Like a Phoenix…

Welcome to the re-birth!  I know its been awhile.  Frankly for a bit there I didnt know if I even wanted to continue this blog.  After some serious introspective, I realized that I did, just not the way I had been doing it.  So here’s the skinny –

Instead of only reporting on devices that I actually own, I am expanding my topics to any technology that interests me.  I was feeling a trifle stifled (did i just say that?) by limiting myself to my Evo and iPad.  By expanding the blogs scope, there is so much more that I delve into!  Now before you think things are going to get all willy nilly in here, I will tell you that for the realm of this blog, i will keep the topics to Android, iPod, Ipad, Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, OS, and similar areas.

That being said, you can be sure this will always be your information spot for Android.  I will always be an Android fan.  Just now it will be more than just info about my current phone LOL  So thanks those of you that have patiently waited for my return, and thanks those of you that were bored and clicked the link for the hell of it.  Stay tuned for some good stuff!

Ciao!

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Who’s the fairest of them all?

I know.  Its been awhile since my last post.  I havent quit blogging.  In the last month I have had a lot of chaos in my life that is just starting to somewhat normalize, so the blog was a very low priority.  But now things are starting to level out so I’m back!  Did you miss me? [This wold be the opportunity for you to let me know just how indispensable i am to your technology based life… lol)

Still loving my iPad.  Even more so when I jail broke it.  Even MORE so with iOS 4.2!  Although the implementation of the “multitasking” is kind of wonky (everything you use automatically just stays open.  I’d rather have a choice about what does.  Like I did when it was jail broken.), its still very cool and very usable.  Now on to the real subject of this post…

I finally broke down and decided to purchase a screen protector for my iPad.  I’d always been extra super careful with my iPad.  I never let anyone else handle it other than my teen-aged tech oriented daughter.  So I really didnt see the need for a screen protector.  Plus I didnt want anything affecting the gorgeous clarity of the screen.

I finally had to admit to myself that I was fed up with finger prints all over the glass.  It’s embarrassing when someone wants to look at my iPad and its all smudged up and dirty looking.  Plus, after seeing iPad after iPad come in (to my place of work.  No, dont ask.) with broken screens, I was starting to get paranoid about it.  And yes, I know a screen protector wont stop a screen from breaking, but its better than nothing.

I had kind of looked around at different screen protectors but it seemed like more of the same.  Thin sheets of cheap plastic for 9.99 or less, or thin sheets of slightly better plastic for 19.99 or more.  I wasn’t happy with my choices.  Just when I was about to take my chances with one of the cheaper choices on Amazon, a friend gave me one of some samples he received at work.  It was a screen protector of the mirrored variety by BHB, called “Screen Guarder – the greatest guarder for lcd screen” (lol).  No I never heard of them either.  Most likely an Asian distributor.

The first thing that impressed me was the thickness and relative rigidity of the sheet.  Is was very shiny and free of any imperfections.  The packaging said it was made of “Japan PET” material and claimed:

  • scratch-proof – so far so good.
  • dust repelling – didnt really have a dust problem before so…
  • finger print free – false.  becasue its a mirrored surface, you just dont SEE the prints as readily, which I guess achieves the same effect.
  • bubble-free application – your experience may vary.  i was able to get it on with very few bubbles, after a second application.
  • improves handwriting recognition – eh.
  • anti-reflective – what?  its a freaking mirror! lol
  • washable and reusable – umm…

Overall I like it.  When the screen is off it is totally a mirror.  Your mileage will of course vary, but I had to turn up the brightness a bit when the screen was on.  There is also a kind of “rainbow effect” depending on which angle you look at the screen.  Nothing too severe but it is noticeable occasionally.  Was relatively easy to put on.  Few bubbles.

Bottom line – for 9.99 or less, this is very worth the money.  I cant see paying any more than that for a sheet of plastic, I dont care what the claims are!  I mean seriously!

 

Ciao!

 

 

They’re still Angry!!

I haven’t done a lot of reviews about games. Mostly because I get bored with them so fast. Rarely does a mobile game hold my attention for more than a few days. Well I finally found, not one, but two that I have been playing for over a month now (Bejeweled dosent count lol)…

First my addiction…. Angry Birds. For a super simple game, I find myself unable to tear myself away from it frequently! Something about hurling those pissed of pigeons at those smirking pork chops that just sets me off lol. I can’t get enough of it. I have been playing the free android version on my Evo. I also have it on my iPad but I honestly like the smaller form of the android version better. I like how the screen slides back and forth before, during, and after the attack. When I first saw the game, I was like “what are these people talking about? Cant be THIS game lol”. Obviously I was wrong… Definitely a recommended download for both android and the iPad.

Now my obsession…. Pocket Legends! This free little tounge in cheek, rpg is an excellent time killer! Being an rpg fan from way back (yes I know who Gary Gygax is) and both an original Everquest and former World of Warcraft addict, I think I know a thing or two about RPGs. This one fits the bill. Just enough of a rpg to keep yup interested and wanting to level, but casual enough to be played in bits and chunks with no penalty. And it’s cool for all ages. The cutesy graphics initially turned me off, but once I got into the game I see the appeal. I can play this games for a couple hours or for 15 minutes and have a great time either way. Did I mention it’s free? Well almost. The app is free. And yes you can play the game and never spend a dime. BUT…. Most of the really cool stuff is a paid premium. Don’t let that dissuade you from trying out though. Seriously… Download it now LOL

Ok enough blogging, I need to get back to my games! Ciao!

I’m FREE! … Well kinda…

I jail broke my iPad. Seriously. Well actually a friend of mine did, as he has done it before successfully, and he offered. The first time ended in a frozen iPad as we had both neglected to insure that I had updated to the latest iOS version (3.2.2). So a lengthy restore and several hours later (overnight), he tried it again. This time it was a definite success.

Wow. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal as I was perfectly happy with my iPad as it was. I had come to grips with it's limitations and learned to work within their boundaries. But I have to admit, I was getting more and more curious as why to more and more people were jailbreaking, and were very happy with the choice. So when my friend offered, I had the precut excuse to do it. I am so glad I did...

First of all, it was ridiculously easy. I could have/should have done it myself. I didn't even have to restore when it was done. Went right in to playing with it lol

Cydia is amazing. For those that don't know, Cydia is the "alternative" app store for jail broken iPhones, iPods, ipads. 100% legal and legit. Although I'm sure Jobs wishes otherwise. The breadth of categories of apps in Cydia is worth it alone. Way to many to go into in this post, but I'll cover a few that I have installed so far.

SBSettings - must have. Gives you nearly complete control over your iPad. Also adds some useful features that quickly become "can't live withouters".

Backgrounder - multitasking! Of a sort... Forces an active app to the background, still active. Works great! I can truly surf the web, or look through Flipbook, and listen to iheartradio at the same time! This alone was worth jail breaking for me.

Winterboard - gives you even more control over how iOS acts. Not 100% converted for the iPad yet, so not everything works quite yet, but still worth the download.

Activator - adds all kind of gesture control. Swipes, pinches, scrolls, can all be assigned.

I'll delve deeper into Cydia and jail breaking as I learn more. For now my consensus is DO IT! Of course, nothing is without risk and YOU assume the risk if you try jail breaking. Don't make me say I told you so...

Ciao!

Dropbox….all over!

I find myself drawn to the “cloud” environment and so am excited when I find legitimate uses for it. The ability to access files, notes, pics, from whatever device I happen to be using is essential. As I am an avid user of both Android and iOS, it needs to be seamlessly multi-platform capable. I have found that app.

Dropbox is an application which does all of the above and more. It’s a true “cloud” meaning that all of your data resides on the web. Theoretically, you don’t rally even need to download an app to use the service as it is accessible from any web browser. The app is more about convenience and auto syncing.

I have a Windows XP laptop, a HTC Hero (android) phone, and an iPad. The main reason I love Dropbox is this: I can take a pic and add it to a note on my phone, edit the note and add other media on my computer, and add the note to a list and share it with my friends on my iPad. It’s all seamless and 100% interchangeable. Of course the icing on the cake is that it’s FREE! You get a very decent amount of storage up front (the amount of which I seem to have forgotten lol) but what’s really cool is that you get even MORE free storage when ever you refer someone to the service! Is that customer rewards or what? Dropbox does have a paid premium service but honestly I can’t see ever needing to upgrade to it.

So if you’re like me, always seeing something you want to remember later, or show someone, or if you have files that you frequently need to access away from your computer; check out Dropbox. I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t be worth your time.

Ciao!

Does it really matter?

[Warning: Opinionated rant follows.  People with narrow minds or tunnel vision should probably stop here. No, seriously.  You guys should probably go read a Dilbert cartoon or something.]

Why must everything be so divisive?  Why must the Apple fanboys dislike the Android geeks who mock the Crackberry addicts?  I mean really, does it matter?

[image via Networkworld]

Personally, I think diversity is not only good for competition and consumer choice, but also good for the technology!  Without the intense rivalries, mobile innovations would not be occurring nearly as fast and as prolifically as they have been the last few years.  As a consumer, I love having several comparable choices, dont you?

What I can do without is the fanatical, quasi-religious, chest thumping rhetoric extreme that some smartphones fans go to.  The lengths that some folks reach for to defend their phone of choice is frankly, both hilarious and frightening.  I love my phone, which happens to be a HTC Hero; an Android phone.  I personally think that Android is the best mobile OS available currently.  If you happen to disagree (which im sure many of you do), thats FINE.  I dont hate you.  I dont question your intelligence, or assume the lack of.  I’m not going to jump on a soapbox and shout Android love to the heavens.  If you make inaccurate statements, I may correct you.  Thats about it.

All the rest of that nonsense is unnecessary, childish, and pedantic.  There I said it.  Why?  Simple.  No one company has it 100% right.  Most likely no one ever will.  The will always be one manufacturer that does something better than a rival.  Thats just the nature of the business.  Embrace it.  Release the stress and add a year or two to your life.

Ciao!

Myspace? Music? Really?

Most people that I know, that used Myspace back in the early arguably “cool” days of the site, have long since abandoned it to the cluster *bleep* it has become. I only still even have a Myspace account due to the few diehard friends I have that refuse to come to Facebook (zealots lol).

Anyway, this review isn’t about Myspace per se. It’s actually about an app I recently found called Myspace Romeo. When I say “Myspace” in the title, I immediately ignored it. As would any sane minded person. But curiosity got the best of me, so I downloaded it. To say I was surprised is the understatement of the week! I cant believe this smooth performing, good looking, “works as advertised” app is affiliated with Myspace! Seriously?

Myspace Romeo (ok what’s with the name?) is great. You pick your genre, pick your mood, and it streams music videos. That’s it. Simple and effective. Of course there are the requisite ads. I haven’t decided if there are enough to be annoying yet. Other than that I don’t really have any complaints yet. I’ll use it for a few days and revisit this review. Oh, ok I do have one minor thing. Sometimes, the choice of videos made, based on your preferences can be a little strange. I chose “r&b, naughty” (purely for testing folks! Heh..) and the first video played was by Bieber. (what?), so…. Take that how you may. Check it out. Worth the download…

Ciao!