Posts Tagged 'iPhone'

Third Times a Harm (iPhone/iTunes Does It Again)

It would seem that I am cursed not to successfully sync more than three times in a row.

So today I synchronized my phone. The result? I noticed an old app I had deleted. Bizarre. Then I realized ALL my folders were gone. Everything is re-arranged, altered.

This occurred after I tried to purchase an app, then ran into an issue of Apple’s terms changing (yes, the ludicrous 54 pages of terms that updates every couple of months).  I didn’t notice the alert nor proceed. So when I tried it had timed out.

I re-downloaded, bought the app, and installed it. Only to discover that all my apps are now altered. I presume it was due to synchronization but I am not sure. I’ve set it to not auto synchronize but find that it often does. It’s extremely frustrating, as I liked my folder setup. I liked the state my phone was in. Now it is ruined…again.

Sadly, restoring from back-up is not an option. Because the <sarcasm>geniuses</sarcasm> Apple doesn’t let you do back-up points. And keeps a single back-up, which it copies over at every sync. So when you have a problem, it’s too late, your back up has already been corrupted.

I am !@#$% sick of this…

As for those who complain about me complaining about my iPhone. I’ll stop when either a) the products work with any decency b) AT&T let’s me out of my contract.

Seriously, I have never dealt with a more horrendous product than iTunes/iPhone sync.  I really don’t understand Apple’s problem.  Heck, just allowing for multiple backups to be created without jumping through hoops would help tremendously.

 

Apple – why, why do you have to be so evil?

Oh how the children suffer. So all I wanted to do was output TV from my iPhone to my monitor. Like I used to do with my iPod. So my children can watch Monster’s Inc.  Our DVDs are still packed somewhere.  I have a legal digital copy on my iPhone.

Once again Apple’s draconian DRM policies strike again. Apparently now we need cables with little chips in them to output. And they only output certain applications.

L-A-M-E

So all this in the name of copyright protections. It almost makes you want to start “pirating” movies. If you’re going to have to deal with this much crap. You might as well not pay for movies.

MyWi – iPhone internet for you and friends

Having jailbroken my iPhone a few months back. One of the most invaluable apps is MyWi.  MyWi creates a WiFi access point for your laptop (and the laptop of friends) to connect to.  No need to create an ad-hoc network, nada.

Performance is pretty decent.

Per http://speedtest.dslreports.com

Download
564 Kb/s
Upload
417 kb/s
Latency
238 ms
Download
0.84 Mb/s
Upload
0.35 Mb/s
Latency
236 ms

NOTE: MiWi requires a jailbroken iPhone. See my prior post on blackra1n for information on quickly and easily jailbreaking your iPhone.

iTunes WORST SOFTWARE

iTunes has got to be the biggest pain in the butt I have dealt with in several years. It is fine if all you’re going to do is use iTunes locally.  But it degrades if you do any of the following:

– Move your library to a NAS, as it quickly outgrows the available space on your meager laptop hd.

– Sync and manage an iPhone (iTunes tends to do a lot of whacky things, sometimes requiring a full restoration of your iPhone)

– Move to a new computer. Cause obviously everyone keeps the same computer forever. No one ever gets a new faster shinier machine.

How Apple has gone so long with iTunes numerous failings is a question for sages.  It was only recently that Apple implemented a hierarchy change to iTunes Media from iTunes Music. (It was rather annoying having applications, movies, etc in a music folder.)

But if you have never had to migrate a iTunes library to a new computer, or restore it after having to reformat and reinstall an OS. Then you might think iTunes a competent application.

IT’S NOT

Steve Jobs should be personally ashamed of the trash iTunes has become.  The backup options are so pitiful that one has to wonder what Apple was thinking. Yes, you can back up your iTunes library but only to DVD.  For most of us that would be about a week of popping DVDs in and out.

Why can I not backup to an external hard drive?  I should be able to have my old machine backup my library to my NAS and then have my new machine restore from the backup.

And have everything working. Have my playlists, my ratings, and my media.  I should be able to sync my iPhones.

Instead Apple has created a convoluted library that is unmanageable and untransferable. While one can easily re-import media. Synching is another matter.

Even if you succeed in manually migrating all your library, your iPhone backups, etc.  You still only have a 50/50 chance that iTunes will work. And are more than likely to launch iTunes only to find it “Not Responding”.

Thank you Steve Jobs, shame on you!

UPDATE: Clearly there is a problem with iTunes on Windows 7.  I thought it was all NAS related. I was trying to import playlists, taking forever. So presuming it was an issue with my NAS I copied the files to my local machine.  Trying to import 103K playlist, it’s now taking nearly an hour.

Set Me Free! Adventures in Jailbreakin my iPhone

This weekend I jailbroke our iPhones. It was actually a pretty painless adventure.
So what are the benefits?
– can now record video
– tether my iPhone to my laptop
– once again I have free memory tool
Disadvantage!
It opens you up to a iPhone worm that can infect jailbroken iPhones unless you update your root password.  Below I will give you the steps that I took. It’s quite easy and any moderately adept computer user should be capable of doing the following processes:
1. First download the “blackra1n” which is an easy jailbreaking tool.
(Select Windows or Mac)
2. Make sure your iPhone is updated to 3.1.2
3. Tether and run “blackra1n”, click “Make it rain!”
(This will install an app called blackra1n.)
4. Run app and install the three appls (Cydia, Rock, & Snow)
5. Launch Cydia and download an app called “Mobile Terminal”, this will allow you to change your root password. All iPhones have the same default password, making it easy for hackers to access root.
6. Run the terminal…
– Type passwd and hit enter
– Enter alpine for your old password
– Enter new password & confirm new password
DONE…
7. Tethering – download an app call MyWi. Install and configure. You will now be able to turn your iPhone into a Wireless access point.
8. Free up memory – download and install MemTool. This app features a free memory function similar to what used to be included in iStat before Apple forced them to remove the feature.
9. Record video – download and install cycorder. You now can record video.
ENJOY a much better iPhone experience!!!!!

 

S.A.S.S.I.E. Blog Launches iPhone Edition

As of today you’ll notice a new iPhone icon in the right side panel.  This will bring you to an iPhone edition of the S.A.S.S.I.E. Blog – it’s not fancy. It’s a reduced media version. But it’s formatted nicely for the iPhone and quite speedy – courtesy of Intersquash.

Click here to view the new iPhone edition!
Click!

There is another alternative if you can use WordPress plug-ins called WPTouch, but not sure if I can do that with the hosted version of WordPress.

PS – If anyone figures out how to implement the “WPTouch” version on a hosted wordpress.com blog. Please let me know – thanks!

iPhone 3G: My thoughts upon… (and rants upon)

I have had my iPhone for a few days now. First off, there is a LOT to love about this little gadget. However, there are several significant annoyances and a number of lesser impediments that truly keep the iPhone from being all that it can be.

A number of these are software related, but a number of the more grueling annoyances exist merely due to restrictive policies.

***

SMS – The bubbles is a nice way to follow a conversation. But there is an element missing. The fact that my wife and I like to keep some of our text messages, in particular those sweet encouraging ones from each other.  The current conversation based messaging setup deletes an entire conversation.

What I’d like to see…a means to add a text message as a “Memory”. Give a little heart option, whatever. And it could be saved in a separate folder. And not deleted when you delete the whole conversation.

Overall, the discussion thread layout is appealing and probably worth the loss. But why, when a little modification could make it a full win?

Calendar – Sub-par, while it’s a pretty nifty little calendar. It fails IMHO at calendering. The iPhone’s calendar lacks basic features that a Jr. level programmer could have coded.  Particularly in regards to recurring schedules.  I have a writer’s group that meets the last Thursday of every month. But good luck getting that scheduled into your iPhone.  Create the event, tell it to repeat monthly. And it will, but only on the date of your event.

Contacts – Okay, I think we have a winner. Yes, there are a few things I’d like to be able to do. But very few and very minor. The ability to create your own labels is a gift from the good Lord above. (You know it, how many contacts do you have that are a husband and wife pair, and you’ve got a cell phone for both. Then you call the wrong part of the couple. No more, now you can create your own custom labels (husband/wife, etc.).   Note, that these labels show up EVERYWHERE in contacts as options. So you might want to limit yourself to generic labels. (ie: Beeper versus John’s Pager). Definitely like the contacts. And clicking on address loads up Google Maps.

Oh wait, one grueling aspect is missing. “Groups”  Yes, I’d really love to group my contacts. (ie: Personal, Work, Church, etc) and quickly filter by such.  It’d be a bit easier than scrolling thru a 100+ contacts.

Voice Dial – Some 3rd Party apps but nothing to write home about yet. Truly, I’d love to see Microsoft step in and sell Microsoft Voice Command for iPhone.

Google Maps – Quite a nice little app. There is something to be said to looking up one of your favorite restaurants on your new phone. Touching it and adding it to contacts and dialing the restaurants and placing an order for “Large cheese pizza please!”.

Though, for navigation it pales when compared to my old Verizon XV6700 with Odyssey Navigation using my bluetooth Pharos GPS unit.  I found the GPS to be less than accurate, at least on Google maps.  Often it will show my location as being an entire block off. Kind of a bummer. But this may be a Google map issue. As it probably is not pinging the GPS as much as my old nav software did and it probably doesn’t have the functions for calculating one’s progress (dead reckoning) to help maintain estimates when GPS signal might be blocked.

Safari – Nice browsing, wish it had Flash Player.  That said, I’ve found that a large number of sites I visit serve up mobile editions. Hey, I thought I got the whole internet with the iPhone (minus Flash player).

Bluetooth – Haven’t tested yet, but the rumor is that almost all bluetooth profiles are disabled other than headsets. WHY? WHY? WHY?

Synching – What a pain. If you thought Apple’s iPod was restrictive and cumbersome.  The iPhone is a lot worse, especially if you’re trying to keep songs, files, etc synchronized between multiple PCs. Change a few settings (auto-sync or manage yourself) and the synch will delete files form your iPhone.  The iPhone will only recognize a single machine. (Makes me shudder to thing what would happen if my PC went down. I believe I’d lose everything on my iPhone. Because I’d lose the back up. And if I tried to make a new machine (or re-installed machine) the synch-machine. It will automatically erase everything on the iPhone.

I must be missing something here, Apple can’t be that big of morons – can they?

3rd Party Apps – Some nice offerings, even on the free end. But still a bit weak on some of the productivity.

I’ve been waiting for a tethering app, which apparently one was released only to be quickly pulled (probably from pressure by AT&T). *argh* More restrictions.

Ringtones – Really, you want me to pay an extra $1 to make a ring tone of a song I already own. Excuse me…. you have to be smoking something Steve.

Oh, and I can only make ringtones from those tracks that iTunes says I can.  A whopping 30 songs out of over a 3,000 legitimately owned songs I have in iTunes.

***

All that said, the interface, user interaction, etc. Is a beauty. Even tasks that require more work (such as creating a contact) on the iPhone than my old WM5 PocketPC phone have the pleasure of interacting.

There is tremendous potential with this device. Truthfully, I believe all these flaws are easily curable if Apple and AT&T could get out of their own way (ie: stop with the super-secret, super-restrictive bullcrap that really achieves nothing *)

Why such a critical eye? Because my wife desperately needs a PDA phone. And we’re trying to evaluate whether the iPhone is a good, decent, okay, poor, or lousy choice for her.  The inherent advantage of the iPhone (both her and I would have them, and we could use the same tools) and a wonderful interface, the disadvantages….some major lacks in some major areas.  Might simply drive my wife mad. (Something no husband wishes to do!)

ADDENDUM I:

* Nothing….

Super-secret: iPhone SDK license agreement requires you not to talk to ANYONE else about anything in it. Mind you, the SDK is free, anyone can download it. So what the heck are they hiding. The downside, developer’s can’t create networks or forums to assist each other in coding and improving their software.

Super-restrictive: All the restrictions on moving media files, data files, etc. Between your various 5 active instances of iTunes simply makes things more cumbersome.  It does nothing to prevent digital piracy as their are ways to access all of this information with simple hacks and procedures.  What is does, is piss off users like me who have thousands of $$$ invested in albums. And hundreds of dollars invested in hardware. And am unduly restricted. You want me not to pirate, don’t make legally using my own music harder than if I simply pirated it.

*******************************************************************************************

PS –  I apologize for the long rant. I wish I could use LiveJournal’s  <lj-cut></li-cut> tags. A great feature of LJ. Anyone know if WordPress has a similar tag/function to condense and hide a large chunk of text?


March 2017
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