April 20, 2010

iPad post #5

Yesterday I flew back from Raleigh to Minneapolis, and watched Up in the Air on the iPad. The picture was great, and the large screen definitely makes a better viewing experience than that of an iPhone. I must admit, though, that it took a while before finding a comfortable resting position for it: one end propped up on the edge of the tray table, and the other resting in my lap. A minor problem: I had to turn the sound all the way up to hear it, but that's probably due more to relatively inexpensive noise-cancelling headphones; I also had to max out the volume on previous iPhone movie screenings. A final note: the iPad drinks much less juice than the iPhone...I've only charged it once in 10 days of use (!). It's a keeper...

Posted by wrjacobs at 3:36 PM

April 16, 2010

iPad post #4

On a flight from MSP to RDU I experimented with in-flight Wi Fi service for the first time. For $7.95 I had surprisingly fast access to email and the Web. I also tested the iPad Netflix app: I watched the pilot episode of The X-Files. For the most part the app worked well: the picture was great, but the stream hung up 4 or 5 times. In all but one instance hitting the play button re-started the stream; in the other I had to fast forward 30 seconds or so to a spot where it would play without stopping (weird!). On the return flight I'll watch a movie downloaded from iTunes.

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:18 AM

April 13, 2010

ghost activity

My ghost pulled another prank last night: when I opened the dishwasher today I discovered that a glass inserted yesterday was broken into three pieces. Sure, that could have happened with an old glass going through a wash cycle, but I did not run the washer last night, and there were no other items around the glass. As I've said in other postings, though, infrequent minor inconveniences like these are OK, though she knows that doing stuff like this on the 13th day of the month does freak me out a little....

Posted by wrjacobs at 9:43 AM

April 11, 2010

iPad post #3

A few days ago I told a friend my anticipated uses of the iPad: (1) checking email in the morning before leaving for work (to avoid the hassle of booting up a desktop Mac for just a few minutes of use, and having more screen real estate to read messages than on an iPhone), (2) using instapaper at night to read articles I find online during the day but have no time to read, and (3) watching movies on airline flights. After playing with the iPad for a day I'm thinking that two more items might be added to the list: (4) reading books while travelling, and (5) checking weather conditions; the iBooks and weatherbug apps are pretty cool!

Posted by wrjacobs at 7:35 PM

April 10, 2010

iPad post #2

The iPad is now set up, but not without some drama. First, I plugged it in and got the "Mac OS 10.5 or later needed" error message; I had resisted buying OS 10.5 (Leopard) when my OS 10.4 worked perfectly well. Surprise #2 came when I discovered that one can not download an OS, one has to get it on disc. So I went to the campus bookstore, bought the latest Operating System (10.6: Snow Leopard), and loaded into into my Mac. Surprise #3: the estimated install time was 40 minutes (!). So about an hour later I plugged in the iPad again and was greeted with bug #4: iTunes would not recognize it. After using different cables and different USB ports, I decided to re-download and re-install the latest version of iTunes. Finally, success!

My intial apps are Netflix, Instapaper, Weatherbug, Kayak Flights, Tweetdeck, iBooks, IMDb, Evernote, and Dictionary. All work great so far, though Tweetdeck is a bit annoying given that it currently only supports Twitter and not Facebook. That won't be a big deal once a Facebook app comes out, but for now it looks like I'll have to get Facebook status updates via Safari. Oh well.

Also, I'm happy to report that I'm not having any of the Wi-Fi connection and/or network memory issues some users report. Knock on wood that my luck will continue to be good with that.

My test of Netflix was brief: 2 minutes of The Host, but it was crisp and clear! Maybe I'll do a longer test next week if my flight to North Carolina is Wi-Fi enabled...

In the meantime, I'm glad that I took the plunge!

Posted by wrjacobs at 8:41 PM

April 8, 2010

iPad post #1

So the iPad came out last Saturday (April 3), and I played with it that day at the U of M Bookstore. I bought one on Monday, but decided to wait until Saturday to set it up. Why? Two reasons: (1) not much time during the week to really explore its features, and (2) I wanted to make sure that no big design flaws were reported in the first week (in that case I would have returned it unopened). Aside from some Wi-Fi issues, it seems like there are no big problems, so this Saturday I'll bust it out...

Posted by wrjacobs at 8:18 PM

April 3, 2010

first display board

Display.jpg

I have a presentation next week, and was encouraged to make a display board to accompany it. This is the first time I've ever done one, thanks to help from my co-presenter. In high school I always skipped the Science Fair because of the display board requirement. Where did that resistance come from?!?

Posted by wrjacobs at 4:49 PM