Ten days into the iPad

Of course it's shiny and built by Apple so there was no question that I'd end up buying one. The big question was whether to go for the Wifi or 3G version. In the end, the lack of availability of the 3G informed the decision somewhat, so I ended up with a 64gb Wifi model. The reason I was so undecided is that since I have Froyo installed on my Nexus One phone, it's so easy to make that a Wifi hotspot that I was finding it hard to justify getting yet another sim card and the associated costs that go with it.

So ten days into owning the device and I'm really liking it. Not to say it's perfect in any way, the things that I am hanging out for when iOS4 is released (in the Autumn for the iPad as far as I can tell) are the pseudo multi tasking and a better notification system. Having been an Android user for a few months now, there's certainly no way I could leave that as my primary mobile device, the multi tasking, notifications and general geekiness of that phone really make it a wonderful handset for me.

The main point of this post was to mention that I had also purchased an InCase iPad case at the same time as the iPad. For the first couple of days it was superb, felt high quality and worked really well. Unfortunately within 4 days the case no longer worked properly as, in landscape mode (which is how I seem to operate mainly) the iPad would slide out of the case so that the bottom half inch of the screen wasn't visible. Not very good. So yesterday I took it back to the Apple store and got a refund.

This is the first time I've ever tried to get a refund for anything from Apple and it wasn't an easy process. Initially the guy I was dealing with wouldn't offer me a refund as I didn't have the original packaging. My protestations that they had sold me faulty goods were falling on deaf ears. In the end the only reason I got the right to swap the case for other goods to the same value was because, as ever, the store was packed and after five minutes of arguing I had a little bit of an audience, all of whom were on my side and telling the guy he should give me a refund. So the lesson is make sure you go in to the store when it's busy and then stick to your guns!

I ended up with the Apple own brand case as a replacement and it seems to work a lot better, even if it does look and feel quite cheap and plastic-y. We'll see how long it lasts.

So iPad in the UK... not so much

The hype around the iPad which was announced yesterday has been pretty amazing, even by Apple's standards. As with a lot of these types of things the real detail only starts to trickle out slowly. For example, compare this page and this page. Notice the difference? Well it's subtle but in the UK, the iBooks feature of the iPad is not being mentioned.

I'm guessing this is due to much the same reason that the Kindle is crippled over here, the lawyers and copyright deals.

What with that and the micro SIM card which means you won't just be able to swap out the card from your 3G USB dongle and use it in your iPad. Maybe you need to think twice about buying one straight away.

Shiny as the new Steve Jobs goodness may be, look before you leap and definitely read the fine print.

And the wallet is safe again

Having got all excited about the new iPhone last night it seems I may have jumped the gun a little. Unlike in previous years, there is no early upgrade path for existing iPhone customers. According to the O2 Website:

If you're already with us on Pay Monthly, you can upgrade to the new iPhone 3G when it's time to upgrade. It's usually the last month of your contract, but you can check at My O2.

So for me, that means no upgrade until the end of the year. Oh well, I shall have to make do with the new OS in the meantime.

So there goes the wallet for the summer...

The Apple WWDC Keynote has just finished and we've been promised some real treats. You can get all the details elsewhere but from my point of view the new iPhone 3GS 32GB and the MacBook Pro 15" refresh look very compelling.

So there goes my spending money for the summer... and the winter. I can't change my laptop until Christmas so from September I'll definitely be upgrading to Snow Leopard for $29 (I'm assuming that will translate into around £20).

Got to give kudos to TWIT Live as well where they managed to get a hooky feed direct from the Moscone Center. All very impressive and enjoyable in a very geeky sort of way.

Rebuilding my Mac

I have been thinking about doing a clean install on my main work Mac for a couple of weeks, and last night I bit the bullet and went for it. All in all an incredibly easy process (with just one reboot) and my machine now feels significantly faster for the effort.

The beauty of the Mac is that when you get a new one, you can just run the migration assistant software and your new machine will be up and running as soon as the files are copied across. Inevitably over time the OS builds up cruft and begins to slow down (we're not talking Windows here which I used to reinstall every 4 months when I ran it as my main machine). According to the entries in my keyring file the profile I had been running started back in 2004, so it was about time to start with a clean slate.

As much for my own benefit as anything, here is my checklist of the process I went through:

1) Backup machine using Super Duper!
2) Backup machine again to another disk using Super Duper! again. (This is my livelihood, can't be too careful)
3) Make sure you have the original disks for your machine, any old copy of OS X will not necessarily work unless you bought a shrink wrapped copy of the OS.
4) Wipe out the hard drive and install OS X from the DVDs
5) Disconnect iPhone and external drives (just for belt and braces)
6) While this is going on download any missing install files for your required software list, this is mine:
  - 1Password
  - Adium
  - Adobe Digital Editions
  - Balsamiq
  - Billable
  - Chicken of the VNC
  - CSSEdit
  - Cyberduck
  - DoubleTake
  - Evernote
  - Firefox
  - Flickr Uploader
  - Goto Meeting
  - Grand Perspective
  - iSquint
  - iStopMotion
  - JungleDisk
  - Mousepos√©
  - NetNewsWire
  - Notes
  - OpenOffice
  - Parallels
  - PathFinder
  - QuickSilver
  - Skitch
  - Skype
  - SuperDuper
  - TextMate
  - TimeMachineEditor
  - Tweetie
  - VLC
  - VMWare Fusion
  - Vuze
  - Wireshark
  - HP Printer Drivers
  - Eclipse
  - iWork
  - Adobe Air
  - Stuffit
  - Growl
  - MenuMeters
7) Dig up the license keys for everything
8) After OS X install has finished, run a Software Update
9) Reboot
10) Install the above software list
11) Don't open iTunes or iPhoto yet
12) From the SuperDuper! backup, copy your old iTunes directory over the new one
13) Do the same with the iPhoto directory
14) Do the same with the Documents directory
15) Copy in the iCal and Contacts as described here
16) Set up Time Machine
17) Set up SuperDuper! schedule
18) Start work

In all the process took me five hours from start to finish and my machine feels a lot better for it, so if you have a spare half day (or night in my case) then I'd highly recommend it. All usual rules apply, this list worked for me, if I've forgotten something then don't blame me etc etc.

This is a screenshot of what I commonly run during the day hence the reason for wanting to squeeze every last ounce of performance I can get.

New Desktop