Tech Boy Interrupted

Part of the slack on finishing the conclusion of Tech Talk has involved transitioning my family company to Lion and figuring out how to best use the new features. The process has been simple – but it is a new platform and there are a few bugs. And, as with many tech issues, it is not always immediately clear if the new problem you encounter is just a new problem, or if it is related to the new software. So far for us, it has been about 50/50.

I do love the new capability – and more importantly the concept and goals behind it, but if I were in charge of such things at Apple, I would have done a slower roll-out, or, at least advised consumers to do a phased transition. Having made so many changes at once, when a program does not behave as I expect it it too, I can’t tell if it is iTunes syncing with my iPhone via wi-fi instead of via the cord, or if it is iOS5, or if it is the limitations of the hardware on the 3GS, or if it is something to do with iCloud, or if it is Lion – or…

If you have not made the transitions yet, and you do use a full compliment of Apple gear, I would recommend getting comfy with iOS5 first – continuing to sync over a cord. Then commence syncing over wi-fi for a few weeks. Get a sense of how things work for you and if any problems develop. Then move to Lion, but do not enable iCloud. Test out Lion a few weeks, then turn on the iCloud. You still may not know the culprit if/when troubles occur, but you may have a few things ruled out.

I used to operate in this careful and deliberate manner back in the dark decades of Windows. But I also knew with 100% certainty that I was working with poorly designed software, legacy bugs carried through from at least 3.1 up to the present day, and a company that really has no interest in making good dependable software. This is the first time I have had any issues with Apple products, and these pale in comparison to the issues I faced constantly in Windows. But, this suite of products feels a little rushed and under-tested to me.

In part it may also be that I am a particular kind of anal geek and am used to knowing more about the software, the processes, and having the ability to tailor how they work to meet my needs. I have not found that level of detail about iCloud in particular. How often does it push data? Every 5 minutes, every time I make a change? How do the sync rates of iCloud and over the wi-fi syncing of iPhone compare? Do they conflict? I test some of this sitting at my desk with my iPhone in front of my system and I can’t tell. Sometimes things seem to happen instantly, other times it takes a few minutes, and occasionally no information gets transferred.

So, I am a little in the weeds on the here-and-now of the new tech and I need to get this all sorted a bit better before I can get back to the changing face of media and content delivery “in the future”. But you probably have the gist of that by now anyhow.

Rock. Other general updates and interludes to follow…