The Inevitable iPad Post

Let’s face it, you knew it was coming. Apple finally releases a tablet, I’m going to have to post about it.

Depending on who you ask, the iPad is either a grand gift to us mortals from Steve Jobs or complete rubbish, now I’d argue it’s neither. Step back for a second and think about it objectively.

[ The Basics ]

While nowhere near perfect, the iPad is a step in the right direction. Apple has gone about developing a tablet in the right manor at least, they’ve designed an OS with the primary focus of using touch input, too often you see a tablet running the same software as every other computer, this just doesn’t work. Trying to tap little icons and file menus is not a convenient way to use your computer.

The idea isn’t new in and of itself and Apple certainly wasn’t the first to figure this out, the problem with all the other attempts is that they were custom UI applications that ran on top of Windows, so they didn’t deliver anywhere close to a the expected functionality.

Side note: In a sense this still holds true for the iPad, since it is limited in what it can do, you’re not getting the full computer functionality. But at least this is masked by a flashy new user experience, which works.

[ The Oversights ]

Lack of multitasking is almost a death blow by itself (but it’s fixable via jailbreak or software update if Apple chooses). Think about it, would you buy a brand new shiny computer if it advertised that you could only run one program at a time?

Not one USB port. Remember that whole thing where Jobs was saying how this is the perfect device to enjoy your media with? Well, geez, sure wish I had a USB part so I could copy media that didn’t originate from iTunes. And no, I do not accept the Camera Connection Kit as a solution, I shouldn’t have to pay more money just to copy my files to the iPad without using another computer.

No Flash support. Sadly Flash is, in my mind at least, a necessary evil. At least until Hulu moves to HTML 5 + H.264 (fingers crossed).

Network streaming support. I’d really love to see iTunes support media servers (for video streaming) on the iPad, while not a make or break feature, it would be nice.

Home screen widgets. Seriously, have you seen how much wasted space there is on the “slide to unlock” screen? I’d ship a few widgets with it, upcoming calendar events, recent emails, weather, maybe RSS feed support.

[ The Brilliance ]
While I disagree with Ives statement that the iPad is magical, it does hold the potential to redefine the casual users interaction with technology. The promise of being able to roll out of bed (or not) and check your email without waiting for a computer to boot up is rather appealing. Especially when that’s all you need to do.

Portability meets versatility. Depending on your needs, the iPad presents a cheaper way of staying connected. I have clients who pay for internet access and have a desktop just to check their email and browse the web. With built-in 3G for $14.99-$29.99 a month and the added convenience of being able to take it anywhere, it might catch on.

Battery life. 10hrs of video is pretty slick, especially with a 9.7″ screen. The standby time of 1 month isn’t shabby at all. I’m considering turning one into a carputer, no boot time thanks to that 1 month standby time, hooked into a DC charger to keep things rolling while in motion. Tempting me thinks.

[ The Bottom Line ]

While not for everyone, you can’t deny that for a new product release it has its merits. And I do believe that future versions (both software and hardware) will lead to a much more useful platform.

In the interim we’ll likely have to rely on the ingenuity of jailbreakers to provide some of the missing features, good news is that Backgrounder has already been ported to the iPad (mind you just the simulated software version).

My biggest concern is how long it took Apple to push major software updates for the original iPhone, hopefully they don’t make the same mistake with the iPad. In my mind, this is of the utmost importance, since Apple currently has a solid advantage over the competition which they might lose it rather quickly if they don’t address some of the iPad’s shortcomings.

Whenever they become available I plan on picking up a couple of them, after which I’ll post an update to this post and a full review. Who knows, maybe I’ll hate it,

How to Fix Adobe’s “Licensing for this product has stopped working” Error

The other day my MacBook Pro strangely stopped booting. No worries, I just restored from a backup and all was well… That is until I tried to use Dreamweaver CS4, when I was greeted by this lovely visage:

Licensing for this product has stopped working."

Oh really? That’s wonderful, thanks Adobe.

Now the instructions I’m going to give you can be found on Adobe’s website, but I had a heck of a time trying to find them, hopefully this will make things easier for you if you run into this error.

The solution is actually pretty straight forward:

  1. Using Finder, navigate to /Library/Preferences/FLEXnet Publisher/FLEXnet.
  2. Control+Click on the FLEXnet folder, and then select Get Info.
  3. Expand the Sharing & Permissions section.
  4. Click on the Details option to show the various owner and group options.
  5. Click the lock icon in the lower right corner. Type in your administrator username and password when prompted and click OK.
  6. Change your username to have Read & Write permissions.
  7. Change admin to have Read & Write permissions.
  8. Change Everyone to have Read & Write permissions.
  9. Click the Gear icon and select Apply To Enclosed Item. (all those steps can be found on Adobe’s site

But you MUST delete and adobe_00080000_event.log.

After that:

10. Close the FLEXnet Info dialog box.

11. Launch any of the Adobe Creative Suite 4 product.

Keychain Access Issues in OS X 10.6.2

After updating to 10.6.2 I’ve been running into some keychain issues, receiving errors like this one pretty much every time I try and save an item to my Keychain:

Keychain “login” cannot be found to store “login”
[Restore Defaults] [Cancel]

Thankfully the fix is pretty simple.

Open your Applications folder.
Then go to Utilities.
Open up Keychain Access.
Click Keychain Access in your navigation bar, and select Keychain First Aid.
Run the Repair function.
Then run the Verify function.

That should fix things.