Monthly Archives: May 2010

the iPad and Velcro – as well as the idea of a “moving portrait”

Well, I might not want to put velcro on the back of my iPad, but I might put it on my Apple case… this video is just going crazy around the web and I think it has some valid inputs! [Source – I first saw this on misagarcia.com]

iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Two of mankind’s greatest inventions, together at last. Note: this is an exploration of what is possible, not necessarily what is practical. Tweet from the street at your own risk!

And, imagine where this is going by the way… you see the shot where they velcro the iPad to the wall. Now imagine doing a ‘living portrait’ — instead of a still photo, you take a short 20-30 second video of a person… this could really catch on!

Moving Portraits from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

A few shots from a vertical moving portrait fashion shoot.

I have a friend, David Harry Stewart who has a couple of moving photographs on his site that he did back in 2009, so it isn’t a new idea, but with the advent of devices like the iPad that can show off movies, maybe the idea of a moving portrait will take off! Here’s one of David’s that I really like:

(Photo credit: snap from the David Harry Stewart site)

planetMitch

My iPad status

Ok, so now it has been about a month since the iPad hit my door (gee, it is actually longer than that isn’t it? My how time flies). And that means I need to really describe my usage of the iPad. I bought it to help be get away from the computer for longer periods of time (and my wife says “yea, get away from your computer with another computer – geek!”) – is it working?

Well, yes and no.

I am getting away from my iMac a bit, but because of some of the limitations of the iPad for writing blogs (see my comments on the WordPress iPad app post), and because of my love of typinator (a text replacement tool for the mac – more on that in a bit), I’m too addicted to the desktop and the keyboard for writing blog posts. It really still is more comfortable to work in front of the iMac full time.

I’m also currently still failing at time management – and tho I try to use Things for the iPad, I still just haven’t made the right workflow and stuck to it. I have stuff all over the place and way too many things to do. I’m better at organization (I think) but I have got to find a simple way to process all these things I have to do! (That will be a post all by itself)

Ok, overall, what are my iPad feelings?

I love it – but it isn’t done cooking yet. And Apple knows it and I can’t wait to see some of the improvements in 4.0.

I love the sexy feel of the iPad without a cover – (you’ll think I’m crazy or a perv about this one…) – at times, I take the iPad out of the Apple cover while I’m sitting watching TV or something and I’ll just caress it. It is like having one of those polished stones in your hand for fidgeting (and I’m a fidgeter — I constantly have something in my hands – you should see the little toys all around my desk that I pick up and toss around). But (and there’s always a ‘but’ right?), actually working with the iPad sitting in the TV chair requires something like the Apple cover because the iPad is too slick to hold comfortably. Especially if you like to sit with your knees elevated, you’ve got to have something less slick to hold the darn thing against your legs.

Another great use of the Apple iPad cover is that it fits perfectly over the dashboard (no not on my car – that would be silly!) of our elliptical exercise machine in the basement! And with the Netflix app, I can now watch TV episodes (there’s nothing like old “24” episodes to get your blood pumping while exercising! HA) or a movie while exercising. No need for a TV! And as an additional plus, the flap of the case folds over the back of the dashboard and holds the iPad firmly. I am worried that with headphones attached that I’ll yank it off the machine… so I firmly wrap the headphone cords around the handles on the machine.

Another great thing about the iPad is that I know I can travel and still know I have access to a large screen mobile device. As my experience showed me when I went to the NAB conference a few weeks ago, it isn’t perfect, but it is workable – and it will only get better. The biggest problem I had was the problems with the hotel internet and the WordPress learning curve. Now that I don’t have that day job any more – I sure don’t have to drag my windows laptop around. Tho, I can see that if/when I travel again, having a keyboard will be a must. I just type too fast with a keyboard as compared to the iPad virtual keyboard. The virtual keyboard can get me thru when needed, but I’m just too comfortable with a real keyboard. I’ve still got to think about the iPad camera connector – I may need it for long trips to offload images from my Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

I’m reading a bit more (tho sometimes that limited to reading in the smallest room in the house LOL). I have two books on the iPad and right now, I’m reading the “Four Hour Work Week” to try to learn how to free myself more. I also have a mystery novel that I’m working on. Tho I don’t drag myself away often enough to just read! It is all part of the learning how to blog full time that I’m trying to get used to.

Another thing that frustrates me – and so much so that I even wrote to Steve about it – is the lack of Flash. I know it is a lost battle and Apple will never put flash on the iPad/iPhone, but in my book, with all of the websites that still use flash to deliver content, it is unbearable that Apple/Steve are putting themselves in such a position. There are plusses and minuses to Flash, but not having it is a bigger detriment in my book than any bugs it could bring to the platform.

Ok, I’m going to focus on writing some individual posts on things like Typinator… I’ll be back in a bit (and no, it won’t be weeks this time – I’ve gotten so many of the ‘business’ things of becoming a full time blogger out of the way that I can actually write more!).

planetMitch

(Photo credit: “Blue in Black and White” by planetMitch (yes, I’m using my Canon EOS 5D Mark II to take stills too! HA))

The WordPress app for the iPad

Ok, many of you may not have a need for a WordPress app unless you’re a blogger. But since I’m a blogger, I tried the WordPress for iPad application out and unfortunately I’m disappointed. I wanted to be able to use it exclusively away from this darn computer, but it isn’t quite there yet.

In my blogs, I use themes from woothemes and I didn’t really expect the WordPress app to be able to handle the special features of the themes, and I wasn’t upset when it didn’t. However, for me to really use the app, I would need to have more functionality in handling the images for the woopress themes. I’m using “Busy Bee” (from woothemes) for this blog and my planet5D blog and each post gets a special image – and there’s a field in the admin dashboard to upload that image – well, that whole functionality isn’t in the WordPress app (and again, I didn’t expect it to be there). So, for me, the only way to really use the iPad for blogging is to use the dashboard in Safari. But that requires an Internet connection.

I tried using the WP app to create a blog post offline – and it did indeed let me create a blog post and saved it ‘locally’ to my iPad. But guess what? I had a hard time figuring out how to move the post off of the iPad and to move it up to the Internet where my blog is hosted! After many minutes trying to find out how to move the local version up there – and it turns out that there is a hidden options there where the status of the post is displayed. Tap on it and you get the option to save it on the server. That wasn’t exactly intuitive.

And, even worse, they’ve implemented the ability to select text (because the only way I could think of to move my new blog post up to the net was to copy and paste it into safari) but once you select the text, there isn’t a ‘copy’ button to tap on! I had no way to take the text I’d typed and save it other than a local blog post. Maybe I missed something (which is entirely possible) but I was darn frustrated!

I was indeed pleased to learn that I could insert photos, but alas, the current version only inserts them at the end of the post! You can’t embed them inside the text.

And of course, the last nail in the coffin for me is really two things – one, you don’t have the ‘visual’ editor you have on the web dashboard (which fills in HTML stuff for you automatically – bold, heading font sizes etc) and then once you have the post typed up, there’s a preview mode, but alas, it reports “the theme for your blog could not be retrieved” and then just displays a simple text version of your post.

There are some good things and I do expect that they’ll improve the app soon (heck it is free after all!). It is great to have one application to handle the blogs I run away from the computer. They did include a good set of features for managing comments that come in (I moderate all the comments on all blogs – you just never know what garbage might come in!).

Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll get some updates to improve the functionality and this will become more viable, but for now, I’m having to pass on the WordPress app for iPad.

planetMitch

(Photo credit: snap from the WordPress site)