"Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

Bird Note

10/30/14, 4:24 PM

Enjoyed the weather this morning, walking Bodhi, saw two wading birds, each perched on a fence rail.

First was a Green Heron. These are smallish, about the size of a Snowy Egret.

Photo of a Green Heron.

The other was an Egret. Got a couple of decent shots.

Photo of an Egret perched on a fence rail.

I liked this one too:

Photo of an Egret perched on a fence rail.

Nerd Note

10/29/14, 9:55 AM

iPhone 6

I ordered the 64GB iPhone 6 from the Apple Store and it arrived yesterday, about a week ahead of what they projected when I ordered it. (Under-promise and over-deliver, maybe?) I got the T-Mobile off-contract model because it ships from Apple unlocked. That also means I paid full price. AT&T would have increased my monthly payment (removed my "discount"), if I'd have elected to "upgrade."

As discussed elsewhere, you just pop out the T-Mobile SIM, insert your AT&T SIM and you're on AT&T, good to go. I'm hoping this also avoids a nuisance "upgrade" fee from AT&T, like $15.00 or something. I'll see on my next bill, I guess.

My first impression of the phone is that it's definitely bigger; more so than I'd expected, even after I'd handled one in the Apple Store. After using the 6 yesterday evening and this morning, then picking up my 5s just a few minutes ago, the 5s feels more comfortable. I'm accustomed to doing nearly everything on my phone with one hand. So far, I think I'm still able to do most things one-handed, but I don't feel as confident that I have control of the phone in my hand. I also bought the Apple leather case, which makes the phone just a bit larger, but the leather offers more grip than the bare aluminum. The 6 is pocketable, but it's noticeably larger. Large enough that the grippier leather case can make it hard to extract the phone from a front jeans pocket.

Surprisingly, the phone didn't ship with iOS 8.1 installed, so restoring from backup was delayed until I'd set up the phone as a new device and updated the OS. Restoring from backup is a lengthy process, and it still requires a sync with iTunes to install all the apps. Figure a couple of hours from getting it out of the box to being loaded and ready to go. Any books from the iBooks bookstore also have to be downloaded. Be sure to encrypt your backup to iTunes so that all your passwords get restored, otherwise you'll be entering all that data by hand again as well.

In hand, the 5s feels better, but I definitely prefer the larger screen of the 6 for everything, especially photographs. I elected to forego the "zoom" option on the display. I may revisit that if my vision deteriorates much further, but for now I've chosen to remain at the native resolution, but elected to increase the default text size for apps that use dynamic text sizes. Even with the larger size, I can see more text on the 6 than on the 5s. Here are a couple of screenshots. One from the 6, the other from the 5s. The 6 is using larger dynamic text. If I had better HTML skills, these would be side by side, but I think you can kind of get the idea. (Update: Okay, looks like they're displaying side by side anyway. And SmugMug has resized them to be the same dimensions on the web page. As screenshots, the iPhone 6 shot is bigger due to the larger display. If you click through, you can see them in all their pixel-for-pixel glory. But what gets lost here is the larger text size in the display. It's not a lot, but it is bigger, and I can still see more of the e-mail.)

iPhone 6 Screenshot iPhone 5s Screenshot

Here's an iPod shot of the two screens, makes the point more clearly:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I've only played with the camera a little bit, so I don't have any real impressions to offer yet.

Overall, my first impression is favorable. It's less comfortable in the hand, but the larger screen area offers enough advantages to overlook the size issues.

Yosemite

I've been using a developer beta version of Yosemite since WWDC. I've been pleased with the release all along, although there were some graphic glitches early on. I'm still seeing a graphic glitch while scrolling in iTunes 12, but for the most part, everything looks great. I had no difficulties installing 10.10 on either my 2009 iMac or my 2012 13" MacBook Pro Retina.

I did get an alert that my Time Machine backup disk was too full to allow a backup after the update on the MBP, even after deleting old backups. I eventually just erased the drive and created a completely new backup.

One of the new features I've used in Yosemite is Finder's new ability to batch rename files. It's another little touch that's making the Finder a capable app for managing photos.

Speaking of which, I'm using iCloud Photos Beta. I can't really comment on how well it works because I'm kind of straddling the transition at the moment. Right now I have Photo Streams and iCloud Photos active on my iOS devices. This means that pictures that I take using the iPhone will be automatically imported into Aperture because I have Photo Streams turned on in that app. But Photo Stream does not appear as a source on the iOS devices, so images I import into Aperture no longer appear on my iOS devices, as they formerly did in the Photo Stream library.

I haven't explored all that there is to offer in Yosemite in terms of integration with iOS 8, but I'm looking forward to doing so.