Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What, if anything, is Big Bird?

A scientific analysis of Big Bird and an attempt to determine exactly what species of bird he is.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Picture fail

I just noticed that the picture on the last post failed to load properly. I can only imagine this has been there for awhile.

I have to admit, I'm rather sad no one mentioned it. It basically means no one noticed, which in turn probably means no one really reads this. Oh well.

I wonder if the new Futurama season is any good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dear TechCrunch,

You can't review phones worth crap.

From you're review:
And the battery life isn’t just bad, it’s 90′s laptop bad. You need to be near a power source at all times.

The battery life is abysmal – MobileCrunch calls it a “dealbreaker” and I agree. Yes you can do a few things to get a little extra time out of it, but this device routinely runs out of power while sitting on standby overnight next to my bed. You aren’t just charging this once a day. Or twice a day. You need to be thinking about your next power fix just about any time you are using it. I keep chargers at home, in my office, in my car, and an extra one to suck power from my laptop. That keeps it going, but it isn’t fun.
That is an exact screenshot off my Evo. Notice the awake time since last charged? 38 hours.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Next in the series

Kitten on a Tortoise:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Caring for Your Introvert

I cannot express how much I love this article entitled "Caring for Your Introvert". It might be one of the best things ever written about social interaction (particularly with me).

I thought had posted this awhile ago, but a quick search (new widget on the right side) showed nothing.

It's worth reading. At least, I'd appreciate it if you did. (Chances are good that other people you know would like it, too.)

Perhaps my favorite line from this article:
Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts.
Because it's true.

[There's a follow-up to the post with an interview here, and a nice blog from Psychology Today regarding introversion as well, The Introverts Corner.]

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Perspective of Time

Link to video (larger size)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Moving from the HTC Touch Pro to the Evo 4G

Five days ago I read up on the Evo. I read as many reviews by tech blogs (Engadget, Gizmodo, Wired et al) as I could. They mentioned a lot of things, like the screen size, the speed, the Android OS, camera, and all the fancy stuff. One other thing they always mentioned is the battery, particularly how bad it is. Many blogs reported as low as 8 hours of battery life; sometimes as low as 6 hours. (The linked article, from Fortune at CNNMoney.com, reports 4 hours; I have no idea what he's doing to the poor phone to kill it that quickly.)

Those reviews made me seriously reconsider purchasing an Evo.

I got over it. I took a risk. On Friday, I bought an Evo. I've played with it a lot the last four days.

Here's my thoughts.

I'd go into detail about the camera, the screen, and any number of other features, but they've been reviewed ad nauseam by every other tech blog. (If you want to read very good reviews about them, check CNET, Engadget, Wired, and Gizmodo.)

I'll cut to the major thing I wondered about: the battery. When I first bought my HTC Touch Pro a year and a half ago, the battery only lasted about 8 hours, just like the reviewers of the HTC Evo reported. However, what I found was that in order to get a full charge out of the battery, you need to run it down completely, turn off the phone, do a hard reset, and then charge it--still powered off--for at least 8 hours. From then on, the battery on my HTC Touch Pro lasted 36-48 hours on standard use.

I figured the Evo would have the same issue. I also guessed this was the cause of the poor reviews. So when I got my Evo, I played with it till the battery died--it lasted about 4 hours--and then powered it off and let it charge overnight. The first day I had it after the full, overnight charge, I customized the screen, downloaded at least 20 apps, configured all websites/bookmarks, and sent over 100 texts across 18 hours before the phone finally said "15% battery life remaining, please charge battery".

The second day, without all the configuration taking up battery life, I got 36 hours out of the battery before charging, and even then, it wasn't even to 20% yet.

Whoever reviewed this phone and said it gets "about 8 hours of battery life on standard use" clearly did not know how to utilize the battery life. The main trick to getting good battery life is to use WiFi whenever possible over 3G, only enable GPS when you're actively using it, and adjust the screen to the minimal necessary brightness.

So, the battery on the HTC Evo 4G, if you know what you're doing, will last for about 36 hours. More if you actually run it down all the way. Less if you use all the features gratuitously and unnecessarily, but that's true for anything. You won't get 12 hours of movie watching off of it, but if you're in a situation where you need several hours of entertainment and are not within any possible outlets for charging, might I recommend an alternative form?

Be smart about the battery and it'll last.

If you're interested in an Evo, or thinking about getting one, I highly recommend it. To date I have not found a thing on the phone I don't love.

A few recommended apps if you do pick one up:
  1. Brightness Setting: an app that lets you adjust the screen size easily when set as a widget; fantastic for managing the battery life.
  2. ChompSMS: great SMS messaging program, gives nice speech bubble format.
  3. doubleTwist: syncs your iTunes playlists to Android, which is crucial if you're used to using an ipod. It's slow--it takes over 24 hours for mine to be ready to sync due to the volume of music on my system--but it works, and that's well worth waiting.
  4. LED Desire: turns the LED "flash" from the camera into a usable LED flashlight. Also can be used in conjunction with other apps--very useful when lighting is bad and you want to use the barcode scanner.
  5. ColorNote: colored post-it and checklists. Just handy.
  6. gWakeUp: so far the best app for alarm clocks I've found. I wanted to find something equivalent to gAlarm for WinMo, and this does a decent job.
I hope this has been helpful and informative. If you have questions, just ask in the comments and I'll respond as best I can.

EDIT: Now that I have all of my apps configured, on my current battery charge--which was charged from the provided USB cable that I connected to my PC while syncing music yesterday--it's lasted for 28 hours and is at 40-50%.

EDIT 2: Another thing I thought of; if you do purchase one, don't pay the $30 for the "screen protector" Sprint sells. It's rather pathetic. Buy one of the $10 ones from Skinomi or ZAGG InvisibleShield. Much more effective.