Apple, Autumn Gem, iPhone, iPhoneDevCamp, Technology

iPad Meetup

Last night, I attended the The Silicon Valley iPhone and iPad Developers’ Meetup at Bistro 412 in Palo Alto. The venue used to be called Fanny and Alexander (or F&A for short) for as long as I could remember. I photographed several events at F&A, including a Smurfy Brown performance back in 2002. Eight years ago! The iPad and the iPhone were just pie in the sky ideas at that time; look how far we’ve progressed since then!

SVIPHONE Meetup organizer, Tim Burks, ran a great event last night, with tons of demos, giveaways and networking. He had several iPad developers come up to show off their latest creations and was gracious to allow me a few minutes to speak at the end (as I was a late RSVP to the event). I demoed the Autumn Gem application for the iPad that we developed this past weekend at iPadDevCamp. Dom, one of the organizers for iPadDevCamp, also gave a brief shout-out to the crowd that we had won the Future of Publishing award; they accidentally forgot to mention that during the awards ceremony on Sunday, so it was nice to get some recognition of our achievement!

People came up to me after the event finished to say that they thought the app was great; one person even said that out of all the demos, she thought ours was the most impressive. Thanks! We’re getting lots of great feedback and will be releasing the app soon through the App Store.

For those of you interested, we’re having a screening of Autumn Gem (the full-length documentary, not the app) on May 2, at the Saratoga Public Library. Come watch the film, buy a DVD, and talk to the filmmakers! More information can be found at the Autumn Gem screenings page.

Here are some photos from last night’s event:

[smugmug url="http://photos.tow.com/hack/feed.mg?Type=gallery&Data=11904859_4w2iM&format=rss200" imagecount="100" start="1" num="100" thumbsize="Th" link="lightbox" captions="true" sort="true" window="false" smugmug="false" size="L"]

Standard
Apple, Autumn Gem, iPhone, Newton, Qiu Jin, Technology

iPad Case and Newton MessagePad Keyboard Case

I’m still collecting my thoughts on the new Apple iPad, but I wanted to share with you a side-by-side comparison shot of the iPad Case and the Newton MessagePad Keyboard Case from 1996. Back when laptops were 6-7 pounds, bringing around a 2-3 pound Newton, external keyboard, and Ricochet wireless modem was perfect for checking email and writing short documents.

MessagePad and iPad cases

While on tour with Autumn Gem, Rae and I having been traveling with two MacBook Pro laptops. It certainly gets heavy lugging around 15 pounds of computers, adapters, and cables around. We’ll still need to bring one MacBook Pro with us on our next tour, but I can see the iPad replacing the other one. With the iPad-VGA adapter, we’ll even be able to run our presentation and film straight from the iPad! While the output is not HD, it’s more than adequate in the venues we’ve been screening Autumn Gem in. The iPad really is a great device for creative professionals who want to showcase their work: photos, videos, illustrations, you name it.

Here’s a photo of me from the Apple Special Event introducing the iPad. More thoughts to come soon!

Standard
Apple, iPhone, Newton, Technology

SNUG 16th Anniversary Meeting

I got an email today from Sir Izaac reminding me that today was the 16th anniversary meeting of the Stanford Newton User Group. I had completely forgotten about it. Man, has it been that long since the first SNUG meeting and seventeen years since I’ve owned a Newton?!? There are kids today who don’t even know that Apple once had a tablet-sized computer; next week at its Special Event, the company is rumored to be announcing the much anticipated tablet. Whether it’s called the new iBook, iSlate, iTablet, iPod book, or iPad, it’s set to change the game in the burgeoning netbook, e-reader, and portable computing marketplace. I for one have been wondering how people will hold and manipulate a device with a 10-inch screen. Will it come with a handle (see my mockup to the right), or will that void be left for the third-party case manufacturers to fill? I’ve dropped my iPhone a few times without any incident (knock on wood), but I shudder to think what would happen if I dropped the tablet!

iPod book mockup with handle

Continue reading

Standard

iPhoneDevCamp 3 Group Photo

iPhone, iPhoneDevCamp, Photography

iPhoneDevCamp 3 Group Photo

Image
iPhone, Journal, Newton, Software, Tech, Technology

Newtons and iPhones at Stanford

News that Stanford will be conducting a class on iPhone Development, taught by my friend Adam Nash brings back good memories of my time on the Farm.

I smiled when I read the press release from Stanford announcing the Stanford iApps Project.

A suite of five software applications developed by students is now being tested on campus. Two of them, for managing course registration and bills, are intended for students. The other three will allow access to Stanford’s searchable campus map, get team scores and schedules, and check listings in the university’s online directory, StanfordWho.

One of my first apps for the Apple Newton MessagePad was Stanford Map, a scrolling map of the university. I remember riding around campus and getting stopped by someone who wanted to get directions to a particular building. With my Newton in hand, I was able to show exactly where he needed to go. Bear in mind, this was 14 years ago!

Standard

iPhoneDevCamp2 Group Photo

Apple, iPhone, iPhoneDevCamp

iPhoneDevCamp 2 Group Photo

Image
Apple, iPhone

iPhone Replacement

My iPhone’s touchscreen has been acting up for the past month and a half. Intermittently throughout the day, the touchscreen would be unresponsive whenever I turned on the device. If this happened when a phone call came in, I would not be able to swipe the screen to answer. Finally on Tuesday, I set up an appointment to meet with a Genius at the Valley Fair Apple Store.

The Apple Store opens at 10:00 am, but there were several people talking with Geniuses when I arrived today at 9:40. I waited patiently as the minutes ticked by, watching the big-screen monitors go through various Tiger features — iChat, iPod, Spotlight, and repeat. Apparently, these video clips haven’t been updated for Leopard. At 10:00, my name was called, and I explained the problem to the Genius. I was able to duplicate the problem to him, after which he submitted a service request and handed me a new iPhone (new or refurbished — how can you tell? in a white box, meaning it was probably refurbished). Within fifteen minutes, I was out of the Apple Store and back at home. That’s pretty good service!

The “new” iPhone still had the 1.1.2 OS on it, so, I needed to upgrade the device to 1.1.3 before I could perform a Restore operation on it. Now, my iPhone is back to normal! Six months to go on the warranty; let’s hope no more problems creep up with the device!

Standard
iPhone, Journal, Newton

Happy Birthday to Newton

It’s hard to believe that fourteen years ago on August 3, 1993, Apple released the Newton MessagePad. I was one of its early adopters, purchasing it just before my freshman year at college. It was the device that got me hooked on mobile computing, and it paved the way for where I am professionally today.

Newton’s growth was stopped at four and a half years of age when the product was canceled in February, 1998. At the time, Apple was in dire straits, and Steve Jobs felt that a renewed focus on Mac OS meant side businesses like Newton had to go. We can only speculate what could have happen had Newton spun off as an independent company or if Apple had sold the technology. You can’t argue with the results of what happened to Apple in the ensuing years. The company has never been in a better position for success, thanks in large part to Mac OS X, the iPod and now the iPhone.

Still, Newtons are in use today, nine years after cancellation. Modern technologies like Bluetooth and WiFi are available for the Newton, and projects like DyneTK and Open Einstein will ensure that Newton technology lives on in devices beyond the aging MessagePad hardware. Who knows how long it will last? If Newton were someone with a terminal illness, I’m sure it would be grateful for every extra day it’s being used by people around the world. There’s nothing worse for a technology than for it to be discontinued, forgotten, and shoved into the dustbin of technology.

So, a toast today to the Newton! Happy 14th Birthday!

Standard