Monday, December 24, 2012

replacing hard drive on Iomega Storcenter ix2-200

A hard drive on my Iomega Storcenter ix2-200 drive died the other day. This is a simple unit that runs two mirrored hard drives for data protection. Nowhere, anywhere could I find information about how to replace the drive, except for a complicated PDF that didn't seem to quite match my unit. Assuming that in some way I'd figure it out, I went to BestBuy, grabbed a replacement drive (Seagate 1TB "Barracuda" desktop drive), and started to open the Storcenter. Super easy. Just pull two screws on the base, slip out the defective drive, a few more screws for the mounting enclosure, replace drive, and voila, push it back in and tighten it up. Turning on the device within minutes it was re-mirroring the drives.

Iomega has one of the worst websites ever. And no one on the Internet seems to have posted anything about drive replacement for this specific device. Could it be that everyone thinks it's so easy that they don't need to post anything? So, in the interest of the greater good, this post.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

looking for BlackBerry

Our family of four has four BlackBerrys and no landline. One of my sons was sitting in the bath texting and the screen on his Bold 9700 went dead. Probably condensation. We couldn't awaken it, though the phone was running. So we went off to the mall to get a new BlackBerry. At Walmart the BlackBerry Torch model with no keyboard was being offered for $0 with a two year commitment. But the stand that would have held the display model was empty. The salesman said his BlackBerry rep was in the day before, dropped off five devices, and they were now sold. He didn't know when they'd get more. At Target we learned they don't sell BlackBerrys. BestBuy had the Bold for a Spring which we aren't using. For AT&T there was one lone model, the Torch with keyboard for a $50 upgrade price. AT&T's own store only carries the Bold for $199. We went home. I ordered a Curve from AT&T online. My impression of this little sojourn? BlackBerry is obvious struggling to even get shelf space. Meanwhile, it launches a new Indonesia. But I'm sure the aspiration there is for an iPhone (though I've heard from an Indonesian friend that sometimes only BBM will get through, not even standard text messages).

BlackBerry really is the new feature phone. They effectively don't have a smart phone and hardly have a smartphone offering. And that means they don't have much of an offering in North America because feature phones here are end of life.

But I still do love my BlackBerry. I was using it to navigate somewhere because BlackBerry Traffic beats Google Navigation on my Android ever time. Better directions. And more reliable connections (thanks also to Verizon vs. T-Mobile). So, I wanted to use my Android to get on a conference call while my BB Traffic did it's thing. No go. First, I had updated the calendar event in Google calendar from my computer browser an hour before and it still hadn't pushed to my Android (but Google had pushed it to my BlackBerry)! When it finally appear on my Andoird, and I clicked the phone number in "location" where I usually store it, the phone app did open up but it didn't recognize the x123 for extension. And for some reason the phone app kept freezing and wouldn't make a call. Pull over. Switch phones. Try to get the Android to navigate. Nexus S can't find GPS. I make the call with ease on my BlackBerry with a few simple clicks of the REAL KEYBOARD and I remember why I'm still stuck with those Canadians from RIM.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

go sand flea, go!

a little bit of Braun in this Pentax

This new camera design for Pentax by Marc Newson is a welcome move away from the recent spate of retro-classics.
But retro isn't entirely absent. The design still reflects the influence of Dieter Rams and his Braun products, specifically in the top of the camera.

Monday, January 23, 2012

why I love my BlackBerry

Josh Topolsky, Editor-in-Chief of the Verge, asked on Twitter if anyone in the world actually LOVES their BlackBerry, not just liked it.

My response was YES, because it's a smartPHONE not a little computer. And I want a smartPhone not a little computer.

My BlackBerry works as a phone. It does e-mail perfectly. You can text without errors because it has a physical keyboard. Contacts are seemlessly integrated into Calendar, E-mail, Phone. And it still does those functions demonstratably better than Android or iOS. It's a device that has stood the test of time for those functions. If those are the functions you want, it's beautiful.

Additionally, and very importantly, the latest BlackBerry is physically a wonderful device to hold, nicer at least to my hands than anything else out there.

I also own a Nexus S with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It simply can't compare for the four functions of Contacts, Calendar, E-mail, Phone, not merely because it doesn't have a physical keyboard but because the interaction with those four functions are simply not as well thought through and hasn't gone through the inumerable revisions of the BlackBerry OS.

BlackBerry's are vintage devices, even in the newest model. There's a virtue in that vintage that some users appreciate and even love, but it's questionable whether it can survive in the market that way.

But everything else on the BlackBerry is a shadow of what's on other devices.