Monday, December 28, 2009

upgrading the DSi - on the cheap

So I got my 8 year old son what he says he wanted for Christmas. I was against it, but out-voted. But this thing is pretty cool. But without spending $30 a pop on every game, I need to educate myself on the alternative options. One of my friends told me about the R4DS card - and where to buy it.

>> video - R4 DS card
>> video - R4 DS
>> R4 DS Card - Firmware Download And Set Up For R4 DS
>> How To Put Nintendo DS Games On Your R4 DS


>> music has to be in AAC format (*.m4a *.mp4 or *.3gp)
>> and of course - the homepage

What I want to know is:
-the best ebook reader for it
-is it possible to watch videos/movies

Friday, October 30, 2009

meebo chat client

Committed to using a web based IM client (chat history included) - instead of using a messaging client. And so far - I dont think Ill be going back... (more and more services should be moving to web based services/apps)
-no installed app on my pc
-does many chat clients
-able to record chat history
-indication of new chat message is not super clear, but you do get a sound, and it does have an optional plugin for firefox to aid in this

Monday, October 26, 2009

cheaper cell service/market shakeup eminent?

3 times I have used Amazon to get a decent cellphone - that they payed me to take! Those days are now over. A search on their website comes up mostly with phones that cost a penny - and much more. What happened?

Now rumors are abound about the shakeup in the industry. With the big battle just heating up BTWN Apples iPhone and Googles Android, the other carriers are (and need to be) pulling out all the stops. Hence my research begins for what is to come...

>> ClarkHoward
>> PCmag
>> Engadget

In another boon for cheap cellular service, we're beginning to hear word about something from T-Mobile called Project Black. This cryptically named market thrust will reportedly usher in much lower price points for unlimited service starting at $50/month. But for now, this is just a rumor until it goes public.
"Also, expect MetroPCS and myCricket to merge if Project Black is real."

my local Walmart is already carrying Straight Talk Phones:
4004 Lawrenceville Hwy Nw, Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 921-9224

Now the question is, does anyone know how/where to get a smartphone flashed to work on the ST(Straight Talk) network? Cuz I want a decent smart phone to use on their network.

On Tracfones with SIM cards, the carrier can be identified in the same manner as any other SIM-based phone, by interpreting the SIM number. On T-Mobile phones, the first line of the SIM number will end in "SIMT5", on Cingular/AT&T, the first line will end in "SIMC4".

Verizon is CDMA. No special sim cards, you just have to flash the PRL. The only other thing is, most CDMA providers require that your ESN (phone's serial number) be in their database and attached to your account. This would be the difficult part. Requires either someone on the inside, or a company-approved program (or clever social engineering).

Straight Talk is one of TracFone's newest brands and as of July 30, 2009 provides customers with two different value based 30-day rate plans. Straight Talk is an MVNO that uses Verizon's CDMA 1XRTT wireless network which was introduced in 2001 and is said to deliver between 40 and 60 kbs (kilobits per second) to customers[7]. Straight Talk's coverage is limited in certain areas (most of Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Mississippi and western Texas)[8] but provides good coverage in the major metro areas

Looks like Page Plus has a comparable deal.

WARNING: Buzzirk Mobile, Global Verge, Zero1 Mobile, are scams.
And beware - there are probably many more to come. Be smart, do the research.

>> Use Google Voice with your existing number
>> The quest for a truly open smartphone: can it be done?
>> Nokia N900
>> Maemo
>> OKI 900 (old school)
>> Free AT&T phones (w/new service/contract)

Thanks to my friend Paul Sibley [f] for getting me started on the research.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

times, they are a changin...

Be aware, that the market has changed/is changing - not just for designers - but for everyone. Maybe leverage these tools for projects that are assigned to you? Or for you to make a career decision? At the very least, look around and test one or two out just to see the possibilities - or maybe earn some extra cash. Or maybe someone could create a business(team?) around this "crowd sourced" model?

From websites, logos, business cards, and more... (and if your jobs not listed - it may be soon).

>> the video that inspired this post (apologies - its only on facebook)
>> and the Zooppa video that I saw a week before that made me think

ps. my only question is, why is facebook, information week, and others - seemingly restricting the direct sharing of their videos? Funny that there is still some huge limitations in all this interconnectedness.

Friday, June 26, 2009

time to buy some new tires

I was dissapointed to find out that the tire site Ive been using for the past 2 years upped their pricing (by $20 on the tire I used to buy from them). So I went looking...

Things to think about while you are looking around is: installation price, taxes, shipping, free rotation?, and more.
$50 ($131 total)($32 shipping for 2) Federal Triangle TR918 205/55ZR16
$56 ($144 total)($22 shipping for 2) BFGoodrich Traction T/A T 205/55R16
$74 (free shipping) 205/55HR16 NEXEN N5000/89H/BSW

I then called my trusted local shop to get a quote.
They only had the NEXEN N5000 for $79(99 installed).

Once you find the cheapest tire you want, do a search on that tire brand and model (ex: Federal Triangle TR918). I clicked on images in Google, then looked at the sites with images, and checked the prices quickly on those sites. I actually found a tire I liked better for just a little more money.
$54 ($33 shipping for 2) Federal Triangle TR968 215/50 R17 91V

So I went from: $60 Hankook k106 205/55R-16 to a $70 Federal Triangle TR968 215/50 R17 91V (including shipping)

>> FYI - nice tire review site

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Borrow from Kiva for U.S. Entrepreneurs, a great concept has finally come home (on a limited basis - areas of New York, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and Miami). One of the reasons we are here is to help each other. Kiva enables you to help others by lending them money. If you've got $25 or more in your bank account, why not try lending it?
>> Another take on the move to the U.S.
>> News originally from TechCrunch
>> 2 sites for P2P Lending(Microfinance) - in CHINA

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Qajack. A social networking, video based, question and answer site (with some reward?). Not sure exactly what will drive this, but it is interesting. And for this society, it gives you another opportunity to show your ego - and therefore - could be popular - just for that. Im curious to hear the variety of answers to the questions I post. And Im sure you've got some questions - now all you need is a web cam.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

a New Era o' Beers

So whilst I was with the boys on the annual Hopfest snowboarding trip, we accidentally stumbled across a surprisingly tasty beer - Giddy Up. This reminded me of a recent beer experience that I had at the Decatur beer festival. It stood out, as the best beer that I have had in some time. So much so - I had to take a photo - so that I wouldnt forget (pictured above). Then last night, I was introduced to the Goosinator - which finally sparked this blog post.

Old Heathen (by Weyerbacher, Easton, PA)

Giddy Up (by New Belgium, Fort Collins, Colorado)

Goosinator Doppelbock (by Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, Colorado)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Dear Delta (an potentially other airlines), I fear that you may be losing touch with the customer. Hopefully not a similar fate of the American auto industry.

First, I would like to assume some of the blame (for not getting to the airport sooner) - but I truly believe that if there was time wasted or spared - that fell on your shoulders.

I arrived at the airport at 7:15am, for an 8:35am flight. I "checked-in" the day before - via your website. I tried to use your kiosk, but it failed to find me in its database. I contacted a nearby employee, who instructed me to goto the service desk. Upon reaching the roped-off line-area, your employee promptly asked "What are you doing here?" (I have to admit, I was a little taken back by such a basic question) But I replied "I'm here to fly on a plane" (she let me thru). Then I patiently waited as time crept by (noticing similar concerns by other people in the line (I did see another couple walk up, was directed to another area - and walked by me on the way to the gates - and I found happiness for them). I finally was called to the service desk at 8am. Your associated informed me that I would not make my flight, and I would be charged an additional $50 "administration fee" to change my flight (which I was told "could not be waved"). I expressed my dissapointement, explained what happened, and asked to speak to a manager. He was very polite, apologized, and called for a manager.
Joe * came over, introduced himself, and said the same thing as your associate. But he would not admit any problem on Deltas fault, and stood by his statement of "we need at least 45mins before your flight to process you". I tried to explain to him that he wasted that 45mins while I waited in line - but it fell on deaf ears.
I chose the only option presented me ($50 to catch the next flight), thanked the service desk guy for his patience, and he thanked me for my attitude (I guess the way I handled it) - and went my way.

The solution to the problem:
I've experienced this before - so it's not out of the question: an employee at the check-in lines looking at each ticket - prioritizing passengers (based on flight times).
Another possibility? Why not address each ticket holder outside the airport as they are coming in (to assess each situation, and capture their arrival time & flight info)? Then another at the entrance of the service desk line (another scan of ticket info). This will only help Delta track process times & passengers with more detail.
I mean after all, you don't really know how long I (and other customers) waited in line - and I would think - you would want to know that info.

What do I want out of this?
A change in service/policy, an apology, $50 refund (for my additional charge), a free round trip ticket? I would be happy with any one of these.

and finally...
Take Care of Your Employees, and your customers will be taken care of?

I also sent this to Delta, if I get a response from them, I will try and post it.