Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Cell Phone History

The iPhone 3G will be the third mobile phone I ever bought.
My first cell phone was a Samsung x427m. I got it in January 2005 and it still works. Gonna give it to a friend who needs a "new" cell phone. I got it for FREE from Cingular. It's so old, you can't get onto the internet with it. It's a great BASIC phone. I logged 22:17:16 of talk time in 14 months.
My second phone is the one I'm currently using which is a Sony Ericsson Z520a. I got it in March 2006 because I wanted a Bluetooth phone which could take advantage of my then-new car which had a hands-free feature. Bought it for about $100. It has an internet feature but it's really slow and crappy. Using the other applications like the calendar and memo pad is a joke. As of today, I've logged 58:40:13 of talk time in about 27 months.
So, you see how BIG an upgrade I'm making. I'm also getting the 16GB iPhone 3G. As you can tell, I'm not a guy big on making calls anyway. I'm getting the iPhone more for its wireless internet browsing. That's why I waited for a 3G phone. Plus, a year ago $599 was just way too expensive.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My New Exercise Plan: Urban Hiking

Today, I started a new exercise regiment. Every Saturday, I'm pledging to do what I call Urban Hiking. Eventually, I want to be able to walk from my house (N. King St. & Kokea St.) to Kahala Mall. I've done it before. That's 6.7 miles. I'll probably start nice and early in the morning like around 8 or 9 a.m. After I get to Kahala Mall, I'll just catch the bus home.
Today, I walked from my house to S. King St. & Isenberg, which is about 4 miles and some change. I stopped because the basketball shoes I was wearing was not agreeing with my feet. I gotta remember to use my low cut shoes next week.

To make my walks a little more fun, I'm going to incorporate the cool features of my future iPhone. There is an application called FlickrExport that I will use for my walks. I will take pictures of landmarks I pass and upload it to Flickr. It will also upload the exact GPS bearing of each picture as well so you can track my walk. I'll make these photos available to anyone who reads my blogs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Field Of Dreams

This is the kind of story movies are made of. I'm not sure if college sports has known a bigger underdog than the 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs, who beat the Georgia Bulldogs 6-1 in the final game of the College World Series.
Fresno State was battling history and the stigma of the Western Athletic Conference (of which Hawaii is a part of).

Unlike many other low-ranked teams in the past, the West Coast Bulldogs won EVERY elimination game they faced in the regionals, super regionals and then in the College World Series. What makes the story even more compelling is that the team lost their best player before the postseason.

Although I was rooting for our WAC Champion, I wouldn't be totally truthful if I wasn't also rooting AGAINST Georgia for their rude fans and coaches that ran up the score at the Sugar Bowl. If they didn't know what "bachi" meant then, I hope they know it now. They just got AMBUSHED by a WAC team!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Downsides Of iPhone 3G

I realize I have been hyping the iPhone 3G on this blog ad nauseum. But, that doesn't mean I'm in the dark in my expectations of this new device.
I have done considerable research on this phone and many other comparable phones. I have talked with iPhone 1.0 users to see what they didn't like about their phones. I read as many articles as I could about the new 3G phone.
I found out that there is NO perfect mobile phone and every phone has its downsides. The question is: Can you live with its shortcomings?
I'll address each downside of the iPhone 3G and how it will affect (or not affect) me.

Substandard Camera/No Video Recording - The iPhone 3G sports the same 2.0 MP camera that 1.0 offered. This is about average for mobile phones. But, some higher end camera phones offer 5.0-8.0 MP with zoom, flash, autofocus and even video recording - none of which the iPhone 3G has. If I had kids, I probably would like to have those features. But, as it stands I hardly use the 0.3 MP camera on my current phone. And, when I do I'm satisfied with the results. If I need better quality, I'll go to my 4.0 MP Canon. I think dedicated cameras are a lot better than the best camera phones, anyway. Although videoconferencing with the iPhone would have been nice, I don't think it's a dealbreaker at this point. Plus, I'll have seen people hack their phones to allow for video recording. So, it's possible to fix this with software alone.

No Stereo Bluetooth Capability/Bluetooth File Transfer/Wi-Fi Syncing - The iPhone does not support Stereo Bluetooth devices. It's a nice convenience for those who want to go wireless with their headphones. For me, this is not a neccessity. And evidently, Apple didn't think so either. There's also no application on the iPhone that allows file transfer between the iPhone and other Bluetooth devices. To me, that's not a big deal either. That's what the dock is for. Being wireless is more or less another convenience. And Wi-Fi Syncing (wireless syncing) also falls into that "convenience" category. While these are nice to have, no one NEEDS it and Apple felt it wasn't a good idea to rush those features.

Physical QWERTY keyboards, as opposed to virtual keyboards, are easier to use - While that may be true, the iPhone wants a virtual keyboard so that it can be used in many different languages. Plus, a physcial keyboard only adds weight and dimensions to an already large device that doesn't need to be bigger, thicker or heavier. I have to admit, though, the virtual keyboard does take time to get used to. I periodically makes trips to AT&T/Apple Stores just to brush up on my skills. I find that using one finger so far is the best way to text.

Even though the iPhone is cheaper, when you consider the higher monthly rate over the course of the 2-year contract it will be more expensive to go with the iPhone 3G - Duh. Did you ACTUALLY think you could get something that's better for LESS money? The phone plans are now $10 more a month. Over the course of 2 years that's $240 more you will be paying. Now, when you figure in that the phones are now $200 cheaper, you're spending over the course of 2 years a grand total of... $40 extra when compared with the first iPhone. $40!!! I say that's not a bad price hike when you consider you get a faster internet connection (3G is available pretty much all over Oahu), GPS, the new iPhone 2.0 software, a better headphone jack, and everything else that was good about the first iPhone.

Well, I hope I covered everything. For me, I'm using the iPhone mainly as a wireless internet device and everyone across the board says the iPhone is the GOLD standard in that arena. And after using the new Samsung Instinct, I'd have to agree.

Protecting Your iPhone

After making the plunge to put down $299 for a state-of-the-art hi-tech device, I'm also going to need to PROTECT my investment on the iPhone 3G. From past experience, spending some dollars to protect your mobile phone goes a long way to making sure it has a long life - at least for the life of your current contract.

Here are two cases that have caught my eye:
I've heard from iPhone users that I should get a hardshell cover. This one is particularly interesting. It has an attractive clear case which does not obscure the look of the iPhone. Plus it comes with a little stand that can used vertically or horizonatally to easily view videos and photos.
It's $24.99 for the case and if you want the rotating belt clip holster the whole package is $34.99. Although I clip my current mobile phone to my pants pocket, I'm not sure if I really want to do that with a larger device like the iPhone. But the holster comes with a thin film protector with it and that's something I need to buy to protect the screen anyway.

The iSkin revo features a premium silicone material with an embedded anti-microbial agent that protects the product by inhibiting the growth of microbes. I think this case was developed for people who are anal-retentive. But, I still like the idea and the look of it. Plus, it's more skin-tight than the other cases.
It also comes with a screen protector that protects your privacy since it will appear black if people look at it from an angle. It looks fine when you look at it straight on. It also has a VISOR that clips onto the front of the screen to protect it during travel and clips on the back of the case when you need to use your iPhone.
The revo costs $39.99; the clip is an additional $19.99.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Strangest iPhone Accessory

Check this out:

This is an iPhone projector. It allows you to project whatever is on your iPhone onto a 15"-27" white screen or wall. So, I suppose you can make presentations straight from your iPhone. By the way, when the iPhone is docked on the projector it gets charged at the same time.
Kendal, I know you want this! Plus, the iPhone!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Upgrading My Cell Phone

This is my current mobile phone. It's the Sony Ericsson Z520a. I bought it 2 years and 3 months ago so I could take advantage of the Bluetooth handsfree capability of my then-new car. And I have to say that it has REALLY come in handy. Paid about $100 for this.
I have made up my mind about buying the iPhone 3G, so I just wanted you show you the comparison between my current phone and my future phone.

Sony - 3.3 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches (when closed)

iPhone - 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.48 inches

I'm really surprised that the iPhone isn't all that much bigger than my current phone. It's only about an inch longer, about half an inch wider, and actually about a half inch THINNER.


Sony - 3.3 oz

iPhone - 4.7 oz

The iPhone is only about an ounce heavier.


Sony - 128 x 160

iPhone - 480 x 320

Display resolution is nearly tripled.


Sony - 16 MB

iPhone - 16 GB

Here's the first major upgrade. From megabytes to gigabytes. :)


Sony - GSM 850/900/1800/1900, Bluetooth

iPhone - UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

I wanted to use my iPhone a lot for its internet connectivity. I waited until the iPhone could utilize the 3G HSDPA speeds. Internet on my current phone really SUCKS.


Sony - 9 hours/400 hours

iPhone - 5 hours on 3G, 10 hours on 2G/300 hours

Even though the iPhone can do more, it still has a decent battery.


Sony - 0.3 megapixels, 4x digital zoom, video recording

iPhone - 2.0 megapixels, photo geotagging

This is where I actually lose some features. The iPhone has a resolution that's 7 times better. But, there's no zoom and no video recording. However, photo geotagging is a really interesting feature. It's something I could have used on my trip to Portland.

So, that's the comparison between my current phone and my future iPhone. And you can add a whole bunch of features that my current phone doesn't have like a music player, video playback, GPS/Google Maps, touch screen, accelerometer, etc. Can't wait until July 11.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Next Mobile Phone... Probably

iPhone 3G
Twice as fast.
Half the price.

Apple's slogan for the second generation iPhone is quite appropriate since internet speed and price are most likely the two main reasons why people haven't yet bought an iPhone. Those are definitely my reasons.

Frankly, I hardly use the minutes on my cellphone. So, why am I getting an iPhone? Haven't you ever been out with friends and say, "Let's watch a movie!" But, no one knows the showtimes and, frankly, the internet browser on my cellphone is too unwieldy. So, basically, I want a fairly reliable wireless internet device. Having that combined with a cellphone makes perfect sense. I'm sure I'll be able to use all the other applications as well.

Now, I have to figure out - do I go with the ultra-cheap $199 8GB 3G iPhone? Or spend another $100 to get the 16GB 3G iPhone? I'm thinking I should get the 16GB version, since it's really cheap.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My 15 Minutes Of Internet Fame

If anybody didn't notice by now, I'm a fan of the television show "Lost."

Lately, I have been getting into making "Lost" fan videos. I had an idea today to merge a snippet from the Official Lost Podcast with the video from a scene the producers are talking about. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are quite goofy and funny.

This is my finished video:

LOST: The Frozen Donkey Wheel

I uploaded it to YouTube, Facebook and posted it on the Lostpedia Forums. One of the mods at the LP Forums really liked it and submitted to the website Audibly Lost. And the folks at Audibly Lost posted it there as well! I'm just glad someone likes it! Thanks to KittyLili for my 15 minutes of fame!

Awesome New Cellphones Coming Out Soon

If you're in the market for a new cellphone, my suggestion is to WAIT.
Here's the rundown of the next generation of cellphones that will change the way we view wireless access:
  • iPhone 2.0 - Steve Jobs will be unveiling this new product on Monday, June 9th at around 7 a.m. HST. The big upgrade is its ability to access faster 3G internet speeds, which was the downfall of the initial model. People have also speculated that there will be GPS, compatibility of MS Exchange and even an iTunes store application. There have also been rumors that the 8GB version could be sold for $200 out of pocket with a $200 instant rebate. If that is the case, I'm probably getting one. For now, it will probably be exclusive with AT&T in the U.S. After Monday's announcement, it could ship in the next several weeks or as late as July.

  • Samsung Instinct - This is Sprint's iPhone competitor. There's already video of the Instinct on YouTube. Its main difference from other Samsung products is its full body touchscreen. It has broadband internet speeds using EV-DO, GPS navigation, Sprint Music Store, Sprint TV, Sprint Radio, Visual Voicemail, digital music player, 2.0MP camera with 2x zoon, video camera, bluetooth compatibility, web browser and it can be used as an internet modem with other wireless devices like a laptop. Sprint's monthly fee will be $100 for everything. It will ship on June 20. The price is expected to be about $300 or less.

  • Blackberry Thunder - This is the name people have given for RIMM's entry into the touchscreen media-driven cellphone. Only rumors exist at this point. But, you can bet that it will probably have everything the iPhone and Instinct has and it will already be business-useful as the rest of the Blackberry line. I know the Bold is scheduled to come out but I don't think it will compete directly against these other touchscreen phones. Until an official announcement is made, we won't know anything about when this is coming out. We'll see how the Bold does first.

  • Google Android - Now, this is not a particular cellphone but rather software for an iPhone-like interface. And Google will be leading the charge for any cellphone company willing to buy the rights. I suspect this will compete with Windows Mobile 6 and any other Microsoft creation thereafter. has some mind-blowing videos that shows off its capabilities. The most popular application was the street level, virtual world GPS. After watching the videos, I could almost say I like this interface more than Apple's. Like Windows Media 6, this could possibly be available with many cellphone manufacturers and wireless providers. Google says it plans to have the first Android cellphones ship out in the fourth quarter of this year.

I intentionally left out phones like the LG Vue, because I don't think it's up to par with the iPhone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Microsoft Should Hush Until iPhone 2 Debuts

In my neverending quest to find the ultimate smartphone that has seamless wireless internet access, I stumbled upon this article from Microsoft Should Hush Until iPhone 2 Debuts.

MS is boasting that more Windows Mobile phones have sold in the last four quarters than RIMM's infamous Blackberry line and growth in the last quarter over the past year is more than sales of Apple's iPhone.

But, the writer is saying that MS should keep its mouth shut until the new iPhone debuts next Monday at Apple's Developers Conference. Everyone is expecting the iPhone 2.0 which should have 3G internet speeds, GPS navigation and better compatibility with PC products.

Although Microsoft wants a smartphone in every pocket, Apple may be able to do that first if the new iPhone indeeds sells for $200 a pop (with a $200 instant rebate).

So, all eyes and ears will on the new iPhone this Monday.

My cousin in Oregon just got a new Blackberry Curve from her company this week. Although it is better than her current phone, I'm not entirely impressed with it for myself.