Tech

Nook e

I don’t really forget about this blog, I just have a hard time updating any of them.  Posterous has really made it more convenient by adding posts by email.  I use to tweet once in a while from my phone, but once I could post pictures and short notes to my blog with an email from my phone, then it made it so much easier.  This was especially true when I got my Android phone.  I posted a few times from my Windows Mobile phone, but the camera was enough better on my new phone to make a difference.  I have a huge post on Android and its apps that I haven’t posted, yet.  I’ll have to clean it up and do that before it’s too old, but back to the happenings from the last couple weeks…

Today at work, I had a question come up that I have looked into some, but really wish I knew more about.  The question was what was the best way to get Google Books on to an eReader and how much would it cost?  I recently bought my wife a Barnes & Noble Nook ebook reader – so I was leaning that way, but the Kindle is the name most people recognize right away.  I did a little research before buying the Nook, but each one has its own strengths.  I’m a big fan of Amazon and had always bought books for her from there, among everything else in the world I’ve bought from there.  It’s off topic, but Amazon Prime is awesome.  But the Barnes & Noble reader runs Android, of which I’m also a huge fan.  The Barnes & Noble book store offers the same books at similar prices, but has a little more flexibility with adding your own books, and I thought getting books from Google was one of the options.  I’ll have to look into that to see how easy it is.  The newest Nook software has an internet browser and other fun things included.  The Nook also has the color touch screen for browsing books.  These are the things that pushed me to chose the Nook – and so far she has been happy with the decision.  We got her the 3g version, but she is recommending the WiFi version to her mom – you can’t beat the $150 price tag now.  I wish it was that cheap when I bought hers.  I’m also wanting to see how hard it is to log on as her to my iPod or Android phone to read the same books.  I don’t read much – ok, I don’t read at all – but it would be nice to know that i could if I wanted to, or she could use my iPod or phone if she forgot her Nook.

As for other features, we thought it was really cool that you could lend books with the Nook, this isn’t possible on the Kindle.  But then again, 14 days isn’t very long and the only person she’s really going to lend books to is her mom, so they could just trade Nooks.  (That sounds funny, I may have to change what I’m calling it.)  I’d like to see how the future of e-Book readers changes with the size and color print.  I think they need to advance a little in the technology to be really useful in schools as text books, or to be known as reference books.  It would be cool to have the Nook sitting next to me and be able to pull up an article from Wikipedia to read about something on I saw TV, or maybe to look up a word in the dictionary or thesaurus.  I’m sure some of this is possible, but I think it should be quicker to do and quicker to change pages and scan a technology book for an answer.

So as for ebooks, I guess overall I’d recommend the Barnes & Noble Nook, but the Amazon Kindle would be a very close #2.  As for other options, I think the Sony would be cheapest and most flexible if you didn’t need 3g and were converting and loading your own books.  And I know Borders is coming out with one soon, but I don’t know much about it.  Then, of course, there’s always the iPad – if you can afford it. It uses a different technology for the screen, but I’ve heard its still pretty easy to read.  The iPad also has a world of other stuff to offer besides just reading from the iBook store, including reading your Kindle or Nook books.  I’m surprised Apple is finally letting people decide how they want to get their media, kinda.

About (my newest Posterous blog)

I’m going to put a summary of this on the About page, but I wanted to create a blog of my daily technology support issues that I come across.  First a little background I guess, all of you techies/geeks should know exactly what I’m talking about.  Since I happen to go to school for Computer Science and work in IT, I am the official support person for all of my family and friends, and I guess all of their friends.  You almost have to be a tech person to understand the enormous number of crazy requests that we get.  99% of the time I am more than happy to help a friend out, even though sometimes I wish I could ask my accountant friends to do my taxes, my handy friends to fix my electrical in my house, or my insurance friends to underwrite me a plan or something, but it just doesn’t work that way.  Some people understand and are more than happy to pay or get me a gift certificate, which thats not the point of this blog.  We don’t help others for the money, at least after we have enough to live on, we help because we can and we enjoy the other persons satisfaction when they realize they didn’t break anything and it was relatively fast and easy to fix.  I also don’t want this blog to discourage people from asking me questions, because you don’t want to be posterized.  I’m going to try not to enter names, but I do want to separate what requests come from my family, friends and work, so sorry Grandma, you might get a couple mentions.

It’s funny, just because I know a little bit, some people think I can figure out anything that gets plugged in.  I’ll try to recap some old stories and try not to venture into other work related stories that aren’t tech related, but I’m sure they’ll come out some since I have my bachelors, worked for a big corporation for a few years and now a small LLC for a few years.  Not to mention all the gadgets and “crap” I have at my house to show off.

I also want to keep this light and fun.  I get some crazy requests and I’d like you to hear them, but at the same time, some things are very informational, even for me.  I’m hoping to also have this as a knowledge base to look back at some of the things I did to remember how to do them again.  So feel free to ask your questions here, I’ll try to help, but just like I tell my friends and family.  I have a full time job, a family (the wife has enough computer problems and the dog has a twitter account), and I enjoy to spend some time doing stuff I enjoy, so that stuff comes first, but other than that I’ll try to help where I can.

Speaking of work, I should get back to it, but there’s more to come.

I wasn’t sure if this would get posted here or not, but I guess so. The specialized posts will be on my nolancarson.posterous.com page.

Rockin the @htc Incredible and it’s girly case.

I'm really liking my new phone.  today is it's 1 week birthday.  Yeah I know kinda cheesy, but I hadn't really showed it off yet.  I'm still downloading apps like crazy and the battery makes me stop playing with it in the early evening.  But I guess the 14 hours I'm getting now is better than the 8 or 9 I got when I first got it.  I'm starting to learn what I really need to have running and learning how to manage the battery a little better.  I could still get better results, because I still play with it quite a bit.

Its crazy to me that I've been on twitter for so long, and I'm just starting to experience twitter, since I am notified immediately by mentions and I can check updates easier.  I still need to organize all my contacts and calendar.  Before I had used my work Exchange account since I was on Windows Mobile for like 4 years.  But now I'm trying to keep my personal stuff in Google and my work stuff in Exchange, but it's not an easy transition.  Then to throw in that it adds my Facebook contacts.  I have a mess on my hands when trying to find someone's phone number.

This phone is so much faster than any other phone I've had before.  For so long I hated on the iPhone, because I could do almost everything it could on my WinMo phones that I had for years before he iPhone came out.  Sure I was missing a few apps, but I had everything I needed and a few things the iPhone didn't including exchange support, which was most important at the time.  Then my HTC WinMo phones started to seem slower and slower to do cool stuff on them.  So I was amazed the first time I touched the Incredible.  It just blazed compared to anything I had played with.  Especially my 2nd Gen iPod Touch.  Which gave me my fill of iPhone apps for the time being, but I don't see any reason to touch it again, unless I just use it as music player for my car.

Music is another thing I need to organize on my phone.  I had to convert to iTunes for my iPods and now I'm at another turning point, where I'm kinda stuck in iTunes, but it's not the best for my phone.  I'm planning on setting up Double Twist, I just haven't gotten around to it, because I'm wanting to clean up the tags on my music and back it up.  And to be honest, I use Google Listen for podcasts and Pandora to stream music, that I don't really miss my music library on the iPod.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about the phone some day, but that's enough for today.  I'm just stoked to have it.  Do the kids still say stoked, oh well, I bet the kids wish they had an Incredible.

Reaching Out

I’ve enjoyed the blogging and social networking, but I don’t really have the type of personality to always talk about myself or to start conversations.  I’m more the type that likes to jump in when I think I have something good to offer, but I often don’t want to intrude either.  These lines have changed a lot with social networking.  With so much information being in the open and so many different kinds of relationships being formed, things are different now than they were even when I first joined Facebook in like 2005 or whenever it was.

I’ve gotten more and more social on Facebook over time with my friends.  But I haven’t really opened up my Facebook to much more than people that I know.  Sure some of them are people I went to high school with and haven’t talked to in 12 years, but still I could put names on a picture with all of them.  It’s nice seeing where everyone is.  I still don’t post much myself, but I’ll occasionally comment on other peoples posts.  But then I have this different network of people on twitter.  I follow different people, most of which I couldn’t recognize if I saw them in person.  There are only a few that I know.  But I still like to share with them and see what they are doing in the community.  I like to follow people from places I have ties to.  For example Newton, Des Moines, Simpson College, Hawkeyes football, RAGBRAI, and now Omaha.  There are really interesting people in Omaha and all the time I’ll find someone else from here that has Iowa ties or is interested in the same stuff that I am.  There really is a booming tech/entrepreneur scene here.  There are some very creative individuals that are very active in promoting everyone in the area.  The one group in particular is Silicon Prairie News.  They started a conference called BigOmaha in town with some great speakers last year and I wouldn’t expect any less this year.  I haven’t had the guts to go to one of the tweetups or anything else related to the events, but someday I will hopefully put faces on all these people I have been following.

One of the reasons I’m reaching out now is to try to help out anyone in my network that needs it.  I’m going to post this to Facebook, but if you have a blog you want read let me know, I’m always looking for new stuff to read.  I just started adding a few of my friends blogs to my blog roll linked on the right.  It rotates through them if you’d like to see yours listed I’d be happy to add it.  Also over time I’m going to mention a few of the things that I do online and see if anyone wants to connect there.  For example if you have a twitter account, tumblr blog, youtube account, or play the same PS3 games as me I’ll connect with you on there as well.  I could always use someone to play CoD:MW2 with.  I tried to link most of my accounts on the links tab above, but it’s quite the mess right now.  As with most of my website, it needs some cleaning up, I try to gradually do a little bit at a time since I do have a full time job doing other stuff.

HTC Incredible

I’ve been waiting over a year to get an Android phone and today was such a fun day that it made it worth the wait.  I kinda wanted the G1 since it came out, but didn’t want to consider going to T-Mobile to get it.  Then at MWC 2009 the Hero was announced and I thought it was going to go to at least Sprint if not Verizon and I thought I would get it as soon as it came out.  Then as it got closer and closer I’d see something else that I wanted, but wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger for one reason or another.  The Sprint Hero was a little ugly in my opinion and I read about something else.  Then it was the Droid, then the Eris, but during that time there was the “Passion”. I decided that was the perfect phone, it was fast, big, looked nice and was rumored to be on Verizon.  The months went by, yes months and we heard about the Nexus One that all the Google employees were showing off, then it came to light and mentioned Verizon as a future carrier.  I thought well that’s nice, but still months away.  What was weird was the Passion rumors continued, they started to change to a Bravo, then an Incredible was mentioned, then a Desire was annouced at this years’ MWC.  It is getting hard to tell them all apart.  I have finally decided now, that i believe the Incredible is coming to Verizon, hopefully in the end of March, otherwise early April.  That is going to be my phone, for sure this time.  I’ve dealt with Windows Mobile for far to long.  My first smart phone was a Moto Q, the day it released in June-ish 2006, then the Verizon vx6800 (HTC Titan) and just recently a HTC Touch Pro to get me by until this Incredible release.

So now to the fun part you’ve been waiting to hear.  Everyone gets that “rush” when they do something exciting.  I used to always get them in sports, but didn’t notice it anywhere else until I got my PS3 before the first Christmas before they came out.  Then it was getting my Wii, when they first came out as well as picking up another 3 over time for friends.  Something about getting/finding things before other people seems to give me that exhilarating feeling.  So today I was reading one of the forums I’ve been keeping up on for a few months waiting to find out more info about the Incredible.  it’s kinda fun hearing other people’s opinions on what is going to happen and every once in a while find a gem.  Things seem to come up there, before I read about them anywhere else.  Well today it was my turn.  I was looking through some picture found on Flickr that were taken with a weird model of HTC phone.  I took the dimensions of the picture and multiplied them to find that the camera was about an 8MP camera.  Way bigger than any other HTC phone so far.  People were already assuming it was either the Bravo, Desire, Supersonic, or Incredible.  I first starting trying to figure out their location from the pictures, then looked a little closer at the user names.  I put them after Twitter accounts until I found a match.  That Twitter account linked to a couple twitgoo pictures and a couple YouTube videos.  I put 2+2 together and found a video they had posted of this rumored “Incredible”.  I couldn’t believe that I was the first viewer of the video.  It caught me off guard.  The video had been posted 8 hours earlier, so I figured I must’ve been the first person to stumble upon it.  I posted the link to the forum and things just took off from there.  So far I’ve seen 3 pretty popular blogs it’s been posted on and many other small ones have reblogged it.  The person that tipped my post, was gracious enough to comment on the blog to make sure that I received credit.  I couldn’t believe it, my name mentioned for credit to a post.  The post was also pretty nice, acting like I did some research project to find the info.  There were a ton of tweets and retweets, mentioning the story.  Here’s the first 3 blog posts.

http://phandroid.com/2010/02/25/htc-incredible-on-video/

http://www.androidcentral.com/video-shows-htc-somethings-camera-action-may-be-supersonic-or-incredible

http://androidandme.com/2010/02/news/verizon-htc-incredible-nearing-release/

It got me wanting to blog more and tweet more often, to try to help out the community.  I loved that feeling and it really made me realize why so many people enjoy following technology.  So I guess I had my 15 minutes and I’ll turn it back over to everyone else for now, but I can’t wait to find something else out someday and hopefully next time, I’ll be doing it from my HTC Incredible.

UPDATE:

Before I could even post my first edit, I saw that Engadget ran the story.  I tried to send them a tip as soon as I posted the video and 6 hours later they reposted the Phandroid blog post.  Oh well, atleast that one mentoins my name.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still really awesome.  I can still say I was mentioned on Engadget.  By the way, the original video and pictures were pulled, I really hope that no one got in trouble, that wasn’t the purpose.  I did make my own copy of the video just in case.  Also Engadget, it’s the Incredible, you should read the forum where we proved it.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/25/htc-supersonic-spotted-on-video/

 

Posterous

I’m just starting to play with Posterous and getting it setup for my blog.  I love the idea and can’t wait to get started.  They have an iPhone app, work with about every social network and they guys there are smart and easy to work with.  So it’s time I get more into “micro-blogging” and back into updating my regular blog again.