I already mentioned that my current iPhone and I are nearly inseparable, but where did my attachment begin? It started, for me, with the iPhone 3GS.

The iPhone 3GS was my first smartphone, and basically began what seems to be a long-term relationship with highly connected technology. Before I had it, my phone was a pretty basic flip-phone from LG. That phone was OK, not great (call dropped too easily and often), so I was finally fed up by the time the third generations of iPhone was released.

I’d seen a few of the first and second generation phones among friends, but could not quite understand how the apps available could justify such a steep cost jump for a communication device. Then, I played with one in a local Apple store. That’s when, I think, I “got it”. There weren’t just the dumbed-down apps many “feature” phones had, but, instead, you could have a solid web browser, “visual” voicemail (much easier to work with than regular), and some apps that just didn’t really do much on “dumb” phones (twitter, for example was originally something designed for text-only).

I’m not sure if I’m saying this right, but the iPhone felt more like a flexible communication tool than just a phone you could carry in your pocket. I could quickly(!) search for information, and have the answers while others were waiting for 411 to even pick up sometimes. I remember checking movie showtimes using the (now defunct) 777-FILM number for Moviefone (miss that voice), but an app (actually, multiple apps) did the job better, and, faster.

Without that iPhone, I probably would have waited even longer or even dabbled in the Android cloud of devices. Even back then, before Android was released, I often heard friends lament they had to reboot their phones again and again. I really wondered how instability could be tolerated, but it really came down to cost, in most cases. Paying for quality is sometimes a good investment. It means you usually buy less often. Even now, I usually skip at least one generation before thinking about an upgrade. A new phone every year still doesn’t make sense to me.

When did you get your first smart phone? What was it and why did you choose that one? And how has your opinion and perspective around mobile devices changed since that eventful day?

via Daily Post – 1.18.2015 – Daily Writing – Desk Community.

My iPhone

If you know me pretty well, you know I’m nearly inseparable from a single gadget. That gadget is my iPhone. I won’t say I can’t live without it, but nearly so. I’d be limited in much functionality without it. It’s mainly the small conveniences I’d miss.

For example, in a typical day, it’s my alarm clock (and sleep monitor, so I wake up at a good time.) Then, it’s good background for music while performing the morning rituals. Traffic hardly phases me with the handy navigation software. Work’s a rare location I’d barely miss it, but it’s still handy sometimes. Then, heading home, or on longer trips, it’s great to have other good listening materials, such as audiobooks and podcasts, handy.

When did I first discover this multi-function device? That was actually years before I first purchased one. This is surprising since I’m also an Apple fan. I knew about the device from the day it was first announce, on January 7, 2007, at MacWorld.

It wasn’t until the iPhone 3GS that I made the leap from a very basic flip-phone, to the device that is like a Star Trek tricorder. I’ve skipped a few generations due to the 2 year contract cycle (I’m grandfathered in on the unlimited plan), but I don’t feel I’ll be leaving the platform any time soon.

What is one gadget (tech or non-tech) that you can’t live without? Tell a story of how you first discovered it.

via The Desk Community


I admit it. I’m a bit chaotic with managing my own tasks. It’s why some fairly routine, and regular tasks, like renewing my car registration, have, in the past, been delayed, when they could easily be done as soon as a few moments are set aside.

I looked at various systems, such as Getting Things Done, and even bounced around with multiple tools, such as the basic reminders of my computers and devices. I’m also aware that it is as simple as putting pen to paper, but I am very reluctant to

Recently, I think I’ve settled, once again, on a set of tools, in the Things apps for desktop and phone. I know it might be overkill, but it feels “right” without having to learn any particular method. I’ll see how it goes.

Any Things or even just GTD users out there, or what other systems do people use to remind themselves about what to do?

Photo Credit: Pete Boyd via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Pete Boyd via Compfight cc

Is Linux ready for primetime? Almost…

So, I had an urge to mess around with an alternative operating system from the one I usually work in. It was Ubuntu, and I’d tried it out a few years back. The process went fairly smoothly, but was nearly derailed by one detail that makes it not quite ready for primetime (luckily, I still have an ethernet cable handy). I had a heck of a time getting my wifi card recognized. I wasn’t installing it on a custom built machine, after all, but a MacBook Pro, so I was prepared that some functionality would be a bit limited (i.e., the track-pad is a bit “dumb”), but I kind of expected the driver support would be there for something basic like a wifi card. Luckily, I’m not afraid to RTFM, which helped, but I had to try 2 sets of firmware to get it right. Would be nice if there was a bit more support for getting this set up.

Now, I get to work on fun stuff, like customizing the heck out of this computer’s desktop. What do you think? Did I pick a good distro? One that even a power user could be happy with? Any other solid and fairly user-friendly ones I may be missing? Let me know.

New to Twitter? A guide appears!

So, you’ve taken the first plunge into Twitter and feel a bit overwhelmed by the flood of posts? If you have a bit of time to spare, I’ve collected a few guides that may help orient you, and potentially prevent a few, avoidable faux pas. Ready? Dig in.

Mashable’s got a guide for you, check it out here:

Twitter Guide Book – How To, Tips and Instructions by MashableThe guide is organized by topic and quite a few frequently asked (and answered) questions are covered, such as “what is a #hashtag?”
Ready to take bigger steps? Then follow @TweetSmarter. Trust me on this one. These two knowledgeable people know their stuff. More information on the dynamic duo is available on their blog. They tweet great tips, often. :)From here, it depends on what you want to do, and my list is not terribly comprehensive. That’s on purpose. You’ll pick up a lot of information by lurking and exploring.

I’m no expert when it comes to Twitter, but I am a grizzled veteran. You can follow me if you are interested in the sometimes silly stuff I tweet about. I’m @ryagas and I love tips and tricks, so be sure to @message me or even leave a comment here. :)


Official Google Mac Blog: Platforms and Priorities

There’s still not an official date for Mac or Linux releases of Chrome, but at least there’s some information on how the building and testing process is going. Hopefully, I won’t have to run Chrome in emulation too much longer.

As these versions stabilize, we will create official betas, much as we are now for the Windows version. While we can’t give any dates yet, we’ll keep everyone informed as we get closer.

via Official Google Mac Blog