Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Hangover

Yesterday was a really great Christmas for us. One of the gifts I got for my husband was a Nintendo Wii, so we ended up spending most of the day alternating between playing and watching Netflix shows via streaming.
This year I made an Amazon wishlist because I *really* wanted the GoGroove Flexsmart for my Rogue so I could lose the unsightly wires that were marring the smooth lines of my console. Dean got me that, as well as something not on my wishlist- an automatic car starter. I loved that in our old Xterra especially for the brutal summer heat here in Texas. Turn on the car and the airconditioner cools the car down before you get in- brilliant! Naturally, its about 24 degrees here now, so I'm sure I will also appreciate being able to warm up the car before I get in.
It wasn't all car stuff- I also got a huge bottle of one of my favorite perfumes and something saucy from the lingerie department. I got him a gift certificate for 4WD which is where he gets most of his Jeep accessories, as well as an air filter (a leftover from his birthday wishlist). But the prize for most gifts goes to Seth who had so many gifts (our neighbor actually stopped by the night before and brought yet another one for him!). He got lots of trucks, Hess collector trailer and jet, racetrack with cars and a life-sized Jeep for him to drive around the yard.
But at the end of the day, it was so wonderful to spend the day together laughing and having a good dinner. Sometimes I think back to my single life, and even though I have good memories of times spent with friends, nothing compares to a Christmas spent with my own family. I hope yours was filled with family and love too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Kindle

I launched my Kindle app on my Galaxy Tab today and was surprised to find.... snow? There's a cute snow animation on the home page- guess it's a reminder Christmas is just around the corner!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Facebook Notifications!

Just updated my Facebook application for Android and finally it has notifications! I think that will make my Facebook usage less sporadic than it has been since I moved over from Blackberry!

Sent via Droid Pro

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Battery Life Droid Pro Edition

The single best investment I made for my Droid Pro was the extended battery. Over the past few weeks the life has steadily improved and has gotten to the point of nearly Blackberry-esque proportions.
This weekend has been an excellent example of how hard I can ride the battery. I had a conference 5 hours away from home in Houston. As my coworker drove us to the hotel I kept on top of my emails and texted friends and family. Yesterday we had a half day of conferences before heading home. Because I had already checked out, I had packed up my charger first thing in the morning. My Droid Pro lasted me through the half day, the 5 hour drive home, the evening and then overnight since I forgot to unpack my charger before I upstairs to bed (and was too exhausted to go back down to get it).
This morning I fully expected to wake up to a dead battery and was surprised to have 30% left. All in all, I have been very pleased with the juice. I had some concerns about the original battery but this one makes me very content.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Humpday Humor: Friendship-Men vs Women

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Galaxy Tab Battery Life

I suddenly remembered yesterday that I hadn't charged my Galaxy Tab in a while and a quick check of my battery stats showed that it was nearly 3 days since my last charge. In those 3 days I had used it to watch 1 show during lunch, used it as I worked out each evening for music and reading (via Kindle app) and playing various games (mainly WordFeud and Angry Birds).
The idea that this Tab can go so many days without a charge is exciting- to be able to toss it in my purse without worrying every day about battery life is a dream I've not yet realized on any of my mobile devices.
I don't really employ any battery saving tricks, except to keep it on airplane mode so I can use the wifi at home and at work. Overall I have to say I'm impressed with the technology that the Tab employs to sip on the battery rather than gulping (I'm looking at you, Motorola).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To: Remove DROID Startup Sound

One of the most annoying things I've encountered is the loud obnoxious 'DROIIIIIID" sound (from the TV Commercials) that my Droid Pro makes when it starts up. I've been determined to find a way to shut it off, and finally I figured it out:

1. Download Z4Root from the app market and root your phone.
2. Once rooted, download Root Explorer from the app market.
3. Open Root explorer and navigate to system>media>and then rename the droid.ogg file to droid.old (also at the top make sure you click "mount R/W" or you won't be able to change the name)

And that's it! You'll have yourself a nice quite startup the next time you reboot your Droid Pro. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nexus One to Droid Pro: What I Miss and What I Don't

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Its been 3 full days with my Motorola Pro and so far I'm pretty optimistic about the experience. Battery life is the one gripe that I have- 10 hours with moderate use- but I have decided that I will pick up the extended battery when its available and that should boost it to a satisfactory level.
Here are some of the things I've observed as differences:

1. The screen resolution for the Droid Pro feels....rough. Just not as smooth as the Nexus One or the Galaxy Tab. To be expected for sure, but still...
2. Keyboard on the Droid Pro is fantastic. It felt a bit stiff on the first day but either I got used to it or it loosened up.
3. I do miss the trackball on the Nexus. I never noticed a million different ways that I use it.
4. I don't miss the blinding trackball notifications at night. The notification light on the Droid Pro is much more subtle and doesn't light up the entire bedroom if it goes off at night.
5. Battery intervals: I really don't appreciate the Droid Pro only reporting battery life in increments of 10.
6. Volume: The volume on the Pro is louder and clearer than on the Nexus. At max levels, it doesn't sound tinny at all.
7. Oddities: I've noticed a handful of small odd things on the Pro: Contact images don't show up on my Exchange contacts, BeyondPod installs a khaki colored widget instead of the normal black version. So far nothing earth shattering- just things that make me go 'hmmmm'.
8. Droooooid! I really want to remove that startup sound. If you know how to please let me know.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Houston, We Have Root!


I am one happy camper right now- I have the 2 gadgets I've been dying to get my hands on for months, and now I found a tip on how to get them both rooted with no fancy footwork required! This tip from Android Central works not only on the Galaxy Tab but also on the Motorola Droid Pro. You should get Z4Root from the marketplace and root now if you need to! My Tab got rooted in about a minute, but my Droid Pro froze the first 2 times so I did battery pulls and tried again and the last time it got rooted quickly too. Now that I'm rooted I can do screenshots (yay!) but more importantly I can restore some of my precious backup data from my Nexus One using Titanium Backup.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Eye Candy: Droid Pro and Galaxy Tab

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Droid Pro...Keyboard, How I Missed You!

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My Droid Pro came yesterday afternoon and I spent the rest of the evening happily configuring all my apps. I absolutely love my Pro! The keyboard is exactly the same as the Blackberry 9700 with one minor annoyance- the 'alt' and 'caps' key are inverted locations which require a bit of re-learning to remember each time.
The physical hardware is flawless. Its just about the same silhouette as the Nexus One but it is thicker and denser. The screen is smaller, and it definitely feels a bit cramped at times, but I suspect that might be magnified after coming from the Nexus (I looked at my old Blackberry 9700 and the Pro is luxurious compared to that screen).
Another small gripe is that the battery life seems to only be reported in 10% increments. I can't comment much on battery life at the moment, especially since I just noticed that I had accidentally set up Twidroyd to update every 5 minutes! I'll also feel a lot better when there is an Invisible Shield available for it-the back is very glossy and looks smudgy.
You should know going into this that the Droid Pro is not going to be your multimedia powerhouse. The camera is ok, the speakers are loud enough, but with the lower resolution everything is 'popping' quite as much as it does on some of those other 'all screen' phones. For me, I think its the excellent companion for my new Galaxy Tab.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Pad- First 24 Hours

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Yesterday morning I went to the Verizon store and finally got my Galaxy Tab! First impressions are extremely favorable:

-Love the size- its thinner and sleeker than the Cherrypad and the body feels more comfortable
-Capacitive screen- I will never again underestimate the importance of not using a resistive screen.
-I was able to get it with a $20 plan off-contract which is a plus; I thought the plan would be $30 for some reason.
-Slingplayer works perfectly on it in full size- that is exactly what I was hoping for.
-Its fast- no lags or pauses while moving back and forth. That may also be because of the extra memory which means that I don't have to move applications to the memory card.
-I ordered this lovely Zenus case and I'm excited to receive it:


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More details later, but I'm very pleased overall!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Humpday Humor: Halloween Edition

I didn't have a chance to share Seth's Halloween get-up from a few weeks ago. Introducing, Dr Feelgood:


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why Can't It be Easy?

I woke up at the crack of dawn and was excited to be able to finally be able to place my pre-order and get my Droid Pro shipped, hopefully for delivery on the 11th since Dean is off. So far, I haven't gotten any confirmation email and now trying to use the search portal now brings up '0' instead of the previous message "order received, being processed". I'm starting to suspect the worst.
All I wanted was to get my Droid Pro.......arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Monday, November 8, 2010

"It's Not Me,It's You"

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January 11, 2011 will mark exactly 10 years that I've been in the mobile market. I remember heading to Target and picking up the Handspring Visor- I spent the rest of that weekend consolidating every post-it note and address book I had. But now, over 2 dozen mobile devices later, I wonder why I've never found the perfect one that has the ability to hold my attention for a long period of time.

-Moved from Handspring Visor to Visor Platinum for more memory after 3 months
-Moved from Platinum to Treo 180 for included telephony after 2 years
-Moved to TMobile Pocket PC Phone edition for color screen
-Moved to Treo 600 after 4 months because I hated the Tmo Pocket PC Phone.
-Moved to Treo 650 after 7 months for Bluetooth and improved resolution
-Moved to Cingular 8125 for Windows Mobile. Palm was getting old after a year.
-Moved to Samsung Blackjack after 8 months to get away from sliding mechanism
-Moved to Ubiquio 503G after a year to go back to touchscreen WM.
-Moved to HP 910 after 8 months due to issues with the Ubiquio (memory leaks, low-res camera)
-Moved to HTC Fuze after 3 months due to memory card issues on the HP 910
-Moved to Blackberry Bold after 3 months for QWERTY Bar form factor
-Moved to Blackberry 9700 after 10 months for improved camera, memory and size
-Moved to Nexus One to get Android experience after 4 months

Wow. That's a whole lot of transition! Now I need to take a look at what I hope to get from my next move to the Motorola Droid Pro:
1. QWERTYBar form factor
2. Android OS
3. Good camera
4. Good screen resolution
5. Decent amount of memory
6. Decent battery life

In conjunction with my tablet, I hope that I can settle down for a while with the same device.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CherryPad Market Problem

After successfully downloading a few apps from the app market, the Cherrypad has suddenly developed an issue with downloading new apps. It seems like whatever method used to give it access to the market has stopped working. Waiting for more information and hopefully a fix from the support team....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cherrypad Review: What You Get for $188

I'm going to put my shipment issues to the side and review the actual device. I've been putting it through its paces and I think I have a pretty good grasp on what its capable of doing. $206 shipped is a fraction of what you'll pay for other tablet devices, but I think its surprisingly worth it if you're a particular type of user. Let me set the scenario for you: you've got a dumbphone and you need a little something extra- you contemplated getting a Kindle, but then decided you wanted to be able to surf the web, watch videos, listen to music maybe...
The Cherrypad is made of a lightweight aluminum, which gives it an impressive look but the edges can dig into the hand after a while. It has 3 side buttons (power, volume up and down) and 3 front buttons (home, back and menu- curiously missing is search). The screen is resistive, but also has some movement to it-pressing firmly feels like you might 'crumple' the top layer. There's also a lot of bezel which makes you wish they had made the device slightly smaller. The resolution isn't awful and when videos playback they are crystal clear and bright.
Battery life is impressive- with wifi on and medium brightness I am getting through a day of assorted tasks including streaming videos and podcasts. The Cherrypad comes with an AC charger and a USB sync/charge cable only. The charging port is proprietary, although I don't have any other chargers at the moment to confirm if there is some crossover.
Android Market is what sets the Cherrypad apart from its similarly-priced competitors. You can even download the Google voice app and you will be able to send and receive texts over wifi (no voice calls as far as I could see). Most apps are present in the market, but a few -such as Slingplayer) aren't there. And then there are some oddities with running apps- mainly weird layout issues. Angry Birds runs, but there is no visible text and all the glass and cages appear white. I tried to install the apk for Slingplayer (using the handy included 'App Installer') but the app simply wouldn't launch once installed.
Audio is ample but at the highest levels it becomes a bit tinny- could be because of the aluminum body. There is also over 1 GB of internal storage space which is great for being able to store items onboard. Today I did a hard reset and the items in storage space remained- good to know in case of any critical crashes!
The first thing you'll need to know is that you will not want to load this up with a bunch of apps. I did that initially and it finally slowed to a crawl. You should plan to load it up with a few critical apps- an ereader, newsreader and battery watch app at most. You'll have Google Maps, Talk and YouTube preinstalled along with the usual staples. Initially I had it loaded up with LauncherPro, BeyondPod and other high-overhead apps and finally today I was forced to do a hard reset.
So, what's the verdict? That's a tough one- for a hundred dollars more you might be able to pick up a full-fledged netbook....but how much fun would you really have with that? In my opinion, I'd say that the Cherrypad is a perfect alternative to those higher priced tablets. For $200 you'll have a portable device capable of handling your multimedia and running your favorite Android apps, and in this holiday season where so many are cash-strapped I'd say you could do worse. No carrier contract, no next day buyers remorse if you know exactly what you're getting in to.
What will I be doing? Well, sadly I'll be sending my Cherrypad back as Zecozi was so kind as to process a refund for me already. I'm hoping I can ship it back next week so I can get some side-by-side shots with the Galaxy Tab. I really wanted to keep the Cherrypad, but then the 3 week shipping ordeal soured me on the experience. Zecozi and Cherrypal have indicated that they would be willing to reprocess the transaction....jury is still out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Arguments for a Tablet Device

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When the tablet craze began I was interested because I thought at minimum it would give me a convenient way to watch shows during my lunch break at work. But then on Thursday night I received the Cherrypad and suddenly realized a million and one uses- okay, maybe not exactly a million, but certainly more than I had thought. At 7 inches, it makes a very handy e-reader once connected to the Kindle app. I popped my sd card and I was able to enjoy using it as my music device with one important feature I never realized I was missing- uninterrupted playback. Using my phone as my music device has been convenient, but also keeps me 'in the mix' of what's going on: reading a book, or trying any other 'escapist' activity is always cut short by incoming email, text messages, phone calls, or IM message. But yesterday as I hopped onto my stationary bike for a workout I was able to listen to music and read an ebook completely undisturbed.
That experience gave me a complete understanding of why the Kindle has become the runaway success it is. Being able to become totally submerged in the experience without the interruptions of real life is an amazing concept. Its good to be connected , but then its also great to be able to enjoy the experience of technology without the perpetual pings, flashing leds and pop-up messages.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Cherrypad Cometh!

Yesterday the Cherrypad I ordered on Oct 8th finally arrived! Yes, it came- and the sad part is had it simply come a week after I ordered it, I probably would have been really impressed. It's a delightful little piece of kit and well worth the money. In the end the screen (resistive and low-res) and the curious absence of Slingplayer from its version of the Market. Battery life has been pretty good- 12 hours off the charger today and I showed it to a few co-workers, tried a book and generally checked it out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All's Well that Ends Well....Thanks to Zecozi

Yesterday I was kicking myself for ever getting involved with Cherrypal but it seems that every disappointment really is a blessing in disguise. After all, how would I have gotten to know about Zecozi, the marketplace that makes shopping a social experience?


This morning I had more emails with Deana Zelenka, the CEO who has taken what could have been a nightmare situation and handled it with more grace and class than I could have ever imagined. I finally spoke to Deana this morning and she not only processed my refund promptly while apologizing profusely- she also didn't throw Cherrypal under the bus. She expressed disappointment at the situation, but remained professional under pressure- impressive.
So, at the end of the day I learnt some valuable lessons:
-Sometimes it is good to pay attention to what the internet has to say
-Being an early adopter is not without risks
-If it sounds too good to be true, it just may be
-You can have a good outcome from a negative experience
-If you keep it classy, you always come out on top.
A tip of the hat to you, Ms Zelenka.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cherrypal Scam....Again?

They say a fool and his money are soon parted and it seems in this case, I am that fool. I should have listened to the naysayers that tried to warn me about Cherrypal and the historical issues they have had with order fulfillment. On October 7 I sent them th $206 to cover the Cherrypad and shipping and to date have received nothing from them.

I sent this email to Zecozi yesterday:


Good Morning,
On Oct 7 I paid $206.80 for the Cherrypad from Cherrypal.
Today is Oct 20 and I have not received that Cherrypad, nor has my purchase
changed status to shipped. I don't understand what is going on, but it seems
apparent that there is no intention to ship this item to me. I would like to
cancel my order and get my money back. Please let me know how to proceed.
Thank you.

Zecozi forwarded the message to Cherrypal, and their CEO sent this response:



I am sorry for the delay in you receiving your order as there was a delay in the
shipment from Asia. Your unit should be turned over to USPS today and you should
receive a tracking number. We still believe that all orders will be delivered
this week.
If after you receive you are not satisfied with the CherryPad
America you do have 30 days to return. I am sure you will be satisfied and I
look forward to receiving a note about your user experience.
Cherrypal
Corporation
Green, Open and Fair
John E Collier-CEO

To which I replied:



Good Morning Mr Collier,
I sympathize with your delivery issues, but I still
maintain that it has taken way too long and at this point you are still not even
able to say with certainty that my order will be delivered this week. I do not
believe that I should have to wait over 2 weeks to hear that it may possibly be
up to 3 weeks for me to receive an item I already paid for. Especially when your
store states that deliveries are made within 7 days. As I stated earlier, I
would like my order canceled and my money back. I would prefer to purchase from
a vendor who can provide speedy service and promptly communicate delays (without
me having to initiate the inquiry).
Thank you.

And then...nothing. So this morning I sent this message to Zecozi and Cherrypad:

Good Morning,
Another 24 hours have gone by and I have received neither the
USPS tracking number nor a response to my email. Can someone kindly communicate
with me- you have taken my money and are now ignoring me. Is this some kind of
scam??


At which point the CEO of Zecozi sent this message:



I apologize that Cherrypal has not gotten back to you. Zecozi is an open
marketplace that represents many sellers that are amazing. I do not want the
actions of one seller to influence your opinion of the rest. Please give me
the
chance to get to the office and I will personally check on this and
respond to
you.
Best
Deana Zelenka
CEO, Zecozi

So for now I will wait and see what Deana from Zecozi does to make the situation right...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Health....Mobile style

Ever since the days of Wakefieldsoft's HealthFile for Windows Mobile I've been looking for a way to manage my family's medical information. Ideally that app would have cloud syncing of some sort. Well this weekend after scouring the App Market I finally found such an app: ZipHealth. Even better, using Ziphealth turned me on to Google Health which it seamlessly syncs to.
Ziphealth works perfectly so far with keeping track of immunization info for the entire family. You can build a separate database for each person which in turn will sync with each Google Health user you've tied to your account.
Now a word of warning : a lot of people have issues with storing personal health data on Google. As far as I'm personally concerned Google already pwns me so adding my health info to the mix is no big deal. But if you have medical issues of a personal nature then you may not want to sync your info to Google Health (or Microsoft's Health Vault). Fear not though, since you can use the app on a standalone basis.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CherryPad...Where are thou?

It's been a week since I placed my order for the Cherrypad from Zecozi and I'm not sure how close I am to actually receiving it. After my order status hadn't changed for several days I sent an email to the company about my order and received this reply:

Dear Customer:

We appreciate your order from Cherrypal America and want to communicate expected shipment dates. The demand and overwhelming response for orders is amazing and appreciate the opportunity to be your computing supplier of choice. We want to assure you that your order has been received, processed and is scheduled for shipment from our fulfillment center in Asia on Friday October 15th and should arrive to you by middle to end of the following week. Once the shipment arrives in the United States (usually three days later), you will receive a shipment confirmation email from Zecozi to include the U.S. tracking number.

We will be including in you’re your shipment a free pouch for your CherryPad America as away of saying thank you for your patience.

Please let me know if you have further questions and we know that your experience with the CherryPad America will exceed your expectations.


Cherrypal Corporation Green, Open and Fair John E Collier-CEO
712 Sutter Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94303 704-451-0903 johnc@cherrypal.com www.cherrypal.com www.edwinfoundation.org
So for now I won't panic just yet, in spite of some of the more disturbing things I've been reading about Cherrypal. I will choose instead to be optimistic and believe the best about people.

'Wearable suitcase' lets you beat airline baggage fees

 
 

Sent to you by Lulu via Google Reader:

 
 

via DVICE by Stewart Wolpin on 10/14/10

'Wearable suitcase' lets you beat airline baggage fees

With all the electronic crap we schlep on even over-night trips, we may still have to check a bag — unless you wear your allowed carry-on. This latest compartmentalized unfortunately flasher-styled overcoat from Scottevest has 33 pockets, many large enough to stuff with toiletries, underwear, shirts, even an iPad.


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Insomnia

Lately its been hard to fall asleep and to stay asleep. I counted 6 separate dreams I had night before last! While I'm awake my mind goes to the most random places...
- I read some bad reviews about Cherrypal, the storefront I bought the Cherrypad from. Seems he scammed a few people last year and never sent them their items. *sigh*
- I need to get everyone using my Google voice number so that my switch to Verizon (and back and forth phone use ) is transparent to everyone.
- Dean is on vacation this week. I need to make him a honey-do list.
-Seth's 3rd birthday is in 2 weeks. We are having a birthday party for him and I really hope it goes well.

Time to try counting sheep again....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cherry pickin'


In a fit of irritation yesterday I ordered a CherryPad. Basically the perfect storm of events led up to this:
- My Asus is still freezing occasionally during video playback. Very annoying
- Carrying my Asus everyday in my purse is killing my back. I've also got my thermos in there, so its not just those 2lbs.
- We still have episodic network issues at home with our AT&T wifi so I'm not sure I can rely on being able to watch my Slingplayer every day.
-Samsung is continuing to play emotional mindgames with me regarding release dates and pricing.
-The newly announced Motorola Droid Pro is going to be my new phone the day its released. So with that in mind, the idea of having the tablet be my 'do-it-all' device has been shelved.
My Cherrypad should be arriving next week and I look forward to seeing what this device brings. If it can play video well enough, that should be enough to satisfy my needs....I think.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Her Royal Hotness: The Motorola Droid Pro

FINALLY! A high-end QWERTY Bar running Android! That wasn't too hard now, was it? Yes, I will be purchasing this device the day its available. I hope Verizon is as good as everyone says.

On a separate but related note: Since Verizon doesn't do voice and data simulateously, what happens if I get a call while using GPS navigation?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Verizon Wireless announced Motorola DROID Pro and Citrus

Verizon Wireless announced Motorola DROID Pro and Citrus: "


Today, Verizon Wireless announced the addition of two Motorola, Android handset to their smartphone lineup, the DROID Pro and Citrus. The DROID Pro is a candybar-style, Android 2.2, world-phone that is, to be blunt, not what anyone really expected.


The Citrus is a full-touchscreen Android 2.1 device, complete with MOTOBLUR, and full touchscreen display. The official press released haven’t dropped yet. We’re waiting at the ready to give your the full rundown on both devices.


Developing…


"

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Science of Size, The Size of Science

I recently showed Dean a video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab that I'm hoping to get once its released (any day now, right?) and his response was "Oh, so you're going big again?" I knew exactly what he meant. It seems like just yesterday that I was using the Jasjar as my main device and it was about the same size (open) as the Tab. I swore off devices that size and decided that thin was in.
Fast forward to 2010 and I have the thinnest device I've ever had in the Nexus one, and a phone that can almost fit in the palm of my hand (the Pixi) and I am not content until I have the 7-inch Tab in my arsenal. I know I'm not the only one in that frame of mind. After Apple was able to finally get the ipod shuffle to be nearly the size of the Zoolander phone they came out with the iPad which nearly defies the laws of mobility.So the question remains- what's happened to us?
As we've started to enjoy a richer variety of content on our mobile devices, as well as spend more time with our mobile gadgetry, we have a need for a bigger screen which is a far cry from when all we wanted was the smallest device possible.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Humpday Humor: Garry Gaga

Nick Swardson's Pretend TimeTuesday, October 12
Lady Gaga's Brother: Garry Gaga
www.comedycentral.com


Nick Swardson on Jokes.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Dilemna....

I've been meaning to post about this issue I've been experiencing lately with my Asus 1018p. You see, the whole reason why it became important for me to have a portable netbook is because just about every day at lunch I watch my TV show from the night before in my car. It sounds crazy, but some days it really is the only moment of absolute peace that I have to myself.
Once I got my Asus I upgraded the software to the full version of Windows 7 and that's when the trouble began. Somewhere in that process I must have made an error with the drivers or something because every time I play a video using Windows Media Player it freezes periodically. While the freeze happens, the counter keeps going and then it suddenly starts playing again at double speed. Needless to say, its very annoying. I've had my trusty IT guy at work take a look and he is as stumped as I am.
It's for this reason that I have been especially smitten with the Galaxy Tab. I figured it would be a nice big screen to watch my videos as well as being even more portable. But the more I thought about the idea of offloading to yet another device, the more confused I got. Where would I get my texts? Which device would store my wardrobe and automobile log entries? I still get confused thinking about it.
So for now I've downloaded the VLC media player. I'm going to test it out this week and see if helps with the freezes I've been experiencing. It takes my Asus a little longer to convert my videos to a non-Tivo format but if it fixes the problem, then it'll be worth it. Then I can just go back to waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Q.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

5 Months of Nexus

I just took a look at my calendar and realized that its been well over 5 months that I've been using my Nexus One. Wow. It feels like in those 5 months I've found a million and one new ways to use my phone. Its my in-car GPS device, my camera, mp3 player. I use PhoneMyPC to connect to my main desktop- the screen makes it a treat to use.
But it also makes me wistful- missing my Nexus before its even gone. I knew as soon as I saw the Galaxy Tab that I would be changing my workflow significantly. Let me explain- I've been biding my time until a QWERTYBar Android device comes along. And I knew that with that device I could imagine using my phone as....well, just a phone- and handing over my other tasks to a smaller tablet device. News that the Tab may be available on contract is even better- a roomy screen and network connectivity wherever I go sounds perfect.
So I plan to enjoy my Nexus for a few more weeks/months until the Tab comes out at which point I may even use my Palm Pixi as my phone-only device. Stranger things have happened!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Humpday Humor: App Edition

Need to Laugh until you cry? Peel an Onion!

Every so often you need a good laugh. That may just be the best time to download the Onion app to your Android device. A quick Onion satirical video is guaranteed to improve my mood at any time!

Monday, September 13, 2010

So Many Phones, So Little Time

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Today is one of those days were I've had the luxury to spend time with my collection of phones and explore the differences in OS's. The HTC Diamond shows me what it was about Windows Mobile that I enjoyed for such a long time. Could I go back today? Definitely not. But I can still see the attraction when you compare its aged GUI with something like WebOS which is only about a year old. WebOS makes me the most wistful as it seems so full of promise- the Pixi could be considered a starter phone but it runs everything its stronger sibling can (albeit not simultaneously). Blackberry is such a mixed bag- its complete and well rounded, but its so matter-of-fact that it really isn't what I'd call a fun mobile experience. Android is really good but I wish it had some more hardware options (read: a keyboard!).
Here's an example of an app running on 3 different platforms- WebOS, Blackberry and Android:

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

WebOS Revisited

Over the last few months I've had a really strong desire to revisit WebOS. There have been a lot of changes since my first foray into that world over a year ago. I found an auction on eBay and was able to snag an unlocked, used Pixi for about $150.
I received my Pixi yesterday and so far have been reasonably impressed. Its certainly an underpowered step down from the Pre, but it isn't trying to pretend its something that it's not.
So far I've run into the dreaded "too many cards" error more times than I would like to (considering I've never opened more than 4 or 5). The battery life has been pretty decent so far, and the low screen resolution is less noticeable due to the smaller screen size.
Overall, its just enough to give me an idea of whats been happening on the webos front so far. And it also rounds out my collection of phones- joining my Android Nexus One, WM Jasjar and Diamond, and Blackberry 9700!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kicking it into High Gear

For a long time I've had this pre-conceived idea that the only thing you readers are interested is my mobile life. As a result, there are often long periods of time when I have no new apps to tell you about, no new phones to drool over and there ends up being nothing but silence over here. All that is about to change. Sure, there'll be lots of mobile stuff in here, but there will also be a good amount of posts about my non-mobile life.
Allow me to re-introduce myself: I'm 33, am happily married with a 2 year old and work in Healthcare Administration. In recent months my life has been ridiculously hectic- my clinic is undergoing a major renovation, our leadership team is going through a series of strengthening seminars, and my son is about to turn 3 and we are hoping it will mark the tail end of the terrible twos.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab Official Release

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tethering to the Rescue

I checked in to the hotel last night and found that I would be able to connect via ethernet cable but there was no wifi available in my room. I remembered with FroYo that my Nexus One could act as a hotspot for my netbook. That's the connection I've been using throughout the hotel room at this point. Thank goodness I took the plunge and updated my Nexus! For what its worth, the seminar I'm attending has been very interesting so far!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On the Road Again

This time my travels are taking me much closer to home: I'll be attending a seminar at a hotel only about an hour from home. However, I'll be staying at the hotel and we'll see their connectivity options I'm in the car being driven to the hotel and using my wireless usb dongle. more later....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Galaxy Tab


Here it is- the drool-inducing video of the Samsung Tab. And I have to admit- I want one! The Tab looks to be extremely portable, and running Android 2.2. If Samsung really does release the Galaxy Q I can see having a Q and a Tab to replace my Nexus....

http://galaxytab.samsungmobile.com/

Sunday, August 15, 2010

MyBookDroid for Android



I've been using GoodReads for a while now- not for the social aspect but for the ability to keep track of what I've read and what I want to read. So naturally I've been looking for a way to get that info on to my Nexus. I haven't found a solution yet but I've come up with something really exciting instead. MyBookDroid is a great find that's perfect for many reasons:

-I was able to scan the barcodes on my books and build my library in a few minutes. Now I have an organized list of all my books.

-When I see a book I can scan it and tag it as a book to read later.

- I can find similar books or go directly to buy from Amazon.

In the future the developer has promised sync with GoodReads. In the meantime its a great app for book management. And here's a tip: build a separate library for your eBooks to separately identify your physical books from your Kindle downloads.

Test



Testing blogaway

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tweetdeck for Android! (Its a beta)

The good news is that the much beloved app TweetDeck is in beta for Android. That means that if you've been jonesing for your multi-account fix, here it is finally. Its a basic app that shows you a single stream of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Google Buzz activity. It looks very promising:

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Of course as a beta, there are a few things its lacking:
1. No customizable refresh intervals
2. No customizable alerts (it alerts for all new tweets)
3. No resizable font. This annoys me quite a bit as the font is HUGE.
It doesn't show images inline, but tapping on a tweet does show a nice preview of the image:


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For a beta, it shows they are definitely on the right track. Until at least the refresh rate is fixed, I'm going to keep it on a back burner, but I will keep a close eye on it. If you would like to keep an eye on it you can pick it up here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WordFeud.....Good Times!

My new guilty pleasure is WordFeud. It's an online game of Scrabble that you play with friends or with random players.
What I especially like is that you can play multiple games simultaneously and you can have notifications so you can do other things and then come back to your game when the other player has made a move.
Wordfeud is in the appmarket and if you fancy a game, you can use the 'play with friend' option and add me - lulugirl896. Game on!

DroidSeries: Track Episodes on your Android

So now that I found a TV Guide app I'm happy with, I stumbled on to this gem in the XDA Forums. DroidSeries is a database of shows in chronological order by season. You search for your favorite shows and then the app gives you the name of each episode, as well as a brief synopsis and rating.
Its not something I would use everyday, but for those times when you are catching up on old episodes, its a great way to know the order and also to have the full name to key into your TiVo.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Twidroyd: Twitter for Android

Once I made the transition to Android from Blackberry, the one area I had the hardest time adjusting was the search for the perfect Twitter client. Socialscope had spoiled me terribly with its integration with Facebook, inline image previews and instant access. I started off with Touiteur, which is a glossy, attractive application for Twitter. However, I found Touiteur over time to be a bit too glossy- even the most basic of functions required several screen taps. For example- to view trends I had to tap the icon for more shortcuts, select trends from that list, then refresh trends (for some reason, they didn't auto refresh) then repeat the whole cycle to view current items.
Eventually I noticed that my Twitter usage was falling off. In part I can certainly attribute that to a lack of physical keyboard, but I am convinced that part of it was because of my choice of app. I tried several different ones and finally gave Twidroyd a shot. Its lightweight, well laid-out and even though it doesn't show images inline, it has a nice semi-transparent preview window that overlays the app so you don't need to leave to see pictures or follow links.

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It also resolves a minor peeve I had with some apps I tested out- I find it very useful to know which interface people are sending tweets from. Most of the people I follow tend to switch devices quite a bit (*cough* MichaelManna *cough) and seeing the app they sent a message from is a quick way to know that OS they are on. Until I find a solution that can give me inline image preview as well as a dark theme, I'll be sticking with Twidroyd, which seems to be coming along very nicely.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Waiting Game

Every year, around this time, it happens. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of mobile boredom and I am frantically scouring the web to find a leak, a rumor, a HINT of a device that could make me happy. This year its not as bad- I am enjoying my Nexus One, and the apps that Android brings to the table- but I have become obsessed with the search for a QWERTYBar Android phone. I heard about the Motorola Charm a few weeks ago and was convinced that it was the key to my contentedness. After a close review of the specs, I realized that I would be heading right back to the days of the HP 910 and Ubiquio 503G....in other words- not a direction I really wanted to head in.
Then I saw the leaked specs of the Samsung Galaxy Q which looks to be a higher-end device with a hi-res screen, better processor and improved camera. But so far we haven't even seeen a rendering of this device. Samsung has announced an event next Wednesday- I have my fingers (and toes!) crossed that there will be an official launch of the Galaxy Q unlocked or on AT&T. I have already earmarked the money for this, and I am ready to make that transition. You should probably be keeping your fingers crossed too. A keyboarded mobile device is basically all that separates you from more Mobigasmic goodness!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Galaxy Q specs leaked

This is my new drool-worthy device! I will wait for this one to come down the pipes!



Galaxy Q specs leaked: "

Last month we ran a story about the front-QWERTY keyboard Galaxy Q phone that Samsung reportedly plans to add to their Galaxy line. More specs have now leaked out about the likely BlackBerry competitor.

The Samsung Galaxy Q will have:

  • 3-inch Super AMOLED screen (720x480)
  • 1 GHz Hummingbird processor
  • 8MP camera with LED flash
  • 1.3 mp front-facing camera
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Android 2.2
  • 16GB internal memory (Micro SD expandable to 32GB)

Since it is being touted as a BlackBerry competitor, it will most likely have the screen up top with the keyboard directly below. It sounds like a very intriguing phone, and it will be interesting to see how many BlackBerry users may be swayed by the Galaxy Q. [MobileCrunch]

Posted originally at Android Central

Sponsored by Android Cases and Accessories

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mobile Hotspot

Over the past weekend I decided to take the leap and update my Nexus One to FroYo. I'll detail later how I finally got it done, but the feature I was most excited to try out was the mobile hotspot. Since I've been toting around my new Asus EEE PC, I'm very interested in any solution that will get me connected.
I tried it for the first time today and was very happy with the results. Its as easy as toggling the hotspot feature on, and then using the netbook to connect to the AndroidAP network. Connection speed was about 800kbps which is enough to get through a few light pages in a pinch.
Overall, I'm pleased at the option even though I probably won't be using it on a daily basis.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

eBuddy Android Update


One of my favorite uses for my mobile devices is instant messaging. Ever since Facebook chat went mobile, its been a part of my daily routine to keep my IM client logged in to catch a quick chat here and there with long lost friends. It hasn't always been an easy proposition: Beejive on Windows Mobile sucked battery life like crazy. Palringo was quirky and very beta-ish. On Blackberry I had better luck with Beejive, and it soon became one of my MVPs (alongside SocialScope). Fast forward to Android, and I decided to go with eBuddy. I've enjoyed it so far, even though I miss basic luxuries like exporting chat logs to Evernote, and sending files (seriously???!).
But lately there's been a nagging irritation with the connectivity that was driving me a little bit crazy. After a set period of time, Facebook chat would show me as logged off, even though I could see all my friends online. Eventually I made it a point to log off and back on again whenever I remembered to.
Well, yesterday the good folks at eBuddy released an update that uses Facebook connect to log in to Facebook chat and so far it seems to be doing a good job of keeping me logged in. This is one of the reasons I love the Android platform so much. I haven't had a day go by where there hasn't been at least one app update. Its refreshing, to say the least.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shazam For Android: Good Practices

Yesterday I was prompted for to update Shazam in the app store and went to take a look at what had changed. Now out of beta, Shazam is now offering a free version with 5 free tags and a premium version with unlimited tagging. However, Shazam has made an excellent decision to automatically upgrade anyone who had tagged songs prior to July 13th to the premium version automatically.
I think this is a fantastic way to reward your beta testers and acknowledge that early adopters provide the feedback necessary to drop that beta badge.
Kudos to Shazam for great mobile practices, and more importantly, a great product!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The (Upgrade) Path Less Chosen

If no one has already told you- be nice to your company's IT guy; you never know when he can get you out of a jam! Greg (heretoforth known as my guardian angel) has been known to hook me up with all kinds of ridiculous goodies. On my HP Mini he upgraded my ROM to 2Gb and gave me a free copy of Windows 7 Enterprise (and lent me his DVD drive to get it installed!). So of course when I picked up my Asus I was excited to show it to him and see how he could 'pimp' my netbook. He was able to move the ROM from the Mini to the Asus (so that now has 2Gb) and he got me Windows 7 and Office 2010 for it. He also gave me an unallocated 3G Dongle with 5Gb free each month!
I got home and prepared for what I thought would be the reasonable straight-forward task of upgrading my Asus to Windows 7. About an hour later it had installed, but for some reason was showing at an 800x600 resolution, couldn't activate Aero and had no sound. I fought for another hour trying to figure out what the problem was and finally found myself on the support website for Asus. If you are in the same boat I was in and have video driver issues with your Asus EEE 1018p, you can go to this link on AsusTek and download the driver. Install, reboot, and you'll be just fine! Now I've got my fantastic sleek little netbook running full Windows 7, 2Gb of ROM and network connectivity wherever I go! Perfect!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Asus EEE PC 1018P- Super Thin, Uber Sexy

Yesterday I was browsing Engadget and noticed this article about the ASUS 1018p. It piqued my interest, especially when some research on the netbook revealed it to be one of the thinnest, and also to have about double the battery life of my HP 110.

I hadn't planned on upgrading my netbook, but I started doing some thinking...if I plan to move from the Nexus to the Charm once that gets released, I'll definitely be needing a multimedia device to complement it. My HP 110 with its extended battery is not exactly the most mobile option in the world. (Side note: in Jamaica we wanted to try making a Skype call from the main building thinking the signal would be stronger than it was at the remote villas we were staying in. The size and weight of the HP turned us off so we ended up making a Skype call on a 17kbps connection....it was very interesting!)

So yesterday evening I took a field trip to Best Buy and found that it looked even better in real life than it had in photos. I immediately scooped one up, with the intention of throwing the HP up on eBay.



Here's a comparison of the thickness of both devices. It wouldn't be so atrocious except that I still only get about 6 hours despite the massive hump on the HP. So far I haven't had much time to really play with it, but I do plan to get into it once I bump the memory to 2GB and the OS to Windows 7 Home Edition.

My multimedia plan is to put Tivo Desktop on it and have it pull all my shows from my Tivo and be able to tote my Asus anywhere I go.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Next Phone: Motorola Charm?







Here it is folks: the QWERTY Bar I've been waiting for. Its coming to T-Mobile in the next few weeks and I plan to pick this up even though it will mean signing up with TMobile in conjuction with my AT&T plan.
I'm trying to overlook the fact that I won't have a nice hi-res screen, but will instead be able to continue enjoying all my favorite Android apps.