Thursday , August 04, 2011

iPhone Auto-INcorrections

I hate the iPhone auto-correct.­

When the very first iPhone appeared on the planet, it was the coolest thing.  Apple told us all to ignore the tiny toy keyboard, tap our gargantuan digits with wild abandon and auto-correct would handle the rest.  And as uncomfortable as it seemed, they were right.  It really did work pretty well.  It put periods at the end of sentences, fixed contractions without having to find the dang apostrophe, and would even memorize a few pet words that were not in the dictionary, like schnookums.  Before I knew it, I was having my first positive experience with texting.  I’d never gleefully text messaged before the iPhone.  Now I was annoying a voting majority of my friends with texts, most of whom had no texting plan with their cell phones.

I’d get calls like this one:

“Mick, please stop texting me!  Costs me 10¢ every time you do.”
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize our friendship had such a low price tag.”
“No, it’s not about the money, it’s just annoying.”
“Our friendship is annoying?”
“No, just the texting, wise guy.”
“Well, why don’t you get an iPhone?”
“Don’t they cost something like $600?”  This was approximately what you had to be willing to plunk down in 2007 to join the Church of iPhone.
“You get what you pay for,” I preached.
“I’m not ready to pay $600 for a cell phone that my 2 year old will probably drop in the toilet.”  He had a point.
“But it’s so much more than that,” I evangelized.
“More than $600?”
“No, more than a phone!  It’s like having a tiny computer and Internet device anywhere you go.””Isn’t that what a laptop is for?”

[Sigh]  It’s hard being ahead of your time.  This friend bought one shortly after Apple lowered the price and then went ahead to tell the world how revolutionary iPhones are by text messaging all of his friends without texting plans…

So I was texting my wife the other day and it went something like this:

“Hi Live, running a little Kate.”
“Live? Kate?”Sorry, “Love Kate.”
“Who’s Kate?”
“I mean ‘Love’ and ‘late.’  Argggg!  Dang auto-correct!”
“Oh, got it.  Just wanted Tunisia,” she replied.
“To ‘tease ya.’  LOL!”

Now at this point I would love to share some of the truly sidesplitting auto-corrections many iPhone users have experienced and uploaded on the web, but this is a family show here.  If you want more, check out:


In the meantime, what to do about this often-embarrassing annoyance?  How do we continue to text without shame?  What are the algorithms that somehow place “Kate” as a more common word than “late?”  Is my iPhone obessed the latest royal nuptials?  Are cuts to public education affecting autocorrect? And what about all of those strange misspelled words that get memorized too?  I once had “Willybangome” slide past the iPhone sensors when I was trying to type “What time will you be home?”  I could never type the word “what” again without seeing that creative correction.

Well, if worst comes to worst (as it did above for me), you can always go into the iPhone settings and reset the keyboard dictionary.  You wipe all things memorized by going here:  Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary.

But then you must be willing to live without Willybangomes.  We found that we couldn’t, and now use it to inquire when the other is coming home.

Such us life.
Such is live.
Such us Luge…!….
Argggg…. Such. is. life.

Gotta live that iPhone.
We’re here if you need us.  But please don’t text.  Seriously.  Our main line doesn’t receive them.

All the beast,


Posted by editor at 04 pm

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Saturday , July 02, 2011

In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle,…

Right after I typed that brilliant title for this month’s newsletter, my wife leaned over and said,

“Why are you writing about a jungle?”
“I’m not.  This is about the new operating system that Steve Jobs just announced.”
“What’s it got to do with a jungle.”
“It’s a musical reference.”
“I’m not sure they’re going to get that.”
“Are you kidding?  I think everybody and their grandfather has heard that tune. You know, A wimoweh, a-wimoweh a-wimoweh, a wimoweh–”
“Yeah, yeah I got it.  I’m just not sure they’re going to get it.  Lions don’t even live in the jungle, and what’s the deal with all of the big cat names anyway?”
“Don’t know.  Steve’s got a thing for wild cats, I guess.  The point is that the king of the cats, Lion, Mac OS 10.7, is arriving next month and I wanted a clever way to talk about it.”
“Well, I still don’t think they’ll get it.”
“And that’s precisely the point I want make.”
“That they won’t get it?”
“Exactly.  I’m sure we’ll get dozens of calls about it and we’ll probably say, ‘unless you’re buying it on a new computer, or consider yourself an adventuresome pioneer with far too much time on your hands, just wait a bit. Patience Grasshopper.'”
“So you’re telling your clients not to get it.”
“Yes, to wait on the upgrade.”
“Well, as cool as Apple is, every new release of an operating system is going to have some kinks to work out.”
“It’ll be kinky?”
“Yes, kinky in a wholesome frustrating kind of way.  You may not be able to connect with your printer, a lot of your favorite software might not work anymore, iCloud could fail tragically and data could get stuck in a thunderstorm in North Carolina, or you may simply have trouble getting things done because a lot of the buttons and knobs are in different places.”
“Well, I’m shocked.  I thought you’d be all fired up about everyone jumping into this brand new operating system the day it comes out.”
“Oh, I’m happy to pick up the pom poms when the time comes.  I just don’t think it’s wise for most of our clients to leap right away.  I’m hoping they’ll let us work out the bugs, the kinks, the workarounds, and wait for the high sign when it’s safe to come out and play.  Probably sometime in the Fall, just to be on the safe side. Meanwhile, we should be helping them to upgrade to Snow Leopard (10.6) as you must be running that before you can upgrade to Lion.”
“Wow, your glee is contagious, cheerleader.  Speaking of which, it’s your night to do the dishes.”

A wimoweh, a-wimoweh a-wimoweh, a wimoweh
A wimoweh, a-wimoweh a-wimoweh, a wimoweh

Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.

All the best,


P.S.  And if you really can’t get that song out of your head, here’s a link to make sure it embeds itself for another 48 hours:

We have these Pre-Owned Computers for sale.
Call or email for more info
2006 Core Duo Macbook
2008 Macbook Pro
20″ G5 iMac
17″ G5 iMac
2006 MacPro w/16GB RAM
Oh, and if you haven’t seen it already, check out our new Downloads Page with some of our favorite software: http://www.micksmacs.com/downloads.htm

Posted by editor at 09 pm

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