iTunes, iPod Touch and Windows

iTunes, iPod Touch and Windows Integration

It’s nearly a week since I upgraded my iPod from a generation 3 to one of the cool, uber-geek iPod Touch devices. As a 99.5% Windows Vista user, I am impressed.

The iPod Touch works on our home wifi. In the morning I check emails and other overnight happenings from the comfort of my bed in Safari.  The synchronisation between my Internet Explorer (Vista) and Safari (iPod Touch) browsers works well.

It beeps at me when I have an appointment. My contacts are in there.

All it needs is a mini email application. A slightly less finiky onscreen keyboard. A camera and a VoIP. Oh, that’s right — that’s an iPhone!

I just missed out on Halo 3: 7 days in Seattle.

Qantas QF11 747-400

Rundown of a week in Seattle, and sadly a week too soon.

Halo 3 ships this week world-wide, and I missed it. However did buy some Halo 3 T-Shirts for the family.

Mushroom and Tree

Meeting up with my fellow Enthusiast Evangelists, prodding VP’s and seeing all sorts of cool things almost made up for the lack of Halo 3. Almost.

Full flight to LAX, and I think I slept most of the way. Two Arrigo-nauts collected me at SEATAC and dropped me off at the hotel in one of the new Arrigo-mobiles. Cost: two jars of Vegemite. Goes well on bagels, evidently.

Sunday: a quick shop and eat with Paul Foster. I can has iCat! Lego store Bellevue!

Frank Arrigo Signed Bear looks out the window

Monday morning on-campus. Nic Fillingham and I jumped on those shuttle buses, building to building and generally found ourselves lost on campus. Microsoft is big.

Paul Foster gets to Fry's

On the Monday afternoon before the internal meeting, Nic, Paul and I visited Best Buy, Circuit City and Fry’s (Renton). Retail therapy works on men, too. As long as it is a quick visit, quick browsing and immediate purchasing. All hunting, no gathering. Fry’s had a collection of WiFi antennas that will augment the home network through 100 year old walls. Halo 3 advertising everywhere.

Second only to Halo3 in Seattle are Starbucks. I lost count of how many I saw during the week. Starbucks is so ubiquitous, it is tough to find/get real strength coffee.

This week, it’s OJ on CNN and FOX News early in the week, drifting to Jena and Ahmadinejad in latter part of the week. It seems that these channels have hyper-competed themselves into a corner. At least CNBC and Bloomberg seem to have cool stuff on. Even a Microsoftie in Japan talking Halo 3. I knew I went to the wrong country! Oh, and the History Channel is just like Australia.

Internal meetings are usually "not my thing". I either go postal/have a brain fart (this time I reserved this for a VP) or start thumping the table. This 3 day meeting, I managed to get that out all on the first day. And seem to be keeping my job.

I have not watched Iron Chef, but did see a cook-off show in Japan. There is a restaurant in Seattle where it is a battle of the bands. Our team of EE’s lost due to the use of a former professional chef (Miel) on the other team. I must admit, the steak was almost as perfect as my mashed potatoes.

Paul's Windows Home Chocolate

Thankfully, the PopFly, Visual Studio Express, Photosynth and Windows Home Server guys all had chats with us on Days 2 and 3. The volume of cool looking and working things at Microsoft is increasing.

I have note worked out the story as Benjamin is being cagey:

News: Australia is one of the largest markets for Windows Home Server. Time to Pimp My Server, too. 🙂

I applied and was rejected from The Geek Squad

Highlight of the week: Microsoft’s Home of the Future.  Flora escorted and presented many concepts that will appear in future homes. Having been setup for some time, does the Home of the Future really foretell the future? Well, originally the Home contained a microwave oven that could scan barcodes. That product now exists on the market in the US$170. My feeling is that technology will slide into the home’s we live in today. Less Jetsons and more Smiths/Jones.

The next 6 months is going to be a little of a consolidation of my first 6 months of work. More hints/tips/howto and a fewer interview style videos.

Interestingly, I could get my phone data-synching in LAX ok via T-Mobile but AT&T in Seattle sucked. The connection kept timing out, so I was relegated to SMS/TXT. How 1997. Due to roaming costs, Windows Mobile 6.0 smartly does not automatically synch and prompts you prior to connecting. The last thing I need is an angry cost centre owner asking why my bill is thousands.

Cashed in all my QFF points and upgraded myself home. Probably not the best use of points, but I needed the sleep.

Next trip to the US: MIX08 in Las Vegas.

Other stuff I missed out on:


Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Keyboard 8000 ships this week in the US. iPod Touch not in stock at the Apple Store, Bellevue. Yes, I believe I am going to buy one as the WiFi and form-factor for browsing is intruiging.

Rock on Halo3. I’m sorry I missed you!

… oh, and I missed my cats, cars, TV and family too.

And now to lose these 2kgs I’ve seem to put on. Even eating 50% of normal volume.

Choose your iPod Retailer Wisely

Tim Kleemann, Managing Director (no less) of NextByte, responds to my post on “iShonky”

Tim’s reply goes to show that you must buy from a retailer who cares.

So, armed with the facts from the horses’ mouth: one must ask what data Choice has used to determine their “shonky-ness”?

The last thing we need in Australia is a magazine out for column-centimeters rather than the truth about products.

Choice Magazine calls iPod Shonky

The CHOICE iSHONK for Dual-level Shonkyness is awarded to the Apple iPod, mainly relating to the repair “procedure”

Choice Magazine has been the respected voice of Australian consumers; and with strong consumer protection laws in Australia: you must comply with the laws.

This comes on the back of the RMonvirus on 1% of video iPods sold after 12th September. Now, that’s doubly shonky. Who was spot checking?

Repairs to technology where the margins are slim and the volumes are large can wipe out profit in an instant. The key is to make the product correctly in the first place. Quality systems, W. Edwards Deming.

Someone at Apple PR should be getting cranky about this – there are competitors on the horizon; and customers expect more than Aussie Post style repairs.