Apple iPhoto Books and Prints: Simply Shit.

It’s funny really.

We ordered 2 books. They lost them. After two weeks they said “just re-order”.
We ordered 15 prints. We got them.

We also received 30 prints belonging to someone else entirely. Family holiday photos.

I can’t even begin to detail how wrong that is and how poor Apple’s choice of outsourcing partner for these photos and books must be. Makes me wonder what happened to my first two books.

What do you think?
That kind of service is simply shit.

What is the job of IT.

Mitch Wagner of InformationWeek writes, in a long discussion about Apple supporting the Enterprise:

Gruber’s post has the inherent assumption that it’s IT’s job to serve the company’s users. It’s not, though, it’s the job to serve the organization, and its goals. This often means that users get inferior technology because that’s really all they need to do their jobs.

This makes the assumption that serving the organisation and serving the company’s users are different goals with different outcomes.

Happy users are more productive. This isn’t about making sure that every user has their ‘Tunes or a copy of Pirates of the Carribean on their phone but more about making sure the technology is accessible and usable.

The IT manager’s job isn’t to deploy software that end-users find sexy, or that makes them happy. The IT department’s job is to deploy tools that make people, and the organization, more productive.

This isn’t what IT departments do, however.

They deploy tools which make their own jobs easier, users and organisation be damned. That’s why you end up with Windows PCs locked down so tight that the end user can’t change the clock thats 14 minutes slow. They can’t install ZIP software to open a zip of holiday photos they’ve been sent (it’s finally built into Vista).

The most interesting speech from an IT manager I heard was:

We’re rolling out Vista at the end of the year and nothing will make this deadline slip, not the business nor the end users. This deadline is like Y2K.

Great attitude…

A Cry for .public WiFi networks

A man who was spotted in the street using his laptop to access an unsecured wireless connection has been arrested. … When questioned he admitted using the owner’s unsecured wireless internet connection without permission and was arrested on suspicion of stealing a wireless broadband connection. The man was bailed to October pending further inquiries. Dishonestly obtaining free internet access is an offence under the Communications Act 2003 and a potential breach of the Computer Misuse Act.

Next they’ll be arresting people for illegally smelling the perfume and aftershave of people as they walk past. Or illegally hearing conversations spoken aloud in a public place. I’m going to assume that the OWNER of the broadband has to press charges here?

Every day, the Government invents new stupidities to amaze me.

So, what to do.

  • 1. You could start using BT’s expensive and slow BT OpenWorld network.
  • 2. You could use your mobile carriers expensive and slow network.
  • 3. You could join an organisation devoted to Free and Open Wireless using Mesh networks, distributed gateways and supported by goodwill.

[UPDATE: There are some on this BBC Magazine comment list who would compare stealing wireless as being the same as stealing pens, stealing a car or warming your hands in someone else’s pockets (brrrr, scary analogy). If this is the case, the onus should be on the owner of the Wireless Access Point to secure their network in simple steps. Ignorance of the proper operation of a device is not really an excuse. ]

Newsflash: Processor in iPhone slower than dual-core iMac!

That’s the gist of this article.

On average, running Javascript on a device that fits in your pocket seems to be slower than on a machine with a dual-core Intel processor, a bucket of RAM and all the gubbins that go with it.

This is not news.

Now, it continues that running native code on the iPhone is much faster than javascript and this is another reason why developers want an SDK.

Yes and No.

Faster processors allow developers to get sloppy. wouldn’t it be nice if people could just use slower processors or processors optimised for saving power and still get amazing performance?

There are lots of reasons an SDK is not available. All of them good. It’s only a matter of time, however, until Apple can be sure that it’s ready for prime time.

Why there isn’t an iPhone SDK

Whatever you might say about the lack of an official iPhone SDK, there is something to be said for a controlled, tested environment.

Earlier today, my Nokia N800 died. Not in hardware, just refused to boot. what had I done? I’d installed Pidgin, MaemoMapper, XMaeme and a few other apps that weren’t endorsed by Nokia. Despite it being a Debian Linux machine, it refused to boot and there was no way to coax it back to life.

The only way was to re-flash it which meant I lost a few days work everything since my last backup. I didn’t lose anything I stored on external cards and I didn’t lose any mail, thanks to IMAP.

But yeah, pain in the butt.

I’m sure the N800 and the N770 before it have sold tens of thousands of units but I’m not sure they would ever outsell the iPhone – the hype monster of the modern era. And I’m sure there are folk out there hacking their iPhones now who really shouldn’t….

Hadley Stern of AppleMatters disagrees and maintains Apple is being arrogant. Maybe so, but it doesn’t make them wrong.

My N800 is working again and I did miss it. At least until I get an iPhone.

Moves and changes…

Next week, we’re losing one of our developers to a big fancy firm in Belfast. Steve has been an extremely valuable part of the team for the last few months and has helped us with many of the skunkworks projects which have been paying the bills for the last year. Good luck Steve, I know they’re going to work you hard!
This, of course, creates an opening for anyone enterprising enough to want to spend part of their time in Mallusk working on web and Mac-based software in a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of coffee. We also subscribe to the notion of 20% of daytime work being spent on FLOSS (Free, Libre, Open Source Software). We’ll provide you with an Intel iMac or MacBook with external screen for the daily work and salary is negotiable but dependent on experience and also with an OTE based on the sales.
Skills would have to include PHP, Cocoa desirable but not essential if you’re willing to learn. Ruby would also be a really nice addition as we have some older code we want translated to ObjC/Cocoa. This role would suit a graduate but we’d also accept a student looking for a years placement. You’d have to be able to work without a lot of supervision but we’d be looking for someone with a lot of vision and drive who really wanted to make something of themselves.

Nokia n800 – the anti-iPhone

It’s been a while since I was a true gadgeteer. I shelved my trusty Newton MessagePad 2000 (upgraded) about 18 months after Newton Inc closed it’s doors and was re-absorbed into the Mothership. For a while I used a very functional Palm Vx which gave me a lot of joy and I spent the next few years being mostly resistant to gadget-lust with the various smartphones and whatnot that were making the rounds.

Back on July 21st, Damien gave a quick review of the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet which Expansys were flogging for a reasonable 70 quid.

Gordon Murray from eWrite brought along his Nokia 770 Internet Tablet to Open Coffee Cork. A quick showing around and with a pricetag of €100 ex VAT and Walter decided to buy two, Rory bought one and Diarmuid bought four apparently. Walter’s Twitter evangelising of it then got Conor, myself, Niall and Elly to buy one. So 24 hours later and 11 have been purchased, all as a result of one person at an event yesterday.

By the time I got wind of this deal, there was a 15 day wait on the devices and I’m nothing if not incredibly impatient so I went ahead and read up on the more expensive but more capable successor, the n800. And just before I went on holidays (the first real holiday in 5 years), I snagged one and downloaded some movies and media for it.

As a geek toy it’s pretty good. Opera seems compatible with just about every web site out there which is better than I can say for Safari and Internet Explorer. And while Firefox renders most sites fine, it doesn’t do my router config page at home, which Opera on the n800 manages with aplomb.

Suffice to say this little device has all but replaced my laptop with the aid of a 4 GB SD card from Maplin (for £29). When I run out of space I’ll plonk down another £29 and get another 4 GB card for the second slot (yes, it has two).

My next purchases are probably going to be the Nokia SU-8W bluetooth keyboard and I’m seriously considering the Navigator GPS gear too.

Wifi range on this doohickey is excellent but shows that freely available wifi in Belfast (and, for that matter Stranraer and Skegness) is woefully inadequate for the worker on the move. I’ve spent a fortune on Orange GSM Data over the last 10 days (which also goes to show how Orange’s GPRS service is utterly pants).

Did I mention the n800 runs Debian? This thing is like the anti-iPhone. Sure, it doesn’t actually have a phone in there but it’s as open as can be. And it’ll do til Apple get their finger out and release iPhone in the UK…

All you have to do now is walk into any phone dealership and ask for a blank stare. Cos that’s what you’ll get if you mention the n800 and accessories for same anywhere…