A Flower for My Friend

by Tobias on December 9, 2011

A Flower for My Friend

A Flower for My Friend

This tree thinks it’s spring,

With bright purple flowers,

Knows not of this thing,

We tend to call hours.


Picture accidentally taken while phone was in my shirt pocket. Their expression & the hand says it all.

Yesterday I was walking around the Rivertown Revival festival with my iPhone in my shirt pocket. I didnt realize that Hipstamatic was running and that my body was accidentally hitting the shutter button.

I think their expression and the hand reaching over to catch their jaw says it all.


How to type an ellipsis (…) on the iPhone. Why didn't I know about this sooner?

If you aren’t familiar with the three little dots and the fact that they are a type character in their own rite, then I recommend checking out the very informative Wikipedia entry.


Hold down the period button until the secondary keys appear.

You can even do this while the keyboard is in alphabet mode. Just hold down the numbers key, don’t let go, drag onto the period, wait until the alternates appear, drag onto the ellipsis and let go. Bingo! You are right back to the alpha keyboard.

(After testing, it seems the dragging to/from both keyboard sets works only in certain settings. It definitely works if you click into the number layout and then drag and release.)

I love ellipses…

“Three little points of suspension…”


(Click to see my Flickr set of test images used to write this article.)

The much loved photo app for the iPhone, Hipstamatic, is one of the first apps I booted up when I got the new iPhone 4. Sadly, I ran into some problems right away. What should be black & white pictures come out with odd blue swaths (like in this extreme example) in the darker areas. The other problem seems more serious: The first few times I took pictures it froze just as the shutter went off.  I took some time to look into both of these problems.

Hipstamatic tests on the iPhone 4

The new camera on the new phone is impressive.  Most of us have read the tech specs, but in use the 5 megapixel camera really goes all out for a phone. Impressive low light response, nearly instantaneous click & shoot, the ability to click on the screen where you want to be focused, HD video, and a built in flash.

I would love to be able to choose, in the application itself, what resolution I want to take the next picture.  I have frequently wanted to just get a quick snap shot, but then wanted to take a picture that I could use as a high resolution piece of artwork.  The resolution and processing is there, I just think they have to take the opportunity to use it.

It turns out that this built in flash is what causes Hipstamatic to crash.

Here is what is going on…

[click to continue…]


Automated iPhone Upgrade Call

Automated system in action.

AT&T has a nice system in place to instantly check to see how current iPhone users will be charged to upgrade to the new iPhone 4.

“Am I eligable?”

“Do I have to pay $600 to get the new iPhone 4?”

“How much will AT&T charge me to get the new iPhone 4?”

“I got an iPhone 3GS right when it came out. Is AT&T going to screw me?

Turns out you can quickly find out the answer to these questions by a simple phone call.

Here is how it works:

[click to continue…]


I recently called 911 on my iPhone 3GS and was greeted with multiple busy signals. In the back of my mind I quietly rely on the knowledge that three little numbers can get me help in an emergency. I have sadly had to do this a few times; a busy signal is absolutely unacceptable.

I was driving South on 280 in San Francisco about to merge onto 101. I could see the blinking lights of a car pulled off to the small shoulder on the right. Traffic was moving at least at 50MPH getting ready to merge into a single lane going onto 101. Once I came upon the car, I realized they were dead center in the lane. I only had a moment to act and veered into my right hand lane nearly getting into an accident.

Thankfully, no one that I’m aware of was injured.

I knew right away that I had to report the car stalled in the middle of the lane. It was situated in a very precarious spot right at 2AM on a Friday night. The car was sitting there just waiting to cause an accident.

I got my hands free for my phone on, called 911 and looked for the nearest exit to pull off the road. I couldn’t believe what I heard in my ear:

A busy signal.

I tried again. Busy.
And again. Busy.
Must be a mistake. I tried again. Busy.

An old, but sadly undated, report by KRON Channel 4 about 911 issues.

I have heard of cell phone routing issues with 911 before, but that had been years ago. I had only assumed that this had magically been fixed since last time I had looked into it. Sadly that is not the case. Not only are the systems over run and the routing is out of date, there is no good front end solution to patch the problem for the user other than calling a different number (e.g., local police).

AT&T After Hours Customer Service Number: 1-866-801-3600

I finally got through on my fifth try.

Keep reading for more problems and some potential solutions…

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