Archive for the Technology Category

Sprint – The Game Changer?

Posted in Technology on September 10, 2009 by That-One-Person

I never thought I’d see the day where Sprint begins really changing the entire mobile industry game.  In some ways this is a small step, in others this is basically one giant leap for mankind.

Nowadays, every single mobile carrier gives you free calling to other people who are on the same network, either with every single one of their plans, or plans that are at least not the smallest option available. However, Sprint is now introducing “Any Mobile”, which completely blows my freaking mind.  If you have an Everything Data Plan with Sprint, you get… unlimited calling to any mobile phone, anytime, on any network, finally the days of the minute may be numbered.

For now this is just for users who have an Everything Data Plan, which is a rapidly growing number of users. An Everything Data Plan, is unlimited text, 3G data, picture, and video messaging, starting at $69.99 a month. Some may see this as a major downside, however this really hits the largest number of users that would even find this plan useful. People who were previously heavy on data, texting, and out of network minute usage were surely paying much more than this.

Having the ability to call anyone from any network, for as long as you want, is really the game changing move here. How long until other networks compete for the same feature? After all, it didn’t take long for almost every network to get a “My Circle” type feature, which was finally just announced for AT&T as well. Once more networks compete to offer the same plan, the days of the minute will surely be almost dead.

Good job Sprint, I was wrong about you after all.

-That One Person

[Sprint]

So Much New Software

Posted in My Life, Technology with tags , , , on July 7, 2009 by That-One-Person

First, I would like to say Happy Birthday to my bestfriend.

Anyways, don’t you all love that feeling you get when you install a ton of new software?  Almost feels like moving into a new house or sleeping in a hotel doesn’t it?  No?  Maybe that’s only me.  Well, this weekend I installed a ridiculous amount of new software, and just wanted to let you know about a few of the best.

Growl finally added a slew of support for Windows programs, instead of only OS X ones.  If you don’t know what Growl is, it is basically a global notification system for a bunch of applications.  Sadly, I didn’t use half of the software that had just became supported, so of course I decided to download it all.

Songbird is one that completely amazes me.  It blows both iTunes and Zune desktop software away, although everything blows iTunes away already.  It is basically the Firefox of music players.  Although it doesn’t really concern me, it uses around half the RAM to run as iTunes, so there’s one plus.  It comes with support for many handy add-ons, such as immediately finding the lyrics for around 90% of my music, displaying all nearby concerts of the artists you listen to, a few hundred appearance add-ons, and even a remote control app for the iphone.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about Koornk, which is completely amazing.  These last few days I have been thoroughly pissed off at how often Twitter randomly locks me out of my account (on first log-in, with my saved password), and how stopping following certain people just doesn’t register.  After wanting to reach into my computer screen and choke Jack Dorsey to death, I decided to look for something else.

This is how I found Koornk, which is pretty much the same thing and more.  It allows for pings, so I can immediately new blog posts to it without extensive modding, 150 characters as opposed to Twitters 140, the same following/follower/reply system as Twitter, and you can even send your “clucks” to become “tweets” on your Twitter account just by checking a box.  It’s really packed full of features, those are just a few of them.

Anyways, not much is really new this last week that I can think of.  I’m just being a bum like always.

The only other thing I did this weekend, was go see fireworks.  It was pretty fun, although all fireworks are quite a bore.  I know, how unamerican of me.

I’m out.

-That One Person

IHOP

Posted in Gaming, My Life, Technology with tags , , on July 1, 2009 by That-One-Person

Nom nom nom, went to Friendlys IHOP last night at 2 A.M. with my best friend, it was great not being the only person awake that late.

What else is new though?

I’m currently beta testing like three MMOs, it’s pretty good just drifting along with no money, still playing games.  Quite awkwardly I started to test out Everquest II, which isn’t nearly as gay as the first one was.  It’s pretty good, in depth, and not nearly as nerdy as the old one.  It is also in my opinion a lot more fun than WoW, which I played for three whole years.  Something funny about Everquest II is the graphics settings, which I’ve been messing with on every game since I got my new colossal video card.  “These extremely high setting with have an EXTREME effect on your game performance, and is likely to not run well on even the highest end hardware available today. Are you sure you want to test these experimental settings?”  Well guess what, I blow those settings down at 50 fps, a whole twenty faster than the human eye can even register.

While that MMO is pretty fun, the one I am really enjoying right now is beta testing Aion, although currently the beta is only open for me every weekend.  I suppose that’s good, allows me to manage my other slacker chores, like food, movies, and other games.

Yeah, the new card and RAM are both finally installed at once.  1GB of DDR3 video RAM that has it’s own physics engine on the card itself, that coupled with my 8GB of DDR3 RAM are just letting me run pretty much anything in the world right now.

Soon, probably when I get back from ComicCon, I am going to be ordering a third monitor.  This will finally give me the multi-tasking and bad ass feeling I’ve been looking for.  It’s going to look a lot like a command center, especially since currently I can spin around in my chair to use my laptop on my other table.  Which reminds me, I also just got an incredibly huge new desk on craigslist, barely used, for $40.  I’ll take a picture sometime when I get around to it, maybe once I get my third monitor set up.

Twenty-one days from today I will be on the sunny shores of San Diego, pretty terrifying.  I’m relatively positive either my plane will crash, a shark will eat me, I’ll get stabbed by a Crip (or a Blood?), or I may even just melt to death due to the heat.  We all know how much I love the heat from when I went to Florida six months ago.

Lastly, I decided that my heart is tie dye today.

-That One Person

Quicker Typing

Posted in My Life, Technology on June 4, 2009 by That-One-Person

Today I just thought I’d share the secret to typing around 20 times quicker.  That secret is to abandon QWERTY as much as possible, and make the switch to Dvorak.

When the typewriter was first introduced then went through many layouts of the keys, and finally QWERTY was developed to make you type as slow as possible.  Typing to quick or having frequently used keys too close togethor would jam the old typewriters, so the layout you’re using right now (unless you’re amazing) was actually designed to make you type slower.

By the time this wasn’t an issue anymore, the Great Depression hit, and no one would be buying any new type writers for sometime, and the heads of manufacturing companies didn’t want to make the switch.

Lucky for us today, the way your keys are arranged is purely software, and can be changed without even an ounce of hardware modification.

On a Windows it is simply Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Keyboard and Languages, and then select English (Dvorak).

Many studies have been done and those learning on a Dvorak keyboard learned more than twice as fast, and previously experienced typists could type many many times quicker with this much improved layout.

In QWERTY all your most used keys are spread out as much as possible, but with Dvorak all of the most commonly used ones are all on the home row, where you rest your fingers.

It’s also rather simple to learn, and continue to know how to use both QWERTY and Dvorak.

Dvzine taught me everything I know about it, and has probably over the last few years saved me days of time of typing. I really recommend making the switch, even if you don’t plan on using it constantly, learning another layout is like learning another language. It helps improve your knowledge, and who wouldn’t want to do that?

Plus, they can even teach you in comic form.  I’m just here to praise it and help you see the way to saving time.  Here is an image of my keyboard, with some Dvorak stickers I found online.

Dvorak Keyboard

I know it may look like a scary and insane change, that’s what I thought at first.  I don’t regret it a bit however.  Also, Dvorak causes you to alternate between hands more frequently, which is better for speed and your hands.  You can see this by tapping on the desk with one finger repeatedly, and then doing it alternating between two.  You can actually tap back and forth a lot quicker with a lot less time between taps.

For example, this entire post before the image in QWERTY would’ve used 517 homerow keys (32%) and 945 hand alternations, but in Dvorak it is 1077 (66%) homerow key usage and 1163 hand alterations.  Before you ask, no I am not crazy and counted that all out. There is a website that analyzes things you say and gives you those statistics.

So please, save your hands, and your time. Type Dvorak today!

Edit: I also recommend using the Dvorak tool instead of changing it the classic way, lets you keep all your ctrl clicks in the same place regardless of c, v, z, and others all being moved.

-That One Person

Left Monitor Complete

Posted in My Life, Technology on May 20, 2009 by That-One-Person

A few weeks ago, or a month ago, or maybe even a few months ago (that is my sense of time) I awesome-ified my right monitor.  I got all my icons themed, and located in pretty nifty places so that they would look snazzy with my background.  Well, today I finished making my left monitor look even better than the right.

I changed my .dll file in the Windows system files to let me use custom themes, since Vista is normally ugly as sin.  It allowed me to shrink down my taskbar by about half, and get rid of that enormous start bubble Vista used, giving me a little bit more screen space.  This also shrunk down the title bar of all of my windows, which is amazing because I am all about getting every millimeter of space possible.

The only other large change here is that I have a dock, sort of like the mac one, except it doesn’t suck so bad.  One thing I hate about my macbooks dock is that all the windows maximize to still show the dock, which eats up a lot of room.  So, I have all of my icons and folders on a fully functional dock, except that my windows go over it, because my open programs still minimize to the taskbar.  Thank god.

Lastly, I moved my CPU and hard drive space monitors over to the left monitor, and put another clock over there.  Now I have my taskbar clock, the analog on the left monitor, and the large colorful one on my right monitor.  Somedays I just feel insane.

Oh well, here is a screen shot of the left one, let me know what you think.  Or else.  Also, of course, click on it to zoom in.

leftmonitor

Yeah, I like Lost.

-That One Person

My Internet Lives Again

Posted in My Life, Technology on May 6, 2009 by That-One-Person

Finally, last night, I once again have the Internet at my house.  Be warned this is a long story that no one but me probably cares about.

These last seven days have been miserable.  I have never felt so disconnected from the world.  Of course, right after my last blog post about my Internet breaking, my iPhone broke.  Although, that one might have been my fault.

Got my new iPhone monday, for only $30 to replace it.  Not bad at all, in my opinion.  Just thirty dollars to replace the $300 model I had.

Anyways, Monday rolled around and no AT&T truck ever showed up.  So, I decided I should call them and see what the Hell was happening.  Turns out they lost our order to fix the DSL at my house, and said the soonest they could make it out would be Friday.  As this was completely not going to work for me, I told them to forget it.  Then I drove to somewhere I could use the Internet and checked some Time Warner Cable prices on their website.

They had a few Internet packages available, the quicker you wanted it to go, then the more expensive it would be per month.  As we were already paying $45 a month for 3-6 mpbs, I decided to tell my mother that the only one we could get was the $56 package for 22-30 mbps.  Yeah, I told a little lie, gonna cry about it?

At first Time Warner gave us the date of Friday as well, but I talked them into squeezing us in last night at 5:00 P.M.

Anyways, turns out the wiring that is needed was fried leading to my room.  They had to cancel the rest of their evening appointments and rerun wires from outside directly into my room.

I’ve never had my Internet run so fast before.  Speed Test is claiming I am getting 35 mbps right now and that’s even while downloading a bunch of stuff.

Oh well, there has also been a few other new things since I last could post.

The only real major thing is that I’m getting glasses to relieve the strain on my eyes from constantly reading or using the computer.  Blah.  I am really worried at how I will look with them on.  Besides that I basically just passed out on Benadryl or NyQuil every day for the past few days.  Not just because I was without the Internet, I’m not that crazy.  Just a lot on my mind and my head has been killing me.

I think my blogs are getting so long that no one even wants to read them.  If you made it this far give yourself a pat on the back.

-That One Person

Fracking AT&T

Posted in My Life, Technology on April 30, 2009 by That-One-Person

This last weekend when my Internet was moving below dial-up speed, I decided to do something.  Once it was fixed and back to my normal 3 mbp/s download time, I called AT&T and told them to upgrade it up to 6 mbp/s, which is the fastest they offer for residential DSL.  Also, we decided to have the house phone canceled, to help save money, get rid of our ugly DLS filters, and because no one ever uses it.

Today, after my internet completely died for six hours, I managed to get ahold of an AT&T line technician again.  They then informed me that I would be without Internet until bloody Monday.

Monday?!

That’s right, bad enough to bold and then italicize.  Nothing is bad enough to underline.  Only noobs underline.

Their reasoning being, is that they need to change our wires over from phone/DSL to direct link DSL.  Of course, this is something they failed to mention when we decided to cancel the home phone.  The person from the other day even confirmed to me that we would not have to be without Internet at all.

What’s even worse is that when we first wanted to upgrade the Internet speed, they said their wasn’t enough Internet to go around in my area to do that.  They seriously tried to tell me “..there isn’t enough Internet.”  So, after deciding that she was lying, I hung up and spoke to someone else.  My Internet was then indeed at 6 mbp/s until it failed again today.

Well, did I “run out of Internet” or are all of my wires magically being changed to a different kind of wire?

I don’t know what to believe from them anymore.  Every time I speak with someone else, it is a completely different story.

Things to ruin my Internet in the last week:

  • Old Modem
  • Bad Wiring
  • Area Outage
  • Out of Internet
  • Wires Being Changed
  • Aliens

Come on AT&T.  I’m going to lose my mind.

Probably won’t be blogging much till Monday then.  This iPhone Internet browsing is simply not enough.  I’ll probably hibernate until this passes.

-That One Person