Tag Archives: Macbook

Godsend or Devil’s spawn? Five pros and cons of the Apple Watch.

apple watchApple just held one of its infamous events, where they unveiled the Apple Watch and the newly redesigned MacBook.

And while folks (including your’s truly) were thoroughly impressed with all the updates to the Mac: slimmer profile, lightweight, no fan, etc., the clear, hands down star of the show was the Apple Watch.

Not since the release of the original iPhone has there been this much hype over a device.

Nearly every day, dozens (if not hundreds) of articles and blog posts have been devoted to speculating what types of apps are going to be preloaded on the device, it’s functionality and features.

The authors of these pieces fall squarely on one side of the debate or the other.

The Apple Watch is either a godsend or the spawn of Satan.

Let’s examine the five most telling assessments of the Apple Watch and decide for ourselves, shall we?

1. The Apple Watch will make us healthier.

giphy

Like FitBit, Nike+ FuelBand and Jawbone, the Apple Watch enables it’s wearer to monitor and track their fitness activity. Whether you’re walking or running, climbing stairs or taking your dog for a walk, the Apple Watch lets you track all your fitness activities. Apps integrating Apple’s Healthkit, allow you to track things like weight, BMI and biometric readings. With haptic responses and wireless syncing with your iPhone, the Apple Watch promises to be both your fitness diary and motivator, keeping you on track.

2. The Apple Watch will permanently shackle us to our jobs.

Apple Watch handcuffs

The thing about wearables is that they’re wearable. So if you’ve got a device that’s constantly updating your emails, your meetings, your text messages, and pinging you with alerts and reminders, the argument goes that you’re always going to be ‘on.’ No longer will you be able to say, “I left my phone at my desk or in my purse,” because that watch on your wrist doesn’t come off.

3. The Apple Watch will make us more productive.

flash

Apps like OfficeTime offer the promise of increased productivity, by allowing you to tap your watch at the beginning and end of every activity, and by the end of the day, week, month, provide an accurate record of what exactly you spend your time doing. Other apps, like Evernote, are porting their functionality to the Apple Watch, allowing users to access a slimmed down version of the app from their wrist.

4.  The Apple Watch is a distraction.

smartwatchdriver

We’re already slaves to our mobile devices, staring at them every five minutes, phantom buzzing in our pockets, on a constant search for power sources to keep precious life flowing into their silicon innards. But with a phone, it’s often tucked away, in a case, pocket, or purse, and therefore not as much of a distraction. You can leave it at your desk and walk away, put it down or turn it off and Viola! problem solved. The Apple Watch, as a wearable, will not be discretely tucked away, but a constant vibrating, beeping, buzzing distraction on your wrist, always within eyeshot.

5. The Apple Watch is an elegant piece of design.

apple-watch-paris

Few can debate that the Apple Watch is a thing to behold. Like Rolex, Chopard or Breitling, the Apple Watch is design, if nothing else. I’m pretty sure I got a woody the first time I saw it. But I’m a fanboy, what would you expect? If you want decide to buy the Apple Watch because it looks good, who could fault you? No one – but the haters of course, and we’ll forgive their pettiness, won’t we.

If you want to track your steps in a sleek, stylish way, the Apple Watch is for you. If you want to be able to check your alerts, respond to texts, read emails without having to pull out your phone, the Apple Watch is for you. If you’re and early adopter simply trying to stay up on the latest and greatest technology out, the Apple Watch is for you.

At the end of the day, the Apple Watch is just a watch. It’s not even really a watch because you’ve got to pair it with a phone, which means that it’s functionality can only truly be experienced when connected to another bigger, less inconspicuous device.

But shortcomings aside, like the FitBits, Jawbones and Nike+ FuelBands before it, the Apple Watch adds another layer of utility for folks seeking that extra edge.

 

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Filed under advocacy, digital advocacy, mobile

Ghost in the machine. I want to touch my MacBook Pro.

Must touch the screen. I must!

Must touch the screen. I must!

It happened again.

An alert went off on my computer and my hand reflexively reached up towards the screen to silence it.

I stopped myself, as I realized that my MacBook Pro does not have a touch screen.

While I avoided adding another smudged fingerprint to my collection of errant touch-my-screen attempts, my aborted impulse revealed a long standing desire – for a touch screen MacBook.

Mind you, this is a brand new machine.

I got it less than a month ago, but it’s got no touch screen.

When I heard that the Pixel, the new Chromebook by Google had one, I was miffed.

The Pixel has a touchscreen

The Pixel has me hating on my MacBook Pro. Damn Chromebooks!

Google?

Chromebook?

Touchscreen?

Laptop?

The thought was incomprehensible.

Pangs of jealously racked me.

The sensation was unbearable.

Another alert went off on my laptop.

In my blind rage, I jammed my finger into the screen – again.

Will I never learn?

My rage gave pause to a temporary moment of reflection.

How is it that the greatest tech company in the world doesn’t have a touch screen laptop?

But upstart new jack entrants to the game and booty throwaway device manufacturers do?

Sure, there are other Windows based touchscreen laptops.

But who wants some third party laptop by Lenovo or a Dell?

Yeah, the Surface is like a touch screen laptop.

But it’s an inelegant and clunky Windows tablet (with a keyboard).

Surface Pro

The Surface Pro has me hating my MacBook Pro. Damn Surface!

And who the hell wants that buggy piece of crap (aka not-a-Mac)?

No one, that’s who.

The fact that lesser device makers have touchscreen laptops in the market never seemed to bother me before.

But an Android notebook running Chrome and Google’s suite of integrated apps?

That’s gotten under my skin.

I mean reeeaaally Apple?

What’s so hard about adding a touch screen to your line of laptops?

If an old school NEC POS machine can have a keyboard and a touch screen, why can’t I?

C'mon Apple! Even dinosaurs have touch screens.

C’mon Apple! Even dinosaurs have touch screens.

If Acer can make a touch screen laptop – ACER! – why can’t you?

And I know I’m not the only one with this desire.

I’ve seen mad other people stupidly jamming fingers into screens desperately trying to depress untouchable icons.

In this new fangled world of smartphones and tablets, touch and gesturing has become a norm.

People are used to touching screens.

Everywhere you turn, there are touchable screens: MTA, Redbox, ATM machines (and the aforementioned booty throwaway machines).

Why then, are our MacBooks still stuck in the stone ages?

Free our screens, damn it!

I demand it!

Apple, don’t let Steve Jobs’ stubborn shortsightedness rule you from beyond the grave.

Tim Cook, grow some cojones and stop living in a dead man’s shadow.

Think for yourself!

Know ye this: I shall not buy another MacBook unless and until said MacBook includes a touchscreen.

There. I said it.

Now make it so!

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Filed under digital advocacy, technology

To upgrade or not to upgrade. Do I really want the iPhone 5?

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Credit: iLab Factory

As you all know, I’m down with Apple.

And if you don’t know, now you know.

Have been for years.

But I’m not an Apple fanatic, as some would have you believe (Winston Clayton).

I’ve never waited in lines outside of the Apple store, hoping to be the first (or among the first) to buy any new Apple product.

I have a life.

Nor do I ever feel compelled to upgrade to the latest and greatest Apple product just because a new version has been released.

I owned the original 2G iPhone through the 3G and 3GS.

Didn’t get caught up in any of that 3G, front-facing camera, Face time mess.

I even resisted the hype around the 4GS and Siri.

I still own the original iPad.

Even after the iPad 2 dropped with it’s front AND rear-facing cameras, Face-time, smaller form factor and all, I stayed the course and rocked with my joint.

There was no way I was parting with another 700 bones for a few new bells and whistles!

I only recently copped a 13″ MacBook Pro, and that’s because we desperately needed a second computer at home when the G4 (I bought in 2004) died.

I was more than happy with the 13″ aluminum MacBook I copped back in 2009.

I say all this to say that, notwithstanding the fact that I’m not usually caught up in Apple’s new product releases, I am eagerly anticipating the release of the latest iPhone.

If the rumors circulating the iPhone 5 are to be believed, it’s dropping on September 12.

The rumored features of the new iPhone (which you can read about in exhaustive detail at TechRadar.com) include a smaller dock, relocated headphone jack, centralised front facing camera and two-tone back.

But rumors aside, the new iPhone is said to put the Samsung Galaxy SIII to shame.

Those are big words considering the splash that the Galaxy made upon its release.

And in light of the ongoing patent dispute being waged between Apple and Samsung, the release of a new iPhone that separates Apple further from this competitor would be good (especially since it doesn’t appear that Apple’s case is going all that well).

I can tell you this much – I plan on upgrading to the 5.

My contract with AT&T expires in January.

By then the excitement over the release will have abated.

Lines at Apple stores will have returned to normal.

Shelves will have been restocked with inventory.

And all the naysayers, pundits and talking heads will have had their say.

I can admit that I’m a little excited for the unveiling, and I’m sure the real deal will live up to all this hype.

But enough about me.

Do you think the iPhone 5 will live up to the hype?

Are you planning on getting one?

Don’t be shy…share!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Filed under iPhone, opinion, technology

It’s Friday night and I should be partying like a rock star. But I’m blogging.

I got all dandified for my night out in NY last night.

But it’s 12:56 a.m. Saturday, and I’m sitting on this computer.

Something is not right here.

Let’s run it back, shall we?

I threw on my new Gap corduroy blazer I got on sale for $34.99, with a vest (fast becoming my signature) and Brooks Brothers silk chocolate tie, atop a white French cuff shirt. I completed my look with a pair of Levis and a pair of brown suede Kenneth Cole loafers.

Note: My brother strongly recommends Levis for their cut, comfort and timeless fashion. He was so enamored with them he gave me the very pair I’m wearing.

Stephen is stylin'! Ain't I!

Accessorized with silver cuff links from Harlem Thread, a distressed silver buckle black leather belt and my Movado, I was quite the dandy.

Tight. Aren't they.

I wore my hair up, to complete the look of a curiously handsome, and well dressed cosmopolitan man about town.

Ladies, simmer down now.

Plans were to liaise with friends on the lower East side, attend a Magazine launch in Chelsea, and link with some Hollywood types from LA to wind out the evening.

I put in QT with the kids, and felt I had earned my hall pass. That’s right! I said it! I EARNED my night out.

With a preggo in the house, I can’t just be stepping out, I’ve got to put in my time, to wit:

I got up at 7:00 am, got the kids dressed. Asha and Chima generally dress themselves, so I really only had to get Banana (that’s Duran) dressed. But I’ll take credit for all three. Someone had to tell them to get dressed. Hello?

7:00 – 7:20 made breakfast and packed lunches

7:20-7:35 fed breakfast and took out garbage

7:35-7:45 got dressed and retrieved Banana from having hair done

7:45-7:55 got kids in car

7:55-8:35 drop offs and D&D run for preggo’s daily decaf-caffeine fix

8:35-9:00 shower and shave, call William Sonoma in the Short Hills mall to confirm that Zoku is in stock (it’s not)

9:00-9:30 Google and call various WS within 25 mile radius to find Zoku-stocked store (locate one in Paramus)

9:30-9:50 drive preggo with shopping list (where’d she get a shopping list?) in tow to Garden State Mall (exit 161 Garden State Parkway) in which aforementioned WS in located

9:50-12:00 acquire Zoku, Coach 2010 planner refill, Hello Kitty pen, Green Tea Frappuccino, and filet-0-fish meal

12:00-12:20 return to Montclair

12:20-1:25 click click clack on my MacBook, make a few calls and Skype chat

1:25-1:35 retrieve kids from bus stop (half day, ordinarily they would have been home at 3:00)

1:35-2:20 set the kids up with snacks, Kumon and homework

2:20-2:35 pick up Banana from Montclair Pre-K and bring her home

2:35-3:15 review assignments and get kids ready for weekly Kumon lesson

3:15-3:30 pile kids in car from 5 minute ride to Kumon

3:30-4:35 Kumon with the kids (Banana and I sit in car. Me click click clack. Her making Jim Henson with her bunnies)

4:35-5:45 Detour to Wendy’s for impromptu surprise dinner (Kumon instructor’s report was full of praise)

5:45-6:15 Back home, switch kids into pjs, lay out sleeping bags laid in living-room-converted-to-indoor-campground and set plasma to On-Demand Hotel for Dogs.

6:15-6:55 order Chinese for preggo, dressed and wait…and wait…and wait (Me: Helllo. Where is my food? Them: Very busy. Coming. He be there soon)

6:55-7:10 feed preggo, check on kids

As I said, I EARNED my night out.

7:10-8:30 drive to NY (ordinarily takes 20 minutes)

When I finally broke on through to the other side of the Hudson, I had missed my first rendezvous. The friends on the Lower East Side? Also running late.

Make more phone calls in the lobby of their apartment building…and wait…and wait…

He arrives. It’s 9:12. We shoot the breeze. Jay Z and Frank Sinatra at MSG are in hi-def on a 42″ LCD on Fuse. Next thing I know, it’s 11:44. Concert was banging (Jay Z is quite the showman), but I’ve totally forgotten about the launch party.

I call my man, and of course, it goes straight to voicemail (because he’s in the function, you see, and probably can’t hear his phone). Did I say that the function went from 9:00-1:00? When he finally calls back, it’s 12:11.

The launch party is clearly not in my future, and I convince myself I’m not really trying to hang out. Gracefully bow out from the Hollywood types, and head back home.

Hit a little traffic on 280 coming back to Jersey, and here I sit.

It’s now 2:45. I’ve been writing and editing.

I’m having an ephipany.

Love the kids. Taking care of them is a pleasure. It’s still work, but fun work.

Probably accomplished more NOT liaising with folks tonight than if I had.

Answered emails. Sent texts. Made calls. Worked on site with my developer. Closed a deal. Scheduled a few meetings.

Got a lot done today.

I like working from home.

It’s 3:23. Just had to tell someone.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “Take It To The Genius Bar”

An image I pray you never have to see on your screen.

An image I pray you never have to see on your screen.

Last night I experienced the blinking file of death on my MacBook. For the Mac uninitiated, it’s the image you see when you boot up your computer, which indicates that there’s a problem with your hard drive (and it usually means that all of your content is gone).

I tried to keep my cool and attempted every resolution under the sun to fix it. Restart. Restart holding the option button. Insert the install CD and restart holding the C button. Time machine backup. Macforum. Online support. Everything. But nothing worked.

After cussing considerably, both aloud and then under my breath (wife had fallen asleep mid-crisis), I resigned myself to the fact that I was no genius. It was time to call on the REAL geniuses at the Mac Genius Bar.

The Genius Bar is for me.

The Genius Bar is for me.

So at 1:40 am this morning, I made my appointment for 1:40 pm today, and I type this post (on my iPhone) sitting at the Genius Bar of the Apple store in the Willowbrook Mall, in Wayne, New Jersey.

This 16 year old kid confidently goes over the possible issues and resolutions, after listening (sage-like) to my frantic recollection of the night’s harrowing events, all the while plugging in an external hard drive to my defunct laptop (like he’s heard it all before).

He smiles as I recount all the steps I took to attempt to reboot the computer on my own (lest he think I’m some inept technophobe), and tells me that the hard drive appears to be intact (no scratches or defects), and that my baby (my word, not his) is going to be fine.

He recommends that I stroll through the mall for the next 40 minutes while the “archive and reinstall” brings her back to life, and I do.

40 minutes later, the smiling 16 year old hands me back my laptop, shiny and working, and all is well in the world.

As I complete this post (on my handy-dandy WORKING MacBook), I offer this one piece of advice: If at first you don’t succeed, take it to the Genius bar.

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