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Samsung Blackjack II

 I recently replaced my god awful Motorola Razr with a Samsung Blackjack II. Now, with the ability to use 3G and mobile internet, I will review how these new "hybrid" phones actually work in practicality. Was it a worthwhile change? Is it actually practical? We'll see...

This phone will be reviewed using the AT&T service.

Pros:
Awesome look. The Samsung Blackjack II is a beauty to look at. Unfortunately, there just aren't good enough cases out there to support that.
Selection Wheel instead of only arrows. This works pretty well. I can scroll through a news article fairly well ... as long as the page is one coloumn and no links. The wheel also can be clicked left, right, up and down in case you prefer that. There is a selection button in the center of the wheel.
Included Windows Live/AOL/Yahho! messenger support. At first glance, using my messenger account as a secondary text messaging tool on the go was a really good idea. However, I don't know if it was AT&Ts fault or the Blackjack's fault, but the messages from those services counted towards the total "Text Message" count, therefore actually being costly. The service does not use 3G or even Edge, so it was a useless idea.
Nice looking screen. Images display well, text is easy to read, and the display is still easy to read at the lowest display setting.
Battery life is okay. Considering what the phone can do, the battery life of less than 24 hours (possibly a 12 hour battery) is okay. On the standards of a "phone", it's an awful battery.
Keyboard works well. I have a fairly fat right thumb, and I haven't had trouble with it yet.
Nice ringtones. I haven't needed to use my own ringtones as the ones included are quite good.
Free online news and clips. While it doesn't offer full videos of TV shows, it does offer quick news related stuff and clips from shows I like.
Importing E-mail into e-mail program works very well. My Gmail account is directly linked to my phone and I get emails downloaded properly while I'm on the go.
GPS navigation software available for download. It gets my starting position and I can put my end position. There is no real time tracking, and not for driving use. No automatic update, so I don't get notices.

Cons:
Windows Mobile. This is a god awful operating system for phones. I am not using a desktop computer, therefore, please stop using so much memory. Whenever the display changes, I have to wait for it to load. No. This is a phone. I cannot have that. Furthermore, multitasking on Windows Mobile still hasn't been fixed for a long time now. ActiveSync is an error from the start.
Continously turns on the display when a bluetooth device comes in range. This is VERY annoying. I take my phone to places where there are so many devices transmitting bluetooth signals. If I'm trying to conserve battery, the display will not let me do that.
MiniSD support, and only MiniSD. Why? Why are you following in Sony's footsteps and only allowing one type of card reader? I have a CF, SD, Memory Stick, xD, and every memory card ... except for MiniSD. Why is that? This is the only device that uses it. I would enjoy using extra storage to try out the Windows Media player.
Windows Live Mail can't be used on the included e-mail software. Any reason why? The software is Windows Mobile and the e-mail is made by the same company. Why are they not linked? Whenever I try, the program says something along the lines of "you must use the web browser to access your e-mail". Okay. Back to GMail.
Internet Explorer and no other. We need a FireFox mobile or Google Chrome mobile. Internet Explorer for mobile devices is slow and entirely unsupported. The only supported website I found was Google News and the news articles it links to. Why doesn't Windows Mobile take a page out of the iPhone and put a fully supported browser on this phone? Entering addresses is also very difficult when you already go to a website as you have to erase the entire address very slowly.
Opera browser is available for Windows Mobile but it costs $30. You f&$king idiot.
Useless home page settings. I've only been using the default view because it shows everything I use, while all the other settings just make it more difficult.
Continously have to restart the phone's connection. Once a day, the phone is no longer a phone. I have to turn the connection off then back on for it to restore.
Text Messages are very often not delivered. This is extra annoying and there's no workaround aside from "Did you send me a text message?"
Alarm software doesn't use included "Alarm" ringtone. That is fairly stupid. You put a ringtone that is easy to wake people up, but can't use it in the appropriate spot. Thanks.

Now, an extra foot note. Most of the cons of the phone were either due to the AT&T service or the choice for Windows Mobile. While the Operating System is not an option to change (I think), the service doesn't have to be AT&T as it's not exclusive.

Overall, the phone is decent. It does what it needs to do, but it fails when it tries to introduce something new. I will continue to use it, but only to call people, send text messages, and browsing Google News. I do like the phone a lot ... just laughing at its stupidity. 

Hybrid phones: It's stupid. All the phones these days are aimed at the idea "we want to do everything on the phone." No we don't. For music, we have iPods. For communicating, we have Text Messaging (don't need Windows Live Messenger). The only thing I have really gotten out of a hybrid phone was Email that comes directly to my phone and the ability to surf ... Google News ... I swear, there has to be more to the internet than that.

Writer's Block: Last Call

You are on a plane that's about to crash. You have time to make ONE phone call. Who do you call and what do you say?
"Hey, is this Newegg.com? Cancel the order for new computer supplies, I won't be there to pick it up. Thanks"

:D

(No ... no, that wouldn't be serious ... no ...)

He laughed and shot a ROCKET at him.

It's not quite what I was thinking, but then again, it doesn't quite think. It doesn't. What doesn't? It!
"It" has two letters, I and T. Why did you put those two letters together to form such a word? Before that word was created, I bet the idea of putting I and T together was absolutely preposterous. Why didn't they just just stick Y  and G and E together to make the word. Instead of "It was nice." It could be "Yge was nice." That sounds way cooler already. You know what? I'm going to use that instead.

I've been in the class Character Design and Creation since the beginning of July and I've got just one more week of that left. I also have Geometry at the same time which is also ending, but who cares about Triangles and proofs. Heh, the teacher calls them "Trangles" but it's okay.
I have a model ... for Character Design. And blah! The model is not nessceserily BAD, the technology is just new for me ... again. Why is it new? I had to retake a two month traditional art class with another one month class following that because the schedule was updated. So, being three months behind my original class, now I'm also brand new to Maya again, despite already having three other classes: 3D Foundations, Model Creation, and Shading and Lighting. Any original skill I had with Maya had to be reaquired. But, using Maya is easy to re-learn.
It's just like beating up a bicycle.

Before Character Design, in the month of June, I had two classes: Principles of Design and Historical Archetypes/Mythology (POD and HAM, respectively). POD was the one month art class I previously wrote up there somewhere in the previously written paragraph of words and pixels. Since I had to retake a two month art class, it pushed me back to a group that had an updated schedule, so I had to get the new schedule as well. As a result, I had to take these two classes first before Character Design. Graah! In the end, June turned out to be the worst month at Full Sail thus far, and I passed both classes with D's (70% and 72%, ouch). Though, I would have liked to retake POD and get a much better grade. SOMEHOW they passed me with a 70.19% despite the super awesome note I put on the front of my portfolio:

"I need to retake this class."

The bold was used in the original note. Even without the note, I had only two of nine projects completed. That would be about 350/900 points. Grah! Had I failed, I would have been able to get a much better grade the second time and learn better stuff.
Ah, but why didn't I do well the first time? I was burnt out from retaking the Object Perspective class- the two month art class I was retaking. It's not fun, it's not interesting, it's that summer blockbuster movie you think is good the first time.

That doesn't mean you want to watch the movie again- the acting in it sucks!

The upside to POD and HAM was now I can move onto the next month: 2D Animation (and Physics). 2D Animation? Yes. Lighttables, tracing paper, and lots more tracing paper with that. When my original group went into that class, I heard a lot about the kinds of projects that goes on in that class and it sounds like the most interesting of them all aside from Shading and Lighting. This is the month I have been waiting for. Hoorah!

You are Winner!

Not Really

Do not try to decode the last two posts. They do not mean a single thing. Words popped into my head and they traveled to my fingers (which is actually passed onto the keyboard, neat).

A medium rests after the essence!

A substantial specimen worries. The demise lowers another wondering castle. The fringe forces the bliss. The accumulated concrete missions an expired sector. The computer fiddles! The justice lusts past a distant disclaimer. The welcomed wild views the idle lifetime. The book outcries the jacket. The lost philosopher patents an elitist near the beat insult. The billfold arrives near a custom.  The diagram cores each air. Can the four cat quibble around the manpower? Why does the arch spit? The male module implements the brand throughout the electoral caffeine.

I was once told that a mangled advantage argues across the annoyance. It is quite believable to hear such a phrase, but why the platitude, good sir? It is not a question of the uniformed pogo stick, but of the child who told me to try it out. Bouncey bouncey.

The own shade purchases a routine misfortune. A pat pleasure collapses before his attending cider. A hasty surprise pretends to be a beat subsidiary. The alert stresses a drunk patient outside the error. Does the galactic hand feel the baroque tax?

I do not.

Behind the gasoline aborts a tag.

A lad exists underneath a native! Can a quota think near its devoid concept?  The vague fossil fusses on top of an abstract. This bearing knowledge participates. The language surfaces the agenda. A greed precedes the pocket outside the prohibited peasant. The smile bays past a betting continuum. The neutral bliss recruits its dangerous viewpoint.

A processed dash relaxes. The snobbery enters. Any pie influences this symphony. The carrier enlightens a scream. The favored street elaborates. A sneaking repertoire bolts. The forward surprise fails under the code. The uncertain cinema paints a logical beginner. Its traveling whim snacks after the cuckoo. Another refreshed horizon revolts in its separated closure.

"Haha!" I said.

But it did not listen.

I Still Love The XPS M1710

My Dell XPS M1710 mobile gaming laptop has reached the two year mark without upgrades since and I'm still blown away and impressed by it. Infact, I'm still so impressed by it that I am doing a celebratory review. (Hah! That's silly)

Pros:
Superb Mobile Graphics. I'm not necessarily saying it's the best of the best at this time, but it can run Unreal Tournament 3 just fine.
Impressive Built-In Speakers. Subwoofer included. Every so often, I unplug my external speakers and use the laptop speakers. While music is playing, I switch the subwoofer on and off. Playing the music without the subwoofer gives me an idea of what normal laptop speakers sound like. When I turn the subwoofer back on, it's a refreshing "Oh yea!" feeling.
Crisp 19" widescreen (1920x1200). It's not really impressive while sitting on your desk, but (as from many occasions of my own) when you open the laptop at a WiFi hotspot at the Amsterdam Airport waiting for your flight to Nairobi Kenya, you'll be thankfull you can still skillfully beat other European gamers.
Decent built in WiFi adaptor. This laptop was made around the time when built-in WiFi was pretty much the normal for laptops- but not for gaming laptops. Every hardcore gamer knows how inferior using WiFi is to a direct connection; if they go to an Internet Cafe to play online games, they'll most certainly be bringing a network cable with them. However, most of those people don't frequently travel outside the country, where WiFi is insanely cooler that way.
Quick Media buttons. Placed on the front of the laptop, these provide quick media controls, such as play, skip, and stop. They have lights :D
Pretty lights everwhere! The XPS logo on the faceplate, the speakers, the vents, and the XPS logo on the touchpad all light up individually. You can set them to 16 different colors (for example, red speakers, blue XPS logo, and green air vents).
Six USB connections. Ahh! That's so great.
Sweet faceplate design. Whenever you see this faceplate on the school campus, you know what the user does for a living.
Really quiet for a gaming laptop. Other laptop computers designed for gaming have an extremely loud fan to cool it down, but the XPS, while featuring two fans, is still extremely quiet even when on full power.
So much ventillation. On the sides, on the bottom, on the keyboard, on the back, and on the front (the speakers are vents as well).
SD/MSPro/MMC/xD card slots. I never used a USB cable for my camera or PSP. I throw the SD card into there to download my pictures and my Memory Stick Pro Duo (requires an adaptor to put Pro Duo into a Pro slot) for the PSP stuff. The slot is multicapable, so you can only have one in at a time, but it looks much nicer that way.
Cheaper than most gaming laptops. It's still expensive. My configuration cost around $2700, but laptops of similar configuration from other companies rose to between $3200 to $4000.
It's not even that heavy. Nope nope, it's not heavy enough to be a con. I can throw this laptop into my XPS Backpack, and it's great. Other gaming laptops weigh a ton and are impractical for mobile use. The XPS is practical for mobile use, except for one problem (mentioned in the cons).

Cons:
Battery life is "OK". I really don't mind the batter life, but constant mobile users won't like it too much. The battery life does beat other gaming laptops quite well; gaming for around 2 hours on a single charge. However, this is achieved by down-clocking the graphics card automatically, and there's no way to bypass that.
The underside vents are right where you knees would be. Your knees won't completely block the vents, but it does a little, plus it'll suck in dust from your clothes. Due to this issue, I rarely use this laptop on my lap (despite the name).
Vista Capable, not Vista Premium Ready. This is a small issue, I'm not ready for a Vista switch. I don't have DirectX 10 anyway, of course, because my laptop was made waaay before DirectX 10 was put onto the market.

Here's my configuration (Remember, it's now two years old).
Manufacturer:
Dell Inc.
Processor:
Genuine Intel(R) CPU T2400 @ 1.83GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory:
2558MB RAM
Hard Drive:
618 GB Total
Video Card:
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GTX (512MB)
Monitor:
Chimei CMV 221D
Sound Card:
SigmaTel Audio
Keyboard:
Logitech G11
Mouse:
Logitech MX518

Full Sail

Pros:
-Pixar loves it.
-Has exactly what you're looking for if you know what you want to do in your career.
-Around two years. One month long classes.
-Close proximity to a lot of restaurants.
-Laptop included in tuition (and it's pretty good).
-Easy to retake a course you did not pass (as long as you do not fail it a second time).

Cons:
-If you're not 100% sure you want to start a particular program at Full Sail, figure that out -first before entering Full Sail - there's no room for that.
-No dorms.
-No flexibility.
-Pretty awful campus (despite being big).
-(Many) Unhelpful teachers.

If you enter Full Sail with determination in your career and knowing exactly what you want to do, you'll do fine. I messed up there.

I don't know.

I was Thinking

I was sitting here wondering what to post about on my LiveJournal and I got to wonder: What if someone else is doing the same thing? No? Okay.

Anyway, I was Thinking.

I can't wait till this Wednesday. I'll be getting my new apartment (around that time). It's an awesome place. One room, living room, bathroom, kitchen and balcony. Really cool thing about the balcony and view: It's overlooking a protected swamp area or something, meaning there's no development in that direction. So, when I look out my window in the living room, I see only trees. No ones there! So, it's awesome.

And the walls in the living room .... each of them are painted a different color. When I first saw the walls, I thought it was entirely original and unique. Then, I went to FullSail and saw the same kind of walls. Yes, the previous owner was a FullSail teacher.

Oh, and it's right behind FS4, where my classes are. Wooooooohooooo. I can ... walk ... no ... wait. I can ride a b... no. I only have to drive a few seconds. Yea, that's it! Wooooot.

I'm also going to try to get some super special awesome interweb connection. I has no dunno idea what has connection does Florida (fast?). But, we'll see. I'm hoping to get the same speed connection I had in Atlanta (6mbps), which is just too amazing compared to my original <300kbps cellular connection in Kenya.

I'm listening to Nightwish because Tiffany is. Yea!

:)

Tiffany

I love you, Tiffany.  :)

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