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April 5, 2010

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Susan Orlean's unconventional shelving system

The sui generis author talks about her personal library shelving system and assorted other things in an utterly charming fashion.

April 5, 2010 at 06:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Apple Corer with Integrated Core Ejection Function


"The stainless-steel shaft has sharp serrated teeth that cut cleanly through an apple (or pear), while the large polypropylene handle offers a steady grip."


"Line up the shaft with the apple core and gently twist into the fruit. Pull out the tool, then press the thumb tab to release the core for disposal."



April 5, 2010 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

iPad @bookofjoe: The first 24 hours


It arrived this past Saturday in the early afternoon (above), and in keeping with the traditional religious customs, practices and rituals of true fanboys, I simply gazed in awe and adoration at the shrink-wrapped box for its initial 24 hours in my house.

I was struck by how relatively small the box was compared to those of Apples laptops and iMacs, in which you can pretty much set up housekeeping.

Yesterday was the unboxing, which it turns out wasn't the usual extravaganza, instead a very minimal opening of the box, removing the plastic protecting the device, the power adapter and cable, and the postcard-sized instructions card, which shows you which buttons are where.

I followed the instructions and before you know it I was all set up.

Things you will need to use the iPad:

• iTunes 9.1 (9.0 will NOT do the job)

• A computer (because where else will you be able to connect to 9.1? I mean, even a TechnoDolt™ knows that much....).

Alright joe, enough of the piffle, what about the good, the bad and the ugly?

I thought you'd never ask.

The Good

1. A beautiful object, MoMA Permanent Design Collection-bound if ever something was.

2. Build quality, as expected, exquisite.

3. Screen and image quality breathtaking, just gorgeous.

4. Instant on, no loading time.

5. Screen orientation lock button very helpful/essential; should be implemented in any future iPhone/iPod touch iterations.

6. Speed of page loading essentially instantaneous. Faster than side-by-side newest iMac running 10.6.3.

7. Onscreen virtual keyboard easier to use than that of the iPod touch — but then, that's not saying a whole lot. I find it best to put the device in widescreen mode to make the keyboard as large as possible. Still can't touch type but I can hunt and peck OK.

8. I have discovered the best way to enter text, in my case at least, is to lie down with the iPad on my chest, holding it up in the air with my fingers on each side and using my thumbs to type. By tilting the device toward the appropriate side, it becomes almost a new form of text entry. I hereby christen it "thumbtipping™."

9. Apps made specifically for the iPad — there are perhaps 1,000 at the moment, of the 150,000 or so in the App store — look and work much better on the device than those made for the iPhone/iPod touch, which still work but in a little window the exact size of the iPhone screen in the center of the black iPad screen sea.

10. Though there's no bookofjoe app (yet; stay tuned), boj via Safari looks nice on the machine.

The Bad and the Ugly

1. The iPad won’t even turn on unless it has been synced through iTunes. That's a huge FAIL on the part of Apple. Note that you don't have to own a computer to use it BUT you need to connect to one with iTunes 9.1 to activate the device. They will probably — but not necessarily — be happy to do this for you at an Apple store should you buy one there, or you can take your iPad to one. But if you can't connect to a computer, you've essentially got a nice looking, expensive paperweight.

2. The onscreen keyboard. It would be so much better if there were some sort of tactile feedback so the touch typist could proceed with confidence.

3. Absence of multitasking is huge; it means, for example, that I can't go to bit.ly, get a short URL, then copy and paste it into a tweet as I easily do on my Macs. You say "Oh, no, joe — you CAN do that, just do this that and the other." No — I can't. Nor can the great majority of iPad users who are TechnoDolts™, some (not many, true, but a few) with even more pathetic computer aptitude than moi. So yes, I can use it for Twitter, but it kind of cripples Twitter as far as I'm concerned.

4. So pitiful do the made-only-for-iPhone apps seem once you've seen the made-for-iPad iterations, it becomes very clear that those developers who don't get with the iPad program are gonna be left in the dust.

5. The screen looks horrible when the machine's off — all you see are fingerprints on a shiny black glass surface. But guess what? Turn it on and it's like someone meticulously made them go away. In other words: don't worry about it, there's no need for a screen protector.

6. Kindle blogs — did you know bookofjoe is in the Kindle bookstore? You could look it up —  don't work on the iPad, same as with the iPhone/touch. Too bad, 'cause I was thinking this might be a way for people to relatively painlessly throw a little money in my tin cup (a subscription costs $1.99/month).


That's enough for today; tomorrow or the next day or sometime soon I'll explore the world of particular apps and sites that simply rule on the iPad.

[Thanks, Amy, for the clarification suggestion]

April 5, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack



Melissa Goodsell shows and tells you how to make your own.

[via Gyermekszoba]

April 5, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

iRa Pro — At $899.99, the most expensive app in the store?


That's what Marco R. della Cava wrote in a March 31, 2010 USA Today story.

More: It "...links a phone to a surveillance camera network."


From the app's iTunes store website : "iRa Pro™ has defined a new standard in mobile video surveillance by delivering a video command center to the palm of your hand."

Prediction: You'll be able to buy this app or its equivalent for $100 within 18 months.

April 5, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Teapot Frame


Minimalism is more than just the design of an object.

It also encompasses the effort required to enable the object to function.

On that scale this teapot frame is a 10.

Zvc bn

Created by industrial designer Betina Piqueras.

[via naver]

April 5, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Check out your local Redbox's available movies from your iPhone


If you're a Redbox fan — and judging by the company's popularity, an awful lot of people are — you know how frustrating it can be to go to a kiosk in search of a particular film only to find all of them are already out.

No more.

Here's Roy Furchgott's April 1, 2010 New York Times item about the new app (free, the way we like it).



With all of the Blockbuster stores closing in my neighborhood, I’m becoming a devotee of Redbox, the DVD vending machines that charge about a dollar a day for movie rentals.

One of the best features of the Redbox machine is that it is Internet-connected, so you can go online to find which movies are available nearby, and reserve one.  Better still, with the free Redbox iPhone app, you can do it from your phone.

The app will help you locate a Redbox in your area, then you can search to see what is in that dispenser.

With up to 200 films in each box (and about 630 DVDs total), there is a lot to sort through. That is simplified by using the app’s search-by-genre feature, which lets you see only “Hit Movies,” or more common genres like Action & Adventure, Comedy and Drama. The movies are listed by release date rather than alphabetically, but  you can look for a specific title by typing it into the search field.

Touch a movie name to get a thumbnail picture of the box cover and a synopsis of the film, with information like what language subtitles are on the disc and whether it’s in wide-screen format.

April 5, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Top Coat Hook


Wooden top, repurposed.

Zxc xz


April 5, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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