Archive for June, 2010

The Tenets of Fanboyism

Friday, June 25th, 2010

As you all know, the iPhone 4 was released yesterday, much to the delight of Apple fans everywhere.  Like the iPhones before it, iPhone 4 offered a few new features, and improved on old ones.  In the last 24 hours, there have been tons of articles both praising and condemning the new device.

As a result of these articles, commenters from all over have gotten into arguments about the phone, most of which seem to have been summed up by, “You’re just a fanboy.” ¬†What’s a fanboy, you ask? ¬†A fanboy is someone who is blindingly attracted to a company and/or product, justifying its real or perceived shortcomings regardless of its consequence.

For example, there have been reported issues of Apple’s new iPhone showing reception problems when the phone is held in a somewhat common position in someone’s hand. ¬†A rational person would say, “Gosh, that sounds like a problem.” ¬†A fanboy, on the other hand, will defend the product, with claims like, “No one would actually hold it that way”, “Their hands must have been sweaty”, “They’re just haters because they don’t have it”, and “Every phone I’ve ever used does that”.

So am I a fanboy? ¬†Actually, I am. ¬†But I’m a selective fanboy, and my allegiances are petty. ¬†Before I started using Apple computers regularly in 2002, I was a huge proponent of Microsoft. ¬†While I was often frustrated with Windows and certain Microsoft software, I knew that the main alternative, Apple, just wasn’t ready yet. ¬†But when Apple rolled out one of their big updates, I gave it a look–and so far, it’s been a winner. ¬†I prefer using my Apple products, not just because they’re better for what I do, but because the support for them is far more complete. ¬†Mind you, if Microsoft comes out with an operating system that fits my needs more completely, I will absolutely look into it. ¬†At the moment, however, I’m happy with my Macs. ¬†The iPhone? ¬†It’s wonderful–but is not without its shortcomings.

So speaking of the iPhone… ¬†Of the features people seem to like, we have:

  • New design
  • Front-facing camera & Facetalk (video conferencing)
  • Better battery life
  • Gyroscope
  • Better sound
  • Very high resolution screen

People DON’T like:

  • Antenna problems (while my bars go down when I hold the phone in this “special way”, I don’t actually hold the phone like this normally.)
  • Glass back. ¬†Seems to be more fragile.
  • Lack of 3G support for video chatting.
  • App Store guidelines
  • Lack of multiple carrier support in the United States

What do I think? ¬†I think that the iPhone is probably the best phone produced *OVERALL*. ¬†I need to qualify this. ¬†There are definitely features missing from the iPhone that I feel should be there–features that should have been there since version one. ¬†Features like:

  • WiFi Tethering.
  • Bluetooth/Wifi/wireless sync for apps/music to the computer.
  • Bluetooth file transfer
  • Customizable notification sounds/options, like scheduling profiles, etc.

I have an Android phone–it does pretty much everything I want it to do. ¬†So why isn’t it my main phone? ¬†It’s not as reliable as my iPhone. ¬†It’s not as fast. ¬†It’s not as polished. ¬†The battery is inconsistent. ¬†The camera, while higher in pixels, is lower in quality.

My analogy? ¬†I like to drive on smooth, paved road. ¬†While I want to offroad occasionally, it’s very rare. ¬†The iPhone is like a sleek, luxurious, and expensive sports car. ¬†It goes very fast. ¬†It handles very well. ¬†It has a few awesome bells and whistles–and they work perfectly–but I’m limited to the paved road. ¬†The Android, on the other hand, is a sleek but utilitarian SUV. ¬†It’s quick enough, but it can’t handle the corners too well. ¬†It’ll go offroad, but even then, it takes its time. ¬†It does everything–and more–but it just doesn’t do it that well.

Ok, I’ve typed enough.

A little note to the Apple Store, Pasadena

Friday, June 25th, 2010

To my Apple buddies: ¬†Thank you for making the Apple experience, especially the iPhone 4 experience yesterday, such a pleasurable one. ¬†Everything you did yesterday was professional, courteous, and cheerful, despite the amount of time each of you put into making the iPhone launch a success. ¬†Last night, I heard that you worked all night until every customer who had been promised an iPhone, got one. While I got mine at 11:30am on launch day, it goes to your dedication and priority of servicing the customer making sure everyone was happy. ¬†I was helped by someone I never worked with or met before at the Pasadena store–but he followed the same paradigm that I have both come to expect and experienced as a customer of Apple: excellence. ¬†I’ll keep coming back to 034 as long as you continue to be the best frigging Apple Store there is. (Sorry 001 transplants!) ¬†Thank you again for being such dedicated and important members of the Apple family; you know that you’ve got a promoter right here.

(I originally wrote this as a status update on Facebook. ¬†It doesn’t like status updates more than 420 characters. ¬†So now it’s on my blog, hopefully to be imported by the Facebook importer.)

Geek-tionary

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I use a lot of geek-speak. ¬†It’s often that I’ll get into a [one-sided] conversation with someone, and realize that their eyes have glazed over–I’ve geeked them out. ¬†So here’s a little primer on some of the more basic geek:

dSLR – A digital camera that is a lot bigger than your point and shoot; it has swappable lenses. ¬†It’s great for all kinds of photography, but fails the pocket test.

RAID – A bunch of hard drives put together to act as one.

GSM/CDMA – AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon/Sprint’s network types, respectively. ¬†They don’t work together.

Kernel Panic – You know it as a blue screen of death. ¬†It’s what happens when your computer sees something bad going down, and decides to pull the emergency brake to make sure something else bad doesn’t happen. ¬†It DOES happen on Macs–but it’s a pretty gray screen.

Memory vs. storage – When you ask someone “how much memory” a computer has, you’re really asking how much RAM (random access memory) it has. ¬†Storage is how big the hard drive is. ¬†Here’s an analogy: You, a human, have a brain. ¬†You can remember most of what you need to remember almost instantly. ¬†That means your brain is a lot like RAM. ¬†But you have a finite amount of storage space in your head. ¬†So when you need to look up information, you go to a library–that would be your hard drive. ¬†You can “temporarily” store the info in your head until you’re done with it–then you probably forget it. ¬†That’s how memory (RAM) works. ¬†The more memory your computer has, the less often it needs to look at the hard drive (the books in a library) to get information.

BKAC Error – You should be offended if someone says this… ¬†This means the error is Between the Keyboard And Chair. You.

Web Design vs. Coding – This one hits close to home. ¬†Web designers are the visual architects of the web. ¬†They make web sites LOOK a certain way. ¬†If a page looks ugly, you can blame them. ¬†Web Coders (or developers) make web sites WORK a certain way. ¬†If it’s hard to get a credit card payment done, or the sign-up process for a web site is a pain in the butt, it’s their fault. ¬†Web designers often cannot code, and web coders often cannot design. ¬†If you see a gorgeous web site that doesn’t have any functionality, or a butt-ugly web site that works great, you know why. ¬†Most firms have both.

Need a word/phrase defined?  Let me know.

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