Golfplan -in app upgrade available tomorrow

20110420-144803.jpgPress release for Golfplan -will have indoor golf drills to hone your game from the inimitable and formidable Mr. Paul Azinger.


Golfplan with Paul Azinger in-app purchase includes 28 new indoor instructional videos to help amateurs practice their game at home or in the office; Integrates with Golfshot, the world’s largest and most active online golf community

Phoenix, Ariz. – April 21, 2011 – Shotzoom® (, the leader in active lifestyle mobile applications, and Paul Azinger, PGA Pro and victorious Ryder Cup Captain, today announced an in-app purchase to Golfplan with Paul Azinger, the best-selling golf instructional app in the world. Available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the updated app now includes 28 new instructional videos by Azinger to help amateur golfers practice at home or in the office. G

olfplan integrates with the world’s largest active golf community,, where members share, compare and chart their golf game statistics, generate customized training plans and receive detailed insight into their performance over time.


“I’ve spent thirty years touring and most golfers don’t have a good caddie, statistical charting and expert coaching,” said Azinger. “Golfplan, along with stats kept from Golfshot GPS, offers personalized tips, coaching and drills golfers need to take their game to the next level. And with this update, not getting to the course isn’t an excuse to not practice – rain or shine, anyone can practice with a purpose from their home or office with this app.”

Amongst the 28 new tutorial videos, Azinger demonstrates proper swing path, ways to create lag and proper weight transfer drills. Based on the user’s handicap and Golfshot statistics, Golfplan provides personalized instruction plans to help every golfer improve their game – from shaving strokes off their short game to adding a few extra yards to their tee shot.

“Our apps provide instruction as well as performance statistics that let members track their progress over time and compare results with others,” said Craig Prichard, president of Shotzoom. “The integration with our Golfshot community brings members into a network of highly engaged users with similar interests.”

Features of Golfplan with Paul Azinger include:

– Instructional videos for categories including driving, greens in regulation, short game, bunkers and putting
– Statistics that identify strengths and weaknesses
– Ability to see and track progress over time
– Sharing and feedback tools tied to community members
– Exclusive instruction from Paul Azinger

Golfplan with Paul Azinger integrates with Shotzoom’s Golfshot community, the world’s largest active golf community with more than a half-million active members. Through Golfshot’s suite of products, members have the ability to score and store rounds, gain insight into their game performance, track improvement, share their statistics and compare with community members. Members have played over 50 million holes of golf on 37,000 courses in 152 countries in the 19 months since Golfshot: Golf GPS launched.

Golfplan with Paul Azinger is available for $0.99 in the App Store ( for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The in-app purchase that includes tips and drills for the home and office is available for $1.99.

About Shotzoom
Shotzoom, LLC creates market leading mobile experiences that empower active lifestyles and enhance the fun of sports and fitness. Its mobile apps integrate with its online participation platform, where people with active lifestyles can track their performance over time, share with friends and interact with members who have similar interests. Shotzoom’s apps include the newly released Tiger Woods: My Swing, the best-selling and top grossing golf GPS app worldwide, Golfshot: Golf GPS, the best-selling golf instructional app worldwide, Golfplan with Paul Azinger, and the most downloaded universal instructional baseball app, Baseball Gameplan with Jason Giambi.

Seeitgolf- a review

With the advent of Spring and the new golf season, I sat down to figure out the barriers to shooting in the 70’s. All the tools are there: swing, equipment, course, and golf stretching back to my early teens. The biggest impediment, I decided, was my short game and putting. The stats (from Golfshot GPS) don’t lie.

Hearing the ball drop into the cup brings on a Pavlovian reaction...

I came across Seeitgolf while downloading the Masters app. It seemed silly at first, watching what amounts to golf porn, with money shot after money shot, but if you put yourself into the correct frame of mind, the imagery and sound of success becomes ingrained.

My first foray after immersing myself in Seeitgolf was typical with usual mix of two and three putts but subsequently on the back nine, I went one under over the last six holes after double and triple bogey to start. I drained 35 footer with seven feet of break uphill for birdie and followed up with an assortment of crazy one and two putts. It seemed natural and I lost the dread of landing my approach off the green -chip on and drain that ten footer.

The app is not entirely intuitive as it seems to have been composed on Flash or some other machination designed to ease app composition. It behaves more like a web site at times.

That said, drilling your mind, which the app says cannot tell between the imagined and the real, has it’s benefits. I strongly recommend this app for people who understand the mental dimensions of the game and can sit through about a half hour of meditative focus.

Putting (in orange) has improved since downloading Seeitgolf App

The statistics from Golfshot app shows my putting performance to have improved into the above average zone (orange line above) since getting Seeitgolf around the time of the Masters. It really works. If they could only add the ability to turn the ball dropping in the hole sound to an alert sound for the iPhone…

Contest for Tiger Woods Memorabilia

disclaimer -I am in no way affiliated with Shotzoom, maker of Golfshot GPS or Golfplan, or their most recent app, Tiger Woods: My Swing. I pay for all of the products I review myself, and am planning to try out this app for a later review along with comparable apps on the store. That said, I thought it would be worthwhile to mention this contest for Tiger Woods memorabilia I received from Shotzoom’s PR folks:

In honor of the start of the Masters tomorrow and to commemorate its partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation, Shotzoom is giving away one-of-a-kind Tiger Woods memorabilia. From now through April 12, Shotzoom, the leader in active lifestyle mobile applications including Tiger Woods: My Swing, is offering Golfshot community members the chance to win one of six prizes:

· Grand Prize: One winner will receive a 1997 Masters Flag signed by Tiger Woods

· Second Place: Three winners will receive game-worn golf gloves signed by Tiger Woods

· Third Place: Two winners will receive a game-worn golf hat signed by Tiger Woods

To enter, just register at
You increase your chances of winning by telling your friends about the new Tiger Woods: My Swing app for the iPhone.

Tiger Woods: My Swing, the first instructional app from Woods, lets golfers capture videos of their swing so they can analyze it, compare it with Woods and their friends, and see their swing improve over time. Woods serves as a virtual coach, teaching golfers how to use swing line analysis and providing tips on specific areas of improvement. Like all of Shotzoom’s golf apps, MySwing integrates with the Golfshot community, the world’s largest active golf community with more than half a million active members. The app is available on iTunes for $9.99, and proceeds from the app benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Sunrise, Sunset

The one thing I want to know during golf season is the hours of sunlight that I have available for play. The Chronometer app available on the iTunes App Store fills this need well. The application offers a variety of virtual watches with a wonderment of complications that at first seem toylike but are really useful. The Haleakala watch gives you the sunrise and sunset times of your location along with the sun and moon azimuths which are useful for navigating the Santa Maria to Cathay. For the avid golfer, twilight on both ends of the day is enough light to play.

HDR photography on iPod Touch 4th Gen

When the iPod Touch 4th Generation was announced, it was disappointing to find out that the rear camera would be substantially lower in megapixels and quality than on iPhone 4, and would not feature HDR. HDR is high dynamic range photography. Your eyes are HDR, but a picture from a cameraphone is not because it takes pictures in a single exposure. Too long an exposure and all the dark areas have better detail with washout of lighter areas like the sky or light colored walls with patterns. Too short an exposure, and all the dark areas turn black, but details like clouds and cracks in white stucco come out. HDR is a way of combining elements of two or more pictures where the exposure is optimal for the particular region of the picture.

The result is a mix picture where all the elements in foreground, mid ground, and background get optimal exposure. The iPhone 4 has this mode of image taking -the only drawback is that because two pictures are taken, the camera must stay still. Alas, the iPod Touch did not come with this capability built in, but it wasn’t too soon before an App showed up in the App Store.

Pro HDR is the name of this app, and it’s great. The two images above were taken in the afternoon and the shots while not perfect, are good enough for the web. Pro HDR does a good job of stitching two images into one. At a &2.99, it is a great bargain.

Spaceward Ho! -the greatest game not yet on iPhone



This is one of the greatest games ever created for the MAC. It came out in the early nineties, and it was one of those games that just ate up time. It is a resource management/conquering worlds game that was reduced to its barest essentials, but managed to keep certain elements intact to keep it interesting. 


It is such an efficiently written game that in the early ’00’s, the authors, Delta Tao (link) published a Palm OS version, which I used to play on my Tungsten T during my first years out of 


training -usually during the dead time waiting for cases to go in the middle of the night. 


Resource management games are very old in the scifi-nerd culture. The problem is that when presented as a board game, an inordinate amount of time is taken up book-keeping. How many Quatloo’s can you keep track of while rolling the dice and moving imaginary fleets across the board? 


The game play is simple as clicking the keyboard. You start with a homeworld, and your mission is to explore and colonize surrounding worlds, mining the metal, and terraforming the planets so that your population grows on it and generates revenue. Terraforming, mining, designing and building ships takes money. Borrowing and saving also involves interest. space21


The game’s charms involve humorous graphics for the spaceships and funny sound effects for launching and exploring with the spaceships. The game quickly becomes interesting as you confront and battle against other players (both computer or human). 


It is turn based and requires a minimum of a learning curve. The shame of it is that Delta Tao has stopped developing it, right at the moment where farting applications are taking the world by storm. I can’t imagine it would take too much of an investment of time to convert it to an iPhone app. 

We can start by emailing Delta Tao to work on an iPhone version ( 

Addendum 2-24-2008

It works -Joe Williams -who the program icon is modeled after, replied “We’re talking about an iPhone version, and I’d say it’s highly likely, perhaps by the end of 2009.”

The netbook


Acer One netbook

The netbook, the smart phone, and the future of personal computing


The netbook is a new category of laptop computer that is really a refreshing of an old category. Starting with the ASUS eeePC introduced in 2007, several major laptop manufacturers have joined the fray, and the category has exploded. The current set of netbooks are a re-entry into what is a very old category centered around mobility. What the current set includes is connectivity. 

The first ultraportable of note was the Radioshack TRS-80 Model 100.

Radio Shack TRS 80 Model 100

Radio Shack TRS 80 Model 100

It was portable and had a full keyboard. It featured a wordprocessor and Microsoft Basic. The Atari Portfolio and the HP95LX brought computing into the coat pocket, and the culmination of this was the Psion Series 5 which was tiny but touch typable. I used it to write my consult notes during residency and maintained a database of frequent fliers. The hospital had HP printers with infrared ports allowing me to print out my notes wirelessly. 



Atari Portfolio

Atari Portfolio

Psion went on to create the Psion netbook and holds copyright over the name. It is a shame that they gave up the personal computer business after developing the most stable portable operating system (EPOC) and software set ever created. For example, their spreadsheet program, part of an Office compatible suite, took up 22k of memory. My Psion could run over twenty programs concurrently without crashing. EPOC became Symbian which powers Nokia and Sony-Ericksson phones. Having given up the business, they are now chasing the netbook ghost by filing cease and desist letters to websites and businesses that use the word netbook.

HP 200LX

HP 200LX



I used to own a Psion netbook and it was fantastic to type on with incredible keyboard feel. It was fast, and had instant on -booting up was instantaneous like a cell phone, not like a computer with the minute of bootup time typical for a Windows computer. The EPOC office suite was integrated and allowed cutting and pasting of graphs into documents that would update with changes in the data -this was rock stable and again, took up only a few hundred kilobytes (not megabytes) of memory.

Psion Series 5

Psion Series 5

With AA batteries, the Series 5 would run up to 40 hours. The netbook had a PC card slot for a WiFi card giving it wireless internet back in 1999.



I believe Microsoft killed the portable computer industry for about ten years with their Windows CE operating system. Microsoft powered clamshell computers were popular for a while but were difficult to use and crashed frequently. I owned a fairly advanced PocketPC clamshell, the NEC 790, but was frustrated by its instability, it’s tendency to freeze and crash, and worst of all lose data, but the full keyboard and instant on capability were enough of a plus to keep me interested for a while. 


The salient features of portability, keyboard for human hands, instant on, long battery life, full resolution landscape screen, and wireless internet with full capability -Flash, Quicktime, WMV and other multimedia features, are the killer features of the modern netbook. None of the currently available netbooks (Acer, HP, Dell, MSI, ASUS, and now Sony) fit the bill.

NEC Mobilpro 790

NEC Mobilpro 790


Psion netbook - the original

Psion netbook - the original




All are based on the Intel Atom processor. This is a low voltage processor that integrates graphics which translates into slow -how slow? About a hair faster than Centrino Mobile (laptops circa 2005) when running Windows XP. It definitely won’t be lighting up the specs compared to dual core laptops, but it is “good enough,” especially compared to how we used to access the internet via dialup. 

Most of the netbooks come with Windows XP. The whole netbook category along with resistence to upgrading from the coporate side has kept Windows XP alive despite the presence of Vista. A few of the netbooks are presented with a scaled down version of Vista. Having stayed away from Vista like the plague, I can’t say first hand if it’s good or bad, but the word from people using the first generation HP netbooks which ran Vista on the slower VIA processor is that it is slow. This goes against the concept of a fast-boot, efficient, fast running machine. 


Apple Newton eMate 300

Apple Newton eMate 300

Linux was offered on the first generation of netbooks, but as they became popular, Microsoft made Windows XP licenses available for these netbooks, essentially killing off Linux on netbooks. This is unfortunate, because Linux starts up quicker and runs more efficiently on netbooks. OpenOffice, an office suite that is available for free, runs very well on Linux. The only downside is there is no iTunes for Linux, but the bulk of the needs are met through open source and usually free software. The great thing about Linux is that the computer are customizing the operating system for their product. The new HP Mini 1000 just presented at CES with a highly customized interface. We are all use to this with the Macintosh, but also with cell phones. In fact, this is a bit of a return to the days of yore, when computer makers created the box and the software. 


What does this mean? The netbook is in evolution. It is somewhere between a laptop and a smartphone. The laptop offers the larger screen, USB ports, and a keyboard. The smartphone offers instant on, extreme portability, omnipresent connectivity, long battery life, and great integration between software and hardware. The netbook is slowly moving toward this end, becoming less a commodity, and more a finely honed tool. 


HP MiniNote 2133

HP MiniNote 2133

Do I recommend a netbook? Depends. They are easier to carry than a laptop and offer the ability to work anywhere. My Acer One netbook cost less than $400, and has a battery life of over 6 hours, has a 160gB hard drive, and has Wifi. It runs Windows XP which has its faults, but it runs iTunes, turning my netbook into a large screen iPod where I can watch movies and TV shows. With Skype, I can have video chats with family and friends wherever WiFi is available. What is really neat is cloud computing being embraced by Google, Apple, and others. It moves the work onto the browser, and makes it platform agnostic. The problem is the current generation of netbooks are still just small, slightly slower Windows laptops. 


The future is the next generation of netbooks which will feature more solid state memory, customized Linux operating systems, and 3G or WiMax high speed internet that is integrated. The solid state memory or SSD (solid state disks) have no moving parts, are fast, and more energy efficient getting you closer to instant on. The customized operating system means that your hardware is more tightly integrated with the software, much like a cellphone. The 3G or WiMax type high speed internet means you can go anywhere untethered from a WiFi network. You can buy netbooks that feature 20Gb SSD’s (solid state disks) with Linux, but these basically disappeared after some muscling in by Microsoft. Windows 7 promises a smaller footprint to be able to run on netbook-like gear, but it completely misses the point. You don’t buy a car from BMW and run it on an engine from GM. You want the software to run seamlessly with the hardware, and this is much more difficult under Windows.

Apple is still digesting this arena. The Newton eMate 300 was an effort by Apple to create an instant on clamshell laptop, but was quickly killed by Steve Jobs upon his return along with the Newton OS and the great Newton 2100. MacBook Air has some netbook features, but fails in it basic concept as another, albeit beautiful, laptop. Ideally, iPhone/iPod Touch would be the platform for it’s netbook, but I don’t see it going that way because of Steve Job’s aversion to buttons. No, this category will be populated by manufacturers looking to capitalize on Apple’s deafness and blindness to this category. BTW, this blog entry was written entirely on my netbook running OpenOffice and uploaded via the Google Chrome browser.

Nintendo DS versus iPod Touch/iPhone 3G

img_1309The struggle for the space between the hands is shaping up to be between the established Nintendo DS and the upstart iPod Touch/iPhone. What are the differences and what are the implications of the recently posted numbers for the iTunes App store -10,000 apps and games with 300,000,000 downloads? Where is Sony and the vaunted PSP? What is Microsoft not up to? 

snc10082Nintendo DS

The DS is a marvel of thoughtful design, and in its current manifestation as the DS Lite, it has wonderful hand-feel, two sharp screens, and a battery system designed for children -it’s supposed to go 15-20 hours between charges and is rated for 500 charges. We got G one through Amazon for 125. The cost of entry is modest, but it is the content that they get you with. The games cost on average 35 dollars for the new releases. You can get used games on-line and through local dealers like FYE for a modest discount. The games from Nintendo proper tend to revolve around their established universes of Pokémon and Mario. Other publishers publish in Nintendo, but it’s a mixed bag. Some are slapdash ports of their console games or PC games which don’t project well. Some are fossils of PC games made in the 1990’s with all the blocky graphics moved over to the DS -very lazy way to make easy money with a shiny cover with a 35 dollar price tag. You have to read the reviews, but not all the games get reviewed. The well thought out games are standouts with pretty and appealing graphics, compelling story, and engaging gameplay. The greatness of Nintendo is that it does allow for use of legacy cartridges from the Gameboy Advanced, but not from prior generations. The Gameboy Advanced SP is now available online for around 40-50 bucks -I got ours new two years ago for 75 dollars, and will take Gameboy cartridges going all the way back to Tetris from 1988. 

This is an old and established model of game consoles going all the way back to Atari -make modest profit on a discounted console and make coin on licensing of the games, and Nintendo certifies and manufactures all the cartridges. Cartridges allow for a deeper level of play than minigames -which is the new word for arcade games. The problem is unless you’re a kid on vacation -who has 20-40 hours to complete Pokémon Diamond or Call of Duty (on order -am on vacation). The minigames -the arcade style games, still cost 25-40 dollars, but are the most sociable -Mario Party (on order) is supposed to allow you to play with up to 8 players from a single cartridge -and this is the neat thing about the DS -it does allow for you to have one cartridge and share among several players -which promotes the purchase of more Gameboy’s in multi-sibling families. We got our second one through a generous friend who sent G this handsome blue one.

iPod Touch/iPhone/App Store

 I believe that the combination of iPod Touch and App Store is the future of gaming and all portable entertainment. When you get an iPhone or iPod Touch, you have instant connection to the App Store which now features over 10,000 games. Apple vets these -very controversial in the geek-o-sphere, and the result is that the Apps pretty much work as advertised on the iPod Touch or iPhone. Because Apple limits the exchange of data between programs -allowing only one program to run at a time, it makes the system “locked down,” safe, and stable. The Apps are inventive, useful, and above all FUN. They are also much cheaper than buying cartridges. Many games are FREE, and most are 0.99 to 10.00, and you get very accurate reviews from actual users in the App Store. There is no need to drive to a store. My home has WiFi, as does my place of work, and this ubiquity of data-pipes means the iTunes store is ubiquitous as well. 

My favorite games include Field Runners (reviewed earlier), and Flick Bowling. Apple’s Texas Hold ‘Em game is a good time sink. The great thing is that G and J both like the iPod Touch games and find them easy to learn and play, engaging, and easy to put down. The games take up a few megabytes at most and this means you can have hundreds of games on your iPhone without slowing it down -unlike the programs for Windows Mobile. Apple has pulled off a Trifecta -it owns the game box, the store, the TV (I watch most of my movies and TV via the iPhone), and the critical mass needed to move the market. It has created an ecosystem for capitalizing the exchange of content by making it easier to get this content for the average user -it takes a great deal of geekwork to get pirated free content, and a lot less effort for grabbing fun at $0.99 at a time legally. 

Did I mention that with iPod Touch, you can load Fring -it lets you make telephone calls over a Wifi connection via Skype. How cool is that?

Bye Bye Sony and Windows

Sony has failed repeatedly in its history by trying to create a stranglehold on media standards -the Betamax, the MD Disc, the Memory Stick, Universal Media Disk (UMD), and Blu-Ray. I include Blu-Ray because high speed internet has rendered Blu-Ray obsolete. Apple is beginning to offer more of its content in HD, and the storage is now cheap enough that you can have a library of HD content in your living room. The iPhone’s display is gorgeous and basically is the same as watching a 50 inch screen at 15 feet -try it for yourself -when you walk away from a large screen TV to normal viewing distances, it’s basically the same as holding an iPhone at arm’s length. The problem for Sony is that it perseverates on making overpriced, overly complicated items that few deep pocket geeks enjoy. The Playstation Portable is a jewel -beautiful to hold and see -and it’s completely impossible to watch movies and TV shows on it without serious geek effort. Playstation -fuhgeddaboudit for now -it’s a compelling buy in about two years when they go bust, if you want to invest weeks learning how to play their games. The games cost 30-60 dollars!

Windows and Microsoft have failed with their Windows Mobile platform when at every moment until about three years ago, they had their feet on Apple’s neck. The WinMo phones are a bust -they crash and run very slow. It’s takes a computer science degree to buy third party programs for it and load it on without gumming up the phone with installers and other detritus. They make simple things difficult and annoying. X Box 360, which I don’t have, appears to shine compared to the usual Microsoft offerings, but is caught in Microsoft’s web of mutually intersecting interests and complications. The games also cost a lot compared to free or $0.99. 

Apple -the last person on the island

The first year of Survivor was the most compelling -afterwords, it became unwatchable. The weird guy who was the final survivor made some brilliant moves to be the last one left. This is what has happened with Apple and will be Steve Jobs’ legacy. It realized that people respond to things that are easy to use and fun to play. The iPhone has only one big button and two smaller ones. The content is ubiquitously available through the web. For most students, iPod Touch also allows for true web access previously available only on laptops. The iPhone can be turned into a serious scientific calculator, a golf yardage machine, a GPS device for the car, a musical wind instrument (Ocarina), a level, a beat box, a game machine, and an infinite number of other things that for me represents the culmination of all the future stuff I used to see on sci-fi movies growing up. It’s also managing to sell a lot of laptops during a major recession. 

Nintendo DS

The deep games -the ones requiring gigabytes of memory, are Nintendo DS’s strength. The iPhone has some content like Zork and other adventure games from the ’80’s and 90’s. What Nintendo must do is realize that WiFi is ubiquitous and unlock the DS’s capabilities. You should be able to get a widget you can plug in to download and play content and games from the web on your DS. Put Outlook on the DS along with Facebook with a keyboard for an adult version. It’s only a matter of time before Apple puts out a larger screen version of the Touch with more solid state memory and a 24 hour battery life. 


at a one year low, like everything else

at a one year low, like everything else