I have been so busy this week that I haven’t had time to write about WordCamp. Lots of work these days and then on Wednesday, I got my 2 top wisdom teeth pulled. K came with me (thank you K!) and we had to wait for an hour in the waiting room, and then what seemed like forever in the dentist room. I cried. I have a hard time going to the dentist. After almost two hours of waiting, the dentist pulled my teeth in about 5 minutes. I didn’t feel a thing, but the noise was pretty sick. It doesn’t hurt too bad as long as I take tylenol and don’t eat food that requires chewing.
This weekend, I went to WordCamp 2007 in San Francisco. It was even better than last year. Surrounded by WordPress geeks. In some ways, I like it better than macworld. There are not too many things that I like better than macworld. WordCamp is smaller and more focused. Lucky for me, it is focused on some of my favorite things. Continue reading →
I am at Lake Merrit, about half way around. Online. This is cool. I am trying to type with 2 thumbs. Better than last time I tried. Still appreciating David Pogue’s punctuation shortcut every time I use it.
It is so nice to be able to leave the house again. The water helps my brain. Easier to think now. Stopped to look at birds that are right here in front of this bench. This rocks! There is no wifi here but I am on the internet. Magic.
Too hard to sit still anymore. Gotta go.
At the bus stop now on MacArthur Blvd. It is still loud in my head but better than before. It is time to go home now. It is very hard to think. Someone who lives near this bus stop has unprotected wifi. Thank you stranger.
Back home now. The bus was crowded. No seats. Standing in front of the yellow line and the driver kept letting more people on at every stop. I don’t think that is legal. Usually the driver tells people to get behind the yellow line. Didn’t have to get off before my stop. That is a rare and beautiful thing.
I wish I could think. Or work. Or play. Or read. At least I got lots of work done this morning. Another reason why it is so much better to work for myself than for someone else. If I worked somewhere else, the morning hours would be lost and commuting would have zapped all the energy that I would have had for working.
I find myself wishing there was a copy of BBedit on the iphone that would sync w/my computer. I notice that I compare it to a computer more than to another phone. What would it be like to code on the iphone? Hard to imagine. I would have to get way faster at typing and it is hard to even imagine what having the numbers and symbols and letters on different keyboards would be like. I didn’t even notice if there were curly braces on any of them. You never really appreciate curly braces until they are gone. It is a cool phone, but definitely not a laptop replacement.
I was thinking about strange things on my way home from the bus stop. At one point, I rolled up my sweatshirt sleeve and somehow ended up holding a bee in the opposite hand. I flicked it off of me. I am allergic to bees. Not very bad, but it seems to get worse every time. When I was younger, just a little sting and maybe swelling. The last couple of times huge swelling and the very last time I got a fever too. I haven’t been stung by a bee in a long time.
I like to watch bees and to think about bees, but not to hold them. I like the way they fly around flowers. Up and down, back and forth, fly away and then come back again. It looks random, but I don’t think it is. It is their way of doing things and it works. They get the job done. Very different than ants. Ants like straight lines. When they are doing their job, they don’t look random. They look very organized. I don’t like watching ants. It stresses me out. Part of it is that I hate killing them and sometimes have to when they are crawling up my kitchen wall in a line. It is not an ant friendly world. There is no way I can feel right about wiping out an entire community in less than a minute but I do it anyway. What a strange world.
Humans as a species sometimes remind me of green belts in karate. It is a transitional period of having knowledge and power, but not necessarily knowing how to use it. Sparring with a green belt is much scarier than sparring a black belt. I know I am safe sparring with a black belt. I have been hurt more than once sparring a green belt. With the exception of the occasional teenaged boy who has something to prove, they usually don’t mean to hurt anyone but they can strike hard and are still learning to control their techniques in an amped up situation.
Humans have enough knowledge to make theories based on things that they don’t have complete information about. How do I know I am better than an ant? What gives me the right to decide that they have to die because I don’t like having them in my house? Why do we think we are the most intelligent species? If you check the facts, we are obviously not. Without humans, there is balance and an ecosystem that works very well. We kill each other and we kill our planet and it has gone on for so long that it is hard to see another way to live. We don’t know how to live in a different kind of world. I am sure there are human societies in the world that know how, but if we find them we will steal their land and try to make them be like us. Welcome to PMS week.
The other reason that I don’t like watching ants is because I can’t do it without thinking. It is like trying to read in the same room where there is an interesting tv show on. When I watch a bee, it is just part of everything. Something to anchor my attention in the background. Keeps me connected to the world while still being able to leave it. I like that.
First, an iphone update. It still rocks! Most of the annoyances do not bug me anymore except for safari not remembering my zoom (Edit: I forgot that a double tap zooms in the safari window, so I rescind that last annoyance), lack of basic text select, copy, and paste features, and poor navigation. Some breadcrumb links would be nice. The one tip that has changed my iphone life the most is David Pogue’s keyboard tip. Genius.
Wordcamp 2007 – I can’t wait! 2 days long this year. D will be there too. I am happy about that.
I can finally play again! I am taking a break from Tsayad my main hunter because I wanted to start at a lower level so I could remember how to play and was not in a guild so that I didn’t feel like I should be grouping with people.
I started a night elf druid named Shikibee who is now level 16, alchemy/herbalism. I might end up making her my new main. Tsayad is only 41 and I am liking this character better. I thought hunter was my favorite because it is possibly the easiest class to solo with. I liked having a pet and it was pretty cool to send my pet (Fuzz) in and shoot things with arrows from a distance.
My favorite way to play is to run up to things and fight them, but that is hard to do as a hunter. I tried to be a warrior for a while, but that sucked worst of all. Not a good solo class because of no healing abilities. Have to stop and eat or bandage and make sure to have lots of healing potion, which is not so easy if you are a blacksmith/miner. Tsayad is skinning/leatherworking, so could supply shikibee with some nice armor.
I am leveling shikibee as a feral druid with this build but I might move some of the points around before I am done. If anyone has any idea what I am talking about and has any suggestions on a good solo pve feral druid build, I would be happy to hear them.
I cracked. Didn’t even last a week. I tried to resist, but every day I went to the apple store to play with an iPhone. The 8GB models were continuously out of stock. Usually the 4G models were too. It compelled me. Like the iMac did nearly 2 years ago, and like another mac most likely will at macworld 2008.
I checked the apple store iphone availability link every morning. Finally, on saturday, the dot was green. it was still only 8am and apple store opened at 9. We got there around 8:30 and there was already a line outside. I got on line while k parked the car.
About 5 minutes after we got there, an apple store employee walked down the line handing iphone shaped tickets to everyone. The ticket was a guarantee of 8GB iphone availability if purchased by 10am. We didn’t even have to stay on line, but stayed anyway. Less than half an hour later, me and K walked out of the store with a pretty iphone bag containing a beautiful well designed iphone box. I was kind of in shock.
We went across the street to the cingular store to add the iphone data plan ($20/month for unlimited data and visual voicemail). They let me log in to my itunes account from there and activate the phone so they could make sure the att account end of things went correctly. It did. Before we left the store, my iphone was working and my motorola was dead.
When I opened the box, there was a beautiful shiny iphone packaged in a very neat and elegant way like most apple products are. On the way home, I took photos, called my folks, and surfed the web. Don’t worry, Karen was driving 😉
The screen is beautiful. The video quality is amazing. The sound is clear. The screen gets lots of fingerprints on it, but you can’t notice them unless the phone is off or sleeping. A small cloth was included to wipe it. The cloth did an okay job, but the one that came with my case was much better and wiped off every smudge.
I could open a Word doc in email with no problem. The wifi speed is relatively fast. The edge network connection is more like dialup, but definitely usable. It is amazing to be able to look stuff up from anywhere that a cell phone signal can be had. This is something I think will come in very handy. I can look up directions from google maps when I get lost. I get lost a lot.
The touchscreen is fun, especially the pinchy thing where you can zoom in or out. I started out slow on the keyboard, but can type much faster now. Still using one finger, but I have read that typing with 2 thumbs can be much faster. There is a good video on the apple site about the keyboard.
One very cool thing that the video mentions is that the iphone will dynamically resize the letter tap zones for the most likely letter, and make the adjacent letter’s tap zones smaller.
Something that is essential to know is that you can zoom in on the text and cursor on the screen by holding your finger down in the area you want to magnify and moving the cursor. This makes it MUCH easier to move the cursor to where you want it to be.
Word prediction is much better than it seems at first. The trick is not to doubt it and refrain from backspacing to fix your own errors. Sometimes that is necessary, but most often, the keyboard will guess what the misspelled word was supposed to be, even though the guesses it makes while you are typing are not even close.
Word auto-complete sucks. While the late guessing of correct words works okay for typos and spelling errors, it is terrible for completing words. Sometimes it doesn’t guess the word until the last letter, making it useless, or even worse, guesses the wrong word on the last letter. In that case, you have to cancel the suggested word or it will replace your correct word. Easy to miss this if you are looking at the keyboard instead of the message. To auto-complete a guessed word, tap the spacebar on the keyboard. To get rid of it, tap the word on the screen.
I am loving the Notes app. For the non-mac people, an app is the same thing as a program. Usually, I have about 10 random scraps of paper in my back pocket, and another 100 or so on my desk, all containing information that I want to remember, but will most likely never see again. The iphone offers a very easy way to keep notes in one place.
This past week, I have been taking notes about things I have been noticing and learning about the iphone. For the most part, I think this is the coolest phone I have ever had or ever seen. I am very lucky and happy to have it. Even still, there is definitely room for improvement.
I knew going in that this is a version 1.0 product, so was expecting things to be missing or broken. I don’t think anything is broken. Some of the things that are missing surprise me very much and I am guessing (and hoping) that at least some of them will be added in a software update.
Some things that are glaringly missing:
Text select – This is so basic. It is hard to believe it is not possible. I have checked, and it really is not.
Cut/Copy/Paste – See text select.
MMS (multimedia messaging – text messages with pictures) – Basic mobile phone feature.
Notes do not sync with anything on the computer. Very strange. I should note — haha, note. that’s funny 🙂 — that you can email a note easily, so it is not that hard to get it on your computer, but syncing seems pretty basic.
You can not add attachments to email. I think it would be better to include the ability to email pictures, notes, and other attachments directly from the mail app, while still keeping the option to email them from the pix and notes apps.
No Select All option for email messages (or anything else). There is no way to delete a bunch of mail at a time. Why?
Not glaring, but still missing:
Voice memo – probably glaring to anyone who was used to using it on their old phone. It is kind of weird since there is an included recorder for setting voicemail greeting.
There is no video recorder.
No included games.
Other random gripes:
Some things take too many clicks. Navigating through different email accounts really needs to be streamlined. It would also be nice to have a period and comma key available on the same keyboard as the letters for text apps.
Keyboards for some apps are specialized and smart. For example, the safari keyboard includes period, slash, and ‘.com’ keys.
No way to choose which widgets appear on the main screen.
Safari does not remember the zoomed screen size so I have to rezoom on every page.
The screen does not always rotate from portrait to landscape view on the first try.
3rd party apps!
The way Apple has set up the iPhone to work with 3rd party apps is to run them in safari. To use an app, just go to the app’s url. If you like it, you can bookmark it for easy access.
There are also a few launcher type apps that act as a main bookmark page that is only for your third party apps and prettier to look at than regular bookmarks.
I am currently trying out mojits.com, which is a launcher type thing for iphone apps that you access through safari. Hard to tell if I like it because I only tried using it for 5 minutes.
I was pretty impressed with a shopping list app called OneTrip. OneTrip makes it easy to make a shopping list by offering prewritten selections that are organized by category. There is an option to add your own things to each category.
I also added a bejeweled type game, a movie time finder, and an app called iActu that brings the content of 6 popular newspapers in a cool looking newsstand style. When you click on a paper, the newsstand goes away and the news is displayed in an easy to read way.
WordPress iPhone Theme and Plugin by Content.Robot – automatically reformats your site’s content for optimized viewing on an iPhone. Thank you content.robot! I am using it on LBnuke, with the only modification being changing the blue to red to match the site.
Other interesting tips and factoids gathered from around the web:
“When browsing a web page in Safari on an iPhone, one tap of the top status bar (signal strength, time, etc.) brings you back to the top of the page, complete with the URL field visible.”
Airplane Mode … disables all wireless functionality (phone, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) but lets you use the iPhone’s non-Internet applications.
If your iPhone freezes… Reset: Apple’s first reset tip, which is pressing and holding the Home button for about six seconds. This quits any application that may have locked up the iPhone. Reboot: Press and hold the Home and On/Off for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears.
–Christopher Breen (edited by LB for length)
In Safari on the iPhone, holding your finger down on a link pops up a balloon displaying the underlying URL. Also works on HTML messages in Mail. Holding your finger on a link shows you where the URL is really going to take you.
There is a great tip from David Pogue on the The Missing Manual website about how to type punctuation without having to switch back and forth between the letters and the number/symbols keyboard. Basically, you hold down the “.?123” key when you are switching to the numbers keyboard and rather than letting it go, you slide your finger to the punctuation that you want to type and then release it. After release, the letters keyboard returns. Click here to read the full keyboard punctuation tip at the Missing Manual site.
That is all I have for now. Maybe I will write again if I notice more things, find some cool apps, or if Apple releases software updates that adds new features.