Archive for January, 2008

Technology is in the air!

  This is a gadget round-up post. I’ve heard some technology news of interest in the past few weeks and I want to pass on some observations. Apple has announced the MacBook Air. You may have seen the TV commercials – this extremely lightweight and thin laptop is taken out of a 10″ x 13″ envelope. Very nice! Apple has also announced that you can rent movies from iTunes. “Library Titles” are $2.99 and new releases are $3.99. You can download and play the movies on your iPod, iPhone or computer. You can also download directly from AppleTV. If anyone has AppleTV I would love to hear your comments about this service.

I use a Palm TX for my calendar, contacts, notes, dictionary, etc. Many people at my place of work use Palms daily like I do. Lately, two people have had Palm problems and I think it’s because their Palms are quite old and very well-used. I had to call the time of death on one of the Palms and that person is ordering a new one. The other problem was fixed by a simple soft re-set. Because of the surge in convergent device sales Palm has not produced a new “stand-alone” since the TX. I’m not ready to make the change to having the phone and handheld in one device. I like my small cell phone.

Over the holidays I switched from Cingular to Sprint. My family is now all-Sprint. My new phone is a Samsung flip phone with a red face. I am having great luck with the new service and I love the phone. I would like to download The Man From U.N.C.L.E. theme song to add to my phone as a ringer (I loved the show as a kid and even had a MFUNCLE attache’ case). I found out that if you buy the ringer from Sprint you pay for the bandwidth use every time it rings. You can buy the Internet service but it’s $15 per phone even if you are on a family plan. You can, however, add a song from a CD or iTunes and then you are not paying the Internet fees. The song is available on iTunes but I then have to figure out how to get it on my phone. I don’t think a data cable came with the phone but there must be one available for this use.

iTunes problem

I have never had a problem using iTunes on my MacBook or my old iBook. All of a sudden I cannot access the iTunes store. I called Applecare and after an hour of re-installing this and downloading that I still couldn’t access the store. I had to end the call after an hour to get to an appointment so I called again a few days later. This time I talked to a product specialist and she did figure out that it seemed to be an Airport Express (router) problem. She wanted me to re-set the Airport Express and I couldn’t do it. I tried everything and could not get it to re-set. She suggested that I take it to an Apple store. I did and the Genius Bar guy got it to re-set. I took it home and still could not access the iTunes store. Mind you, I have had no problems using the Airport Express to wirelessly connect to the web so it is working fine. The Apple store guy said that it may be something in my MacBook. So, for now I’m just going to plug the cable from the modem directly into my MacBook when I want to buy from iTunes. It’s a pain but it works.

I heart TomTom!

I used my new TomTom One to get from Waterford, Michigan to Philadelphia, PA and back and it was great! No more Mapquest for me. Mapquest worked fine until you got to the last leg of a trip. Then all heck broke loose. It was always confusing to have to look at the document when you had to make a quick decision. With TomTom that pain and suffering is gone. The voice I chose to give me directions is Richard. Richard is very helpful plus I have the visual map to glance at along with how many miles to go until my next turn, how many miles to go until my destination and the ETA for reaching my destination. I want to look over the voices you can purchase from TomTom from atheletes to Mr. T to John Cleese. Maybe I will go southern or British some day.  Whichever voice I choose I know that TomTom will not let me down!

Heading home

I’m leaving Philadelphia today. This was my first ALA Midwinter and it was interesting. It is all meetings and exhibits and no sessions as I know them from the annual conference. The exhibits were fun and interesting as always. We are looking at some new resources and services in our Information Center so it was helpful to talk to vendors. For the “fun” part I would have to say that Swets won the prize. They had a Rocky impersonator in sweats, towel, black eye, etc.  I was told that I could pose for a photo with Rocky so I asked him and he yelled, “Yo, Adrian.” A Swets rep took the photo and told me that, “it’s going to be hard to be Adrian.” Since this was the first morning of exhibits I understood completely.

This was my first trip to Philadelphia and I enjoyed it. The conference was excellent and the city interesting. Our hotel is attached to the Reading Terminal – an historical terminal that is now like a food booth/farmer’s market of local foods. By the way… Reading Terminal was connected to the Reading Railroad – does anyone still play Monopoly? This is the real deal. The Pennsylvania Railroad isn’t too far away.

TomTom One

I am going to use my TomTom One to navigate my way to Philadelphia for the ALA Midwinter conference. This will be my first long trip using the device. This will be interesting!

Philadelphia Ho!

Tomorrow I head for Philadelphia to attend the ALA Midwinter conference. As the President of MAME (the Michigan Association for Media in Education) I am one of two MAME AASL Region III affiliates. I will be attending a couple of major meetings as an affiliate. I’ve never been to an ALA Midwinter conference before but I know that it is more meetings than sessions. There is also a huge vendor area and that is always interesting.

I will report on the conference when I return. I always have good intentions to blog while at a conference but it is hard to do because the days and evenings are so busy. So, by the end of next week I should be blogging again. Thanks for your patience.

PS A friend lent me guide book to Philadelphia and it indicated that you never call the city Philly unless you are from Philly. So, I’m going to Philadelphia!

Philadelphia and ALA Midwinter

Next week I head to Philadelphia for the ALA Midwinter conference. I will be attending some meetings as an affiliate from the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME). I have never attended the midwinter conference so I will be interested to see how it differs from the annual conference held each summer. There will be a huge vendor area so I’m hoping to find some good information there too. I will report when I get back.


My book is now available!

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