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Breaking news: new iPhone update released; relocks errant phones! September 28, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Hacks, iPhone, News, Updates & Patches.

The new iPhone Firmware 1.1.1 has been released, and reports are trickling in that it does disable third-party apps, and makes users undergo a second reactivation procedure that requires a genuine AT&T SIM chip. Lots of folk are getting “Incorrect SIM” errors. Ayayay! It looks like it’s back to the drawing board!

It’s a carrot-and-stick thing: the new features from the firmware update are tempting to get, but the price you have to pay is enormous. The only solution seems to be: don’t update then. Sit and wait. More news when we get it.

(Via Engadget)

UPDATE: Detailed, updated, and dismaying testing reports on Gizmodo. * bites nails *

What’s next? September 27, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., New Stuff, PDAs, Rumors.

It seems the MacPic in the previous post is prophetic; I was even idly ruminating about it as I was posting it. I own a working Newton Messagepad, and know first-hand how great it was way back when, even if it wasn’t its time yet.

And lo and behold, on the same day, AppleInsider‘s brought up the notion that next in line in the Jobs Saga is a new Newton, built on what has been, and what’s new. Given that, this Apple PDA rumor I sorta give a lot of credence to.

The hardware groundwork is there. The apps are there. The new OS is up to it. Multi-touch is begging for something meatier than a phone. They’ve done PDAs before. Steve has even hinted and clearly, and on record, alluded to it as something they’ve made but not yet released. What’s not to believe?


Heads-up: MacBook/MacBook Pro update September 25, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Announcements, Apple Inc., Downloads, Hardware, Notebooks, Updates & Patches.
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Apple’s just issued MacBook/MacBook Pro Update 1.0 via Software Update.

This update enables file system journaling on MacBook and MacBook Pro notebook computers. Some MacBook and MacBook Pro systems were shipped with file system journaling turned off. Journaling is recommended on all Mac computers as a preventative measure against file corruption.

Eh? The 660KB download is explained further on the Apple Support Page here.

Mum Tuesday: the UK iPhone September 18, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Announcements, Apple Inc., Events, iPhone, Support, Telecommunications.
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The Apple Event in Regent Street’s done, and we’re basically underwhelmed. Just the rollout announcement of the iPhone for the UK. No earthshakers, no surprises, no open-line 3G units. Here are the uh, high points:

  • O2 is the official sucker carrier
  • Rollout will be on November 9
  • 8GB iPhones will cost approx US$535
  • You can transfer your existing number from other carriers
  • Same banana – use iTunes to activate, update
  • Nothing new – no 16gb, no 3g, no open lines, no nothin’
  • No news on carriers for other European countries

Ho-hum. For a more detailed coverage, check out Engadget.

Heads-up: Keyboard update; QT compatibility September 12, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Downloads, Updates & Patches.
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Found a coupla updates through Software Update this morning.

There’s a Quicktime compatibility update for iLife (Version 1, 18.7mb), and a keyboard software update for users of the new aluminum version (Version 1.2, 22.9mb). For seemingly simple things, they sure are hefty.

I’m a bit interested in the last one, because it seems to promise more features for the keyboard, but I’m holding off installing it first on the remote chance it might hose the system (hey, it might happen; Apple‘s having it too good lately, the streak might end), but mainly because it requires me to restart the system and I’m in the middle of some serious torrenting. Will update you on exactly what this one does in a bit.

As usual, we are overwhelmed by the avalanche of details provided by Apple.

Artificial segmentation September 12, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Issues.
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(No, silly. Segmentation. S-e-g-m-e-n-t-a-t-i-o-n. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Once upon a time I worked pro-bono at a small computer store, a young man selling software and generally being an early version of someone who might work at an Apple Genius Bar, offering sage advice and tips (only back then it was 1988, Macs didn’t exist, and the Apple II+ ruled). People, discovering what they could do with their Apple IIs, came in looking for software they could use, like for desktop publishing, spreadsheets and word processing. Trying like hell to be helpful, I would usually recommend the latest and the best.

One day, someone came in looking for Broderbund’s Print Shop, which was by then old and janky, and I told them to get the The New Print Shop instead, which was better, faster and had nicer graphics libraries.

My boss observed me doing this and pulled me aside. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“Selling software, boss.”

“Don’t sell them the new ones right off! These guys don’t know any better. Get them to buy the older stock, and when they come back complaining that it doesn’t do much, then you tell them there’s something newer and better, and would they like to buy that one too? So you get two sales instead of one!”

“But that’s – ”

“That’s business.”

I never forgot that lesson. And I also never stopped believing that that was wrong.

It was one thing if we didn’t have The New Print Shop in stock yet, but still, my instinct was full disclosure: tell them there was something better, we just didn’t have it in the store yet, but in the meantime would you settle for the older version? It was entirely another to have to pretend otherwise or feign ignorance just so you could make a sale.

Apple Inc. isn’t doing this sort of thing exactly, but close enough to make me feel like they are a lot like my old boss in that old computer store.

This hullabaloo about them removing the ability to add new events on the Calendar app directly on the iPod Touch smacks of selling old Print Shop. You can add events on your computer, which uploads to the iPod when you sync, but you can’t add it on the fly. The fact that you can do this on an iPhone grates – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to on a Touch, except for the fact that Apple is deliberately segmenting the products just to make more bucks. Like getting old Print Shop when we can get The New Print Shop anyway. Sure, they are a business, they can do what they want – but still. It’s not right.

Makes me wonder about that missing Bluetooth feature too. Shame on you, Apple.

Becoming un-blued September 8, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Announcements, Apple Inc., Hardware, iPods.
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Breaking News: Boing Boing confirms that there is no Bluetooth feature in the new iPod Touch. Despite obvious “evidence” on Apple‘s own sites (and reported everywhere on the net, even here), an Apple spokesman Boing Boing, uh, spoke to unequivocally says there is no Bluetooth of any kind in the new iPod.

We were all just imagining that little squiggle then. Hmph.

See the denial through Boing Boing here. Doink doink!

Your money back September 7, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Business, iPhone, Steve Jobs.
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If the Doodler had bought an iPhone, he would’ve been mightily bummed the other day when Apple dropped the prices by US$200 at the Apple iPod event. I have a gaggle of friends here who, encouraged by the recent emergence of easy unlocking techniques in our neighborhood, all bought iPhones in the past couple of weeks. I understand they have all taken to wearing baseball caps to hide all the hair they have torn out after Jobs’s announcement.

Well, they’d just be half-bummed now.

Due to the firestorm of complaints from recent customers, Jobs has relented. Steve today released an open letter on the Apple site that says, in part

… we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple’s website next week. Stay tuned.

Ok, that’s better’n nothin’.

Full text of the letter here.

See for yourself September 6, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Announcements, Apple Inc., Events.
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See yesterday’s Apple Event for yourself through streaming video from the Apple site. Click here.

Fearless forecasts …again September 5, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Rumors.

The Apple media event is today (from my end I’m roughly a half-day ahead of where it’ll happen) and once again, us Macheads feel a compulsion to predict what might be announced.

It’s a damn silly thing to do, and we never learn and do it every single time. But it’s a major side-effect of the Kool Aid. We can’t help it. In a little over 12 hours it’ll happen, and it’ll be all over, and we will all be frantically going over the new pages on the Apple Store website or firing up Software Update, or go on our user forums and hyperbolize like idiots. But hours before, we bite our nails and endlessly speculate.

So I’m just going to get it out of my system and be done with it. Here is what I think.

It’s not too bad this time, a lot of stuff from the usual “reliable” sources are getting around. Nothing earthshaking, anyway. I feel that the fat nano is a no-brainer announcement, but what I hope for is the the 6G iPod, which seems to have more than a good chance of actually getting launched, whatever new stuff it may incorporate. Also, the [Product]Red shuffle, which seems a harmless guess. Maybe the official release date for Leopard, or a new iTunes update. Some folk (older than me, mostly) are hoping for a Beatles catalog up on the iTunes Store, but I can live without that (and besides, it might even be a Madonna thing, God forbid). Less likely is the iPhone nano nonsense, or a smaller MacBook or that tablet Mac everyone dreams about.

Or it could be absolutely none of these things, and, as Monty Python would put it, something completely different.

In a half-day from now, I’ll likely look like an idiot for even putting up this post, but I wouldn’t be a Machead if I didn’t.

I don’t mind. Whatever happens, it’s all good anyway. The beat does go on.

See you on the other side.