Linux Boss: Bashing Microsoft Is Like ‘Kicking A Puppy’

My main focus has mainly been on desktop computer systems, and I have considered Microsoft the dominant force. Though Linux has made some inroads onto consumer desktop systems, for the most part I have always considered Linux more of a novelty than a real desktop contender. So when I read that Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin made a statement that ‘bashing Microsoft was like kicking a puppy,’ my ears perked up and I went to see exactly what this man meant.

For the past several decades the battle of words have been exchanged between Microsoft and the Linux communities. The Linux folks reminded me of a Rodney Dangerfield in that they could not get any respect. No matter how vocal the Linux people were, they just couldn’t support getting Linux on the desktop computing systems. With the exception of a short stint on Dell computers, Microsoft continued to be the dominant force on desktop systems.

Mr. Zemblin provides some indisputable facts concerning where Linux has grabbed the lion’s share. He cites that Linux has found a home on consumer electronic devices such as the Amazon Kindle. He also states that Sony televisions and camcorders use Linux as well as smartphones, which use Google’s Android, which is based on Linux. Linux powered tablets also are beginning to show promise as Google’s Android system is being introduced.

Mr. Zemlin thinks that, while Microsoft is used on 9 out of 10 desktops, as we enter into a post-PC world, this becomes less important. He claims that Microsoft is struggling to grab a foothold into the tablet, smart phone, and embedded markets. He predicts that Linux will continue to grow in these markets and take a commanding lead. He is also optimistic that Android powered phones are now more popular than the iPhone and also touts HP use of webOS, another Linux-based operating system.

I must say that Mr. Zemlin makes a convincing argument that Linux is going to be a dominant player in the tablet and smart phone marketplace. It also seems that Linux is gaining in the server market place as well. I believe that being a dominant force in these markets will make more consumers become aware of Linux and maybe, just maybe, Linux one day can be a contender in the desktop marketplace as well.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Networkworld

Can The Chrome OS Notebook Computers Compete Against The Tablets On Pricing?

This morning I read with interest some reports that my fellow bloggers have been reporting as to the cost of the new Google Chrome OS computers. They have also spoken about the limited companies that are in the process of manufacturing new notebooks which will be using the Google Chrome OS. In addition, since the names Sony and Samsung have alleged to be the only two companies that will be making the new netbooks, one comment stated that there is some kind of a conspiracy going on, in light of the Samsung keylogger allegations.

Another article I read states that they believe the new Google Chrome netbooks are going to be pricey. They state that prices between $200 to $600 are very expensive for a netbook that requires the Internet to work. Which made me start to think can Google Chrome OS netbooks compete against tablet computers?

First of all the introduction of Google Chrome OS notebooks is not limited to Sony and Samsung only. Acer and Asus are also shipping Chrome OS netbooks and HP, along with Dell, are evaluating their position on whether to ship netbooks with the new OS as well.

Pricing. We heard the same song when Apple first announced the pricing for its iPad priced from $499 to $829. People moan that the price was overly expensive and no one would buy what they called a toy. But Apple sold 15 million units since the introduction of the tablet in April 2010. Predictions are that Apple could sell another 25 million of its iPad 2 tablets this year alone.

These same naysayers were also critical of the Apple iPad because it only allowed you to surf the Web, email, and play games. It was just an expensive toy for those who could afford it, and the masses would not want nor need such a device. Let’s face it: why spend $500 on a tablet when you could buy a full-blown laptop?

The same is now being said about Google’s attempt with the Chrome OS. It is going to be expensive and you need an Internet connection to do anything. True facts. But the Cr-48 comes with both Wi-Fi and 3G connection to the Verizon network. So I can use the notebook anywhere I go. I also visit hot spots frequently and so far have not had an issue connecting anywhere.

Is it going to be expensive? I would say no more expensive than an iPhone, Android phone, or other device that connects to the Internet via 3G, 4G, or whatever G is available. Is it going to be more expensive than an Apple iPad? I don’t believe so. Without a crystal ball it is going to be difficult to ascertain the real cost of a Google Chrome OS notebook until we learn if it will be subsidized by AT&T or Verizon.

So will the Google Chrome OS netbooks be popular and accepted by the masses as a must have device? It all depends. The Cr-48 beta computer I have works very well. Since the recent updates during the past few months, issues that once plagued the little wannabe laptop have vanished. One of the most annoying was the Wi-Fi connection and the slow speeds I had encountered. This has been fixed and the netbook is very fast and is on par with my grownup Toshiba laptop computer.

I believe that those of us who need a real keyboard, who spend a great deal of their time on the Internet, who wish to use the notebook as a real computer without looking to play games with it, may enjoy using the notebook with the Chrome OS. We will find out in the next six months or so if the masses with the cash will flock to the netbooks or not.

Everything right now is just smoke and mirrors with no one really knowing how the public will accept or reject the notebooks.

So before anyone throws out the Google netbooks along with the bath water, here are a few ideas you may wish to ponder:

Google has made a huge dent in the cell phone market with its Android OS. Some people are not huge Microsoft fans and will move to another OS if they feel it will meet their needs. Though some are reluctant to accept the fact that a notebook connected to the Internet that uses the cloud to store stuff is going to be the future; eventually this will be the case. When this will happen is anyone’s guess.

When Microsoft has faced stiff competition in the past, it used its big bucks to squash the competition. But this time it is facing a company that also has a huge amount of cash. Microsoft is ignoring the Google Chrome OS as a non-threat — just another Linux version without support and that cloud computing is just a play thing.

We will see.

Comments welcome.

Source – techie,com.ph

Will Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Be in the Number Two Spot by 2015?

International Data Corp. (IDC) released its statistics for cell phone use for the year 2011, which it believes will increase by 50%. What is of interest and being discussed around the Internet is its prediction that Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will take the number two position for cell phone use. What is raising the eyebrows of some is that the prediction seems to place Apple in the number three spot with its popular iPhone.

Since Nokia and Microsoft have joined forces recently, with Nokia agreeing to use Windows Phone 7 on future phones, rumors are circulating at a fevered pace. There is only one problem with all of the rumors and all of the predictions. Until Microsoft can show the world that its phone OS is a real contender, everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

What is not surprising is that few, if anyone, are buying this prediction. Citing the problems Microsoft had in developing an OS that can truly compete against Apple and Google, the problem is further exacerbated since Microsoft received a lukewarm reception in the tablet market. While Apple iOS and Google Android are blowing the competition away, why would anyone believe that Microsoft and Nokia can pull off a miracle?

Nokia will not have a Windows Phone 7 model available until at least 2012. With an industry that can change in a heartbeat, how can anyone know just how well the Windows Phone 7 will be accepted by the masses? Predicting four years down the road is an amazing feat that makes many wonder what is behind this.

Will it really be the superior hardware by Nokia and a Windows Phone 7 software that in combination together will make a super phone?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – ZDNet

Need A Job? Like Free Meals? How About A Free Apple iPad?

What is being called the Silicon Valley hiring boom is spreading like wildfire throughout the state of California. During the month of February over 100,000 new jobs were filled, dropping the state’s unemployment rate from 12.4% down to 12.2%. Technology jobs are leading the charge for new hires and some companies are offering high pay plus additional perks to attract them.

Leading the pack on a hiring spree is Google, which is expanding its work force from 24,000 to 30,000 and just gave all of its employees a 10% pay raise. Facebook is planing on opening a new office complex in Menlo Park, CA, and has permits to hire up to 3,600 employees. Twitter is also expanding its hiring in San Francisco with an anticipated job growth from 400 to 3,600 by 2013. Zynga, the gaming company, also is increasing its work force and has hired over 700 employees in 2010 until February of this year.

Starting pays are lucrative and at Google, science majors just out of college are starting at $90,000 to $105,000 a year. Not bad for starting out, plus the company feeds you free meals and you get a free Apple iPad to boot. Some companies are also providing doggie day care for employees who have dogs.

But it is not only Silicon Valley that is doing the hiring. Start-ups are springing up in New York, Seattle, and Austin and are going after programmers, engineers, and designers from other well established companies. Some companies are offering major stock options to attract new recruits, similar to what Google did in its startup years. Companies are also competing for those with more specialized skills as well.

So is this another bubble or it for real this time? The dot.com era was plagued with overvalued companies being fed by overzealous investors thinking there was no end in sight. But with companies like Facebook being valued at over $50B, can anyone be sure if this bubble won’t pop as well?

In the meantime, jobs are plentiful and the sky is the limit. Young people entering into the technology field are going to be rewarded with good pay and plenty of perks. Hopefully this trend will continue for a long time to come.

Time will tell.

Comments welcome.

Source – L.A. Times

Source – N.Y. Times

Source – Venture Beat

AT&T iPhone Users Use Wi-Fi More Than Verizon iPhone Users [Study]

A survey released this morning from the mobile ad exchange company Mobclix reveals that users of the Verizon iPhone use Wi-Fi less often than users of the AT&T iPhone. Also revealed in the study, Mobclix’s data suggests that larger metropolitan cities have a higher amount of iPhone usage over the AT&T iPhone.

According to the graph published by Mobclix, the largest areas of Verizon iPhone usage include Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles. This is due to the common assumption that AT&T has signal problems in large dense cities.

In its report Mobclix also reports that AT&T iPhone users use Wi-Fi about 53% of the time and Verizon users use their Wi-Fi 38% of the time. The only explanation of this is the reception problem with AT&T. Users get so fed up with dropped signal that they find the nearest open Wi-Fi point and continue with what they are doing. Granted, this isn’t an optimal way to use an iPhone and you can’t make calles over Wi-Fi but for most users they seem pretty happy about it.

Note that AT&T has a vast Wi-Fi hotspot network with over 24,000 hotspots throughout the U.S., and with the iPhone supporting auto-authentication, these points are easy to pick up and connect to when traveling or on-the-go. Another bonus to throw in is that none of the Wi-Fi usage counts towards the monthly data usage plan.

The best part about this graph is the number of users who paid the $325 early termination fee to switch to the Verizon iPhone. 2 in 3 users paid that fee with the reasons being all the same and talked about reception issues and the Personal Hotspot feature.

Mobclix mentions that 14% of iPhone 4 users are on the Verizon Network and account for 4% of total iPhone users, which is pretty good for only being on the Verizon network for a month.

You Can Still Buy An Apple iPad 2 – You Just Need To Know How To Play The Game

I recall several years ago when there was a shortage of Nintendo Wii consoles and if you wanted to purchase one, you needed to learn how the game was played. Getting a Wii required a shopper to have a huge amount of tenacity and also use their phone to let their fingers do the walking. My wife and I were able to grab two Wii consoles in a period of several weeks, one by pure luck and the second by a phone call. The first Wii we located sitting on a pallet in the middle of an aisle in a Best Buy store. We were at Best Buy to look at HDTVs and when I saw the Wii I bought one. The pallet was empty by the time we left the store. The second Wii was purchased at Walmart. My wife had been calling our local Walmart daily when she discovered the store had two Wii units left out of the 12 they had received that morning. I was returning home when my wife called and I was able to buy a Wii just before the units were gone.

So now consumers are faced with what appears as a shortage of Apple iPad 2 tablets. Though the tablets are in short supply, if one knows where to look the tablets can still be found. Here’s how:

Best Buy is a great source to start with. One only needs to call Best Buy and get their name added to a wait list. When the Apple iPad 2 tablets are back in stock the store will call you. Is this going to work at every Best Buy store in every city in the U.S.? I doubt it. But it may work for you if you live in or near a larger city that may be allocated a larger number of the tablets. One of my neighbors took my advice I placed his name on a waiting list last Thursday evening. To his surprise he picked up his new Apple iPad 2 tablet on Saturday morning. One note that I believe had helped him get his quicker: he ordered the pricey $830 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G unit. I think you may experience a harder time buying the less expensive units.

Another recommendation is to stop by your local Apple retail store. There is one minor problem with this advice. Apple retail stores are only located in the major cities and rarely, if ever, are seen in outlying areas. Of course there are exceptions like the retail store in San Mateo, CA. With a city population of about 100k, the city is located near Silicon Valley and attracts the more wealthy clients from the local area. Apple retail stores do get a limited stock of the units and merely place a sign in the store window indicating the tablets are available.

One tip is that you can call a store and a clerk with inform you if a shipment of iPads has arrived. According to one report the stores will usually open at 9:00am if Apple iPad 2 tablets are in stock. Be prepared to stand in line for a while. Other consumers will be competing with you to get their hands on this popular tablet including those who wish to sell the tablet on eBay or Craigslist for a profit.

Comments welcome.

Source – N.Y. Times

Tech Pundits and Zune, a Look Back

Microsoft is apparently killing the Zune once and for all, according to a report out of Bloomberg earlier this week. As another tech product reaches the end of it’s lifetime, it can be fun to look back at what all the experts had to say about the original model and whether or not anything has changed, really.

Chris Pirillo
In a post on his personal blog made the day before Microsoft Zune was released in to the world, Chris indicated boldly that he would not be purchasing a Zune.

A year later, he gave a breakdown of the differences between the iPod (classic) and the Zune using his experience with his Zune as an example. At this time, the iPhone had already been released and both of these products were quickly becoming obsolete. He remarked that the larger screen was a plus as well as the FM tuner, which was added to some iPod models in future generations, but the most useful benefit to the Zune was access to a subscription service.

He noted in his blog that it’s lack of cross-platform support, podcast management, questionable battery life, and overall lack of anything “new” were clear downsides to the device.

Leo Laporte
Leo’s impressions of the Microsoft Zune became a viral sensation in the tech community, even reaching a top 10 spot on Digg. His impressions were simply that it lacked the core features that made the iPod a success. His statement that the cut of the purchase price the music industry received was an indication that the release of the Zune marked, “The day the music died” served as a bold opening to his 3-minute rant about how terrible the device truly was.

Ryan Block (Engadget)
Ryan’s comments about the Zune were pretty straightforward. The software installation process was far from flawless, battery life was lackluster, there was a lack of Mac support, and the Zune felt bulky and heavy compared to the current model iPod. The positives he noted in his review include a bigger screen, a comfortable soft finish, and a simple interface.

His review on Engadget ended with the prediction that the Zune was not enough to topple the iPod from it’s position as king of all portable media players. Five years later, his prediction has been proven accurate.

Overall, it would appear that the general response from tech enthusiasts and pundits at the time were that the Zune itself was too little, too late. While the device certainly exceeded expectations by grabbing a 9% market share the first month of release, its rapid decline shortly after and lackluster sales for the past five years have done little to encourage confidence in the Zune brand.

Did Microsoft pay attention to what their customers and reviews thought? Changes to the device over time would indicate that their attention was on trying to be something more like the iPod and less about what made it unique. Whether or not spending more time concentrating on these defining features would have made a difference in this product’s success is a mystery we will sadly never uncover.

What started as a fresh take on the idea of portable media, featuring concepts like subscription-based music and a more social way to think about your portable media player has ended up another footnote in the history of tech.

Source(s):
Bloomberg – Microsoft Is Said to Stop Releasing New Models of the Zune
Chris Pirillo – I’m Not Buying a Zune
Chris Pirillo – Zune: Good and Bad
Chris Pirillo – Apple iPod vs Microsoft Zune
Engadget – Installing the Zune…Sucked
Engadget – Zune Review

Reeder For iPhone App Review

Since its inception in 1999, RSS feeds have changed the way a lot of people get their information on a daily basis from the web. Rather than visiting each site individually, this can be hard when you keep track of 10, 20, 30 or even more sits, it’s possible to consolidate all the information into one central location using an RSS reader. The most common RSS reader today is Google Reader, which allows a user to import all their RSS feeds into the one web application.

For some people including myself it is a way of like. Naturally, people like me need a simple RSS reader for on the go reading of all our RSS feeds. Lately, for this use I’ve just used the mobile version of Google Reader which isn’t bad but it is a pain to navigate and every time I want to share or star a story I have to manually copy the link and title.

A friend who relies on RSS readers for his daily life suggested this app to me awhile back and I thought I would give it a try.

At its core Reeder is just a simple application that syncs unread and starred items from a Google Reader account. For the new user just downloading this app, you are prompted to enter your Google account info so that it may connect to your Google Reeder information. Once logged in Reeder syncs all of your feeds, and all sync setting can be setup in the iPhone Settings app.

The sync options are virtually unlimited, with the ability to sync only a days worth of updates or get everything that is unread even from last year and beyond. The really neat ability of Reeder is to take your existing folders that you have set up in Google Reader and bring them over to Reeder. For the media junkies alike, if you like the simple all-in-one list it is easy to swipe and enter that list to see all unread items. All folder can be sorted by date or by individual feed.

By default when your feeds are synced, images and the content of the feed are cached and downloaded locally to view and read offline. Clicking on the article title will pull up the in-app browser and navigate to the story on the full website. For the Instapaper users, when viewing the list of articles it is a simple swipe to send the article to your Instapaper account or any other of the various services that you can set up in the settings. This goes the same when starring an article, just swipe the title of the article aside and it can instantly be starred for you to come back to.

Reeder has an amazing UI that puts it above the rest, grey text on a beige background differs from any other app and provides and easier on the eyes reading experience. I have yet to find a feature that I wasn’t wishing the app had, it is all there at my finger tips. Easily being able to manipulate the article to send it to an email, Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking account.

Syncing a large number of articles, we’re talking 100+, can take a really long time to sync fully because it has to cache every page. For the patient users this is no problem, but when surfing around during a sync performance can become sluggish and glitchy.

Overall, Reeder is an amazing app with a kick ass UI that makes other RSS reader apps cower in fear. Out of the numerous RSS readers I’ve tried this is the only one I want to recommend to friends looking for a nice RSS reader.

Download Reeder now for $2.99 in the iTunes App Store

Will webOS On All HP Computers Change The Way We Compute?

The way we use our computers is going to change dramatically this decade and the changes will be coming fast and furious. Starting in 2010 we saw the first devices that featured non-Microsoft operating systems that actually make many new devices function on par with Windows or that actually are better. Operating systems like Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Chrome, and Linux versions such as Mint are now capable alternatives to Windows. Now HP is talking about placing its recent purchase of webOS on all of its computers, along with Windows, starting next year. This will allow consumers to try the webOS, which HP is hoping they will prefer over Microsoft’s popular operating system.

In the past most consumers only knew one thing: Windows was what made a computer work and Windows is what they used exclusively. Mention Linux and they look at you like a deer looking into the headlights of an oncoming car. Consumers using computers are a lazy bunch, and if Windows worked, why change? That was than and this is now. There are new kids on the block that consumers are trying and starting to like.

The entire phenomenal change started with Apple and its iOS, which is used on its popular iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Google followed with its Android OS and is in the process of beta testing its Chrome OS. Consumers suddenly realized that there was a life outside of Windows and that the alternatives offered extremely friendly operating systems that were easy to use. Gone are the days when we struggled trying to learn how a computer system worked. The slimmed down operating systems are intuitive and the learning curve is quick for experienced users.

So will the experiment by HP to include the webOS along with Windows change the way we compute? I seriously doubt it will and here is why. Most users will not even play with it. They will just use the operating system they are familiar with and that is Windows. Do you think I am wrong? Try a simple experiment. The next time you start talking computer geek with a non geek, ask them their thoughts about Linux, iOS, Android, or Google Chrome. Ask them if HP will be successful with webOS.

The odds are they will not have a clue as to what you are talking about.

Now I have a confession to make. I have tried Linux Mint, used the Cr-48 Google Chrome netbook, and played with my wife’s Apple iPad. They are all great products and I enjoy using them. But my computer of choice is my Toshiba 17″ with a full keyboard and running Windows 7 Ultimate. It just works for me for my daily chores on the Internet. Everything fits like a glove and it may be a while before I completely dump Windows. In fact it may not ever happen.

But that is just my opinion and my choice. I respect whatever you use and hope you enjoy your computing experience as much as I enjoy mine.

Comments as always are welcome.

Source – Tech News Daily

Apple Releases iOS 4.3

During last week’s iPad 2 event, Steve Jobs announced the release of iOS 4.3 with the shipment of the iPad 2. Although iOS 4.3 was announced to be released on Friday with the iPad 2, Apple gave us a small present of releasing it two days early.

iOS 4.3 has numerous updates to speed up the device considerably and include tethering on the AT&T iPhone 4. One of the main features Apple wants to highlight is the new Nitro JavaScript engine, which will increase Safari’s browsing speeds. Included in this update are enhancements with AirPlay and iTunes Home Sharing.

One of the features iPhone 4 owners will be anxious to get their hands on is the Personal Hotspot used for sharing Wi-Fi to other devices.

iPad owners will be joyous to find in iOS 4.3 that allows them to use the hardware switch on the side of the iPad to lock the orientation. Apple built in the ability to change that button to mute the audio with this newest update.

It is easy to update your iDevice to iOS 4.3: just plug in your device to iTunes and click “Check for Update” on the device menu.

This update contains new features and improvements, including the following:

  • Personal Hotspot*: Share iPhone 4 cellular data connections with up to 5 devices (combination of up to 3 Wi-Fi, 3 Bluetooth, and 1 USB)
  • iTunes Home Sharing: Play music, movies and TV shows from a shared iTunes library on a Mac or PC (requires iTunes 10.2)
  • New AirPlay features**: Play videos from the Photos app including the Camera Roll album, iTunes previews, enabled third-party apps, and Web sites on Apple TV; play slideshows from photos on Apple TV using transitions available on Apple TV
  • Faster Safari performance with Apple Nitro JavaScript engine
  • HD video out using the Apple Digital AV Adapter***: View 720p HD videos from Videos app, iPod app, Photos, YouTube, Safari, Keynote, and enabled third-party apps on an HDMI display
  • Ping features: Push notifications for comments and follow requests; post and like songs directly from the Now Playing screen; parental controls
  • New Settings: Messages setting for number of times to repeat an alert; iPad side switch setting to lock screen rotation or mute audio notifications and sound effects; single tap conference call dialing with a pause to send a passcode
  • Bug fixes

*Requires iPhone 4 with tethering data plan
**Requires Apple TV (2nd generation) running software version 4.2 or later
***iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch (4th generation)

5 Reasons You Should Throw Away Your Apple iPad And Buy Something Else

I wrote yesterday about having ordered an Apple iPad 1 for my wife as a surprise gift. So this morning when I read that the Apple iPad 1 was obsolete, there was no doubt in my mind when the computer arrives, I would not even open the box and just toss the computer in the trash. The original article I read featured 10 reasons why the Apple iPad 1 featured ’10 technologies that outdate it,’ I trimmed the list down to 5 of the most ridiculous. That’s right. Ridiculous because this article smacks of biased and flat-out dumb asinine reasoning.

1. The Apple iPad features a screen that is 9.7 inches while the Motorola Xoom features a screen size of 10.1 inches. The Samsung Galaxy also will feature a 10.1 inch screen. Can anyone explain to me how much bigger .4 inches is? I fail to see any difference. Even the writer of the article stated that ‘is it the end of the world? Not in the least.’ But stop right there. Wasn’t this article going to provide us with reasons why the Apple iPad uses outdated technology? .4 inch in screen real estate is hardly outdated technology.

2. No dual core processor. Newer tablets that use either Google Andorid OS or some that will feature Windows 7 may need dual cores. Could the reason be that Apple has a more efficient OS that operates fine with a single core?

3. No 4G. OMG! No offense but I have been using Verizon’s 3G service on my Google Cr-48 and it is fast enough. I’m a speed freak and if 3G satisfies my needs I know it will be just fine for most users. There is one thing that outweighs 3G vs. 4G: Staying connected. What good is any speed if you are being dropped right in the middle of surfing on the Internet?

4. No dual cameras. There is a deal breaker. Oh, wait, I have a camera on my phone. The Apple iPad 1 cannot be used as a toaster. So toasters are obsolete. No, toasters are designed to make toast and not be used to surf the Internet. So all tablets are obsolete because they can’t make toast.

5. No video conferencing. Gee, that is obvious since the original iPad has no cameras. I have never video conferenced. I have no intention of video conferencing in the future. Does that make me ‘outdated technology’?

My take is that the original Apple iPad 1 is a toy for consumers to use to surf the Internet. The Apple iPad 1 was not designed for hard-core video editing nor designed for playing high-tech games. Any idiot can figure this out.

What do you think? Am I just being critical because I already have buyers remorse and wish I had not purchased this lame obsolete technology? Or are these short comings and the article itself, just an attempt to draw people to the Web site?

Comments welcome.

Source – eWeek

Is It A Post PC Era – Does Apple Really Rule The Roost?

What a difference a decade can make. 10 tears ago Apple was mainly noted for its laptop and desktop computers and commanded only a small percentage of the entire computer market. Companies like Microsoft and Intel were the kings of the hill and seemed unstoppable. But that was then and now these companies are trying to compete against Apple products like the popular iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Today, everyone is asking if these two giants can catch up to Apple.

Yesterday my wife and I were watching the NBC Today show. Featured was a technology guru who was touting the benefits of the new Apple iPad 2. Words like faster, thinner, and lighter were used to describe the benefits of the new iPad from Apple. But what surprised me was this from my wife. She said she would actually use Facebook more if she were able to have a computer that was lightweight and just sat on her lap. So guess what? She doesn’t know it yet but I just bought her an Apple iPad 1 for her to play with. Thanks to Ron Knights I decided to take the plunge as well.

Last night I had dinner with some of the other members of our church youth leaders group. One person has been using an Apple iPhone and just loves it. He stated with his iPhone he didn’t need a computer any longer and he surfs the Internet and answers his emails directly from his phone. I had also previously mentioned that our middle daughter bought a MacBook last year and also received an Apple iPad for Christmas. Our grandson, age 11, won an Apple iPod from his Boy Scout troop, which he likes. His Nintendo DS is sitting in his room collecting dust. There are others who I have spoken to who have also made the switch to Apple products. Even Ron Knights here at LockerGnome bought an Apple iPad 1 and wrote an article about his recent purchase.

There are also other companies like Google who have joined the fray. In fact, some reports seem to indicate that Google’s Android phones may take top spot. Also Google, is testing its new Cr-48 with its Chrome OS that may also give Microsoft and Apple a run for their money. As I have stated before, 2011 is going to be a very interesting year and we consumers are going to be presented with a multitude of new tablets, phones, and computers.

With ARM processors gaining in popularity and with Microsoft seemly stuck in Windows 7 mode for everything that is being built, it does make one wonder if Apple and/or Google will become the new kings of the hill. I even find myself looking at other options to replace my Toshiba laptop at the end of this year.

When my wife receives her new her Apple iPad 1, I’m sure she will write an article about her experience.

As I sit here in front of my trusty PC, it makes me wonder just how many other PC users have become Apple converts? Have you taken the plunge? What has your experience been?

Ron Kinghts Apple iPad 1 article

Source – Engadget

Find The Best iPhone Apps With Chomp

Ever since I received my iPod touch I’ve been an appaholic. I’m constantly searching and trying out the latest app in the Apple App Store. I am addicted, at the time of this article I have 524 apps on my iPod touch alone. Some might say I need some help, but I am always looking for the next best thing to help me out in my daily life and share with the rest of the community.

I’ve recently found some amazing apps that I highlighted a couple of months back, both my Boxcar and OneNote app review got some amazing feedback. I use those applications in my daily life and I know I’ve hooked a couple of people on them as well. But, the only reason I found those apps was searching endlessly through the Apple App Store. Unless Apple highlights them in the overwhelming amount of categories that take hours to weed through you won’t find that one app you’ve hoped for.

About 2 months ago I stumbled upon an app that would change my life when searching and getting new apps. It is a wonderful project called, Chomp. This service is a powerful app finder that is continuously with the latest free and paid apps.

Chomp not only gives you the newest apps in simple categories but helps you find apps that have been put on sale and give you the added options of tracking apps that could lower in price soon. The section that I’ve been most fond of is the sale section. You have the ability within that section to filter out paid or free apps. Allowing the user to see the hottest apps that have just either been reduced in price or dropped to free. It is not only a time saver but can save you a chunk of change.

Making an account on the application is completely optional, but I recommend it for various uses. Chomp has a rating feature built into the application and shows easily on the app viewing page to alert the user if the app is worth it or not. Users can also leave written reviews and feed back letting future users know as well.

You can mess around with those FreeAppADay apps but compared to Chomp they are nothing. The interface in very intuitive and anyone can pick up the use in a short time. It’s an app for other apps and it works very well with a flawless design.

My ONLY concern with the app is when browsing. You can only load ten apps at a time before having to load 10 more. I would love a way to change how many apps it loads and how to filter out non-English applications.

Overall, it is an impressive application that is free in the Apple App Store and Andorid Marketplace.

Having Trouble Calming a Newborn? There’s an App for That

New parents are often hit with the reality that calming a newborn isn’t always easy. Rocking, cuddling, patting, holding, changing, feeding, and even singing doesn’t always work. What if there was an app that recreated sounds a baby hears inside the womb? A couple in Cedar Park, TX did just that with amazing results.

Baby Shusher is an app made for the iOS (Android coming soon) that plays a shushing sound very similar to the one a baby would hear inside the womb as their mother breathes. The noises of the real world are incredibly different and often stressful for a newborn to feel comfortable in, which can cause nighttime fussiness.

This app isn’t intended to replace the parent, and it is only effective for the first four months of childhood. There is a concern among some that an app like this can become a crutch for new parents, replacing the need to check their newborns to see if there is something else causing the fuss. Still, this app can be an interesting tool in the parental toolbox, and if there is one thing geeks love it’s having many tools for the job.

The app is available for $4.99 in the App Store and has become an instant hit in the Austin area. While the app isn’t free, imagine what it could save you in coffee the next morning.

Why Waiting Until the Second Generation is Better

Early adoption is a double edged sword. While you may have the coolest new thing out there, you also have what can be the worst version of it at the highest price. Back in 2007, early adopters of the iPhone paid a premium for the new device that didn’t have 3G internet speeds, sported a design not repeated in any future iterations, and experienced a sharp price drop almost immediately after launch. In a sense, these early adopters suffered a bit for their passions. Below are a few points to consider before buying the first generation gadget or software.

You’re Paying a Premium to Beta Test
When Windows Vista came out, I was there on day one with cash in hand to purchase a laptop sporting the new OS. Little did I know that Microsoft would change the recommended system requirements shortly after the product launched after an overwhelming amount of customers complained that it just didn’t run well on systems with only 1-2GB of RAM. The system I purchased wasn’t adequate and was quickly replaced with a model that had more RAM at the same price.

While Vista was considered “out of beta”, early adopters were technically still finding major flaws in the operating system well in to their experience. It wasn’t until the first service pack came out that Vista appeared to be behaving itself.

On the other side of this, I not only beta tested Windows 7 for a year before it came out, I threw one of their coveted house parties and received an advanced copy well before the official product launch and absolutely loved it. In this sense, not having to pay for the operating system made me a more fortunate early adopter.

The Price Typically Drops Quickly After the First Generation
When the iPhone was released in to the wild, people signed up in droves to get their hands on it on day one. They put down $600 not realizing that the price would be reduced by $200 only a couple months after the launch date. Early adopters were offered a $100 gift certificate as an apology from Apple for the price hike on release. This is a more extreme circumstance where the early adopters was obviously and dramatically impacted by a decrease in price.

Another example are the early adopters of Apple TV. At nearly $300, this first generation device was quite expensive considering that it was a glorified movie rental store. The second generation of Apple TV is priced at $99 and has a much more appealing feature set.

First Generation Devices are Typically Buggy with Limited Features
Google released their Android OS to much curiosity and interest among the tech community. This was brought on by the wave of iPhone imitators quickly rushed out the door by major distributors attempting to capitalize on this new exciting trend. Unfortunately, the Android OS was very premature and lacked basic functionality that users were looking forward to. While it took the iOS some time to add copy and paste to its bag of tricks, Android didn’t have this feature either until later on in its development.

The first generation iPhone didn’t even have 3G data speeds which was quickly dismissed as an unnecessary luxury by Steve Jobs at the time, but was quickly replaced once customers complained in numbers. Fact is, Apple and other tech companies intentionally leave features out in order to make you want the next generation even more.

The iPad has a board that is designed to support cameras, but there isn’t one to be found on the device. When you think about it, this is a feature that might convince a lot of people to purchase a second one come launch day for generation 2.