New Phone Time - HTC EVO 3D

Well, I finally got rid of my Palm Pre. As you can tell from reading my previous entry, I was very happy with my Pre when I first got it. However, it seems like after a few OS updates, Palm just stopped caring. I hadn't seen a system update in over a year by the time I traded in my phone. It had some design flaws too, one of which caused the screen to crack quite easily. I replaced the phone once because of it and it just ended up happening again.

As for my new HTC EVO 3D, I'm really enjoying it. The first thing that got my attention was the screen size. Compared to the Pre, it's huge. It's slightly narrower than the EVO 4G, which is what my wife chose, but it's still a great display. Android, of course, makes it a breeze to navigate and there are plenty of apps available for Twitter, Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn, etc. So far no compatability issues with any of the apps I have downloaded.

The home screen was extremely thought out. This phone boasts a dual core 1.2 gHz processor, which it makes full use of. EVERYTHING this phone does in animated in some way, and it doesn't lag a bit. Everything from the weather to the time just jumps off the screen, which brings me to the 3D capabilities of the EVO 3D. The downloadable movies and games are VERY impressive. It comes pre-loaded with a demo Spiderman game that's pretty nice. After seeing the Nintendo 3DS I was a bit skeptical as to the ability of this phone, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The built in 3D camera (it uses two cameras to impose two images over one another) isn't as clear as the movies, but you have to consider the difference in the quality bewteen professional movie equipment and the cameras attached to the phone. The pictures can actually be a bit disorienting, but if you focus on them just the right way, they definitely pop. It reminds me of the way I had to relax my eyes to see the old "magic eye" images. Remember those? It's also nice that you can turn off the 3D if you just want to take regular pictures. You can't email or send 3D pictures over SMS. They get saved in their own unique file format.

Overall, I give the EVO 3D a bug thumbs up. Nice size, Android OS, beautiful display and great sound. I'd call it the full package. Great job HTC.

The Palm Pre - My Review

Well, I took the plunge. I was one of the idiots standing out in front of the Sprint Store on Saturday morning waiting to get my hands on the "revolutionary" Palm Pre. My wife and I were quite literally the first two in our town to get our hands on them. I read all the articles, both the good and the bad, checked my local coverage and made my decision from there. My contract with Verizon had just ended and I knew I didn't want a Blackberry. On top of that I've never been a big fan of Verizon's data plans.

The staff at the Sprint Store was great. One of the employees had been trained over the last month to use the phone and was VERY EXCITED about the launch. From outside we could see her bouncing around the store, taking pictures of the staff setting up, even taking a few minutes to do a little dance. At one point, about 5 minutes before they opened the doors, she came outside, grouped us all together, and took a quick picture. She then took the last 5 minutes to show us the features on the phone in person and provide us with some instruction on how to use our phone once we have it. She also volunteered to get together with us after we purchased for a little "How to use your Pre" class if we wanted to. She even volunteered her email address if we had questions down the road. The gentleman that helped us set up our account was very friendly and helpful, despite his store opening 2 hours earlier than normal. We were happy to find out that the Pre did not require any "Pre Specific" plan and that all you had to do was select one of Sprint's standard data plans. We're paying $129.99 a month for Sprint's everything data family plan that covers both phones. A single user can get a Palm Pre for $69.99 a month. He began running down a checklist to setup the phone. I was impressed that the none of the activation had to be done on the internet like the iPhone. All of the questions, profile set up and user agreements were taken care of right on the phone. Our customer service guy couldn't keep up with me. I was finishing his checklist faster than he could check the stuff off (you know how us geeks are). I left the store very excited about my purchase.

Using the phone is actually quite simple. Once you get a few hand gestures down, everything flows quite nicely. Of course it has email, a calendar, memos, etc. The app store is small for now, but it did just hit the market less than a week ago. There are several free apps in the store like Pandora, Fandango, AccuWeather, Tweed (Twitter Client), etc. The copy and paste feature is nice, but so far I haven't found a way to copy and paste from text that isn't "editable" like websites or text messages, only an active text input box. I'm hoping this is just something I'm doing wrong, or else that's a pretty weak copy/paste feature. I LOVE the new Palm Web OS though. Having multiple active apps open at the same time is great. The card view is nice too because it makes it so simple to switch between them quickly and easily. If you want to close an app you just flick it off the screen.

I opted not to buy a Touchstone charger. $70.00 seemed pretty expensive for something that is just, well, a fancy charger. I think in a few months when they don't sell many at that price I may pick one up just for the novelty.

Overall I think I made the right decision to get a Pre. It's fast on the 3G and on WiFi, it's easy to use and the monthly plan I'm on I think is very reasonable. The app store can only get larger and I'm sure there are firmware upgrades on the horizon to make the experience even better. Check one out if you have a chance. You may just like what you see.

My own little piece of the web.

Well, it's official. As of today I purchased my first two servers in what is to be a flurry of future purchases. I picked up a pair of DL360 Compaq servers on eBay for a pretty decent price and have my eye on several more. I'm quite excited by the idea of being able to host my own content. It's bad enough I'm mooching of Zoobiesoft, Yancy Wharton's web company, for my connection let alone using his disc space. Hopefully by the time I get set up I'll at least have DNS, web, database, mail, and FTP servers running. I'll also be on the lookout for a decent switch and KVM. Just to get going I may run some of the machines dual purpose, but eventually everything will have its own box. Gotta start somewhere though. If anyone close to the eastern shore of Maryland is looking to unload a server rack cheap, I'm in the market and will drive a little ways to pick up. The ones on eBay are either overpriced, missing the sides, or just plain too far away. I live down in farming country, not really the technology hub of the area. I'm off to enjoy my weekend now......and maybe get my hair color fixed.

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