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Setting the record straight

There are many false rumors in the world, and I cannot address very many of them, but I have direct experience with two devices that people have all sorts of false conceptions about; and I can share my experience with each…

iPhone 3G: mine is over a year old now (September or October 2008) and I routinely get about 54 hours out of a battery charge with mixed standby, cell phone calls, and moderate data use during that 54 hour period. Everyone said that having batteries I could not change myself would be a problem. They are wrong, the batteries are fine. The other FUD that people keep saying about the iPhone is that it is not multi-tasking; well, I frequently look things up online while on a call. I check other people’s addresses and phone numbers in my contacts list while on a call when the caller asks for it. I check my calendar while on a call to verify an appointment. I think that is pretty effective multi-tasking. The iPhone is not the end-all, be-all device; I still carry around a Palm Tungsten C for long note taking on the go (the iPhone needs an optional, occasional use folding bluetooth keyboard), but it is surprisingly good as a camera and phone, and pretty decent as an ultra-portable network aware computer. AT&T does not really suck that much, at least not when compared to the other mobile carriers… which pretty much all suck… So AT&T is neither far better nor far worse than the pack of nasty nickel and dimer slime we all have to deal with; though perhaps they are less slimy than Verizon (as is everyone else).

MacBook Air: mine is a first generation model, purchased in March 2008 and heavily used (some might even say brutally used) every day since. It has been dropped twice on hard flooring from about 4 feet once while open and running, once while closed and in sleep mode; both times it got minor dings but kept running. I routinely get 4-5 hours of battery life through heavy office work (heavy in the sense that there are 6-15 apps running, but all are office automation and communication, none are rendering nor graphics design applications). The solid state drive is small at only 55GB as seen by 10.5’s filesystem, but latency is extraordinarily fast (about the same as RAM from the 1980s). Bandwidth is no better than a standard drive; and perhaps a little slower, but it is fast enough to watch HD full screen action content streamed from the drive. I do not miss lugging around a rarely used optical drive, and simply plug in a 3rd party USB drive the rare time I need to load software from DVD/CD. The one thing this machine needs is a security port to attach a security cable; because there is no attachment point at all, I am forced to carry this thing around more than I like or lock it in a drawer. The FUD I keep hearing is that the battery will no last long, and that it will need to be replaced all the time. My experience is the opposite; I am still on the original battery and it lasts 4-5 hours of heavy use from a nearly full charge.

These products are not for everyone; but the FUD about battery life (both per charge and overall) needed to be debunked. I am very grateful that these devices continue to make life easier and information more accessible to me.

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