Writing with iPhone

The iPhone is arguably the most advanced mobile platform to come along since the dawn of mobile platforms. With this, people will use this platform in various ways, as the iPhone is not just a phone, it is a platform; as is its little cousin, the iPod Touch.

Because of this obvious observation, I certainly hope that when the v.2.0 software is released, developers (if not Apple itself) will be able to make drivers and controls for human interface devices, such as the more popularly referred to device known as the keyboard.

A Bluetooth keyboard for the iPhone would be a boon for mobile users who type blogs or documents. A keyboard would really make services like Zoho, EditGrid and Google Docs really, really useful with the iPhone. I look to companies like Griffin, Belkin and Kensington to get this done and not a moment too soon!

This post was typed entirely into WordPress using an iPhone. Though not excruciating, anything longer than this post may become so. I could see myself with a small Palm-accessory style fold-up, Bluetooth keyboard busting out a post like this in a few minutes, where this post has taken about 8–not horrrible, but in need of improvement.

So join me in wishing for a Bluetooth keyboard solution–I, for one, are ready for it.

Microsoft Says it Will Spend All its Money Anyway

It’s snowing in California? Ballmer says MSFT is going to spend $50 billion one way or the other. Yahoo is not a strategy. Carl Icahn worried a deal will never happen. Vista user account control are confusing says MSFT exec. XP SP3 corrupting the registry says Symantec. HP is now taking over the server business from IBM and Dell. RedHat software is greener. So what? Google slaps Microsoft. I’m just joking when I say the oceans are being carbonated by the CO2 in the air. I suspect the iPhone will have GPS built-in or have a bluetooth gizmo nearby.




Click to listen: [audio:http://m.podshow.com/media/12115/episodes/113484/tech5-113484-05-23-2008.mp3]

Review: Evernote-a Great Organization App

Have you seen Evernote? It’s an integrated, note-taker cum catch-all-database for text, photos, Web clips, etc. It uses a local application and/or a Web page panel. You can send stuff to an email address from your iPhone, other mobile device or computer. The stuff can be organized and tagged in its interface. Then synced via its own sync system via the Web.

There are other systems similar to this. On the Mac, there’s SoHo Notes, Yojimbo and others. I’ve used and purchased a few of these and every time they’ve let me down by lacking one feature or another, being really slow or having issues using .mac’s syncing service. Evernote doesn’t seem to suffer from any of this. The application is quick to load and responds quickly. The syncing works perfectly and the availability of your notes and information from a Web interface means you can get to it from any browser.

Up until now BareBone’s Yojimbo has been my note/storage app of choice, because of its elegance and encryption features. It is great to store passwords and other for-my-eyes-only information. Syncing has been mostly reliable and the tagging features are great if you use them. Also, it stores PDF’s in the app (even encrypts them if you want), and you can print PDF-to-Yojimbo in the print dialogue, which means you have a one-step option.

I moved to Yojimbo from SoHo Notes, which I found feature-rich, but slow.  Plus, I’ve not been impressed with Chronos Software’s upgrade policies or the reliability of syncing. Worth a look, but personally I don’t like it.  Sometimes applications have too many features!

So this takes us back to Evernote.  There are some really special features that no one else has.  Besides the syncing services, the system can also store images you take with your built-in iSight camera or iPhone.  No big deal, right?  Well, once you sync, the image can be translated to text, using advanced text-recognition operated in the cloud, and sent back to your system.  Need to do a quick OCR of a page of text–Evernote can do it and store it in your system!  Very cool, indeed.

Some features I’d like to see added are the aforementioned encryption, as Yojimbo has, and an import function so I could easily migrate away from another application.  It would also be nice to make notes embed-able, so I can share them without uploading to another service like Flickr or Scribd. Other than that, a fantastic application and service.

I’ve got 15 or so beta-invites available.  Just leave your email in the comments, or send me a tweet @psimac and I will send you one.  Works with MacOSX-10.5.x (Leopard) or WindowsXP or newer.

The Revenge of Mighty Mouse

Microsoft is now in the news too much. Gates still chattering about one thing or another. The company decides to bribe users to use their search engine. Microsoft Office not adding support for its own Open XML until Office 14. Apple and CBS sued over stealing Mighty Mouse name. Is Comcast irked over the set top boxes? GTA IV actor irked over only making $200,000 for doing voice work.University of TN prof. sending secret docs to enemies? Xbox360 copying the Wii style controller.


Click to listen: [audio:http://m.podshow.com/media/12115/episodes/113109/tech5-113109-05-21-2008.mp3]

Sign Me Up: Tesla

Currently can’t fork out $125k for one of these bad boys, and there’s a year or so wait for one anyway. Still, maybe a used one in a few years will be a good buy at around $100k!

The car pictures is serial #0001.

Very cool car. Photo courtesy of Jason Calacanis.


Originally uploaded by jasoncalacanis

WordPress 2.5 Rocks the Hizzy…

I finally have gotten around to upgrading my WordPress blogs to 2.5.  What an achievement in UI and usability improvements!  

Aside from the much improved UI, WP-2.5 also includes an automatic plug-in update feature.  When you go into your Dashboard, and select plug-ins, you’ll see the familiar list of plug-ins.  However, if the plug-in alerts you of an update, all you have to do to update is click update and it does it right there on your server.  No more downloading the update and uploading to your plugins folder.  Really slick.

Also, some of bloggers have had problems with “line returns” simply not appearing in the previous version of WordPress.  In other words, if you tried to double-space between paragraphs, WordPress would often erase your paragraph tag completely and mush all your lines together.  Quite frustrating to have to go into the HTML and add “<p>” codes to everything.  Not sure if this is a browser/platform related issue or just a bug in WP. This problem was even more annoying when you went back to edit a post that you’d just fixed all the spacing in!  WP would take it all the spacing out and back into the HTML you’d go to fix it!  Beyond frustrating.  This issue has been fixed in 2.5.  Finally.

I urge anyone using WordPress to upgrade to 2.5 as soon as you can!  Be sure to back up your old WP folder in the even something goes wrong (like you accidentally write over your config file, like yours truly).