mac, outdoors

How the iPhone Saved us on a Mountain in the Winter

My friends and I went Hiking a few days ago. Hiking in very late November, in the White Mountains, overnight can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily Casey, Will, and myself all know how to prepare and what to do in common winter hiking situations. The problem was that neither Casey, nor Will, nor I knew what to do with a dislocated shoulder, so when Will too a misstep and ended up dislocating his (in order to save himself from what could have been a much worse injury) we were a little worried.

See, we were on top of the mountain, it was getting dark and the temperature was dropping fast. It was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit at the moment and Will, unable to move much because of the pain and probably entering shock, needed some first aid and to get warm. Because of the dark, the ice, and Will’s inability to move his left arm we couldn’t head back down until morning, but leaving Will in agony over night when the temperature dropped to just below 5 degrees wasn’t an option either. Casey does a good job telling what happened, so if you’re still interested head over to his blog to see how three guys used an iPhone to get out of what could have been a very dangerous situation.

Spoiler: we all lived and the iPhone rocks.


iPhone Update Locks Down 3rd Party Apps, Time for a Linux Phone?

With Apple’s recent move to lock down the iPhone and iPod Touch the Linux Phone called OpenMoko is starting to look better all the time.

From the OpenMoko website:

OpenMoko is a GNU / Linux based open software development platform. Developers have full access to OpenMoko source and they can tailor their implementations to underlying hardware platforms.


Our company is unconventional, we openly share our roadmap. And your participation, in terms of actual code, hardware features, suggestions, and usage-scenarios will shape product features of our future devices. …The real power of an open phone… emerges from the interaction of all the users of “freed phones.”

While it may not rival the iPhone in terms of design, I might rival the iPhone in terms of function. It has a little way to go yet, but this phone may rise through the horde of silly closed phones to become a true iPod killer. The combination of openness not only of software but also of network (any GSM network anyway) makes the OpenMoko a compelling alternative to what Apple offers, that being a closed software and closed network phone.

Interestingly the OpenMoko uses a microSD and microSDHC cards for it’s storage. Currently microSD cards can go up to 2GB, but microSDHC are up to 4GB with 8GB cards in the works. This would also mean that a person could carry much more than an iPhone if they are willing to carry around extra cards. One the negative side the UI looks dog ugly, however being Linux, I am sure there will be all sorts of themes for folks to use. Another downside is that it looks like it will be more expensive than the iPhone, but if the OpenMoko takes off that could change as mass production always drives price down. Only time will tell if the OpenMoko succeeds but one thing for sure is that it will be worth keeping an eye on this phone.

mac, technology

Waiting for iPhone Version 2.0

Do I want an iPhone? Of course, it is a neat toy… I mean tool. Seriously, it is cool and useful and sexy which doesn’t always happen all at once. Still it does use AT&T which sucks. In fact, that alone is a deal breaker for me even if people are able to play old Nintendo and arcade games on their iPhones and even if people are hacking them to add new useful features. Not to mention the folks who are dreaming up new apps for the iPhone.

The other thing that helps stave off my iPhone desires is remembering back to my first iPod, which was the first generation iPod. The iPod was a lesson to me, that lesson was that what is small, sexy, and useful today is tomorrow’s fat, clunky, imperfection. So if I do get an iPhone it will be a second generation iPhone (hopefully without crappy AT&T service… even if I have to unlock it myself).

humor, mac

Beta iPhone Rejected

image of old iPhone

The first iPhone design was a little primitive. When given the beta iPhone, early test groups responded that they wanted “less wires, no pen, and something significantly smaller and mobile.” Apple’s designers threw just about everything out and started again from scratch. It took a little over twenty years, but late in 2006 Apple was ready to show off their new and improved design.

Well, you can have your fancy futuristic mobile phone folks— give me something I can pug into a wall and sit at a desk with.

mac, technology

DVD Jon Does it Again, This Time with the iPhone

Apple is expected to sell about a million iPhones by the end of the week, but it didn’t even take DVD Jon (named so because he is the one that broke CSS encryption on DVD’s way back in the 02’s) that long to work his magic again. A little while back he messed with Steve Job’s head by cracking the DRM in iTunes, now he has come up with a way to activate the iPhone without using AT&T.

dvd jon

That means that you can use the iPhone as an iPod+WiFi device. That doesn’t mean you can make a phone call from it. This is bad news for AT&T but good news for everyone else. And the news isn’t even that bad for AT&T, the small percentage of people that activate the iPhone without AT&T would probably never get one otherwise. However it is great news for folks who want to test the iPhone and develop for the iPhone. It is also good for Apple because it could mean more sales and increased 3rd party application development.

Nice work Jon Lech Johansen!

random, technology

iPhone Silliness

I’m all about Apple, when OS X first came out I instantly realized that my PC days were through. I was even one of the suckers who bought the first generation iPod, you know the boxy one thicker than a pack of playing cards with a whopping 5gb hard drive. I’ve smartened up a bit since then, I’ll wait for the iPhone to become smaller and more amazing and perhaps Cingular-free.

iPhone cut-outBut it’s not like I don’t want one. I just don’t feel like I need one, but I said the same thing about the iPod before I bought that. Some people have decided they want one so badly that they are willing to spend the time and ink to make fake ones from paper-cut-out, which is obviously too far. There are still others who want to feel like their current smart phone is an iPhone and so people have developed iPhone skins for the Palm OS.

iPhony (iPhone skin for pocketPC)

The skins have been met with cease and desist orders from Apple (reasonable since they appear to be images taken directly from Apple), so don’t go racing to the internet hoping to make those Blackberries hip again.

Even with people pissed off about Cingular (see the comments here for example), I can’t help but think these things will sell like Playboys at a teenage summer camp. Even if the LG Prada Phone is going to beat the iPhone to market.