Thursday, July 26, 2007

Brilliant Civics

Saw this sign last night in Redwood City. It's more jarring to look at than the average yard sale sign, so I'm not sure they're making forward progress here.

"Redwood City Sign Ordinance 3.114 (This sign is exempt)"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

iPhone schmyPhone

Everybody seems to think that since I worked at Apple I'm a big fan of every product they've ever made. Wrong. Though I can see why one would think that, since a lot of Apple customers are in fact zealots.

For the record, I'm a big fan of the XServe and almost everything that Bertrand Serlet and his team come up with. The OS is fantastic.

But I don't like the iPhone. I shouldn't say that. I just don't happen to want one. It's fine and everything, and I'm sure it's better than a lot of sucky phones out there. I also don't happen to want a Blackberry, and there's a lot of overlap between what an iPhone will do for you and what a Blackberry will do for you. Or do to you, depending on how you look at it.

The reason I don't want an iPhone is the same reason that I carry a Buck pocket knife instead of a Swiss Army knife. I hardly ever need a can opener or a saw or a teeny pair of scissors, and all they do is make the knife harder to use.

What I want is a phone that does *not* surf the web and does *not* process text messages or email messages or anything else, but is a *great phone*. Sorry, but the iPhone doesn't even come close to being a great phone. It's too big, it's not ergonomic for holding on your shoulder while you talk, and the shiny screen gets all greasy when you hold it up to your ear (lots of other phones share tehse problems, of course, which is why Steve Jobs proclaimed that people "hate their phones". True. But the reason we hate them is that they suck at being phones, not because they suck at being web browsers. You solved the wrong problem, Steve, though all the Gadget Phreaks in the world will need to have one, and the Crackberry people will lust after them, and all that.

For my part, I carry a 17" laptop for web/email and it beats the pants off a tiny screen. And I carry a Buck folding knife, which is a beautiful single-purpose machine, and anybody who knows me will tell you that it comes in handy all the time, and it's always in readiness in my pocket because it's small and does only one thing. And I'm still waiting for a great phone. In the meantime the Samsung flip phone I carry isn't bad.