iOS 4 – Some Glitches…

iOS4 is out today and I gotta say I’m having a bit of a love/hate relationship here. First off, I lost my damn contacts. I didn’t actually lose them but when I went to use my smartphone in a smart manner it didn’t really work. I ended up having to do a hard-sync to a more out of date version of my cloud version of Google Contacts. Talk about frustrating…and to my knowledge this issue still isn’t solved. I also had some wonkiness in the Clock app of all things– titlebar flashed green as if I was in a call and it kinda got the timer numbers all screwy there. I did a hard reboot and all is good now…I think.

But on to the OS pack– it’s very fast on my 3GS. I like the new draw animations, and the addition of Folders for droppings Apps is great. Even the spellcheck is a nice addition because I’m tired of typing the word “ducking” all the time. Use your imagination.

Here’s my last gripe: Freaking multi-tasking. Apple, why would I want to leave the Settings app up, or Messaging? How about the damn Clock app? Why don’t you have a whitelist or at least a preference setting that would allow me to specify a “Never multitask” or “Always quit (for real)”?? I can only assume there’s an iOS4.1 update around the corner.

I noticed this release contains the same serial as the 4.0 GM Seed that we developers had access to. I had it loaded, but maybe I’ve got some glitches because of that…oh well.

More as it develops…

Military CAC Access

Anyone in the Armed Forces and need some help accessing their own networks? I found this excellent site, MilitaryCac.com which shows step-by-step information for anyone needing to legitimately gain access from their home machines (following DOD policy of course). The instructions are well put together and detail out some of the absurdities of gaining access, one of which is needing to drop into the secure portal from a different machine, which you can only do by using a CAC (Common Access Card) reader.

Anyhow, once we got it figure it out was dead simple. You’ll need to install the ActiveClient and not just the drivers for the CAC reader. That client is what is behind closed doors and requires authentication. It did require going out and fetching DOD certificates which are apparently freely available which kind of tripped me up a bit– shouldn’t those certificates be hidden? Aren’t they essentially keys? Maybe I’m misunderstanding all this…

I used to work for a company that would self-sign their SSL certificate in order to have “secure” https Outlook Web Access (OWA). Given that the certificiate was signed by “itself”, and not some other authority, what is the purpose of having a certificate that can’t be vetted against a chain?

Clearly I don’t know enough about this…I’m hoping to do a bit of research as a side project and come back with some notes. Some day…

In the meantime I’m fooling around with iOS4, and thinking lazily about that new shiny thing that was announced yesterday. It’s very nice, but I haven’t had the brainpower to really drill too deeply into it…

Alternative OS: MeeGo + Jolicloud

I spent the weekend doing a bit of searching around the web on alternative OS’s. Now that my little Hackintosh has been superceded by my mighty MacBook Pro, the poor thing sits unused in my home office just colleting dust. It was never a mighty machine, an Atom-based N450 in the Dell Mini 9 shell. The keyboard is cramped; function keys are mapped funny, and it wasn’t terribly large. At 9 inches everything was just a little bit different and frustrating to use on it. Bonus points were its 16-gig SSD that Dell later stopped offering as an option, an SD card reader, and it’s price: $299 on a one day sale.

I spent some time digging into two OS’s, with somewhat of the same aims: MeeGo and JoliCloud. I should mention that I installed both only in the USB key scenario, not actually loading a full installation.

Jolicloud promised to be the OS with the most initial satistfaction for me. It supports the vast majority of “netbook” systems already out there, and aside from needing to jury-rig my Wireless the first time worked quite well. The entire system promises a bevy of new, recommended, and lightweight cloud-based apps to help you get everything done.

Jolicloud App Directory

Jolicloud App Directory

The staples are there: Chrome, Gmail, VLC, Twitter, and other social networking toolsets. Generally it was was snappy, colorful and seemed well designed. It fit well with my small 9″ screen.

MeeGo also promised a cloud-based experience. The UI interface reminds me a bit of TweetDeck’s– things are running in a 3-column layout and are mostly very easy to read.

Meego Desktop

Meego Desktop

Apps are launched from category buckets and that’s how your “installed” programs are organized and sought out. I ran MeeGo in the same USB-boot key method as Jolicloud, but drivers for my device weren’t readily apparent. Video and audio worked; WLAN did not. Apparently I’m not alone in this. My entire trial was based upon being in a hard LAN environment which may have tainted my final review of the OS. What’s really promising about MeeGo is the variety of devices it wants to run on: mainly in-car devices, and connected TV embedded OS opportunities. They’ve got some substantial backing from Nokia (which I can only assume means there’s a Tablet-like device somewhere in the wings), and today Acer announced they will have MeeGo running on their future devices as well.

That seems to be a substantial alliance going against Google’s Chrome OS– I’m not sure what the ramifications of that are yet because the Chrome OS still isn’t out. I’m going to keep scouting for alternative OS’s, but for right now I think I’ll wipe the ol MacOS and load up Jolicloud for a bit. If I hate it, I can always continue my tour.