Saturday, June 30, 2007

How to make Weather art

Weather interface: It's a small feature, but the UI looks stunning. It has a similar look to the dashboard widget.

To see other cities you drag left and right. Looks so cool:


I love how Apple turns little miniatures apps that most people would ignore in to works of art. Just this subtle interaction is enough to inspire an entire blog post and photo set for it!

Seattle Times

I am quoted in the Seattle Times newspaper! The store which ran front page about the iPhone flows to page A10 where I am quoted. The entire article is online and here is my section:

Ryan Rawson, 30, of Seattle, said he wanted the iPhone because "most phones suck. Hopefully this will be a do-over for the cellphone industry."

He liked that the iPhone's software is upgradeable. "You are buying the phone you will have forever," he said.

Photo in the PI Microsoft blog

Short and sweet: here is a photo of me in the Seattle PI's Microsoft Blog.

Tips, tricks, photos and bugs

Now that more than 24 hours has passed, a sense of overwhelming awesomeness has settled on me and my iPhone. This is one cool device. I can't really say enough good things about it. I completed the AT&T online account registration on EDGE while riding in a car at 65 mph on I90. It didn't take too long either, the speed was reasonable. While you can always have more speed, it certainly is faster than the no-web surfing my Moto PEBL had.

Some tips - the keyboard doesn't register a press until you lift your finger. If you hit the wrong key and notice quickly, instead of lifting and hitting backspace, just slide your finger around until you are on the right key, then lift. Mistake corrected!

I also had a problem where it became difficult to unlock my phone. I'd slide my finger and nothing would happen and it would take me a few attempts. Well the solution is to turn off the phone to restart. To do this, hold the top button for about 5 seconds until a new screen pops up. Now, the hard part, you have to slide the red thingy across - given the difficulty of sliding things already established this might take a bit! Once you get it, turn it on and problem solved.

Safari doesn't seem to allow you to use textbox input yet. This is unfortunate because it means you can't blog directly from within Safari. Obviously you can use mail-to-blog interfaces, but I'm not sure if blogger has one. This is a clear bug that I hope will be fixed soon. I might submit a bug report to Apple to encourage them.

The last problem is you can't attach photos to a mail already in progress. There is no good reason for this, just a UI omission. You can email photos to a new mail, but not really the same thing. The file form upload element is also disabled, but they should enable it and allow you to upload photos on the iPhone. Another bug report!

Enough complaints, they really are minor compared to the awesomeness that is the iPhone. Here are some of my joys:

Mapping directions on I90 going 75 mph. The speed at which the data was spooled amazed me! The directions are great and the UI of Google Maps rule.

Getting a text message while doing something else: A pop up with the message summary asks if you want to read it or ignore. If you ignore the SMS app on the home screen will still have a little red number on the upper right corner letting you know how many unread messages you have. If the phone is locked it will display the message summary.

If the phone is charging and it's locked, when you hit a button you see:

The "slide to unlock" text has this rolling highlight in the direction of the drag to unlock. Combined with the little arrow there are three indications of what to do. Little details like that I just love!

There is much much more of course. Rounding off this post is a picture from the iPhone:


Friday, June 29, 2007

iPhone owner

I am now a proud iPhone owner. Once we got in the store, it was pretty slick and I walked out by 6:15 with an iPhone in tow. The sign up process in iTunes was quick, slick and problem-free. Now the syncing... I forget how long this can take. While it syncs, the screen looks a little like:

Looking good! The iPhone comes with accessories you normally don't get with the iPod anymore - specifically the dock and wall power brick. All the basics you need to rock and roll. There were plenty of iPhone-compatible bluetooth headsets there, but I didn't feel the need.

A second in King 5

I am also in a KING 5 local news segment. See if you can spot me!

Another quote

I got quoted again on the Seattle Times techtracks blog.

Ryan Rawson, 30, of Seattle, said he got there today at 6 a.m. to get a iPhone because "most phones suck." He currently owns a Motorola Pebl, but complains that it's not great at viewing Web sites.

"You can visit the Web, but you don't really get to see the pages very well," he said.

He said another cool feature is that Apple will be able to upgrade the phone's software when it connects to iTunes.

"You are buying the phone you will have forever," he said.

More photos

What to do about power?

This is the delicious library folks, ALL of them:


More News:
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Waiting in line

My co-waiters and I have been playing WOW on the flaky wireless network here. Just now V was starting to play WOW and I was telling him for the 5000th time about a song called WOW by a local band called the FSR. And sure enough, someone in the band happened to walk by just at that moment and said "hey, I'm in that band!". Although I think he was dismayed by our in-line-WOW playing and the excessive geekyness.

EDIT: The guy was "PC Speaker". I take back my previous dismayed, he is pretty cool and has said hi a few more times. Also he previously invited us to tomorrow's show at the chop suey.

I made the PI

To quote the PI:

Ryan Rawson, 30, a Google software engineer was there on the first day of sales for a simple reason: "Because it's awesome and I can."


iPhone lineup photos

It is nearly 11am and there is about 100 people in the iPhone line up at the Apple Store in UVillage Seattle.

As promised, photos ...

Early morning line up:
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Reshuffling in the morning:
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Early morning display:

The news was out:

Being interviewed...:

Longggg line:

In line at the Apple Store

My partners in iPhone crime texted me at about 5:45am informing me there was 38 people in line. I got up and got ready to leave, by 6:05 am there was over 50 people in line. When I arrived not much had changed yet luckily and I secured my spot at the 38 position.

The local news did a live segment out here, and asked us to keep our mac books open for the pan shot. A PI reporter asked us a bunch of questions, so check the paper tomorrow. Then an hour later a AP reporter did the same, so check the AP news later.

A few pictures forthcoming....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I've been busy - busy with work. Busy with weekend life jazz. Also I haven't had any inspiration of what to write. Except I would note that Steve Yegge's recent blog entry about marshmallows is probably not what you think it's about. Actually I'm not sure it's about anything or even the thing I thought it might be, or anything else. He sure is one opaque writer sometimes. My guess is the lack of sleep.

But never mind that, it is time to publicly declare my candidacy for the office of iPhone owner. My colleague and I shall travel to a store on Friday and attempt to obtain the device. I'm really hoping for a positive outcome because that thing looks so damn cool.

I realized last week that in fact, Star Trek is here. The multi-touch display with the self-reconfiguring layout is reminiscent of Star Trek:TNG. Every tech company is gearing up to provide the hardware and software for multi-touch systems and devices. Of course, knowing most techies they'll blow it on the UI, but for now the singular device that will show off all other devices will be the iPhone. They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and we'll see what Apple's legal department has to say about that.

I sent a text message to Greg Packer who is first in line at the NYC Apple Fifth Store for the iPhone at about 1am tonight. Nevermind that it's 4am, how can you sleep on the street there? He replied a little while later to my inquiry why does he need donations if he can afford an iPhone with the succinct "for food". He didn't really answer my reply which involved Maslow references.