The New Hipster: Going Appless

Love the iPhone, really do. But I am pretty hardcode when it comes to apps and loading things and making it “work” hard. Every once in a while some rogue app goes off the wall and starts draining battery like crazy. Usually the only thing to do is restore phone. I have had to do this, and a few other people I know have see it as well. I don’t blame the iPhone, I blame the apps. Just like windows mobile, the apps were the problem ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, this time, instead of restoring my phone from backup, I just let it stay “clean”. I decided to not install any apps for as long as I can. It has been 24 hours, so that says something ๐Ÿ™‚

But what I am doing is going back to the iPhone roots, back to 2007. Web apps. Steve Jobs himself says it is their “other”, open, unrestricted platform they support, so let’s see what it can offer.

Facebook? touch.facebook.com
Twitter? m.twitter.com
Flickr? m.flickr.com
YouTube (the HTML5 version is better than the native app!) m.youtube.com
FourSquare/Gowalla? check.in
Reeder/Google Reader? google’s mobile formatted reader site works.
Other apps? openappmkt.com
IM? meebo has a pretty good web app.

Just like regular hipsters, that drink PBR, and lose the flavor and other added benefits of drinking a less “hip” beer, you have to give some things up.. such as..

Push Notifications – not sure yet if this is a good or bad thing to give up. The current implementation just seems to annoy anyways

Background/Streaming music (Pandora/Last.fm, etc) – I did find dance.fm has a HTML5 version or something that streams directly from a web page, so I could almost say others might follow suit. I also have iPod on the device so not to worried, I don’t listen to a helluva lot of music anyways.

What else? Not sure yet, we will see how long I last. One thing I can say, there are some games that are web apps that are pretty cool, but don’t come close to the native games … yet.

Of course I will probably start installing some apps eventually, and after a while I will be back to my old app going ways ๐Ÿ™‚

FlickrFetchr – great little Mac app to download flickr sets (supports Guest Passes!)

I get photo’s shared with me on Flickr. Guest Passes. Pretty cool to look at them and do slideshows online, but what if I want to download them all?

There are many apps out there for windows and mac that let you download your OWN sets, or also download public sets from other users, but I needed to get a guest pass set.

stumbled upon this, FlickrFetchr. Works as promised, nice little app.


Apple Time Capsule Rocks โ€“ Microsoft needs to make one.

Since I make a living and love working on Windows, SQL, Windows Server, Office, Exchange, etc, it is kind of weird I am a Mac guy. Never thought it would happen. iPhone, Mac, Macbook Pro, Apple TV, Time Capsule, accessoriesโ€ฆ

Anyways, since Ella was born, I have TONS of pics and videos of her, on my laptop. And it auto backs up to my Apple Time Capsule. Well, iMovie auto imports videos from iPhoto, and then removes them? I am not sure, but long story short, I was missing some videos from when we got home from the hospital.

So what do I do? Freak out? No.. just fire up the Time Machine on my Mac, go back to February, and there is my iPhoto Library, I restore it, and get the videos back.

Now, I just need to offload it offsite someone, there is MacMini Colo โ€“ Transport – http://www.macminicolo.net/transport/ which looks promising, just a little too much $$, but maybe my next step.

But really, Windows needs this. We have a few Windows machines here at home, and I just feel like, umm, stuff is volatile. Thank god for flickr..that is all I have to say. I know there is Windows Home Server, but that is another BOX and updates, and whatever. I just want a device, a dumb device. I know I can get NAS and whatever, but I just want simple. Where is the Microsoft Time Capsule?

iLife 09 – iPhoto and Flickr Integration

I installed iLife 09 a few weeks ago and I have been organizing my photos using faces, places, Facebook, MobileMe and Flickr.

One thing I noticed though, is the Flickr integration is OK, but really doesn’t fit my workflow. Why?

Well first, it wants to create a Flickr Set out of everything, if I upload 1 photo or tons, an event or album. This really doesn’t work for me. I want to create a set when I want to create a set, not from a random photo here and there.

The other bigger killer for Flickr integration is that you are stuck once you have your Flickr set tied to iPhoto. You can’t remove a “Flickr Album” from iPhoto if you want. Once you do, it removes the set and photos from Flickr. WTF?

I might have to stick with the FFXExporter plugin I have installed, much more control and many more options.

The MobileMe integration and Facebook integration is much better from what I see, so far. Hopefully Apple with update the Flickr integration some time and make it easier to use, and fit the workflow that I use (and probably most other people) when I upload photos to Flickr


FriendFeed, Pownce, Twitter, et al – And Why Twitter Is The #1 Service (Even though it is down a lot)

The A-listers. The are the people who just talk about themselves. The A-Listers on the Internet. The A-listers mostly talk to the just the A-listers. They all use every new service that has come out and claim it is the next big thing. Yes, some services are good, some not so good. They seem to miss points on things though. It is almost like the MSM. They don’t catch on to the good things till after the bloggers been talking about things for a while.

The a-listers, they catch on to things, but they get so caught up in everything they don’t step back and take a look at a service (Facebook for instance – for a good two months it was Facebook this, Facebook that, even after tons of people were using it and praising it, a-listers then all of a sudden “discovered” Facebook and it was glorious, now, people still using it, but the a-listers have moved on to new and shiner things aka FriendFeed)

Twitter seemed to pick up steam, and it is good, but can get overwhelming. I am ashamed to admit it, but I do like Pownce better, the ability to put files up is just stellar, which Twitter doesn’t have.

FriendFeed is like a super twitter almost, where it aggregates all these services (Twitter, Blog, Flickr, and more)

What ends up happening though is duplication. Ugh. So I subscribe to you on Twitter – cool, then Pownce – cool, Next, Facebook, alright. But the problem is, you use a tool that posts to all 3 (Plaxo pulse, SocialThing, etc, etc) – so what happens? I get the same update in 3 places – not cool. Duplication.

Then, I get your FriendFeed, which is duplication AGAIN of all that stuff. Yikes.

Now all these sites have web interfaces, which are nice. Some have desktop apps, and more and more desktop apps are coming out. So you end up having 3-4 desktop apps for all these services (reminds me of ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Google Talk) – WTF huh? Are we going backwards?

Using the iPhone, you can get to mobile versions of Twitter, Pownce, Facebook, FriendFeed, etc, and its all good, yet … Duplication.

Personally, I like setting up Twitter in my Google Talk (I’m really using Pidgin). Then if I want to be apart of the conversation, I send “on” and it turns on updates, it comes through like an IM, and when it gets overbearing, I just type “off” and they are quiet, and I don’t miss anything.

Pownce has a third party tool, pownceaim, but it really lacks something, its too chatty, and handles auto replies bad.

But, overall, why is Twitter #1? Well, this is why.

You can TEXT your status to Twitter from your phone!

You can get TEXT’s of updates to your phone.

These other services lack in this area. Facebook has something similar but it doesn’t even work for T-Mobile.

Why do these other services lack the SMS feature? One word. Money.

They don’t want to pay for a short code (which is upwards of 5000 a year last time I was looking) to be able to handle text messages. Twitter has paid up for theirs, and I think that is the best part about Twitter, I can update my friends and followers just by texting, which is cool when you are not by the computer.

The blogosphere is rampant with “twitter replacements” this week since twitter has had some downtime, but no matter which you pick, it will never beat Twitter until they accept TXT, IM, and Web, and Other API built program updates – that is the killer feature.. It seems that most of the a-listers don’t realize that.

HowTo: Upload and Tag pictures with Flickr, the right way

Flickr. Great online app, but uploading pictures through their website is pain at best. Other online sites have better uploading tools built right into their websites (MySpace, Facebook, etc). There is also the ability to tag your photos when you upload, but from what I have seen from all my friends photos, they aren’t tagging them correctly.

First, if you do any kind of serious uploading (more than 3-4 photos at a time), you want to download the Flickr Uploadr Tool onto your computer, then run it. What I have seen, in Windows XP, the Explorer Shell integration (you know, highlight one or more photos, right click, “Send to Flickr…”) always works, whereas on Vista, it seems to work off and on. You can either do the right click, or run the tool from the shortcut, and you should see a screen like this:

image 

Now, you can either add more photos, remove photos, or click “Upload”

image

Here you can set tags (we will get to that later), add to a existing set, create a new set, and set the permissions. As far as permissions go, its all or none type thing. Usually I have a ton of photos from a day/weekend and some are private, some are public. What I do in this scenario is upload the public ones first (creating a set) then uploading the private ones after, adding to the set I just created, but making the pictures private.

Tags. Ok, Flickr’s tagging system is cool, but the biggest thing I have seen is people put tags for something with two or more words, but they put the tags wrong, so it shows up goofy on their pictures.

Here is an example. I just uploaded pictures from camping, and one of my tags was “Silver Falls State Park”. When I added the tag, I had the quotes around it, so the pictures have that whole phrase as a tag. If you leave off the quotes, the picture will have 4 tags: “Silver” “Falls” “State” “Park” – which doesn’t really make much sense. My pictures don’t have any silver in them ๐Ÿ™‚

So, there you have it. The How To on uploading and tagging your Flickr uploads!

Unexpected new hobby: Photowalking

I think I found a new hobby: Photowalking.

From wikipedia: Photowalking is the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things you may find interesting.

I like walking around and just playing with my camera, taking pics here and there of things I think are cool, and hope some turn out. I read this all the time on Scoble’s blog about Photowalking and I’m like, yeah, that is what I do! Fun!