Oct 062011

I never realized how much someone that I did not know could have an impact on my life. My love for computers started way back in 1982 or so and it was because of Steve Jobs’ Apple II that caused it. I had no idea who he was at the time, I just knew I loved this new box that I had started to play with. I used to spend my lunches in the library just so I could spend some time near it. I moved to a different school and found that the one Apple they had was treated like it was gold and you had to be “on the list” to get to be near it…new school = “not on the list”. Luckily I was only there for half of a school year. I went to high school and everyone was basically new and I showed an interest in the couple of computers we had in school and took a BASIC programming course and got in good with the librarian, the key holder for one of the Apple IIe computers we had and spent the next 4 years harnessing the love for computers I would eventually use to make a living. Now, 25 years later, I actually write in a language very similar to the one I learned way back then and make a fairly decent living at it, all thanks to a computer Steve Jobs created. I am not an Iphone/Ipod Touch user, but I know awesome when I see it, the designs for all Apple products have been nothing short of amazing, their Air laptop is just absolutely amazing, their OS is very user friendly and affordable, they just seem to get it, when so many others just seem to miss the boat.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for being one of the most influential people on the planet during my lifetime!

Jul 282011

Well, I finally acquired a WP7 phone about a week ago, and I have some opinions about it now. First and foremost, I CANNOT WAIT for the Mango update, seems like such a small thing but having custom ringtone ability is a nice feature and WP7 does not have it, no matter where you get the ringtone from, it just does not show up in the list. Ok, now I really do love the phone, it is VERY smooth in how it moves through the menus, the animations are almost fluid, Microsoft has really gone and succeeded at that! Another thing I like is the Tiles, although I do not get the live tile piece so much, why it is so “awesome” but I do love the tiles in general, just wish you could change the sizes of them. It is nice that you can add any app you want to the tiles too, just by pressing and holding the shortcut of the app and clicking “pin to start”. The music player is very pretty and seems very functional as well. The browser, IE, is very nice as well, especially in desktop mode, it acts very much like a real browser, so much more so than WM6’s did. Another thing is the GPS, it works really well and seems to acquire the satellites very fast. Another big thing, since I got a HTC Trophy, is the apps from HTC are quite simply amazing, the graphics are incredible and smooth as can be and are worth your while to check them out in the HTC section of the marketplace. Speaking of apps, there are quite a few of them, and many are free, granted most of the free ones are ad supported but what do you want, and the ads are kind of smallish so they do not get in the way too bad. One app that I really love in particular is TrackMe, which is actually one of the reasons I went with a WP7 over an Android, I used to use it for WM6 a lot for biking and loved it, now it has been ported to WP7 by _LEM_ and it is available in the marketplace as well, you can also read up on it here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1117525 and is well worth using!! Another thing I love about the start screen, or the live tiles screen, is the way they come into view from the app list screen, they look like a train station board where they spin into view, the only thing I would love to have it do, is make a noise like the train station board or even like the Wii when you are showing the Miis, seems like a stupid thing but I think it could be nice to have. Gaming on WP7 is frigging great, the display is killer and is very smooth and games are very responsive and look good. I think that is one thing WP7 has over Android, it is sooo much smoother and more fluid. I do know Android has more free apps than WP7 and many are not ad supported, but that is what open source does for you and also WP7 is still soo young, it will take time for apps to be developed, and we also need to wait for some features to start showing up. I do like that they opted for micro usb connection but just wish they would have stayed with mini usb instead, I have lots of them. I also love the messaging client, although if I have sent a message it would be nice for the keyboard to move until I put the focus back on the text box for the response, but I guess you cannot make everyone happy.

Ok, now for some more negatives, yes the ringtone thing is kind of small, many phones had no way to give you custom ringtones, but today it is almost crucial, they do not have enough ringtones on there to make everyone happy, I need more sound ringtones, I do not like music ones, short and sweet is what I like. That goes for emails and messaging as well, although they have more tones for those that are simple than they do for the calls. Now for the Calendar tone, the one to let you know an appointment is coming, you have no way of changing it AT ALL, and it is way to quiet and it only plays once in a long time, I have missed at least one appointment so far because of that, another feature request, custom alert sound and when it plays. Another gripe I have, WM from 2003 all of the way to WM6.5, sync’d up with Outlook, so you could use outlook for all of your contacts and calendar, now with WP7 it doesn’t work like that, it syncs exclusively with Hotmail and maybe an exchange server, but for those of us without an exchange server, hotmail it is, which is a minor complaint but still come on. While I am on the sync issues, how the devil do you sync office docs with this thing, it used to be you had a directory in your My Documents folder, you placed an office file there and it showed up on your device ready to work on, now it doesn’t do that, you need a sharepoint server to do that kind of thing, and the fix is to email yourself the spreadsheets or docs and edit them, but I have had nothing but trouble, formulas are all wiped out etc. So I use google docs now and with the browser in desktop mode it works really well, just a bit slow, although you can edit the docs on any pc as well as phone and it is a very good implementation of the office product. I know Mango is supposed to add to the ability of WP7 by giving you Office365, but we shall see. Another gripe with the sync, you used to see the phone directories in Windows Explorer, so if you wanted to put songs or files on your phone like pdfs etc, now you need to email them to yourself, hopefully that changes too. Now this gripe goes to HTC, and I am sure there is a reason for it, but why in the world would you put the camera button right across from the plugin for the cord, many times I plug in my phone I end up seeing the table, I guess it would be better if the plug was easier to plug in. Another thing I want to see is tethering my phone to my laptop to share the data connection, I miss that from WM6.


All in all, WP7 is a giant leap ahead in phones especially where Microsoft is concerned, eventually it will be an Android / Iphone competitor or killer, but right now there will be too many negatives to accomplish that. There is also a lot of people that are very vocal about not liking the phone for the shortcomings, I just hope that doesn’t kill the phones potential. I also hope they keep updating the phones, not releasing a phone and that is the version you get, like the old WM6 days where you could never update your phone software without doing something extreme or hoping your mfg would do it for you, hopefully it continues with the “there is an update for your phone, Continue?” way. Hope this helps you in your decision to buy a WP7 device. Later

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