Category: Gadgetry

iPhone 6S+ – Two Months Later

About two months after getting a new iPhone 6S+, I’ve racked up the following experiences: Read more

iPhone 6S+, or, iPad Micro

Not sure what to call it – phone or phablet? But it’s going to have to go just about wherever I go for the next 2 years, at least…

Pictured here: my outgoing iPhone 5 (early 2013 vintage) and new iPhone 6S+, both entombed in Otterbox Defender cases. My iPad is shown for an additional reference point.


Here’s my frame of reference for a phone this size. I’m a bari sax player. When you scale something up this much, in the picture, it seems like just a bigger version of the same thing, but it’s not, exactly. Watch this extremely random video of two talented young saxophonists and maybe you’ll see what I mean.

So how is this working out for you? I can (sorta) hear you asking:

used with permission –
  • This phone (which does sport a reachability feature in deference to its extreme height, to which I hope they add an ability to contract left/right) is hard to use one-handed. That’s a tradeoff I decided to accept; as I get out and about and actually try to use it I’ll have to see what it’s like wearing it, using it, etc. As a frame of reference I’m 6 feet tall, built kinda large, wear gloves in the M/L size, and can comfortably play a bari sax. There are those for whom the 6S, not the 6S+, is definitely going to be the upper limit. There is actually a shoulder carry option for it (this company also makes them for other phones, and… this may be a little nuts, but to each their own). Here’s a significant dimension for you – the length of the 6S+ equals the width of the iPad…
  • It’s going to change how you use it. Again the bari sax analogy – it’s not just a big alto. It plays a different role and has different strengths and weaknesses. I decided to try it (the phone, not the bari sax) because in my current job I have fewer voice calls to make, I sit at a desk more, but when I’m away from the office I am more likely to absolutely need to get on an email. I’m going to need to use bluetooth more. It’s going to tempt me to get some kind of smart watch (pretty sneaky, Apple!). On the plus side, I will have more occasions when I can leave the iPad behind.
  • And about that iPad – the first time I ever saw a cellular-enabled iPad I thought – someone is going to use that thing for a phone. I think we’re reaching that convergence.
  • Another brilliant idea on convergence – the cell phone paradigm has been one device per phone number/SIM. With the increasing digitalization of the cell phone world, it would seem that the next step would be the ability to have a secondary phone. Maybe a simple feature phone that can share the number when all you need is – a phone.
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Standards and Smith’s Law of Marginal Utility

Smith’s Law of Marginal Utility:

The abundance of chargers or removable media of a given type* is directly correlated to their obsolesce .

How Standards Proliferate – xkcd

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No, really – loading ALL my CDs into the iPod classic

I just recently moved, and the best thing about it, besides picking up 500 more square feet and a garage, is that I FOUND ABOUT 15 MISSING CDs! When I did the “load all the CDs into my iPod maneuver” earlier this year, I’d had the nagging feeling I was missing some. In fact, I knew for a fact I was, but I couldn’t put my hands on them. In the course of unpacking boxes, I found them. iTunes library complete!

In other news, I can now put my hands on all my books, too.

Old phones, planned obsolesence, and you.

Started a twitter conversation about iPhone vs. Android that is gonna take more than 140 characters…

My wife got an iPod touch well over 2 years ago. She got an iPhone 4 maybe a year ago.

Meanwhile, I’ve had some smart phone or another for years, the latest being the Motorola Droid (sometimes called Droid 1, I suppose, but whatever – it was the original, introduced as the first Android phones were coming out).

I totally get the fact that no piece of technology will be as cool and super as the day you unwrap it. Read more

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A few *more* random things about loading music into my iPod Classic

(you might want to read this post first. And this one. And this one. Or not.)

  • that comment about ending up with one huge album called GREATEST HITS? Well, funny I should have mentioned that, because I did eventually notice that in the album listing was one huge album called – you guessed it. I had to go in and rename them Greatest Hits (Artist name), etc. THIS doesn’t show up in album flip view, which I was using to try to find the scattered tracks. Not even sure it was showing up in the album thumbnail views. I think I eventually noticed it when searching for a specific track.
  • Here’s a weird one. My brother has a Mac McAnally album (self-titled) in vinyl. It’s from 1977, and it’s not even available in iTunes. So I asked a friend to dub the album to CD. He did so, and separated it into tracks for me. I loaded the CD into iTunes for ripping, expecting to have to manually enter all track info. It came up with all track names and the album name, perfectly (I had to add the album art manually, natch). I asked my friend later if he’d put the artist/title info into the track data. He hadn’t. Even assuming iTunes is performing a Shazam-style analysis of the wave form on the tracks, this is weird because I can’t buy the album on iTunes (I did find that had the track data for this album on their site, and says their track data is courtesy of iTunes. Hmmmm.).


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So how’s it going adding every CD you own?

Fine, thank you. I’ve been steadily popping one in provided I’m awake, my computer is awake, and I’m where I can feed the thing. I’ve got a stack at home and at work. As of this writing, the collection in iTunes stands at 2092 items. It would take over 6 days to listen to it all.

Searchability – what a concept. In the early ’90s I had a friend with some kind of software that had all his CDs indexed. I was never that organized. But now I can type in a composer, performer, etc.

Speaking of searchability – it’s amazing how Gracenote can find all the track info, even on obscure CDs (only had one misfire in a commercial CD), but album art is generally a google search…

Also, sweet heavens it’s annoying how the system splits up albums. There’s a way to edit the info and pull them together. That’ll be another phase of the project.

Wherein I add all my CDs to my iTunes library

because I just bought a iPod Classic 160 GB. In black. iPod classic

I’m adding all my CDs. Every single one I own. Well, maybe not the homebrewed ones that are made from live recordings, all too often of me playing. And I’m drawing the line at my wife’s Olivia Newton John collection from the ’80s, because technically those aren’t mine. But if Grace Notes can find the track info, it’s going on.

Even the bad ones. Even “Night & Day” by Chicago.

Speaking of which, why can’t iTunes find the album artwork for Chicago 19?

More as this develops.

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New Year, New Stuff

Big things in my life lately:

– I joined Planet Fitness. A new facility opened in Prattville, and I have been there every single day it’s been open. If I’m feeling slow on a given day, I don’t do much, but I’m determined to stay on it – I need to lose about 40-50 pounds and my doctor is itchin’ to put me on cholesterol drugs. Ain’t happening photoshop cs6 mac full.

– As silly as it sounds to get worked up over a wristwatch at my age (I should really post about my wristwatch fetish), I got myself a Casio Atomic Solar Analog watch. Allows time-zone changes, the analog hands stay synched to the digital board, which syncs nightly to WWVB. Allows me to indulge my OCD about having exact time and about having the analog synched to the digital, and having the minute hand in the exact right spot on the dial at the top of the minute (don’t ask).

Music recording, past and present

Tascam DR-07 digital recorderUntil recently, I had a minidisc recorder which I had used to record live music – mainly my own practices and performances – and which I had occasionally used to make digital recordings of public speaking. The latter were mainly sermons at church which I recorded off the sound board so that I, as the resident A/V boy, could transfer them to CD or mp3 recordings for their web site. I’d long since switched the church to other solutions, however, my music recording had fallen by the wayside because of the minidisc’s shortcomings.  This post is mainly about the Tascam DR-07 digital recorder which replaced it, but a very brief trip down minidisc memory lane will help put my excitement about this new unit in perspective.

There were two main problems with the minidisc format. Read more

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