Tag Archives: Apple

iTunes Apple ID and MobileME

What started as a simple task, has completely gone awry.  It was a simple change…but not so simple in the eyes of a big company (Apple) and its support staff.

I started out by wanting to update my iTunes account to use my MobileMe email address.  Upon logging into my Account Settings, I attempted to update my email address.  I quickly noticed there was no longer an email address field.  Instead, reading the helpful hints in between the fields, they explained that the Apple ID and email address are now one in the same.

OK, no problem, I’ll just put my new MobileMe email address (firstname.lastname@me.com) into the AppleID field.  I clicked submit and received an error.  iTunes was telling me that my MobileMe already had an iTunes account associated with it.  What?!? Continue reading

Django 1.0 install on Mac OS X 10.5.5

I initially used this guide, but made some changes:

1) Downloaded Django-1.0.tar.gz from here.

2) Created and extracted the contents of the tar.gz:

mkdir ~/sandbox
cd ~/sandbox
tar xzf ~/Downloads/Django-1.0.tar.gz

3) Make the following soft-links:

cd /Library/Python/2.5/site-packages/
ln -s ~/sandbox/Django-1.0/django django
cd /usr/local/bin/
sudo ln -s ~/sandbox/Django-1.0/django/bin/django-admin.py django-admin.py

Apple TV – First Impression

I’ve decided for the family and I to finally take the big plunge.  I am getting rid of cable television except for the very basic local channels package.  Keeping the basic package actually gives us a discount on the Internet, which in turn pays for itself.

In preparation for the change, I picked up the Apple TV.  All three of my little girls shows may be purchased.  My son’s shows as well.  My wife isn’t going to miss any of the popular reality shows.  I will miss my favorite Discovery channel, but I am sure to find their content available.

We are doing this for several reasons.  First, last week my wife and I wanted to watch Prison Break, but the Comcast HD DVR was having issues playing back the video OR the video which was recorded was poor at the time of the recording.  Since it has been happening to several recordings across HD and SD channels, my best guess is the DVR was failing.

Second, almost half the time someone wants to either watch a movie or purchase a rental (usually when four or five kids are seated in the living room with popcorn) ON DEMAND does not work.  Or it works, but as soon as you select to rent it, up pops a message that says the service is not currently available.

And last but not least, I no longer believe in the model which TV is based on.  I would rather pay $40 for an HBO mini-series, than to pay $10 a month for a year hoping HBO comes out with the next big hit.  But its not about just paid channels like HBO.  I would rather pay for each episode of SpongeBob once than to keep paying month after month for the same content.

TV is changing.  The DVR is just a band-aid to the change.  Consumers want their media content in a form that best suits them, and be able to take it with them when they want, where they want.  Still not sure? Look at music.

I was in Bestbuy today (buying my Apple TV), when I walked with my kids past the aisles of CD’s.  I even made a comment to my children…buy the music online.  You don’t have to worry about scratches, and grabbing the music off the CD for your MP3 players.  Ever notice the CD Music section in any store seems to keep shrinking year after year in stores?

Back to Apple and its Apple TV.  I’m impressed.  In as little as 15 minutes, walking through the first steps in configuring the Apple TV, I was up and ready to go.  This little bugger is sitting in my living room right next to the Time Capsule.

I was able to sync it with my iTunes client on my desktop in my office.  I quickly set it up to like to my MobileME account to view recently taken pictures of my kids.  While watching the slideshow, background music was automatically added for a pleasing watching experience.

Next up is converting preexisting content (AVI’s) so I can watch them on Apple TV.  Apple TV and iTunes does not support the AVI file format.  (The Apple TV does have several hack available, which I may get into eventually.  iTunes can have codecs added on the Mac to play a lot more audio/video formats)

If this little device does as well as I think it will.  My wife read my mind.  We will consider a second one, up in the play room for the kids.  So they can watch a movie with friends.  The great thing is I can configure it with Parental Control locked down and choose what media content I want to even allow them to have up there!

I heard about the Apple Remote application from co-workers.  So I decided to install it on my iPhone 3G, and link it to my Apple TV.  All I have to say is WOW! It was not what I was expecting.  I was able to navigate content that my Apple TV has, pick something and play/pause it! It was not a simple replacement for up/down arrows that one might expect.

Stay tuned…I’m sure I’ll post more…

Apple iPhone Development Program

I thought I’d share some of my initial experiences with the Apple iPhone Development Program.  A lot of people are complaining about the Fucking NDA.  I don’t know if even my feedback is subject to breaking the agreement I accepted with Apple. :-/

Initially, I heard it cost $99 to register and become a iPhone developer.  This is not the entire truth.  Upon jumping on my new MacBook, I downloaded and installed XCode with the iPhone SDK.  This is completely free to do and requires nothing for you to spend.  You have access to the documentation, code samples, etc.

So here is where I thought perhaps the $99 was only when I was ready to distribute an application?!? Wrong again.  Once I had began downloading code samples, and writing some of my own.  I found the virtual iPhone to be a great tool, but not so great when you want to play with the accelerometer.  I had considered shaking my MacBook! Apple typically does think of everything. 🙂 Continue reading

iPhone Contacts Music and Applications

So since I’ve had the iPhone for a couple of days.  I had a few tasks to take care of:

Music
I restored my music making iTunes the default music browser now.  Went through a large subset of my music collection and made playlists by themes that I enjoy.  I played around with how best to import my mp3 music collection, and after experimenting, I found going to File -> Add Folder to Library… would be the best option.  Keeping all my mp3 music on my RAID 5 file server.

Contacts
Every time I change phones, moving contacts is never automatic.  It does not matter if the store copies your contacts.  Typically, contact information stored in different fields gets dropped.  Well I decided for the time being not to join Apple’s MobileMe just yet.  I may enroll and check it out for the free 60 days. So I set up my Gmail account to syncronize with my iPhone.  I really like having all my contacts in Gmail and keeping them backed up there.  I was using Mail2Web.com to sync my contacts with my old phone (Blackjack).  Mail2Web provided a free account that provided Enterprise level services (calendar, email push, contacts sync, etc).

Mail2Web lacks a very important feature; exporting your contacts! So I went through all the contacts in Mail2Web copying/updating the ones I had in Gmail.  This enabled me to clean them up.  Only after going through this exercise, I realized that I could have just connected my iPhone 3G to the Mail2Web exchange services.  I may go back and do this, but my Mail2Web account is not my primary account.  I like keeping my contacts in Gmail.  I wouldn’t mind however for Gmail to enhance the contacts interface via the web client.

Applications
I’ve downloaded over 25 free applications by now.  Games, gadgets (light saber, Pint of beer), social applications letting me take pictures with geo-tagging.  I must admit this is all beginning to be quite fun! Two areas that interest me greatly are the where am I with a note or picture and what is around me (including friends).  I had began to use BrightKite suggested by a friend (Ken), but have also discovered two others since having purchased the iPhone: Whrrl and Loopt.  I’m going to test each one out and decide what I like best.

midomi – is one application I am impressed with.  Sing, Say or grab a song you hear on the radio, and this application will search attempting to match it so you can identify the song’s name and artist.

Twitterrific – probably the best (or one of them) to post updates on Twitter.

Google Mobile App – this application is handy to search everything at once.  Search your contacts, google search engine, coffee shops near your position.  I can see myself using this regularly.

Weatherbug – I was skydiving yesterday, and used this application so I could look at the radar and guess how long it would be before the storm passed over head.

BoxOffice – look up movies playing in the local theaters.  I wish it had movie previews/trailers.  It was however able to locate my local movie theater and easily show the movies that were playing, including times, etc.  Also includes movie ratings from RottenTomatoes.com

iPint – this is more of a novelty, but is was put together quite well.  At least when I can’t take it any longer at work in a meeting, I can pour myself a virtual beer and drink it.

People – find people using white pages look up.  I had no problem finding people with first/last name  and city/state.

Dial Zero – calling customer service for some company? Hate all the buttons you have to press to get a real operator? This program will dial the company and get you pass all the prompts to a live operator.  Classic!

Pocket Express – contains weather, movies, entertainment all in one package.  First noted, the weather radar is not as good as Weatherbug.  You can’t move the map around like you can on Weatherbug.  The travel section has not yet been implemented (you get directed to the web version).  The movies section has not been implemented yet.

PhoneSaber – Another novelty, but do you honestly think I would dare take on another iPhone geek without my PhoneSaber? :-p

Cloudy Photo Blogger – Take photos, and check out nearby photos that have been taken.

Fox News UReport – see something happen that is news worthy? Take a picture and send it to Fox news.  It may actually get used! I doubt I will stumble across anything news worthy…but just incase.

iPhone 3D Earth

I’m can’t wait any longer…I can’t stop thinking about owning the new iPhone 3G that is suppose to be available this Friday.  Seeing applications like 3D Earth makes me drool even more…

I’m imagining 3D earth as shown in the video to let you pan around by simply tilting the iPhone, but also with the built in GPS, I should be able to return to “where I am located” with the click of a button or two.  This is not a confirmed feature of 3D Earth yet!

I always said my next phone would be one that included GPS.  I said that about my next digital camera too so my photos are automatically geotagged. 🙂  (still holding out on the camera)

Yeah, plan to set a filter now to ignore any posts on my blog with “iphone” if you don’t want to hear me rant and rave over the new phone starting this Friday! :-p

Linear TV’s demise?

Apple TV sells you movies and tv shows.  Tivo plays rented or purchased tv shows and movies from Amazon!

When will Comcast and the broadcast networks finally make the big plunge? It seems Comcast has in some ways.  When you watch new episodes of the final season of The Wire, you are already watching a show a week old.  Why? Because Comcast and HBO worked a deal to allow Comcast to release the episodes one week early for Comcast customers.  I was DVR’ing the show, when I realized it was being offered on Comcast’s ON DEMAND network.  So there it was, next weeks show and I just finished last week’s?

What I would like…to pay $24.95 and get to watch every episode of The Wire when I want.  Good for me to watch at my leisure over the next 30 days.

I’ve heard and known of Apple Tv.  Quite tempting.  I have netflix at home.  Convenient.  Now Tivo plays Amazon rented/purchased movies and/or tv shows.  Why am I paying for linear Tv I don’t have time to watch?

I’ve even found the few children shows my kids watch are being replayed from DVR.  Sure they catch a Sponge Bob once in a while, but they don’t like having to see if its on.  My daughter wants to watch sponge bob when she has TV time, not waste 30 mins of her TV time on something the networks want her to watch.  And she’s only four!

Why can’t I pay a monthly fee ($4.95) and get every episode of Sponge bob delivered? Maybe allow the kids to mark their favorite episodes while you shuffle new and old episodes in?

Its getting quite tempting.  I’m about to call Comcast and pull the plug.  But first I have to decide on Apple TV and/or a Tivo like device.

News? LOL…are you kidding me? We actually make sure we set channels back to kids channels, because the news has become too graphic for young children! If I need the news, I can always catch up on it via the internet.  Sorry CNN…but CNN.com sounds better and keeps my kids from stumbling across another sentence with words like bullet, murder, or rape.

What about new cartoon content, or new TV shows? How do you get someone to subscribe? The same way you do with movies.  Premier them.  Give us a free episode or two…heck even let us vote.  Why not…? 

Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon…anyone have any ideas.  Has anyone made the change already? If so, I’d like to hear your input.