feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I was using my phone on the couch, like you do, reading facebook, and it gave me the 14% beep beep warning. A short time later, it was down to 11% or so (the red "plug in please" light hadn't started blinking, so it was over 10%). Very shortly thereafter it gave another beep beep warning and shut off.

Fuck it, I'm ordering that Moto X tomorrow. This isn't the first time the phone has turned off after going from a charge I ought to be able to get another 10 minutes or more of browsing on.
feuervogel: (sideways days)
The old one (the one I bought last July) decided it wouldn't recognize its SIM card. Or the one the guy at the AT&T store swapped into it.

So I had to get a new phone. (Because going back to the craptastic Captivate collecting dust on a shelf was not going to happen.) They had one like my old phone on the shelf, for $49.99, but it was out of stock.

Today was a bad day for my phone to decide not to work. They had a lot of their stock at Duke for some sort of student event. Well, that, and this month is already really expensive, between the hundred or so bucks I spent on cosplay accessories and DragonCon. Next month we need to get Mey's teeth cleaned (though that could wait until October...when my part of the hotel room at Viable Paradise is due...)

It's basically never a good day for your phone to stop working.

So I got a black HTC One (the broken phone is a One X). The silver ones were all at Duke. I had to use Ben's overdue upgrade to get it. Hopefully his iPhone will keep chugging along, despite the button being sticky. The next upgrade possibility is next June, so if it holds on til then...

I've spent the afternoon putting my stuff on it. One feature that decided me for this was the phone migration tool, so I could just connect it to the old one over wifi and suck down all my photos and music.

All the new ringtones and alert sounds are obnoxious, so I've got most things set to Pacific Rim sounds. I kind of want to use one of the PR ringtones as default, but I'm attached to "Call Connected Thru the NSA."
feuervogel: (writing)
My new computer arrived today, and not a moment too soon. As those of you who follow me on twitter know, the USB ports on my old MacBook have almost completely failed. They've been flaky as hell for a while, but they've finally crapped out. It wouldn't recognize a thumb drive I plugged in. It used to be that one was flaky but the other was OK, but yesterday neither of them worked right.

So while I was migrating things from old computer to new, I made some notes for a short story that's been an idea jotted down in a notebook since February or March, judging by the notes after it (from StellarCon).

Problem is, I need a good brainstorming session to figure out the key plot points (and what time period it's set in). Ben and I talked a little, and he gave me a couple good ideas, but I still haven't figured out the crux of the piece. :P (I also don't know if I want it to be dark fantasy or magical realism-ish fantasy with some spookiness. There are ghosts, see.)

I don't know. I can let it cook some more, maybe have something for my writers' group on Tuesday. I need someone to ask me questions, let me bounce ideas around, maybe make suggestions that spark ideas.

Argh.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I have enough money in a savings account to pay for it, and as I sell stuff, I'll put the money back into savings.

I went through two of my doujin boxes last night, and I have a box full of books to sell. I have one more box to go through. (I store them in comic long boxes, the 2' ones, not the massively huge ones.) Some of them may be worth actual money (like a signed You Higuri original, or Minami Ozaki's Papa wa Musician (both volumes)), but maybe only on Yahoo Japan :/

Anybody know of places to sell doujinshi other than ebay? Or to say "hey, I have a bunch of doujinshi for sale here on ebay"?

(I was excited to find a bunch of Umbrella Studios books in one of the boxes! Yay, art by my friends in a language I can read!)
feuervogel: (yeah right)
I must be cursed.

Yesterday morning, while I was tweeting or something, I discovered that I couldn't select the predicted word from the row above my keyboard. I kept thinking it was something wrong with the keyboard.

No, it's a half-inch-tall dead zone smack in the middle of the touchscreen. Like, I can't tap or swipe or anything. I rebooted, soft reset, backed everything up because I knew the stupid AT&T tech support people would make me factory reset it.

So they're sending me a replacement. Maybe it'll come before I leave for LibertyCon next week. (Also with enough time to let me reupload all my pictures & music, which I didn't bother with this time because why? I'm just getting rid of it when the new one comes. Though I'm sad that I don't have my Isis pictures as the background at the moment. Or my ringtones.)

I really hate tweaking all the settings on a phone. Especially when I had it all set up the way I like it.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I bought an HTC One X last night. I like Ice Cream Sandwich. The one thing I haven't figured out yet is how to make photo albums in the gallery app. I don't like having 500 pictures without any organization.

More as I play with it more.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Yesterday I was away from my computer most of the day. We did our usual coffee-groceries-farmers market Saturday morning, then I washed towels, did a perfunctory computer check, ate lunch, and drove to Raleigh. I needed to pick up a couple things at Lush, then Daniel was going to root my phone and install cyanogenmod on it.

I left at 12:30, figuring I could get to the mall & be finished there and to L&D's by 2, easily. I didn't factor in that it would take three light rotations to be able to turn into the parking lot, or that there are a metric fuckton of assholes who think they can park their fucking SUVs in the compact spaces, thereby taking up 1.3 spaces each. (But it's a COMPACT SUV! Look, fuckface, I drive a MINI. I can't fit my car in the space left between your SUV, which is over the line on one side, and this other jackass's SUV over the line on the other side.) So I had to park pretty far from where I needed to be, which meant I had to speedwalk across the mall, around people who just randomly stop, etc, rush through Lush, where the sales staff is always "HI HOW CAN I HELP YOU LET'S CHAT!" and speedwalk back to my car. And take five minutes just to get out of the deck. Driving across Raleigh took only slightly longer than getting out of the mall.

So anyway. I gave Daniel my phone, we backed up important things like my SMS/MMS and Angry Birds save file, and he spent the next ... hour or so arguing with the drivers before getting it to install. So my phone's running cyanogenmod now, and I like it so far. I spent several hours reinstalling my apps and poking with the settings. There are a lot of settings.

So far today, I've put my music and photos back on it and figured out how to do custom ringtones (by user!) (ringdroid is your friend). I don't like the default clock/alarm, so I installed kaloer clock, which is nicer. I'm still working on an understanding of the calendar (which isn't gcal, but syncs to it, and I can't figure how to get facebook calendar onto it...).

Right. It's noon. I need to finish reading a book and figure out what on earth I'm doing with my own current in-progress novel. Also lunch. We have some nice artichoke-parmesan spread from WSM and some flatbreads to eat it on. Nom.

(Also, probably roasting a kabocha squash to make puree for dinner. It's in the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit if you want the recipe.)

Stuff

19 Dec 2011 11:29 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Someone on twitter mentioned that Amazon had the Blu-Ray set of Generation Kill for $23.99, so I had Ben order it. (Pay with Points is the best thing ever.) We're one disk in, and it's pretty interesting. It's about a Marine recon squad at the invasion of Iraq, based on a book by the Rolling Stone writer Evan Wright. They swear a lot and use a lot of ableist, homophobic language (which, I suppose, is pretty realistic...), and it's hard to keep track of who's who. Other than that, I like it fairly well.

I crocheted a cover for my Kobo. It's not as big as I'd wanted it to be, because I didn't have enough yarn, but it works well enough. I may decide to sew one, make it a two-sided thing with a spot for my phone on the other side. That'll require some planning & engineering first, and I'll need to make sure I have some good interfacing floating around (or go buy some).

I made some edits on Something based on the feedback I've gotten so far, and I'm mulling one suggestion that I think has merit but I'm not sure I can pull it off without being all telling. I'll see what the last two readers have to say when they get back to me later this week.

I need to write up several reviews and one set of beta notes. I think I'll work on that this afternoon.

Our neighbor brought us oatmeal scotchies yesterday. Nom nom.

My football club is full of drama and ridiculousness right now. The coach didn't want to extend his contract, the management wanted him to; he kept dancing around the subject in the media (which he said is because the management asked him to); this week the club said he hadn't told them months ago. He was fired, and they're talking about bringing this other guy in and he's not a very good coach (43% overall win ratio...) and BLAH DRAMA LLAMA GO AWAY.

Updatery

14 Dec 2011 10:04 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I got my Kobo the day I posted about it. Apparently, the driver decided that "I put it in the mailbox" was the same as "I left it on the doorstep." I've read all of Pilgrim of the Sky (which I'm reviewing for Bull Spec) and half of [personal profile] anthimeria's, which I'm betaing.

I've discovered that it doesn't handle rtfs terribly well, at least those that came from docs. It doesn't like to go into sleep mode from rtf, and it didn't save my place. So I imported it into Scrivener (which was a bit of an ordeal in itself) and converted it to epub, which it's having a fine time with.

I'm crocheting a cover for it out of some alpaca yarn I bought ages ago & has been sitting around since. It's taking forever (6 rows to an inch, needs to be 10"+).

I've gotten one beta's notes on Something There Is, but I said I wanted them back tomorrow, so that's OK. I'll spend Friday on revisions, then let it sit a few more days, reread and submit it.

I applied for two more jobs at the same place I applied before. I'm not allowed to apply for similar positions until May, which means the PVG stuff is out, even though there are currently 4 PVG openings. :P A friend wrote an essay on other things you can do with your PhD, and medical writing was in there. So I was like, hey, I have a medical degree, and I can write. I dug up my CV and found some other versions of my resume and updated it. So, applied. Considering I'm marginally qualified (at best) for either of them (one's a senior writer position, the other's in regulatory something), I don't even know if my resume will make it past the first round of screening. Wait and see. The one job's been posted since October, so maybe they're desperate by now.

I finished reading No god but God, and I plan to review it on my blog soon. Short version: interesting history of Islam with a broad explanation of what's going on currently in the Arab world and why. Recommended.
feuervogel: (reading)
I ordered a Kobo Touch today. They're selling one "with offers" for $99, which is the same price point as a Kindle Touch. The "offers" are basically ads and special offers from "select partners." I figure it can't be worse than the ads running on apps on my phone because I'm too cheap to pay for Angry Birds or Tweetcaster. The other down side of the cheaper one is that it only comes in black, not the cute silver, lavender, or Carolina blue the $129 one comes in as well. *shrug*

The main advantages I see for the Kobo over Kindle is that it has an SD slot that takes up to 32 GB and it can read more file formats. Since it's not a tablet (though Kobo makes one), you can't install the Kindle or nook apps on it to read those books, but I have/can get them on my phone or laptop, so whatever. I also have the Kobo desktop on my laptop.

I opted for an e-ink screen over a tablet for a couple reasons. First, battery life. It may have a bigger battery than my phone, but the specs for most tablet readers say you can get 7 hours or so of reading. My phone, with the screen brightness turned down and other battery-saving features, runs through about a quarter to a half if I'm playing Angry Birds for an hour or two. Second, I don't really *need* to have facebook or email (or Angry Birds) on the reader. I have my phone for that. Sure, writing long emails on my phone kinda sucks, but nothing's usually so important that it can't wait until I'm at my laptop again. Third, so much cheaper. The tablet e-readers are running $200-250 (or more, if you want an iPad). I can afford a Christmas present for myself that's $100, but $200+ is pushing it (and, besides, I have an Android phone).

The website said they'll start shipping on Monday and I'll get email with a tracking number when it does. I'll write more when I have it in hand and can play with it. I have a novel to beta read and another to review. I'll see how it works on those.
feuervogel: (fail)
I can't upgrade the software on my Captivate from 2.1 to 2.2, because they require you to use this bullshit proprietary WINDOWS ONLY software.

And since I own a Mac and don't have the cash to spare to a) buy Windows 7 and Boot Camp it or b) buy a cheap Windows computer, there's no way to do it. Multiple rounds of @ conversations on twitter and an email to customer support later, I have a blog post detailing the fuckery.

I'll never purchase another Samsung product again, and if asked for recommendations for Android handsets or other consumer electronics, I'll say to get anything but a Samsung. Because their customer service is legendarily shit. Put it this way: AT&T customer service has given me less of a problem than Samsung's.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
As I posted on August 28, I got a Samsung Captivate, their Galaxy S series phone on AT&T's network. After having it for a day, I was pleased with it. Now that I've had it a couple weeks, I thought I'd give an update.

Remember how I had trouble with the charger staying plugged in? Well, that was user error. There's a sliding cover on the USB-in port that I didn't realize existed, and if I slide it open completely, the charger stays in perfectly.

I still love how easily the google services integrate. Talk, mail, maps, contacts... all at my fingertips.

One problem I've had, which other people have had as well, though far worse, according to a cursory google, is that it turns itself off at random. It's only done it 3 or 4 times since I got it, which is more than it ought, but less than the 5 times a day reported by another user in the forums. If it does it again, I'll probably go by the AT&T store and exchange it for a new one before the 30-day period is up (Sept 26).

It's convenient to have so I can check email before bed, or twitter, or look something up on the internet without having to turn on my computer. At Dragon*Con, when I could actually connect to the wifi in the Marriott (I had better luck in my room than in the public areas, which is odd, because they only provide wifi in the public areas), it worked great. I also used the wifi at the ER.

I've installed a few more apps since then. In addition to Pocket Liga (for German football), Beer Cloud (for beer reviews), and BJCP (for beer style standards), I now have Leo (the German-English dictionary), a Bejeweled clone, poke a mole (like whack a mole), word search, twitter, facebook, and the weather channel forecast widget. I've also loaded about a GB of mp3s on it.

Music Player doesn't import your itunes playlists, but you can create your own. Since I primarily put music on when whatever's playing on NPR is boring (frex, Fresh Air interviews with people I don't care about; Back Porch Music when I'm not in the mood for it), this isn't much of an issue for me. I plug it into my 1/8" aux jack and tell it to shuffle all. One downside is that the music pauses when you get a notification (email, whatever) for a second or so. That may happen with iPhone as well, but I obviously don't have one for comparison purposes.

In summary: I still love my Android phone.
feuervogel: (happy)
I went on a ton of errands yesterday (delivering copies of Retro Spec to local bookshops, buying cat food) and swung by the AT&T store with the intention of playing with the phone I've been researching the last couple weeks, the Samsung Captivate.

I didn't think I'd be eligible to upgrade until, like, January, because we got our phones in February 08. But I asked if they could tell me when I'm eligible, and apparently I already was. So now I own a Samsung Captivate.

I've been playing around with it. I've installed the Twitter and Facebook apps, a Bundesliga app, and Beer Cloud (and barcode scanner, so I can scan barcodes of beer and learn about them). So I'm already using my phone for evil.

I'm glad for the screen protector, because it's already covered in icky finger smear.

Important things: I'm digging Swype with predictive text; I just need to get better at hitting the right keys. The haptic feedback on keypress is kind of cool, but I may turn it off at some point. Possibly for comparison purposes. The screen is very bright, and I have it set to adapt to ambient light, so it's dimmer in the dark and brighter in the light. I haven't tried it in bright sunlight yet.

The seamless integration with my google account is simultaneously awesome and terrifying. All my Gmail contacts are listed in my phone now. It's frightening to realize how much google owns me.

The touch screen keyboard isn't as annoying as I thought it would be; I liked the full tiny keyboard on my Propel, but the touchscreen keyboard on horizontal is OK. It might be less OK if you have big fingers.

I also like the puzzle piece feature. When you get a text message (or miss a phone call), you drag this puzzle piece to the empty space, and it takes you straight to the app. It's kind of cheesy, but it's also kind of fun.

I've not really tested the speakers on it. It has an SD card slot and a decent amount of internal memory and plays MP3s, so I plan to do that at some point. It might be useful in car trips, though then I'd hook it up with the external jack (standard 1/8 inch).

It might take some getting used to, but I dig it so far. It'll be pretty useful at Dragon*Con, especially if I sign up for Boingo's mobile phone wireless ($7.95/mo -- beats $12.95/day at the Marriott!) in an attempt not to use more than the 200 MB of data in my plan.

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