Sunday, September 25, 2011

Posts from April, rant regarding mobile devices

Yesterday was a productive day, I made a dent in my dishes, ran some important errands, and learned the limits of my 3G Mobile Hotspot through Verizon.  While I have an unlimited data plan, my Hotspot is capped at 5GB, and I went over by a GB.  This has resulted in a overage charge of $22.88 that I will have to pay on my next bill.
While video chatting with Frank and Victoria over Ichat, My brother asked me what my usage was on my mobile hotspot was and that the video chatting uses a ton of bandwidth.  But in the course of the discussion, we talked about me switching to the iPhone 4 and since I am in the city of Chicago: AT&T,  The evil empire of the Mobile Universe, has strong single strength in Chicago.
But there is another time and another place for a discussion or debate on who you are going to pay to access the growing world of mobile communication.  All of the major carriers are developing 4G data networks with promises of better speeds, faster phones with better performance, and apps that make our lives easier or help pass the time.  I found myself in the market for a new phone two weeks ago when the location services on my Palm Pre Plus decided to stop working in the middle of Downtown Chicago.  I was able to seek out a Verizon Wireless store and they told me that I would have to send the phone in and have it replaced by a refurbished model.  I didn’t send it in that day, because at that time I was staying in Schiller Park at the extended Stay hotel: Candlewood Suits; and I did not have a mailbox.
Update on the Palm Pre Plus:
I did eventually send in the phone and received a refurbished model, although the location services still seem to be buggy.  I have been really disappointed with the Palm Pre Plus, WebOS had a lot of potential but limited hardware severely limited the usefulness of the phone and its incredibly limited app catalogue when compared to IOS and Android operating systems.  I'll post a link to the Engadget review from January of 2010.  I got the phone for free under a new 2 year upgrade and a data plan through Verizon, however, for what you pay the device disappoints.  Its saving feature was the Mobile Hotspot that allowed for limited tethering.  Hopefully this continues to be a feature included in next generation devices that launch on 4G/LTE networks from all the major carriers.

And an update on WebOS from August; HP has discontinued operations on all of its WebOS products followed by a "fire sale" on the company's last hope; the HP Touchpad which many thought would be a solid entry into the Tablet Market.  Phew, that was a lot of technology update for what many would say is incredibly old news, especially in the world of social media.  I am now waiting on the release of the Iphone 5 and my new phone upgrade date through Verizon.

Some of you may notice that I link a lot to; the reason for this IMHO, is that they have some of  the best technology reviewers on the market, great coverage on emerging trends, and a loyal community.  Plus, another one of their weblogs, is also on the list of one of my most visited sites.  End/Tangent

Back to updates from Rogers Park:
Saturday, April 16, 2011 7:55 PM
Today was a Red Letter Day, I am once again connected to the Global World Wide Web, I got Comcast installed at my apartment in Rogers Park this morning.  It couldn’t have happened on a better day too, the weather was terrible; cold and raining for most of the day.  The technician from Comcast arrived after I made a batch of waffles and a fresh pot of coffee.  It is amazing how this building is wired, Comcast, RCN, and one or two Dishes are strong all across the building.  Originally my line had been cut and it took the technician and I climbing up to the roof of my building to identify the various runs and reconnect it to the cable box.
There’s a great view of the skyline from my apartment’s roof, hopefully this summer I will have a chance to take some pictures.
Now back to watching Streaming Netflix on my Xbox 360.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
This could be a problem, its sunny outside, I have errands to run and yet where am I?  I am in my living room glued to my TV watching Netflix: this is as bad as the first years of Facebook or Youtube.  There’s a wealth of programming available for streaming and for 8 bucks a month; Amazing!!  I don’t know why I chose Jared Diamond’s Collapse: I tried reading this book of doom and gloom a number of years ago and just couldn’t take it seriously.  In discussions with family, colleagues, and how the world will end...we all often come to the same conclusion; it will be far more terrible than any movie or book we have seen or read.  Probably on the scale of massive starvation, not war or destruction at the hands of an invader or a Frankenstien’s Monster.  Mother Nature will simply decide that there are too many humans on this planet, and make conditions unsustainable for large populations of humans.
I am writing stream of consciousness here, enjoying some coffee and pastries from a local Panaderia down on Clark St. and Morse Ave.  I bought like 7 things and the total bill came to be under 4 dollars, holy smokes!!  So far I have consumed a donut, a flacky/crunchy kind of cinnamon pastry, and a coconut donut..

This post got a little lengthy, I'll try to trim the next one down a bit.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011 - Finding Local Places with the help of Yelp!

What a fun night last night.  A little cold, windy, but discovered a new place with my cousin Jim for dinner.  With the help of yelp, I found a local place to get quality food for cheap cheap prices: Chikis Pizza.  

I had poured over reviews and what people had posted on the place, so I had a good feeling going in.  We were greeted by the owner Andreas and an empty restaurant, my assumption is that most people in Rogers Park order out from this establishment or have things delivered to their buildings.  We picked out a table and were given ample amounts of water and fresh chips with two tasty sauces of which Jim particularly enjoyed the Green Pesto/Basil/Green based sauce.
Craving a good burger and fries, although their menu encompasses ample choices, I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger and Jim decided upon the Bacon Cheeseburger.  We didn’t have to wait long before the medium sized portions where placed in front of us and embraced the first bite, instantly for me the distinctive abundance of Blue Cheese and bite of hot sauce and a good char of a burger, not over-done and not too pink.  The fries were also freshly prepared and came out piping hot and had the distinctive crunch that restaurant fries should have.  We left the place feeling satisfied and ready to explore other destinations in Rogers Park.

We made our way to the Glenwood Bar over by the Morse Red Line Metro Station.  There was a Black Hawk game on the screens and a spare number of patrons in the bar.  It was confirmed pretty quickly that the Glenwood was a Gay/Mixed bar, with the music from the overhead speakers and the over-all cliental.  But it was a very nice-big bar.  They could use a Dance Floor and maybe another pool-table.  With it being cold we stayed and had a beer or two and after the game was over the channel switched to Ghostbusters being aired on Television.  I found out last night that Ghostbusters is one of Jim’s favorite movies, another thing my cousin and I have in common.
Jim has been very helpful in my first couple of weeks getting adjusted to Rogers Park.  Its almost like a harmonic convergence, that of the thousands of apartments available for rent in the dozens of neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, that I would end up renting an apartment 4 blocks away from him.  When I first moved he asked me jokingly if his parents had sent me here to spy on him.
This has been a very productive weekend.  Technology wise, I am now once again connected to the world of internet video calling through Skype.  Frank Sr. asked me to install it this afternoon so that he could call us from Peru.  Hopefully he will have access to a wi-fi source when he is in Peru.  We also played around with Face Time, another way of video chatting but through Mobile devices.

As I progress through this Spring and Summer I hope to discover more great local places to grab dinner after a long day of work.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

-Note, a lot of these posts will be older; I will have to chronicle my arrival and searching for apartments in another post but for now the posts that follow are what I have written in the past 6-7 months.

Been another long week, and on this Saturday Afternoon it is nice to just be sitting down in my living room enjoying #2 Florida Vs. #8 Butler in the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Had some heartbreak last night, The Ohio State was an eliminated in a tough game against Kentucky.
Now Kansas will have to come through and Dominate the remaining field.  This morning I slept until 9:00 AM after getting very little sleep the day before.  Friday began early at 5:40 AM driving out to the NPL office in Dekalb to pick up some supplies for the office; of course it couldn’t be a day without a stroke of bad luck, I missed the merge from I-90 to I-290 that would connect me to I-88 and a straight shot to Dekalb on the Tollway.  Nope, instead I followed I-90 all the way up to Elgin before getting off and bush-whacking across the metro to get to highway 38 and arrived at the Dekalb yard a half hour late!!!!
My boss let me leave early so I could meet up with the technicians from People’s Gas to turn on my stove.  They ended up arriving around 2:30 PM, turned on the gas down in the basement, and then proceeded to turn on the pilot light for the stove.  After lighting the pilot, only one burner decided to light fully, the left rear; and so I was cooking with Gas...sort of.  I will have to call the Management Company and alert them to the problem.
To celebrate my new form of culinary prep, I whipped up some eggs and took the remaining peppers in the refrigerator and threw together an omelet along with a cheese quesadilla.
One burner better than no burner

Quesidillas FTW!!
Feeling thoroughly rested from sleeping in a bit this morning, I woke up and made some coffee, fuddled with my mobil HotSpot on my Palm Pre Plus to listen to some Streaming Radio: Notably WBEZ and Streaming Music from the Current in Minneapolis.  While my coffee was brewing I whipped up some tasty waffles.  Waffles being consumed, I continued listening to the Accidental Billionaires: the Story of Facebook by Ben Mezrich which I had picked up last year but had never gotten to listen to.  Listening to it makes me want to see the Social Network really badly.
Today I ordered some important components from Amazon, a new Gigabyte Cable Modem and Router for when I have internet service installed at the apartment. 

It will be great to be connected to the world once again.