Sunday, December 18, 2011

Whats so great about the new iPhone 4s?

Lots of people have posted lots of stuff about this infernal smartphone. But here I am going to cut to the chase. There are perhaps 3 major developments. And one of them in my opinion obsoletes all other phones.

1. Speed. This phone is blazing fast. Can you say instant? I mean, this thing is fast.
2. Camera. This is why my wife upgraded. Really, it rocks. The only camera I have that is better is my Canon digital rebel SLR.
3. Siri. If you haven't already heard, this is the near instant digital assistant you talk to. You don't just give her commands, you have conversations with her. It completely changes how you interact with your computer (the iPhone is a Mac computer if you didn't already know). This is science fiction cum science fact. The speech recognition is nearly flawless, and it not only recognizes commands, but responds to conversations and intelligently interprets intended meanings.

My prediction: within 2 years, Siri will reach the status of cultural icon. It will become so indispensable that iPhone market share will only increase as people grow into understanding how to use it.

So, Apple does it again: the hype for a product seems too good to be true, but the reality makes the hype an understatement. Damn them, now I have to buy some more Apple products! On the agenda for 2012: two MacBook Airs, Apple TV, and hopefully another (used) iMac or two. Anyone have a part time job I can take up?

Monday, December 12, 2011

How do you report Spam Text Messages?

Have you ever been happily asleep, when you are awakened by the ding of a text message, only to find it is some gambling site trying to get you to log on?  Now, there is something you can do about it!  You know, sometimes it takes a while before the left hand learns from the right, but apparently phone companies have been learning how to handle SMS Text Spam.  Finally!

FIRST TIP:  DO NOT REPLY TO THE MESSAGE!  Note the picture below, they say "Write NO to end" - yeah, right.  I bet you anything that is a scam to get you to send them a message, which they can legitimately charge your cellular account any amount they deem.  Plus, it confirms to them that your number is valid, and they can now sell your number to other spammers.

If you have AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, you can "forward" the message to them.  Here are the steps:
  1. Select the message they sent to you - on an iPhone, hold your finger down on the message, and tap the "Copy" balloon that pops up.
  2. Create a new message to 7726 and paste the message.  (Double-tap in the text area, and tap the "Paste" balloon that pops up.)
  3. Hit send.  You will get a reply message that asks you to send them the number from which the message was sent.
  4. Send the phone number.
That's it!  Simple, and the more we do it, the cleaner the system will be.

(Since no other carriers have an iPhone, I didn't check - I mean, come on, just get an iPhone!! ;-)  [Seriously, call 611 or your carrier's support line and ask.]

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Error installing eFax Messenger Plus on roaming profile

My work computer has a roaming profile with a Documents library on a network location.  Apparently this doesn't work well with eFax Messenger Plus (the reader app to read your incoming faxes from eFax), I get the error:  "The specified path is too long: C:\Users\Jay\My Documents\eFax Messenger 4.4" Retry/Cancel.  The problem occurred on Windows 7 x64.

The solution turned out to be pretty easy.  Windows 7 has a Documents library, which is a collection of folders it uses for "My Documents."  You can specify a different folder - I would recommend changing it to a path that is shorter, for example create one.  In my example, I create a folder under C:\Users\Jay, make it the default, then install Messenger Plus, then change the default back to resume normal Windows operation.

As you can see, I created a folder called JaysDocs and set it as the default location.  The install worked fine.