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It's time I came out of the closet, I'm now using an Apple product!

Feb 19

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Friday, February 19, 2010 12:09 AM  RssIcon

Apple iPod Touch

Yup, I did it!  On the weekend I bought an Apple iPod Touch!  Not quit an iPhone, but still, something that's not Microsoft.  Is there hope yet?

Apple iPod Touch

Lately, I've been in a quandary.  You see, I'm a bit of a Microsoft fan (yes, just a bit, juuuuuuust a tad eh?  LOL), but lately, I've found myself eyeing the pretty cute thing which more and more people are carrying around lately, the Apple iPhone, or a very close sibling, the iPod Touch. 

Just four short years ago, a lot of business people were carrying out BlackBerry's, and they were cool back then.  But now a days, households have multiples of iPhones/iPod Touches!  In just two years, these things have spread like wild fire!  I can't believe how popular these things are!  Just check around YOUR work, ask not IF they have one, but how many?!  That's the real question!

The problem?  I've been in bed with Microsoft for more than 20 years!  Yup, I've been punching DOS commands since "sysadmins" were cool!  Webpages?  BBSing was where it was at when I started.  High speed network acce.......anyways, off the tangent.  The thing is, I'm looking at those cool "devices" and all the apps/games/personnel productivity apps people have for them, with envy.  Add to that (up until just this past Monday) Microsoft's lack of a compelling mobile strategy, I'm left wondering if Visual Studio 2010 with WPF and Silverlight is all there is?

Wei Meng Lee is a Mobile MVPMine BlastNow don't get me wrong, I'm NOT abandoning everything that's gotten me to where I am today!  In fact, with help from SG, and after seeing Wei Meng Lee's (trainer specializing in Microsoft and Mac OS X technologies and also a Microsoft .NET Compact Framework MVP) blog, I realized, it's not only good to branch out every once in a while, but VERY beneficial overall! 

Ok, now that I've done that, I would like to share some of my initial Touch experiences.  First, I'm a geek, I tried to get a quick peek at this thing before downloading iTunes, which the docs say to do first (ya, I did read the docs at least to get that much).  But to my surprise, the HW is trying to protect itself.  No big deal, I guess, I was just surprised to see that screen (and there was no way to bypass it).

First screen I see on the Touch

And you know what, after I downloaded iTunes (which I did have some initial reservations about), EVERYTHING went along swimmingly!  I mean it!  Watch this, from the FIRST time iTunes connected to my device, it just knew to update itself and did it without incident!

It already knows to update itself.

After a few days of talking to a few different people at work and friends to find out what apps they use/like and picking a few (free LOL) ones I find, I can only say two negative things about it. 

  1. It gets darn hot while charging via USB at work. 
  2. I can't figure out how to store birthdays or anniversaries without years.  I may know your birthday, but I just don't know the year, why can't I save it?  The trick I came up with is just using 1900 as the sentinel value.

HabsYa, that's it!  I've connected three different email servers (yup, three!), downloaded and synced over 177 contacts with bdays and anniversaries, installed 54 apps, setup a few RSS feeds, already changed my background image (can you tell what to? LOL), I even found a few games for my little ones! 

So why not get the iPhone your probably asking?  Good question, party cause of a few things falling into place, the key was CI "showing" me his Mac VM and the Rogers customer service person spilling the (not so secret) release of the iPhone 4G around June.  DOH!  I only have to wait a few more months?  COOL!  But what that also does, is let me get familiar with the cheaper sibling, the Touch and decide if I really do like it.  Hey, better to blow small dollars on that puppy, than to NOT like the iPhone 3GS and be STUCK with a phone I don't like for THREE years!  This way, I can get the latest phone (when it comes out), if I want it, and for the next step, to see if I want to try my kick at the can for developing some applications for it.

Yup, if you're wondering WHY all the mobile blogs lately, this is why!  I'm seeing an explosion of interest in the mobile market!  It's back to the wild west days of the 80s where anyone with an 8086 or XT or AT was trying to whip out programs for the sheer joy of it all!  It's like the guys playing hockey for the sheer joy of the game!  I want that back!  I got it with C#, got it again with my current company, but when I finished my last study group, WPF just wasn't doing it for me (nothing against WPF, I just wasn't into it right now).  I'm sure that'll change in a few months, for the time being, I'm exploring some avenues for iPhone development.

Oh why, not Microsoft Windows Phone 7 (WP7) developement?  Here's a few things I'm considering.  First, the earliest POSSIBLE release is estimated for the fall, which means Christmas in reality.  WP7 is a complete rewrite, they've all but said no backwards compatibility, therefore it's going to be COMPLETELY new territory, new code, new everything, aka version 1.uh.oh!  Therefore, it'll take at least another six/seven months to fix those things over, by then we're next year!  And by then, I could have (with a bit of luck and a few late night's with Objective-C) I could have two or three apps on the iTunes App Store.  And who knows what's going to happen to the mobile market in a year?!  I'm just interested in the next few months.

The bottom line is, it all comes down to one thing, it's cool to play with technology again!  To quote SJ, I can't help but feel like we're back in the good ol'days where "one person can write something and make a difference."

Now that's off my chest, it's time to get back to exploring and also have to grab a coffee and get coding!


Microsoft IpodPro2005PS  To leave this post on a humorous note, check out this spoof on what would happen IF Microsoft's marketing/branding were to have gotten a hold of the iPod packaging!  After seeing that I realized it's SOOOOOO TRUE!  And the Apple packaging IS so simple.

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