October 2007 Archives

October 30, 2007

I like my iPhone a heck of a lot better than the Treo

I carried a Treo 650 for perhaps 2 years.  When I first got it, I was pleased to have a true smart phone for a change.  I liked the Palm OS side of it - the calendar and to-do features, the third party apps.  But as a phone or network device, the Treo was frustrating.  The Treo had a quite nasty habit of freezing when I went to answer a phone call.  Not a good thing for a phone to do.  The Treo had a web browser, but using it was frustrating - too slow, and too many pages that didn't display properly.

When I left EarthLink, I knew I wanted a smart phone.  I briefly considered a Helio Ocean, but user reviews were lukewarm. 

Then Apple dropped the price of the iPhone from $599 to $399.  I went out and bought an iPhone the same day.

I like my iPhone a lot.  Web browsing and email are good.  The EDGE network is slow, but in metro Atlanta, web browsing is at least acceptable.  Calendar support is weak, but good enough for what I need right now.   But on the intangibles - the fit and feel - the iPhone is very good.  I like carrying it around.

My chief complaint is that the speaker isn't loud enough.  If the iPhone is in another room when it rings, I often don't hear it.  The same is even true if I have it on me and I'm in a noisy place.  I'm sure Apple's target audience has better hearing than me!

The other thing I miss is having an IM client.  I'm waiting for those Apple-sanctioned third party applications ...

October 29, 2007

A mac owner again, 20 years later

Last week I gave into temptation.  I'm now the owner of a bottom-of-the-line Mac Mini - the 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model.  80 gig disk, 1 gig of RAM.

I couldn't stand the idea of paying Apple $150 for one more gig of memory, so instead I spent at least that much and time and energy by getting 2 gig of RAM from Fry's and installing it myself.  Jonathan Young supplied the putty knife and the company.

It's the second Apple device I bought in the last 2 months.   When I left EarthLink (company-wide layoff) in September, I needed a cell phone, and Apple was kind enough to cut the price by $200, so I bought a phone that day.

It's not the first Mac for me, though.   We bought a Mac SE in '86 or '87 for Jen to finish her PhD thesis.  I played with a first generation iMac when I was at CNN in about 2000, and I had a first generation Mac Mini on loan from EarthLink for a couple of months.  Both of those machines were just too underpowered compared to the PCs I was using.  My new Intel Mac is on the lowest rung of the Mac line, but hardware has improved enough that even the  Mini easily trumps my Intel 3.0Ghz P4 Windows system.    

I'm pleased.  The Mini is low end hardware - built in integrated graphics, 5400 RPM hard drive.  It comes with built-in Bluetooth (which cost extra on the original Mini), WiFi,  4 USB ports and a Fireware 400 port.   But especially with 2 gig of RAM, that's plenty to make a system that works very nicely indeed. 

Even better, I've been playing with a copy of VMWare Fusion, and it runs Windows XP well enough to handle the PC applications I'd like to run.

If this were my only system, I'd like something with more power.  But for everyday use, it's fast enough, and the polish of OS X makes it all the better.