Is that a Mountain Lion in my Bedroom?

So my last blog entry had me trying to convince myself not to buy a new computer. I needed strong convincing.

Then I thought about it. By waiting, sure I could set aside the money… Sure I could get by with my poor, falling-apart Dell. By waiting, however, I’m inching closer to a newer shiner iMac (expected anytime between tomorrow and never). I’m suffering for no real reason. Why not get an iMac now, start transferring over my life. Start all the projects I’l get to “when I get a new computer”?

In short, I bought my Mac. It’s like a 15-year dream finally come true.

iMac on the bus

Who says iMacs aren't portable?

Let me tell you, few things are as joyous as the moment when I plugged it in and that screen lit up. It was magic, enhanced by all 27 inches of screen.

I’ve lugged all kinds of stuff on a bus before. Faux Christmas trees, giant pencils. Mannequins. Other computers. Bringing a new iMac box on the bus turns heads. It starts conversations. It could seat two, if two people had to sit on the box.

So what have I done with this new bad boy? Well, mostly I have been configuring settings and installing updates. I’ll be upgrading to Mountain Lion the moment I get my download code. I’ve also started trying to iron out all the annoyances with my iTunes library. That’s going slowly.

So big, I can't fit it all in one picture

So big, I can't fit it all in one picture

A few things I’ve noticed:

  • This screen looks far bigger in my room than it does at the store
  • I’m far more productive (at least so far) on a desktop than a laptop
  • Everything runs smoothly – I had indeed been suffering
  • I’ve barely touched my poor iPad in the last 24 hours

I need to find $2000 on the street

I am the world’s worst blogger.

I see many great people who blog daily, weekly, biweekly, or whenever they feel like it. And usually, they feel like it every few days! I always feel like I will, yet somehow I just run out of time. Perhaps I should just be more disciplined and allot a block of time every few days. Work out a schedule. Put to use this iPad of mine, perhaps?

What I like to believe in my head is that it’s unproductivity as a result of poor tools. The Dell laptop I’ve had since 2008 is really on its last breaths (not even, since the fans don’t work properly. To use my laptop in this crazy hot summer, it has it’s own oscillating fan), and I’ve been postponing lots of projects until I get a new computer. Podcasting. Blogging. Video. Photo even.

At this point, I’m ready to embrace the full Apple ecosystem: iPhone, iPad, iMac. I’ve wanted an iMac ever since those futuristic, blue, all-in-one machines started popping up in my middle school. Thankfully, they’ve evolved quite a bit since those CRT days. I can’t help but go and play with them whenever I find myself in an Apple store or one of those blue and yellow monstrosities of an electronics store.

There’s just one small problem: I need a good 200 unmelted Bordens (we don’t use that in Canada, do we?) to get one. They start at just $1199, but add a few hundred for better performance, and may as well add a few hundred for extra inches (insert size joke here), and before you know it, you’re looking at the cost of a crazy awesome adventure – that sits on your desk.

Fall. 2012. So long as nobody announces thinner lighter iMac with Retina display (because I know it’s coming).


I went on a little adventure looking for an Ottawa installation called Balancing, only to discover it’s been gone since 2008. Oops. So I found a couple of new sculptures (and a couple of classics) to enjoy instead!

201207_18_01 - Tall Cello

201207_18_03 - Twist Up

201207_18_04 - Two of Three Watchmen

201207_18_05 - Under a Spider

Beautiful, but not for me. For now.


The new iPad.

Like many, I sat comfortably in a chair, clutching my iPad 2, wondering how much life my 8-month old post-PC device has left in it as live blogs refreshed with breaking news from Apple’s event. Predictably, the company touted a fancy high res screen, souped up innards, and an (belated) advanced camera system. Unpredictably, “HD” and “3″ were not mentioned following the word “iPad.” that was perhaps the biggest surprise about the new iPad.

That, and the new dictation feature that will let me be a starship captain as I tell my iPad what to blog for me.

Still, it was exciting! I normally reserve this level of excitement for Nintendo E3 presentations. I hopped onto the Apple site shortly thereafter and watched the presentation, even after knowing the script. I tried many times to update my iPhone to iOS 5.1 over the air, until I gave up and did it the old fashion way through iTunes. I wonder just how slammed Apple’s servers got…

Really, since I’m going to continue to love and cherish my now-antiquated iPad (until the next new iPad, most likely), the biggest delight was the iPhoto announcement. I couldn’t download that fast enough. I’m excited to see how much I’ll use it for quick photo edits. I’m more excited to use journals to share content, like this Parliament Tour.


This is clearly Apple wanting to increase iCloud subscriptions.

Also, why continue 16GB devices? They’re useless, especially if apps and videos will take more space as they fill up that screen. I’m always trying to create more space on my 32GB iPad now as it is! This makes me curious actually… People complained when they discovered the iPad 2 warmed up with heavy use. Will this be a bigger problem?

I’m hoping this year to get an iMac to basically fill out my Apple ecosphere. That, and I really need to replace my dying laptop… For that reason alone you can have my place in that line that’s sure to form at the Rideau Centre next week.

116 – iPad

I bought an iPad.

I hadn’t wanted one until fairly recently when it just clicked that i would use one as more than an oversized iPod. I could use it to write and read comfortably in the couch or out and about. Up until now, my iPhone has been indispensable, and the iPad would allow me to do even more in an easier fashion.

So far, i’ve been right. It’s a much more comfortable platform for iBooks, which allows you to add PDF documents. I haven’t checked my Google home page, which is crammed with rss feeds I read, with my computer because I’ve moved (most of) them to an app called Pulse, which simplifies reading via RSS while making it a more visually appealing experience. Also, browsing the Internet really is a better, more intimate experience on a touch screen device. I thought that was all hype and spin. It isn’t.

Pages was the first app I downloaded, and used it to rewrite an entry in a brand new blog series I will hopefully one day soon start. I also used it to take notes during a CFFN meeting. Typing on the iPad is something I’m still getting used to, but hey, I’m doing it right now, thanks to BlogPress, which will hopefully allow me to update this blog more often as well! Email is nice on the iPhone, but it’s so much better on the iPad. As is Twitter. And the calendar.

The hilarity that PhotoBooth creates is astounding, when mixed with a bunch of teenagers, a toddler, and a mother who had no idea what was going on.

The photos get crazier, and the laughs escalated. I hadn’t laughed that hard in ages.

I can’t just do away with my laptop — I need it for photo editing, storage, and anything that still uses Flash. However, this iPad effectively kills my netbook. I can’t wait for iOS 5 to be released to make it, my iPhone (and eventual, inevitable iMac or MacBook purchase) that much more amazing. Not too bad coming from someone who bought his first apple device less than a year ago, eh?

The iPad does have its dangers though. I accidentally bonked Serene in the head with it as she was taking pictures (at almost 2 years old, she’s surprisingly adept at navigating and using the camera and photo apps). While she didn’t talk to or even look at me for maybe 10 minutes, she didn’t shed a single tear. Impressive! Here she is, recouping, ignoring me:

107 – Vanquished Malware at N45.113 W75.347

201010_05_02 - Mushrooms in the Field

201010_05_04 - Photo Op

201010_05_21 - Jason Mraz XIII

201010_12_04 - Glancing Upwards

201010_17_01 - Gum Post

201010_17_04 - New Trick

Much has happened in the past month. I’ve been to two concerts, tried Geocaching, got an iPhone, cleaned my website, and got into following the municipal election.

Jason Mraz and Stars. Both were fantastic in their own way. I met Mr. A-Z (do people call him that? Shoulda asked), and fell in love with a few of his new songs, most notable What Mama Say. First concert at Scotiabank Place, to! Stars had fantastic lighting and a great crowd, and are really good live. Very impressed.

iPhone4. Is there more to say? It’s perhaps the best device I’ve ever owned.

It was attacked somehow recently, and unwanted script ended up on every page. So I cleaned it out old school, and now there shouldn’t be any malware warnings when people visit. Check it out: BenjaminWood.Net! My blog, as part of the site, had also been flagged, so I hadn’t updated it just because of that headache. Maybe I’ll write more often now.

One of the results of having an iPhone. Now I can know exactly where I am (within 5 metres, or sometimes 10)… which means I can find caches! I’ve found 17 so far, with Jen, Susma, Grace, Jon, and Leo. Leo is so awesome by the way! I’ve never seen a dog do a handstand before. Just knowing that peole have hidden things all over really renews my sense of the world around me. the Geocaching App is the best app investment I’ve made so far (Cut the Rope being a close second).

Mayor, councillor… the bus strike really showed me how important this municipal thing is! I’ve been following websites, news, blogs, etc, trying to figure out who will hold my interests in transit and transit and, well, that’s mainly what I’m concerned about. I’ll write more tomorrow probably.

101 – Is there an iPhone in my future? Plus Movie Reviews!

I really like the iPod Touch. I’ve wanted one since the first hit the market, but held off up until a couple of weeks ago, when I thought I had lost my friend’s sister’s Nano that I’ve been using this year (which I later found in my pants pocket in the laundry). I bought it with the idea that, if I really did like the device, I would return it and get an iPhone 4 once my cell contract expires this September.

Supposedly, it has a really nice screen, though my left-handedness might interfere with you know, calls.

Interestingly, I find the iPod (or smart devices in general) much better e-social devices than the computer. Where have I been all this time? I’m on MSN, Facebook, Twitter, and all these social tools much more, and reading what other people update. But I really do need a camera and internet connectivity – hence iPhone upgrading… They better be readily available in 2 months.

Or maybe I’ll find some other smart phone between now and then.

Movie Nights, Zip.Ca, and wonderful Pixar releases have allowed me to see a whole whack of movies lately. Here are a bunch of one-line reviews:

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: The ghosts weren’t even girlfriends, and the end was perhaps the biggest disappointment since the third Matrix Movie.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: An intriguing hook, surrounded by wonderful makeup, effects, storytelling, and art direction, that just didn’t resonate with me like it probably wanted to.

The Tale of Despereaux: A brilliant trailer for a terribly thought out movie that could have been sooo much better.

Watchmen: I couldn’t even sit through the first hour.

First Daughter: You shouldn’t have a romantic comedy with two characters that have zero chemistry.

Casablanca: I’m sure it was worth all the praise 65 years ago, but for a movie with great one-liners still used today, I had a hard time following the characters and what was really going on.

Hannah Montana Movie: While surprisingly better than I expected, it was wholeheartedly unrealistic.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: An enjoyable movie that I probably should have seen in 3D (but the monkey voice translator pales compared to Dug’s collar).

Yes Man: A fair rental that made me want to say “yes” to the next 20 things that came my way, but otherwise a forgettable Jim Carrey Movie.

Zack and Miri: So many plot holes in a movie that falls in the middle of my ranked Kevin Smith movies! Kevin Smith does this on purpose and it kinda annoys me.

Toy Story 3: Pixar impressively integrates tons of new characters into a 15-year old franchise and caps what will no doubt top (or at least rank high) in best trilogies lists to come. SO AMAZING.

Now, here’s an assortment of photos I’ve taken with my ageing cell phone over the last year (haha, yes. year. I hardly ever download pics from it… even more reason for an iPhone?):

200907_06_01k - Postman

200910_29_01k - Old Baseline

200911_08_01k - Serene

200912_29_01k - Push Lever "Slowly"

201002_12_02k - Wonder Woman

201006_09_01k - Droplets at Night

201006_19_02k - Dressed Up

201006_26_01k - Cities and Settlements

201007_22_01k - Freeze

201007_23_02k - Rubik's Cube