Category Archives: Commentary

I Never Thought I’d be in This Position

But I’m still here, and I’m still screwing around with mobile consumer tech. I’m not off meeting up and geek crushing on my favorite tech peeps in the tech world, but I am still able to play around with some really exciting tech toys. Since my last post, I’ve really dabbled in lots of things, from my brief obsession with power bricks to my latest foray in mobile phones and also my growing obsession with Kickstarter projects. It’s been a wild ride and I don’t think I’ll get off anytime soon. I may however, start up a new blog. I’m not sure yet. Because I still want to document my experiences. I know nobody reads this except for me (and maybe a select few who stumble across my occasional post). But there are so many things I want to write about. But all in due time.

Tomorrow marks another landmark event in my tech world. I am leaving iOS (and an over-inflated cell bill) for the Galaxy Note 3. I want to snatch one up while it’s still “the new hotness.” Freaking Android phones (especially from Samsung) are released en masse, it seems. I mean, the Note 2 isn’t even a year old yet, is it? And now Samsung is releasing the “Round” phone, which is a Note 3 without a stylus… So I’m not concerned too much about that. Plus it’s only being released in Asia for the time being…. Anyway, I am typing this up on my HP Envy X2 (yeah, I got me a Windows 8 convertible – go figure. It’s not the best around, but I have my reasons for getting this particular model) and after tomorrow, provided there are some in stock, I will be blogging from my new phablet. I’m already enjoying my new LG HBS-730 headphones. Don’t believe all the negative reviews on Amazon. Granted, I’ve not experienced the 700’s but for $50, you can’t beat the price:value ratio. I purchased mine from Radio Shack @ $69.99 for the fact that if these buggers performance worsens while using with the Note 3 (I currently have these headphones paired to my iPhone 4S and iPad 3), I still might return them. If I picked them up from Amazon, I may not be able to exchange them with as much ease as simply returning them at the store I physically purchased them from.

Speaking of price:value ratio, the headphones I’m replacing are my Porta Pros that I picked up from K-Mart for…. I want to say $35 but I think I paid closer to $38. It doesn’t matter. They sound phenomenal as I expected. Thanks to the high recommendation from @Audiophiliacman, @MalusBrutus and CNet’s 404 Podcast.

You see? So many great tech experiences I have been to busy enjoying, instead of blogging about. But before I get ahead of myself, I will break here. I will continue my journey from my phablet as I stated before. After all, I gotta squeeze all the use out of that S-Pen that I can.

(hello – why does the time stamp of the autosave say 5:35 am? It’s 10:30pm where I am…)

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I Finally Took the Plunge

It looks like I’ll have some things to post coming up. I finally shelled out the 2 bucks for the WordPress app for webOS 1.4.x (Poster). I don’t buy many apps,, so even though I know there are free options elsewhere, I’m glad to make this purchase if it means more quality apps in the future.

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Easy Come, Easy Go…

So this is my first evening without the iPad. Aside from a minor flub, post jailbreak, the darn thing worked like a charm. As much as I wanted to find fault with it, all I really did was enjoy the heck out of it. It was in my possession for the greater part of a week and I finally got it working the way I liked it. Yeah I know. I got a little attached to it. But I’ll get time with it whenever I visit mom and dad. And when I get my hands on an HP TouchPad, I’ll be preoccupied once again.

In the meantime, I an get back to my Scrubs marathon, a la Netflix. Also, I’ve got to rent as many BDs as I can before September 1, when I’ve got to choose – disc or streaming? It’s a crock, besides. I think they could have at least waited until after Labor Day weekend to enforce the new payment plans. I mean, not everyone goes camping for Labor Day, and as an act of good faith to their long-time customers (who got shafted with the 60% price hike), could have let folks indulge in movie marathons and such before they kiss their disc+streaming rentals goodbye.

Now, even if I end up enjoying the HP TouchPad, until Netflix creates an app (or some how Silverlight becomes usable on webOS), I will have to keep my hacked Nook to keep wathing Netflix. And I kid you not, going from Android OS to iOS wasn’t much of a stretch until I had to return to Android OS from iOS. It’s like going from DVD (480p) to BD (1080p) and back again. You BD fans can relate to that, can’t you?

Whatever. My brother upgraded to the Droid 3 over the weekend and I was less than impressed. The hardware is spectacular, but it’s running that dang Android OS, which I really hate using. I had a 7″ screen on the Nook Color and I don’t put many widgets on it. I have one home screen dedicated to widgets and I always ignore it. I can’t imagine being able to slap widgets all over several home screens on a 4″ (or smaller) device.

Ahh well. To each their own I suppose. If webOS dies before I can enjoy the next evolution of tech, I’m getting an iPhone 4. F*** 4G. I don’t want it. I use more than 6Gb/month as it is, from my Pre+ (3G). I an only imagine how much data I’ll use if I can get it more than twice as fast. I’ve been grandfathered into my unlimited data plan w/ Big Red. I will certainly be flagged as an abuser for sure, if I am put on a ligtning fast plan like LTE/HSPA+/4G…. Heck, I’m proably flagged as an abuser now :/

That’s all I care to say for now. I thought I’d miss the iPad, but I’m pleased to be back watching movies and I’m typing this post from my phone. There are not many thousands of apps in HP’s app catalog, but there are plenty that matter. That’s all I care about.

Netflix and Nook (B&N) apps. That’s all that’s missing from HP’s catalog for me. I picked up a Nook, and so of course I indulged in some Nook reading. So please HP, I don’t want to lose my books. But if you want me to devote my time completely to webOS, you gotta give me a way to read my books. I think Netflix has already been requested by the masses, so I’ll just give my +1 on that vote.

Wifey became bored with Rango. I watched it last night already. Time to seal it up and mail it back. I can still get a few more movies before the end of August and still stream more Scrubs in between rentals. So I’ll get back to doing my thing now…

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I’m Finally Playing With Gadgets!

So I’m finally playing with gadgets and I’m not writing anything about it! I can’t, I don’t have time! I’m too busy playing with gadgets!

I have, however, been smitten with the Galaxy Tab. I like what I’ve sen of it so far. It’s just that it’s way expensive! I suppose we can thank Apple for setting the price point of such a luxury. I don’t care what anyone says. Those tablets we’ve been reading about are all toys. The iPad is the biggest toy of them all. But what a great toy it is, no less.

I’m still bummed I’ve got to do without my most recent tech (luxury) purchase. And now I’m torn. I may soon be able to purchase another iPod Touch 4 but I haven’t been drinking Apple Kool-Aid long enough to feel a void where the iPod Touch once was. No, the I’ll feeling in my gut has to do with the actual parting of the cash I forked over. Some bonus money my wife was so proud to earn and share with me.

We’re not rich folks. In fact, I’d consider us just one month ahead of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Thanks to FPU and a shortlived business venture, we’ve learned to keep our spending within our means. But that’s a different story. One I’d be glad to share another time, in a different forum.

Anyways, back to this thing called “mobile tech.” I now wonder if I should join the early adopters of all things (Android) tablet? Or should I wait for later this year? It seems like I wait and wait… and wait. And when I finally give up and move on to something else, all that I’ve waited for happens the next day. That iPod was to be the first of many things I finally waited for patiently until it offered precisely what I was looking for. Then in less than a month, it was gone 😦 So maybe I didn’t wait long enough? I don’t need a tablet device, but it’s the type of tech I’d really like to move to. I already have a phone that does practically everything I’d ever want. For all you non-believers, I AM, in fact, speaking of my Pre+. As I stated in a previous post, I finally dropped some serious dough for the iPod Touch 4, only after extensive research of it and it’s current competitors. The thing that finally won me over was the the adoption of an official Netflix app and the realization that, thoug capable, Netflix would not likely come to WebOS, simply because of Palm’s dwindling popularity. BUT if any company was guaranteed to get such software, it would be Apple.

Allow me to switch gears here, a moment. Of all the companies, Apple tries their darndest to deny the masses their deepest desires, only to have content providers and others devs to try harder to get on their beloved platform. All the while, supporters of the less popular platforms are begging to get some little bit of the most mainstream content. Only to e left by the wayside.

Android is said to be rapidly gaining on iOS and is expected to surpass it in popularity quite soon. But Netflix, for example, still is not available for it. I’m sure the masses would be glad to risk “fragmentation” and the possibility their phone may not have the right guts to work with said app. Not everyone cares for VOD on their mobile device, or phone, as it may be. Maybe I represent a very niche group but I know I’m not the only one.

My point is, I went ahead with iOS for a few reasons. Those being 1.) quality of build 2.) variety of software available 3.) longevity 4.) use experience 5.) overall value (yes, I wanted the iPod Touch 4 for $200, but I figured $229 was as close as I’d get).

Nobody mention reputation. I don’t give a shit about Apple’s reputation. Ok, maybe a little. But not because it’s “cool.” I’m talking about the reputation of its solid architecture, its elegant OS and how their continuing innovations have changed the way we think about how we compute and consume media. No, value isn’t one of their innovations. Not when these things are designed to be disposable. What, no user replaceable battery? = disposable gadget.

Anyways… I got sidetracked again didn’t I? Dang… No I forgot what I was going to say completely. Damn you Jimmy Kimmel and your Skype Scavenger Hunt!

Until next distraction kiddies…!

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There’s no Such Thing as a Free Lunch… Just Stolen Ones.

I don’t know if I can feel any worse than I do now. I finally made the biggest commitment since my wedding vows and threw it all away. I hadn’t had my brand, spankin’ new iPod Touch for a month and I lost it already. What’s worse is, in true “dickhead” fashion, the person who found where I had dropped it, logged into my Facebook account to comment about how I lost it.

I never was anti-Apple but I always thought their gadgets were overpriced. I always found an “alternative to” any apple device that would fit my needs. So when Jobs and his team updated the iPod Touch 4, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, not only did it have the features I was looking for, but it came pretty damn close to the price I was willing to pay. $200 was my limit for just about anything electronic but I figured Apple wasn’t going to budge so why not splurge a little? 2 days after the first iPod, the stupid thing broke. No, I didn’t drop or abuse it. The reset button malfunctioned and so it made it impossible to perform a hard reset that I needed when a couple of downloads failed. So anyways, I had my chance to just get my money back but I thought, why not give this doohickey a real chance? So I hung on to it. Now, just to clarify – the main reason I finally succumbed to Apple’s seduction was because Netflix finally became available to iOS4. I LOVE my Netflix subscription and while many can’t imagine watching videos on such a tiny screen, I was all over that. I couldn’t stream away from home though, since whatever sources I had (open wifi near work or tethered from my phone), but I could wander around my little home, from room to room, which was enough for me. Face time was neat, but not really something I’d use much. Oh, and the app store! Don’t get me started on my phone (WebOS FTW!), but I’m no dope. If anything. Netflix would soon come to Android, but as much as I love my Pre+, I know Netflix won’t care to waste any of their time developing for the “barely holding consumer interest” HPalm. Besides, the fact that I can barely stream YouTube just shows that Verizon’s network is not fast enough for such things.

So a few weeks ago, my wife was perusing Groupon for some deals and she picked up a coupon for the corn maze out on the island. To make this long story much shorter than it needs to be, we hopped in a car with the neighbors and drove to a corn maze 20 miles away. Parking was horrendous, and of course, I was fiddling with my ipod the whole way. I careslessly set it on my lap and when we found a spot, neighbor says “everyone hop out the car and I’ll park as best I can.” So we all jump out. 20 minutes later I realize I don’t have my iPod in any of my pockets and my heart sinks. I knew that by the time I realized I didn’t have my iPod, it was gone. I went back with one of my neighbors to see if it had just fallen on the floor or hoping nobody picked it up yet. But it was gone as I predicted. When I returned home, I went to cry on Facebook about how I lost my new toy and I saw someone had already posted (as me) that I lost my phone at the corn maze. Should have been content enough to have a $230 new toy, but that’s not enough for some people. No, they gotta rub it in some how.

I have a history of losing things. Heck, I used to drop my wallet all the time. I know the routine: call your banks, cancel your credit cards, the whole bit. But this time I didn’t really have any financial info on that iPod. What changed everything was how those “fun” little apps made it so easy to log into all your shit. I don’t trust the internet with my personal info. I’ve been entering fake “personal” info into my email accounts for years. But then when you need those things for real things (purchases, personal/professional contacts)… I just about freaked out. I had to change all my passwords to all the social networks as quickly as possible. My email accounts were accessible at the touch of an icon, thus leaving everyone I know vulnerable. My heart sank even more. There were a ton of high school shits all over that corn maze. Hopefully they were just glad to snag a new. expensive toy. If they were nosy enough to snoop through my email stuff, I don’t know what I’d do. There goes my virtual bubble of security. For a moment, I thought it’d be better if I lost my phone. But no, that would be much worse, I know. The Pre isn’t exactly a highly coveted device, but that is my lifeblood. Everything important to me is connected to that device and since I use it as my primary form of contact, all my contact info is real. There’s a reason, I suppose, that I lost my iPod and not my phone (or both). I had my iPod carelessly sitting on my lap. My phone however, was in my pocket and securely cradled in my hand.

I still feel crummy though. I went all out to protect that stupid media player. After I picked up my first replacement on that 3rd day, I went ahead and got an extended warranty (which I never get for anything, so why the iPod….?) and I saw how the first one was so easily scratched so I applied Invisible Shield to it. I had somebody do it to. I’ve applied that thing to a couple other things I own and it didn’t turn out so nice. Now I’m debating whether or not Apple devices are in my future. I feel crummy because I can barely afford such things and I lost it within a month. I paid cash for that stupid thing and I had to put the extended warranty on my credit card (which still bothers me to this day). I’m going to file a police report tomorrow and see if my insurance will cover this loss. But if not, I guess I’m out $300 (that’s the iPod+warranty+plastic coating).

$300 bucks on my first “i-something.” ouch. Whoever picked it up, I’m hoping you’ll find a way to return it to me. Otherwise, enjoy it, you thieving bastard. You deserve whatever ill-intended things that come your way.

Edit: This just occurred to me – I have no way to wipe my iPod. Yup, no Mobile Me 😦 There are still 200+ emails stored on my iPod. Yeah. I dunno if I can sleep tonight. Effin thieves.

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