Apple, Journal, Rants, Technology

Can You Connect To The Internet Now? Verizon, iPad and the MiFi

Update November 23, 2010: Updating the MiFi to firmware 7.3.11 appears to resolve these problems for me. The updater is currently available only for PCs, so Mac users will need to borrow a friend’s computer or use Fusion or Parallels to install the firmware onto their MiFi. Daniel Odio has additional details on his blog.


The following post was written using the MiFi with firmware 7.1.6. The problems listed below manifested itself for me and several other people. Read the update above on how to upgrade your MiFi to the latest firmware which has resolved the problem thus far for me.

So, Verizon is now selling the iPad bundled with the MiFi wireless 3G hotspot. Unless Verizon and Novatel (makers the MiFi firmware) have solved MiFi WiFi disconnect problem, there are going to be a lot of unhappy customers.

Many users of this setup for the past year have experienced random disconnects with the MiFi when used in WiFi mode. As I pointed out in my post on the subject back in April, the device works fine in tethered mode, but fails horribly — disconnecting sometimes every minute — in WiFi mode. To my knowledge there hasn’t been any acknowledgement of this problem on the part of Verizon nor Novatel, nor has there been any firmware update to rectify the issue.

Verizon MiFi Problem

Now that more customers will be “enjoying” this problem, perhaps a solution is not far down the road!

Standard
AllThingsD, Apple, Journal, Technology

At the D8 Conference in Rancho Palos Verde

D8 If you love technology, you’ll want to tune into the D8 Conference, where I’ll be for the week in beautiful Rancho Palos Verdes, California. We have a terrific slate of speakers being interviewed by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, including Apple’s Steve Jobs, on Tuesday evening. Check out the complete list of speakers and visit conference web site for live blogs, photos and video highlights from every session!

Standard
Apple, Autumn Gem, 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, Journal, Technology

Autumn Gem for the iPad Wins at iPadDevCamp!

Autumn Gem for the iPad

Our Autumn Gem application for the iPad won the Future of Publishing Award at iPadDevCamp! We developed this application to show the potential marriage between film and iPad. Going beyond a normal movie, we bring the story of Modern China’s first feminist, Qiu Jin, to life with interactive elements, historical information and movie clips from our film.

Unfortunately, we only heard about the award after the event was over. The judges created several new awards categories during the judging process, and they accidentally forgot to mention our application! No worries, we’re happy that our app was recognized by the selection committee!

The free iPad which is part of the award will be going to Ivan and Dominic from XBureau, who assisted us in developing the application; we couldn’t have done it without them! It was a completely random encounter that caused us to meet. On Friday night, I was standing in line waiting to talk to Chris Allen, one of the organizers of iPadDevCamp. I was holding my 5D Mark II, which was mounted onto my Zacuto Tactical Shooter. Ivan noticed my rig and asked me some questions about it. During our conversation, I told him about the film and my app idea; later on in the evening, he came up to me with Dominic and said they were interested in working on the app. Two days of furious coding, Photoshop, Final Cut, and After Effects later, here we are with a now award-winning app!

Standard
Apple, Autumn Gem, 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, 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