McDonald’s Love & Life

The manager at McDonald’s gave me some love today. Er, in the way of free food. I thought he was just going to give me a free breakfast but he comp’ed my entire order. I can’t tell you what that consists of because it would make me look like an absolute pig. (quick blog search confirms I haven’t divulged that in the past. thank God!) My weakness is McDonald’s breakfast. Afterward, I get that self-loathing feeling (think Crying Game, sitting in the bathtub with the shower going) Okay, maybe it’s not that bad but I do feel like I at least need to work out that night.

On another health note, I got this strange sore throat after this past weekend that was the weekend of the summer for me so far. Thursday night with a couple of friends eating out, Friday night at Twilight with some great friends, Saturday with the family and some awesome food, Krusty’s with some great friends and some new ones. Sunday was just an awesome day of rest. This morning, I had zero voice. This afternoon, it’s amazingly bad. My throat still hurts. Maybe it’s that freaky “i-slept-too-close-to-the-air-conditioning” syndrome or something.

I just spent about 40 minutes on the phone with one of my friends. I realize being on the phone focuses me. I can get the dishwasher loaded, windex my counter tops, put the dishes away, load the washer and dryer. Yesterday, I straighten up my closet. Believe it or not, I realize I have this awesome ability to multi-task while I’m talking to someone. The problem is some people don’t like the pots and the dishes making noise but they’ll get over it. My sister claimed she could still hear me over the vacuum, (why do I always misspell that word?) I don’t believe her.

On the technology front, Samsung and Sprint pushed out a software update for my phone, the Samsung Instinct. Push, I guess, is a strong word because I pulled it into my device. At any rate, the update, BF30, apparently corrects at least one of the issues I have with the phone. The volume over the bluetooth headset is not that loud. I have a stereo headset and I don’t like to hear the radio or the TV in my gym over my music. I haven’t tested it to see yet.

One of the other issues getting a lot of net buzz is the update to the calendar, which I think is admittedly weak compared to my old “Q”. Now you can set your appointments to recurring.

There’s apparently also an issue with voicemail, which is one of the strong points with the Instinct. I loathe having to dial voicemail, wait through the password sequence and then listen to the message. Some people are reporting problems with having the voicemail immediately download to their phone. I hope this is not the case.

I just hope Samsung fixed the constant prompt for a password I get through the e-mail. I always seems to think I changed my password even though I didn’t.

Well, if I’m to get this workout in sometime today, I better get my rear in gear,

Happy Birthday, Dad (err, two days late)

I’m officially a horrible son!

I realized while talking to my mother this morning that I’d missed my father’s birthday. It’s not that I don’t love him, it’s that I’m a dense dude who has no idea what the date is. I’ve been on vacation for the past two days and apparently I’ve just checked out. My back-up isn’t even there for me anymore. My phone, the Samsung Instinct, doesn’t do the calendar function very well. My “Q” never let me forget anyone’s birthday. So, happy birthday Dad from the world’s worst (temporarily, I hope) son! You rock!

It’s All About Instinct

Sprint Challenges The iPhone with the Instinct

I joined a bunch of other people around the nation running out to the Sprint store on Friday to get the new Samsung Instinct. I admit it’s a little bit of a novelty with the touchscreen but it does have some great features. Here’s my review after playing with phone for two days.

The pros:
The unit has something called haptic feedback. The device emits small vibrations in response to your touches.

You get two batteries with the phone. You can charge the extra battery in a vault-like case that runs off the same plug that powers the phone.

The GPS Navigation is great. I don’t even need my Garmin anymore. Turn by turn directions with text to speech easily will get you where you need to go. There are no maps to buy because they come from the Internet.

You’ve got a two megapixel phone. It also doubles as a camcorder. The pictures look good. Good luck taking photos at night. There is no onboard flash so you’re limited to the light you have.

The messaging and e-mail applications are intuitive. All of your conversations with one person are archived and displayed by their names. You don’t have to worry about scrolling through endless text messages to find the appropriate message. The onscreen keyboard is easy to use but they put the backspace key so close to another one that you often hit it instead. Hopefully, this will be addressed in future firmware. You also have easy access to Yahoo! and GMail.

Web browsing is fast and you can chose between mobile and full screen modes. Using the latter, you can see webpages like you would on your home computer. The EvDO network is fast but the Instinct lacks WiFi connectivity.

The cons:
The power adapter is not USB. It is Samsung’s proprietary connector. When you attach the phone throw the Samsung adapter to USB cord, the phone won’t receive incoming calls or allow you to call out. At that point, the phone basically turns all of your phone features off.

The Instinct defaults to the “Favorites” screen. I would rather have at least the option to customize it to the “Main” screen.

There is nowhere to put the stylus inside the phone. What to guess how long I’ll have it before loosing it?

The ringer volume is not so hot. I’ve missed several phone calls and I have the volume cranked.

If you’re used to a smartphone… Instinct doesn’t run on the Windows platform. Don’t expect to hook your phone up to your computer to drag and drop. To download custom ringers and mp3 files to use as ringtones, you’ll have to get Polyphonic Wizard to upload midi ringers and try something like to upload the mp3’s or wma’s. This caused me the most grief and time to accomplish.

These are goods or bads but just somethings worth noting:

The Sprint Media Manager is an acceptable application. You can easily move your pictures over to your phone. If you use pictures for your contacts, the Instinct decides which part of the picture to use. I don’t have the dimensions so I can’t crop them myself. A couple of my friends have heads that are cut off in the pictures because I can’t choose which part of the picture to display.

I miss having the keypad at my disposal. On the Instinct, you have to switch screens for the keyboard and that can be a little frustrating at times.

You can’t group your contacts together (i.e. family) and share the same ringer for all of them.

So far, I like it but there are some big features I miss from my “Q”. More reviews and tips and tricks ahead in the coming days and weeks.

The “Q’s” Shortfall?

I hope I’m going to be able to come back with better news about my brand new phone but… Microsoft is coming out with Windows Mobile 6 which has tons of improvements over Windows Mobile 5. The Moto Q comes with WM5 installed. However, all of the posts I read indicate there won’t be an upgrade to WM6 for “Q” owners. I’m very upset with this because I just got the new phone and it’s apparently not upward compatible. I hope that there’s a way out there that will allow me to have the functionality of the WM6 features. I can assure you if there isn’t Sprint will be hearing from me and we’ll find out a way to get a different phone. I was told by the representative that this was the “latest and greatest” and very popular. Hey, at least I didn’t get a RAZR, not to slam anyone with one but I’ve heard enough from everyone who owns the phone that it’s a horrible phone. So if anyone has any definitive answers, good or bad, I’d like to hear them.

The CD Project & The “Q”

Once and for all, the CD Project is complete. All of the files are named correctly and all of the CD’s have been ripped on to the MyBook drive. There are more than 11,000 songs on the drive and it only takes up about 40 gigs so there’s plenty of space for more. Thankfully that project is finished.

I’m starting to get used to having the “Q” as my cell phone. It’s amazing. I just put my gmail account on the phone. There’s a bad side to the “Q” with Sprint. It doesn’t have a native PictureMail feature. I put the gmail account on the phone so I could post pictures to my blog. There’s no built-in way that I’ve found yet to do such a thing.

Side note, I’m looking out my window now as the snow just keeps coming down. There’s actually a decent side drift on the roof of the other apartment. See Winter’s Revenge.

When Is Hi-Tech Too Hi-Tech?

I think the answer is when I’m blown away by the technology itself. The Motorola “Q” is like a laptop. The keys are a little clumsy but it’s amazing. I had to wait until April 1st to get all of the rebates on the phone. I somewhat miss my flip phone already but it’s just all about taking some time with the next phone and figuring it out. There’s a lot to figure out. Supposedly, I can get my e-mail on it. Write word documents, etc. It should be fun and it does have an mp3 player and that’s a big bonus! I’ll have more of a review soon!