Regarding Text Messages

Dear everyone that has my phone number,

Last month, I tested out the unlimited texting plan on my phone to see how many texts I’d use when I didn’t have to worry about going over.

The answer is slightly less than 300. Because of this, I cannot justify paying $15 or $20 a month on 1500 or unlimited texts, respectively. I reduced my texting plan to 200, and the reason for this is that I’m never away from AIM. Seriously. Any time you feel like sending me a text, look on AIM first. If I’m online or if I’m “away on iPhone using IM+,” then send me an IM rather than a text.

Just so no one misunderstands – I am not doing this because I don’t feel like texting. I actually like texting. The simple fact is that I’m already getting raped for $30/month for a data plan from AT&T, and it kills me to pay $20/month more for something that should essentially be included in the data plan, since that’s all a text message is – data. I have a data plan, so I’m going to use it.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from texting me if you actually need to, just please keep it to necessary stuff. I’d love to hear from you on AIM, otherwise. Thanks all. :D

-Philip

Pete Wentz Is the Only Reason I’m Posting This

It only took two months, but I actually updated my grammar blog: Lie and Lay.

Lately I’ve been in more of a writing mood than I have in past months. I have no idea if this is related, but I think in the past couple of days, I’ve Tweeted less. Maybe subconsciously I know that what I have to say just can’t be condensed into 140 characters. :P

Anywho, the main point of this is to post a note here that for some reason, I posted on Facebook instead of posting it here and letting Facebook syndicate it. It’s probably the best meme I’ve ever seen. Everything following the break is the note.

I don’t normally do these things, but I took a look at this and decided I had to because the band I would choose would make it totally ridiculous. Don’t take any of these answers seriously except for the ones that obviously are.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 10 people you like and include me (presuming I’m someone you like). You can’t use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Repost as “my life according to (band name)”

(P.S. I’m not tagging anyone. Too bad! :D)

Pick your Artist
Fall Out Boy

Are you a male or female:
“Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”

Describe yourself:
“I Don’t Care”

How do you feel:
“Homesick at Space Camp”

Describe where you currently live:
“America’s Suitehearts”

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
“Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet”

Your favorite form of transportation:
“Reinventing the Wheel to Run Myself Over”

Your best friend?
“The Music and the Misery”

You and your best friends are:
“Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends”

What’s the weather like?
“Calm Before the Storm”

Favorite time of day:
“Saturday”

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
“I’ve Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth”

Your relationship:
“I’ve Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None on My Fingers”

What is life to you:
“Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying (Do your part to save the scene and stop going to shows)”

Your fear:
“Dead on Arrival”

What is the best advice you have to give:
“This Ain’t A Scene, It’s an Arms Race”

Thought for the Day:
“Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to do Today”

How I would like to die:
“The Pros and Cons of Breathing”

My soul’s present condition:
“My Heart is The Worst Kind of Weapon”

My motto:
“Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?”

Completely Ridiculous 1-Month iPhone 3GS Review

I’ve had the iPhone 3GS for 1 month (and a day) now, and I thought it was about time I gave it a rather thorough review in case anyone was interested. So if you’re not, don’t read this.

Anyone that keeps up with my blog knows that I previously had an HTC Excalibur running Windows Mobile 6, and I hated Windows Mobile. The phone was okay, but it started showing its age as the battery held less and less of a charge. You also know from reading my blog that I was very afraid that I would hate the iPhone keyboard. So, if you’re interested in the iPhone, this is probably some decent information for you.

Keyboard:
-The keyboard is extremely easy to get used to. Since I joined the iPhone party late in the game, most apps can use the landscape keyboard now, but I’m actually pretty good at using the portrait keyboard as well. Also, just like I predicted on Twitter, I type a good bit faster on the iPhone than I did on my old phone because my theory was correct – not having to press down the buttons does save time. I am actually glad to be rid of the physical keyboard.

(Oleophobic) Screen:
-Either I have really oily skin, or the oleophobic screen is a joke. I wipe fingerprints off of it all the time. Maybe it’s not as bad as the first generation or 3G iPhone, but fingerprints are definitely still going to get on the screen.
-The screen quality is, however, exceptional. Colors look great and games and whatnot look wonderful on it.

Camera:
-Cell phone cameras suck. The autofocus helps (it does macro focus and white balance, and maybe some other camera-related functionality I’m not aware of/educated on), but in the end, it’s still a cell phone camera. Without a flash, it will always be a cell phone camera. I’ve never been able to take good pictures indoors without a flash, even on my point-and-shoot digital camera.
-That said, when the lighting is decent, the quality of the pictures is actually pretty freaking good. I mean, I wouldn’t count on it to capture an important event or anything, but for a camera you have on you at all times that doesn’t take up any extra room in your pocket, it’s pretty good.
-Video recording is decent. I have a digital camera that takes 720p video, so I guess it takes more than 480×320 to impress me. 640×480 would’ve been neat, but the video recording still serves its purpose pretty well – this is, being a decent way to record video that you have on you at all times.

Data:
-3G in Baton Rouge and New Orleans is pretty decent. I’ve run a few speed tests, and I guarantee that if you have an iPhone 3G, your speeds are the same as mine, despite the fact that the 3GS supports up to 7.2 Mbps (which is faster than the 3G), AT&T’s network is pretty laggard.
-Edge, however, I find to be quite intolerable (at least, in Houma). If I had to pay $30/month for a data plan in Houma, I’d claw someone at AT&T’s eyes out (not really, but you get the idea).

Speed:
-The iPhone 3GS is very, very responsive. It’s fast. There’s really nothing more I can say.

Stability:
-On introduction, Apple touted that the iPhone ran OS X. I call bullshit. I’ve yet to see a smartphone that doesn’t crash, and the iPhone is no exception. Sometimes third party apps take it down, sometimes Apple apps take it down. It’s crashed while taking a picture and crashed while I was typing.
-So how does it compare to Windows Mobile? I do about 20x more on my iPhone than I did on Windows Mobile, and they both crash more often than I’d like them too. I’m sure I could sit here and come up with some mathematical reason dealing with proportions and percentages that the iPhone still crashes slightly less, but the key word in that sentence is “crash,” which is unacceptable. My computer doesn’t crash, so why is it that my phone always does?

Applications:
-Applications are boss. Period. I don’t think I’ve ever bought this much software before. Some apps have their quirks, their instabilities, or other random annoyances, but they’re overall pretty amazing, and the quality is something I simply could not find on my old Windows Mobile platform. There are still crappy apps, but the crappier ones are the random ones. On Windows mobile, even my important apps were crappy (Pocket IE blows, Agile Messenger sucked – Safari is awesome and IM+ is pretty great).

Phone:
-Quite possibly the most overlooked part of the iPhone…the part that actually makes calls. Sound quality of calls is fantastic. The speakerphone is much better than my old phone, but to be fair, my old phone had a crappy speakerphone (my RAZR had a better quality speakerphone than the HTC). Doing pretty much anything call related is easy and just makes sense. Dialing a phone number on my old phone involved using a tiny little number pad that was mixed in with the letters (people have asked me how to dial a number on it before). On the iPhone, the numbers are full-screen and it just couldn’t be easier.
-The text messaging app is perfect. Seriously. I could never go back to the Windows Mobile texting paradigm. It was absolutely awful, and the iPhone makes it so easy.

Build Quality:
-I still can’t get over how gorgeous this device is. It’s absolutely amazing to hold, use, and look at. The build quality is just phenomenal.
-The physical buttons all serve their purpose pretty well. However, I do fear that if I didn’t have a case on my phone, my pants (or more specifically, my jeans) would possibly flip my silent switch from on to off, thus taking my phone off of silent mode. This has yet to happen though.

Things I’m worried about:
-I put at least one load cycle on the battery every day. At that rate, my battery will last almost a year before it loses the ability to hold a decent charge. The battery isn’t user replaceable, so I guess time will only tell how that works out.
-I’m pretty afraid of dropping it. I’ve dropped all of my phones before. My RAZR hit the CEBA parking lot once and got off with a couple scratches (for those not in the know, that lot is rough cement). My HTC was dropped more times than I can remember, but almost always onto carpet or grass. Despite that though, the falls were still hard enough to knock the back cover off and the battery out. I’ve dropped my iPhone once (from not very high up) onto the carpet. I’m not worried about damaging the internals (as I stated, it feels really solid), but I am worried about cracking the glass. The crazy thing is, I’m really careful with all of my stuff (computers, gadgets, whatever), anyone will tell you that. Yet, I still some somehow manage to drop my phones.

For me, the iPhone 3GS was something I didn’t really know I needed until I lived with one for a day. I think that now, I’d be lost without it.

-Philip

A Magical Week

Last Sunday, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came on TV, and being bored, I figured I’d watch it. I thought it was pretty good, so I finally decided to catch up on the Harry Potter craze and every night last week, I watched a Harry Potter movie until I was all caught up and ready to see the new one.

Of course, then I ran into a problem – I don’t really have anyone to go see movies with. I actually keep a list of movies that I want to see on my desktop so that I won’t forget about them six months later when they come out on DVD.

Luckily for me, the biggest Harry Potter fan I know (MC) came into town, so I went to see it with her, and it was awesome. Now I either have to wait two years for the final movies or read the seventh book. Not sure what I’m going to do about that.

And on a closing note, I think it’s pretty sad that in the past month and a half, I’ve hung out with someone that lives 6 hours away more than I’ve hung out with my friends that live an hour away. Something needs to be done about this. Becca, Ashley, Cesar – that means we need to hang out! :D

-Philip

Smoothies in Houma

In Houma this past weekend, I was driving by the new Little Caesar’s when I saw a sign that said “Smoothie Rox”. Needless to say, I turned without even thinking about it. Anyone that reads this probably knows that I enjoy a good smoothie, so let me tell you…that place has good smoothies.

It’s pretty much exactly like Fruity Tropical Smoothie that closed about a year ago in Baton Rouge, except with less weird flavors (they don’t have red bean smoothies, for example, but they do have avacado).

I got a strawberry/raspberry/pomegranate smoothie on Saturday and a kiwi smoothie on Sunday. I highly recommend it if you’re in Houma.

-Philip

Stuff About Stuff

I got a speeding ticket last week on River Road for doing 53 in a 35. I thought I was in a 45, but I can’t complain since I was still going over what they stop people for. If I attend a two hour class, the ticket will go off of my record and the fine will be lowered, so I’m not really worried about it. It’s just been a valuable lesson in paying closer attention to speed limit signs. :P

I know I really shouldn’t complain, but my lack of people to do stuff with really bothers me sometimes. It seems like I’ve been losing more friends (due to distance) than I’ve been gaining. :(

So, that’s enough randomness. In trying to get my blog back into a more singular thought-stream, I guess I should get to the point of this entry.

I’ve been working on learning how to play piano. It’s going decently, I guess. I can play a little bit of two different songs, though I think I’m not playing one of them the proper way.

Despite my love for pop-punk music (Panic! At the Disco actually has a piano track on their first CD, which I may be inclined to try to learn later if my skills (or lack thereof) allow), I do have a deep respect for some of the masters of piano (I have a box of classical music CDs that I used to listen to while studying), and since I have long fingers, it seemed like the natural instrument to take up a few years ago when I got my keyboard. The difference is that now, I have the free time to learn.

You may have noticed that I included an exclamation point in my mention of Panic! At the Disco, but it was no mistake. Though the ! isn’t officially back, I think it will be back in spirit on their next album. Half of the band left to pursue other projects, which upset me at first, but then Pete Wentz made a comment on Twitter that he heard some of Panic’s new songs, and it sounded like a natural progression from their first album rather than The Beatles, like their second album. This, combined with the fact that my favorite member of Panic is still in the band (Brendon Urie – best vocalist ever), actually made me more excited than if they’d all stayed together and released a new album. I really missed their old sound, because as I’ve said before, it was just…exciting. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Now, on to tech stuff! As I use my iPhone 3GS more and more, I have come to notice a few things:
1) It charges fast.
2) It works like Windows Mobile in that apps occasionally take down the entire phone.
3) Despite #2, the apps are incredible.

I went about four days without Kalmiya while Apple was busy fixing it up, and during this time, I almost exclusively used my iPhone for computer stuff – AIM, RSS feeds, browsing. It all felt so natural, and despite my weird power problems, Apple always fixes it, so I can’t complain, and I still <3 Kalmiya. And on a final note, the Mall of Louisiana is awesome. -Philip