I’m saddened and dismayed to hear that Jim Vick, VP of Student Affairs at Eastern Michigan University (my alma mater), was fired today along with the President and the Department of Public Safety’s Chief.
I first met Jim Vick through my fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma. He had served as the faculty advisor before being promoted to VP of Student Affairs and continued to maintain close ties with the fraternity. I even had the distinct pleasure of initiating him as an honorary brother while serving as my fraternity’s President.
In my last year at college I served as IFC President and, along with that, came a seat on the Student Leader Group, which reported directly to Jim Vick. For the entire year I had weekly meetings with him. Depending on what was going on I’d see him 2 or 3 times a week and it was always a pleasure.
Throughout my years at EMU Jim Vick was a friend and a confidant. Someone I looked up to and respected. After spending somewhere on the order of three decades he was fired in what many see as a classic case of a fall guy for some bad PR.
Let’s not gloss over the facts; the university knew about this poor girls rape and murder and didn’t tell anyone. What Jim’s role in that was is hard to say, but I find it exceptionally hard to believe he played a key role. I’ll be interested to see where this goes and I wish him the best.
A sad day indeed.
I won’t spend a lot of time covering the things I like about the iPhone as they’re echoed just about everywhere else on the internet. I’ll briefly cover what I like, cover what I don’t like in a bit more detail and sum up my feelings at the end.
- The screen is jaw droppingly gorgeous.
- This is hands down the best iPod Apple has produced yet.
- The multi-touch screen is absolutely a revolutionary input device that cannot be described, but must be experienced.
- The mail application and web browser are fully functional and work great. For example, my designer sent me a PDF mockup via email, which I opened on my iPhone without issue (multi-touch zooming worked on the large PDF, which was sweet).
- Clicking on a link to a YouTube video launches the YouTube application and starts playing the video.
- EDGE isn’t as slow as people make it out to be. Stocks, weather, maps and iPhone optimized websites load up in a respectable manner. Forget about watching a YouTube video though.
- When moving the text cursor around it zooms in just above your finger because you’d never be able to see where the text cursor is otherwise. Additionally, it auto-capitalizes after punctuation.
There are quite a few things that I don’t like about the phone, which is typical for first generation Apple hardware. It’s clear that the operating system was rushed and that there are bugs, but I fully expect updates to be pushed out in short order.
- My biggest complaint is that the keyboard is corrective rather than predictive. In other words if I type “tomo” it might suggest “tomb”, but wouldn’t predict I was typing “tomorrow”. I can’t stress how annoying this was coming from a predictive text phone.
- The software is buggy. I’ve had to even go so far as to reboot it to get things back on track. Again, this will be fixed soon I’m sure.
- No landscape keyboard sucks for people with big meaty fingers like me.
- No IM application is jaw droppingly retarded. Another thing I expect to be pushed in an update in short order.
- EDGE is slow. I know I just said it was acceptable, but it’s only acceptable for some things. I’ll upgrade immediately after a 3G version is available.
- I dearly miss my scroll wheel from the regular iPod. Sure flicking stuff is fun to look at, but the navigation aspect of the scroll wheel blows the gestures away. For instance, I flick down to an artist, click play and then have to hit a tiny little arrow to go back.
- Navigation to commonly used tasks is tedius. Just getting to the phone’s keypad takes 3-4 taps. I have no idea what they could do to fix this, but it seems cumbersome to switch around between apps. What would be hot (maybe) is to have a Alt+Tab type feature similar to switching windows in Safari on the iPhone.
- You can’t open links in new windows in Safari.
- No games. Seriously? This will be best user interface for solitair anyone has ever seen.
- The SMS utility isn’t very snappy to load.
I think that just about covers it. Overall, it’s better than any phone I’ve ever used. I fully expect the software kinks to be fixed periodically over the coming months and 3G phones within a year. Post any questions in the comments and I’ll besure to reply.
Like many other interesting projects the Digg iPhone project started with a conversation over a few beers and a challenge: code it in 48 hours and Kevin would give me a free iPhone. Being the unabashed Apple fanboy I am and, also, being a self-respecting coder I set out to create Digg for the iPhone. After spending a short time white boarding the application, Daniel mocked up the design and I set off to code it.
Yesterday Kevin announced the iPhone application and Daniel Burka, our designer at Digg, has covered the details about designing for the iPhone. So far the response to the application has been positive. It was fun and I’m glad everyone is enjoying it. I know I did while riding the bus to work today.
And to answer everyone’s questions. I got an 8GB version last night, the keyboard is interesting, it’s breathtakingly gorgeous and I’ll write YAiPR (Yet Another iPhone Review) soon.