FallenRayne Dev One developer's random thoughts are better than nothing.

4Jan/110

My new EVO!

snap20110104_224453

snap20110104_224453,
originally uploaded by brandon.skeen.

Ok, so I finally got my new phone after a year of dealing with the growing disappointment (formally known as the Palm Pre). My wife got her EVO a couple of months ago and I have been jealous ever since. So last Saturday I finally was able to make the trek down to the store and purchase the phone of phones. This post is going to be a quick review of my phone and a couple of the apps that I am using.

First off, the picture that is attached is of my home screen. I am using ADW.Launcher Pro and so far have been loving it. I think this is where I will start my review. The customization possible on the Android operating system is nothing short of Linux like. That is good and bad. The good is that anything you want to accomplish is possible; the bad is that you will spend hours trying to accomplish just about anything which is a major time suck.

So far the hardware has been great. I have had no performance issues to really speak of. I have seen some lag with ADW.Launcher but I attribute that mostly to the fact that I am using a Live Wallpaper and the amount of crap I put on my phone. The camera has been pretty good so far, but not great. I have gotten a couple of nice photos but I need to get outside to try and take some better pictures but it is too damn cold out there. WiFi, Bluetooth, 3g has all been good. Setting up Bluetooth in my car to connect to Microsoft SYNC was crazy simple (way easier than the Pre).

The software is outstanding for the most part. There are some real gems out there but I have also found a ton of duds. The duds will happen (how many fart apps are in the iOS app store) so I am going to ignore those and focus on the greats.

Tasker - Absolutely amazing app that has a bit of a learning curve. This app took me 3 days of playing with before it finally all clicked on exactly how it works. If I would have sat down and read a tutorial I probably would have been better off, but what can I say, I am stubborn. Basically this app allows you to setup various tasks to run based on different events. If I move away from the cell tower near my house it automatically turns off my WiFi. If I plug my phone into ac power it will automatically bring up the desk clock. If I am scheduled to be in a meeting it will automatically silence the ringer. If it connects to SYNC it will automatically start up Pandora. These are just a few of the things this app can do. It is absolutely great!

Swype - A keyboard game changer! I have never been able to type as fast on a mobile device as I can with Swype. For those who don't know, Swype allows you to type by swiping your finger across the keyboard to the letters of the word. It is amazingly accurate! I decided to mess with it and tried to type something like "I am a lover of procrastination and evasion" and it picked up every word of it without issue. The best way to get a solid idea of what it can do is to watch the videos located on their site. Stunningly useful app.

ADW.Launcher Pro - Great home replacement app. Lots of great features and very nicely customizable.

Those are my favorite apps. There are a few others that are nice and do great things or have already been talked about to death (Angry Birds) so I will not talk about them again, but needless to say, the Android platform is starting to catch up to iOS, it will just take a little bit longer to get there.

So far, the only issue I really have had with the phone is streaming video to it. I really want to stream my movie library to my phone over WiFi and I just cannot get a consistent experience to save my life. I have tried Orb, TVersity, Twonky, and VLC, and nothing will consistently give me the video I want. This is my only major disappointment.

All in all, a great phone, amazing capabilities and all for a really good price right now (I got mine for only $99). I can't recommend the EVO enough. Even my non-techie wife loves hers.

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25Dec/100

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone! Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a great Christmas today and gets all the coolest new gadgets and toys. We already bought our new Christmas present and opened it early, but it was hard not too with the Kinect. That is an awesome piece of hardware! I still can't seem to beat my dad at bowling though; he kicks my ass in Wii bowling, Kinect bowling, and real bowling. I should probably take a hint and realize that I suck at bowling.

Everyone be safe, especially if you are having a white Christmas. You know, you would think it is supposed to be all joyous and happy when you have a white Christmas until you are out in the freezing cold shoveling the damn stuff. I can't WAIT until my long term investment in a snow shoveler pays off. My son is turning 3 in January so I figure I got about 2 more years until I get him out there shoveling. Of course, if you look at previous pictures, he doesn't like the snow much. Like this one, where he learned why he needed to wear his gloves.

For some reason he thought it was smart to take off his gloves.

For some reason he thought it was smart to take off his gloves.

Or this one, his first true snow where he could fully appreciate it. Can you see him appreciating it?

Eli pissed off at the snow and the world.

Eli pissed off at the snow and the world.

Well once again, Merry Christmas! Now go get fat eating Turkey and watching football (that is American football, not the rest of the world football). Go GIANTS! Don't lose on the last second again!

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19Dec/100

Back to the blogging

Well I am back to blogging again after a good 3-4 year lag. After I lost my last blog and all of its content it took a while to get up the energy to try again.

So here I am again. This time I am going to be signing up for Project 52. This should keep me motivated and adding new content every week.  This new content should come in the form of some decent programming articles and maybe a review or two. If Google is really nice to me and actually ships me a CR-48 then I will get to start blogging about that and my attempt to do most of my personal work from that machine. I only mention the CR-48 because I found out that one is being delivered to my zip code tomorrow! So... maybe it might be to me? There is always a chance.

Past that I should be putting up some stuff on Phing as I do some work with that. I will also be doing some work with ExtJS, Sencha Touch, and JIRA in the next few weeks and should have some decent information about those as well. All in all I believe I finally have some good stuff to write about that will display some solid information. It is good to be working on newer technology and keeping my skill set current.

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