Friday, September 03, 2010

The Children's Museum of South Dakota

It opens on Sunday, 12 September. I can't wait.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

stupid iPad/Pre/GPS trick

[Update 15 August: Verizon apparently put an end to my fun. Now when I try to turn on Mobile Hotspot, I get a message that says my plan doesn't include internet sharing.]

I have a new Apple iPad, a new Palm Pre Plus, and an ancient GPS that's falling apart physically and has old maps. So here's my way of using the two new devices as a substitute for the old GPS:

The Verizon Palm Pre has a feature called "Mobile Hotspot." This connects to the internet via the usual mobile phone 3G connection, and then extends that connection via Wi-Fi to up to five other devices.

The iPad has GPS hardware.

The iPad finds my location via GPS, but can't show maps without an internet connection. That's where the Pre comes in. I fire up Mobile Hotspot, connect the iPad to it, and start Google Maps on the iPad. It works like a charm. It finds my location pretty quickly, and can either just show my current location, or draw me directions.


It's not an exact substitute for a regular automotive GPS, since you can't really drive and operate it at the same time. So if you're travelling solo, it's not really for you. Two adults required, or at least a kid old enough to run the iPad and read the map. No turn-by-turn voice directions.

It would also work with the iPad's built-in 3G (if you have one of those models, which I do), but that would require monthly payments of $15, or more likely $25, to AT&T.

The Pre also has GPS and Google Maps, and essentially does all of this on just one device. However, the big screen on the iPad makes it much more pleasant.

The Pre has "VZ Navigator," which does turn-by-turn directions and traffic reports and points-of-interest like a regular GPS, but that's $10 a month.

It drains the battery on my Pre like nobody's business.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Terrible Presidential Puns

Here's a dumb blog I've just started, and my old friend Bentley will soon be joining. We write really bad puns involving (usually) the names of U.S. presidents, and you guess the punchlines and leave them in the comments section.

This silly idea dates back to high school. I'm not sure why we started making these things up, but we did. Now we're doing the world a favor by sharing them. I'm sure the world will be thankful.

So head on over, and supply a punchline.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I, for one, welcome our new German laundry overlords

We replaced our aged washer & dryer yesterday. Our old units were getting less & less effective. The old washer used too much water and left too much of it in the clothes, and the dryer was really slow. The new ones use a fraction of the resources. It's especially amazing how little water gets used. It's also very quiet.

The new ones don't really have interior lights that color. I used a pair of remote flash units inside bounced off of some colored foam.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lastest Apple Rumors

Less than a week after the introduction the long-rumored Apple iPad, new rumors swept through the tech community about the company's next big announcement. Expected before the 2010 holiday shopping season, it will not be a shiny new tech gadget, however. Unnamed sources close to the Cupertino, California company are saying there will be a broadening of their highly successful retail Apple Stores. Not content with merely selling loads of desktop and laptop computers, iPods, and now iPads, they desire increased exposure to the youth demographic.

All new Apple Stores -- and, eventually, most or all existing stores will be retro-fitted -- will now include a dance club. "Picture, if you will, the lighted disco floor of Saturday Night Fever, re-imagined by Jony Ive!" gushed Apple-focused blogger John Gruber. "No colors -- just white!"

Disco music, however, will not have any part in the new clubs. "Everyone knows Steve [Jobs, Apple CEO] is a fan of the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Not many are aware, though, that he absolutely adores Danny and the Juniors" said an Apple insider. The dance clubs will feature weekly 1950s-style teen dances.

So you can expect, some time in the fall, another of Jobs's famous announcements: "...and one more thing: the Apple iHop!"