Lula and Rupert in the bathroom - iMovie for iPhone 4

Doing some more testing of the capabilities of iMovie on the iPhone 4. This is the Modern Theme with the built in Theme Music. It's pretty nifty, but one major complaint is that it seems impossible to insert a title card in the introduction. You can only put text on top of video clips and that text stays there for the entire length of the clip. Despite this limitation, it's still pretty darn impressive how much you can do on this little app and I can only imagine where Apple will be taking it in the future. 

Oh and if you're reading this and have an iPhone 4, don't hesitate to purchase iMovie ($4.99) immediately. You can have a lot of fun with it.

Apple iPhone 4 Release Day in Chicago

You all know I'm a big geek and so it should be no surprise to learn that I waited overnight at the Michigan Ave. Apple Store in downtown Chicago with lots of other geeks in order to acquire the iPhone 4 before anyone else. 

I arrived at about 12:30 AM on the 24th and by the time I arrived, the line was already to Huron St. and St. Clair St. So that's where I set up my position. Everyone around me was very friendly and some kids next to me watched Avatar on their MacBook Pro. 

Watching Avatar on a 13" MacBook Pro

Waiting patiently for the iPhone 4.After getting settled in and discovering my newfound pigeon friend sleeping behind my chair in the corner next to his empty case of Corona, I decided to check out the rest of the line. I also shot a video of the whole line from the first position to where I was and I will post that in a separate blog post later, once the video has finished processing (darn my iMac from '06).

Mr. Pigeon sleeping in the corner behind me. Perhaps he's waiting for his iPhone 4 as well.Here's a couple pictures of the line on Huron St. and St. Clair. The first image is the line ahead of me. The second image is the line after me taken at about 3 AM I think.

Looking west at the iPhone 4 line on Huron St.

Looking south at the iPhone 4 line on St. Clair St.They split up the line into two lines at about 6 AM, one for the folks lucky enough to reserve an iPhone 4 and one for the unlucky. I finally managed to get in the store at 9:30 AM and was out by 9:45 AM. It was definitely a smooth process with no hang ups that I noticed. After an hour the iPhone 4 connected to AT&T's servers and I was all connected and ready to go. 

Within a few days I'll be posting more interesting goodies and thoughts from and about my brand new iPhone 4. For now I'll just say that it's the most impressive piece of technology I've ever had the pleasure of holding in my hands.

Data Robotics to the Rescue!

I must admit right from the start that I am now a Drobo (@drobo, fanboy. Their unparalleled support during a trying weekend has left me a cheerleader for the company.

It all began a few Wednesdays ago when I got home work and my Drobo had disconnected from my iMac. I was surprised because this had never happened before, so I reconnected it an after doing so the Drobo started doing it's "Data Protection" thing (also known as data relayout). The Drobo Dashboard software said it would take approximately 12 hours to complete, so I decided to let it do it's thing over night and I had hoped all would be well in the morning. Alas, it was not so and I headed off to work Thursday afternoon, leaving the Drobo still working on protecting my data.

When I returned home that night the Drobo had vanished from Mac OS X's Finder. It was in power standby mode. This is where I strted to get worried, but as it was night and Data Robotics offices were closed there was nothing to be done. I reconnected it again and went to bed.

On Friday I called Drobo's tech support and was helped out by Nicholas. He was very friendly and understanding of my anxiety. I informed him of the Drobo's funky behavior and he thought it'd be best to just let the Drobo work itself out over the weekend and he would call me Monday morning to see how it was doing. Unfortunately, things didn't go so smoothly.

Late Friday evening my Drobo vanished again! I have to step backwards just a little to explain a detail I forgot to mention. When the Drobo disappeared before I had rebooted it to occassionally see the third drive bay display a solid red light. This means the drive needs to be replaced immediately. I thought it a glitch though because after a moment, the Drobo would shift back into data protection mode. So, back to Friday evening. After I got it back online once more, the Drobo didn't attempt to relayout the data any longer. It lit up solid red lights across all four drives! This was definitely not reassuring for me. It was at this point I started barraging Drobo's Twitter account freaking out. I resigned myself to complete data loss and awaited dreadful news on Monday morning when Nicholas was going to call me.

To my surprise however, Frederick Van Johnson - blogger, photographer and podcaster - (@frederickvan), a person who seems to be high-up at Drobo, called me on Saturday afternoon while I was at a Jiffy Lube and after hearing my explanation he was very confident they would be able to restore all my data.

Later that day, on a Saturday evening, a 3rd level technical support agent from Drobo contacted me. He called me from his home to help me with my problem on a Saturday night! I can't stress enough how outstanding this personal support made me feel. I knew Drobo was right there beside me through my ordeal. I forget the name of the man who called me (maybe Steve?), but it was a very pleasant experience. Easily, the best tech support call I've ever had. He smoothed out the rough edges of my problem, which ended up being the fault of a terribly corrupted Seagate drive (never buying one of those again). After replacing the drive and running some diagnostics, we were able to completely restore access to all my data. He was worried there may have been a problem with the Drobo itself, though I wasn't too worried about that at this point and he overnighted me a brand new Drobo at no cost. After receiving it and setting up my drives in the new Drobo it did its data protection stuff and all was well again in the world of Dane Deasy. Data secure and data safe.

As you can tell by this little story, Data Robotics have a great thing going. Their professionalism and genuine concern for the customer shone through brightly. Though I nearly had a panic attack when the problems started, they quickly calmed and sedated me and guided me through the recovery of my data with a gentle and friendly hand. I can't sing their praises loud enough. I hope this post will convince many of you out there who need to have a secure device to store your ever-increasing digital libraries in a way that will leave you feeling at ease and at peace to go the Drobo way. I will never regret this purchase and will continue to support Drobo in the future by buying more of their magical technology.

Don't worry, the orange light just means it's getting full!