AT&T: Your network stinks!

I have had my AT&T service since May and I gotta say it really is the network that matters.  I’ve experienced more dropped calls and failed data fetches in the time I’ve been with AT&T than in my 10 years with Verizon.  There are advantages to AT&T’s network over Verizon, the first being is multi tasking between data and voice.  Talking to someone on the phone while using a data intensive app at the same time is just plain awesome.  I didn’t attempt it much on Verizon’s network but thats because my Palm OS Treo wasn’t capabile of doing multi tasking anyway.  Even after all that crap, I’ll still go through with the iPhone because I can play more stuff with it and it gives me the best work/life balance of any phone I’ve owned to date.

AT&T is doing its best to try and identify network issues by having people with iPhones spot the places where network coverage isn’t so hot with a new app called Mark the Spot.

I downloaded this app so that I can report network problems to AT&T (which are numerous) and every time I experience a drop in my data or voice service I go ahead and mark it down with the app.  I’m hoping that in time the network will improve and I won’t have to use this app as much anymore.  I plan to make good use of it up north when I go to CT for Christmas.  My mom’s place doesn’t even have network coverage and I plan on pinging this app a lot to let AT&T know that they need to roll out services pronto.

Well here’s to hoping that in the new year AT&T can bring their network up to snuff, hopefully their 4G network will be way better than their current 3G one.

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The ultimate iPhone battery pack

A few weeks ago I purchased the Imax Power battery on the advice from my friend Luu (the mac fan guru).  As anyone that owns an iPhone knows, the iPhone battery is not really up to snuff when it comes to keeping a charge that lasts the entire day let alone a number of days.  Hence the entry of the Imax Power battery.  This battery supposedly has 5 times the capacity of your average iPhone so that means it can keep the iPhone going for a number of days at the very least.

I’ve used it only once so far during my travels to recharge my iPhone when it was nearly dead but it has a fast charger so that it doesn’t take long at all to recharge.  The battery itself takes about 5 hours to charge up from zero charge which is pretty good.  The best part is that it’s not limited to charging my iPhone, it can charge anything that can hook up to a USB port.  That means I can use it to charge my iPod’s (yes I have many) and my bluetooth headset as well.

I’ll probably end up giving it a good test this holiday season while I’m traveling since I don’t expect to have access to an A/C outlet a lot of the time.  I highly recommend this battery for anyone that travels even if it is only to keep a cell phone all charged up to make emergency calls.  And its cheap too!  Only $55 🙂

Assassin’s Creed II was awesome!

A few weeks ago I bought the game Assassin’s Creed II after looking at games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare and some games for the Wii.  I must say that I was not disappointed with my purchase.  I just finished beating the game late last night and it was pretty fun the entire way through.  There are still a bunch of things that I haven’t done in the game but I don’t know if I’m going to go back and finish up the side missions or find all the treasure.  The game took me around 30+ hours to complete but thats because I also did a lot of the assassination side quests and went around and looked for a lot of the treasure chests in some of the first areas where I played the game.

The graphics of this game are spectacular.  They have to be the best graphics I’ve ever seen on the Xbox360 and I’ve had an Xbox360 since the day the console came out.  I’ve read a lot of the reviews on the game and I agree with them that the city scape is the best part of the game.  Lots of attention to detail and the non playing characters are pretty decent at being random.  The fact that I was able to climb almost any building and assassinate just about anyone I came across was pretty sweet.  The weapons that you pick up during the game are all different and have their strengths and weaknesses but once you unlock the ultimate set of armor you’re just all jacked up to be a lean mean killing machine.

There are a lot of puzzles in the game that are pretty challenging, especially finding secret symbols on buildings (I haven’t found them all yet and I still can’t decipher a few that I have found because the clue’s don’t help a lot).  The most satisfying part is playing the Assasssin Tombs where you try and get tokens to unlock armor in the game.  I was able to complete all 6 tombs about 3/4 through the game so I was a bad ass for 1/4 of the game and loved every minute of it.

I could go on for a while about the game but I’m going to stop.  The ending was really cool and it set it up for another game which I hope they’ll make for the Xbox360 so I don’t have to buy another game console.  I would recommend this game to anyone because its just that awesome.  If it had extended playability beyond the single player stuff that would be awesome or if they added some downloadable content.  Now that I’m done with this game I’ll have to start looking for another one to occupy my free time while I’m at home.  Maybe something for the Wii this time around….

125 Blog Posts for 2009 so far

This year I set a goal for myself to publish at least 100 blog posts for 2009 and I’ve reached my goal.  With this post that makes 125 and I still have most of the holidays to blog about random stuff like I normally do.  This is my last week in Minneapolis for 2009 so no more cold weather, well thats not true, no EXTREME cold weather for me until January rolls around.  Since Christmas and New Years fall on Friday’s, I’m taking two weeks off just to relax and recharge.  That will include lots of game time with my Xbox 360 and Wii.  I’m hoping to make some good progress in Assassins Creed 2 before I go back to work and maybe start whatever new games might come my way courtesy of Santa.  Christmas I’ll probably be taking a nice little road trip with my wife since I’m sick of flying and it will be nice to just drive on the open road.

New Years I’m still unsure what I’ll be doing but I’ll figure something out.  Maybe there might be one or two more blog posts just to close out the year to bring my final total to 127 or maybe I will feel inspired and blog more than that.  I’m hoping that for 2010 I can keep up this pace of doing around 100 posts but I can’t guarantee that since I lead a pretty boring life LOL.  Only 2 more days of work and then I’m shutting down the laptop for the rest of 2009, can’t wait!

A Different Kind of Cold

My latest and greatest work experience has taken me to Minneapolis for the winter. By any measure, going to Minneapolis during the winter is just plain nuts due to the extreme cold of the place. I’m no stranger to cold having livedbin CT for the better part of 20 years but nothing compares to the deep chill I experineced last week.

Last week and this week there is going to be highs in the single digits, to me personally that’s pretty cold. That’s even before adding the whole wind chill factor and piling on all the dry air. I think last week was the the first time it ever hurt to breath the outside air. Last week was also kindnof strange because some huge winterstorm blew into the area providing a light snow dusting of a couple of inches but bringing some serious wind gusts too.

I am well equiped to handle this weeks deep chill with my winter coat, gloves and scarf. To think that ts only December, I wonder what fun Minneapolis will have in store for me when January comes around. I’m hopin it won’t be filled with delays so I can at least get home on Thursday night instead of Friday morning.