Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008!

Well, this is it- the last entry of 2008.

Its been a year filled with ups and downs, and I for one am excited for the new year. The year started off in a weird way, with me fighting a bit of post-partum depression and trying to figure out our new roles as parents. I started looking for a job at the beginning of the summer and it was a long, arduous and humbling process. Financially things were fine, but it felt like being a retired senior- I had a large fixed amount of money, with no idea how long it would have to last. I've always kept my finances private and I'm fortunate to have a husband who can respect my cultural quirks. So I can only imagine how tense a time it must have been for him watching me continue to send our son to daycare week after week, pay the bills (he's got the mortgage and car insurance payments) and wondering when the well would go dry.
Our relationship got strained over the summer for a brief period. I couldn't find a job and my self-esteem really took a hit because of it. I've always been great at what I do, and have a pretty great resume but that just didn't seem to matter. (Later I found that the few positions that I had really wanted were filled by much senior people...I mean, that had like 20-30 years of experience against my 10!)
We took a trip over the summer back east and stayed in New Jersey with my mother-in-law. Timing-wise, it couldn't have been worse: I'd just done a 3rd interview at a hospital that was the most promising lead I had so far, and right as we arrived my new HP 910 totally crapped out one me. I spent just about every day waiting impatiently for my mother-in-law's PC to boot up so I could check my email. And the trip took a serious toll on Seth's sleeping habit- he wouldn't sleep for a full night again until about October!
I have to admit that things turned around when my mother and aunt came to visit for Seth's birthday. It was the first time my mother was able to make the trip over from Africa (she actually had just returned from Cuba and got right back on a plane!) since Seth was born. I went for an interview while she was here and ended up getting an offer as soon as I got home! Dean and I were able to take some time to ourselves and have some actual evening dates and celebrate the great news. So, I've been working hard at a job that's fun to be at, and pretty shielded so far from the harsh economic realities. As someone who thrives on independence, there is nothing as gratifying as going to work each morning, having my own set of friends to meet up with after hours, and spending quality time with my husband and kid.
Techwise, I'm ending the year with some great new additions- My HTC Fuze, HP Mini 1000, Evernote, Twitter, and of course, my Mobigasmic move from Live Spaces to Blogger which is the best thing that ever happened to my blog!
I'm so happy to have such fantastic readers. Thank you for all of your comments, tips, gripes, IM chats, tweets, and everything else that lets me know that you care about what I have to say. This has become a much more interactive space, and I hope to make it even more so in the next year!
Lets ring in 2009 and may it bring more greatness with it!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Camera Comparison

camerajasjar

camerafuze

So, can you spot the difference?


The photo on the top was taken with the 1.3 megapixel camera of the Jasjar and the bottom one was taken with my Fuze's 3.2 megapixel camera. No flash (led) for both, taken indoors. I'm a little surprised that there isn't more of a difference between the two- what do you think?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What's Wrong with This Picture?


Screen001, originally uploaded by lulugirl896.

Today I've been using my new HTC Diamond as my exclusive device. I wanted to give TouchFlo3D a real chance and see if I could make a go of having no physical keyboard.
One of the first problems I encountered was in BeyondPod. Trying to download a podcast I encountered the error in the picture....

My Top Picks for 2008

Last year I posted my Top picks for 2007 which included some gems like Chumby, Centro, and Asus eee PC. This year I've got a whole new list! Here, in no particular order are the top 10 items that have grabbed my attention in 2008:

1.HTC Touch Pro

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For the first time in a long time, Windows Mobile users can agree on what the top of the line device is. It may not be for everyone, but just the fact that its bringing VGA to the masses on every carrier (except TMobile) is huge.

2.Blackberry Bold

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After possibly the longest wait ever, the Bold brought the fire back to Blackberry with its hi-res screen and updated UI. (Sadly, the Storm proceeded to extinguish that flame)

3.Yo Gabba Gabba

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A really great kids show with messages that appeal to all ages. Singing "Don't Do Mean things to Friends" immediately gets my 14 month old to act nicely. Thanks DJ Lance!

4.HP Touchsmart

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Say goodbye to the refrigerator dry-erase board, and hello to the coolest way to lure your family into the kitchen.

5.Wii Fit

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I haven't seen people so excited to get in shape since spandex came out! Its good to see a game that encourages us to get off our butts.

6.Roku Netflix box

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Finally, a gadget that makes Netflix even easier to access.

7.EverNote

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Redefining the concept of a database, Evernote can hold everything you come in contact with on the web, and in your life.

8.Macbook Air

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Price and features aside, I have to admit to joining the masses in a collective gasp when that inter-office opened to reveal it inside.

9.Slacker G2

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A music player that can finally take you out of the walls of 'your' music. Conceivably this player could introduce your Sinatra-loving grandparents to the likes of Michael Buble.

10.Polaroid Pogo

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After the Brother MPrint turned out to be a bit of a high-priced dud, its good to see that Polaroid took the baton and came up with a winner. Its inexpensive, squarely targeted at every teen's locker and fun.

Monday, December 22, 2008

PockeTwit: Now with Twitter Maps


Just when I thought PockeTwit couldn't get any cooler, I downloaded their latest development build and found this! Now you can see, plotted on a map, where your Twitter friends are from! Clicking on the indicator pops up the avatar of the user from that location.
I can think of a number of reasons this is a great idea, but here's a big one: when something huge is happening in a part of the world (like, most recently, the Mumbai attacks) you can actually use this map to send a quick work aimed at your Twitter friends closest to that location to make sure their ok, and find out what's happening.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

SeeqPod for Windows Mobile

Just a quick note to tell you to grab a copy of Seeqpod while you can for free from https://jampaq.com/seeqpodmobile/. Its a neat application that lets you find music then stream it. I dont know how they do it, but they do and they do it well! Enjoy!

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do U twt lk u txt?

Translation: Do you Tweet Like You Text?

I realized today that I very rarely see web abbreviations used amongst my Twitter friends. But it seems I'm forever getting texts that read 'Cld u c m l8r'. So, how come in the same number of characters we suddenly 'speak properly' on Twitter?

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TiVo Mobile Scheduler


Not to be outdone by DirecTV's mobile offering, Tivo now has their own mobile site up and ready to go. You can schedule recordings from your device, view descriptions and the week's top picks to add to your box.
Click over to m.tivo.com and bookmark the page to get your TiVo scheduling fix. And if you're like me with both services (Tivo in the bedroom and DirecTV DVR in the study) then your Christmas has come early!

Foggy Morning!


It was one foggy morning in Fort Worth today! I captured this shot at an intersection- normally from here you can see downtown, but this morning I was lucky to be able to see the third row of upcoming traffic!

(UPDATED) A Christmas Gift for Mobigasmic Readers!

'Tis the season for giving, and here's one for all my wonderful readers! I've compiled a finger-friendly useful startpage bundled for you in an easy to use zip file complete with instructions.

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Click on the present to get yours!


gift Pictures, Images and Photos



_
EDIT:
I modified this from the original posted version and removed TMZ and added MobilityToday. Because seriously, would you rather be reading about Amy Winehouse's umpteenth stint in rehab, or winning an HTC Diamond of your very own?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Podcast! Mobigasmic 001

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I am going to try and make semi-regular podcasts, although I must admit, they probably will be rather short for now. In this episode, I'll tell you what's been irking me, what's new in devices and what's been happening at Mobigasmic. Next time I promise to try and cut down on the 'ums'!

Palm App Store

The new app store released by Palm for Windows Mobile is nothing more than a bookmarklet...FAIL!

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kinoma Play

Believe it or not, this is the 5th time I've sat down to write a review about Kinoma. Why havent you seen any of them? Well, blame Kinoma for that- they crank out updates and fixes so fast it makes my head spin! So i decided to do a quick write-up and give you the basic gist of what it is.
Kinoma is a full-featured multimedia player that gives you one place to play your movies, music and pictures. It also gives you access to view online content like YouTube, Orb, Flickr, Podcasts and Shoutcast radio in a sleek easy to use interface.
Most of my early gripes about Kinoma have since been fixed (loooong folder scanning on startup- that can now be user configured, failure to work on the iPaq 910, and added support for Picasa and Google images,VGA enhancements)
There is a free limited version which may do all that you need, otherwise you can head over to their site for the full version.

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Sunday, December 14, 2008

GeoTerrestrial GeoMail!

GeoMail Point of Interest

GeoLocation: 32.7558,-97.3372
Address:
183 N Burnett St
Fort Worth,TX-76102

Time: 12-14-2008 21:00UTC
Message:
heading to the spa!

Desktop Maps:
http://www.geoterrestrial.com/map.php?lat=32.7558&lon=-97.3372&a1=183+N+Burnett+St&a2=Fort+Worth,TX-76102
Mobile Maps:
http://m.geoterrestrial.com/map.php?lat=32.7558&lon=-97.3372&w=620&h=410
GPSToday Users:
In the message Menu, tap on "View on GPSToday Map"

// *Do Not Edit Below this line* //
{GPSToday}
32.7558,-97.3372
0ft,0mph,0
183 N Burnett St
Fort Worth,TX,76102
12-14-08,21:00UTC
1,1
heading to the spa!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

QIK | Streaming video right from your phone

Friday, December 12, 2008

HTC Fuze Case

I've been asked a number of times what case I use for my Fuze. Well, after scouring the web I settled on this simple pouch by CarryMobile. I love it because its padded enough to protect the phone when I toss it in my handbag, but simple enough that I can easily pull my phone out of it one-handed even while I'm driving.
Now that i have the matte back it makes me worry less about it slipping from my hands as I take it out of the case.
Also, for some reason Expansys does not have the correct image on their website for the matte back cover. But if you do order it, you will get the same one I received.

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

I Can't Do Without- PockeTwit

One of my favorite pastimes on my phone is Twitter. Ever since I discovered it, I have been addicted. If I had to describe Twitter I'd say its an always-on chatroom. No matter what time of the day or night I go onto Twitter, there's always an interesting conversation to be had. I gained a real appreciation for Twitter while I was nursing- it was great to have people to 'talk' to at all those ungodly hours, and its wonderful to be able to go back and read what I wrote back then.


I've been through all the Windows Mobile applications for Twitter and while ceTwit was my choice while using a QWERTY bar, PockeTwit is a must have to take full advantage of the VGA screen and flicking gestures of the HTC Fuze.

Here's a little demo I've put together of the latest version of PockeTwit doing its thing. My absolute favorite things about PockeTwit?

-Slick navigation (don't let the slightly jerky action of my video fool you. That's more to do with MyMobiler used to capture the video)

-Ability to follow a conversation within the application ( you can't even do this on the Twitter website)

-Ability to see a users timeline

-Ability to quote another user

-Quick and easy search functionality




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Matte Back Cover for HTC Fuze

Baby Got (Matte) Back!

My new back came from Expansys today and what a difference it makes! Nice and grippy, quite unlike the original. Its just another thing that makes me love my Fuze more!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Google Maps with Street View now for Windows Mobile

I Can't Do Without- BeyondPod

Its been 6 weeks now that I've been working and one of my favorite times of the day is lunchtime. Why? Because thats when I get to nip into my car and have some alone time with my Fuze. No baby, no husband, no coworkers, just me and my gadget- heaven!
During that time i like to catch up on video podcasts and with my VGA screen its really a huge treat. I use BeyondPod to download all my favorite shows automatically in the wee hours of the morning and when I'm ready to watch them they are right there in my Windows Media library.
(Between the excessive buffering while streaming, and the struggle to play even the downloaded podcasts I've had to leave Coreplayer out of this equation. Suprisingly on the Fuze, it seems Windows Media Player is the best video choice as it smoothly plays my podcasts.)
These days, i barely even go into BeyondPod itself, but its nice to know that it does exactly what i need it to do behind the scenes!

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kicking off the Holidays

So, we finally got our tree up and I'm so glad its done. Next challenge is to keep the little guy from toppling it over.

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Saturday, December 6, 2008

PDA Database

I wish that PDAdb.net would get a mobile (phone-friendly) version. I mean, its all about mobile devices- just seems like it would make sense.

Windows Mobile Barcode Scanner

A few years ago a barcode scanner application popped up for the Treo 650. It was a fairly basic program that allowed you to use the camera of the Treo 650 to photograph barcodes and would copy the code to a clipboard. But that was where it ended, and I always wished it could do more like help me scan and organize all my CDs, or something like that.

Now there's a similar app for Windows Mobile called Barcorama and it takes a slightly different approach. With Barcorama you take a photo of a barcode and the app will open your web browser (Opera, PIE, Skyfire- you choose) and do a price comparison on any website of your choice (Google is the default.

Here I've snapped the barcode of my PC World magazine:

Screen006

And then Barcorama routes the capture code into the site of my choice (I use PriceGrabber. Look here for instructions on how to use it):

Screen007

This is such a great program for the holidays- you can use it for comparison shopping or you can whip it out at the company Xmas party and see who went over the limit on the gift exchange!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jimmy got a Pantech!

One of my co-workers proudly dropped by my office to show me his new Pantech. I must admit i was amazed at how light and thin it is. Imagine if windows mobile could have a phone this size with a vga screen? Heaven! Now, back to work!

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Amazon Releases iPhone App

This is just annoying. Where is the Windows Mobile, Palm, heck, even java app for this one?

 
 

Sent to you by Lulu via Google Reader:

 
 

via GottaBeMobile.com by Warner Crocker on 12/3/08

I figured this would happen someday and I'm glad to see it has occurred. Amazon has released a shopping app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. I haven't given this a try yet but according to Gear Diary the app allows you to shop the site, read reviews and use the iPhone camera to take pictures of items you'd like to remember for a possible purchase. The photo goes to your Amazon account where 'Amazon Remembers' will alert you when a  match is found. The app is currently available on the App Store for free.



 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Birds! The Birds!

Every day as I drive home there is one particular spot that is completely inundated with birds. Today I had a moment to take a snap of them. Scary

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

Monday, December 1, 2008

Facebook Chat for Windows Mobile

If you havent tried Palringo, here's a good reason to start- they've got Facebook Chat! So far its the only working solution I've seen to get Facebook chat on windows mobile but its pretty darn good! You show as online to your contacts and you can also see and reply to friend requests. I'm going to give it more time and then give you my full impressions after a day or two.

Sent from my HTC FUZE™

UPDATE:

Here is the adjustment you'll need to make with a registry editor to get Facebook Chat to show up: there is a value called "Beta/Facebook" Set it to 1 and then you can add a facebook account. This is under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Palringo

Does Your Device Excite You?

These days its not enough to have a device that can 'do it all'. It has to excite me in the process. I realize that as much as my Ubiquio and iPaq could do, they simply didn't excite me in the way that my Fuze does. Aside from constantly checking the screen to catch just a glimpse of its VGA goodness, I love the touch interaction with the screen. I like the steady feeling of knowing each morning when I wake up that my phone is going to wake up too! I love the chimes and alarms available and I even appreciate the small things like the HTC volume selector.
I thought I'd have a really hard time moving from a QWERTYbar form factor to a slider but the quality and quantity of the screen more than makes up. And the HTC onscreen touch soft keyboard makes it such a pleasant experience to do a quick reply without having to open the keyboard. And when its time to really settle in and do some long typing, theres nothing like the spacious keyboard to let me really express myself.
Battery life, as with every device I own, is something that I have to find a way to cope with. I have a total of 3 batteries and simply swap them out with one in the Fuze, one in my purse, and one in the charger- I never have to worry about running out of juice. And swapping the battery means that I get to do a soft reset and thus a bit of spring cleaning routinely!
So, does your device know how to press *your* buttons?

Sent from my HTC FUZE™