All posts by Jon Mabe

iPad, some apps [review]

So I just wanted to share some of the apps I’ve been playing with and how they’ve treated me.

Marvel App

In execution, I love the Marvel Comic Book app. The transitions, quality, comic browser all great. My problem is that, literally, all of the comics I care to spend my money on digitally (entire other conversation) are Dark Horse. Ok yeah that’s not a mark against the app, but against Marvel, but I still think it’s relevant.

Secondly, I found a comic I was interested in: Wolverine: Origin. The trouble however was twofold. First of all if you’ve read a trade vs the entire series bundled, you know that it’s much more enjoyable to just buy and handle the one piece of merchandise. However with the app you have to buy each trade separately. So for wolverine, to prepare myself to read the entire thing, I had to purchase all 6 trades, 1.99 each. That brings me to my last gripe: price. Why in the world am I being charged the same amount of money as if I buy off amazon? Yeah, $12 digitally or $11.50 off amazon free shipping. That right there prevented me from bothering. If it’s cheaper in non digital form I’m going to buy non digital.

Get the Marvel Comics app in iTunes

Headline

This is a really beautiful and well executed Google Reader app. It let’s you sync so you can read your blogs offline. I’ve only got two issues with it. First of all you can filter by unread. This wouldn’t be an issue if it ordered by date of publication but Google doesn’t always update every feed all the time so often there will be 5 or so posts buried somewhere in the mass of posts I’ve already cycled through. And secondly the only share option is email. You at least need share to google friends, let alone Twitter and Facebook. If those two issues were fixed this app would be a must buy, as of right now it’s just nice.

Get the Headline app in iTunes

Netflix

This app is still crashing on me but I’m going to temporarily write that off as growing pains. Really my only issue with the netflix app is that the movie browsing interface is seemingly just an implanted safari window. This produces a few annoying issues. Namely it’s slow. Now I haven’t tested netflix.com in true safari, but in the app the experience feels unnaturally slow. You also can’t do things like star movies. It just feels clunky. But to be honest, I have streaming video from a large library of movies and television, why should I be complaining… right?

Get the Netflix app in iTunes

ABC App

I wanted to drop as quick one on the ABC App. Really my only issue is that they limit you to the 5 most recent shows (I guess it’s this way on the website as well?). Really ABC? This makes the app completely useless to me. I was going to use this to explore new shows to watch, but if I’m mid season and I have to watch some random episode, I’m out. They’ve even got commercials! It really just feels like a baseless executive decision, which really turns me off to this app.

Get the ABC Player app in iTunes

WordPress App

I’m really enjoying this app. I’ve used it to actually write all of my iPad blogposts (although to finish this post i had to use a pc). Only issues are lack of any kind of formatting options (bold, italic, headline) and the inability to resize photos. Now you can write HTML in here for formatting, but the keyboard layout makes it highly frustrating. Other than that I also use it to moderate and reply to comments. You can save local drafts, publish them, and even setup pretty much every wordpress blog you have access to. Oh and there is an annoying bug that 90% of the time the cut/copy/paste dialog doesn’t show up. I’ve found some tricks to force it to show up, but they’re not reliable, and i shouldn’t be relied on to hack the planet to use an app.

Get the WordPress app in iTunes

That’s it. I’m hoping to go over more obscure apps, or some games, next time. The iPad app store still feels really bare. I’m not sure if it’s just too early or if some app makers are waiting for OS 4, but the selection really feels lacking right now.

iPad day one [review]

So my first day with the iPad was only a half day and a work day to boot. Most of my day was spent in dev meetings. I would say that during the meeting the iPad was very useful but I’m not seeing anything that makes it indispensable.

I was able to pull up any website we had during our dev meeting. Not only did everything come up good, but I was really happy with the quality of the iPad/Safari browsing experience. Additionally, during the meeting I was able to take care of IMs and emails with ease. It’s important to note however that i was already able to take care of both of these tasks with my laptop. Which brings me to the first annoyance with the iPad. Unfortunately my 2007 MacBook pro doesn’t output enough power to charge my iPad. This really isn’t that big of a deal, but if you think that I’m missing out on a bit of a charge every time I go to sync my iPad, it’s kind of annoying.

Once I got home I tried out the netflix app. I have to say I was very disappointed. At first I was having a great time checking out the streaming, but I decided to start an episode of the office while I worked on some chores. Over the course of roughly an hour I had to hard boot the iPad 4 times during netflix streaming. I tried multiple episodes, but each one would eventually freeze up permanently and even sometimes have visual artifacts on the screen. I’m not sure if it’s just my iPad or if it’s something with netflix itself. I’m hoping to figure at out, but either way: no bueno.

That’s about it for my first day. If I had to give it an X/10 I’d say a solid 8/10.

iPad [frivolous]

I bought an iPad. Ok ok, I. Don’t need you badgering me about it. It’s pretty dang cool and you’re a jerk so, there’s that. Anyway I’ll try to keep you updated on how it goes. I’ve got my first work meeting in 30 minutes, hopefully I’ll get some good use out of this paperweight.

Oh, and I wrote this on the iPad.

He was taller than me [JonG]

It’s been exactly two months since I logged into the World of Warcraft. Under any normal circumstances “real” people would high-five, or more likely, fist-bump me for such a feat of self control. But for me, every time I think about it, I get a little sad.

See I had (have? what do i say there?) a friend, more like a brother, and we shared a lot of things. The same birth year, the same name (Jonathan), we shared our parents, our siblings, our church, we both married girls who at one time were best friends, we shared our group of friends (the Grey Hats), and we shared “gaming”. It’s almost silly now to think that of all the things Jonathan Glyer and I shared, the one we focused on the most was games. It is clear to me that “gaming” forged the bond I had with my brother, however lame you may or may not think that is, it was a strong one.

We started with games and we ended with games. I met Jonathan in 2001. I began attending his church, and somehow our nerd radar found each other out, because within a month we were together spending $2.50/hr at “Cyberzone” pwning n00bs in counterstrike. That was 9 years ago. From then on I could write my “gaming” history side-by-side with my “Jon” history. We constantly talked about what was coming out, what we liked, what we didn’t. We frequently “LAN”ed at his or my parents house (his house aptly named “1.0”).

The “golden age” culminated, I think, when the crew rented an apartment together in downtown Fullerton, lovingly called: “the 2.0”. Three of us were working, and Jon was finishing college. It was the best of times. I remember Jon, out of all the guys,  was the most anal about cleanliness. We all snickered when he’s get upset that the sponge was left in the sink or when he’d complain about “David’s side of the room” (David and Jon shared a room). It was that year, in that apartment, that we all began playing World of Warcraft, it was 2005.

Over the next two years our group began “falling apart”. Well maybe just from my -emo- perspective. Couples broke up, couples married then turtled (guilty), and people just started walking different paths. Then Jon moved to Seattle. I never really talked to him about it, one of the few actual regrets I now carry around. I was hurt, like a kid in a divorce, I blamed myself. But I was stupid not to broach the subject with him. I think he knew how I felt, but with Jon you never really could be certain what he thought until you asked him. With him leaving it was one last final blow to the crew. David and I still stayed in close touch, but mostly everyone found their own paths.

So there I was, Jon 1,200 miles away, my other best friends were having kids or living in completely different worlds. I myself moved 30 miles away from the people that cared for me. And then an awesome thing happened. I don’t really know if it was a commitment Jon put on his own plate, or if he was just lonely for his friends in California or what, but within months of him moving to Seattle we started playing games and talking at least every other day, it was 2007.

For two full years I was able to spend time with my brother, Jon, over this silly internet, with these silly games. Thinking back, if I didn’t have that, all we would have had were the visits. Visits can be great, but the level friendship I had with Jon relied on constant contact. Over those two years we accomplished the following:

  • Won WW2 for the allies, sometimes the nazis, 100x over
  • Killed tens of thousands of Zombies
  • Saved the middle east from the East, or the West, sometimes both
  • Conquered the future with Space Marines sometimes a Masterful Chief and sometimes a big Jerk
  • Captured and held the Fortress with our Team
  • And most of all, we raided countless keeps, castles, dungeons, and lairs. Striking down evil and passing out the loot

After all that: I would count myself blessed for the time I spent with Jon. But I count myself doubly blessed, because on June 9th, 2009 at 10:53pm we started a podcast, and I’m proud to say Jon named it. Here’s the record of inception:

Jonathan Glyer: oh jeeeez. how about, All the Good Names Were Taken. I’d say Geek Cred but it’s impossible to say.
me: afk 1 min
Jonathan Glyer: Nerdageddon
David: Nerdlinger? haha
Jonathan Glyer: Borked
David
: http://www.geekcred.net/
Jonathan Glyer: The Podcast for Dorks.
David: haha
Jonathan Glyer: we could even go with Borkt
David: Borq’t? haha Borked is workable
Jonathan Glyer: hehe wow ya, something with it
David: it’s just, such a common term
Jonathan Glyer: dorkcast, taken of course. This is Geektown
David: hahahahaha
me: sounds like toontown, maybe because I was just there
David: You missed Borked, jon
me: I saw. Borkedcast

As “The Borkedcast” we recorded 20 podcasts before Jon’s accident. The podcasts may be entertainment for you, but for me they were like being back in “the 2.0” in downtown Fullerton. Sipping on a beverage and talking about stuff with the guys I cared most about in life.

The last I spoke to Jon was two nights before he died. We played World of Warcraft. It was good.

Here’s where I get emo: 20 recordings wasn’t enough. Countless raids, dungeons, zombies, and nazis wasn’t enough. 9 years wasn’t enough. Living with him for a year wasn’t enough. It’s been 2 months since he died, and it’s not enough to stop me from crying my brains out writing this last paragraph. I miss my friend so much. Everything is a little less bright in my world because I can’t share it with him. As much as the pain hurts right now, I never want to forget it, or really lose it. It’s a reminder of all the things I wrote in this blog, and so much more. Jonathan Glyer was kind of a big deal, I’ll never forget that, and I’ll never let you forget that, it’s the least I can do.

– the rev

Checking In [Podcast]

Hey all, posting the Borked podcast from January 24th, 2010. We really only checked in on each other’s geekish doings in this one. It’s with a heavy heart that I post this, as this was Jonathan “Jay” Glyer’s last podcast with us, and one of the last times I had a chance to have a conversation with him. This podcast isn’t necessarily “our best one ever” but, for obvious reasons, is one of my favorites.

I do want to say, as somewhat of a warning, what Jay says about his birthday: “is” Jay, I wouldn’t have him any other way, and I loved him for it.

Enjoy,
the rev


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