I’m not the only one who hates a locked up iPhone

I thought the furor around the iPhone update that either locked your iPhone so that it only runs the base software, or bricked your iPhone if it was hacked to run on networks besides ATT, was dying down.  But then I read this blog from Leo Laporte, an Apple Fan and host or podcasts, radio shows and a TV show in Canada. 

I’m hoping that this spurs Apple into doing the right thing and giving us our third party apps back.  I’ve heard rumors that Apple might start selling apps through the iTunes store and that would be fine for me if anyone could submit apps and if authors had the ability to make free apps if they wanted.

I still have not updated my iPhone to the latest software and won’t until I can install and run my own apps.  I’ll let you know if/when it’s ever safe to buy an iPhone again.

-Brian 

 UPDATE:  Business Week columnist Arik Hesseldahl agrees here.

New Blogging Project

You might see that there are is a new Blogs menu on the right-hand side of the page.  We are trying something new here at doerrstop.com in an attempt to get the kids more involved in the content on the site.  Over the next few weeks my hope is that you will begin to see more weekly blogs from the kids on pretty much any topic they want to talk about.

It’s an experiment that has a bit of monetary enticement for them, and hopefully some good content and insight into their world for the rest of us.

So stay tuned to doerrstop.com and once they start posting, send them some feedback so they know you are out there.

-brian

 

iPhone fun…and frustration

As many of you already know I am a self-confessed Apple fanboy.  It’s mostly because I have used their products since I was a child and their ease of use has always allowed me to spend more time using the machines and less time fixing them.  I was recently given an iPhone as a gift from a friend and have been loving it.  Of course once I had it up and running for a few days, I had to jump in and start hacking on it.  It’s an amazing little piece of hardware.

 

The first thing I did was jailbreak it and change the ATT logo to a MSU Spartan logo.  Oh yeah!  Then I added custom ringtones and a bunch of custom apps like a NES emulator, IM client (catch me on AOL IM as doerrstop), drawing programs, text editor, voice recorder, and dictionary.  This made the iPhone almost everything it should have been coming out of the box (except for GPS and video capture)  When I was done I had a nearly perfect phone.  

 

Then this morning I read about the new "update" for my iPhone from Apple…

 

The new firmware update adds a few new features like buying itunes music on your phone and a few minor tweaks to the interface that make it easier to get around.  It doesn’t add video capture to the camera or any of teh things that I had hacked it to do…and it wipes out all the cool software hacks and then encrypts the filesystem, making it very difficult to rehack into.  

 

Let’s just say that I was lucky enough to read up on the impact of the "update" before I clicked the install button and I won’t be upgrading anytime soon. (Unless someone cracks the encryption) I’m also a bit miffed that Apple is locking the phone down so hard and not giving users a way to make their iPhone experience customized.  Without all the cool little apps I installed, the iPhone is nice (and still the best smartphone out there) but its no where near as powerful as what it with them.

 

I’m reading a lot of similar feelings on the web and if apple keeps this up, they may find that their biggest fans become their biggest critics.  Next time you see me, let’s play a game of Zelda on my phone…it’s awesome.

Colorado Trip Pictures

I just put up a few pictures from our road trip to Colorado.  We had a fantastic time.  Let us know what you think.  Take a look in the Photos section by clicking here.

-Brian 

TriadFamilyReunion.com

TFR LogoScott and I were talking about life after Triad a few weeks ago and he was mentioning that a lot of the Triad execs were looking for a good way to keep in touch with each other, Triad corporate employees, and facility management after the sale to CHS goes through.  "Hmm…", I said. "A community website might just do the trick!"

I went home that night , bought a domain name, spoke with Gobie at Kolusu.net, (have I ever mentioned that his hosting is the best and I can get you a good deal?) and spent the next 5 nights up late at my computer.

The next Saturday I called Scott and told him to check out www.TriadFamilyReunion.com.  There I had created a little community complete with registration, user profiles, user lists, and forums. We discussed his idea to add a job listings app and I jammed on that for another day or two. I also added some code in the background fro a few secret features coming out a couple weeks after it launches like chat, IM and a google maps mashup.

Some 80 hours later the site was ready and launched to 30 Triad execs. Within 5 days we had 20 registrations a lot of compliments but not a lot of activity. Next week we'll be launching to the rest of corporate and after that, the field. I'm hoping to have a few hundred users on the site in the next few weeks and hopefully a lot of interaction.

When you have a moment, stop by and check it out.  you can't register unless you work at Triad, but you can take a peek at the look at feel of the site.

Let me know what you think.

-Brian

New Photo Gallery Up!

It's been a while since I posted my poll asking for comments on the photo gallery and when I was taking a look at the poll results I decided to look around and see what has happened in the photo gallery landscape.  I looked at all the galleries I could find like:

 

Yikes!  There were a lot of choices but after careful consideration finally picked RSGallery2.  It seemed easy to install, modify and had the flexibility I needed, not to mention the cool scrolling image tool on the right.  Many grandparents will be happy to know that you can download high-res versions (as available) from the gallery.

So to quench everyone's thirst for photos, I loaded up some 1000 of the most recent and am migrating all the photos from the variaous different systems I've tried over the years to this system.  Once complete, it will become the mother of all online family photo albums.  Bet you can't wait.

To take a look just click on the Photos button up top and be sure to vote on your favorite shots and leave comments.

-Brian 

 

 

What’s up in Frisco?

Well, It's been a while since my last post and a ton of things have happened around the Doerr household.   First of all we closed on our house at the end of January.  That is not to say that we've been done with the builders.  Oh no, they have been trying to fix a leak in our front facade that drains onto the floor in our foyer since we moved in.  They've pulled the foyer walls down twice and we now think they have it fixed.  We're almost done with that nightmare. 

Then in February Brian's company announced that they were going private.  A bit scary as there would be more pressure on the team but overall not a bad thing.  Just when the deal was about to be finalized, another company, CHS, came in and offered $500 million more than the private equity group.  Suddenly we went from going private to being bought by a smaller company who used investors and our own money to buy us. 

The deal is set to close at the end of July and at that point I'll be working for CHS for a bit until I am severed in October.  I'm talking with people around the country now about the next step in my career and have a few firms and some ideas in the works.  I may also work on a contract basis with CHS if they need me past the sever date.  We'll see.

Those are the two biggest reasons I haven't been posting.  If I would have started writing at the time these things were going on, I would have said things I shouldn't have…you know what I mean. Sealed

Things at home are bit crazy as well.  We planned on putting in a pool this spring but with the uncertainty around how long we'd be staying, we decided to hold off and that has made the summer interesting for Cheryl and the kids.  We've gone to Six Flags twice and to the neighborhood pools a few times and luckily all the rain has kept it cooler than normal around here.  Although the cesspool that sits next to my house when it rains is not too much fun.

That's pretty much what's up around here.  I'm going to try and be better about posting (and getting the family to post).

-Brian