Chances are you own an Apple product: iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook or maybe an iMac? Or perhaps you own several. Me, I also had my Apple phase. MacBook Pro, first generation iPhone, several iPods, and a Cinema Display. It’s been quite a while since I used the MacBook, though, and the iPhone has been replaced with an Android phone.

I once was on my merry way to becoming a real Apple fanboy, but for several reasons I’ve turned into an Apple skeptic instead: I don’t like the closed Apple App Store ecosystem where you are at their mercy at all times, Apple’s quest to sue anyone and everything, the annoying fact that my iPhone got slower and slower with every update (with my Android phone it’s the other way around, for some reason) and how Apple reseller Humac handled my laptop battery issues. But the thing that grinds my gears the most when it comes to Apple are the Apple users themselves. A lot of you them develop an amazing tunnel vision: Apple products have no flaws whatsoever, and all other competing products are crap. Period. I’m even seeing this a lot amongst my industry peers, people who you’d expect would be open to the idea that Apple is not the only way to go. And it’s not. I’ve been on the other side of the fence, in many ways the grass is actually greener there.


Back in June 2007 I experienced a weird problem with my year old MacBook Pro: I was unable to click the mousepad button and for some reason nothing happened when I left clicked the attached mouse either. Weird stuff. It turned out that the reason for all this was that the battery had started to expand, applying pressure to the bottom of the mousepad button, effectively locking it in a pressed down state. But not to worry, I brought the battery to an Apple store and got a replacement, no questions asked. That’s some great support for you!

The battery on January 6.

About a month ago, the new battery started to act up, too. My MacBook would suddenly turn itself off when running on battery power. Even though the symptom was another one this time, the cause as the same: The battery had started to expand a little, as you can see on the picture above. It had not expanded as much as last time, but enough to make it a problem. So I took the battery with me to an Apple store to get it replaced. Being somewhat naive, I thought that I would get the same great support this time, too.


iPhone Apps

Ever since I bought the first generation iPhone about a year ago I’ve been rather quick to update the firmware whenever Apple released a new version. Updating the phone used to be a rather stressful affair, not because it it was hard physical labour, but because my phone was jailbroken and unlocked with the dirtiest hacks available on the interweb, hacks that often meant that I had to run various command line tools on the handset itself and pray that I would not end up with a bricked iPhone; often referred to as an “iPod Touch”.

Now, with the brilliant work of the Russian iPhone Dev Team, the process of updating the firmware is a breeze, simply just click around a little in a graphical tool and the phone is updated, jailbroken and unlocked once again. Thanks to the unlock I can use the phone with any operator and the jailbrake makes it possible to install unsigned applications that are not available through Apple’s own App Store (which iPhone application sucks monkey balls, by the way).

The most popular installer on the first generation iPhone firmware was Installer. Perhaps not the most imaginative name, but you knew what it was doing. On the second generation, however, Installer has been surpassed by Cydia as the number one choice of application for managing applications not officially signed by Apple. The beta version of Installer is just a shadow of it former first generation self.

Everything that is distributed by the official Apple App Store is checked and validated by Apple, this probably to make sure that the applications are not stuffed with code to steal passwords, personal notes and whatnot. I’ve always blindly downloaded and installed all kinds of applications from Installer and Cydia, and only recently the thought of malicious code struck me.

Am I getting old and paranoid? Maybe being a bit paranoid is healthy.

Jesus v2.0

If you have read any kind of tech-related online site today you probably know that Apple announced the 3G version of their iPhone yesterday. 3G is not the only new feature, it also has a GPS, Exchange support, a new version of Safari and even a scientific calculator – among other things. Hopefully, all the software related features will be available on the first generation iPhone as well, because I very much doubt that I will get the 3G version.

Apple will release its phone in several new markets, including Norway, where the operator NetCom has struck a deal through their parent company, TeliaSonera. It will be interesting to see if they can cope with the demand on the release date. Perhaps it will be even more interesting to see if there will even be noticeable demand. Norway is a tiny country, and without TeliaSonera I doubt that we would have been an interesting market. We are, however, first movers when it comes to new gadgets, and a lot of people have already bought an iPhone despite the fact that it has never been available for sale in the country. That makes me think that the people who will queue up for an iPhone already owns one.

Maybe the GPS is what will make them replace their old first generation unit.

And this site design? Getting mighty tired of it already.

Hello Kitty

Gine is looking to buy a new laptop she can use for work related stuff. The service agreement she gets from the manufacturer or the place she buys it will be critical since the laptop will be used for work; that the computer is unavailable for two weeks because the motherboard has to replaced will have critical impact on her ability to do actual work.

While discussing that – yes, this is the kind of discussion we have at our place – we also talked about data safety and backups. It’s mighty important to have backups of all critical data since 2.5 inch laptop hard drives tend to malfunction quite often. I have lost 3 so far – and I’m still not backup up regularly on my MacBook Pro. Apparently, I don’t learn anything from past experience. VBOX has a RAID 1 setup, which at least gives me some hope of recovering lost data.

With Apple’s new version of OS X, Leopard, they introduced Time Machine, a feature I wrote about a while back. I had planned to put off getting Leopard for a few months, maybe even to spring next year, to give Apple time to remove the most critical bugs that would surface after the OS was released. But when I though about it I could really need to start taking regular backups and Time Machine was exactly what I needed.

And when you think about it, $129 is not a bad price for a little peace of mind.