Archive for March, 2010

Why I Won’t Buy An iPad (Yet)…

Posted in Technology with tags , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by djvinceadams

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I definitely enjoy writing my blogs and I named it “Blogs In The Key of Life” to celebrate my various opinions, interests, etc. Many people don’t know that I have a Masters of Science degree from DePaul University in Computer Science-Information Systems. I’m a “tech guy” at heart and I can remember getting my first Technics portable CD player in 1988, my first floppy-disc Sony digital camera in 1999, my first iPod in 2001 (20MB for $500 and 20MB was HUGE in 2001), etc. I could go on and on about the things I’ve bought as an “early adopter” of new technology. So naturally it would seem that I would be one of the first people in line for this Spring’s sexiest new device – the Apple iPad arriving in stores this Saturday (April 3, 2010) at 9am. Well, I’m not and here’s why…

First off, for those who don’t know the iPad is a touch-only device dedicated to portable applications (i.e. email, Facebook, internet, e-book, iTunes, etc.) used as a convenient tool to compute “on the go.” Let me admittedly say that although I do use an Apple MacBook Pro, I do not use or own an iPhone which may be important to note. The following quick bullets will illustrate a few of the reasons that I am not getting this version of the iPad.

  • The iPad does not have a dedicated USB port – Although the iPad does have a connection that will allow you to transfer music from your computer’s iTunes to the iPad and an adapter that will allow many cameras to transfer pictures directly to the device, who wants MORE connectors? The purpose of portable computing is so that you don’t need another computer to access files. Many people today use portable USB drives to transfer files and to prepare email attachments. Waiting until you get back to your computer to attach the iPad to transfer songs or get back to a computer in order to send an email with an attachment defeats the purpose of being portable.Also, if you wanted to import tracks from a CD to your iTunes or watch a DVD on the unit there is no connection for an external drive.  You are limited to only watching content that you can squeeze into 16GB, 32GB or 64GB worth of storage.
    • Solution: The iPad needs a dedicated USB port.
  • The iPad does not multi-task – can you imagine checking your email on a $500 device and not being able to listen to your iTunes or Pandora (music program) while in your email? Can you imagine getting an email with a Facebook notification and you have to exit email to open Facebook in order to respond because you can’t open both applications simultaneously? These are common tasks that we can do on a blackberry (which I have owned 3) and many cell phones, yet this will not be possible on this edition of the iPad. In fact, it is my understanding that you can only open one internet browser at a time. In this day of “tabbed-web browsers” it’s very common to open several sites at one time while referring back to an email. Who wants to pay more for less functionality?
    • Solution: The iPad needs multi-tasking capabilities.
  • The iPad does not support “Flash” video – let me state that it is expected that Flash will not be needed as the html standard moves to HTML5. HOWEVER, today approximately 75% of the web’s video content is Flash-based. Can you imagine having your sexy $500 device that doesn’t show tv shows from Hulu.com or not being able to view basic video on many of the internets most common/popular websites? If I spend $500 for a device, I at least want it to do what I could do on an Android phone.
    • Solution – Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) won’t adopt Flash, so it’s a dead issue.
  • The iBook/ebook feature of the iPad is color – many people may feel that color is a good thing for an ebook, but actually backlit/color devices are more harmful to your eyes than the e-ink technology found in e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader. Not only is the battery life much shorter while in use with the iPad than these devices, prolonged reading on a backlit screen can cause eye strain, reading in sunny areas will be difficult due to “screen glare” and other difficulties that are not nearly as prevalent on the e-ink devices.  Having read tens of books and owning 2 Amazon Kindles, I don’t think that Amazon has anything to worry about and neither do they (check the article below.)
    • Solution – it’s a personal choice, but I’ll take safe (Kindle) over sexy (iPad) in this case.
  • You have to pay MORE money to be totally wireless – the standard 16GB iPad is $499 and it is wifi only. You have to pay an additional $130 ($629 total) for the “capability” of being totally wireless.  I say capability because you will still have to pay AT&T an additional $29 a month to get a 3G data plan for the iPad. So, forget any ideas of taking your iPad to the park on a summer afternoon to check email unless you are willing to pay extra for full wireless functionality. In contrast, the Amazon Kindle offers wireless connectivity for FREE. With this knowledge, it could be done, but Apple decided not to.
    • Solution – $29 is steep for a monthly charge for only one device (as opposed to Sprint and Verizon broadband plans which can be used on multiple devices.) Again, it’s a personal choice.
  • For $500 you only get 16GB of storage space – it’s safe to say that the target market for this device has more than 10GB of music, video and photos. It doesn’t seem logical for a user to pay more money for a device that holds less memory, but supposedly does more than a standard 32GB iTouch mp3 player.
    • Solution – either the price needs to come down or Apple needs to allow for external storage (i.e. flash memory like digital cameras/cell phones, external hard drive attachment, etc.)

There are some people (actually there will be millions) that don’t care about the limitations of the iPad and that’s great, the device will perform singular tasks in a stylish and unique way. I could go on about its shortcomings (i.e. no camera/video on-board, movies don’t display in 16:9/widescreen, etc.), but the above 6 points illustrate why I’ll be waiting for Apple to “work the kinks out” before I grab one of these.

Although I’m a gadget guy, in order for me to justify spending that type of money, the gadget has to take me new places and functionally perform better than what I’m currently using.  For $350 a person can buy a netbook that has an 11” screen, 250GB of storage, allows them to multi-task, attach a usb drive/external CD/DVD/hard drive and provides the capability to get a data plan without paying more money (outside of their broadband payment.)  As I stated several times earlier, it’s a personal choice, but I thought it would be beneficial for some people to see the capabilities of the iPad (or lack thereof) in plain English and to be armed to make an informed decision.

The device is sexy, but sexy like a car that gets 9mpg. If you’ve got $500-$640 to blow for the entry-level iPad (as high as $829 for the 64GB model with 3G), knock yourself out. Of course it is expected that there will be many “Apple-vangelists” in line Saturday and that’s cool too.

If you’re a little more discretionary about your spending, I’m sure that the competing devices due later this year from other manufactures will make the iPad “2.0” the device more worth your hard earned money.

Hope this helps and much love, take care of one another and remember – “we all we got”…

Related weblinks

Reflections 20 Years After Pledging

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2010 by djvinceadams

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March 14, 2010 commemorated my 20th year as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.As the cliché goes, I can remember “crossing over” it as if it were yesterday. Like some people that pledge a Greek Letter Organization, and unlike others, I had no idea of what fraternity life on a Black College campus meant. Technically, I didn’t know anything about fraternities and sororities on any level.

I guess in an odd way, my first “real” introduction to fraternities was through the viewing of Spike Lee’s part satire, part musical, part drama, School Daze. I can remember leaving the theater in 1988 after seeing the movie my senior year of high school with one prevailing thought: “I will never pledge anything!!” For those who have never seen the movie there are a lot of sub-plots, but one of the main components of the story centers on the G-Phi-G pledgee known as Half-Pint. Half-Pint (played by Lee) had to follow the bizarre orders of the “big brothers” to pledge the fraternity, which would then open the proverbial “college golden gates” where cool points, hot women and status reside.

Anyone beyond the age of 16 knows that there is a contingency of people who do join groups, such as fraternities and sororities, to have a sense of belonging and gain some virtual level of appeal and prestige. When I hit the campus of Florida A&M University in August of 1988 I knew that if I were going to be known for anything, it wouldn’t be because of an affiliation with an organization. I think that its important to know this, because there often times lies a feeling that members of Greek organizations have a sense of entitlement or superiority. Although that does exist on some levels with some individuals; it certainly is not a global position.

Luckily it didn’t take long for me to develop a good reputation on campus based on my personal merits and from developing friendships with different guys who were members of fraternities I started to have a different sense of what membership could mean. I grew to the understanding that my joining the frat wasn’t defining my character; it was a transaction between the frat and me. I would give the Beta Nu Chapter of A-Phi-A service as a person, a character and a model on the campus and in the community and in return I would enter into a life-long relationship with some of the most helpful, entertaining and socially/culturally developed African American males as brothers.


2006 Reunion for Spring 1990 – Nubians of the Nu Dynasty, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – Beta Nu Chapter (Florida A&M University)

#1 – David Wells #2 – Joel Johnson #3 – Patrick Scott #4 – Byron White #5 – Rich McCloud #6 – Derrick McCants #7 – Teddy Gilmore #8 – Reggie Wynn (not pictured) #9 – Robert Flakes #10 – Dr. Joseph Youngblood
#11 – David Askew Esq. #12 – Michael Bonds #13 – Michael Hargrett
#14 – Kwame Kilpatrick #15 – Vince Adams

Spring 1990 was actually the last of the pledge classes that “legally” participated in public hazing such as dressing in uniform, shaved heads, etc. before being a member of the fraternity/sorority. I could go into how fun/scary it was to pledge the fraternity that Spring, but that’s not the point of my sharing. I would really like to share that the time that I spent learning more about myself during the pledge process and more importantly after pledging has molded my resolve, my aspirations and my tenacity in a way that quite honestly would not have been there without those experiences.

Today, relationships I share with my pledge brothers (15 in all) and the Beta Nu Chapter are bonds that only the natural passing of life can break. 20 years later, to a great extent, I feel the same way about being known for my own merits. I still feel that the fraternity accentuates my character, it definitely doesn’t define it.

To all members of Greek Letter Organizations, I hope that my words in some part speak to you on the feelings and spirit that come from the experiences you’ve had. To people who have never pledged, I hope that I have shared a brief glimpse into my experience that may debunk some of the myths that are unfavorable as it relates to the attitude/mentality of those that have pledged.

20 years ago, I learned that “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” To my mother, my family and the life-lessons I learned with Alpha and FAMU, I owe everything.

Click to join the discussion with DJ Vince Adams on twitter! @DJVinceAdams

Peace and my blessings,
Vince Adams – Spr 90 BN – AΦA

Is Your Will Power “Broken”? Here’s Why…

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by djvinceadams

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Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!!!  I know that we are now officially several months past the New Year, but this is my first blog of 2010 and I thought that I would start by wishing everyone well. Some people have asked “hey, where is the new blog??” I enjoy blogging because it allows me to share my thoughts and opinions, but it’s always important to me that when I write its something sincere and heartfelt and not perfunctory. I’ve taken the last few months to clear my thoughts, read some books, travel a little (some for work, some for play) and now I’m back!!!

We’ve often times heard that the best way to start the New Year is with resolutions. Some people do them, some people don’t believe in them and some people don’t do them because they know they won’t stick to them. In th[e]is “goal oriented” world we live in, we’ve also heard that the best way to get rid of an old habit is to replace it with a new habit. Additionally, we’ve heard that the best way to start a new habit is to repeat it at least 21 days in a row and then it will integrate into your way of living. Cliché after cliché, we hear them, but for some reason resolutions, good habits and routines don’t always stick. Let’s find out why.

The key to moving your dreams and goals into being is to change your beliefs. It isn’t our will power, it is actually our belief systems that create the focus, discipline, conviction and drive that help us stay on point with accomplishing anything. Far too often people rely on sheer will to create long-term changes.  Whether its going back to college, losing weight, advancing your career or any goal, you will be far better served to take the time to establish new core beliefs about that goal as opposed to simply relying on will power to achieve a goal.

To illustrate, I’ll use something personal. I used to really dislike checking voice mail. I believed that it was a chore, I believed if anyone really needed me they would call back and other things that discouraged me from wanting to check my messages. I genuinely wanted to be more consistent in checking my messages and I tried (through will power) to check my voice mail on a frequent basis. It worked for a few days usually, but it didn’t take long before the messages piled up again. It wasn’t until I shifted my belief to “you could be losing money/opportunities by not checking your voice mail consistently”, that I then moved to a state of checking my voice mail typically every 48 hours (if not sooner), not out of habit, but out of a newly established belief that drives my actions. Now because of my beliefs it’s hard for me not to check my voice mail for the anxiety of potentially losing business.

Whether you want to lose weight, save money, start a business, commit to a relationship, leave a relationship or anything – you have to examine your core beliefs to make sure that they line up with your actions. For example, if you want to lose 20 lbs, but you have a core belief that, “I know some of what I eat is bad, but I could change it anytime if I wanted”, chances are the 20 lbs won’t go away (or may even increase). As a matter of fact, you may join the gym, go many times, but until the underlying core beliefs are changed, chances are you could possibly sabotage any progress made. However, if you adopt a new belief that says, “I owe it to myself to be in my best health and eating X or Y or Z sabotages my progress, so I have to limit X,Y,Z to once every two weeks in moderation or eliminate it to get my desired result”, you are now letting your beliefs take the lead.

In most cases, until we shift our beliefs, it is highly doubtful that any long-term change will come out of sheer will. This can be a liberating discovery to those who just thought that they couldn’t get through the routine of changing habits because of lack of will power. It’s not our habits or even our will that first needs to be addressed; the primary force is our core beliefs.

The trick is that the core belief has got to be a prevailing thought that holds more emotional weight with you than any other thoughts. For example, you may dislike working out, but if your core belief is, “my family needs me to be healthy” or “I refuse to go another summer not looking my best”.  Whichever belief holds your emotional attention the most is the one that guides your long-term actions/results. Just think of the smoker who has tried to stop for years, and then they get bad news from the doctor and don’t ever smoke again (and lose the compulsion to). Their habits didn’t have to change to create an instant change, their beliefs lead the way.

Don’t let the lack of accomplishments from prior goals or a feeling of weakness/inability stop you from making the changes that you want to make.  However, don’t let me oversimplify it either, exploring your inner core beliefs can be an emotional and involved process in itself. The difference is that failed attempts based on “will power” can now be eliminated and you can now begin to work on establishing new, supporting core beliefs that move you closer to the focus, discipline, conviction and drive you need to live your dreams.

I definitely hope this helps you move a step closer to your dreams and as I always say…
Much love, take care of one another and remember – “we all we got”…VA