figmo: (Default)
I currently have a "dumb" phone that's on its last legs. I'm looking at upgrading to either an iPhone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy. My service provider is AT&T, and yes, I'm way overdue for my upgrade. Here's what I care about:
  • Ease of use.
    I expect there to be a learning curve, especially since I'll no longer be able to dial by feel. Which is easier to use as a phone, including the speaker feature?
  • Searching while talking.
    Can I look up stuff on my smartphone while I'm talking on it? If so, how awkward is it?
  • PDA functionality.
    Let me be blunt: I Miss My Palm Zire 72. I want to be able to use my smartphone as a calendar, alarm clock with customized alarms, and as a list-tracker. Do either have apps that can do this? My iPod Touch's alarm clock is way too soft to wake me up; I've heard the iPhone is way better this way, though. I have no experience with the Android platform.
  • Available apps.
    What's out there for each platform? I know I can run apps on an iPhone that'll save me money (which will help offset the monthly data fee). Do these exist for the Android?
  • Upgradability.
    Can I upgrade the hardware or software at all? The iPhone appears to be software upgradeable but not hardware upgradeable, while the Galaxy appears to be the other way around. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
  • Battery life.
    How do they compare?
  • Tethering.
    I'm going to have to pay for a measured service plan no matter how I roll it, so how easy is it to use either one as a MiFi hotspot? Yes, this is very important to me.
  • "Regret factor."
    Will I still feel good about this phone a year from now? I like buying tech gear that's going to last me a while and keep me happy, which means I tend to go for the top of the line.
  • Other stuff.
    Since I don't have a smartphone, I don't know what I'm missing or what to look for beyond what I've mentioned.
So...which is better, and why?
figmo: (Default)
Last week my adorable but not technogeeky fiancé was at my house and said, "You somehow managed to get a cord caught in your shredder."

This sounded absurd. First of all, I rarely use my shredder; he uses it more than I do. When I do use it, there aren't any cords near the blades. The rest of the week I continued on with my job search, life, and so forth, wondering why there were no new messages on my answering machine. I figured he was clearing it remotely (he gets messages on my machine).

Last night I tried answering the phone that has the answering machine attached, only it was dead. In a classic case of "Yeah, you can smell this one coming," I followed the power cord and phone cord and discovered the latter had somehow been cut in half. I have no idea how he got the phone cord stuck in the shredder; all I could do was burst out laughing. Fortunately, I had a spare phone cable (hey, I'm a geek!) I could use to hook up the machine.

The reason I was in the computer room was I was suddenly unable to connect to my home network. Around a month ago my backup drive stopped appearing on my home network. I had tried power-cycling it. I reseated the connection. No luck. I've been having to power cycle the router a lot in the last couple of months because my wireless printer kept falling off the home network.

Last night my wireless router was D-E-A-D. The power was connected. It was plugged in. This router is I-forget-how-many-years-old; it's 802.11g, and at the time it was the top-of-the-line protocol available. The only reason I can connect to the net wirelessly right now is there's a Google WiFi transponder across the street from my house. It's slow, it's clunky, and it's not secure, but at least I can sort of get to the net till I go out and buy a new router.

Yesterday someone asked me if I'd ever configured a router. Heh. It's time for me to turn into the Good Router Configuration Fairy. I bet my other networking problems are suddenly going to go away real soon....
figmo: (Default)
On the way home, something horrible happened to Studmuffin (my new MacBook Pro). I'd been having random problems with the graphics for a while, but it went really wonky when I got home from Conflikt. I took Studmuffin to the Apple Store Monday evening after work. They quoted me "five to ten business days." I'm typing this on my fully-repaired Studmuffin now. This was way faster than I expected to get my computer back.

To think, folks wonder why Apple customers are so loyal....
figmo: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] egoldberg sent me this fascinating link about the design of the current MS Office "ribbon" (the new UI). I respect their work, but at the same time I strongly disagree with the premise on which it was started. The premise on their end was that the UI was keeping people from getting to the features. I say it was the lack of good documentation that kept people from getting to the features. People won't go looking for features they don't know are there, and at the same time MS Word still doesn't do things I want it to do, such as correctly handling numbered lists (don't even get [livejournal.com profile] dimakoi started on that one!).

I am still waiting for Big Gay Al to come back from the shop. This is driving me nutty. I've done benchmarks on both my old and my new laptop, and oddly enough the new one comes back nearly 2x as fast as the old one, save for some stuff with the GUI. Weird. I don't know why the new computer still seems slower, but it does.

I wound up having to totally restore the new computer from ground zero. I'm still restoring it. I am hoping the shop gets the logic board for Big Gay Al in so I can finally be fully computer functional again.
figmo: (Default)
I had to say it. This isn't a "religious" thing; it's a post from someone who is frustrated at all the crap she has to run to keep her system from getting invaded by stuff.

People keep saying Macs are more expensive, but when you add the maintenance costs to the Windows boxes and note that the Mac will be useful for a longer period of time, Macs turn out to be cheaper.

I just wish Adobe would effing port FrameMaker to MacOSX or Linux so I wouldn't have to run Windows at all.

I now go back to making my systems usable so I can get back to work. :-(
figmo: (Default)
I have this Lenovo 3000 N200 running Windows XP Pro. When I'm using Firefox (3.0.4) it sometimes totally hangs. I have noticed some of the wedging occurs when it tries to access particular sites, but even blocking them has not stopped it from trying to access these sites and has not stopped the hanging.

The performance of this computer also seems slower than that of my Compaq Presario 6000 running Windows XP Media Edition. The latter system doesn't hang when running the same version of Firefox. I would have expected the Lenovo (the newer system) to be the faster of the two, but it isn't.

Some comparisons:Chip: Intel Pentium Dual CPU T2390, 1.86 GHz, 1GB RAM
Lenovo systemCompaq system
Windows XP Professional 2002, Service Pack 2Windows XP Media Center Edition, Service Pack 3
Chip: AMD Turin 64 Mobile technology MK-36, 2.01 GHz, 1.93 GB RAM, Physical Address Extension


I am aware that the whole GHz thing can be irrelevant when you're talking about different chips, so I don't know which chip is supposed to be faster. Any advice on whether I'm doing something wrong or if indeed my perception is correct would be appreciated, as well as any way to keep Firefox from crashing.

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