The iPhone is coming

Advice, Opinion No Comments »

On June 29, Apple will release the long-awaited iPhone, and we know at least two things about is already.

First, it will be lauded as the ultimate phone/iPod/Internet appliance/gizmo, the first and finest such device to ever hit the market, with innovations and features that would put small events like the discovery of penicillin to shame. (To this end, some have already dubbed it the “Jesus Phone”, as in “The Second Coming of…”)

Second, it will be derided as the worst junk ever to be foisted upon an innocent and unsuspecting public. There will be reports of how it can be scratched by cotton balls, has the sound quality of a turntable with a rusty needle, has a battery life of roughly two minutes, and will dissolve if subjected to vibrations strong enough to disturb a glass of water.

Obviously, this contradictory analysis will be released by those who have an interest in how well the iPhone succeeds or fails and, as usual for any new product, the truth will be somewhere in the middle. My guess is that it will be a fine device that, for the most part, will work as advertised, but will have drawbacks and outright flaws that may be addressed by revisions or new models down the road.

As always, YOU should not be the one to discover the truth by trying to grab the first one off the line. (That is, even if you could. By all accounts, the the first shipments are already sold and I think it will be weeks before the masses can get their hands on them.) Wait for objective reports as to whether it is worth the price after others have had the chance to use it for a few months, then be sure to go to an AT&T store to hold one in your hands before making the decision.

You can get more hype… er, that is, information, here:

http://www.apple.com/iphone/

What’s eating your hard drive?

Advice No Comments »

Ever look at your hard drive’s remaining space and wonder, “how could there be so little left?” It’s a universal problem that, even as hard drives get larger and cheaper, they also seem to fill up faster.

Along comes a utility called WhatSize that will measure the space on your hard drive, then sort each folder by size. It will let you get an overview of where your hard drive space has gone, drill down folder by folder to get to the specific culprits, and let you delete items you do not need.

This should not be confused with the so-called “clean-up” utilities that purport to remove the unnecessary files for you. This is simply a measuring and browsing tool that will let you see where the space has gone and decide what should and shouldn’t stay.

BUT, be VERY careful. This tool will show you the invisible System files and folders that you normally can’t access, folders with odd names like “bin” and “etc”. If you delete something of consequence from one of these, you could spend the next 2 hours doing a system reinstallation. When in doubt, ask before removing something you don’t recognize. And, as always, backup before doing anything.

You can download this free utility here:

http://www.id-design.com/software/whatsize/index.php

[Update: This utility is no longer free as the update has been released as shareware.]

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