poetry

steamy coffin

i drag myself
onto the bus
carry my bag
like a
wet newspaper

small kids
old men
drooping women
chortling girls
jostle through
the rain
into this
beast

rain
drips off men
like the
tears of a city
still lost
in the fog
drowned in
soft headlines
flaccid cigarettes
cheap beer
long nights
burnt hours

the people
stand like
21st
century cattle
faces follow
the pulse
of a smartphone
hands hold
slim slabs
of technology
buzzing into
the back of
their retinas

updates exhale
tweets yammer
eyes ignite
and
i sit in
aftermath

bodies blend
into bags
coughs clog
the heavy air
and then
the
bus speaker shrieks

i am at
the last stop
everyone is
still swiping
slithers of news
but no one
has
opened
a window

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Reviews

Is content important? (Steve Jobs interview)

This evening I was watching Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview. Essentially it’s the longest piece of interview material that the public has really seen. I sat down, and watched it, and certain things began to trigger in my brain. (Remember this interview was done in 1995). Services that have been ingrained in us such as Facebook, Blogging, iPods, MacBook Pros, Wi-Fi, Smartphones, Cloud computing, weren’t even on the radar. To give you an idea – if you aren’t much of a technophile – this was around the time that the internet started becoming a well-known concept and tool to the public. Before I digress too much let me turn the focus back to Jobs.

Steve Jobs The Lost Interview (2012). This show was recorded in 1995, or there about.

Steve Jobs The Lost Interview (2012). This show was recorded in 1995, or there about.

“People get very confused [and assume] the process is the content.”

What Jobs was talking about here, was eventually he had recruited a few hundred people (in the early days of Apple) people lost sight of what great content (or a great product) was. One example Steve gave indicated that Xerox went under because of this. What happened? Well, they had a monopoly in the copier market. In his words “So you make a better copier or a better computer, so what?” The people that can make the company more successful were in two spheres…Sales and Marketing. Therefore, the Sales and Marketing people end up running the companies. This means the product people get pushed away from the decision-making forums, and in time the company forgets what it is to make great products.

jobs_color_01

In a similar way this illustrates the difference between content and process. If you’re stuck in the same company for five years, as an example, you’ve become part of the process. Some of that is good – it gets things done – it helps the business continue making its money. However, when one gets absorbed by the process, you can easily lose sight of the content. “Am I producing good quality work? Does this work I’m producing mean something to me?” If you’re stuck in the process then questions like that may not even be apparent to you. Maybe it’s just a case of “Oh well, it’s a job it pays the bills. I’m not ecstatic about dragging my ass to work, but at least it’s something.” That’s a very bad rationalization for me.

Jobs_02

The details matter. Of course they do! If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be in the career we are in the first place. What I think Jobs was getting at is if you care about the content, you care a great deal more about yourself…and ultimately where you are going.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment or two! πŸ™‚

Links:

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Reviews, Technology

iExplorer – An iTunes Alternative

I’ve been with Apple a while now, and there is one piece I software I continually hear people complain about…iTunes. One of the major gripes I’m heard is that it tells you “My way or the highway”. It doesn’t allow the honest bloke on the street to recover music from an iPod (whose computer has died). Another thing, what if you just needed a couple of PDFs or pictures from one App and you didn’t want to use the clumsy iTunes root? Well this software is the answer to that problem.

Another cool thing? Backing up your notes. Sometimes you want an offline copy of your notes from the Notes App on the iPad. This app will go and save all your notes as RTF (Rich Text Format) files. Once you have those you can always upload them, or back them up wherever you wish.

It gets into the nooks and crannies. Every now and again you will download an eReader, note taker, download manager, organiser, photo organiser…in other words something that will collect bits and pieces for you. If you were to use iTunes for the first time, it doesn’t give you a simple way of retrieving that info. Here, this app displays everything in a tree-structure and Shazam you can crawl into each and every app and extract your crucial information.

 

Here's an exmaple of all the different services this App provides.

Here’s an exmaple of all the different services this App provides.

Behold the Tree Structure! Here's an example of ripping photos off an iPad. Pretty nifty!

Behold the Tree Structure! Here’s an example of ripping photos off an iPad. Pretty nifty!

This a good example of saving your music collection. One client of mine had their largest collection of music stored on their iPad, and they needed it rescued.

This a good example of saving your music collection. One client of mine had their largest collection of music stored on their iPad, and they needed it rescued.

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Uncategorized

Woes of a Twitter Kid

Recently I resurrected my Facebook account. I needed to keep abreast on the page my company has, and so (with great reluctance) I went and signed on again with my account.

For months now while my Facebook lay deactivated, I needed another crowd to be part of, so I took to tweeting every so often. After I while I go use the chaotic home page and the amount of scrolling my thumb endured on my iPhone. Yet I started to feel at home in this world.

I guess I was annoyed with people on Facebook, and when some people are your friends and acquaintances, you don’t really want to hear about their frivolous social meandering, and sometimes you’re too scared to delete them at the same time. If you delete them…then you’ll be totally alone. No one around to annoy you, or play the part of a tiny voice (you’d rather swat than kill). It’s a catch 22, really.

So after barring myself from Facebook lurkers, and cyberphants I went about adding (or ‘following’ to use the correct jargon) all the interesting people, continents and air-fares away that shared a common interest. It was fun and exciting, and although it wasn’t going to help me get laid any sooner, it was at least a giant play-toy to keep my energetic brain at bay.

Getting back onto Facebook I started thinking, aren’t these posts pointless? Did I really have the gumption to find this drivel interesting once-upon-a-time? I think I’ve grown old. When a social network no longer excites you, it’s time to hire extra pall bearers, since the chances are…you’re aging.

It this groovy and expanding world, it feels sacrilege to admits this, but Facebook started to feel…awkward. I’m not the social network whore I used to be. I’m thriving on little chirps because they make me feel at ease now.

Occasionally it can be mindless, but I love the way everything is shorter, succinct. You don’t have space to write pages and pages of awful poetry. You only have 160 characters, and you’d better make seriously special if you interested in holding my attention.

PhilosopherPoet

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Reviews, Technology

iTunes (The Jealous Girlfriend)

It’s your usual working day. Nothing has changed. You are composed, diligent an whittling away at the keyboard. The Boss walks in greets you with a firm handshake and says β€œWhen you have a moment I’d like to talk to you.” Now you’re ambivalent. Will you walk away with a raise or a graze?

This is the same feeling I got on my way back home today. I checked the software updates, saw there were a few to go. Before I left I cast my eyes down the list and saw…iTunes 11. The long awaited, anticipated, supposed-to-change-everything piece of software. My drive home felt a bit like waiting on the chair outside the Boss’s office.

Before I get into some of the awesomeness of iTunes 11, let me get a few things off my chest about the previous versions. The good news is I’ll be writing a follow-up article on iTunes 11 and it’s greatness. There are a few reasons why many mac users (i.e. that means you use it daily, it’s not your weekend toy) find iTunes tedious and even painful at times.

itunes 10

Aesthetics: When iTunes hopped from version 9 to 10 the sidebar was suddenly desaturated. All the vibrant colour in the Music, Movie, and Podcast Library icons was lost. It sounds like a giant knit pick, but when you are weeding through your music on a daily basis, a small highlighted icon can go a long way.

Media Organisation: Many people purchase Music, Movies, Apps and tons of other bits from the iTunes Store. I pretty much only download Apps. The reason for not getting music there, is my taste in heavy metal (my preferred genre) is rather eclectic and not mainstream. Now if I did – in theory – buy everything through one portal then my music would be far easier to organise. Why? Well, because iTunes would do it all for me. I wouldn’t have to touch a thing. In reality we have the odd CD we’ve bought, or an album or two we’ve downloaded (because iTunes wasn’t selling it at the time). Plus we have bits and pieces gathered from different parts of the internet. This makes it difficult to organise.

Then there’s the other charming element when you’ve amassed all of your .avi movie files, iTunes shakes her head and says “Please come back when you have mp4 files, my dear.”

It’s not just a media player. This next part confuses the crap out of most people I meet. iTunes allows you to sync your email contacts, transfer word docs to a compatible app, back up your apps, sync your calendar.

The iPad is a great business tool. The iPhone is one of the most reliable phones I’ve encountered. Yet I don’t like the way iTunes tries to control everything like a jealous girlfriend. For example, if you want to send contacts to the iPad. Logic tells me that I would go to my contacts app and then click a button that talks to my iDevices.

itunes9vs10

Where to now?

Apple developers need to decide, is iTunes a media player or a device manager?

At the moment it’s both, which makes things clumsy for the newbie. During it’s genesis iTunes was a music player. Period. It didn’t play video in a hurry and it worked well. Then video compatible version hit the market, later on the iPhone and it’s Apps joined the fray. Very little was done in re-working the way iTunes handles its media and devices. In recent years only the colour and (to some extent) the layout of the interface has changed, not much else.

A good complaint is only as valid as its feasible solution. So here is what I propose…

Redesign / Bring back iSync (or something similar)

I blogged about this great App earlier. The developer blokes need to rework this piece of software so it handles “any sync related aspect” of the iDevices.

Sync is a clipped version of the longer word ‘synchronise’. A better way to look at it is think of creating a mould. Pour the contents of your computer’s media, into the same surroundings (or framework) and you’ve got them ‘synced’.

So ultimately you’ll have iSync that handles any sync, transfer, managing of data, and then you simply use iTunes as your Library Player. This will result in iTunes being far more watered down, but then at the same token, less memory hungry, smaller to update (in terms of bandwidth). If iTunes sticks to being more of a player and less of a manager, then we’ve won half the battle.

 

Side Note: For the wise-guy who’s about to open his mouth about iTunes 11…just wait. Keep your eyes on my RSS feed (or email subscription). There’s a review coming soon…

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