Thursday, October 6, 2011

Farewell, Steve Jobs

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." - Steve Jobs

Not once did I meet him, but Steve Jobs has touched my life in a way that many so-called icons and heroes of our time couldn't. I feel that God was gracious enough to put me on this planet at the same time as Steve. I was extremely lucky to witness the awesome presentations he gave, use the innovative products he dreamed up, and learn to really live a little from his inspirational way of perceiving life.

No words can describe what I really feel, and I can't believe he is really gone, but the legacy he created will never leave us. That's the most reassuring thing - that I'll always have a little bit of my hero with me every time I need to measure myself against someone truly great. He changed the world for the better, and it's always awe inspiring to realize that. We will all miss you Steve. Your impact on me has changed my life. Steve, I can't imagine life without your influence.

Last night, I learned about Steve's passing from a very close friend; a friend who equally holds Steve in a light brighter than most. A text read "Call me", and I did, knowing what we'd discuss. I was working on another project, and my concentration was blown. I opened up Safari to Apple's default start page. Three things I never thought I'd see were glowing on the screen in front of me. A large picture of Steve, his name, and below it, a set of years, "1955 - 2011", all in black and white. Ominously prominent, but very real.

I spent the evening looking up every major news outlet for articles about Steve. Some great, namely one by Walt Mossberg, and others very brief, but all of them had a common theme. A mythical titan of a man had left us, and no one again in creation will ever be able to step in to fill those New Balance shoes. I really thought hard about something; Steve Jobs lived for 56 years, each year seemingly more fulfilling than the last. Since the dawn of time, there has never been another Steve Jobs. Somehow, some way, I was given life at a time where I was able to watch him do what he did best. Innovate. I hope I can be an innovator someday.

"No one wants to die. Even people who wanna go to heaven don't wanna die to get there." - Steve Jobs

Think back to the scientific minds and philosophers you've read about in the history books. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton all come to mind. Did you ever believe that you'd live to witness a man work who was equally as great, if not better than those minds? Steve Jobs belongs among those names so rightfully so, that already, you can open any book that relates to business in any way, and find some reference to Steve, Apple, or a product or industry they've created or changed. Some day, you'll be asked about this time, and you'll be able to talk about it because you were there.

This morning, when I woke up, I went for a drive. I came to a stretch of road between two towns where spreading fields surrounded you, and the road seemed to go on forever. I hoped in a way that it would, and that I wouldn't have to face reality for a while. A flock of geese flew overhead, and when I looked up, I noticed that there wasn't a single cloud in the clear blue sky. I didn't stop moving, but the world seemed to, if only for a moment, and I realized how lucky I am to have life in the face of death, especially here and now. Unfortunately, I had to turn off of that road, and I arrived at work, where I am a Network Administrator and Technician. I arrived at this job only because I was inspired years ago to get in to computers. I only got into computers because of Apple. In a way, I am where I am today because of Steve.

Two sets of dates will live forever in my mind; the 10 year period from 2001 to 2011. I remember where I was and what I was doing when the world lost Dale Earnhardt. An All-American hero in sports. I remember the shock of hearing that music legend Johnny Cash's house being burned to the ground. Now, I'll always remember the evening of October 5th, 2011, that I spent wide awake, reading and consuming everything I could about Steve Jobs. How I clung to the belief that I could somehow measure up one day. Maybe something I've done will mean something to someone, hopefully something I've said has helped somebody, and maybe what I just wrote made you realize that life is equally as fragile and precious for everyone.

Farewell Steve. You will truly be missed. You have touched my life, and endless others. I will always miss you.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Skippy's iPhone Event Predictions

"It's been a long time. How have you been?"

To quote Aaron Lewis, "It's been a while" since I've done a prediction post regarding an Apple Event. So I figured I owed it to you.

You should suspect that there is no redesigned iPhone, given that we have very little to go on regarding new hardware leaks. I'll go on the record and say that the iPhone 4S / 5 is an updated iPhone 4. Apple is all about how the iPhone "feels in the hand".

The iPod Touch is the polar opposite of that mantra. It feels like crap holding it to your ear, and rightfully so, since it's not made to be held like that. A tapered iPod Touch certainly is. All of these tapered rumors are for the iPod Touch, and those might not even happen this year. The iPod Touch is only going to go white and gain the A5 this year. Tapered designs are on hold, if not for next year, then indefinitely. I'm 99.9% certain.

Will the iPod Classic hit the end of the road? Good news. No. It's still too early, and to give a product the axe so close to its 10th anniversary at Apple would insulting to the iPod itself. It says that no matter how long a product works well and remains wholly unchanged, there's always a chance that it's on the chopping block. It's strange, but it's the only explanation I have. The Classic will not only go unmentioned again this year, it will be untouched - pun intended.

The iPod Shuffle on the other hand is not safe. It's the iPod that no one really ever talks about. You don't hear that often how "I love my iPod Shuffle" or "I wish Apple added (Insert worthless feature here) to the iPod Shuffle" - it just doesn't happen. Maybe the iPod Shuffle is perfect the way it is? Hell, Apple went right back to what it was two generations ago with minor alterations. HELL! Even the iPod Nano is now based off of the iPod Shuffle!

That all adds up to a big problem. The Nano has now evolved to handle the only thing the iPod Nano is good for - a clip-on-and-go music player. Its design was proven the way it was a few years back, and it proven again now that Apple brought the design right back. How do you evolve it without upsetting people? You don't. Everyone gets pissed off when you do.

The Shuffle is closer to the end of its life than the Classic, and no one realizes it. At least with the Classic, people always want a storage bump. People never request the Shuffle gains anything. There's a reason for that.

So that leaves the Nano. It's possible that it will get a storage bump, a price drop, or maybe even both. There was also a rumor a while back that referred to the implementation of a camera in the Nano. How cool would that be? The world's most compact and portable camera? I might buy one just for that reason. AS LONG AS IT CAN TAKE STILL PHOTOS IF IT CAN TAKE VIDEO. Excuse me, fifth generation Clickwheel Nano? HEAR THAT?

Referring finally to iCloud, I believe that our hopes of seeing it under Snow Leopard are bogus. A screenshot went around a while back that v10.6.9 would include it. You know the only problem with that? The v. Apple NEVER adds little V's in front of an OS version number. iCloud, for us iUsers will be Lion-Only.

Yes, to get the free iCloud, you need to upgrade to Lion for $29. Would you expect anything less? I think not. Either you get your PPC apps under 10.6, or you get iCloud under 10.7. You can't have both. Apple doesn't roll that way.

Did I hit it all? I think so. Two and a half hours to go now, folks! We'll find out soon enough, won't we? I'll grade myself after the event. Stay tuned.

I'LL ACE IT. LIKE I ACE LIFE. FTW... Or whatever the kids say.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who Wants To Buy Ad Space?

So I had another epiphany. I want to make money because I'm greedy. I have ad space on my blog. This makes me put 2 + 2 together. It comes out to something around 5, actually.

I want to know if there are companies, advertisers, businesses, websites, or anything / anyone at all that is willing to buy ad space from me. Now, this is where things get interesting.

Maybe I can expand beyond my blog. Let's think Nascar. A giant company ad on the hood, trunk, fenders, and doors costs a certain amount of money. I'd be willing to sell ad space on my car, which gets parked in the lot of 2 local colleges as well as countless grocery stores. I'd be willing to sell ad space on the lid of my laptop that everyone sees. I'd be willing to walk around in company t-shirts for what it's worth.

Out of absolute curiosity, I'm wondering if anyone is willing to start buying out little bits of potential advertising space that already travel with me regardless.

Let the offers flow!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We're All Going To Die

That being said, and that amazing helmet idea (thanks to explodingdog) taken into consideration, I have to say... We're all going to die.

I was falling asleep last night pretty early. It was about 2:00am. Just after I washed my feet Lord-Style and climbed into bed, I heard a voice. Yup, 'twas none other than good buddy Jesus. I wasn't necessarily listening because I was watching my recorded episode of American Chopper, and there was something about death and chocolates going on... Or something close.

Jesus was all like, "Yo, listen up. I've been thinking. Stuff's going down, and it's gonna go down hard. Bears are melting and the polar ice is slowly dying off, or so I was told." I was all, "I know Jesus, I know. What's the issue?"

Jesus was all like, "Yo, you aren't listening. I SENT A TORNADO YOUR WAY, and no one seems to care. You're in the Mohawk Valley. Things like this don't happen in places like that. The second largest Nuclear disaster EVER is happening right now - and that shit just got kicked up to a SEVEN - a huge earthquake happened under water that sent aftershocks well into the next month, Walmart is getting sued, and people are blaming Apple for something bad. Does this all add up yet? Does it add up to anything good if it does?"

I was all... "Well, it means that the Apple products sold at Walmart containing primarily Japanese components will all be going on sale pretty soon."

Jesus just shook his head.

Then he said, "I was actually looking at the white iPad 2."

I was like, "There you go, Jesus." We had a good laugh.

Then Al Gore came in, dressed like an Alaskan King Crab. He started yammering about animal conservation in colder regions. I promptly told him to go "pound sand", and that "I love seafood."

Then I woke up.

Moral of the story: No pizza before bed, no terrors in your head.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Apple Employees Speak On Behalf Of The Trevor Project

After watching the full video intently about The Trevor Project on MacRumors, and reading 19 posts in to the accompanying thread, I was trying to see what morons could have voted negative on a video and write-up like that.

I was wrong to think that only a moron could vote negative on it, and even though I didn't need to admit what I thought, I'd rather admit that what I thought was wrong. 20 posts in, there was a comment from a user that I really liked:

"I have a couple problems with this approach. There's so much attention brought to this issue of specifically gay bullying that it's hard to see this outside of the framework of identity politics.

Where's the videos and support for fat kids being bullied? Aren't they suicidal, too, or are we saying here that gays have a particular emotional defect and weakness? They're not strong enough to tough this out? Is that the image the gay community wants to promote?

Man, being a fat kid in high school. That was rough. There were a number of cool, popular gay guys in my school. I'm sure they took some crap from some people, but oh how I would have rather been one of them! But hey, I'm still here, I'm still alive.

Bullying is a universal problem that affects just about anyone with some kind of difference others choose to pick on. It seems like everyone is just ignoring all that for this hip, trendy cause.

I see where he's coming from. I believe that this movement was primarily brought on my the hit TV show GLEE, with that main character that is gay, and is bullied all the time. I have to say, I've yet to see a movement to reach out to the overweight - those "fat" people. In which, I hate that F word more than Fuck.

I have seen many outreach programs to the homosexual; gay, whatever you'd like to call it. I see a massive arm hugging that community and embracing them with sympathy and kind words.

Then I turn on the television.

I see Dr. Phil ripping people's personal lives open, along with their fridge, to pry and interrogate why they're overweight. I see reality shows about the half-ton-teenager. I see no love. I see a society condemning heavy people just because they're overweight.

I similarly see many "For Homosexual Children" programs at school. I see no "For Overweight Children" programs - I see absurdly emphasized Physical Education programs, where emphasis is on playing Basketball and Baseball well, and if you can't handle it, then too bad; learn.

I do have to say, I voted positive on that article, because this video and this cause is excellent. My argument here seems negative because we've only begun to cater to one group. We need to embrace and care about everyone for all reasons - not just because everyone else is doing it. Doing that, don't we just get right back to where we started?


That was extremely Un-Skippy.

Holy crap.

News about the hysterical side of natural disaster coming up soon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Enquirer Picks On Steve Jobs

On one hand, I have to say that even if it's true, it's like Mike said. I've had relatives in for cancer treatment, and each time, the end result was 'cancer-free'. However, those people still see cancer treatment specialists for check-ups. Cancer is a thing where, once you get it, you get checked in on for the rest of your life. That's the only way there is to learn anything about it.

On the other hand, I do actually believe this one is bogus, for a number of reasons.

A) When have we ever seen Steve wear a button down? I'm not saying mock-turtlenecks are all the man has, but I've yet to ever see him in a button down anything. Not even a full button down suit.

B) In the picture on the left, look at his hair. Steve has always had very short salt-&-pepper hair. The person in this picture has a rather long little tuft of hair flapping in the breeze. Let's remember that he had cancer. The last thing that would happen is a sudden burst of hair growth.

C) In the picture where his hand is circled (for who knows what reason) he's leaning up against a car. Unless he stepped off a curb, stumbled, and caught himself, I don't think he'd just lean up against a car. A car which certainly does not have a Mercedes-Benz tail light.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So, Intel Is Building MacBook Pros Now

Let me make my triumphant return by explaining something about the above image that's sparked my interest.

It's not a Mac.... Well... Anymore. Here's why.

First off, see that glaring reflection on the screen, coming from the top right and going diagonal to bottom left? I challenge you to find an image of a Mac, of any sort, that DOESN'T have that exact same glare. It's identical to Apple's stock computer desktop images.

However, going across like that, they would have had to edit the entire image to depict the new screen. Would they go through all that trouble?

Second, the top left of that window with the car, you see that? On the very top left, are window controls functions. Where have we all seen those? They're the little traffic-light-looking-icons that represent the Close / Minimize / Expand functions of any single application on the Mac. Albeit small, you can certainly make them out. Even if you're one of the few that can't, there's no disputing that they're on the top left, and not top right, like any Windows computer would be.

However, the interface of that open window isn't exactly the spitting image of any Mac application that I've ever seen.

Third, on the main desktop of the computer, take a look at the bottom right. There's a little volume slider. You can tell it's a volume slider because of the icons on either side of it, and the color of the bar (and even the way the slider itself is) seems to resemble the iPhone volume sliders of the iOS.

However, that's one of the easier potential Photoshops on the page, if you really want to dispute it.

Fourth, is on that little window with the surfer off to the right. Nothing in particular I guess. It's just a little window of a program. That little surfer with the yellow board has been somewhere else, though.

However, does it not look similar to the new iMovie?

Fifth, I have to note the machine itself. As we can see, it's black. You're thinking, Apple hasn't offered a black computer since the black plastic MacBook. To take it a step further, if you want to compare screen sizes, it looks like more of a 16:10 ratio than 16:9. Let's just compare it to the available laptops... Looks a bit different. It's also shockingly thin if it's smaller than the MacBook Air since it has less of a tapered edge.

However, if you take a silver Apple laptop, and put it up against a white background, perhaps the easiest thing to do is to simply darken the image so much that it looks black. Something I do to my own pictures on occasion.

However, that can be construed completely wrong, and that's a story for another day.

Back to the Mac...

It's up to you to decide. Is Intel the culprit that should be locked up for leaking a new or redesigned Mac, or is it just the best mash-up of available laptops we've ever seen for a generic ad? Something to think about.

I always did say that Apple didn't change their own website for nothing. They darkened the color of their navigation bar, among adding some other effects. The color before was oddly close to their signature anodized aluminum unibodies. Someone didn't just go in and change that color without reason.

LiquidMetal has been rising in Apple's eyes, and maybe it's become the apple of their own eyes.