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An iPad at last!

Well, we finally did it! Our family is the proud owner of an Apple iPad! Note that I say “our family” and not “I”. That’s because this device really is the family’s, and may even end up as Evan’s.

Most of you reading this blog already know about Evan. He has a condition called Moebius Syndrome. Basically, Moebius paralyzes some of the cranial nerves – specifically the ones that relay movement to the facial muscles and to side-to-side motion of the eyes. That means that Evan will have some extraordinary challenges when it comes to normal talking and communication. Fortunately, Evan is taking very well to sign language, and has learned over 150 signs already! He is also learning to sight-read alll of the words he can sign. Awesome!!

So how does the iPad fit in, you might ask! Well, enter ProLoQuo2Go…an Augmentative Assistive Communication program for the iPad. PLQ2Go acts as a talk board. Our hope is that this will give Evan yet another communication medium to use….after all, not everyone knows Sign Language!

In the coming months, I’ll be using this space to log how things go, as well as to post some pictures, some reviews, and our thoughts and feelings about the entire process.

Stay tuned!

iPhone software v2.0 review & live notes

iPhone screen shotIt seems like any blog out there seeking tech creds is reviewing the iPhone 2.0 software that was released today.  Unlike most geeks, I didn’t jump in on the early “release” yesterday, waiting instead for software that wasn’t going to potentially screw up my phone or make it unstable. But, now that I have the official, Infinite Loop Drive-blessed, Jobs-approved release, I’ll be putting it through its paces, so expect my review this evening or tomorrow.

One snag on install – iTunes is having slight difficulty re-authorizing my phone through ITMS.  Updates as they become available.

UPDATE #1: I finally got everything installed & working – it DID take about 5 – 10 minutes of “Accessing iTunes Store” before the phone was completely installed.  Lots of people doing what I did…when I did it, I’d wager.  Apps are pretty cool…but some definitely need some polish.

UPDATE #2: So I’m standing behind my earlier statement regarding apps needing some polish.  Some apps (WeatherBug, for example) seem to hang for extended periods while they download data.  I’m forgiving about this on my Edge connection, but at least provide a modicum of notification to the user as to what’s going on. Also, I’m getting quite tired of having to authorize location services to every application each time I launch them.  Apple:  How about a preferences pane where I can explicitly authorize an application to use location services?  Monkey Ball is pretty darned addictive, and wickedly hard to boot!  I can’t really see giving this to my 6-year old daughter, for fear of her chucking my iPhone out the window.


Ok, it’s simple, but at least it’s an application that’s not just a “Hello World!” knockoff.

This is a mac implementation of the xkcd website’s geohashing spontaneous adventure generator. It runs on OSX 10.4 and above. It MAY run on pre-Tiger versions of OSX, but I provide no support, and don’t guarantee that it’ll run on those.


Future Features:

  • Arbitrary Dow Jones Opening (you supply the opening bell figure) – feature included in the nearly-completed v1.1
  • Google mapping integration
  • Display all hashes given a date/Dow Jones range
  • Alerts when hash falls within a radius of a given location

Download it!