Math library

I now have an extensive mathematics library downloaded to my iPad–probably enough to keep me entertained forever.


Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 10:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Short iPad review and experience

I won’t put too fine a point on it. For my routine daily content consumption and activities such as playing chess, social networking, etc., the iPad fulfills all my requirements with a few minor drawbacks.

I rate it highly. It definitely replaces my laptop when I am not at home or even when I’m home.

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 9:25 am  Comments (2)  


I’ve experienced first hand a battery charging issue that has been known since the iPad first shipped.  The battery does not always charge when plugged into my Mac laptop.  Sometimes, it will charge and sometimes it won’t.  It does seem to charge when it is shut off and plugged into the laptop overnight.  When I use the power adapter, it charges quickly with no problems.

Oh, well.

Published in: on July 15, 2010 at 6:49 am  Comments (2)  

Day 1

Used the iPad only yesterday instead of the computer. The iPad has a complete lack of multitasking as stated in the reviews except iPod will play in the background while using another app. It does not support Flash either, but that has been well discussed in the reviews also. I’m
getting used to two finger typing.

Today’s chore: synch selected music, photos, and documents.

Everybody who plays with my iPad falls in love with it. Their comments: I want one or I am getting one.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 6:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Pandora Radio iPad app

Pandora Radio does not play in the background when you are in another app like it does on the tiPhone. What is that all about?

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 7:01 am  Comments (3)  

IPad Test

As a test, I have decided to use my iPad for the next week instead of my laptop, except for my current writing project, to see just how useful the iPad is to me. So far I have not missed the laptop except as a device to sync and charge the iPad.

This morning I caught up on my chess games, checked on my fantasy baseball teams, read the NYTimes, caught up on some of my blog reading, which I am woefully behind, and wrote a blog post. The only problem so far is that some of the fantasy baseball screens do not work. I suspect it is a flash issue.

And I am getting used to the two finger method of typing. Hell, I learned to type with my thumbs on the iPhone. Two index fingers on a much larger keyboard ought to be easy.

So far, so good.

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 6:13 am  Leave a Comment  

New iPad

My new iPad arrived yesterday. I’m using the clunky WordPress app to write this.

I bought the 16 gig Wi-Fi only model. I already have buyer’s remorse over not buying the 64 gig model.

It’s heavier than I expected. However, I read A Midsummer Night’s Dream on it yesterday and I quickly realized that I always read with the book or my arms propped up on something, so it’s not a problem.

I touch type poorly. The keyboard is to small to allow me to do that. I’m using the two finger method for this post. You have to flip between at least two keypads to write because most of the special characters are not on the alpha keyboard, so touch typing is slow anyway. For $129 you can buy a regular keyboard with stand. For heavy duty writing I’ll still use the laptop.

I didn’t buy my iPad to store all my music, photos, or lots of movies. I’m a text person. Whatever music or photos I want to carry around will be on my iPhone. I’ll make selected and limited use for those on the iPad. Besides, syncing between three devices does not appeal to me.

Ok, so why did I buy the damned thing? I bought it for high quality text reading in all it’s various forms, Internet access outside home, and activities such as chess. I’m sure my usage will expand. After minimal time, I am really glad I got it.

By the way, don’t expect many long blog post from my iPad unless my typing skills improve dramatically.

Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Gone Electronic

In advance of receipt of my iPad, I bought my first eBook from Barnes&Noble yesterday, Colin McGuinn’s Shakespeare’s Philosophy.  (I have downloaded a lot of free eBooks over the years.)  I sat in bed last night reading it on my iPhone with the Cubs radio broadcast of the baseball game in LA playing in the background on the phone.  (Gotta love the iPhone.)

I’ve always found McGinn an agreeable prose stylist.  I also find his take on Shakespeare’s skeptical(?) philosophy congenial.  McGinn doesn’t do literary criticism of Shakespeare’s work.  He sticks to Shakespeare the philosopher.

I’m already seeing the advantage of collecting an electronic library.  In the case of the McGinn book, I’ll have it plus the plays with annotations to the texts all collected in and accessible from one device no matter where I go.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 5:42 am  Comments (5)  

The iPad circles the globe

I ordered an IPad about two weeks ago.  It shipped from Connecticut a couple of days ago, then went to Hong Kong, then to Alaska.  Now that it has left Alaska I wonder where it will land next.

I bought it because…  Well, it’s cool.  However, there was at least one practical reason.  I have no more room for hard copy books.  I have to go electronic.  When I looked at the prices of the high end book readers versus the price of an iPad, the price was definitely right given all the other things you can do with an iPad.

Anyway, on Monday or Tuesday, I’ll be the owner of an iPad.

Published in: on July 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  


I watched a video ( demonstrating the iPad.  I want one.

Orla, don’t bother to tell me. 🙂

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Facebook and paragraphs

Even one paragraph seems too long to write these days.  I blame Facebook.

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  


Being an owner of an iPhone, I cannot imagine buying an iPad.  The iPad sounds like big screen iPhone without the phone.  And I’ll be damned if I’m going to get a separate ATT 3G plan just for that kind of connection to an iPad.  ATT 3G  on the iPhone is disappointing and frustrating enough for me.

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 1:05 pm  Comments (9)  

Chrome plated and/or smart

Until the news hit this past week that Google was introducing a new operating system called Chrome targeted at running on netbooks, I did not know what a netbook was.  I hit Curtis Schweitzer (dot) net to see what all the hoopla was about with Chrome.  Then I scurried to the Wal*Mart and Dell web sites and discovered they are small laptops with 10 inch screens designed primarily for Internet usage for those on the go.  The prices range from $300 up to $600 not including discounts.  Damn, once again I am behind the curve.  In fact, I am not even on the curve.  To my defense, in my travels to Starbuck’s each day I have yet to see a person using a netbook there.  I know what you’re thinking: State Street, that is not a random sample.

I wonder about netbooks though.  How do they fit between laptops and smart phones?  I understand the return to lug-ability from the monster foot print laptops.  If your usage is primarily Internet usage on the go, the move to smaller from larger seems like a good thing.

My quandary is not about Chrome, but whether netbooks will compete long term with smartphones.  With my iPhone I have the ultimate in lug-ability for Internet usage.  It fits in the front pocket of my blue jeans.  Plus, it has all the other stuff like phone, camera, photos, music, gps, videos, etc.  I’ve got mobile apps for most of the Internet applications I use most heavily: Google, Facebook, ESPN, Bloglines, games, eReader for book reading, even Word Press (Which by the way, is so rudimentary it’s a joke.  You can’t even take a photo, attach a message, and send it to your blog).

I predict the smartphone will be the computing platform of the future for personal mobile and home Internet apps. (For a lot of folks that is all they need.)  Soon you will be able to take the phone and plug it into a docking station at home with a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and storage attached.  In effect, you won’t need a laptop or netbook on the go unless you are doing some heavy duty computing such as studying global warming or trying to win at your latest computer game.

I have used my iPhone during the past two years more than any toy I have ever bought.  I can hit Starbuck’s early in the morning and get my first Internet fix.  I have an app that allows me to set my fantasy baseball lineups, which during baseball season is always my first chore in the morning.  I like doing that in the peace and quiet of the corner Starbuck’s at six in the morning.  At night, sitting in the bar, I am the answer man.  I can Google the answer to any question that someone throws at me. (Well, I didn’t find much information about what Mark Prior is doing these days when someone asked me a couple of days ago.)  I can read blogs, news, and books on it no matter where I am.

I’m not saying netbooks, laptops, and workstations are going away, but the smartphone seems to have the edge these days in mobile Internet computing.  And let’s face it, people these days only seem to have the patience to tap out a few misspelled messages.

Oh well, who cares what I think?  When I was a small boy we didn’t have TV.  We had a party line wall phone.  Records were 78 type plastic discs and scratchy by today’s standards..  You had to go to the bank for transactions.  You had to go to the train station for your ticket when you were travelling.  When you received a personal letter, it was a big deal.

Published in: on July 9, 2009 at 8:50 am  Comments (1)  

coffee spill

I spilled coffee on the mighty State Street computer keyboard and now it doesn’t work so well. Darn! Oh, well, I still have the iPhone, which means I can feed my chess adiction.

Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Technology, etc.

I tried the G3 connection on the new iPhone. I did not see any appreciable increase in speed beyond the old Edge network when surfing the Internet. I primarily use my iPhone as a mobile Internet device, so I don’t feel as if I am missing out on anything with my old iPhone.

I have had my iPhone for about a year. It is the best toy I have ever bought for myself. Ever!

WordPress has basic no frills mobile blogging. What I wish they had was a way to post pictures and text from email like Blogger does. Sigh.

I setup an iGoogle page this past week. I like it. I have been using a custom Yahoo home page for ten years. I think I will make iGoogle my home page. Gmail is my primary email account. I like the Yahoo page, but I need a change.

Published in: on August 3, 2008 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  

iPhone, agendas, and wallpaper

I keep everything on my iPhone now except for my calendar/agenda. I’ve never gotten the knack of keeping an agenda on the computer.

I bought this year’s agenda at Macy’s one Saturday afternoon with V. It’s pocket sized with black leather cover, and has elegant heavy stock paper.

Sometimes I open it up as if it were a diary whose code triggers my fondest memories from this year. It would not be the same if all that were on the iPhone.

I did not stand in line to get the new G3 iPhone. My current one serves my purposes adequately. I have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities.

The current wallpaper for my iPhone is a picture of me and V. It was taken the night we dressed up to go to a party. I have my arm around her. She places a hand upon my chest. We rest our heads together. And we are smiling.

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  


Dear Diary,

Went to Iowa with a sore back and a cold for the Thanksgiving holiday. I had a good time anyway.

My new computer, not even four months out of the box, broke on Saturday. The display screen died. This beats my previous record for quickly breaking a computer by a country mile. The thing that chaps my ass raw is that I didn’t spill beer on the keyboard or anything.

I spent a fair amount of time on Saturday getting my dinosaur computer in working order so I could use it. It has only crashed on me once so far.



Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 4:25 pm  Comments (1)  

Capitalism and iPhone wagering: sports, the financial markets, and houses

I have not made a wager using my iPhone thus far. Betting on the laptop at home keeps the pretense alive that I am making an informed judgment about a sporting event. Ha.

However, with the iPhone the world becomes my virtual casino as I can follow the results of the sporting events on which I have wagered anywhere I go. I can log into my sportsbook and see how my money is doing. (My money did not do well yesterday thanks to some trashy baseball bets I made.) Of course, I view this as a good thing while many find it deplorable or depraved. All I can say is that anyone who has the stomach to bet on the financial markets, stocks, bonds, etc., should have no qualms about throwing a few bucks down on a football game. For instance, I am watching the Man U vs. Sunderland game right now. I have Man U in a four team Premier League parlay this weekend. My guts are not churning as badly as when the stock market is open for business, and these days it’s always open for business somewhere.

The iPhone has a nice button on it to retrieve market results. With the volatility in the current market, I find myself pushing it often. That is probably not a good thing, for about the only thing you can predict about the market is that it will fluctuate as J. P. Morgan well remarked.

I sold a house recently. I should have sold it a year or two ago when house prices peaked in the neighborhood. I did manage to get out near the top. I am using the proceeds to buy property. I plan on buying a place next year somewhere in between Costa Rica and Chicago. At this time, a small condo in Las Vegas sounds intriguing. And a small place in downtown Chicago. I could jump back and forth between both places. Betting on sports in a Las Vegas casino has more cachet than betting on them in my living room while sitting around in my underwear trying to write. I figure housing prices ought to be cheaper next year with the debacle occurring in the housing market.

Selling the house was an interesting exercise. I did my own market research as the real estate agent I used was not much help in doing that. The Internet makes it easy. The Internet makes buying and selling anything easy. Whether that is good or bad depends upon the disposition of one’s assets. I plan on buying low next year when more properties, borrowers, and lenders are distressed.

Capitalism is gambling in it’s purest form. In fact, capitalism might be defined as organized gambling. Lots of folks extoll the virtues of capitalism right up until they crap out in the game. Then the government or somebody else giving them a helping hand does not sound like such a bad idea. Funny how that works. You don’t miss your water until the well runs dry.

The trick to moving to a more humane and rational economic system is finding the right changes at the right time while playing the hand you are dealt in the capitalism game. You don’t want to starve to death while waiting for the revolution with the exception of a few martyrs. I find this a brutal thing to say, yet smarter minds than mine have not found an effective long lasting cure for capitalism. Capitalism is like a swiftly mutating virus. As soon as you find a treatment, it changes into something else.

Man U and Sunderland are tied coming up to half time. Whatever, there’s plenty of good games left to follow today in which my whip out cash hangs in the balance. My anxiety and stress is not nearly as high as when following the market or selling a house.

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment