Tag Archives: Apple

Then and Now

Looks like he’s happy to be home and back in his spot.

Looks like he’s happy to be home and back in his spot.

Now that my older son has returned from UTSA for his winter break (he drove home last Friday), our family is complete once again. My heart is full to the brim.

One of the first things that Jake does after he walks through the front door is set up his 2010 MacBook Pro in his spot at the far end of the dining room table. That’s been his computing comfort place since he first got his laptop after he graduated from high school three and a half years ago.

Looking at the above photo, I figured that I would check my archives to see how Jake looked with his MBP during his first collegiate winter break in 2010.

More of a baby face at the end of 2010

More of a baby face at the end of 2010

And here he is! What stands out most to me?

First, he’s staring down at the screen. He didn’t like having his photo snapped back then. Now he almost always looks at me and smiles. Love seeing those beautiful blue eyes!

Second, his face has changed so much! From the mere stubble of 2010 to the cute never-quite-filled-in beard, his features are more angular and adult. He’s definitely grown up.

Third, ironically, he’s wearing the exact same shirt in both photos! Yes, it does look faded now, but my Linkin Park fan continues to show his loyalty. As well as his penchant to wear the same t-shirts over and over and over again. How very male of him!

It makes me wonder what the photo of my sweet boy will be like next December. This is his final winter break, continuing his streak of “lasts” this senior year. Hopefully, Jake will be settled in an apartment (perhaps with his BFF, my “third son,” Chase) where he’ll have a new special computing spot.

One thing’s probably certain: I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still wearing that Linkin Park shirt then!

How Do You Like Them Apples?

Huge fruit!

Wait, did you think I was going to write about my new iPhone 5 (which I, of course, love)?

Wonder if I have a future as a hand model.

When I saw these enormous honey crisp apples, which must be on steroids, at my local HEB, one question occurred to me:

How big are the trees they grow on?!? They could rival redwoods!

Hello, iPhone 4S!

Which twin is the new iPhone?

There was no waiting in line for me this time when it came to the new iPhone 4S. I easily preordered on Apple.com a week ago, and then I patiently waited for the UPS driver to knock on my door (got to fix that darned doorbell one of these days!).

The biggest surprise? That the knock came before 10 a.m.! The driver said all the iPhones had to be delivered by 10:30 a.m. Glad I didn’t have to wait, like I did for my iPad!

The 4S has an extra antenna line at the top.

So far I’ve enjoyed having Siri, my new personal assistant, type my text messages for me. I can’t wait to try out the new camera, too. Look for a full report on the 4S next week.

Welcome to our iPhone family, new 4S!

iSad

This was my first Mac, the 512K (aka Fat Mac), which I bought in 1985.

Fittingly, I got the news last night on my iPhone 4 via a text message from my older son, who was using his iPhone 4.

“Looks like Steve Jobs is dead,” it read.

I rushed to my iMac to check it out and then continued to monitor my Twitter feed on my iPad as we watched “Survivor.” What my son had said was true, and everyone was tweeting about it.

Apple.com’s home page was simple (as shown on my iPad).

Steve Jobs’ untimely passing at the too-young age of 56 wasn’t surprising, of course. He was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and survived a liver transplant five years later. He had been in failing health this year. When he resigned as Apple’s CEO this past August, it was obvious the end was near.

Still, I was overcome with sadness—the world has lost an amazing visionary who helped create technical products that enhanced our lives.  My life in particular was changed thanks to the Macintosh, which enabled me to properly use and show my creative talents. I’ve earned my living writing, editing, designing, and Photoshopping on the various Macs that I’ve owned since 1985. I’m probably one of the few people my age who has only owned Apple computers. And I expect it to stay that way.

Of course, I’ve loved my iPods (listened to my first one eight years ago), iPhone (the original, 3Gs, and my current 4), and iPad. If Apple makes it, I usually want it.

Jobs had a remarkable sense of the long term, of what consumers really wanted, though they didn’t know it at the time. He made products for everyone, not just the techies who thrived on the DOS challenge. Gosh, he put the darned internet in our pockets! He enabled my octogenarian mother to stay connected with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren throughout the country . . . as well as with her friends . . . via her iMac.

He left a wonderful, inspiring legacy. That’s his greatest gift.

My #1 son loves his MacBook Pro.

I e-mailed my older son some words of wisdom spoken by Jobs:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

I hope my son takes that advice to heart; it will steer him in the right direction.

And . . . one more thing . . .

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making the world a better place to live in.

Technology Makes Our Spirits Bright

My younger son holds his older brother (via the iPhone 4’s FaceTime)!

I had been lamenting about our first Chanukah season without my older son ever since the beginning of the year. Noticing that the holiday would come early, I realized all too soon that #1 would be at college for every night that we light the menorah’s candles.

A sobering thought for a mom who loves making memories with her kids. How would I take my usual 1,001 photos of both of them?!?

My #2 son looks at his brother on their iMac after lighting the first-night candles.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology that makes it easy to be up close and personal with the ones you love. At first we looked to FaceTime on our iPhone 4s. However, #1 reported that the picture was freezing up, so we turned to their iMac that lives in the dining room. Which is where our menorah is lit.

#1 holds up his first-night gift (note the reflection of the two candles in the monitor).

Skype also wasn’t cooperating all the time, but we managed to make it work. My older son was happy to receive Super Scribblenauts, a video game he wanted for his Nintendo DS. That should help take his mind off next week’s finals . . . hopefully without interfering with studying for them!

Shake it, baby!

His younger brother got a gift that he wanted: A Shake Weight. Got to build those biceps and triceps!

I would never say that video-chatting is the next best thing to being there. Nothing really is close. But at least my older son could feel like he was a part of our traditional ceremony . . . and I got to see his beautiful blue eyes and rare smile once again. Can’t wait to video-chat with him again tonight!

Giving Thanks

The Beatles have come “home!”

When you’re at the grocery store this morning, and there’s a two-person traffic jam by the shopping carts, it gives you time to think about Thanksgiving. There’s so much to be thankful for!

• I’m so grateful that the Beatles, my favorite rock group, finally are on iTunes! I’ve been waiting seven years for it to happen, ever since I got my first iPod for my 50th birthday. I do own several Beatles CDs, but most of my albums were of the archaic vinyl persuasion. Not being into file sharing, I’ve waited not-so patiently for this historic digital download day, and I’ve finally been rewarded.

How often will I listen to the Beatles on my iPod now? Probably eight days a week!

My #2 son smirks.

• I suppose I should be thankful that I have a son who loves to challenge me photographically. Last night while we were watching “The Biggest Loser,” he was mimicking some of the contestants’ workouts by lifting weights. Of course, the minute I swung my Nikon in his direction, he stopped and just lifted his arm. Then he pulled a blanket over himself and used the weights underneath it where I couldn’t see them.

All while smirking. Good thing he’s so darned cute!

A couple of my #1 son’s favorites.

• Of course, the reason I was at Kroger in the first place waiting for the traffic jam to dissipate was because I needed to buy food that I haven’t stocked since the Labor Day weekend. Yep, my older son will be home from college tonight! We’re looking so forward to seeing him again and having our house back to normal . . . until Sunday when he has to go back.

He’ll return home for the long winter break on December 14th . . . when I could be facing that shopping cart traffic jam once again.

FaceTime: A New Way to Stay Close

The brothers keep in touch.

“Can I use your phone?” my #2 son asked. “I want your #1 son to see something on the iMac.”

No problem!

When the iPhone 4 was announced earlier this year, one particular feature caught my eye: FaceTime. With my older son about to leave for college, I was intrigued by the possibility of video chatting with him via wifi if we both had iPhone 4s. We scored the new phone in June, but we have never used FaceTime.

My older son returns . . . on the iPhone 4 screen.

Now my younger son wanted to communicate with his older brother and also let him see a video he was making in iMovie. FaceTime to the rescue! Suddenly, my beloved, blue-eyed #1 boy was back in our house . . . albeit temporarily and in nonhuggable form.

The brothers having fun together again

Hey, I’ll take what I can get!

There’s my handsome lad!

#2 has been borrowing my iPhone 4 almost nightly now. It’s great that anywhere in the house, the two of them can talk face to face and stay in touch.

How I miss that rare smile!

And even though it’s hard to see on the screen that his eyes are blue, it’s great for my soul that I can catch glimpses of my #1 son every now and then. FaceTime definitely is the next best thing to being there.