x-ipod-rip-1I’ve always wanted to be able to work with my music when away from my desktop, and until recently I haven’t been able to swing it. It always made more sense to me to manage my music over the weekend for example, in the middle of a ski weekend. They say that an iPod will only sync with one computer but really one iPod will only sync with one iTunes library. So I set out to make this work. It was a bit annoying trying to work out all the bugs in the process, but the concept is really quite simple.

The first step in the process is to move all of your music files onto an external hard drive, one which runs from USB without an extra power cord is ideal. You’ll need to change the lettering of the drive. I recommend calling the drive “M:/”. Short for media, this is probably a letter higher then any you’ll see unless you plug in 10 thumb drives. The process for changing drive letters is a relatively simple process. After changing the location of your library you’ll need to setup iTunes. If you install the same version of iTunes on both computers and make sure iTunes is loking for the media on the M:/ drive. iTunes will still be looking for the library files at “My DocumentsMy MusiciTunesiTunes Music.”

Now close iTunes & make a new folder inside your iTunes folder and throw your old library files into there. After creating this backup you can begin copying the files from your former “iTuenes master computer” into the iTues folder. After this is done your music should open on the new computer. You should also notice that your iPod will sync. If this is the case go ahead and delete your old files from the newly added machine. Download Windows Live Sync and 1st set this up on the new machine. add your iTunes folder as the sync location, tehn repeat this action on the Master computer. Give the computers time to sync and then try playing music on both computers, and connect the iPod to each computer and they should both sync.

After being on the market a week I figured it was finally time to go & look at the Motorola Droid.  Initially I was very impressed.  I’ve got a laundry list of demands from my handset & this is the first phone to even come close to date.  The Droid is a relatively compact device, filled with lots of features.It’s got a very speedy response time and it just simply very well polished.  The calendar & contact management seem to be pretty good, & the camera looks as clear as the digital camera I carry with me next to my phone.  Google maps with built in GPS navigation is really cool, and the phone copies & pastes.  (This feature was a big deal to me.)A lot of people are going to really like this phone!I was however a bit underwhelmed.

While my current phone (Verizon XV 6800) is a bit buggy it’s got a lot of features, a number of which aren’t available on the Droid.(Not yet anyway.)  First foremost is a tethering app.Verizon says tethering is coming in January, but unfortunately they’re making customers double down in paying for this feature.Programs such as Joikusoft & WMwifiRouter offer this feature, turning the phone into a mobile internet hotspot while using the existing data plan.(The question of whether or not it’s right to use these programs & not pay Verizon for the additional functionality can be debated in another blog post.)  The browser on the Droid is nice.  It renders pages really quickly, & well, almost making you forget you’re on a handheld device.  I did however notice 2 major short comings in the browser.  First off it’s lacking flash support, & secondly it does not load the LogMeIn interface.  I have since researched & I see that there is not yet any sort of app that runs LogMeIn on Android devices.  I use LogMeIn a lot, and missing this will greatly effect how helpful this phone is to me.

My overall assessment of the Droid is this; I’m quite impressed.  Droid seems like the device that will finally bring Android into the mainstream.  I realize however that I am a power user & this phone just can not accomplish what I need from a device.  Not yet anyway.  I’ll keep my ear to the street waiting for the features I want & hoping for Android’s success.  In the meantime, it looks like no Droid for me.  In this case, my current phone might have it’s fair share [strike that:A LOT] of issues, but I’m not in the habit of getting a new phone unless it’s an either an upgrade or I,’m replacing a broken phone.While the droid does a lot of thing better then my current phone theres still things it doesn’t do.  That’s not an upgrade.

In June of 2006 I bought a Palm 700w smartphone. Having just upgraded from a Nextel flip phone my mind was completely blown. This new phone ran Windows Mobile 5, synced my calendar & my contacts, gave me access to Microsoft Office mobile, and could run all sorts of applications. I really liked it but had a lot of technical difficulties with this phone. Finally in December of 2007, after at least 3 replacement Palm 700w replacements from Verizon I decided to try a new phone.

My new XV-6800 arrived just before Christmas and it was truly like a Christmas gift. This device even further expanded what I could do from my phone. With Windows Mobile 6 a larger screen, slider keyboard, built in wifi card, & GPS capability; I was now able to do lots more from my phone then I had imagined. I could now remotely control my computer through LogMeIn.com mobile, emails & texting became much easier with the larger keyboard, and best of all I could now use this phone as a WiFi modem for tethering with my laptop. I really loved this phone! Unfortunately however there was also a lot to hate. This phone has turned out to be even more unreliable then the phone it replaced.

As time went on however the biggest problem turned out to be the Network. Verizon? You might ask how I could have a problem with their network, since they have the largest network, with the most coverage.” This is true. However my issue is actually their business practices. I’ve learned that if there’s one thing Verizon does it’s nickel and dime their customers to death. The most glaring example is GPS functionality. The phone I purchased included a chip set which will receive GPS satellite data from satellites launched & run with my tax dollars. Instead of allowing customers to use the equipment they’ve already paid for they make them pay for it, and not just with wit h a one time fee, but rather with a monthly access charge. While the company seems to have realized they were wrong (thanks to a class action lawsuit) and opened up GPS functionality on select handsets, mine of course isn’t one of them, since they haven’t released an update. There are also similar problems with proprietary charging cables and jacks.

This peaks my interest in the Open Handset Alliance, and Google’s Android. The Open Handset Alliance (formed by Google when Android was released in 2007) is a collection of companies and standards which promote a better experience to users through open standards. While I’m afraid that Verizon would never embrace Android due to the seemingly 180° difference in how they conduct business, it seems the users are asking for devices which run Android, and the rumors seem to indicate that Verizon’s listening. I for one am waiting with bated breath, although if not, it my be my last breath, and a carrier change may be eminent.

Today is one of the lesser celebrated yet extremely important holidays; Earth Day. With recent trends in recycling on the rise and the public embracing the cause more and more it’s great to see new products coming out which not only help to keep our planet green, but also keep your money in your wallet. Imagine being able to cut your car’s emissions while simultaneously increasing your fuel efficiency. That’s just what Sabertec makers of the Blade claim to be able to do.

Sabertec tells us that the Blade can in effect reduce greenhouse gasses by up to 34%, & filter vehicle air pollution by up to 57%, all the while increasing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by 10-30%. By capturing post-catalytic particulate matter through a filter replaceable filter, the Blade is also able to decreases the time it takes for your vehicle’s catalytic converter to heat up preventing exhaust from slipping back into the combustion chamber as it is expelled, theoretically maximizing gasoline efficiency. I recently had a chance to speak to William O’Brien, CEO of Sabertec, as well as Director of Blade Sales, Steve Joyce, here’s what they had to say.

Link: BladeYourRide.com

Greed, say it out loud. GREED. It kind of sounds funny. It’s almost a taboo word in our culture. Why? I guess because we all are somewhat greedy in the United States. It’s ok, I don’t blame you, the average citizen. It’s large companies that portray materialism as happiness. One company that I have really seen as stepping up to the plate and hitting a real “Greed-Slam” is Apple. Today I am going to talk about them a little bit.

Apple is really no different then most tech companies. In our culture we crave the latest and greatest technology. I’m no exception (*brief pause to check this incoming email on my Treo 700w.*) The thing that I feel really separates Apple from the the rest of the pack however is how they like to keep their new products a complete secret until the day they release. I could go out today and buy a new iPod and tomorrow it could be yesterday’s big thing, and I consider myself somewhat on the pulse of new technology.

The thing which really possessed me to make this post however was this. Last night, while trying to set up my girlfriend’s new iPod, I ran into the following string of events:

-When Trying to hook up her iPod nano, I was told to update to iTunes 7.0.2.
-After downloading iTunes 7.0.2, I was told it couldn’t be installed without upgrading to mac OS x 10.3.9
-After downloading 10.3.9 I was told that I could not update unless I upgraded OS X from 10.2.8 to 10.3.x

Now, I’ve run into this before, and here’s the issue. Let’s say I bite the bullet and get this upgrade, it is often the case that after upgrading, some other program doesn’t work and you are forced to upgrade that. You find yourself stuck in this spiral, and the biggest spiral is the money spiraling out of your bank account.

So I guess my final thought is this. When it comes to those Apple ads with the 2 guys standing in front of the white wall (a PC guy & a mac guy,) don’t necessarily think that it comes down to good, and bad. Think of it rather as bad and worse, and I am not even going to say which is which.