I am loving the Gingerbread Browser!

I was pleased to visit AndroidCentral today and see that a leaked version of Gingerbread for the Droid X surfaced this weekend.  I have been watching paitently for a while now, hoping for this to come.  So I dove on in, downloaded, and flashed my Droid X with Gingerbread!

The download was about 175 mb.  Took a little over 15 mins to get.  I had been playing around with other Roms lately so I had all the tools needed to load quickly. (If you are looking to do this, head over to AndroidCentral.com and they have all the info on how to load Roms.)  It took just a few minutes for me to wipe my phone of all info, and load the new Gingerbread rom.  After reboot, my Droid X was Gingrebreadified!

This new build for the Droid X is really nice.  I am not sure if this will be the build they roll out for everyone, but it seems like it could be a final version.  The overall snappiness of the phone is great.  It feels like a new phone.  One of the things I was waiting for is the updates to the browser.  After having the iPhone for a little bit, I noticed how choppy the Android browser was compared to Safari.  The Gingerbread browser comes alot closer allowing you to do pinch-zoom dragging!  I know this might not be a big deal to some, but without it, browsing just feels clunky.  I am very pleased to see it now on my X, and it works quite well I may add.

I am sure I will find many more things to like about Gingerbread in the next few days.  One thing for sure, it will make me play with the phone again just like when it was new.  I love updates.

If you want to check this out for yourself, hop over to http://www.mydroidworld.com/forums/forum.php


Kids Tree Houses

Climbing on trees, plucking fruits and playing in tree houses always fascinate children. It is too much fun to build your own tree house when you are a child. The picture stays in your memory forever and it is indeed very special. As a father you must try and build a tree house with your children to make their childhood stage special. There are several tree house ideas that will help you make a beautiful tree house.

Planning: Firstly you need to have a plan in place to build a tree house. You must figure out on which tree you will build the house. You have to sketch the design of the house and be sure of the size of the house. You will need to arrange the materials and tools that will be needed for the house. Then there is furniture that would go in the house. All these things have to be worked upon before you actually start building a tree house.

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Selection of Tree: The most important thing is that your tree house must be very strong and safe. As a result the tree you select must be sturdy. You can build the house on any tree as long as it is mature and strong. It is a good idea to build your tree house on a maple tree. With the changes in season and climate the tree should be able to hold the house well. The other thing you must check is that the tree is free from any dangerous insects or reptiles.

Designing: The next step is to design the house. You must ideally make a proper sketch of the house on a paper with precise measurements that will make your job very easy. The size of the house must be determined, whether you want to go for a house with one room or two rooms. This will also depend on the tree you have selected. You should have a proper sketch of your house including the placement of rooms and measurements.

Materials: When you look for materials to build your tree house, first try and get as many as possible from within your farm. It is a better idea than directly hitting the market and buying expensive materials. If you can get it around your house it will save your cost and efforts. Try and use only strong materials to build your house. This will make your house last long. Maybe many of your future generations will enjoy in it.

Colors: The next step is to decide on the colors of the house. Use colors that can stand all weathers and do not fade too soon. You must ideally leave this choice to your kids. They will be more than willing to make this choice and they will even love to paint the tree house on their own. Such tree house ideas form an important part of a child’s growing up. This house is going to belong to kids so let them have their say in the coloring part. You could supervise while they perform this activity.

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Furnishing: The last part would be to handle furnishing and décor. This again is the domain of children and should be left to them. Let them handle what they wish to stuff there and how they would make it comfortable and cozy for themselves. Now that I have shared all the tree house ideas with you, you must seriously think of building one for your children.

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Holy Smokes! I’m Going back to ANDROID??? – See Ya iPhone!

Well that didn’t last long.

I got the iPhone this weekend. I was so pumped! I held it in my hand and really could not believe that it was finally here. Then – I started using it…

First, let me say that the phone itself is a real thing of beauty. Really well made and looks fantastic. It seems to make great calls, and I did not have any issues with dropped calls at all. If I were just using it as a phone, it would be a great fit, but I have come to rely on my phone for much more than just making calls.

My first real trouble came when I found that there was no ‘real’ google talk app. I had to use Fring. I remember Fring from my Windows Mobile days, and while it would get the job done, it was not as nice or reliable as Google Talk. This was a little annoying, but I could live with it.

Second was the missing notification light. After I got my emails all configured, I would find myself always looking over at my phone looking for some kind of indication that I had an email waiting. Again – a little annoying, but I think I could live without this one.

Next – the akward email reading. I don’t know how to explain this one fully. Just the email part of the iPhone does not seem very intuitive. You cannot flag emails while you are looking at the email list and delete. You have to go into each email and hit the trash bin. Just little things like this make it a little weird. I could maybe get used to this.

Google Voice – Not as helpful on the iPhone. I used google voice a ton on my Droid to send SMS messages to people using my Google number. While you can do this with the Google Voice app on the iPhone. You have to go through a contact selection process to find the person you want. On the Droid, you can start typing the name of the contact, and the app brought in the number. This may seem like a little deal, but now things were getting out of hand.

I am finding myself really having to work at this relationship now. I still really want to make this work, but everywhere I turn this beautiful phone is starting to look ugly to me. Then it really hit.

I keep 4 email accounts on my phone, one work related and the others are personal. On my Droid, I had a specific notification tone for each one. I found the iPhone dinging the same for all of my emails. No problem, just go into the settings and configure correctly. Nope. Not a chance. Can’t find a setting like this anywhere. Well off to google I go. I found out that If I wanted to do this, I would have to get an app for that. OK I thought, I can live with that. When I went to the app store, I found that app – for $5 dollars! At that moment, I knew that this relationship was over. I didn’t have to look much further, I was done.  I was already finding tons of apps that used to be free on my Droid, now costing me a few dollars to have the same type of experience on my iPhone.  Not to mention stuff that was BUILT IN to Android will cost me $5 to use on what is supposed to be the best phone out there?

I just couldn’t take it any more.  It’s time to say goodbye to the iPhone.  I must say that I am really impressed with how far the Droid has come in it’s time.  It is an ever evolving OS that has so many neat things inside, I guess the old saying is true: You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.   So now I am researching Droids on Ebay.  It was fun while it lasted.  I guess it is a rite of passage, I needed this.   I needed to know.  Now I am a better man for it.

If you are thinking about making the switch from Droid to iPhone even after this, drop me a line. We may be able to work something out!

I’m switching from DROID to iPhone!

It’s been about 2 years since I bought my first smart phone.  It has been an interesting trip so far, and it’s about to get alot more interesting.

I am one of those guys who live in rural America who was glued to the computer screen when Steve Jobs made his iPhone speech.  I can still remember watching him do all these cool things on that phone.  He could pull up maps, touch an address, GPS, call with a touch of his finger, man o man – that thing was cool.  I was amazed, not really by the features – because I h

ave used a Windows smartphone before, and most of those things could be done on one of those.  I was amazed at how SMOOTH that phone was.  The coolness factor.  I was hooked, i needed to get one.  I wanted one so bad that I was ready to jump ship from Verizon to At&t.

My real disappointment came when I pulled up AT&T’s coverage map.   No way, not even close.  I wouldn’t be able to even talk on the iPhone let alone use it for any kind of surfing.  My options were gone, and so were the hopes of getting an iPhone.  That exclusivity deal Apple made with At&t would ensure that it would be years before I could get my hands on a Verizon iPhone.

Well it’s been years, and many smartphones!  From Blackberry Storms, HTC Touch Pros, Samsung Omnias, Motorola DRIODS, DROID2, and DROID x!  It’s now time to finally get my iPhone!

Unfortunately I am not as happy as I once would be.   When the iPhone finally hit Verizon, I did not feel the same `I need you now` type of feeling.  Let me explain.  The DROID phones have really filled a big gap in my smartphone life.  I was a DROID1 fanatic, loved the phone – it did so many neat things, and synced with my Gmail stuff perfectly.  I could put an Contact in my Gmail Contacts and in no time they would be on my DROID.  The only reason I upgraded to a DROID x is because I dropped my DROID1 on Interstate 35W in MPLS off my Motorcycle.  Otherwise I probably would still have that phone.

Now my DROID x has a cool car holder, with a bunch of cool apps that I can use while I travel.  I bought all other kinds of apps that work well with my hobbies like Remote Desktop, SSH, measuring GPS apps, Running GPS apps that keep track of my run times, and the list goes on.  I have become pretty attached to my phone, and am a little sad to see it go.

With all that said I can’t help but think what it would be like if i didn’t give the Verizon iPhone a try.  So i’m going to take the plunge.  I think it will be a fun ride, and I am really excited.  I just hope it lives up to the hype in my head.

How about you?  Are you taking the plunge?


P.S. Don’t worry,  I will keep up on the DVD to DROID.  I know lots of you out there really like it.  I’m glad, that’s why I made it!

Wired headset for Mitel or Business VOIP Phone

Recently I have been working with a Mitel 5330 IP phone.  These phones have a port on the back for a headset.

I had an old plantronics headset laying around (not the amp, just the headset) and I hoped that by plugging it into the back, it would work for this phone.  After all, one of the main features of this phone was the Headset-readiness.

That old Plantronics headset did not work.  So I benched the idea for a while until I ran across a product on Amazon called the T100 Headset.  This headset said it would work for VOIP Headset ready phones, so I gave it a try.

It seems to work pretty well.  The sound is not as `full` as those with the amplifiers, but for $19.95 it was a great purchase.  (Those amplifier types start at around $80)

Check it out from Amazon below.