iPhone vs. iPhone

It was my time. As an iPhone S user, this was my turn on the upgrade. As you can see, I was rocking the iPhone 5s. It is now in a box on it’s way to where ever, to be replaced by an iPhone 6s Plus (64GB). Yes, that is the big one, again, as you can see above.

And I like it.

After 2 days, here is the short list.

  • The Camera. I’ll show you a few photos below. But, seriously, it’s ridiculous.
  • The size. So far, it fits in all pockets and the keyboard is so much nicer to use.
  • 3D Touch – I can’t wait for this to be supported by more apps!
  • Apple Pay is the future.

I really like the camera as I mentioned above. Besides Apple Pay, it was what I was the most excited about. You can view a few of them at Flickr in full resolution and un-edited. They are quite spectacular. The photos are clear and color correct. The camera is wicked fast as well. I haven’t played with Live Photos yet, but I’m sure that will be pretty neat once I get it figured out.

This phone is quite a bit larger than what I had before. If you are thinking about it but aren’t sure about the size, I recommend a trip to your friendly neighborhood Apple store to check it out. That’s what I did, plus I work with a kid that rocks that big Nexus phone before I decided this was what I wanted.

I still have to get a case for it and am open to suggestions. That or if you have any questions, you know what to do.

My Latest Setup

airwithkeyboard

For the longest time, I’ve wanted an iPad. Since they were first release, I always thought “how cool would that be to have?” But, I never saw a need for one, did not see where it would fit in my quiver, so I never bothered.

Eventually I was able to spend some quality time with an iPad 2. Carried it, used it, used it for work, used it to triage photos, used it to play games, used it to write. The whole bit. Ever since, I’ve been wanting to add it to my bag, knowing exactly what I can do.

That was 2 years ago. Since then, there have been 3 revisions of the iPad plus a ton of new apps and other things that lead me to finally pull the trigger and start building my new mobile setup. Previous held by laptops, the latest is a 2011 13″ Mac Book Air. It’s a very fine laptop, even spending a year as my primary computing device, for editing photos, video and web development.

I’m not going to ditch the laptop, but I’m pretty confident that it won’t be used nearly as often as my new setup. The setup that I’m actually using to write this post. The setup that you see above.

A 32GB iPad Air with a Logitech Blue Tooth keyboard. Inspired by this. Except for the VZW MiFi (I’ll use my phone as a hotspot), I have the exact same hardware and most of the apps. I have been dialing in this setup for about a week and I have to say that I’m really happy with how it’s coming together. The keyboard is especially awesome. The keys have a nice feel and are slight raised, more so than the standard Apple Bluetooth keyboard. As a bonus, this one is backlit and can be paired with up to 3 devices (not at the same time). For $5 more than the Apple keyboard, I’d say it’s money well spent. There is a really good chance that I’m going to put this on my desk to use as my main keyboard.

And the iPad is the latest, greatest iOS device. 32GB, WiFi, exceptional screen and great performance. It’s the same story that you have already heard.

Now I’m 100% Apple. Starting with the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air, Mac Book Air, Mac Mini and Apple TV, I think it’s time, for now, to stop. Oh, don’t worry, still have the fat Nano too (still works like a champ!) and my first iPod that works as well.

How about a Photo Booth?

As previously mentioned, next week I’ll be in Vegas doing something that I haven’t done before; running a photobooth. Don’t think carnival-style photo booth. Think more a creative way to take portrait photos where they are shared on the internet as quickly as possible. The camera will be stationary and there will be silly props. Photos will be shared online instead of being printed. Like I said, something completely new for me.

Using my Nikon D5100, a tripod, my Macbook Air, the Sofortbild app and some magic, it has come together nicely. The Sofortbild app is used to take the pictures, which are then saved. Once the photos are saved, our friend Photoshop comes in to run a few actions on the photos to shape them and place them into a custom framed before being saved. Saved where? I’m glad you asked.

Using a combination of DrobBox and ifttt.com (aka “The Nerd Machine”), those image will be automatically uploaded to Flickr and posted to the White Roof Photo Facebook page so that the attendees can download them, tag themselves in them or do whatever they want.

Poolside Vegas. DIY Photobooth. Should be fun! Hope to see you there!

Warning: Nerd Stuff!

One server fails to restore, becomes hosed and takes the other one, mostly, with it.Gonna be a very long night.

We can say I have had a month. A month, in this case, being the 30 days prior to this one, not a month like you see on your calendar. I know, it’s like the new math, but try to keep up.

Anyway.

I was tasked with replacing the ancient Windows Server 2003 (circa 2007) and Windows XP Filemaker Server (!) (circa 2006) earlier in the year. A single replacement sourced to replace 2 machines, easy peasy. Costs were told, ideas about buying new or refurbishes shot, budget was approved, and I went to work!

[A Team Theme here]

A series of calls to my friendly, neighborhood Dell server specialist to build a reasonably priced machine that could serve as both Active Directory (re: nerd stuff) and Filemaker (re: nerd database stuff) server. Done, done and done as the kids say. Now, in my server closet, quietly hums a very nice server with 16 cores of processing power, 16GB of RAM with a pair of 500GB drives (RAID 1, re: more nerd stuff). Fast and quiet, I’m happy. Continue reading →

Review: Mailbox App

Time to ditch @. Would make more sense if my phone was my default email device.

I gave it the old college try. For the last 3 weeks I have been using Mailbox on my iPhone. It’s a fantastic app, but it’s not for me.

The Mailbox App team have had a very interesting ride. I remember seeing their initial video about the app months before it was actually released and I thought it looked revolutionary and awesome. Then it was released in a way to garner as much hype as possible while allowing them to properly manage the roll-out. Since this is email, I thought that bit was pretty awesome, especially since email has moved into the category of “always has to work”.

So I signed up and waited. Luckily, I joined early and only had to wait a little more than a week for my reservation to kick in. The app itself is very nice. The interface makes sense and the controls, once you actually figure it out, also makes sense. I had a minor issue with my reservation, however. Nothing that they weren’t able to correct via their Twitter account and support email.

So far, so good. I’m beyond impressed at this point.

After playing with Mailbox (and archiving my inbox), I put my phone down and do what I always do. Opened mailplane to work on email.

Mailbox only works with Gmail, and for it to work, it actually gets into your Gmail inbox and takes over for you, adding labels and archiving messages. It’s the way it worked and on the phone, it’s pretty awesome.

But my phone isn’t my primary email device. My phone is where I triage email. Sure, I reply to some messages via mobile, but those are the quick hit replies to answer an easy question. Anything with any substance, I want a keyboard. Same goes for creating new messages. I almost never send an email from my phone. It’s not part of my work flow.

I also don’t practice inbox zero in the strictest sense. Instead of going for zero messages, I shoot for zero unread messages. When I hit that, I color myself done and about once a quarter I’ll archive my inbox to produce true inbox zero.

Finally, if I had to pick on Mailbox for anything, it’s the lack of search. While I seldom do this mobile, I do need this feature.

I’m not saying this is a bad app. I’m saying it’s a bad app for me. It’s a fantastic app and I’m sure it will continue to be even more fantasticer since Dropbox bought them. In fact, as long as you don’t mind a 3rd party having unfettered access to your Gmail account, use your phone as your primary email device (or don’t mind the changes it makes to your inbox) and are ok not having search (for now I would almost bet), I would very much recommend Mailbox.