Wordcamp Atlanta


Details: Site design and logo for Wordcamp Atlanta. Design implemented by Brandon Sheats.

My apologies if the link isn’t active just yet. I was a little quick on the trigger to post this as the site is not live yet, but should be very soon. Since the cat’s already out of the bag, I’ll leave this up.

Make plans to attend – January 8-9, 2010. More details will be available soon.

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Why I got an iPhone.

Two years ago, I wrote a post detailing many of the reasons why I wasn’t going to buy an iPhone. Needless to say, things have changed since then.

First, a little backstory: I had planned to keep my old phone and number with Alltel/Verizon. I had made arrangements with my previous employer to transfer everything into my name. I was trying to avoid getting stuck in a contract. Everything was going smoothly until Verizon got involved. Because I had Alltel hardware, I couldn’t just switch things over to my own account. They insisted that I had to get a Verizon phone, which would have locked me into a 1-2 year contract. Since I was going to get locked into a contract, I decided I’d get the phone I wanted instead of settling elsewhere.

iphoneSo I went with the iPhone 3G. It’s everything my first-gen 8Gb iPod touch was and more. I’m kinda disappointed in that I didn’t go for the 3GS, but I couldn’t pass up the $99 deal – especially since I was buying two iPhones at the time.

  1. It’s a mature platform. Sure, it still has some quirks – many of which are due to AT&T’s “issues”, but it’s very solid in general.
  2. I’m addicted to always on data. Paying the extra every month for an always-on connection was a no-brainer. My wife and I regularly use the GPS features built-in, and I’m as app-addicted as ever.
  3. 8Gb *is* enough. After two years with the iPod touch I quickly learned that I didn’t need to have all of my multimedia with me all of the time. I only listen to a fraction of what’s on my computer, why dump all of it on a mobile device? Sure, more capacity would be nice, but with smart rationing, it’s easy to get a few GBs of music/videos loaded for hours of enjoyment.

Looking back, my resistance to the iPhone was more than a little ridiculous. I justified carrying multiple devices daily, while missing out on the convenience the iPhone now affords me.

Some things I learned while getting the iPhone:

  • If you’re not in a hurry to get an iPhone and want to save a few bucks, order online or over the phone.
  • Having said that: Ordering online or over the phone is absolutely worthless. Go to an AT&T Store (or better yet, an Apple Store). They’ll take care of you. Otherwise, it’ll take 2-3 weeks before you get the phone. And that’s after waiting several days to get an email asking you to accept the terms and conditions of the iPhone – before they’ll ship one to you.
  • If you have an iPod touch and you’ve bought apps through iTunes, they can be installed on other devices you own. I was able to transfer my purchases to both my wife’s iPhone and my own without any issues.
  • Your first bill is going to surprise you. You might see a pro-rated amount + what you expected to pay. You might get double-charged. This is where it’s absolutely important you visit a store and establish a connection with one of the store reps. They can and will help you. My first bill was just shy of $300 for two iPhones (700 shared minutes, 2 data plans, 2 – 200 text messages). After visiting my local rep, my bill was knocked down by half.


Digital Shopping Cards


  • Problem: Carrying around shopping cards is a pain in the ass. They take up room either in your wallet, purse or keychain. They’re easy to lose.
  • Solution: Digital Shopping Cards. As long as you have a mobile device with you, you have the card(s) with you. These could be stored in a dedicated application, or simply saved as photos on the device. At checkout, you’d simply let the cashier scan the barcode on your screen.

To the right is a closer view of what I’ve mocked up what a digital shopping card for Food Lion might look like. It’s a simple idea, but one that (I think) could be very useful. When a store asks for a customer’s phone number or email address – that store could then send the digital card via MMS or email instead of giving out a physical card. This would save money since less physical cards would need to be produced. What’re your thoughts? Would you use something like this?

UPDATE: As Wes pointed out in the comments, there are several iPhone apps available that you might want to check out:

I did attempt to use my self-created card while at Food Lion this morning. And guess what? Their scanner couldn’t pick up the barcode because the screen was too reflective. It’s also possible the barcode was too small. Are digital shopping cards/rewards cards the wave of the future? Probably not (yet), but it’s definitely worth looking into.