The Magic TrackPad

Earlier this year, I purchased the Magic Mouse from Apple. Initially, there was the battery drain issue with the Apple Wireless Keyboard caused by the original Magic Mouse driver update. Once this was corrected, I have been using the Magic Mouse on a daily basis. The device performed well, although, I did notice a few sporadic interruptions to the Bluetooth connection.

Now the Magic TrakPad is out, and, of course, I had to order one. I have been using a similar device with my 2008 MacBook. With all my other laptop computers, I had always added a mouse to my equipment list and used the supplied trackpad as a “last ditch” interface. That changed with the MacBook. I have never used or needed a mouse. The MacBook trackpad was so responsive and easy to use, that a mouse was no longer a required alternative. The multi-touch function of the MacBook trackpad and the Magic TrackPad add to the ease of use.

My hope is that the Magic TrackPad desktop version will have the same effect. I’ve placed my mouse in the drawer, and I sit here alone with my keyboard and trackpad.

Transitioning from a traditional mouse to the Magic TrackPad will have a steeper learning curve. I suffered through this when I moved to the Magic Mouse. Use of the MacBook trackpad and Magic Mouse seems to have prepared me for the Magic TrackPad with the exception of Tiger Woods 2008. I am not quite as effective now. It’s very similar to switching golf clubs or changing your swing.  I’m getting better.

Jailbreakme.com Do I Dare?

I have not yet moved to the iPhone 4. I am still using my iPhone 3G (Dec. 2008). My plan is the same as my original iPhone (June 2007); ride it until it drops..

I did update to IOS 4 and I am currently running IOS 4.0.1. One thing I am disappointed in is the lack of IOS 4 multitasking (app switching). Apple, in their infinite wisdom, decided by the iPhone 3G would not avail itself of this IOS feature. RATS!

I noted the recent posting of an IOS 4 jailbreak using MobileSafari. Well, I decided to go for it. I navigated to www.jailbreakme.com, moved the slider to the right, and VOILA! My iPhone firmware was modified and Cydia (sigh-d-ah) was installed. I then downloaded a free app from Cydia called ZToggle. Using the app, I enabled both iPhone 3G multitasking and wallpaper.

So far, so good. The phone appears to be functioning as well as before the jailbreak. I noticed that IOS 4 adds every app you launch to the list of background apps. After extended usage, the list gets fairly long at which time my iPhone memory is affected. The effect usually manifests itself by the failure of an app to launch or a previously launched app failing to swap in. To correct the problem, I run through the list of apps in the multitask list and remove a number of them (hold an icon until the “jiggle” begins, then press the “X” at the upper left of the icon.) The “problem” does not occur with too much grequency, so it is currently in the “nuisance” column.

As a side note, I like the multitasking features of “Backgrounder (available through Cydia). Backgrounder allows the user to decide which apps should be run in the background unlike IOS 4 which placed every app in the background. The one shortfall of Backgrounder is that it does not provide a list of background apps. You have to search though your apps looking for a small Backgrounder badge at the lower left of the app icon. There is another Cydia app that provides this function called Circuitous, but running the app causes my iPhone to crash.

Of course, jailbreaking is not for everyone. For me, I felt I needed the ability to switch between apps since I use features from multiple apps to perform higher level tasks. With the jailbreak, I now have that ability. I don’t want to turn my phone into a mobile hotspot or perform other actions that are outside the scope of the official App Store.