More iPhone woes!

It would appear that my ordeal with my iPhone is still continuing and its frustrating me to no end!  A couple of weeks ago my computer decided to crash and I lost all my apps and settings including my iTunes library and playlists.  That by itself sucked royally and I’m not even close to being done re-constructing everything on my computer yet but I’m getting pretty close.  But thats not whats bugging me at the present moment.  My current woe’s involve syncing my calendar at home with my iPhone.

When my computer was working well, I was able to sync my iPhone with my computer seamlessly and get my work calendar/email just fine.  After the crash things just haven’t been the same and all it does is frustrate me that syncing isn’t working like it should.  I was adding calendar entries in Outlook this weekend and was trying to sync my iPhone when I noticed none of my calendar entries were there.  The more baffling thing was that I couldn’t see my work calendar anymore either.  I use my calendar extensively and not having either of them available to me was not acceptable.

I would say I spent a good 8-10 hours trying to fix it and doing research on the internet trying to solve my problem but so far I haven’t found a decent solution so far.  I did get to a point where I can at least see my work calendar and I can make entries into my local calendar on my iPhone but thats about it.  I don’t know if any of the other information is syncing right now but I hope it is because I really need my contacts and notes too from my home computer.

What would be nice would be if Apple would come up with a more robust sync solution for those of us tech savvy enough to tinker with our phones and our computers to give us a way to get what we need done rather than trying crappy solutions that involve wiping out the phone and re-installing everything and praying it will work.  I think the best sync solution so far was the HotSync solution that Palm had for syncing with a Desktop.  The thing just worked and some 3rd party developers made it even better (Chapura comes to mind).  I need something like that!  Something that lets me pick my PST file and not just the “account” I want to sync with (I have multiple PST files for home).

I’m going to do some more digging this coming weekend since I can’t sync with my work laptop to try out my solutions but I need to get this cleared up fast.  Going to the genius bar at an Apple Store is not an option, I don’t want to drive 30 miles just to have someone tell me I need to start from scratch and to bring in my computer.  Desktops are still decently heavy and I don’t like other people touching my PC where they might look at my data.

Well thats all I have to blog about for now, other than that Thanksgiving was pretty excellent.  I was able to get in some Assassins Creed II, I might blog about that next even though I could have used the 10 hours trying to fix my phone to play my game.  Oh well, I’m hoping this won’t happen again for a good long time.

It’s not a good weekend for my tech

Well this weekend has been a total bust when it comes to the technology I use at home. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend trying to get everything back in working order and its taken hours to get there (I’m still doing updates right now). I was hoping for a nice quiet weekend of playing video games and watching movies but I guess that didn’t go exactly to plan.

First thing that went wrong was my iPhone completely crashing. I don’t know what caused this to occur but while I was out with my wife, my iPhone would only show the Apple logo. No matter what I did to try and get it unlocked (and there isn’t a lot you CAN do with an iPhone away from a computer to reset it), it just wouldn’t budge. I decided to turn it off and head home and do some research on trying to get it unstuck. No matter what I read the same solution kept on popping up which was to reset the iPhone and reinstall everything. I own a 32GB iPhone and its almost full so needless to say it took quite a while to get everything in order again. Doing a restore from scratch requires moving a lot of my icons on the iPhone around since it was restored in alphabetical order and I certainly don’t use my apps that way. On top of all that, I had to re-jailbreak my phone and install all the apps that went with it. The configuration wasn’t so tough like a Windows Mobile phone but it was still a pain to do on a Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday night my desktop computer started acting really funny. It was all slow and it wouldn’t do anything when I tried clicking on programs that I normally used. I decided to try a few things from my old tech support days to try and get things running again but nothing I tried worked. I also started to notice a clicking noise from my hard drive which normally isn’t a good sign. I ended up deleting my entire C:\ drive (good thing I don’t keep data on there) and tried re-installing Windows 7. I had to let it run all night long in order to install properly and that was another indication something was wrong because it doesn’t take that long to install Windows. Once everything loaded up, I tried to run a disk diagnostic on the drive and lo and behold I found bad sectors. Rather than risk it, I decided to replace the drive. My HP desktop was my first new computer in years so I had to read up a little to figure out the specs and what kind of hardware was in it so I bought the right kind of drive. Cracking that baby open was a cinch and I only needed a Philips head screw driver to take the drives out.

I was able to isolate my C drive and remove it and I went to Best Buy and got a new drive (1TB too!) really cheap. I’m currently in the process of trying to put all my programs back on my computer but I know that I’m going to miss something while I’m doing all of this. I’m getting the bare essentials first and then I’ll work on my nice to have apps like my VM’s. Needless to say, this weekend has been pretty painful. I’m considering buying Acronis True Image to make snap shops of my computer system drive so I can do restores. The trick is trying to get everything I used to have on my computer and then taking a snapshot. Plenty of people tout the system restore point but I’ve had nothing but trouble using that feature so I’m going to look elsewhere. Windows 7 Ultimate does have a newer back up feature but I don’t think it takes images of your drives. Now what I really need is a SATA enclosure or something so I can try and wipe out my old drive.

Oh well, at least I was able to upgrade my computers storage so I can put even more crap on it. I will probably be slow in reinstalling everything, I want to play some Assasins Creed II this weekend 🙂

Digital Downloads Rule

I might have blogged about this before but I can’t remember.  I bought the movie UP on DVD today since I’m big into Pixar and Disney films and I’m trying to grow my personal collection.  Anyway, that’s not the point of this blog post anyway.  What was cool is that it came with a digital download so I can get the movie for my iPod/iPhone.  You pay a little bit more up front (roughly the cost of the movie if you were going to buy it on iTunes) but its still a cool thing to get when you get a DVD.  I’ve gotten digital downloads for a few of my past DVD’s but some were better than others.

Disney always has good digital downloads and they’re always available on iTunes.  This lets me take my videos with me on the go while I’m traveling all around the country.  There are some other videos that I have that have some good digital downloads but most of them don’t have the feature yet.  An example of a bad digital download was the recent one for my latest set of South Park DVD’s.  They were only available for Windows Media Player so it wasn’t compatible with my iPhone which was unfortunate.  I’m hoping that in the future they’ll offer it in iTunes format.  What would be great is if they offered packages like they do for DVD’s at a discounted price.

I recently bought Transformers 2 and I haven’t been able to find a digital download version of that movie anywhere.  That was an excellent movie and I have the first movie for my iPhone but not having the second kind of stinks.  I’m hoping that it comes out soon so I can get a version of it to take on the go.  Now my next purchase (there were a lot of good movies this summer) is going to be Star Trek.  Booyah, I hope that one has a digital download so I can take that one on the go too.

Movie studios need to realize that the digital age is the way to go.  As good as Blue Ray and DVD are as mediums to watch at home, a lot of people are out on the road and portable most of the time and watching a show or movie on your lunch break is a great way to pass the time rather than surfing the web.  Time to finish my upload to my iPhone!

Battle of the free Twitter apps

I have been using Tweetdeck for iPhone since I got my iPhone a month or so ago. I haven’t tried other Twitter apps until now, enter Twitterefic! I’m testing out this Twitter app just for fun an to see what the differences are.

First up is Tweetdeck! I’ve used Tweetdeck for a while and I’m generally pleased. I like how it gives counts for tweets that are new and uses swipes to move through panels that can contain my direct messages or mentions. The two best features is that Tweetdeck doesn’t have ads anywhere )so far) in the app and that it can sync with a desktop client so everythng is in sync. Like most Twitter clinets, it can show web links in the client itself rather than launching Safari. I haven’t tried out twotpic or anythig like that so I don’t know how well that functions. Overall I like Tweetdeck but I’m not sure if I will continue to use it.

Twitterific is the other app I use for geerating tweets. I started using this app after seeing a lot of people post with it.  It’s just like all the other twitter apps that I’ve used recently.  The cool thing that it does that the others don’t do is actually give an audible “tweet” when there are new tweets for you to read.  This is the one feature that I wish could be included in some other apps.  While totally useless over all because you know there are always going to be tweets to read, its still a nice feature to have.  The thing that I didn’t like so much was the presence of ads at the top of the twitter feed.  It was only one ad so its not like it was intrusive but eh, there are other apps out there that don’t have ads which is nice.

OK, slight update for this post.  I downloaded a new twitter app this morning after getting up this morning called Twitbird Lite.  I decided not to keep Twitterific but I still have TweetDeck on another page on my iPhone just in case nostalgia sets in or something.  I like Twitbird Lite because there aren’t any ads and I can search for nearby tweets, search for people, and see trends which I can’t see in TweetDeck.  I think I was able to see some of this in Twitterific but I can’t remember now since I removed it from my iPhone.  I’m going to try this for a week or so, maybe this will be twitter app that I end up keeping on my phone.  Only time will tell I guess.  I should probably sign up for a Twitpic account or something so I can start posting pics again.  Oh well, I’ll do that on some other day when I’m bored enough.