Sunday, August 23, 2009

ShoZu uploads pictures from the iPhone

ShoZu is an application for the iPhone which allows direct uploading of images to many other sites such as Flickr, Blogger and Facebook. Give it a try!

Posted by ShoZu

Sunday, October 26, 2008

iPhone Apps for Educators

I have been using my iPhone for a few months. The iPhone has become a valuable tool for me in the classroom. There are hundreds of iPhone apps that are free or can be purchased from the Apple Store or directly from your iPhone.

The word on the street is that it is better to get the Apps directly from the iTunes Apps store and install them by syncing your iPhone. Some people have had problems installing Apps directly from the iPhone.

Here are five of my favorite Apps:

  • YouNote: a productivity tool which combines a note taker, camera, and voice recorder. I find it very useful for storing my "to do" items, photos, or a quick voice recording. "Do not forget to grade the period 1 tests"
  • Election '08: a comprehensive breakdown of current and past polling data on the Presidential Elaction. it breaksdown the data by state as well.
  • The New York Times: top stories and breaking news
  • Google: access to your gmail and other Google tools
  • Wikipanion: Wikipedia directly on your iPhone
Stay tuned as I continue to discover new uses for my iPhone everyday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I love my iPhone...again.

I have returned to Apple fandom after figuring out why my .Mac mail was disappearing. Actually I did not figure out the problem, but my Apple guru, Bob H., did. Bob and I were rookie teachers together in Santa Ana in 1978. I always turn to Bob when I need computer, car, or electronic gadget help of any kind.

If you recall, The gurus at the Apple store, Apple online support and AT&T support had all failed to resolve my missing mail on Mobileme. When I explained the problem to Bob, he started asking questions about when my mail first failed to show up on Mobileme. That line of reasoning uncovered the fact that I had set .Mac to forward my email to my school email account two years ago. I rarely used .Mac mail, so that seemed reasonable. However, when I got my iPhone I started looking at Mobilme and my mail folder was empty. It did not occur to me that forwarding my mail was causing the problem.
Bob suggested I turn off forwarding and the problem was solved. My .Mac email started showing up in Mobileme and all was right with the world again!

I am really happy to be back to my old status as Apple Fanboy. Thanks, Bob.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Apple Fanboy Recants After iPhone Troubles

When I got into the line outside my local Apple Store to buy a new iPhone 3G, all the Apple trainers were wearing shirts that read "No pain, All gain".  If it were only true.

An Apple employee was working her way down the line getting customers partially checked in while they stood in line.  After about 30 minutes, she asked me if I had an AT&T account.  When I told her I did, she proceeded to pull up my account only to find that I could not buy an iPhone at the store because I had a corporate discount.  She told me to call an AT&T number and have it cleared.  I made two phone calls to AT&T over the next 30 minutes before they were able to correct my account settings.  Now I was ready to buy my new iphone!

When I made it inside to the sales person, he asked when I bought my current phone.  When I told him 6 months ago, he told me "the iPhone will be $399" instead of $199.  The $199 price is only for new accounts or for accounts over two years old.  He also told me I could go to my local AT&T store to see if one of my other family plan accounts could be used.  Needless to say I was a little upset that the first Apple worker failed to mention the $399 price before I stood in line for over an hour.

Later that day, I headed over to the AT&T store where a very friendly worker explained that one of my phones was eligble for an upgrade.  She explained how to go buy the iPhone on the other account and then come back to her and get the numbers switched so that I could keep my old number on the iPhone.

The next day, I headed back to the Apple store.  This time the line was only thirty minutes and I was walking out the door with my new iPhone 3G after another 15 minutes.  I immediately headed over to the AT&T store and had my numbers switched.  At last, a new iPhone was mine.

The problems resumed the next day when I noticed that Visual Voicemail was not working!  Back to the Apple store where I was told that voicemail was an AT&T problem and that I should call AT&T customer support.  What they did not tell me was that AT&T does not have phone support on Sundays. I guess AT&T customers never have problems on Sundays.  

So, I was off to the AT&T store to see if they could help me.  Once there, the AT&T worker fiddled with the "special access" phone support that he was able to access on Sundays.  After about 15 minutes, they told him to call Apple support!  

The AT&T worker spent about 15 more minutes with Apple support and the Visual Voicemail problem was fixed at last.  Does anyone think it is strange that an AT&T worker could get Apple customer support to fix my iPhone when the Apple Store could not???

A few days later, I started setting up all my email accounts to work with the iPhone.  I expected problems to arise especially with my Microsoft Exchange based work account.  At this point, you might be feeling a bit of dread, I know I was.

Surprise! My Gmail, Yahoo mail, and Outlook email accounts all worked great, but my Mobile Me email would only send but not receive messages.  Since all the others worked great, I assumed that I had set up the Mobile Me account incorrectly.  Time to head back to the Apple Store for some expert help.

The Apple worker tried deleting my Mobile Me account and checked the settings against his own iPhone 3G.  Still no messages would show up in my Mobile Me mailbox.  We even looked online and my Mobile Me mailbox was empty there as well.  

The next step was to go online in the Apple Store and try "chat" support for Mobile Me.  The Apple worker told me that I might be one of the unlucky Mobile Me users that he had been hearing about.  After waiting about 10 minutes, I began a chat session and went through several trouble shooting tricks.  After about 20 more minutes, the Apple support person told me that Apple would be giving me 60 more free days on my Mobile Me account and that they would email me when Mobile Me was fixed.  I went home with my crippled iPhone 3G, but without a working Mobile Me account.

It has been 2 weeks now and I have not received the magic email from Apple telling me that Mobile Me is finally working correctly.  It is amazing to me that Apple can build a great mobile phone but are unable to make their own email program function.  

Perhaps the next t-shirt Apple gives to its workers should say, "All Pain, NO GAIN".

Monday, August 18, 2008

Black Witch Moths in Orange County

Every few years, Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata)
moths may be found in Orange County. Their last visit to our area was in 2004. The moth usually ranges from Brazil to southern Texas and Florida. The huge moths, with wingspans up to 7", are often misidentified as bats when in flight.
Female Black Witch moths have a white band across their wings. The female Black witch pictured above graced my porch on July 27, 2008.