Dear HTC:

15 04 2011

Sense has some really great features, but I’m really unhappy with your Widgets. There is so much border and large fonts telling me which widget I am on I loose interest in content.

Not to mention I have two implementations of Gmail, Facebook and Twitter alerting me and screwing with my contact. I have to go back an unlink, remove sign in information. It is kind of frustrating.

I wasn’t able to root and install stock, but I’m going to have to push harder. Sense is just pissing me off today.

[J]

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What’s the plan? Starting something new — How to become a professional Blogger?

5 04 2011

http://xkcd.com/874/

Certainly there is something really appealing to being able to sit at home and just write all day long (like my friend Lisa). If I could make money doing it that would be even better.

So where to start? Degree? No. Internet Connection? Check. Twitter? Check. WordPress? Sorta.

You need to be interesting and write about semi-interesting things. How do you translate all that information that flows into your brain, pin-point cultural and social references and then talk about cool things like Technology?

So as a nerd in the sea of wordpress bloggers, what kind of things do you random visiters feel keep you coming back to your favorite blogs? I am really interested in hearing the opinions of all 6 of you who will visit today.

Should I do a better review of my Desire Z? Yes.

[J]





Good-bye Engadget

13 03 2011

Certainly I have noticed a change in the way content is pushed.

Now, within two month the top three faces of Engadget have left. How come? Seems to have something to do with AOL. What will happen now? I’m sure Engadget will survive, the fan-base isn’t as smart as Josh’s farewell dictates. It’s really more of a place of buzz than actually interesting geeky news.

Back to /. I guess.

Be well Engadget.





HTC Desire Z — My first impressions

8 01 2011

My Story

For the last new months I have been itching for a new phone. As much as I appreciate new tech, I have been holding back from stepping into the Smartphone realm for a personal phone for a couple of years. The reason being the cost of Data and tethering and the lack of competition just have not been worth the investment. The last year however has seen the release of the iPhone 4, Blackberry 9800 (Torch), and a fistful of high-end Android phones. The latter group tends to run the mature Android 2.2 Froyo OS.

My preferences are simple: a hardware keyboard and a large screen. I enjoy blackberry for work, but don’t like their screens and applications. I own an iPod Touch, and never enjoyed Apple’s interface and lack of customization. Although Apple has made it very easy for me to find applications and download music, the lack of features and customization of their products make them boring. My connected life runs through Google’s products, I use Calendar and Docs for school and my email is handled through Gmail, naturally I am going to head towards Google’s own mobile system.

So what Hardware should I use? I’ve been asking myself this for months. The Motorola Droid has stood out for me. It reminds me of the 70’s with its lines and colours, the downside is that the only provider here in Canada has it locked into 2.1 and full of crap-ware. Paying 65$ for a gig of bandwidth and only 200 minutes didn’t appeal to me either. Holiday season rolls around and prices go up, I hold out longer, almost setting for a Nexus One. When looking over HTC online I discover the Desire Z, or G2 in the US. Is it here? Yes. So I goto Best buy and try it out…

My Impressions

This is my first HTC phone. Holding it feels solid but it is a little heavy. Certainly with the additional keyboard there is some bulk there, but there is some security in that. It is also sexy, curvy, and with its grey matte finish it does not show where it has been touched. In the store I fell in love. It is not a slider, but it swings open supported by 3 metal hinges with plastic covering. The keyboard is okay. It is back-lit, has knobs on the F and J keys to help you find your way around the keyboard, it is a little cramped if you have big fingers but all smart-phone keyboards are like this. Unfortunately for me, my hands cannot find a comfortable position to type quickly and I find myself swinging around the bottom and sides of the keyboard to reach some keys. Another draw back is that if you are laying down or holding the phone vertically with the keyboard open a light tap will lift the screen from its secured position and will swing towards the keyboard. It isn’t a huge concern and with some adjustments you never have it happen to you except the first few times using it.

Software wise, Android 2.2 with Sense is very fast and animations are very smooth. The screen may not be as nice as the Galaxy S but colours and text are smooth and vibrant on its WVGA screen. Performance only suffered when watching Flash movies or animations in the Webkit browser, otherwise Youtube functioned well.

Battery life is okay. I can use it regularly to check emails and surf during a 12 hour day and not have it sit below 15%. This really depends on your habits. A lot of video will cut that pretty quickly. If you’re like me and text a lot, listen to music and do the occasional surfing on the road then you’ll be fine for a the day.

I want to get into Froyo and Sense but I honestly need more time with the phone and exploring features. Right now, it syncs well with my Google Account and plays very nicely with Facebook and Twitter. If I have some more time I ll explore the phone’s features and take some pictures to accompany a better review.

As an Overview:

Pros:

  • Solid Aluminum design
  • Android 2.2 with Flash 10.1
  • Backlit keyboard
  • 5.0 MP Camera with LED Flash
  • Fast Software

Cons:

  • Thick, especially with a case. Heavy.
  • Flipping keyboard is too easy, and sometimes gets in the way
  • Battery life could be longer
  • Included earphones seem cheap.

Overall I have been impressed with this phone. It isn’t as sleek as the iPhone 4 but I am happy with the design. A lot of people find the hinges troubling, but the design seems sound and it doesn’t wiggle or feel too loose, it is easy to flip but that is seems like a design issue. Only time will tell how reliable they are. Android 2.2 is fantastic and has everything a Smartphone OS should have. I will update this entry as I find issues and take a few pictures.

[J]





No news is good news: Why talking about CR-48 is not real-tech-journalism

14 12 2010

Hello,

Some of you may have heard that Google is beta-testing their release of Chrome OS on a piece of hardware dubbed the CR-48.

Shortly after it’s release, we saw many of the attendees flood the blog-sphere with impressions and excitement that they were going to be taking home a new laptop to review.

HOWEVER

There are hundreds of reviews pointing to a piece of software and hardware that will never make it into the consumers hands.

Chrome OS as a project is available to everybody in an unsupported form. There are a few groups out there pushing their own builds so you can try it on your existing laptop and experience what Google is trying to do with this OS.

The problem I have is that Engadget and PCworld are running reviews negatively as if this were a product we will be seeing, when it is not. What Google is offering us is a beta-test, that’s it. The hardware is not fully functional, the software is still in the works and there is nothing that is worth noting TODAY because it will be different tomorrow.

Similarly, the leaked versions of Windows 7 a few years ago had people in an up-roar about the lack of changes. Bloggers where filling comment pages with opinions that it was a terrible project that left much to be desired, when in fact those builds simply did not have all the native software.

What I desire is some integrity. Chrome OS is a game changer in a lot of ways, some ways in which people will not be able to talk about until more people are under its influence. Just like the iPhone made a difference in how we interact with applications and use our smart-phones, google’s design for this OS and it’s ties to cloud computing could be a major step in cutting back the tons of media garbage (in forms of USBs, CDs, and bandwidth), and a focus on offering content through a refined medium.

Right now Installing, saving, loosing, hardware dying, people forgetting to press save are manageable in a different way. Google’s attempt is to show us that way because right now people are still stuck in a very limited and wasteful form of computing.





Dear Engadget

24 10 2010

Your current comment system is terrible. Please change it.

 

Sincerely,

Another disgruntled Engadget Viewer.





Sparking the Dream – the lure of Microsoft

13 08 2010

It was a fluke, but I happened to stumble upon a strange website from Microsoft named,”Dream Spark”

(C) Microsoft

https://www.dreamspark.com

Simply put, this is Microsoft’s way to attract student developers into using their products. Since I am moving into Computer Science at my local university, I thought this was a good time to take advantage.

So far so good, although you find the basic development software for hobbyists, found under the ‘Express’ moniker I’m also downloading a copy of Visual studio 2010 and benefiting from excellent links to Discounted software that is even cheaper than my Campus’ store.

If you’re a student in the US, Canada (like myself), or the UK, I think you’ll benefit from the resources on this site. If you’re interested in Development in general, check it out, though the Express series has great documents and info for learning how to program in the Language you prefer.