Remembering my first iPhone

Editor's note: The iPhone is 5 years old. Last year, I reflected on my very first iPhone, and what owning one was like before the smartphone landscape had utterly changed...before the App Store...before iPads. What I wrote last year is still true now, maybe even more so, although one important event has transpired since: Steve Jobs died October 5, 2011, less than four months later. What follows is what I wrote, along with photos of that iPhone that I still have kicking around, compared with the iPhone 4S. Looking at them side by side, it's amazing how little has changed in terms of form.

It was only 2007 when the iPhone debuted. It seems like longer. My first HDTV, my Wii, and my PlayStation 3 all existed before the first iPhone. Yet, in 2007, BlackBerrys were all the rage. The Motorola Q was an eye-catching phone. Android didn't exist.

Also, my grandparents were still alive. I wasn't married. I didn't have a kid. I was freelance-writing a novel. My life was different then.

The iPhone lines were crazy, but if you picked the right time you could sneak into an Apple Store and buy one. That's because the first iPhone started at $499. No one knew yet whether the device was a smash hit. Apple didn't have a reservation system in place yet, or claim tickets. In the summer of 2007, the iPhone was a novelty. … Read more

Intuit releases Lion-compatible Quicken 2007

When OS X Lion was released, Apple dropped all support for the PowerPC processor by removing the Rosetta dynamic translator that allowed PowerPC code to run on Intel-based Macs. Unfortunately this move did prevent a number of older software packages from running in Lion, with one of these being the popular Quicken 2007 personal finance software for OS X.

While Intuit has developed Quicken Essentials for OS X that uses Intel-native code, the program is missing a number of features from the older Quicken packages, making it an unattractive option for those who have heavily used Quicken in the past. … Read more

Quicken 2007 promised for OS X Lion

One of the biggest disappointments for users of Intuit's popular Quicken personal finance suites, was finding that the program would not work in Apple's latest OS X Lion operating system.

Quicken 2007 and earlier versions are built extensively off of code that is specific to the PowerPC processor, and since Apple's switch to Intel-based computers, Intuit has relied on the Rosetta translator included in Leopard and Snow Leopard to keep its programs running. Quicken ran well with Rosetta, but unfortunately Apple removed it as an option from OS X Lion, which in turn prevented Quicken 2006 ad … Read more

Lenovo unveils three new Android tablets--5, 7, and 10 inchers

Lenovo is hoping to shake up the tablet market with three new devices scheduled to hit its home base of China as early as December.

Ranging in size from 5 to 10 inches, the new tablets will be branded under Lenovo's LePad name in China but will be known as the IdeaPad in other countries, follow-ups to the current IdeaPad K1.

At a mere 5 inches, the LePad S2005 is somewhat of a cross between a phone and a tablet in size, prompting Engadget to dub the device a tabletphone.

Outfitted with Android 2.3, the S2005 is powered … Read more

Quicken 2007 may run in OS X Lion sooner or later

With rumor and speculation about Apple's removal of Rosetta support from OS X, one of the communities most concerned is the people who have become accustomed to using Quicken 2007 for Mac. Quicken was developed with PowerPC-specific instructions for core components of the software, which has made it a daunting and practically impossible task for Intuit to get running on the Intel architecture. As a result, when Apple drops PowerPC support altogether, Quicken will no longer run. However, there are some new developments that may shed some light on the problem for Quicken 2007 users.

According to The Mac Observer, … Read more

Formatting glitch affects MS Word 2007 and 2010

Some readers took exception when I stated in a post from last month on future-proofing your data archive that Microsoft's proprietary Office file formats may not stand the test of time. Well, compatibility problems have already surfaced between the two most recent releases of MS Word.

Several people report spaces being dropped randomly from documents created in Word 2010 when the files are opened in Word 2007 on another machine. (A post on the Microsoft Answers forum explains the problem in more detail.)

The quick fix is to set both systems to use Adobe PDF as the default printer … Read more

Back, Word

Classic Menu for Word 2007 recreates the look and feel of Word 2003 in Word 2007. Why would anyone want to do that, especially now that a new version is available in Office 2010? Some users don't want, need, or like change; Word 2003 was more than good enough for them. That's where Classic Menu for Word 2007 comes in. It integrates all the improved functionality of Word 2007 in Word 2003's style and interface, so you can enjoy improved performance with a familiar, comfortable feel--and the productivity that comes with it.

Like most Office add-ins, Classic … Read more

Versatile timekeeper

There are many professionals who bill by the hour, and it's not always easy to keep up with the multiple projects and clients that can be contained in a single workday. Xpert-Timer is a simple way to record exactly how much time is spent on each task, taking much of the hassle out of timekeeping and billing.

The program's interface is attractive and well-designed. Graphic buttons with tooltips give users access to the program's major features. There's a comprehensive project management interface in which users can enter clients, projects, and tasks, as well as view and … Read more

Blend portrait, landscape pages in Word docs

The company I work for creates very technical reports. Many of the Microsoft Word documents I edit are loaded with complicated tables, charts, and other figures. The pages frequently switch between portrait and landscape orientation, so I have to relocate the page number and remove the other header and footer information on the landscape page and then add it back to subsequent portrait pages.

You might think a sophisticated program like Word would make it easy to reformat a single landscape page and revert to the original formatting afterward, but it isn't.

In Word 2003, the steps required to … Read more

Microsoft Office Basic 2007 11.0.6502

The ambitious, ground-up rebuild of Microsoft Office Standard 2007 presents drastically different interfaces and new file formats. The new Office looks so unlike its predecessors, it's likely to spark intense love-hate responses from users. This upgrade isn't for everyone: If you're patient, eager to try the latest tools, and willing to relearn most of what you already know about Office, then you may relish the challenge of Microsoft Office 2007. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 can produce more-polished documents and presentations, and Outlook's new scheduling abilities make it a handier communications hub. Professionals who want to … Read more