Tuesday, July 29, 2008

iPhone 3G now protected!

I'm the guy who shows up with his fancy gadgets all piled in an old plastic Wal-Mart grocery bag. No fancy cases. No organization. I try! I really do!! The longest that I can say that I have kept order and organization is about 24 hours. If you don't believe me, look at the interior of my car.

Recently both I and my wife have purchased the iPhone 3G. Most things that I have, I consider tools. I use them, I don't baby them. If I can't use it for fear of messing it up, then why did I even get it? I don't purchase things not to use them.

But, the iPhone is sooo purdy . . .

I immediately started searching for ways to protect my new phone with out dorking the it's sleek lines and delightful styling. I finally found what I was looking for:

Best Skins Ever

I think I will put one of these on everything!

Let me tell you! I am all thumbs when it comes to installing decals and stickers. I did have a time getting it applied. As usual I learned a few things after . . .

Manditory reading:

I didn't use windex as suggested by the following links, but there is lots of good info

Part one - How To
Part two - How To

Most folks won't notice the skin. It doesn't feel quite as nice as it did before. I now have peace that I won't scuff it to badly when I drop it in a parking lot, or our driveway.

Beth, my darling wife, is confused as to how the clear film will provide any real drop protection. She currently carries her phone "naked". Heh, heh, heh! Sorry!! was distracted for a second, she just walked in the room. . .

Everybody Pay Attention. You need to do the following:

This should not be a surprise. However I have yet to see anyone be prepared. In day-to-day life I see family after family who have lost most of what they had in a house fire. Not once have I seen a well documented list of things that they owned.

Take a few minutes and follow through with the following:

Know Your Stuff Inventories Your Home [Featured Download]: "

Windows and Mac OS X: Offered as a free download from the Insurance Information Institute, the Know Your Stuff Home Inventory software is a full-featured tool for cataloging your possessions in case disaster should strike. Wizards guide you through the basic setup of your inventory, then using Know Your Stuff's simple interface you can add rooms and items to the inventory. For each item you enter you can assign photos, receipts or appraisals, make/model/serial number, quantity, and replacement cost.

There are guides to help you get started on the Know Your Stuff web site, very helpful if you've never done a home inventory before and aren't sure where to start or what to include in it. Obviously if you invest the time and energy to create a home inventory you'll want to make sure the it's is secure. From the Know Your Stuff application you can export the file you've created and save it to external media or to a remote location, upload the file to Vault 24 (a remote backup solution integrated into the software, which unfortunately costs $15 a year) , or you can go the old fashioned route and print the inventory off and store it in a safe location. The Know Your Stuff Home Inventory software is a free download for Windows or Mac.


(Via Lifehacker.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well, it is official!

I have an iPhone 3G in hand!

Here is how it went down:

9:00 PM: Arrived home from work. Was exhausted from long day. Fixed myself dinner.

10:30 PM: Headed off to bed. Tossed and turned.

11:00 PM: Beth (my wife) made it home from her jewelry party.

2:30 AM: alarm wakes me.

3:00 AM: Enroute to ATT Store

3:15 AM: Arrival at ATT Store. There was a group of approx 8 people there (some were just haging with friends). We added our names to the official unofficial list. We were number 7 & 8. I didn’t exactly know what to expect, as I had never done anything like this before.

4:00 AM: We decided to watch “Meet the Robinsons” on a mac book pro. I provided AC power with my inverter and Wifi intenet to others in line through my WinMo phone.
6:00 AM: One by one, other people started showing up. Total line count was approx 22.

6:30 AM: Store manager arrives.

7:00 AM: Store manager asks us to form an “official” single file line. There are approx 35 people in line. He also starts taking info on his clipboard, I.E. your name, which phone model, what plan, etc. It is at this point the realization hits that there might not be enough phones to supply demand. There was at least one person from the back of the line who was offering cash to switch places so he could get one of the 16 gb models. Rumors had circulated all morning that they only had 20 iPhones, but ATT would not give out any info.

7:50 AM: They start letting groups of 4 into the store.

8:10 AM: It is our turn!! We have a few moments to handle the display models while waiting on the next available rep.

8:40 AM: We both walk out of the ATT store, Beth with a 16G White, and I with a 16G Black iPhone!! The line had grown tremendously! It was huge!!. We had got 2 of the 4 remaining 16G models. Onve inside the store we learned that they received ten 16G models, and ten 8G models.

All in all, it was a good experience. Our phones activated fine, I guess it was before the activation system failures of the day. I am sure the Apple store experience was better. I think it was a bad move on Att’s part to withhold the number of the units at the store from the poor people waiting in line, just so they could get orders for direct shipment of the phone later to the customers. I think some people figured it out on their own and left the line at drive to the nearest apple store 2.5 hours away.

Oh, and BTW! I LOVE my iPhone 3g.

Please don’t hate me. Remember, it is only a phone.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Comcast Doubles Upload Speed !

At least here in Central Virginia . . .

Just checked and now I am getting right at the 2 mbit upload rate! The upload rate was the biggest reason that I originally upgraded to the higher speed service. I was on the 6 mbit / 384 k and upgraded to the 8 mbit / 768 k service. This makes it cost effective to drop back to the new 6 mit / 1 mbit service.

However the speedtest.net test I just did reports lower download rates!?!

As much money as I am sendng comcast, I should have 16 mbit / 2 mbit service!

This got me thinking about what my usage levels are, here is a table showing my bandwith totals for the past several months:

Note: July and March are partial months.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

BE CONTENT?? Are you kidding?

I have really wrecked my future. When I was a kid, while I was spoiled, I didn’t get EVERYTHING I wanted. I would drool over Estes rockets in their catalog. I would spend hours looking at the Sears catalog. We didn’t have a computer, and this was before the phenomenon called the world wide web hit. Like a typical nerd kid, my mind was stuck on rockets, airplanes, telescopes, radios, helicopters, etc. I would dream of robots that would do everyday tasks. Problem was I didn’t have any money.
In my teenage years, I worked for my uncle at his slaughter house. I had a source of MONEY! My parents didn’t instill the necessity to save money, and I bought stuff. Now, I must say, that I am not placing any blame on my parents. It was my choice. They didn’t encourage the habit. Looking back, they didn’t approve, and I didn’t listen to their guidance.
Quite quickly I had collected quite the collection of Legos, and various toys. The age of the internet did not help matters. It opened my mind too many possibilities. I progressed to higher paying jobs, and with the increase of pay came the increase of stuff.
The years from age 18 to 25 brought nearly every childhood dream / desire to reality.
Radio Controlled Airplanes, Helicopters, Cars / Trucks. Ham radios. Metal detectors. High Powered Rockets. Computers. Laptops. High speed internet. Cell phones. PDA cell phones. Telescopes. Digital cameras. Video cameras. The list could go on and on.
I must admit a few things. I didn’t get hooked on credit. If I didn’t have the money, I didn’t buy the item. Thank goodness for that! Also I am happy of the fact that the money that I spend at least went into tangible things, and not wholly into services. At least I have something to show for my horrible habits – even today!! Many items have since found their way through Ebay, on to others.
While the past 10 years have yielded lots of stuff, I have emerged without debt! This I am very thankful for! Unfortunately I also didn’t have and real savings either.

Thanks to the recent Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course that my wife signed “us” (i.e. ME) up for, it has helped break the bad habits and help remove the hand from my face so I can see further into my future.

It has helped me understand where our money is going, and now for the first time in my life I have a sense of financial control. To some, Dave Ramsey may be an extremist out of touch with the “real” world. But the things that I have learned in his course have broken the chains in my life holding me back from a decent future.
The lifestyle that I was living was not indefinitely sustainable.
Now that the blinders are off, I can see the horrible disease called discontentment. I see it in others lives everyday. It is disgusting. I understand that true needs do exist. However, once a person grasps that “things” will NEVER bring contentment, your view of life will change – For the better!

If there is one thing that I would want you to take from this rant it is this:
“If I could only get that software, or that computer, or that iPhone . . . Everything will be fixed. . . I will have arrived”
It is a lie!! Don’t let it run your life!!

Come on over! It’s nice over here!!