All of our consumer devices are becoming more and more connected and more and more interdependent.
Change one thing and get ready for the cascade. I had an iPhone 4, my sweetie had my old iPhone 3G. The 3G had been dropped a couple of times and the case was starting to separate a bit near the slot for the sim card. The result is that every now and then, the iPhone would forget that it was a phone and display a message "no sim card" - which also meant no calls made or received.
Not having access to a cell phone represents a potential safety and security issue for my sweetie, so I decided it was time to upgrade.I would get a new iPhone 5 and she could change to my almost pristine iPhone 4. I'm not buying a new phone because it is new - it is a necessity. But I am also not going to buy old technology - even though iPhones 4 and 4S are still available new from Apple.
New Years' Day found us in the AT&T store making the purchase and switch. Everything went fine in the store. The only minor hitch is the iPhone 5 uses a new, smaller connector to charge and sync and I have the old cables everywhere - the office, the cars, home, the farm, in the 'go' bags for travel.... I bought cables and adapters, no problem.
Her new-to-her iPhone 4 synced easily and perfectly to her newer iMac at home. My iPhone 5 was a different story. My work mac where I do all my email and maintain my music and photo library was running older versions of both iTunes and the Mac OS. To sync my iPhone 5, I would need to first upgrade the OS and then iTunes since the version of iTunes I needed would not work with the OS I had.
I needed iTunes 10.7 and that meant I also had to upgrade to OS 10.6.8. I ordered the DVD from Apple for the OS update and waited. On Monday (2 days ago) I installed the OS update. Then I installed online updates to get to 10.6.8. I updated iTunes to 11.0.1. That put me at the latest iTunes and the 3rd latest OS (10.7 and 10.8 have been released after 10.6).
I synced my iPhone and everything seems fine.
But, I know from past experience that when you 'update' things, things break. The first thing that broke was access to my network printer. It turns out that Apple no longer supports network printers in favor of direct connect and wifi printers. To get the printer working again I had to connect it directly, reconfigure it for the new OS, cycle the router and then reconnect it via the network. That is a short sentence, but finding the solution and actually getting it working took a full day.
As I go through my applications over the next month or so, I'll see what else is broken...
So - as everything gets more and more interconnected, I ask, is this a good thing?