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How To Turn Your iPad2 Into a $500 Lump of Junk

Step 1: Purchase iPad2 for $500

Step 2: Drop on tile floor to shatter screen

Step 2a: Sweep up shards of glass off the floor

Step 3: Call AppleCare and find out that it’s not covered under warranty since it was broken through “negligence”.

Step 4: Decide that Apple’s out of warranty repair option ($300) is too expensive to fix a device that costs $500 brand new.

Step 5: Purchase 3rd party touch screen digitizer replacement

Step 6: Spend your Saturday afternoon with a heat gun and a tiny plastic crowbar to prying out thousands of tiny shards of glass.

Step 7: Plug in new replacement screen

Step 8: Test new replacement screen and find out that only 30% of the screen is responsive to touch

Step 9: Recognize that you’re beyond your area of expertise

Step 10: Decide that maybe the $300 repair option might be your best remaining option

Step 11: Call AppleCare again and find out that the $300 repair option actually includes a replacement if they can’t fix it, and that an Apple Store will actually just swap you straight across for a new one, even though you already tried to fix it yourself

Step 12: Decide that the AppleStore is too far away and opt for the UPS shipping option

Step 13: Ship it back to Apple

Step 14: Get an email from Apple that says they’ve determined that they won’t actually fix it or replace it after all (no word about the $300 that you spent for them to fix it)

Step 15: Have a long and frustrating conversation with AppleCare and find out that they won’t actually replace or repair anything unless every shard of the original glass is still in its original place

Step 16: Wait for your $500 lump of junk to come from Apple since they generously ship the unfixed iPad back to you

And that is how you turn your iPad2 into a $500 lump of junk.

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Apple Makes a Smart Move

This morning Apple announced that they’re lifting some of the restrictions that they had placed earlier this year on developers and the tools they use to create applications.

They also announced that they’re going to publish official app review guidelines so that developers will have a much better idea of whether they’re app will pass the review process or not.

Both are smart moves.  They’ll benefit the development community and, by extension, the platform in general.  I’d like to think that they listened to their developers and that the FTC investigation had nothing to do with it, but the announcement is mum on that particular subject.

Apple relaxes restrictions on iOS app code, iAd analytics.

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Microsoft’s Next-Gen UI

I’ve seen a few things lately about the next version of Windows, aptly code-named Windows 7 and it’s next-generation user interface. AppleInsider sums it up nicely citing Microsoft engineer Hilton Lock as saying that the Windows 7 interface is tons cooler than the iPhone and people will be blown away.

What strikes me as interesting is the fact that if Microsoft is comparing their next-gen OS to the iPhone they’ve already missed the boat. Vista is still in it’s early adoption phases and another operating system from Microsoft is at least 5-6 years down the road if they follow their historical release schedule.

In a world of constantly changing technology and rapid innovation, this effectively means that Microsoft is comparing targeting a competitor that has moved onto other areas. It’s the iPod/Zune thing all over again.

Apple’s original iPod was fantastic and a real step forward for usability and simplicity. Several years later, after the iPod was already dominating, Microsoft releases the Zune, but the iPod was already ahead and moving faster.

Sure, Microsoft made a nice new Zune that compares to the old iPods and even the new iPod classic favorably, but Apple doesn’t really care about the iPod classic. Apple has already moved on with the iPod Touch. They release the Classic because it makes money and because flash storage isn’t big enough to get the massive capacity some people want, but that’s not where Apple is focused. They’ve already moved on.

I hope that Windows 7 doesn’t turn into the next Zune 2. Microsoft needs to do some innovation in a whole new direction rather than just trying to one-up existing technology. Microsoft surface demonstrates that kind of thinking, but when will it be affordable and in production?

It’s no secret that I’m an Apple fan, but for better or worse, Windows is the dominant player in terms of market share and use (though perhaps not mind share) so the better Microsoft can make it, the better off we’ll all be. Let’s see some real innovation come out of Redmond. Not just ideas and prototypes, but real devices and software that us consumers can get our hands on.

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Howto: Install iLife 06 on Leopard

It came as a bit of a surprise to me that after doing a clean install of Leopard that there was no more iPhoto. I suppose if I had looked around at all, I would have known, but I obviously hadn’t. Not to worry, after digging out the disks that came with my Macbook Pro, I decided to put together this install guide for others that ended up in my boat.

1. Pop in the Tiger Install Disk 1.

2. Double-click “Install Bundled Software Only”

Install Bundled Software

3. Agree to everything, and then click the Customize button when you get to the Installation Type screen.

Customize

4. Select the parts of iLife you want to install. I wanted iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand.

Software Selection

5. Put in Disk 2.

Disk 2

6. Since it’s snowing, go grab a cup of hot chocolate while you wait for the install to finish.

7. Now run three rounds of Software Update, and you’re ready to go.

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Howto: Outlook Plays Nice With gCal Thanks to gSyncit

Being a Mac user at home is nice, but makes calendar compatibility with my work computer a little challenging. For awhile, I used my Blackberry and synced it to both computers, but it wasn’t made for this purpose and after a few syncs, it inevitably started crashing the Desktop Manager on my Windows machine at work while trying to sync calendars.

I got tired of completely clearing out the calendar to get it to sync again (I did it twice and couldn’t take it anymore). I first turned to Funambol and Schedule World with instructions from this article over at internetducttape.com.

I should have read the comments a little closer before trying it out, because this Funambol doesn’t work with Exception Dates. Exception dates occur when you have a recurring appointment and then change one occurence without changing the series. With my work, this happens all the time because I’ll have weekly recurring appointments with clients that often get bumped by an hour or a day. Whenever these exceptions occured, the sync process started adding appointments to my Outlook calendar even though I had said the sync should only go one direction. It also had an annoying habit of popping up the Outlook reminder dialog several times during the sync.

One of my colleagues pointed me in the direction of SyncMyCal. They make a $25 dollar product that he uses and said it handles exception dates very well. They also make a free version, but it will only sync a 7 day window which didn’t meet my needs. I’m willing to shell out $25 to save the aggravation, but a last ditch effort on Google revealed another possibility (I swear I performed the same search two days earlier).

gSyncit comes in here. Dave claims to offer the same functionality with a free version and a full that costs $10. The only limitation on the free version is no auto-sync and a popup when you load Outlook or sync. So far it works beautifully. I installed it this morning, and the first, second, and third sync went off without a hitch (or Outlook reminders popping all over my screen, or creating ghost appointments on my real calendar).

I figure I’ll give it a few days to see how it handles more new appointments and a few more exception dates, but I’m thinking that I’ll soon be paying Dave his $10 for a product well executed.

What I can now do is subscribe to my gCal work calendar with iCal on my Mac at home, and now I have a single source for everything happening in my life. And since iCal obviously plays nice with iTunes and iPods, my iPod is now the portable source of truth for my busy life. I guess I should here add my thanks to Google for supporting open standards and making my cross-platform life a little simpler as well. And thanks to Apple for doing that too.

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