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Decisions, decisions.

Forget what i once said, when i renew my O2 mobile contract i won’t be choosing between an iPhone, Palm Pre or Blackberry. No, i’ve passed a lot of water since then. The Pre has been out in America for a while now and is not doing too well (generally reviewed as “good but no iPhone”) and the more i consider a Blackberry the more i find myself edging away.

So, what’s my shortlist now? Well, i could lie and say it was a toss-up between the iPhone, the HTC Hero or A N Other (Google) Android- or (Palm) webOS-based device… but i’d be lying. There is no decision. I’m a Mac man and i want an iPhone. Sod the expense and sod the limitations, i want an iPhone.

iPhone. Yes, the text is backwards - I flipped the image.

The only problem now is when to buy to one. If i buy now on a 2 year contract I’d not be able to get iPhone v5 as soon as it appears in June/July 2011, but if i buy now on an 18 month contract I’d be free of my contract way before iPhone v5 is available and end up paying £toomuch per month for nothing. And either way, i’d be “stuck” with a few months old iPhone 3GS when a shiny iPhone v4 came along in summer 2010. But i would have a shiny 3GS for at least a few months before the luster was spoilt and…

My umming and arring was interrupted by this.

Yes, Orange revealed they are going to start selling not just the old iPhone 3G (as was long-rumoured) but the 3GS too. Brilliant news. Decision made for me. Hang on a bit longer and see what happens once Orange ruin O2’s iPhone exclusivity in the UK. I doubt the price of the handset itself will be any cheaper through Orange (Apple probably sets that for the providers anyway) but i imagine this new competition will bring about some tariff changes. Probably nothing massively better, just enough for Orange to brag they offer a better iPhone deal… which in turn will hopefully lead to a better offering from O2. I say hopefully because i’d actually rather stay with O2 than move to Orange – O2 coverage is fine where i live and work, i can’t be bothered with the hassle of switching providers and, for all O2’s flaws, i’d rather be with the provider that has the most experience with Apple and the iPhone.

My decision to wait was then re-affirmed when a day later Vodafone announced they were going to join the iPhone party too…

All-Panel Laptop.

Well blow me down with a feather, it seems my “MacBook DS” idea isn’t original. Sony has recently[^fn-failingkeeneyes] been showing off its beautiful “all-panel laptop” concept…

Sony all panel concept

I think i’m (even more) in love with the future now.

[^fn-failingkeeneyes] Oh, and not so recently it seems. This design was originally seen in public in January. How did i miss it?

Those new HP ENVY notebooks.

When HP announced their new ENVY line of notebooks, i couldn’t help but remark on how similar they looked to Apple’s unibody MacBooks. Needless to say, I was very interested to see how they’d compare beyond appearances. There’s been a little wait, but Engadget now have a proper review of these machines online: looky-looky. It’s quite a positive piece… until we discover that the trackpad is virtually impossible to use. Oh.

Also, for what it’s worth1, i think that textured pattern on the palm-rest area (which wasn’t apparent in HP’s publicity shots but is in Engadget’s own pics) looks really nasty. Like the HP designers went and stole a bit of the Dell Adamo after they’d finished being “inspired” by the MacBook.

Nice try HP. More work required though it seems.

  1. A close approximation to zero. 


It’s only a little thing. Very minor. Tiny. Minuscule, even. Some people probably wouldn’t even notice it1. And those that do probably wouldn’t care… but when i setup a new PC and the desktop background / wallpaper / “screensaver” / whatever-you-choose-to-call-it has been stretched to fit the screen it bugs me. A lot. These OEMs know the size of monitor they’re shipping and what resolutions the graphics card can handle, so include some suitably sized background images, you silly silly bastards! It’s not difficult. Manufacturers, if you can’t be arsed to include an image of the correct size then don’t bother setting a background image at all – just set it to a solid colour. OEMs should be showing off the quality of their hardware to the new customer, not leave them wondering if they’ve bought a pup.


Anyway, if you’re as petty as me, you may be interested in this. At the other end of that hyperlink you’ll find the original Windows XP “Bliss” wallpaper. Yep, the original as-in a 46MB, 4510×3627 TIF image. Download that and you can create a wallpaper that’ll fit just about any size screen. Nobody need look at a green and blue fuzz again.

Of course, there are plenty of better wallpapers than “Bliss” out there

  1. Yes, a little bit of self-deprecation about my penis would fit here nicely. I successfully resisted that particular temptation though. 

Renaming the iPhone.

In a great piece he posted about how the iPhone and its wealth of apps are treading on the toes of many existing specialized devices, Kottke pondered the future of the iPhone name…

You’ve got to wonder when Apple is going to change the name of the iPhone. The phone part of the device increasingly seems like an afterthought, not the main attraction. The main benefit of the device is that it does everything. How do you choose a name for the device that has everything?

Over at DaringFireball, Gruber picked up on this

If this platform is here for the long run, the general purpose name that best works for a general purpose device is already here: iPod.

To which i say… yes! YES! YES!

When the iPod was first unveiled all those years ago I thought the name a little peculiar for a music player but it soon became apparent what an inspired choice of moniker it actually was. When Apple later added photo-viewing capabilities there was no need to rename it. Likewise, when they added video playback no name change was required. The generic “pod” meant as features were added the brand remained as strong as ever… so i was more than a little surprised when the oft rumoured “iPhone” (“Ha, what a stupid name!”) came to pass and was actually labelled “iPhone” rather than as the new flagship incarnation of the iPod.

Now, years later, the name iPhone doesn’t sound silly at all but, as Kottke says, that phone function is just one of a great many this portable device carries. Maybe one day soon it’ll be the iPod again1.

  1. Unless, of course, that particular brand will soon move over to a new, large-screen device…?