The iPad after two weeks

From what I can tell, there are two types of people when it comes to the iPad: those who see it as the next best thing since sliced bread, and those who think it is nothing more than an oversized previous generation iPod touch. After playing with one briefly after the launch, I was of the latter opinion. To give it another try, I was able to borrow another one for two weeks which included a business trip to Europe. While not 100% converted to the other camp, I can see how the v2 of the iPad will certainly be on my shopping list if some of my feature requests make it in (not that I expect Steve to listen 😉 )

For those who read my (very) infrequent posts, you know that I have been looking for solutions to reduce the numbers of trees needing to be cut every year in order to print all the documents I read (mainly in PDF and MS Office / WordPerfect formats). I also travel a lot, and have tried different solutions to reduce the weight of the books in my carry-on luggage (the Sony eBook reader does a good job for eBooks, but isn’t that great for PDFs). Doing email and browsing the web on the go are secondary (or so I thought) as I have an iPhone and a Sony Vaio laptop with me (and tethering works just fine in Canada with my data plan, sorry US friends).

Continue reading The iPad after two weeks

iPhone in Canada: Looking into the numbers

There has been a lot of commenting, discussions and complains about the price plans that Rogers / Fido are offering for the 3G iPhone in Canada. The Ruined iPhone web site is an online petition for Rogers to revise their monthly pricing.

The one huge thing that is a potential show-stopper for me is the 3-year contract that you have to sign to be able to have an iPhone in Canada. I don’t know what will happen in 3 years time, but I am 100% certain that I won’t have the same phone (iPhone 4.0 should be out by then). I would not mind paying more more for the phone now so that I don’t need to get locked in for such a long period of time.

Digging further into the offering, I wanted to do the math behind cost for data usage, to get a better picture of what we are actually talking about… and the findings are quite interesting. All pricing below are in Canadian Dollars.

In a nutshell, if you expect to transfer more than 2.1Gb per month and don’t use the iPhone as a phone a lot (under 150 minutes per month), go with the $60 plan, it’s cheaper! If you transfer 5Gb per month, it will cost you $229.80, $234.30, $251.08 and $235.36 on the $60, $75, $100 and $115 plans respectively.

Continue reading iPhone in Canada: Looking into the numbers

Unfounded rumor: iPhone 2 will be unlocked

OK, we are about 3 weeks (my guesstimate) of knowing what will really happen with the iPhone 2, which is widely expected to be announced at the WWDC conference. Over the last few weeks, more and more mobile operators around the world have announced the upcoming availability of the cell phone from Apple on their network in many different countries (the iPhone blog has a good summary post). Looking as this list getting longer and longer almost every day, this can only mean one thing in my mind: the iPhone 2.0 will be unlocked.

Update (June 10, 2008): OK, my unfounded rumor was completely wrong… that must be why it was unfounded 😉

Continue reading Unfounded rumor: iPhone 2 will be unlocked

Having fun with air… and being really happy with it

MacBook AirIve been thinking about a sub-notebook for quite a while. The one I was looking at last summer was the Toshiba Portégé R500, a great little device (at least according to the specs) with a long battery life and an option to get an SSD hard drive for snappy reaction times and no moving parts. The reason for my interest for a sub-notebook is that when I travel, I always carry around my work laptop, which is a Lenovo T61, a 15.4” wide-screen device with a battery life of about 3 hours (I do have the extended battery), and that I also carry my private computer for my photos, my music and my own stuff.

When Apple announced the MacBook Air, I looked at it with an intrigued eye, but didn’t place the order immediately (I know, really amazing) as I was still quite happy with my original 15” MacBook Pro (the Core Duo version). But then, walking into an Apple Store in Montréal, I saw the Air and by the time I left the mall, I had one of the SSD based model in a small bag specifically designed for it, looking forward to experience it fully during a three weeks trip to Australia and Taiwan. In Summary: I love it!

Continue reading Having fun with air… and being really happy with it

The Sony PRS-505 eBook Reader, reading Dan Browns’ Digital Fortress

During a recent trip to the US, I got myself the new Portable Reader from Sony USA (looks like all the cool devices from Sony are not imported in Canada, just like the Mylo I reviewed previously) and have found it to be a very handy device, especially when you don’t want to carry more than one book with you.

With all the noise about the Amazon Kindle these days (yet another device that won’t be available in Canada for the foreseeable future), I was really surprised by the bad press the eBook Reader from Sony was getting. Well, if Sony only sold a few thousands of these, I am one of the happy owners. Overall, the book reading experience is really nice, PDF support is bad and the Connect online bookstore has a long way to go before it can be at the same seamless experience level as iTunes.


Continue reading The Sony PRS-505 eBook Reader, reading Dan Browns’ Digital Fortress

Thoughts from an unhacked iPhone user in Canada

Apple iPhoneFor someone who had a whole theory about why he wouldn’t buy one, I am very surprised how long I lasted before getting my iPhone. Yes, I finally have one and it is, all in all, and amazing combination of technology and user experience design.

Living about one hour north of the US border, I drove down to a small town in upstate New York last weekend to get my iPhone and activated it as a pay-as-you-go cell phone from a Starbucks (you know, the other Apple partner when it comes to this device) and updated it to the 1.1.1 firmware. As soon as I crossed the border back, I took the SIM card out so that the battery would not drain to quickly, especially as AT&T dosen’t offer international roaming on their GoPhone plans. Oh yes, Apple, I know I removed the SIM card… no need to remind me about that on a regular basis with a modal dialog box.

Continue reading Thoughts from an unhacked iPhone user in Canada

OK, I want an iPhone

Yes, I know. A few weeks back, I came up with a theory about why I didn’t want to have an iPhone… Well here I am playing with a collegue’s one and I now have to rationalize the purchase decision as I so want one. It takes a while to get used to the keyboard (it sure isn’t a Blackberry) but I start to get the neck of it and the predictive detection works quite well.

The web browser experience is really great (blogging from the iPhone right now) and Google Maps is fun to use. YouTube will be fun, but this small device won’t replace the AppleTV. I haven’t tried the mail client (it is not my phone) and the phone doesn’t work as this is a locked US iPhone with an AT&T pay as you go SIM.

Rogers, can you please speed-up the introduction of the iPhone in Canada? I would rather not want to buy it in the States and have to hack it. Well, let’s see how long I can wait 😉

Update (Sept 18, 2008): the big question is much more iPhone 8Gb or iPod touch 16Gb… is a de-featured device with more space better? After trying out the email client with my IMAP server I’ve got the answer: iPhone, even one where the phone part doesn’t work 😀

Steve, I’m impressed

I have to say, Apple has done an amazing job with the hype around the upcoming iPhone. We are two days before the actual availability of this new device, and it’s the number one topic of interest online and off-line. I only hope that the amazing Cupertino, CA based marketing machine hasn’t oversold a “revolution” in smart-phones that cannot be delivered.

I was a few days in the USA for a user conference and had the opportunity to experience first hand the work done by Apple’s communication and marketing teams in preparation of the iPhone availability at 18.00 local time on June 29, 2007… Blogs and news sites are buzzing like crazy about this new device, Podcasts covering the whole tech world spend most of the show talking about it, and the daily nation-wide newspapers provide in-depth coverage of the convergence between and iPod, a Phone and an Internet device, some even doing so on the front page.

Technorati Tags: , , ,


Continue reading Steve, I’m impressed

A brief history of the Psion organizer

In a nostalgic note, The Register, an online news site from the UK, has written an in-depth history of the Psion organizers. This device was, and still is, an amazing piece of technology with many features modern smart phones can only dream of having. I never became a Psion user myself (I went the Palm route), but a few of my friends where huge fans of these devices (mainly the Serie 3 and then the Serie 5). The Psion OS had features equivalent to OLE links on Windows that PalmOS still is lacking today, amazing response speed and great usability. The OS itself lives on in the form of Symbian, used by Sony Ericsson and Nokia for many of their smart phones.

Technorati Tags: ,

A new toy: the Sony Mylo


I’ve been using a WiFi Skype phone for a while. While the form facor was great, the sound quality wasn’t perfect and I was missing the chat capability, which is one of my main usages of Skype. As the industry specialized in toys for geeks cannot stand still for very long, I knew it wouldn’t have to wait for an extended period until a replacement device would come out… I just didn’t expect it to be from Sony.

I got myself a Mylo about two weeks ago. It’s a wired little piece of WiFi electronics that is targeted at the IM generation. The Sony Mylo is a device that is just slightly larger and thicker than an average modern cell phone, with a color screen, an 802.11b network connection and a sliding keyboard made for one thing: communicating through instant messaging and VoIP.

Technorati Tags: , , ,


Continue reading A new toy: the Sony Mylo

Apple, you should learn from 3 in the UK for your iPhone: Unlimited Skype phone calls

Looks like 3, the cell phone operator in the UK who has a complete 3G network and who is also fighting for market share against giants such as Vodafone, is ready to change a little their business model. I recently found that their new 3 X-Series will provide unlimited Skype calls from their cell phone network “for free” (e.g. included in the price-plan), in addition to many interesting services.

Technorati Tags: , , ,


Continue reading Apple, you should learn from 3 in the UK for your iPhone: Unlimited Skype phone calls