October 2007

I miss T9 [solved]

So, I definitely love a lot of things about my T-mobile Wing, which is like a super computer compared to my old nokia 6800. The reason I love it is it runs windows mobile 6, which has a huge developer base, so there is software for everything…Skype, NES roms, overclockers, riven, myst, streaming music, etc. Whatever I can think of for this phone to do, it pretty much can do it.
That said, it can be so stupid sometimes. Like my past two phones were unbelievably stupid compared to this phone, but why is it so hard to send a text message?
On my old phone, I’d hit the left navigation button and I’d be composing. I’d use T9 to jot a message out real fast with one hand, and then hit send, and scroll down, again using T9 as a shortcut to find the contact I want to send.
On this phone, it has a dedicated messaging button, but I also have to scroll through my email accounts to get to messaging, then hit menu, new, SMS. The To: field is an autocomplete box which is nice, but I still have to type in a contact or use the ridiculously small contacts manager which is impossible to use without a stylus.
After that, I have to click into the body to start typing, and there’s no easy way to do this with one hand. Let’s say I’m standing on the 147 express bus holding onto the bar for dear life with one hand. I want to write a message to a friend. Either I try and use my fingernail to hit the tiny buttons on the onscreen keyboard (impossible with the bumps in the road and no form of auto correction), or I open up the wing and awkwardly try to use it with one hand. I usually ended up holding it half upside down clung to my body to type on the keyboard. Do they want me to drop this thing? Even with two hands I’m faster at typing T9 than with the skinny little keys it has.
Finally, some googling was fruitful.
The best link I found was here:
Alternative Text Inputs for Windows Mobile
There is a program by HTC called phonepad that adds an additional soft input keyboard for T9. Thank god! HTC used to include this with their devices but got rid of it for some reason. People have complained that its dictionary doesn’t remember the words you use but it does for me.
I found the CAB in a few places (it’s slightly obfuscated on this site) but it was hard to get because without the proper MIME types it would show up as text in internet explorer. So here is a ZIP that you can download, unzip and install directly:
Phonepad For Windows Mobile CAB
Thank god for this. Like I said it’s possible to do anything with this phone, but you have to go through the aggrivating steps to find what you’re trying to do.
This page has other forms of input managers, including an iphone-like keyboard that auto corrects. With the applications out there to mimic the iphone (such as slide to unlock), I think this phone beats the pants off the iphone, I just wish that it was designed right from the beginning.

slashdot feed [solved]

This was fixed in leopard.

Original Post
I hate how every mac has feed://slashdot.org/index.rss in its safari autocomplete history from its initial install, but not http://slashdot.org, so when you type slashdot.org for the first time it automatically goes to the feed.

When to buy a mac [unsolved]

I’ve been realizing lately that anyone who is thinking of buying an apple product has their own strategy about when they’re going to buy one.
“I’m going to wait for the next generation of ipod to come out so I can get the first previous one for cheap.” Or “I’m going to wait until the next lineup of intel macs to come out and get one of those, I never get a revision A product.” Currently, I have my own strategy – I’m going to wait until Leopard comes out to upgrade to a new iMac, saving $100-$200 on the new OS instead of purchasing it separately.
Everyone has felt burned by Apple before – I bought an iMac G5 right before the intel versions came out, and am still filled with slight jealousy. Jon Stewart joked about the process too – “When I walked in 4 months later with my mac, the salesman looked at me like I’d dragged in a civil war-era musket and dropped it on the counter”. He said that the salesman told him that the G5 was the same processor they used to launch the space shuttle (hard to believe), but alas, the processor that was designed to save human lives couldn’t be upgraded a few months later to play the latest game.
I hardly need to mention the latest round of iPhone updates and price cuts that left “early adapters” fuming, so much so that Apple relented and gave them a price cut. Anyone who bought Logic 7 for $1000 before september must feel pretty burned by their $500 price cut. I write this post as a question – does anyone know the best time to buy an apple product? How do you buy one without feeling like a sucker 2 months later? Apple runs on a release schedule and there are both quarterly and annual events that are generally predictable. Events such as the WWDC practically stimulated the invention of liveblogging, with sites such as mac rumors and gizmodo covering the details the second they are announced. Generally I don’t know about these events until they happen and the blogosphere explodes and I find myself refreshing one of these sites every 5 seconds. But someone has to know when these happen or they wouldn’t be liveblogging at the press conference. It wouldn’t take much effort to make a timeline of their release schedule and try and strategically plan to buy their products shortly after those releases. For instance, the annual WWDC conference occurred in June last year, so if it’s near June, WAIT and don’t buy an apple product.
But I mean apple fanboys and insiders seem to know a lot about this stuff, but I don’t see info about the best time to buy a mac online, or can’t find it easily. I tried googling these phrases, and will therefore attract people looking for when to buy apple hardware, or buy apple hardware strategy, or buy apple hardware after os release, or apple release schedule timeline, or apple annual release schedule. Sorry. But hopefully I can attract some people who are knowledgeable about this stuff and can help us out. Feel free to post in the comments.

My friend Caleb pointed me toward two apple support pages that show the introduction dates of the macbook pro and the iMac:

This might suggest that they’ll release a macbook in November. The iMac is more ambiguous – maybe early 2008?

Leonard from Digg points me to MacTracker, an OS X database program that has every release by mac:
He also says that Apple almost always releases new hardware in January. Thanks Leonard!