Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Weekend (?) anecdotes: A deer sighting and my seat-swap roller-coaster ride

July 30, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
July 30, 2017

My days have been a bit of a blur lately, so I’m only 99 percent sure that the following anecdote took place on Saturday, July 29.

I was walking a certain family dog around my Parental Unit’s neighborhood. We were heading toward a T-intersection of residential streets when I noticed that Lucky and I had company.

As per usual, the dog and I were walking on the street by the curb on the right side. (When there isn’t a sidewalk available, I typically walk along the right side of the road, as would be standard for a motorist or bicyclist.) But either a noise or something I saw out of the corner of my eye made me look to the left. Much to my amazement, I saw that a doe was walking parallel to us through the front yards of the houses on the opposite side of the street.

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The further misadventures of my smartphone

September 30, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 30, 2016

It was around 11 on Thursday night and my phone was running out of power. I had my laptop backpack with me, but I don’t usually carry either a Lightning cable or an iPhone charger in it. So I ran out to my car.

I grabbed my cable and started heading back to the establishment. But then I realized that while I now had a cable to charge my phone into, I still needed a charger in which to plug the other end of that cable.

So I hastily dashed back to my car and dug out this one specific book bag–slash–smaller backpack in which I normally do carry a USB charger. I unzipped the appropriate pocket and rifled through it until I had the charger in my clammy little hands.

I threw everything back down, shut my car and began running back to the establishment.

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Smartphone reset, summer 2015 (part 3 of some)

September 2, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 2, 2015

The Apple Store in Raleigh, N.C., is located in the Crabtree Valley Mall, a place I hadn’t visited in a few years. Getting there involved the usual nonsense: Driving, parking, walking.

I was a little taken aback when I got to the Apple Store: It was teeming with people. I made my way toward the back, where the technical support seems to be located in every Apple Store, and checked in with an employee.

About a minute later, a fellow whose name I don’t remember steered me to a table and began helping me. I mumbled something to the effect that that was fast, and the employee told me that I’d come in a bit of a lull.

“Really?” I asked*. I stammered something to the effect that there were a bunch of people. The guy just shrugged, seemingly unimpressed. I raised my eyebrows in surprise. If this was what the store was like when it wasn’t that busy, it must be an absolute madhouse when it was crowded.

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Smartphone reset, summer 2015 (part 2 of some)

September 1, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 1, 2015

After abruptly canceling my mid-August road trip, I spent 90 minutes or so at the library before heading back home.

Once there, I did something that I hadn’t done either at the library or in my car: I attached my seemingly dead iPhone to a charger and plugged it in. This gave me a surprise: The device came back on, although the sleep/wake button still seemed to have absolutely no effect.

As a test, I unplugged the phone and attempted to reset it. It failed to come back on. But once again, when it was plugged in, the phone came on and seemed to function normally, with the exception of the sleep/wake button.

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Smartphone reset, summer 2015 (part 1 of some)

August 29, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 29, 2015

The Great Phone Meltdown of 2015 happened at an inconvenient moment.

In mid-December 2012, my Parental Unit bought two Apple smartphones: A 16-gigabyte iPhone 5 for P.U.’s own self and, as a very generous gift, a 32-GB iPhone 5 for me. This was a very spiffy upgrade from my previous (and first) smartphone, an iPhone 3GS.

The phone served me well, from shortly before my second trip to the Rose Bowl (which happened to be my first in-person viewing of a Stanford Cardinal victory at the Rose Bowl) up until… well, up until Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.

A close friend, M—, whom I refer to as my godsister, had invited me to join her family at a cabin in the mountains around Harrisonburg, Va. The rental began on the fourth Saturday of August, but since I didn’t wish to join them for the entire week, I planned on heading up there on the 19th.

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Six degrees of separation? Free association inside the mind of a blogger

January 20, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Jan. 20, 2015

It’s funny, some of the things that pop up in my head.

On Monday morning, I was getting ready to leave the house when I suddenly thought about Mrs. Koch, a teacher whom I hadn’t thought about in more than half a lifetime. I was her student — when? In middle school, probably, or else in elementary school.

I’m not sure when or for which class I had her, obviously, but it occurred to me Monday morning to wonder if Mrs. Koch was related to the Koch brothers, the wealthy Kansas conservatives who have become sibling bogeymen for lefty liberal types.

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Smash it, and smash it again: This simple game-play mechanism underpins the addictively fun Smash Hit

March 18, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 18, 2014

This past weekend, I found myself in need of another mindless distraction. I found Smash Hit at the top of the free software list in the Apps Store.

The name winkingly refers not just to the app’s current No. 1 status but to its key game-play mechanism: The player automatically advances through a geometrical landscape, lobbing chrome balls to destroy obstacles and acquire resources. The balls, which are dead ringers for pinballs, shatter triangular power-up crystals as well as a variety of glass bars and panes.

Hit one of the triangular crystals and you’ll be rewarded with three additional balls. Smash 10 consecutive triangular crystals without letting one pass by unmolested and you’ll be able to fire two balls at once. Smashing 10 more crystals without a miss empowers the player to shoot three balls simultaneously; extend the streak and your ammunition will grow more potent, to a point.

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Why was the iOS 6 user afraid of iOS 7? He wasn’t, but he didn’t have an incentive to upgrade until recently

February 28, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 28, 2014

Guess what finally got me to upgrade my smartphone operating system?

Yep — that massive wireless security flaw.

Although Apple released iOS 7 in September, I didn’t get around to updating my iPhone 5 until just the other day. Although the new system seemed to have some cool features, I didn’t find its look all that appealing, and I was pretty happy with iOS 6. However, knowing that my heavily used smartphone was highly vulnerable to hackers forced my hand.

The update process turned out to be a bit tricky, which did not surprise me. Before the upgrade, my 32 GB phone’s memory was basically stuffed to the gills. I ended up having to delete a bunch of apps before I was able to install the new operating system. There turned out to be a long list of apps waiting to be installed on the phone. I wasn’t aware of this, but the upgrade couldn’t proceed until the queued-up apps were downloaded.

Anyway, after some mucking about, I had an iPhone 5 running a new, and newly secure, iOS 7. I’ve spent the last few days getting to know the new software, and so far, my reaction is mixed.

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