Archive for the ‘WWDC’ category

Apple Watch Upgrade Path?

June 3, 2015

I had the bright idea to stand in line to get the first gen iPhone. That device was magical (sort of) in an initial sort of way. Pull that phone out now and hold it up to an iPhone 6. The magic is gone pretty much upon startup.

But, I’ve since bought just about every version of the iPhone up to the 4S which is where I stopped being so eager to lap up everything. The pace of annual updates had picked up. I soured on spending so much on two year contracts and being bound to a specific carrier and their particular stupidity. So, I have a 4 and 4S on pay-as-you-go plans with a carrier that has really reliable service in my home town. I was content until last night.

The Apple Watch has me wanting to re-up. (And there’s the key for Apple.) It would be a pricey step up to say the least. I’d not only have to abandon my 4S, but I’d nearly have to commit to a 6 or 6+ (unlocked, off contract) and buy a Watch.

And for what?

Do I really want to send little drawings to anyone? No. My heartbeat? Nope. Are there any “can’t live without apps yet?” Um, no. Then why on earth would I want to just chuck all that dough out the window for a gen 1 product? Again!

I don’t have a good answer.

That’s about the most ridiculous thing I could have said. But, it’s precisely the answer. I’m not even interested in the Sports version. I’m more interested in the experience. I liken it to my going to the top of the World Trade Center in 1981. I was there. It was there. We hooked up and I had a great view for an afternoon.

Is this what Apple has become? Less a device maker. More of a desire maker? An experience.

The Swatch watch I have is about the size and heft of an Apple Watch. It has a good number of complications, a swanky faux leather wristband and a kick ass dial. I love that watch. Guess what? I don’t wear it except when I’m “going out”. I don’t wear it at work. I do wear it to work, though. I don’t wear it around the house. It’s a true accessory.

However, I can tell you I’m tired of my phone being such a large (physically and metaphorically) distraction. I do like the promise of being able to trim down the distractions of the day. Can a first gen product deliver on that?

Upgrades Concern Me

Like I said, I’ve bought a lot of Apple iPhones and iPads. AAPL likes that. AAPL thrives on precisely that.

But, I don’t want to buy a Watch 2s or a Watch 6s years down the line any more than I want to replace my Swatch.

So, what is the upgrade path? Is it like Tesla’s sedans and it’s going to be on the software updates for a good long period? The upgradeable car has a nice allure to it. That doesn’t jibe with the APPL year-over-year need for predictably innovative/lucrative product cycles, though.

How does this Apple Watch thing play out as a product line over the years? Because I don’t really want to buy this one and then find out next year they’ve added iSight and FaceTime hardware or Thuderbolt or some sort of wet neural networking that gen one can’t get. But, you know what? I don’t think most people think that way. It’s priced low enough (as Apple’s Items of Desire go) that things will turn out okay for Apple.

I suppose WWDC will be particularly interesting this year. Still, I wrestle with the whole first gen commitment and how long the danged thing will be relevant. What’s it’s lifespan? When does Apple stop supporting Gen One? These are the things blocking me… a (weary) early adopter.

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Another Open Letter to Tim Cook, Apple

May 7, 2009

Mr. Cook, as one of your long standing Apple Developers in good standing and a former employee of Apple… Thank you!

Not only do I feel listened to (due to the very cordial contact from Mr. Ron Okamoto & the last open letter) but the recent decision to go forward with the Snow Leopard Developer Forum is a VERY welcome move. I’ve logged in and looked at the lay of the land and by the looks of it I’m most definitely not alone. LOTS of healthy participation going on.

Thanks again.

Very sincerely yours,

Gerald Buckley

An Open Letter to Tim Cook

March 9, 2009

I’ve been an Apple Developer since 1991 when I was an Apple Systems Engineer. I developed for HyperCard, AppleScript, OpenDoc, Newton, LOTS of HTML and most recently the iPhone. I never did anything big, splashy or noteworthy and may not, at least by my own hand. I have seen some detrimental Apple policy though toward their Developers. And, it is because of that I hope to persuade a change in Cupertino to allow us ADC Select and Premiere members to exchange methods, opinions and findings in a year-round, sanctioned way OUTSIDE of WWDC. What follows is a transcript of a handwritten letter I’m mailing to Tim Cook today. My hope is, if you’re in support of this, you will weigh in via the comments (with YOUR real name in plain sight please).

Mr. Cook –

As an Apple Developer in good standing for several years I have hoped for an online venue whereby we select & premiere ADC members could freely exchange methods, best practices and work arounds.

But that hasn’t happened.

We’re expected to abide by our NDAs. Which means innovating for things like Snow Leopard either happens at WWDC or have to wait until after launch.

Isn’t there a sanctioned way to do this?!

I don’t mind trying to learn & innovate while under observation. The give and take can only HELP solidify developers’ affinity to Apple. As is a lot of this is happening outside of view of Apple and at the cost of the platform.

Gerald Buckley
(918) 813-9745
geraldb28@me.com

An ideal outcome IMHO would be a discussions.apple.com type arena where Select and Premier ADC members could freely exchange ‘how to’ type info. Frankly, getting the web services up and functional in early versions of 10.5 Leopard were insanely hard. That is until a little more documentation came around. But, testing that stuff was central to what I wanted to contribute and, frankly, what the developer notes were asking for. Now, you tell me, how can I pitch in (while still honoring my NDA to Apple Developer Connection)? There is a LOT more good that could come out of a new, sanctioned “portal”/”exchange”/”marketplace” than any bad. Heck, I don’t mind paying a bit more for it. There are a ton of us who just can’t or won’t make it to WWDC regularly. And, it’s a shame the innovations that could be brought to market closer to the each launch of a new Apple OS have to lag for lack of a sanctioned/moderated place for Apple’s developers.

So, if you would please raise your voice in support of something like this I’d like to think we could usher in some fresh positive policy at Apple with regard to Developers. Or, at least let them know, we’re not above doing it ourselves in plain sight and in the pirate tradition of Cupertino. (There’s a warning shot across the bow sure to draw a cease and desist)

REVIEW: “XCode 3 Unleashed” by Fritz Anderson

July 23, 2008

It was a good week for interviews and reviews. This book by Fritz Anderson is something I’ve been waiting to come along. As a publisher in the science, technical and medical space… I want to first say a big “Thank you” to Mr. Anderson. Anyone who undertakes the mountainous task of publishing a book, a REALLY GOOD book has my immediate respect and in a case such as this my deep appreciation. Fritz, I’m looking forward to interviewing you and picking your noggin.

On to the book. Application development is an arcane art to me. Some people LOVE great food. I LOVE great software. There are some apps I just can’t get enough of. As with some people who love food… they naturally turn to perfecting the art of preparing what they love. I’ve tried that (over and over) with NewtonScript, AppleScript, Automator, XCode, the iPhone SDK. I suck. I suck BAD at development. Worse than I suck at Calculus and we know how THAT story ended (hint: change of college plans and an entire career dream abandoned). It is better for all of you out there to not have had to suffer my applications (and for those of you who did… ehem, Adam Engst, ehem… I’m eternally grateful you let me believe my shoddy efforts to port TidBits to the Newton all those many months were anything but).

As with a lot of people these days… I have a renewed interest in developing in Cocoa and WebObjects. iPhone is driving a lot of that interest and so when the opportunity came to review this book I jumped on it like a rat on a cheeto. I’m dying for a good XCode 3 primer. Something that will take me from tooth to tail on building an app I can appreciate for all that it is.

So, over the course of the next several days, weeks, months (however long it takes) I’ll be perpetually reviewing this book and I’ll be taking you along with me. Hope it’s as beneficial to you as I’m hoping it will be for me.

FYI, anyone can be an Apple Developer free of charge. Simply go to http://developer.apple.com/ and download XCode 3 (which only runs on Leopard). There are tiers of Apple Developer and I happen to be a Select member which means we have access to early release versions of this and that as it comes along. Select was $499 I think. And, Premier is a bit more expensive and comes with WWDC ticket(s) and some access to a few more trouble tickets. If you’re hardcore Premier is probably the way to go. I will be eventually…

Odometer hits 400,000

January 26, 2008

Last November I blogged about reaching 300,000 visitors here at the gWHIZ blog. While I was taking a hiatus from blogging/tweeting it hit 400,000. That took less than three months. For some, that’s a couple hours or a long day

Here sometime soon I’ll pass the 925 posts mark on posts too. That’s roughly one entry per day since I started blogging. I can feel good about all that.

A couple of interesting bits of tid:

  • There are 825 comments on the gWHIZ blog (a ratio I’d like to improve). But, it means we do have discussions sometimes (gasp!);
  • The gWHIZ Technorati rank is at 110,648. I’d love to break into the top 75,000… Favorite us and help that along please? (shameless, I know);
  • According to Google there are only 31 links into the gWHIZ bl0g (could use more…doh! shameless again);
  • The single biggest day on the gWHIZ blog was  17,479 visits on October 30, 2007;
  • I’ve used 635 tags (half of which are misspellings I can’t seem to delete);
  • And the gWHIZ tag cloud says I’m HEAVY on Apple, Leopard, iPhone, iTunes, MacOSX and WWDC;
  • Surprisingly there have only been 7,572 spam comments (all caught and killed by Akismet);
  • And the all time post “views” leader is sitting at 124,346 views. (over 1/4 of the total traffic) and it’s not that good a post…

Now, I’ve been totally winging this and posting on an “as I can” basis. I’m not a professional journo and 110% sure I don’t want to be. The beautiful thing is… most of the people I enjoy reading aren’t either. They’re either subject matter experts in interesting fields, highly opinionated and interesting on that alone, or they have something unique to offer.

A couple of things learned in the last several months: Pick a handful of topics and work them like mad; Digg and StumbledUpon are super helpful; Tagging is super helpful; Writing often is super helpful; Insightful commenting on other peoples blogs super duper helpful; Trackbacks to other blog entries indispensable; Most of all LINK OUT liberally but with good reason and pure intention; Establishing an alternate FeedBurner feed is super helpful.

To follow up that last point… RSS Feeds… I happen to be of the mind to ALMOST always offer a full rss feed. There have been two exceptions I can think of recently. I highly recommend full-feeds. Once I did that… traffic went ballistic (by my standards).

I also highly recommend WordPress.com as the engine behind your blog. Free with some primo options you can pay for… Very nice. The number of times people have said, “Wow, you stayed up through the big Digg.” Yeah, because I have great infrastructure (for free).

Why this post? Why now? Blogging is gaining in speed, popularity and acceptance. My post earlier this week on helping a local family with some serious needs wasn’t a massive success in traffic count, but it was a help in getting the family some relief and additional attention from people who were in a position to be able to help in big ways. Blogging did that. Sure, the emails I sent out helped. But, they simply linked back to the blog.

This post is for people who don’t yet blog who wonder what they can expect in the way of traffic, participation and how long it will take to build a following. The real answer to all the above is, “It depends.” of course. Look at Fake Steve Jobs blog. That went nutso crazy. It’s unique and super hard to duplicate. There are precious few blogs out there focused on the Apple platforms right? 🙂 So, I’ve found my place by focusing on things others don’t, but things I like. Reviewing high-end software (Daylite, DivX), writing detailed How-To’s, all things Apple Developer Connection (ADC) and live blogging the big events. Podcasting and XServes are really my passion in the middle of all of this and I’ll focus more on that in the coming year.

The Voice of Alex [CASE STUDY]

November 2, 2007

I’ve worked for this not-for-profit Association now for six years. Some people might get the (mistaken) impression NFPs are backwater or risk averse. My thinking is that’s plain rubbish. They’re what you make them.

I’m fortunate in that our executives are tinkerers and scientists… ie, not risk averse. They try stuff just to see what happens by their nature. So, when I came out with the first corporate podcast out of sleepy little Tulsa… there was an instant appetite revealed within our Association’s membership for more innovative stuff. We hopped onto RSS shortly after that. And most recently we’ve been circulating the abstracts of our peer reviewed journal as machine read text using none other than the voice of Alex.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

My granddad, Dave, was a terrific man. He passed away while Michelle and I were honeymooning in Puerto Vallarta (was that really 1991!?). He was every ounce a pioneer, bush pilot for Phillips66, and an all around amazing ham radio operator. When his eyesight failed him in the late 1980’s he began listening to his journals and periodicals on audio tape. His eyes and fingers couldn’t do what he wanted. But, his brain kept up with every development in his areas of interest.

So, it was natural for me to think of Grandpa Dave when Steve Jobs announced and demo’d the Alex voice at WWDC ’06. The Association has an aging demographic. Many of whom can’t read what they receive in the mail due to poor/failing eyesight. We also have a burgeoning younger demographic who consume VAST amounts of digital stuff. Alex came at just the right time. I’ve been recording the abstracts from our journal for over a year now. People LOVE it.

I simply wish there were more voices. For those who feel similarly… there IS Cepstral. But, their distribution licensing killed the go forward. I’m a bootstrapper by nature and couldn’t bear the idea of paying for something when an equally good, free alternative was available.

Leopard’s One Month Away

September 2, 2007

Happy September folks. This means we’re on the warning track. Sometime in THIS month Leopard (OS X 10.5) will be very quietly deemed golden master and the final leg of the launch is iniated.

What do we know so far?

There’s a lot been said about the look and feel of Leopard. All nice and fine. From what we saw demo’d at WWDC’s keynote, it falls short of the FTFF movement’s expectations. Someone mentioned the answer to this is in the version number: It’s System 10! for crying out loud. ANYTHING Apple puts out is going to be an interation of what came before (My counter to that point – the recent iMovie 08 which is a take-your-lumps departure from iMovie 06. Apple can pretty much do anything it wants, whenever it wants: The OS is 100% theirs, the hardware is 100% theirs, the development environment might as well be 100% theirs).

Spaces, TimeMachine and iChat’s new screen sharing goodies are all untested so far on the installs I’ve loaded up.

XCode. OMG!

OSX Leopard Server, which is what I’m most interested in, is a MAJOR departure from previous versions. It’s much more friendly to the casual sysadmin. Sure all the bells and whistles are still there plus a gob more. Apple has very nicely taken Leopard Server in a much more admin friendly direction. From installation to management its a much better experience. I feel like I’m driving a Hummer now instead of an Abrams tank. Some of the things which are new – Podcast Producer, Teams (wiki, group calendaring, group blogging and shared workgroup info space) and a couple of other goodies like Apache2, Rails, MySQL and Mongrel installs all nicely prepackaged.

I can’t wait to get some quality time on ZFS and am hopeful the BitTorrent stuff somehow still squeaks its way into Leopard somehow, someway.

Thinking WWDC08 is a definite for me this year.

A little head-banging going on with Judas Priest’s Living After Midnight (link will launch iTunes)