Top 6 Reason Why I Want The New iPhone 4

For the most I would consider myself an Apple Fan-boy, but definitely not a fanatic. I love all things Apple, except for the high prices on the many cool gadgets. But the one enduring product I love from Apple next to their MacBook Pro laptop line is their Apple iPhone. So here’s the top 6 reasons why I want to upgrade iPhones.

Reason #6: I could use the upgrade

I have an iPhone 3G and while it’s great, it’s starting to show its age. I’m finding my phone runs slower than when I first got it, despite hardly loading any applications on here. And while the iPhone 3Gs wasn’t a huge upgrade from the 3G, the iPhone 4 certainly is. The increased processing power of the new A4 chip alone would be a welcomed changed.

Reason #5: Video

I know they introduced video in the iPhone 3Gs, but HD video and the use of a Final Cut App makes it all the more intriguing. Now I can record HD video clips and make some quick edits to send to friends and/or post up online for the world to see immediately. Don’t have to wait until I get home to do some editing before I post it up! Super cute videos of my daughter, here they come!

Video chatting. OMG, Apple has realized one of my biggest wet dreams! Being someone who loves face-to-face conversations, this is like mobile webcaming without the fuss and muss of a bulky laptop! Think of the potentials! I think phone sex has taken on a whole new meaning and we’ll just leave it at that.

Reason #4: Multitasking

I know this is more of an iOS 4 thing than an iPhone 4 feature, but having the A4 processor powering the needs of multitasking would make multitasking a more enjoyable process. Can you imagine how painfully slow the iPhone 3G or even the first generation iPhone would handle multitasking? This has been a welcomed feature since the inception of the iPhone.

Reason #3: Compatibility

One of the beautiful things about Apple is how smooth it is to transition or upgrade up. If you ever upgraded from an older Apple computer to a new Apple computer, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Your profiles, files, programs, and just about everything is transferred from one Mac to another with everything in the same place! The same goes for the iPhone. When I upgraded from the original iPhone to the iPhone 3G, it took less than 15-minutes and everything was in the same place as I had it. Remember the fun the last time you tried upgrading mobile phones?

Reason #2: Super Sexy Look

Like buying a Rolex, you don’t buy an Apple product merely for its reliability or functionality, but also for its looks. Dependable they are, but sexy, attractive, and eye-popping they are more. How many of us didn’t swoon over the first Apple iPhone? To this day, the iPhone is still the sexiest mobile phone, maybe more so than a Vertu. How many of our jaws drop when Steve Jobs first showcased the MacBook Air? What about the iMac? The iPad?

The new iPhone is absolutely gorgeous. The lines and the simplicity, the smoothness, everything is perfect. Because of its boxy design, it should be much more comfortable to hold.

Reason #1: $199 Upgrade

When the first iPhone was released, they were asking $599 for it. It wasn’t until almost a year later before The price was a tad more reasonable at $399. Finally the iPhone 3G could be had, as an upgrade, for $199. Now the iPhone 4, in many ways a completely different phone than the original or 3G/3Gs is available at the upgrade price of $199 also. For my wife, who still has the original iPhone, it’s a no-brainer. For me, it’s also a no-brainer. So what if I have to sign another two-year contract with crap AT&T? I’ve been with them for so long, it doesn’t even really matter anyways.

Problems With Boot Camp 3.0 and Windows XP and How To Fix Them

It has been a long time since I last installed Microsoft Windows OS on a Mac and then because it was more convenient, I started using Parallels for my “Windows Needs”, but eventually axed that in favor of a dedicated Windows workstation in favor of saving hard drive space. After many issues with our big bosses Dell laptops here at work, my manager decided to bite the bullet, purchase two 13″ MacBook Pros and have me load them with Microsoft Windows XP as the full-time operating system. I’m sure some of you might be wondering why not just run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and install Parallels for their Windows Needs. Simple, we’re not  a Mac environment and we do not officially support Macs. Plus the end users have never used the Mac OS before and the time to get them up to speed would be quite difficult and time-consuming given their already hectic schedules.

Since it has been a while since I last used Boot Camp, I had forgotten most of the details and haven’t kept up with the changes. Since Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Boot Camp 2.0 comes pre-installed with the OS ((http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1656)). When Snow Leopard was released, a new version of Boot Camp, 3.0 was introduced and integrated with the new OS ((http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3777)). So what are some of the problems that I experienced with trying to install Windows XP on a MacBook Pro?

Disk Error

Apparently this is a fairly common issue. You go through all the installation steps:

  1. Run Boot Camp Assistant in the Applications > Utilities folder
  2. Specify a size for your new Windows partition (which in my case was to devote 90% of the hard drive to Windows XP since the people who will be using these two MacBook Pro won’t be using the Mac OS at all) and then the Mac OS creates and configures it.
  3. Then put in a Windows XP SP2 CD and click Start Installation, the system reboots and Windows XP installation screen appears and you go through the motions.
  4. Once Windows XP finishes installing and reboots to finish the setup, you get the black screen with: “Press any key to boot from CD…” you let that one go and then immediately: “Disk Error. Press any key to restart.” but the system stalls. The keyboard doesn’t work and you’re force to do a hard power down.

Apple’s Knowledge Base support article TS1722 isn’t of much either, I tried it and it didn’t work for me. The big issue is with Step 8:

Format the Windows partition named ‘BOOTCAMP’ before continuing with the rest of the Windows XP setup process. Important:  Do not use the “Leave the current file system intact (no changes)” or “Convert the partition to NTFS” options.

I never got any option to format the Windows partition. By default, Boot Camp Assistant configures the Windows partition to be FAT32. If you select to install Windows XP on that partition you will get the “Disk Error issue”. It doesn’t matter how many times you re-do the steps (I did it 5-times), the same problem arises when Windows tries to do the last setup after reboot. I also tried deleting the Fat32 partition and create a new NTFS partition and got this error message upon reboot:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>system32hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file.

I also tried three different Windows XP OEM installation CDs, but nothing worked. So what fixed the issue for me? I had to find the “right” Windows XP SP2 CD. When I put that CD in and clicked Start Installation in Step 3 from above, and when it came to select the Windows partition to use, I selected the FAT32, it immediate went to a screen with three options: Convert the partition to NTFS (Quick), Convert the partition to NTFS, and Leave the current file system intact (no changes)! I selected the Convert the partition to NTFS (Quick) and everything worked fine after that. You can read this great thread on MacNN Forums where other people had the same problem with different solutions. Also make sure the CD you are using is a Windows XP full-version with Service Pack 2 or it won’t work.

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I Can’t Install Service Pack 3 on a Boot Camp Windows XP!

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Try and install the Service Pack 3 add-on and you’ll get this message:

An error occured while copying file osloader.ntd.  Cannot copy file to destination directory.  Click Retry to retry the operation or click Cancel.

According to Apple KB article HT3841, the issue is that “Windows is attempting to write to the first partition it sees to install the update” and the first partition is the Mac OS partition, which Windows cannot write to. This issue only affects Boot Camp 3.0 because of the new feature in which you can access you Mac OS partition from Windows. The fix is rather simple (copied verbatim from Apple KB):

  1. Click Start, then My Computer.
  2. Double-click on the BOOTCAMP (C:) drive At the These files are hidden screen, click on Show the contents of this folder.
  3. Double-click on the Windows folder. At the These files are hidden screen, click on Show the contents of this folder.
  4. Double-click on the System 32 folder. At the These files are hidden screen, click on Show the contents of this folder.
  5. Double-click on the drivers folder.
  6. Locate the file AppleMNT (it is a .sys file) and rename it to something like AppleMNT_keep.
  7. Click Start, then click on Shut Down.
  8. Click Restart to restart Windows XP.

Then you do the Service Pack 3 installation, which should complete successfully, and then reenable this feature:

Note: Don’t let your computer restart in the middle of this step. Click on Restart Later if you get a Restart dialog.

  1. Click Start, then My Computer.
  2. Double-click on BOOTCAMP (C:), double-click on Windows, double-click on System32, double-click on drivers.
  3. Locate the file you renamed earlier, and change the name back to AppleMNT.
  4. Click Start, then Shut Down.
  5. Click Restart to restart Windows XP.

And problem solved.

How Do I Create A Boot Camp Windows Driver CD?

With Boot Camp versions prior to 3.0, you had an option in the Boot Camp Assistant to create a Driver CD that had all the necessary drivers for Windows. With version 3.0, they changed that and now you insert your Mac OS 10.6 Installation CD when in Windows and it will install all the necessary drivers for you.

Windows XP on MacBook Pro Full-time

So I’m not entirely sure how well this will work out, but I imagine it can’t be any worse than a PC running Windows XP. I’ll report back with problems I notice and observations as time goes on.

How to Remote Desktop on Mac OS 10.5 Leopard to Windows 7

I do a lot of my work on my MacBook Pro and occasionally I need to access resources, files, or check something on my home desktop which is running Windows 7. One solution is to use VNC, which is great, but I rather install as few software on the machines as possible. Previously on Windows XP, it was really easy to enable Remote Desktop. On Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the way to enable Remote Desktop is a bit more buried in the newly redesigned Control Panel. I struggled with it for a bit, searching Microsoft’s support site, I came about the post to my answer. So here’s how you can connect from a Mac OS 10.5 Leopard machine to a Windows 7 machine via Remote Desktop.

Configure Windows 7

These directions are copied verbatim from the Microsoft site and reprinted here for future reference. These directions will work for Windows Vista also.

  1. Open System by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security (System and Maintenance on Vista), and then clicking System.
  2. In the left pane, click Remote settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Select one of the “allow” options under Remote Desktop. For more information about these options, see What types of Remote Desktop connections should I allow? [Note: To be able to Remote Desktop into a Windows 7 machine from a Mac, you need to select “Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure).]
  4. Click Select Users.
  5. In the Remote Desktop Users dialog box, click Add.
  6. In the Select Users or Groups dialog box, do one or more of the following:
    • To specify the search location, click Locations.
    • To specify the types of objects (user names) that you want to search for, click Object Types.
    • In Enter the object names to select, type the user name that you want to search for.
  7. When you find the correct name, click OK. The name will be displayed in the list of users in the Remote Desktop Users dialog box.

Connect via the Mac

Make sure you’ve installed either Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Client for the Mac or CoRD, which is what I use. I’ve used both, but I prefer CoRD for its simplicity and easier GUI.

Type in the IP Address or computer name and connect.

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iPhone Software 3.0 Is Finally Here

After waiting forever for the cool features such as copy-and-paste, Spotlight Search, and so much more, it’s finally here. Apple has released software version 3.0 for the iPhones which open up some cool new features. You can read “How To Use The Best 40 Features of iPhone 3.0” by ismashphone.com to get an idea of all the new features and how to use them. Definitely worth upgrading. Unfortunately not everything is supported by AT&T here in the US such as teethering where you can connect you iPhone to your laptop and access the web, but there are still a lot of features we can take advantage of in the meantime. I’m updating my iPhone 3G as we speak.

What I Learned Today: iPhone and Water Don’t Mix

You know how there are warnings about water and the iPhone, like they don’t play well together. Some people seem to have similar issues. Looks like Dan and me are doing the same iPhone stress test. The only difference is that when I walked out of the San Francisco Apple Store, it wasn’t with a 16GB iPhone, but rather a new 8GB iPhone 3G. Continue reading What I Learned Today: iPhone and Water Don’t Mix

MacBook Pro Woes

The keyboard and trackpad on my 15 inch MacBook Pro has been going in and out for the last month or so now. Originally I was thinking it was an issue with Leopard, as some people have been having the same issue after upgrading to Leopard. But I figured it had to be a hardware issue because when I plug in a mouse or keyboard, it works fine. Same thing when I use a wireless keyboard and mouse. Continue reading MacBook Pro Woes

WordPress iPhone Native App

The new WordPress iPhone Native App sadly does not work with WordPress MU if you use the domain mapping option. It only works for the main website. It won’t connect to any other domain mapped website. The problem has to do with the way we are doing domain mapping and how it affects XML-RPC.