Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nerds Need Cash Too

So I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that I may be too obsessed with technology. As I continually share my passion with those around me, I am almost always confronted with the fact that they don't really care. They'll listen as most good friends will, but they truly don't care and its usually pretty obvious despite their attempts to look interested. I try not to talk about gadgetry so much but I seem to inevitably come back to the topic. Its so bad that I find myself dropping into stores with no intent to purchase anything, just to have an conversation with the people who share my interest. I was at the mall last weekend with my girlfriend and she just laughed as I walked into T-Mobile to talk with the reps, despite the fact that I have been on Sprint for 5+ years and have no intention on switching. I solely wanted to discuss their new devices, changes to the network and the competitive cellular market. Sad, I know.

So I wonder if this is something I should work to ween my self away from. It doesn't cause any real issues in my life. I am perfectly capable of having normal social relationships, but I'm sure it can be annoying sometimes and certainly earns me the title of tech geek amongst my friends. Everyday its some new device, app, OS, or other technologically related event that I'm blabbing about.

The best solution would be if I could find some way to make this passion lucrative. I spend so much time researching and reading about tech, trying to mod my phone, and testing out apps that I basically devote an average work week to it anyway(well a part time work week at least). I have been able to do this in the past. I sold Nextel ring tones and modded phones, generating enough money to pay for most of my books during the first few years of undergrad. But, with the evolution of cell phones ring tones and modding became much less profitable as more attention went into the actual phone software and OS. I have yet to find a way to generate profit in the newest generation of phones.

As I pursue my Master's in an area totally unrelated to my undergrad degree and even further disassociated with my love of technology; I have to wonder am I making a mistake? I would love if I could find a job which utilized my passion and allowed me to submerge myself in the tech world while generating profit to live on. But what can I do? The web opens up so many opportunities, and you'd think with a business degree from one of the best business schools in the nation I could come up with something. Hmmmm......

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SERO on the HERO

I have been following this topic on many forums and there seem to be compelling arguments both ways. Personally feel that Sprint will screw us and force the switch if you want the Hero. I HOPE that I am wrong. I also feel that it is only a matter of time until they force us all off (the plan and potentially the network for some). I could definitely see WinMo 7 being the way that they do that.

I think I may take the dive and switch to the "New SERO". I'm sick of having a phone I don't want over $30/month. I agree that this is a GREAT deal and it hurts me deeply to have to make this decision, but I want what I want! I passed the Pre, then it could be the Hero, then what? Pass up every new phone except WinMo?! I'm over WinMo I can't do it. TP2 is nice but a week later I'd feel the same way I feel about my TP once I get over the huge new screen. At the end of the day I'm fortunate for my savings over the years and $60/month is still a great deal. I hate to let it go but I'm pretty sure I wont have a choice soon.

I have one question though. I, like many others in phone forums have called customer service twice to ask about this topic. Both times they said I'd be fine with SERO. The most recent time (2 mins ago) I specifically asked her if she was checking for compatibility with the "old SERO", further specifying that I had the $30/month plan or if she meant the "new SERO" which was an "everything whatever" plan. She put me on hold for about 5mins and checked with the supervisor and said "YES YOURS WILL WORK". She stated that as of now they have been informed it will work, however we obviously wont know for sure until it launches. I kindly asked her to note my account that it will work with my plan :) !.... Now, my question. Does this matter? When the phone comes out and Sprint decides to use it as its newest Weapon to kick people off of SERO, will the note on my account amount to anything? I figure it at least gives me some basis to argue either some cash of per month or features on (free of course) per month....

I definitely understand the issue that frugal users may remove the data portion of a plan where it is simply an add on and resultantly screw themselves by accidentally using data related features. Thats actually something I warn people of all of the time, not just with data but with very low minute plans. However, I feel like SERO should not be lumped in with such users. It should be an exception. NO SERO user is going to drop the data portion of their plan. If that is even possible. And couldn't they just make it necessary to have any data plan with these devices. If a customer wants the phone couldn't they just clearly state you must have data and then deny request to remove it for the handsets? I agree that these devices should require data. My argument with sprint has always been that I have data already. They continually use the statement that smart/pda phones need data and thats why they are forcing the switch, to which I reply I have had a PDA phone for at least the last 4yrs all of which had data with no problem so I don't really see why my data couldn't work with these new devices. I'd even gladly pay 10 more to add GPS, and premium TV, etc. if thats the complaint.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Windows Mobile --- I'm Done

I'm pretty sure I'm done with Windows Mobile; or at very least I have to try a different OS. I have been a Winmo fan since the PPC 6700 (or whatever name your carrier called it). I have tried all the modding and custom roms and downloaded all the cab files in a desperate attempt to get my phone to function the way it should and I have to come to one conclusion after all my efforts. Unless you are a programmer or very highly skilled computer nerd Winmo sucks ass! Plain and simple its an old OS that MS keeps trying to "update" with features that are typically old before they are launched.

Don't get me wrong in the right hands a WinMo device is powerful. It can do everything the iPhones and Pres of the world can do. It will just take a ridiculous amount of extra work that the average consumer is not capable of. I don't think I am the savviest Winmo user but I know I am light years ahead of most of my peers and the average consumer and I am really getting frustrated with Winmo. Its slow, ugly, lacking apps (that are easily accessible, useful and safe (I know people would argue that it has the most apps).

I want to be able to take my phone out of the box and have it just be able to do what I need. The world that Winmo was created for is gone, MS needs to get it together. I know WinMo 7 is coming but I am not excited it will probably be garbage like every version before it. I just want an OS that is usable, looks good and can do the things that are relevant to me in my day to day life. Yes, work or "business" is part of that but it is just that -- PART of my life not all of it. Other OS's are getting this, why not MS.

Bottom line the shit sucks and getting my iTouch was the biggest eyeopener. I keep finding my self like "this could be my phone" or "why can't it be this easy on my phone". I will be making the switch as soon as the HTC Hero drops next month to give Andriod a try. I love everything else Google does I'm sure this will be no exception. If it doesn't work its on to WebOS and then if I have to the iPhone. I'm done playing Frankin-phone with MS, trying to make my phone work like a phone in the 21st century.

Buckeyemail: OSU's new webmail

As I prepare to begin my first year of grad school and get myself together for the re-adjustment of returning to school I have stumbled across a very welcome change in OSU's webmail system. The university recently has switched from the very limited "webmail" system to its new "Buckeye Mail" via MS Outlook. So what's new, besides having to add the annoyingly long "" to your address (which technically is not necessary for most pratical uses)?

The new system provides a number of upgrades. Students get more storage space plus all of the advantages of Outlook, plus a 25GB skydrive account. My, favorite new feature however, is the abiltiy to sync your mobile device using the exchange server. This is something I'm sure most students will not even realize they have access to, but given that the majority of students have some form of smart phone or pda it could be a great asset.

This feature which is really easy to set up can be located from the options menu in your Buckeyemail account. It will walk you through the step by step procedure for your device. It will allow you to sync your account; coordinating emails, contacts, calendars, and tasks across multiple devices! This is very usuful, and if your like me it will help you really keep up with all the hundreds of things you have to do everyday.

I currently have my phone and iTouch syncd up wit it and I love it. It provides a way to seemlessly connect your account with your devices so that any changes made on one automatically update on the other. I can keep up with my email, update my caledar online and then have my entire class schedule on my phone so I know where I am supposed to be. If you own an iTouch this another great way you can use it. OSU is probably one of the best places to own an iTouch since there is wifi everywhere allowing your iTouch to do damn near everything the iPhone does except make calls (and actually you can indirectly do that). So now in addition to providing almost endless entertainment in almost every form my iTouch also has all my contacts, school, email and calendar.

Keep in mind that if you use this dependig on your setting and your device you WILL consume more battery power. So its up to you to set your device to sync at a rate that fits your needs. You can have it update instantly but that will typically use more power. I suggest testing it and then adjusting the sync frequency as needed. You can choose on most devices between, instant updates (more power consumption) or set it to sync at different time intervals (less checks = less power consumption)

Considering the ease of use all students should be using this its a good look on OSU's part especially consiodereing all the money we have to kick out to them.