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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I will now give all of you a Sneak Peek at what *I* think the next generation of iPhone OS, 4.0 should support.*

If you didn’t know, Apple is showing off tidbits of it later today, and if I know Apple, I know they’ll listen to me and maybe fit in my wishlist before they actually release the software.**


Ring/Alert Profiles

This is a biggie for me.  I’m a Blackberry convert, and while there are many touchy-feely things the iPhone is superior with, Ring Profiles is something it’s completely horrible at. ***

I depend on my iPhone to serve the following functions:

  1. Mobile Phone
  2. Calendar
  3. Text message sender/receiver
  4. Alarm clock
  5. Reminders
  6. Notifier of urgent things happening
  7. Silent companion for those “special times” when sound is an enemy

Like most humans, I have a schedule.  When I go to bed, I want to be able to turn off all the sounds the iPhone makes except for text messages, phone calls and the wake up alarm.  When I’m in a meeting, I want everything to be silent, and only buzz me on text messages, phone calls, and urgent email messages.  When I’m out working in the yard, I might want everything to be extra loud because it’s harder to hear.

The point? I want to be able to name my own profiles, then customize what that profile does.  The blackberry is vastly superior for this function, as one can perform all of these actions and more.  And even better is that there’s a convenience key or two on the outside of the case that you can program to bring up whatever you want – I had mine set to “Select Ring Profile”.

This seems soooo incredibly doable.

Convenience Button Support

I want extra hardware buttons on the front, back sides, top… wherever I want, so I can assign programs or functions to them.  I want to be able to select different profiles without having to navigate here, there, then there.  I want to be able to turn wifi on/off more easily.  I want to bring up favorite apps more quickly.  I want a quick-dial button that I can assign to either immediately call a specific number or bring up my “Favorites”.

I mention this as an iPhone OS 4.0 wish-list item because I want manufacturers like Mophie to be able to come out with a hardware plug-in battery case that also has extra things on it, like programmable buttons.  Maybe a LED light on the top, or possibly a flash that “knows” when the camera is about to snap a picture, and does the flash for the iPhone.

I’m guessing that Apple’s API for docks and such only work with the iPod-type of controls, such as Volume Up/Down, Stop/Pause, Next/Previous, etc.  If Apple does indeed support this functionality such as being able to launch an app via an API command through the dock port, then maybe it’s just vendors who are not coming up with good ideas such as these.

I expect royalties if so.

GPS-aware apps and settings

The phone knows where I am, most of the time, right?

The iPhone (and iPhone Apps) should therefore let me make settings based on location.

Example: when I’m at home or work, I want wifi to be turned on by default.  I want to have to turn it off manually.  Conversely, when I’m traveling in a car, I want wifi to be turned off by default, and I should have to turn it on manually.  I don’t want battery life to be used up trying to search for wifi networks when it doesn’t make sense to me (defined by my settings).

Maybe there’d even be a GPS coordinate stored with each “Favorite hotspot” so that when the phone was near the hotspot, it knew to look for them.

I can think of soooo many applications for GPS-aware settings.

  • Reminder to stop by grocery store on way home
  • Food deals to be aware of on way home
  • Gas tracking / mileage, and pointing out where mass transit options are, if close by
  • Carpooling options for those who want to share rides (can you imagine? instead of calling a Taxi, you load iShare or something, and anyone who’s driving and also willing to provide a ride, and also going your way, would stop and pick you up… you’d do the same thing if you have a car/van)

Transcription 24×7

The government’s doing it to us already.  We should also have the benefits.

I want to be able to have everything I say recorded and transcribed in real-time.  The iPhone has a microphone; it has network connectivity.  Dragon Dictation has this as an iPhone App, but I’m thinking more along the lines of integrated with the OS.

Sound that iPhone hears is streamed to a server in real-time, which analyzes it, transcribes it, and sends it back to the iPhone.  Most text is just stored as a daily journal (and the phone recognizes some voices, and for those that it doesn’t, I should be able to tag it as “Mary” or “John” and it remembers.)

Recently spoken audio is also analyzed and used by the Google Search App, so that if I’m talking about restaurants in the area, when I pick up the iPhone, it already has contextual information based on the conversation thus far.  It might key on words such as “I wonder if…<something>” and it takes the “something” and Googles it for you.

This would work with the GPS-aware app functionality I mentioned above. I’ll give an example: During the day, I tell my wife “ok, I’ll pick up bell peppers and cilantro on the way home”.  See, the servers this stuff is uploaded to are VERY smart.  VERY high performance.  It can tell that this text is my way of adding to my own to-do list.  It might even send me a request or notify tone indicating that it picked something up as a to-do item.  Or a promise I made.

I can’t wait for the first elected official to commit to using an iPhone in this way.

Screen brightness control by an iPhone App

I like my Flashlight app.  However, to save battery, my screen brightness is usually very low, and works well for me 98% of the time.  However, when I DO need a flashlight, the flashlight app can’t change the brightness of the iPhone itself.  So it’s a crappy flashlight unless I go to Settings –> Brightness blahblahblah.

When I need a flashlight, I’m usually in a hurry.

This also underscores the ability to have a case with a built-in LED flashlight that can come on with a button.

“Smart” VPN

Another are where BlackBerry still has dominance over iPhone is in the concept of VPN and back-office connectivity for mobile devices.  In the corporate world, I want to be able to connect to work resources automatically. I don’t want to go to Settings and connect the VPN, click, find, click, whatever blahblahblah.  I just want to be able to set the iPhone so that when it tries to go to corporate resources, it. just. works.

I would think that the Exchange ActiveSync platform might be a solution to this – it’s already connecting over secure ports to do email fetch/send/sync… why not modify it to do web page fetch/sync as well?  I would think the CPU overhead of using Exchange client on the iPhone would be less than an actual VPN client, and it could be brainlessly easy to set up if the Exchange setup just allowed it by default, depending on IT/Sysadmin’s policies.

Better support for multiple email accounts/inboxes

When you have work email and personal email requiring the same entrance point (the envelope icon App), and you have to back –> back –> back –> back –> email account –> inbox to go back and forth, it gets to be a pain.

I should be able to specify certain folders/mailboxes as “favorites”, such as Email Account #1 Inbox and Email Account #2 Inbox.  Then at the top, I just hold down the favorite list, a drop-down box comes up and I can hop between them without the tap, tap, tap, tap crap.

Other miscellaneous wishes:

  • I want to see phone calls, text messages and emails all in one view
  • I want to be able to update my Exchange “Out Of Office” alerts from the iPhone
  • When typing in an email address, it should be smarter about entry.  I should be able to hit “space” and the first time, it’s an “@” sign and the second and subsequent times, it’s a period.
  • It should learn how fat or thin my thumbs are.  Make me type in a few words so it can learn where I think the “S” key is and where “L” is.  I SAID “L”, NOT BACKSPACE!!!!

And the number one item on my wishlist?


Recently, I went to my daughter’s Young Artists Recital, where she and a few other top flute/piccolo players did a formal presentation of their talents.  All the winners of the 2010 Young Artists Competition were invited.  It was awesome.  She sure is good.


It’s a recital.  Flute and Piano.  Kind of quiet.

We all put our phones on stun/vibrate.

Right in the middle of Caitlin’s performance, while I’m recording video from my iPhone, THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE that it’s reminding me to take my vitamins, which is an iPhone Alarm item I set for twice a day.

I’m completely embarrassed.  I fumble with it to acknowledge the alert, but I think, whew, at least it was my own daughter and I didn’t ruin someone ELSE’s day.  Also, the stupid alarm stopped my video recording, so I don’t a record of the event (and by “event,” I mean my daughter playing, not me interrupting it).


It’s a recital.  Flute and Piano.  Kind of quiet.

Next performer is on.  It’s Nine Minutes Later.


I ended up turning the iPhone off and not recording anything else.  This underscores the need for multiple profiles — there should be a “Always Be Silent” mode, a “Mostly be Silent” mode for keeping phone/txt/alarms on, and other modes.

And there you have it.

What about you?  Do you have any items on your wishlist?

* kind-of misleading titles don’t bother me
** I’m not saying I know Apple.  I said “if”.
*** Besides, I wanted to be able to have  a sentence that had two fragments that ended with propositions, because a sentence is a horrible thing to end a preposition with.
5:30 pm
Post Meta :

As promised, here is a more detailed description of my journey into the choice of getting the iPhone 3GS over keeping my older Blackberry 8700C.

Summary: It’s a better phone + PDA + music + social media tool + web browser + gadget.

Details are in the extended entry.


5:30 pm
Post Meta :

Remember way back when?  Back when I was wondering if I should upgrade to the iPhone?

I’ve made my decision:

click to embiggify


I wanted to share some of the details that led to my decision to choose an upgrade to the iPhone 3GS over continuing with my Blackberry 8700C.  That will probably be tomorrow’s post, so I’ll start with these details:

Detail Area #1: The fine print

The subject of the message says “Your iPhone reservation.”  The first paragraph of the email starts with “Thanks for reserving your iPhone” and even says I can “come to the store [I] selected anytime on the day of my reservation.”

Upon reading these constant reminders of my reservation, I was filled with a fulfilling sense of fulfillment.  This confirmation of my reservation was there in front of me, in black and white!  I completed my reservation at apple.com (Detail Area #2), tied it to one of the eligible phones on my AT&T contract (Detail Area #3), and got this email a few seconds afterwards.  Nice process.  Clean procedure.  Great result.

I. Am. Reserved.

I even reserved some time with my wife (who I’m taking care of at home while she heals from knee surgery) to make sure I can be gone for a few hours Friday morning and that she’ll be ok without me. 

I know. Saintly.

However, down at the bottom of the email, in small print (and light grey on dark grey instead of black and white), it says:

Pre-authorization does not guarantee iPhone availability at an Apple Retail Store. iPhone is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Say whaaah?

The pedantic side of me is noticing that it mentions “pre-authorization”, not “reservation,” so that makes me think “oh well, that disclaimer isn’t for me.”  But it still bothers me a little.

My Apple store opens at 10am, so I plan on getting there early just to be certain I’m seen and I score.

apple store

Detail Area #2: Reserving my phone

Right when I decided to go iPhone, a friend I was IM’ing with at the time told me he heard that pre-orders had sold out.


Some quick googling confirmed that there was a June 12th cutoff that meant anyone ordering after that date would just get their phone shipped approximately “whenever” and it might be weeks before I got the phone.

Thank goodness I found an article online that dispelled the rumor, explained the June 12th mumbo-jumbo and told me how to increase my chances of pre-ordering.  I called AT&T and the person couldn’t help me (that took 45 minutes btw).  I went to wireless.att.com and they were having problems with the website.  Once I did get online, I couldn’t tie the iPhone to MY number, but I could upgrade one of the other lines on my family plan.  It bothered me to try to do this online, so I skipped that method.

So, I was able to go to the Apple Store online and reserve my phone.  Score one for the whallster.

Detail Area #3: Tying the iPhone to my cell

It took a long call w/AT&T to confirm this, but it did get confirmed.  I have four (4) lines on my AT&T family plan.  Two (2) of them are eligible for upgrades and two (2) aren’t. 

att family plan

Of course, MY line is one of the ones listed as not eligible, but AT&T allows you to use upgrades for one line and apply it to another.  They just can’t do it online.  So I actually tied the upgrade to my wife’s line and then I’ll have to call AT&T to swap them in their system once I have the iPhone in hand.

However, this probably means some weird service experiences are in my future on Friday when they try to do all this for me while they’re handling Black iFriday for everyone else in the US getting the new phone.  And if service sucks on Friday for AT&T customers, it might as well suck on an iPhone instead of a Blackberry.

My next post will detail some of the deciding factors for choosing the iPhone. 

I’m thinking of just making a graphic that says “It’s better” but since when do I use brevity?

5:30 pm
Post Meta :

You may have seen some of my recent tweets that I’ve been trying to decide between keeping my Blackberry 8700C or upgrading to an iPhone 3GS.

Side note: I like how each of the manufacturers like to double up their graphics whenever showing off a phone.  It’s like you subconsciously get TWO phones.

I have my personal list of PROs and CONs about each phone/service.  What I’d like from you is not necessarily a vote for one of the other (because WHICH phone YOU would choose is less applicable than WHY), but instead, list your likes and dislikes of each.

Here are the facts first:

  • I’m currently with AT&T and I qualify for the upgrade discounts… so I’m pretty sure that means $99 for 8GB old iPhone, $199 for 16GB new iPhone and $299 for 32GB new iPhone.
  • I believe I’d save $15-20 a month on the iPhone all-inclusive plan over the Blackberry all inclusive plan.  I still have to confirm this, though.  (We already have unlimited texting on our family plan)
  • I’m an Enterprise user and my group administers the BES at work (some of you know what that means and why it’s a factor).
  • I’m an extremely fast typer and I rely heavily on email functionality, both work-related (Exchange) and personal (Gmail via IMAP).

I think what I’ll do is this: I’ll let Dave2 make his very witty and comedic-yet-unrelated comment, and then I’ll sit and watch the PROs and CONs filter in from all you smart and helpful folk.  Later, when everyone’s had a chance, I’ll see if any of mine were missed and I’ll add them in.  I guess really what I’m saying is I may steal the thunder from a lot of comments if I list out all my factors, and I don’t want to pre-empt comments.  I love comments. 

Feel free to be as technical as you want.  Or as frilly, I don’t care.

Ren from renagerie.com posted recently about how he wants to lose some weight again.  He lost a good 60-70 lbs a few years ago just by tracking his food and exercising.  This time around he just wants to nitpick about a few pounds, but him talking about it nudged me to do the same.  However, my starting weight is “just a tad” bit higher than his was, so thankfully my goal weight isn’t as low as his was.

I should also mention that TequilaCon 2008 is coming up end of next month and I wanna look my best.  I’m pretty sure my chances to look my best are quite good when I go where everyone is drunk and can’t see straight.

Maybe I’m destined to write the next best-seller, sure to sweep the nation with a new “diet fad” that will get immense press, great reviews and I’ll be on every talk show out there.  I’ll run the whole circuit with celebrity appearances; everyone will want me to visit their town and spread the news about the latest Awesome Thing; I’ll have a scandalous affair with Kirstie Alley (hey, she’s on my list) and then after a year or so the whole thing will die down, but America will be better for it because I was able to touch a few hearts along the way and build amazing memories.  That, plus I scored serious bank for my retirement, yo.  Then I’ll be able to afford my own Burger King.

I hereby unleash my super cool idea on the world: Eat Less, Do More™

Here’s the concept in two easy steps:

  • Eat Less.
  • Do More.

Never before has so much geniusness and smartacious intellection been combined in a collective yet together kind of way.

This plan is so easy!  No matter where you go, you can incorporate these two incredibly basic ideas into your day.

Some examples:

  • Let’s say you go out to dinner.  When you start eating your food, remember: Eat Less.  Simply put, this means you consume a lower amount of food than you normally would.  The end result?  You eat less!
  • Any time you feel like doing something, just Do More. By doing more, you increase the amount of stuff you do.  The added “do-ness” incrementally acts as an additive to what you get done.  I know it sounds like magic, but it works.
  • When in doubt, Eat Less.
  • You might find yourself not doing anything for a while.  Why not do something instead?  By replacing your “doing nothing” situation with a “doing something” scenario, you mix it up a little.  By doing something, you actually Do More!
  • Always remember to reduce what you eat while increasing what you do.
  • Do More while you Eat Less.
  • Eat Less so you may Do More.

Don’t feel daunted by daunting task of tracking the daunting things in life.  Instead, try to Do More.  While you’re Doing More, remember to Eat Less.  Don’t forget the Do More part while you’re eating less, either.

Let’s review.

Eat Less & Do More

We’ve gone over some important concepts in the Eat Less, Do More™ Program, and it’s crucial that you don’t forget what you’re supposed to remember.  Remember to Eat Less but don’t forget to Do More.  It’s that simple.  When you do both at the same time, it’s like they’re combined into one action.

Testimonials (add your own in the comment section):

“There was a time in my life where I didn’t know what to do.  I took Wayne’s fabulous Eat Less, Do More™ Program and now I know the secret!  He taught me the principles I needed to understand what it really meant to Eat Less and Do More.  Thank you, Wayne!”

— A.N., New York

“I was lost until I found Wayne.  His understanding of the Eat Less, Do More™ Program far surpassed my expectations.  I had no idea it could be so simple!  I’m going to Eat Less, Do More for life!

— D.S, Alabama

“Who knew *I* could Eat Less?  Amazing!”

— J.T., California

“I never thought I could Do More.  I’ve seen others do it, but always figured it was for someone else.  But guess what?  Now I’m doing more!”

K.P., Michegan

“I really appreciated Wayne’s approach for teaching people his approach to the Eat Less, Do More™ Program. At first, I mixed up the concepts and was eating more and doing less, but Wayne quickly pointed out that I needed to eat LESS.  I needed to DO more.  Once he re-explained everything, I knew my third time through his course would be a success.”

G.R., Oregon

12:30 pm
Post Meta :

I sit here @ McDonald’s in my ‘a little geeky’ shirt, writing a blog post from my Blackberry running Opera. I think my geek index could only go up if I composed it in Klingon.

Speaking of Opera, I think the browser is very innovative and a good alternative to the built-in browser, despite the three flavors RIM has offered it’s addicts.

However, there are some very frustrating things about Opera on a blackberry that deserve a little attention. And I’m not talking about the kind of attention you might give a stunningly beautiful and heartwarmingly generous woman as she donates her time and money to homeless cleft palate victims in urban areas admidst racial turmoil. I’m talking about the attention you might give an infected dark-green and black scab on the side of that woman’s cheek as she continues to pick at it incessently as she speaks to the children.

Opera is the woman; these annoyances are the scab.

The biggest annoyance is Opera’s inability to be blackberry-like. It ignores most of the time-saving shortcuts we were given in the first place! Things like pressing space for “dot” or “@” in a web or email address. When typing in http://www.whall,org/blog I actually gotta press the periods. Or howdy@domain.com – when blackberry knows it’s an email address, it uses the first space as the “@” sign and all subsequent spaces as dots. A big typing time saver.

The next biggest annoyance is how it accepts the enter key as a character in single-line text fields. For example, if I need to type in ‘whall’ into a username field, I have to select the field by pressing enter, then type in the info into a pop-up window, then click the trackwheel in and select “ok”. The builtin browser is superior to this because as I scroll down the page, the text cursor automatically displays and I can edit in-place, and just scroll down to the next field. The way Opera does it, I inevitably end up having to use both hands for any normal kind of entry.

Another bugaboo is the bugs. The thing crashes once a day. Usually its some java.lang blahblahblah. Please stop crashing!

Yet another is the loss of the ability to paste in a URL. Argh! This was a major downside of the builtin browser already, so I’d switch to Opera as a fix, but noooooo can’t do that any more.

I *do* like many things about opera, but hopefully they start taking advantage of the blackberry advantages in the next version.

Actually, I’m not talking about the following video: 

Although, it is quite a cool video.  And song.  I vote this video for Most Creative Use Of Treadmills In A Music Video.

No, I’m talking about NewsGator Go!, replete with trailing exclamation mark.

newsgator link - free

For those of you who aren’t familiar with a “feed reader,” here’s the concept:  Reading blogs, although fun and good for your health, can sometimes be a chore, especially if you have to remember to visit each of the sites you like to read, and if you have to calculate how long it’s been since you’ve been there, and if you have to scroll down to find the last entry you read.   Sometimes you waste your time simply by going to a blog and they haven’t written anything since the last time you visited!  The NERVE!  Don’t they know I’m sitting here, waiting to be entertained?!!?!? 

Why can’t someone invent something so I can more easily read all these blogs?  And sheesh, I left a comment yesterday somewhere and I don’t remember where it was or which blog entry, but I sure would like to see a response!

That’s what a feed reader does.  It’s kind of like reading email, but instead of reading up on the latest male enhancement product or must-have narcotic, you can be notified and manage the new posts (and comments) that people write on their blogs.  Most blogs support a little thing called “RSS” which is a fancy way of saying “it works with a feed reader.”  It makes it possible to read and catch up on hundreds of blogs instead of just a few.

I’ve tried a few feed readers along the years, like Bloglines, Google reader, Opera, IE7, and found them all a little helpful but not tremendously helpful.  When I tried FeedDemon a couple years ago, I liked it a LOT and decided to buy it (it’s free now, by the way.  Way to help a brothuh, guys.)

The unique thing about FeedDemon / Newsgator is that although you might read blogs from many different places (browser, desktop, cell phone), it syncs up your feeds and read/unread blogs between all of them.  This is huge!

I can read my feeds from my desktop with the powerful FeedDemon client (Windows only).

newsgator windows client

I can read my feeds from any web browser with NewsGator Online.

newsgator online

I can read my feeds from my blackberry with NewsGator Go!

newsgator go mobile

It is so incredibly productive and pleasing to me that I can be on my cell phone, catch up on a few blogs, even comment, and then when I get back to my desk, those entries are marked “read” and I don’t have to catch up again.  If I add a new blog to my list while browsing the web, it’s added everywhere.  The converse of this is probably more important – when I remove a blog from a list, it’s removed everywhere.

I can even install a toolbar into my web browser that lets me auto-subscribe to feeds that it auto-finds as I browse the web. 

newsgator toolbar

Do YOU use a feedreader? Let me know in the comments.  If you do, which one do you use?

tsk tsk

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