Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Goodbye iPhone….Hello Android

January 13, 2011 1 comment

I have been a loyal iPhone user since the first generation. I have spent lots of cash on the phones, accessories and AT&T. I can honestly say I have a love/hate relationship with the iPhone. Apple is slowly leading the “Your iPhone experience will be what we tell you it will be” revolution. For a lot of people that’s okay, for me it’s not. Like I said, I spent a lot of money on the iPhone and I should be able to do what I want with it.

The deal breaker for me on switching from the iPhone to Android was AT&T. Their service is just terrible, especially in the New York area. I have experienced data issues and more dropped calls than I care to talk about. It has been a very frustrating experience.

Getting back to the Apple controlled experience of the iPhone. For many people, the iOS platform is just right for them. Apple carefully controls what you can and cannot access from your phone via software updates and their App Store. Apple ultimately approves or denies what you can put on your phone by approving or denying applications from going into the app store. In addition to that, Apple also wants you to get a new iPhone every year and that was made even more clear this year with the iPhone 4. Some of the core features on the iPhone 4 were not available on the iPhone 3GS or the iPhone 3G and the new iOS is not even supported on the first generation iPhone. Remember the 1st generation iPhone, the one that cost $499. Now, I can certainly understand that hardware changes make a big difference on this issue, such as the front-facing camera on the iPhone 4. Understood, but it still sucks!

I myself had an iPhone 3GS and it served it’s purpose, however, AT&T’s service killed my experience as it has for many other iPhone users and it is for that reason that I switched to Verizon and got an Android phone, the Samsung Fascinate. I have never been happier. The Samsung Fascinate, in my opinion is better than the iPhone 4.

These are the reasons I think the Samsung Fascinate is better than the iPhone 4:

  • Screen size – The Samsung Fascinate has a 4″ Super AMOLED screen. Compare it to the Retina Display and there is not much difference. The Retina display does have a larger resolution, but I challene you to look at both and say that Retina has a bigger advantage
  • Memory – The Samsung Fascinate comes with 2GB of on board memory and a 16GB micro SD card and it can support up to 32GB
  • Customization – I can customize the the Fascinate pretty much anyway I like. Background, sounds, tones, UI, etc.
  • Swype – This is arguably the best keyboard I have ever used and it can be installed on any Android device. Wonder why Apple won’t support it? Maybe because it’s something better than they can come up with.
  • Browser Choices – The stock browser is great, but you can also download different browsers like Dolphin or Skyfire.
  • Flash Support – iPhone doesn’t have and Steve Jobs don’t like it.
  • Battery Replacement – Enough said! Dumb design decision by Apple!!
  • Maps & Navigation – Google Maps and Navigation, basically I have a free GPS system with turn by turn directions
  • Network – Verizon is hands down the faster and more reliable network. Yes you can’t use Voice and Data together, but it’s a trade off I’m okay with to have better service
  • Price – You can get this phone for free through some retailers or for as little as $40. The iPhone starts at $199.

Regardless of my opinion, you will need to choose your phone based on your needs and preferences. My need was to have reliable service on my phone. Even though Verizon now has the iPhone, I still won’t switch back. I must say that I do prefer the Android OS much more than Apple’s iOS. I look forward to what Google has planned for Android as Apple will as well. Android is penetrating the mobile market like nobody’s business!


The Simpsons take on Apple

Here’s a funny spoof by the Simpsons on the Apple store. Pretty accurate if you ask me, as I write this on my MacBook.

Categories: Technology Tags: , ,

Verizon FiOS Speed Test

February 8, 2009 Leave a comment


I decided to see if the FiOS service promises what you pay for. So far I am not dissapointed, the screen shot above is a test I did at 6pm (Easten) on 2/8/09. The server I chose was the Seattle, WA server. I am currently paying for the 20/5 mbps service. This is more bandwidth than I will probably ever use, but I am happy with my results so far.

I am also pretty sure that the speed of my service will not suffer simply bacuase all traffic for the FiOS service is transmitted through the router. It’s actually a very smart way of delivering the content. It’s easier to troubleshoot. Verizon provides you with an Actionet router for your service. They tell you it’s free and push that through their sales, but the bottom line is that the router is part of the infrastructure.

The router itself is pretty huge. If you have Cablevision’s OOL service it’s approximately 40% bigger than the Motorola modem they provide. Unfortunately you really have to use their router if you have all 3 services. Like I said, the router pushes all their traffic.

The router interface is actually very user friendly. It’s nicely laid out and has pretty much all the features that any normal Linksys or D-Link router has.

Overall the FiOS internet service is very good. The great thing about it is that I am losing speed at peak times when more people are on the internet. THIS IS GREAT!!

Categories: Technology Tags: , , ,

Verizon FiOS….My Experience (Part 1)

February 7, 2009 Leave a comment


In the New York area (Long Island) there are few choices between cable companies, you either have Cable, Satellite and now FiOS. A service that is now offered by Verizon. I have been a long time subscriber to my local cable company, Cablevision. I actually worked for them for 9 years and received free cable. A nice benefit! Since parting ways with Cablevision, I soon found that I was suffering like many other families….a very HIGH cable bill. It’s pretty ridiculous what we pay for cable on a monthly basis. However, for everything I use it for (TV, Internet, Phone), I guess it’s not that bad.  Anyway, I’m always looking for the new hotness and a better deal. So I began the research and the bottom line was that Verizon FiOS was offering the best deal. It recently became available in my area, so I decided to go with the service.

I tried to put through my order online and got an error because I initially wanted only TV and Internet and planned on keeping my phone through Cablevision becuase it was actually cheaper (44.95 Verizon, 34.95 Cablevision). So, I couldn’t go any further and decided to call Verizon to place my order. I’m glad I did because they had some extra discounts they applied for me.

I now had an order and an install date. Great! So, I get an email confirmation and they tell me the process. Basically a technician comes to your house a few days before to make sure the Fiber is lit and operational. The day of the install, Verizon advises that it may take 4-6 hours for the install. I basically planned on being home the whole day.

Install Day! I’m excited! The Verizon tech calls me early in the morning to make sure I’m home and he was at my door 30 minutes later. Here’s where the fun begins.

  • First, the technician checks your existing wiring to see if it can be used
  • Then he goes over your hardware (what you will be getting)
  • The tech advised me that he would be working outside for a few hours first
  • The tech goes across the street to the Fiber Terminal on the light pole and does some work there
  • The tech gets the Fiber that was initially placed there and runs that to my house for the install
  • The tech installs the Verizon hardware
  • A Fiber Terminal Box, an Optical Network Terminal (O.N.T) and a Battery backup….I did end up going for the phone, the day of the install, they gave me a good deal on the service

Now, to accommodate the Verizon hardware, you need to have a 3-pronged outlet available for them to use exclusively…no biggie. So now the technician is about 3.5 hours into the install and he tells me that there is a problem. They are no gettinga good signal from the Fiber splice at the pole. The tech told me that a crew was on it’s way to fix the issue. Within an hour there was a crew there and they were working on the issue. However, after 2 more hours, still nothing.

Now it’s about 4:30pm (they started at 10:30am). The tech tells me that they cannot finish the install and they will have to have the Fiber splice checked. He also told me that someone would call me that same day with an ETA. Now, I’m a little annoyed for a few reasons, mainly because I pretty much wasted a day in the house. I wait for a phone call that day…..nothing! I call Verizon 2 days later to ask for an ETA,… ETA. I wait another 2 days and call Verizon again…..still, no ETA. I call them the next day and still no ETA. I escalated to a supervisor and that just opened a ticket to the engineering department and promised someon would call me the next morning.

I did receive a call the next morning, but they could not finish the install until the end of the month because I needed a Saturday install date. So, now I’m pissed. I am going off on this poor representative who is merely doing her thankless job. After alot of arguing, I finally get an install date the following week.

After all this calling and arguing (mind you, I still don’t have the service), I ask the lady what she planned on doing for me to keep me as a happy customer. She transferred me to the Sales Department and swore they would compensate me. I go to the sales department and this chick is trying to sell me more shit that I don’t need. I asked her to waive the activation fee of $34.99 and she would not. I also asked her to review my order with me and give me what my monthly bill would be…….Now is where I lose it. This moron tells me that my bill will be $40 per month more than I was originally quoted. I flipped!!

I told her that this was Bullshit! and to cancel my order. She immediately transferred me to the cancellation department. I spoke to a rep there who listened to me as I explained what I went through. Bottom line, she adjusted my bill to what I was quoted and gave me a $30 per month credit on my bill for 6 months.

I’m happier now. To make things a little better, Verizon called me that night and was coming on Saturday to finish my install…..I was alot happier!!

Install Day (part 2)…..The tech calls me at 9:30am and is at my house by 10:00am. 6 hours later. My install was complete. I had all my boxes connected and working. My phone worked and so did the internet.

There was still a couple of issues. I was missing the sports package on my account and my phone number from Cablevision was never put in to be ported over. UGH!!!!

After another round of phone calls, I come to find out that the sports package is not part of my order and would be an extra $8 per month. It’s Bullshit because every other person I spoke to told me it was part of the FiOS Extreme HD package. BUT, that only applies to customers in upstate NY…..I don’t know why!

So now, I’m actually enjoying the new TV service. FiOS definitley blows away Cablevision TV service. No pixelation, No lag, No pausing on the HD channels. The FiOS boxes do not have the cable card in the front so my annoying daughter can pull it out every 10 seconds. The menus are awesome! Home Media DVR rules!! I only need one DVR and I can watch it in any other room. Internet speeds are great as well and the phone is clear too!

So far, the FiOS service is impressive. The Verizon sales and customer service needs ALOT of work. When I get my first bill, I’ll have part 2!

My Update on Random Things

December 9, 2008 Leave a comment


So, it’s been a while since I posted anything worth reading. However, my last post on the MacBook is no bullshit. That thing is amazing and OS X blows Vista away. I’m sorry to say that because I really wanted Vista to be good, but it’s just not there yet.

Anyway, the past month has been tough yet rewarding. I got a new job as a Help Desk Manager for an international company based on Long Island New York. The tough part is getting in the new mix after being with another company for 9 years. You tend to find a comfort zone after a long time and moving on is really hard emotionally and mentally. I made the move to advance my career and all I can say is that it was the right move. I am honestly having alot of fun but the amount of work is tremendous. Getting use to new people and company can be difficult, but so far it’s been pretty easy. The coolest part is actually being able to implement my own ideas and watching the end result, which has been success…to this point. There is still alot of work to do and I look forward to it.

My next update is on my new Video Camera. I recently got a Canon HG20 High Definition camcorder. This camera is truly a blessing and the videos are pure eye candy. It’s got an internal 60GB hard drive, so I never have to worry about tapes. The high definition settings are excellent. There is a even a “cine mode” where the camera records at 24fps and makes your home movies look like an authentic movie. It’s almost surreal when you first see it. I would highly recommend this to anyone in the market for a new video camera.

As a side note…..I want to extend my apoligies to my xbox crew (calmixx, krozzbow, brother jobu, elite fx and capta1nawesome). I haven’t been destroying the locust horde with you lately as I have been very busy and tired. I promise to be on soon enough.

Categories: Life, Technology

MacBook Love

November 26, 2008 Leave a comment


So I made a dive into the Mac world again. I was in the market for a new laptop and I looked at all the major brands, Dell, HP, etc. They all had one thing that was just wrong. They all look like crap! and feel the same way. The macbook is solid and sturdy and built very well. I got the 13.3″ macbook.

The other problem was the OS. As much as I like Windows Vista, it’s just not good enough for what I like, which is photography, music and video. Vista is a memory hog and it’s slow. The only good thing about Vista is that pretty much everything is now compatible with it. I also love MS Office 2007. It works well on Vista and for my day to day work, I would use a PC. For my own entertainment, I definitely prefer a mac and OS X.It really it really is a pleasure to use. The iLife application suite is a joy to use. Honestly, this is the main reason I bought a macbook. There is nothing on the windows platform that comes close.

Granted, there are laptops out there with a better feature set for less money, but as far as usability and stability. You really can’t beat a mac. God! I sound like a commercial.

The thing that amazes me is that when I went to the mac store to purchase my laptop, The store was jam packed when it opened. I mean there was a line outside of about 20 people waiting to get in. When I go in there and played witht eh different versions of macbooks, I was really impressed by the speed of the OS, the quality of the product and the ease of use.

This is just my opinion, but I would only recommend a mac if you are in the market for a laptop. I mean if you use Windows you can dual boot a mac with Windows XP or Vista and they work great on a mac.

One more thing…..The multi-touch trackpad is amazing!

Categories: Technology Tags: , ,

Where is iLife for Windows?

October 16, 2008 Leave a comment

I am a PC user simply because it is less costly to own a PC than a macintosh. I do have a Powerbook G4, 17″, but it is outdated and does not have an intel processor. When the Powerbook was useful, it was great and I especially loved the iLife application. 

iLife is a godsend for the digital lifestyle. I mean you can pretty much do it all, movies, pictures, music and web pages. What more could the average person who loves digital media ask for? People have their own likes or dislikes for iLife, I personally loved it and would love to see Apple make it for Windows….but that will never happen. 

Apple will never make iLife cross over, simply becuase it’s a big part of the reason users switch to a MAC. I would use a MAC instead of a PC, if a MAC was more affordable. However, iLife is very affordable, I mean it comes preloaded on a MAC and if you need to buy it it’s only $79.

All other products for the windows platform don’t even come close to iLife. iLife applications have great interfaces, are easy to use, work fast and WORK TOGETHER!!!

NERO…No dice


Microsoft is working on their new OS called WIndows 7. How about they make some applications that work like iLife and make it part of Windows. 

I like Windows because of it’s flexibility and usability, but the MAC OS out performs Windows in speed and ease of use. MAC OS is a powerhouse when it comes to the home user and digital media. 

Microsoft has it’s work cut out……Let’s hope they get it right this time with Windows 7