Lynn-Lady

Decisions, decisions...

I currently have a "dumb" phone that's on its last legs. I'm looking at upgrading to either an iPhone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy. My service provider is AT&T, and yes, I'm way overdue for my upgrade. Here's what I care about:
  • Ease of use.
    I expect there to be a learning curve, especially since I'll no longer be able to dial by feel. Which is easier to use as a phone, including the speaker feature?
  • Searching while talking.
    Can I look up stuff on my smartphone while I'm talking on it? If so, how awkward is it?
  • PDA functionality.
    Let me be blunt: I Miss My Palm Zire 72. I want to be able to use my smartphone as a calendar, alarm clock with customized alarms, and as a list-tracker. Do either have apps that can do this? My iPod Touch's alarm clock is way too soft to wake me up; I've heard the iPhone is way better this way, though. I have no experience with the Android platform.
  • Available apps.
    What's out there for each platform? I know I can run apps on an iPhone that'll save me money (which will help offset the monthly data fee). Do these exist for the Android?
  • Upgradability.
    Can I upgrade the hardware or software at all? The iPhone appears to be software upgradeable but not hardware upgradeable, while the Galaxy appears to be the other way around. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
  • Battery life.
    How do they compare?
  • Tethering.
    I'm going to have to pay for a measured service plan no matter how I roll it, so how easy is it to use either one as a MiFi hotspot? Yes, this is very important to me.
  • "Regret factor."
    Will I still feel good about this phone a year from now? I like buying tech gear that's going to last me a while and keep me happy, which means I tend to go for the top of the line.
  • Other stuff.
    Since I don't have a smartphone, I don't know what I'm missing or what to look for beyond what I've mentioned.
So...which is better, and why?
Lynn-Lady

Goodbye, Keris

I just learned about the sudden death of keristor a few hours ago. I am in shock.

I first met Chris Croughton at my first full Worldcon, Magicon, in Orlando in '91. I enjoyed hanging with him at cons where we were both in attendance. He was friendly, fun, and someone I always looked forward to seeing. I also chatted quite a bit with him online (the two of us both being tech-geeks and around the same age). I remember how he beamed when he accepted his Filk Hall of Fame award when he was at FKO with the N'Early Music Consort. He later told me about how hard it was not to "burst out" to anyone about it.

I enjoyed his cheerfulness, his knowledge, and most of all, his sense of humor.

Damn.
Lynn-Lady

Lots of little things have been going on

In a nutshell:
  1. Paul Metz's memorial, followed by a double birthday party.
    Can we say "emotional see-saw?" I offered to speak (I knew him a long time, got to watch him grow up, and I'm a "professional voice"). I was fried after that. dimakoi and I carpooled, shlepping from one affair to the other. We got out of the memorial later than planned because we kept running into folks we hadn't seen in ages and who we missed. When we finally got to the party, I was too tired to change into something more appropriate for the party (Hawaiian themed), even with Hawaiian shirts lying in front of me. I needed the party after the memorial, but I was frazzled.

  2. Steve Jobs died.
    If I said I was surprised by this, I'd be lying through my teeth. It was a case of deja vu for me because my father lost his fight with cancer within a month of being told he had to sell his dental practice. Like Steve Jobs, Dad was a workaholic. Dad was also 56 when he died.

    As for Steve, I didn't really know him, but I met him on a couple of occasions and even got to chat with him briefly. He was very nice to me, although I suspected it was partly because I was one of the few reporters who wasn't asking a question that showed a lack of understanding about computers. (For the record, I asked about the pronunciation of his name; back then, you'd hear it as both "johbs" and "jahbs," and I cared enough to get it right.)

  3. I made plane and car rental arrangements to go to New Jersey next month.
    I'm visiting my relatives for the first time in 3 1/2 years. Am I nervous? A little. Am I looking forward to it? Yeah. When my cousins and I get together, we kind of fall into place as if we hadn't been apart. I'm going to my cousin Sophie's Bat Mitzvah, and as usual, I've been searching for the right fabric. At the Fabric Outlet in San Francisco I found a knit ultrasuede in a smoky blue and pale pink that's sort of smudged and swirled almost like a tie-dye. It's color-appropriate for my palette and for the time of year (November). Better yet, it was 40% off! I wanted to make something with a little stretch because I expect to gain weight before the affair. I'll have been at my mother's house (aka The House Of Food) for two days, and Mom will likely want to feed me 3 1/2 years of home cooking in less than a week. Mom is starting to fill her two refrigerators and full-sized freezer with stuff she knows I'll want to consume.

    Btw, I'm flying into Philadelphia, so if any of you want me to shlep a care package from the Silicon Valley to your kid going to school out there (I'm not naming names, but you know who you are), please let me know. I'm taking two large suitcases, and I plan on filling one with stuff that isn't coming back with me.

  4. My energy is slowly coming back.
    Once the clostridium difficile infection left my body, it was as if someone stopped sucking out my energy with a hypodermic needle. This Is Good. Sometimes I am exhausted after work, but I kick ass when I'm on the clock.

  5. My kitchen appliances are all dying at once.
    Before I spend my work money on anything fun, I need a new refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. If I had the $$$ I'd get a dual-fuel range, but I don't, so I'm going with the cheapest electric non-flat-top stove I can stand. I've been researching this, but any additional input is welcomed.
Compared to some of the stuff other folks I know are going through (esp. my fiancé), my life has been pleasantly dull for a change.
Lynn-Lady

Paul Metz Memorial

When: Saturday, October 1st, 11:30am
Where: 1st Congregational Church of San Jose, 1980 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA - nearest cross-street is Leigh Avenue

Service will be in the sanctuary with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.

As for helping Stephanie, Brendan, and Morgan:
  • Someone has set up a fund to help Stephanie and the boys. For more information on how to donate, contact patrice.lajoie.carney@gmail.com.
  • Some of Paul's PayPal colleagues have set up a fund. For information, click here.
Lynn-Lady

Paul Metz: 12/21/1961-8/27/2011

My dear friend Paul killed himself this past Saturday. I knew he was in bad shape mentally, but I hoped he'd pull out of it.

Paul was the kind of guy legends are made of. Collapse )The world was a better place because he was in it. I miss you, my virtual kid brother.
Lynn-Lady

Well that explains a few things!

Last week my adorable but not technogeeky fiancé was at my house and said, "You somehow managed to get a cord caught in your shredder."

This sounded absurd. First of all, I rarely use my shredder; he uses it more than I do. When I do use it, there aren't any cords near the blades. The rest of the week I continued on with my job search, life, and so forth, wondering why there were no new messages on my answering machine. I figured he was clearing it remotely (he gets messages on my machine).

Last night I tried answering the phone that has the answering machine attached, only it was dead. In a classic case of "Yeah, you can smell this one coming," I followed the power cord and phone cord and discovered the latter had somehow been cut in half. I have no idea how he got the phone cord stuck in the shredder; all I could do was burst out laughing. Fortunately, I had a spare phone cable (hey, I'm a geek!) I could use to hook up the machine.

The reason I was in the computer room was I was suddenly unable to connect to my home network. Around a month ago my backup drive stopped appearing on my home network. I had tried power-cycling it. I reseated the connection. No luck. I've been having to power cycle the router a lot in the last couple of months because my wireless printer kept falling off the home network.

Last night my wireless router was D-E-A-D. The power was connected. It was plugged in. This router is I-forget-how-many-years-old; it's 802.11g, and at the time it was the top-of-the-line protocol available. The only reason I can connect to the net wirelessly right now is there's a Google WiFi transponder across the street from my house. It's slow, it's clunky, and it's not secure, but at least I can sort of get to the net till I go out and buy a new router.

Yesterday someone asked me if I'd ever configured a router. Heh. It's time for me to turn into the Good Router Configuration Fairy. I bet my other networking problems are suddenly going to go away real soon....