apple · iphone x · mophie · spigen

Apple iPhone X Launch Day Pre-Party

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The toys and my Apple t-shirt are lined up and ready to go!

In just a few hours, the all new Apple iPhone X will go on sale in the United States.  I’m super pumped.  My Dad is excited, too.  With pre-order reservations ready to go, there are just a few more things that I wanted to get ready for tonight.

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A last minute FOMO purchase on iPhone X eve.

After originally telling myself that I was going to wait to buy the Apple AirPower Mat, I panicked at the last moment and purchased a Mophie Wireless Charging Base, the Spigen iPhone X Screen Protector GLAS.tR Slim HD (Amazon link), and the Apple iPhone X Leather Midnight Blue (aka Grassia Standard Blue) case.

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iPhone 7, iPhone X, and iPhone 7 Plus leather cases (left to right).
apple · apple store · iphone x · trumbull

iPhone X Pre-order Extravaganza

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It’s 2:40am on Friday morning, October 27, 2017.

I stumble out of bed, trying not to wake up my wife who is sleeping next to me. The bright white light of my iPhone 7 Plus’ screen temporarily blinds me. You might be wondering why am I up this early? “It’s just a phone” never crosses my mind. For me, the new iPhone X represents the new high water mark for what is possible for cutting edge tech gadgets.

Like many of you, as 3:01am eastern time, 12:01am pacific, rolls around, I begin frantically refreshing apple.com and the iOS Apple Store App. (Can we still call the iOS Apple Store app the “Apple Store” app?) The minutes tick by. 3:03am, 04, 05, 06. Double-click Home. Swipe up. Relaunch. Repeat. iPhone. iPad. iMac. If you didn’t know better, you’d think I was having some kind of OCD episode. 3:07am, 3:09, 3:13am. “Come on, Apple! Let’s get going! They’re selling out!” I mutter in frantic hushed tones to myself while hunched over my computer desk.

Finally! 3:15am, and the iOS Apple Store loads. I stab at my iPhone screen trying to get to my Favorites List, which has my iPhone X configuration saved. iPhone X, Space Grey, 256GB. I can’t wait to get my hands on iPhone X. Face ID looks so cool! I can’t wait to try it. The app lags. I confirm my Sprint account details. “Hurry up, already!”

And just like that, things go bad. The Sprint servers crumble under the onslaught that is iPhone X pre-orders. “We’re sorry. This feature is momentarily unavailable. Please try again later. OK.” I force quit the Apple Store app. I try again. No luck. I grab by iPad. The same. Surely, my iMac and Safari can get the job done, but it was more of the same. Noooo!

Clutching my iPhone 7 Plus, I feverishly try again. And, again. And, again, until a new error message appears.

“We are unable to connect at this time. We’re sorry. There was a problem connecting to the carrier’s server. Please try again in a few minutes.”

My hopes of getting an iPhone X on launch day, next Friday, November 3, seemed dashed. It’s 3:55am, and I can’t even get my cellular account verified. Maybe if I just make a cup of coffee and then try everything would be better. Then, at 4:10am, Sprint sounds out a tweet that their servers are being worked on. The Apple website is showing shipping times for iPhone X at 4-5 weeks. Then, 5-6 weeks. I’m crushed.

I get ready for work. I try to keep it all in perspective. I’m freaking out about getting a new cell phone. It’s just a phone. There’s nothing wrong with my current cell phone. Well, nothing, except that it isn’t the super cool iPhone X. “Get it together, Grassia,” I keep telling myself. I say a little prayer to God, thanking Him for all that he has given me. My family. My health. A good job. A roof over our head. These are truly the important things in life.

Still, nothing. In a fit of rage, I tell myself that I’m switching to Verizon. I hate Verizon and AT&T, but their customers have their pre-orders already. Ok, let me check just one more time before I have to go to work.

Success!! The Apple Store app on my iPhone finally is able to validate my Sprint account! I add the Midnight Blue iPhone X Leather Case to my digital shopping bag. Miraculously, the app is showing that iPhone X is still available for in-store pick up. At my preferred store no less – Apple Trumbull! (No disrespect to my friends at Apple New Haven, Stamford, or Danbury!)

Holding my iPhone in my left hand, I poke the Buy with Apple Pay button with so much excitement, I thought my right index finger was going to pierce the screen. A few more taps and a Touch ID thumb print later, my order confirmation screen appears. I’m getting my iPhone X!

I send my Dad an iMessage with my confirmation screen. He was going to place his order this morning too.

“How did you get your order #” was his reply? How?! From the app confirmation screen and email. A quick phone call later and I realize his order didn’t go through. A brief detour for more coffee and I manage to untangle my Dad’s order. Guess what? His Verizon iPhone X is still in stock at Trumbull. Then I realize, we’re both getting our new iPhone Xs on the same day. At the same store, at the same time! It’s time to break out our Apple Trumbull t-shirts for another road trip!

This is craziness, to be sure. It’s an insanely expensive cell phone. An insanely great iPhone, yes. But I wouldn’t have traded the experience with my Dad for anything!

Get ready Apple Trumbull team, that crazy guy and his father well be back again real soon!

 

imac · microsoft · vmware

Configuring a Windows VM to Run Properly on a 5K iMac at Full Resolution

Earlier this week, I was working from home while and taking some vacation time while my car was getting serviced.  (But that is an entirely different post for a different time.)

While working, I wanted to use a copy of a corporate Windows 7 VMware guest machine on my 5K iMac. The only problem is that the Windows 7 text is microscopically small on the iMac, which is running at its maximum screen resolution of 3200 x 1800. On my home iMac, I am running VMware Fusion 8.5.8.

The problem of super-small text is a known issue and VMware has published a KB article on the topic titled “Retina display support in VMware Fusion (2034670)“.

However, the steps for adjusting Retina display support in the KB article didn’t exactly work for my configuration of Windows 7 guest. In addition to the virtual machine settings provided by VMware, I wanted to share the configuration adjustments that worked for me, and hopefully, by extension, may also help you.

To get started, I copied the guest virtual machine to my virtual machine folder on my iMac’s hard drive. Then, I started up the virtual machine, logged in with an administrator level account, and uninstalled the VMware Tools package that was installed by VMware Workstation, and then reinstalled the version of VMware Tools from Fusion. This step might be unnecessary, but I wanted to keep the version of VMware Tools consistant with the version that I have on my iMac for Fusion 8.

After the shell game with VMware Tools has finished, I shutdown the Windows 7 guest. Next, I used the directions that VMware provided in their KB article.

Finally, to make the text in the Windows 7 guest virtual machine readable, I had to do two more things:

1. In Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display, I set the text size to “Larger – 150%”.

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2. In Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Screen Resolution, I set the Windows 7 resolution to 2048 x 1536.

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For the Windows screen resolution step above, you may want to go one resolution step up or down from there, depending on your preferences.

Since we are talking about a Windows machine, I rebooted the Windows 7 guest just to test everything out. Now I am able to comfortably run and read the text on my Windows 7 guest virtual machine on my 5K iMac running at full resolution.

 

apple · apple store · iphone 8 · iphone 8 plus · trumbull

Happy iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus Launch Day

Today, Apple started selling the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. My Dad, who has become quite the Apple tech nerd, stopped by the Trumbull Apple Store to check out the iPhone 8 Plus in Space Grey and shared a couple of pictures from in the store. What he didn’t take a picture of was the long line down the hall.

(Whatever you guys do, don’t tell him that I have to pay him a roving freelance reporter fee. I’m going to help him upgrade his other Apple Watch tonight.)

apple · itunes · macintosh · windows

iTunes Updated to 12.7, Slims Down

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After yesterday’s September Event, which introduced us to the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the amazing iPhone X (aka “10”), Apple released iTunes 12.7 for Mac and Windows PCs.

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In the release notes for this update, Apple reaffirms iTunes focus on “music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks.”  That’s great news for me, because I use iTunes on my 5K iMac every day to listen to music while I’m working and to watch TV shows and movies that I have purchased from the iTunes Store.

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However, Apple is dropping support for some iOS device content management features.

“If you previously used iTunes to sync apps, books, or ringtones to your iOS device, use the new App Store, iBooks, or Sounds Settings on iOS to redownload them without your computer.”

This change should not be unexpected.  iOS devices, including the iPod touch, the only surviving iPod at this point, has had the same “I can get it from the Store myself” that iPhones and iPads enjoy.  Yesterday’s slimming down of iTunes is a welcomed change that gets rid of some of the cruft that has built up in iTunes over the last few years.

For more details, visit the Apple Support website.