Thanks firstly to @Ilicco for despite being trapped in New York for a week due to a certain cloud of volcanic dust, he managed to get back to the UK in pretty good time to deliver me a 64gb iPad.
The same very iPad I am writing on now as I sit as a passenger in the car with my MiFi on the dashboard providing my Internet connection. I just wanted to jot a few first thoughts down in a blog post as I have had lots of DM’s from enquiring minds asking me what I think of the iPad as a device. So in a nut.. > I am reading more > I am charging less > I am listening more > I am carrying less > I am spending a shedload on apps > I am waiting for more tools to be available > I am looking forward to the next iPhone and OS I love browsing news, comics and blogs on the iPad. I am finding the Read Later app indispensable as when on the mac and the iPhone I find myself bookmarking articles for later as the iPad is a pleasure to read from. I can use the iPad for a whole day and still have power for the next. This is pretty liberating when you think I may have to charge my iPhone at 11am after heavy use. I am certainly finding it easier to soak up content from friends in my networks as well. As a listening/monitoring tool it’s second to none. The photo above shows you the bag (on the left) I have to carry when ‘fully loaded’ with MacBook pro etc and on the right, the new bag I carry when travelling light. In the small bag I have my iPad, iPhone 3GS, MiFi, Minigorilla & charge cables, mains charger and a Canon Ixus 120is incase I want to shoot HD for later editing. If you are a media maker then the iPhone and iPad should be all you need and not having the ability to edit raw files or HD video may actually be a blessing as you may not be tempted when all you have to supply is content for the web. I often over shoot in quality and ‘dial it down’ for the web. With just an iPhone and iPad you have no choice but to shoot lo-Fi and get innovative. As far as apps go I resisted signing up for the US iTunes account as there seem to be a few apps in the UK store to keep me going and all I have to do is sync to the mac to install. I am waiting patiently for the app explosion in a few weeks. I did buy my most expensive app yet.. ‘Things’. It has a great interface and is a really handy tool. £10,99. I feel I really need a decent case and screen protector.. Also, just in case I do need decent photos or video or audio, the sd card interface looks like a handy purchase. As i am now, I snap a photo on the iPhone and email it to myself. I do have an app that enables me to live sync my phone camera with the iPad but it’s not all that. There will be better options soon.. At least I hope so. When the new iPhone comes out with it’s front facing camera and higher quality photos and video, I feel there won’t be a need for me to carry a compact camera at all. Do I pine for a camera in the iPad? In the front yes. I can see how a camera in the back could come in handy for Augmented Reality and overlaying of info on street views etc but for me as a content creator, I really miss recording video to upload straight into my iSight camera on my mac. There are work-a-rounds with the iPhone but ease of use and accessibility is key here. The next version of the operation system OS4 is really going to shine. Having already had a play on @Computid’s phone I can see how it will really assist ease of mobile computing. I have yet to see just how mobile this is as I am keen to test the iPad with the Solargorilla and Powertraveller mobile power solutions. Having a MiFi has proven so far to be invaluable even if the wifi signal seems to drop out more than normal. I don’t know if having a 3G iPad is going to help with connectivity across all your devices unless some killer 3G sharing apps are released. So, on the whole I am pretty pleased with the direction Apple-shaped mobile computing is going. This is still really early days and in a way it is fun trying to find file sharing, mobile media making work arounds so I can still move about unhindered by a massive bag of tech. I am certainly liking leaving the house with just a small satchel. As far as writing this blog post in an email went.. I am still not sure how I make a word into a link so sorry to the guys on Twitter mentioned above. I can type as fast as I do on a ‘normal’ keyboard but I am finding the spacebar getting miss hit more than normal. Cheers for reading this far and as ever, there are more tests to come. I am @Documentally on Twitter. http://Twitter.com/Documentally
A quick Reccy of the venue for Friday the 23rd of April 2010 when we live stream a show to coincide with the Media 140 event at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia Italy. The live stream will start on Friday at 12:00 GMT Bookmark http://Media140.com/live
I was just due to get there, document, talk and some other periphery stuff. For the others on the team this has been the culmination of months of hard work. @Lesanto's intention to drive almost seems prophetic right now as he will be one of the few to make it. I believe @AndeGregson is on his motorbike. It’s a long slog but there is too much at stake for Ande not to get there and coordinate what’s left.
I am preparing myself all the way up to the line but should the worst/inevitable happen, I’m hoping we can pull something back now we all have a day or two spare this week to create some kind of remote Media140 hook up.
I have called a few people, posed a few questions and hopefully got a backup plan underway.
Let’s see what this week has in store.
On an aside. Not ignoring those stuck in foreign ports. I find it amazing how we can suddenly become prisoners in our own country. I imagine there is boardroom somewhere where some suits are looking very closely at what is happening this week. At how easy it is for international travel to and from the UK to suddenly grind to a halt.
Yes it is possible to get past our borders but it either requires some clever booking or a barrow load of cash.
I am seriously considering taking more flying lessons to get my pilots licence. Which also takes a barrow load of cash.. and them some more to maintain it. If i had a microlight I’d be seriously considering a trip across the channel right now.
Flying, for all it”s environmental sins, is still pretty liberating and as we hope there will be more ecological ways of doing it in the future.. Not having it there right now shows us very clearly we have no other other real options or the infrastructure in place.
We live on an island.. you would think we’d have more efficient ways of getting off it.
I think the tools are finally in place to safely log dangerous locations should I wish to return to war torn places like Iraq or Afghanistan.
Last time I was in Iraq I was blindfolded before being taken to certain mountain training camps. FAt the time, for my own safety I’d quietly log my current location on my Garmin GPS as ‘Secret Camp 01’ and ‘Secret Camp 02’ and so on. I would then have to text the co-ordianates home to family and friends with my mobile phone.
A little long winded I am sure you will agree. Still, with more apps and sites cropping up like Rally-Up, Gowalla and Four Square I feel we are are now spoilt for choice should we want to log and share our every move.
Of the three apps mentioned I probably use Rally-Up and Gowalla the most. Four Square doesn’t seem to have the categories I am after, Gowalla has a great interface and Rally Up has more interesting features coming all the time. Including UK more terminology!
I’m looking forward to logging Petrol stations and not Gas Stations, Greasy Spoon’s for some Cafe’s and Supermarkets instead of Malls. The list goes on.
That said, if you have any ideas on the kind of location names you would like to see on Rally Up, comment below and I’m sure the guys at 12Seconds.TV (creators of Rally Up) will see it..
Tonight I am drinking a wee dram from a sample bottle of the Balvenie Signature 12 Year Old Whisky. It’s a limited release, single malt Scotch whisky that David Stewart first made in 2008 to mark his 45th year in the whisky industry.
I’ve only recently finished a bottle of Single Barrel Balvenie a few weeks ago which I thoroughly enjoyed. With the Signature though, Malt Master David Stewart oversees the marrying of the three traditional cask types: first fill bourbon, refill bourbon and sherry.
I found this to have juicy texture in body, with a green nose balanced with vanilla and honey. I really enjoyed the first taste, but to be sure.. I’m pouring another.
I have a drawer in my office where all the naff headphones get sent to live. They’re the headphones that come with phones and cheap gadgets mainly.
Apple are the worse culprits. You would thing that with the iPod/iPhone would come with the best of the best but no. They obviously want you to upgrade to the good ones.
Shame, as the in line remotes with mic are really quite good. The cheap apple headphones get really uncomfortable after a few hours and more sound leaks out of them that actually goes down your ear.
Today though, at the Gadget show, I bumped into @76disti of www.76D.co.uk A nice lady who showed me a clever little gadget from the US..
Acoustibuds come in various colours and three sizes and are designed to fit over the top of your standard earbud. This improves even the naffest of headphones and makes the apple headphones so much better. The rubber not only acts as a noise isolator but really helps to keep the ear buds in place.
It’s a simple idea that works really well. I have worn my newly modified headphones for a couple of hours now and could quite happily wear them for a few more. They cost £12.50 posted if you live in the UK.
I’ve recently invested in a new set of wireless headphones (blog post to come) but will be using my newly acquired Acoustibuds as my hands free kit.
If you read the recent article in the Guardian regarding location based apps and privacy, you may have been reminded that on the 25th of June each year a small get together pops up at George Orwell’s final resting place to talk about civil liberties and privacy concerns in the UK.
In essence it’s a picnic (bring a packed lunch) but there is always the local pub should it rain. There is more information on OurManInside.com
There’s plenty to talk about this year. This will be the 4th year in a row that we have made the trip to Sutton Courtenay. If you would like to come along please leave a comment either here or on SocialMediaPicnic.com
It’s a social media picnic because we tend to share the conversation outside of the graveyard either with video, photos, audio or as we did last year live streaming video.
Solargorilla & the Kensington Ultra Portable Battery
The Solargorilla easily charges any iPhone model through just the USB to iPhone connector supplied.. Providing you have sun.
If you find yourself under a blanket of cloud & havn’t yet invested in the Powergirilla or Minigorilla you may find a workaround with an old iPhone backup battery that’s lying forgotten in the bottom of a tech bag. I found an overcast sky towards the end of the day just falling short of providing all the power needed to feed the Solargorilla to charge the iPhone. I also found an old Kensington lithiam-ion polymer in the glovebox with mini USB in & USB out. When the Solargorilla is plugged into the Kensington ‘Ultra Portable Battery Pack’ and the battery into the iPhone, not only did the battery charge, but so did the iPhone. Having a battery inline really helps when the light is low if you want to squeeze the last bit of free energy out of our spring light. The Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack has a rated output at 5VDC 1.50A and has served me well for a while now. It’s new home will be in with my Solargorilla.. Just in case.
I am doing as much testing as I can with the Solar Gorilla in overcast conditions before the summer comes. I feel as we spend most of the year in over cast conditions I will get to see a more accurate reflection of the SolarGorilla’s uses in the UK. If you do live in a sunnier climate then lucky you I imagine you are solar powered up to the hilt and if not.. Why not?.
At the moment the MiFi is sat on the dashboard of a car (behind a windscreen with a UV coating) and is managing quite happily to charge the MiFi while it is turned off. The little green light is flashing telling me there is power to the battery. If i turn the MiFi on it will power up but tells me with a little red light that the battery is not charging.
My next (not very scientific test) may be with the MiFi plugged into the PowerGorilla with the SolarGorilla attached. I suspect it may provide well over a full day of mobile wifi connection.