spent almost a month in the Android ecosystem trying to love my Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. Alas, yesterday I returned to the iPhone. I found the Xperia Play a little slow. Switching between a game and texting was painfully slow. The text app also didn’t sort messages in the correct order. I thought I would like having different apps for each function, but eventually I got frustrated trying to figure out if a certain mp3 was in Google Music, Amazon Cloud Player, or loaded on the phone under Music. The same trouble arose for pictures, ebooks, and other content. I had to keep track of where I put stuff. Normally I’m okay with this. I’m a long-time UNIX user, but having to keep track of my content on the phone when the iPhone tracked it all for me was just uncomfortable.

Email was rough, the GMail app seemed okay but to get email from other accounts, I had to use the Xperia Play built in email app. It was a bit rough around the edges. Again, two email apps creating more “where did that message go” moments.

The gaming is brilliant. Really, that’s what kept me trying to love this phone for so long. The Xperia titles are good, the thumb buttons are a little touchy but one you train your thumbs it’s a blast. The trouble with the games is the number of titles. Not alot of PS1 titles in the store and many of the Xperia exclusives are iPhone games patched to support the gamepad.

The final nail in the Xperia Play’s coffin for me was the lack of integration with Playstation. I wanted to be able to access the Playstation Network, chat with friends, send messages, etc. The Xperia Play does not do this. I get better connectivity from my PSP. I wanted to be able to move things from the PS3 to the phone… nope. I found out that I could move movies from the PS3 to a PC and then to the phone, as long as there was no DRM on the movie. So content purchased from the PSN, as far as I know, cannot be put onto the phone.

So I’m a traitor no more… I’ve returned to the iPhone, a nice new black 4S.

Let the “I told you so’es” commence 🙂

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Switching from iPhone to Android

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is finally on the AT&T network so I have made the jump from the iPhone to an Android device. It’s been quite an adjustment to go from the Apple worlds where iTunes does everything for you and Apple’s design rules ensure that most apps look and behave in a similar fashion to the free-wheeling worlds of Android where every app is different and I need a special application on my computer to manage each type of media on my phone (i.e. an app for music, another for books, and another for movies). I have found that I really do enjoy being able to drag and drop files onto my phone in a readable filesystem. That’s one of my first frustrations with iPhone was the inability to move individual files onto the phone. I had to get used to iTunes managing all my interaction with my phone. Now I’m back to being able to drag .ePub files into the /books directory and movies into the /video directory all by myself.

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Loading up an ASUS 1215N

The ASUS 1215 came out of the box with Windows 7 premium home edition. The nice thing that ASUS does is partition the drive into two drives. There’s a 100G C:\ drive and the rest of the drive is in a separate D:\ drive.

This makes loading Linux extremely easy. The D:\ drive can be removed without disturbing the Windows installation. The one gotcha is that ASUS uses 3 primary partitions on the drive. One for the C:\, one for Windows covert, and a third for system restore. This means you will want to install Linux into an extended partition. Most distributions want at least one partition for Linux and a swap space.

I added three partitions to my 1215: a 4G swap, a 128G ext4 mounted at /, and the rest in an ntfs partition mounted as D:\ in Windows or /stuff in Linux.

My thought is to place music, movies, and pictures in /stuff so they will be accessible in both Windows and Linux.

I’m also using smaller partition sizes to see if I could live on a SSD machine with limited resources.

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Making the switch… back to Linux/Windows

I’ve been a long time Mac fan. I made the switch back in 1996 and was even more hooked after the move to Unix as the core of Mac OS in 2000. I have had an Apple laptop as my primary work machine since the G3 Pismo model. I’ve been working more and more with linux and Windows lately and noticed that I spent a lot of time either working in a VM or doing things on the Mac and then spending time porting them to linux. Not a lot of extra work mind you but enough to be noticed.

I needed get another laptop and I went looking for an inexpensive and small machine. Of course the Macbook Air seemed like a natural fit for me but the price tag is too high and the specs too low. I’m still not connected to the cloud and need storage space. I don’t want to get stuck someplace with crummy Internet and be dead in the water. I like having local copies of my media and my podcast lectures. So the Air was out. It’s pretty and small and light but not enough storage and too expensive.

I looked at the 13″ macbook pro, but we are at the end of a product cycle and Apple is notorious for using the back to school sales window to clean up the sales channel before announcing new models. As a long time Apple customer I’ve been there and done. I don’t know how many times I got something and a month or two later, the next generation comes out. I don’t buy anything from Apple anymore unless I check the buyer’s guide at macrumors.com first.

So here I am in a quandary. Spend too much money for not enough machine or wait. I can’t really wait so I decided that since the price point for Windows netbooks is so low I’d go that route. I got a nice 12 inch Asus eee (the 1215) with maxed out RAM for a third of the cost of a 13″ Air.

As I make the switch I’ll post the progress. I’m kind of looking forward to seeing how the other side lives.

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Apple refunds my Lion purchase

I filed a trouble ticket with the Apple App store reguarding my purchase of Lion and my plan to return to Snow Leopard. Apple has said they will return my money for Lion since I was dissatisfied and won’t be using the software.

Well done Apple. Your customer service is good. Too bad your marketing people didn’t get the Lion preinstall warnings right in the first place.

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Apples ends its “it just works” philosophy with Lion

Many users are regretting their decision to upgrade their Apple computers to the new MacOS 10.7 (a.k.a. Lion) Apple has removed support for some key features which causes programs to stop working.
Of course Apple doesn’t tell you that there is a risk of lost functionality until AFTER Lion is installed and it creates a folder called “Incompatible software” on the root of your boot disk.

I double checked through all the how-tos and learn-about-lion pages on the Apple web site and there’s no warning about loss of features. I saw some tech blogs speculating about Rosetta support removal but nothing official from Apple.

The rumors were true and my Lion upgrade REMOVED software from my system. I would not expect a system upgrade to remove features without some explicit warning. I figured since I already had those features that Apple, the company of “everything just works” wouldn’t turn off something that was working.

Without Rosetta any Power PC binary programs will not work. This includes Starcraft, Diablo 1 and 2, Civilization 3, Appleworks, Alice 2.2, MacMAME, Cepstral voices, and many others. Also left off was Inkwell the handwriting recognizion system.

Apple’s touting Lion sales and all the great new features that make your Mac look more like an iPad, but there are many many unhappy people on the Apple Support forums… I’m one of them.

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Review of the C64x coming soon

The truth of the mater is that I’m having too much fun trying out things on my C64x to actually sit down and write a review of the machine. I real review with pictures is coming soon, maybe by Monday, but for now I’m spending the weekend having fun, which could be a review all of its own 🙂

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Twitter updates off

I’ve decided to turn off the automatic twitter updates. 1) It creates a lot of small posts that clutter up the site and B) All that info is available on my twitter feed already.

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-29

  • Waiting for my #C64x Cleaning my office tonight. Srry Sun Ultra 5, you're moving to the floor. #fb #
  • @LinkedInExpert @jessicanorthey Tweet Naked. No way, my followers would leave in disgust 🙂 I'm so ugly even TSA won't scan me. #
  • I'm at Depot Square Pizzeria (40 Depot Sq, Northfield) http://4sq.com/jz9Z92 #

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Twitter Updates for 2011-06-27

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