Fake Steve

I’ve been reading the Secret Diary of Fake Steve Jobs for a while and generally get a real kick out it. I’m a Mac fan and the parody of Steve Jobs is really well done. For over a year no one knew who Fake Steve was despite the many journalists and tech analysts trying to figure out. Fake Steve Jobs became a phenomenon on the Internet until he was finally busted by a NYT journalist in August last year. The site has continued, but now we all know that the author is really Dan Lyons from Forbes magazine. Today I found this really funny talk with Dan Lyons explaining how the blog came about – the guy is REALLY funny.

I’m a computer gadget freak

I have a confession to make.

I’m a computer geek. Have been for as long as I can remember. My husband and I can’t go into electronics stores because I can’t be trusted to play the responsible wife and say “you don’t really need another gadget, honey”. Truth is, I want the gadget or the new computer as much as he does.

I remember the first computer my family had. My dad has always been keen about new technology, you see. We weren’t wealthy, we never owned our home, but we were the first to have a video game console in our street (before Atari, when all it could play was ping pong), we were the first to have a vcr (my brothers and I quickly converted our bedroom into a movie threatre and would put signs out announcing the movie of the week and charging our friends some token amount to watch it), and we were the first among our friends to have a PC.

It was a big clunky machine with a green screen and no hard drive to speak off. If you wanted to write a text, first you had to insert a diskette on drive A and load the word processing software and then load a blank diskette on drive B to save your work. It ran DOS. It was hard to use. You had to know all sorts of command codes just to type the stupid text. But when we loaded the Prince of Persia video game my brothers and I were blown away. After years of playing pac man in Atari, Oddyssey, and the like, the graphics on the computer were unbelievable. When the prince jumped, you could see his muscles flexing. We were hooked.

I had similar wow moments – truly blown-away reactions – at other points in my life. Like when a cousin of my cousin, introduced us to the internet and IRC chat rooms before the internet was widely available to the public. The cousin worked for the World Health Organization in Brasilia and had internet at work. When I first sat down in front of his computer and typed “hello” and someone on the other side of the world said “hello, where are you from?” back, I was totally mesmerized. Of course we could contact people on the other side of the world before through the telephone, but who’s going to pick up a phone and dial some random number in Australia? I came back from that vacation at my cousin’s telling my dad “we MUST get internet”. So we upgraded our computer, bought a modem, updated our OS, and joined the internet back in July 1996. I met my husband on the internet in September of that year.

I’ve had another wow moment this week. I had read about the iPhone and seen the pictures and was sufficiently blown away by it all. But this morning I finally watched Steve Jobs’ keynote address and his demo of the iPhone. It’s incredible. I don’t think Apple is far off when they say they reinvented the phone. Each element of the device – internet, ipod, cell phone – is revolutionary in its interface and ease of use. We can all bicker about the lack of hard drive space (4-8 gigabytes may not be enough for some people), the inability to run things like Skype on it, the fact that it comes with exclusive contract with Cingular phone services in the US. All these things are details that will evolve with time. Hard drives will become smaller and more powerful allowing small devices like the iPhone to handle much larger drives without compromise in speed, battery life, size or weight. I believe that phone companies as we know it – cellular or not – will no longer exist in the future. Instead, all our comunications will be done through the internet through programs like Skype.

Right now I’m just wowed and sad. Wowed for witnessing the development of another revolutionary product. And sad that it probably won’t be available in Canada for a very. long. time. And that’s too much for a computer geek like me to handle…

iPhone: my new consumer dream…

After months (if not years) of speculation, Apple announced yesterday it´s iPhone, a revolutionary new electronic gadget that combines a cell phone, a widescreen iPod, and an internet communications device. No, it´s not just a smartphone. It´s a new product, with a new design, that will change the way we use our phones and connect to the internet in much the same way the iPod changed the way people listen to music. Oh, and the phone bit of it is a quad-band GSM phone and it also includes a 2 megapixel camera.

Iphone

The new iPhone comes with a sleek new interface, with a touchscreen instead of the usual buttons found in cellphones & smartphones out there. It runs OS X and comes in 4gb & 8gb versions. Steve Jobs, Apple´s CEO, annouced it should be ready to ship in June to the USA market, end of 2007 to Europe & Asia in 2008. Nobody says anything about when it would be arriving in Canada :(

The one drawback is that Apple teamed up with Cingular and the new iPhone will be available only with a 2-year contract with that phone company. It doesn´t look like there will be “free” iPhones out there but I trust someone will come up with a hack soon enough. It´s also unclear, at this point, if there will be similar agreements with cellphone companies when the iPhone is released outside the US. Apple stocks went up 7% after the announcement while its competitors in the smartphone business (like RIM, the maker of Blackberry) watched its stocks go down just as much.

iPhone calls

I WANT ONE!!!!!

Go to the apple site for a detailed overview:

Apple site