Navigon for my iPhone

Meet my most recent iPhone app purchase… Navigon!  I bought this for me and my wife so we both have navigation readily available on our phones.  I have owned TomTom software or GPS systems for the last few years for my Treo and as a stand alone device but I just wasn’t all that happy with it.  After much research I decided to buy Navigon (and I got it on sale too) instead of TomTom.  For one thing, its one less device that I have to lug with me on the plane and on my back, for another it allowed me to give my wife a reliable GPS app so she won’t get lost if she has to go somewhere unfamiliar in South Florida.

So far the app is pretty impressive.  I’ve been able to use it successfully in Minneapolis to find my way around without going too far off the beaten path.  It does take me to a few too many residential roads but I think thats a setting problem.  The biggest selling point of the current version was the addition of using Google to find points of interest.  Most of the time navigation apps rely on their own database for finding points of interest but the addition of using Google was just too awesome to pass up.  It reminded me of Waze which I used before Navigon to try and find my way around.  Waze was free and did a decent job but the bad part about it is that it required a constant connection to my mobile internet to download the map since it wasn’t native on the device.  That slowed things up quite a bit and sometimes the directions weren’t accurate because it hadn’t downloaded the map yet.

My only pet peeve right now is that its not always accurate on my current position.  I could be on an adjacent street and it might think I’m there and tell me to make a turn I don’t have to make.  I hope thats just something to do with the GPS in the phone or something but so far it hasn’t steered me wrong or I’ve just ignored it since I knew I was going the right way already.  So far its been a good buy, I plan on seeing if it is useful at some of my other client sites but first I need to finish things up in Minneapolis to give it a good test.  Now to contemplate buying Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars for my iPhone hmmm……

Stop trying to make me check my rollerboard!

I didn’t blog about this incident but I sure did tweet about it.  A couple of weeks ago I was going through the Ft. Lauderdale airport like I always do at around 5:00AM sporing my rollerboard and my backpack.  I normally have no trouble getting through security with either of these items but for some odd reason some dip wad who works at the airport decides to single me out and says I have to check my bag because its too big.  Too big?? Are you freaking serious?  These people see me come in every Monday, go through security with the same bags, and get on the plane with no problems.  Now the people I’m railing against are not TSA, these are just random employees that they put at the beginning of security lines to check and see if bags are too big.  I seriously can’t believe they get paid to do that sort of job.

Problem number 2 is that the device they use to measure if your bag is too big for the overhead bins or not is woefully out of date.  My rollerboard is within the limit for fitting in those overhead bins with wheels first or sideways.  I spotted a number of people passing me by that had the same size rollerboards as me and they were not even stopped.  How craptacular!  Well thats why rank hath its privileges!  After this idiotic individual told me that I have to check in my bag, I just wheeled my ass around and went in through the Medallion line with no problem at all.  I only go through the non-Medallion line because its normally shorter and closer to the parking garage elevator.  So while I was still able to get on the plane with my rollerboard, the fact that some moron at the airport tried to make me check my bag just irritates me.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be going to Miami and not Ft. Lauderdale so I won’t have to deal with abject stupidity for a little bit for flying out to my client site.  If Miami is worse, I’ll just have to go back to Ft. Lauderdale but rest assured I’m going to be hitting up that Medallion line and breezing through security.

Playing catch up

I haven’t been able to blog much this month due to my being so damn busy at work lately. I know I’m way behind on posts but hopefully I can catch up a litle bit. My schedule so far is pretty set for at least the next two months which consists of flying to Minneapolis and flying back every week and then doing laundry and flying back out again.

My days in Minneapolis are pretty set too. I fly in, ride share with my friend, eat lunch then work for about 8 hours then head to the hotel to work out and have dinner. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the exactly the same but I try and have dinner at different places so it doesn’t get too boring.

By te time I finally make it back to my room I’m not all that interested in writing in my blog rem though it is on my iPhone. I certainly don’t want to take out my computer again UFO can help it since I stare at one for at least 9 hours a day. I have considered doing my posts on the plane but I end up passing out or watching a video and frankly the past few weeks in July have been pretty uniteresting so I isn’t feel compelled to blog.

Maybe this week I’ll feel a bit more inspiried since I’ve bought some new stuff for my iPhone like Navigon which I’ll give my thoughts on later. It’s starting to get late (at least it feels late to my old body). I’ll blog some more tomorow.

Bing for my iPhone

I figure that I haven’t blogged about this yet and I’m bored tonight so why not.  After a long wait Bing is finally on the iPhone with their own app and everything (as seen on the left).  Bing used to be MSN Search or whatever it was called, it was the search engine that was there but was rarely used since there were other options like Yahoo and Google which people seemed to like better.

I like Bing and have been using it as my default search engine on my PC since it came out.  I like the pictures that change daily with the neat facts on the search front page and that function seems to have been ported over to the Bing app for iPhone so it looks just like if you were using your regular computer.  The search results aren’t bad so far and there isn’t much else to say about it, it just works like its supposed to which is a good thing.

The only thing I wish I could do is change the search engine to Bing for Safari on my iPhone.  I only have the choice of using Google or Yahoo but nothing else which totally stinks.  There might be an awesome search engine that I want to use but have no ability to use it.  They should make it more like Mozilla Firefox where I can add different search engines to the search bar so I can pick which one I want to use.  Web search is not limited to just Yahoo and Google alone!

I don’t have anything to look up right now on Bing but I’ll continue to click on the picture that comes up to find some fun facts on things that live on the planet Earth.

Blu Ray comes to my household!

After years of contemplating whether or not to get one of these things the wife and I decided to get a Blu Ray player for our house.  I decided on the Sony BDP-N460 player after talking to some friends of mine about image quality and looking up the specs and reviews online.  I have only 1 Blu Ray movie which is Harry Potter but I think there are enough movies and shows on Blu Ray now to justify getting the player.  Not to mention they are starting to bundle DVD, Blu Ray, and Digital Copies of movies in all in one packages which is pretty cool.

There are some advanced features to the player which I haven’t tested out yet but thats because I need to get a wireless network bridge.  It should be able to play Netflix content as well as some other online services like YouTube by connecting to the internet.  Once I save up enough money to do it, I’ll get a bridge and test that out and maybe start subscribing to Netflix so I can watch it online.  I don’t have another Blu Ray player to make a comparison on image quality and stuff like that but it does make my old Sony DVD player look not as great as it used to be.  I hooked up the player to my 42″ plasma using HDMI so I can get full HD.  My other TV’s are too old and don’t support HD but thats ok.

I will say this though, my Sony DVD players have consistently been better than any other players I’ve owned (I still have one from 1999 that my wife gave me when we first started going out).  I have a Samsung DVD player that I think I’ll attach to my 42″ rear projection TV in the family room so I can once again use my Xbox360 for nothing but gaming.  Tonight’s Blu Ray movie will be District 9, time to see what all the hype is about.

New Super Mario Brothers Wii

This Christmas I got a new video game for my Wii which is a throw back to a classic, Super Mario Brothers.  I would say that I played some of the previous versions of Super Mario Brothers but I was a Sega fan up until the time Sega stopped making game consoles.  I have played the original Super Mario as well as a few of the other ones but only sporadically since I didn’t own a Nintendo system until I purchased a GameCube and I only played the Mario Sports games and not any of the platformers.

This new version of Super Mario is pretty fun and it seems to hold pretty close to the old tried and true side scroller that I remember playing many years ago.  The difference being is that there are a ton of new power ups (like the one that makes you fly, the penguin suit, and the ice Mario power ups) and the fact that you can play with other people at the same time instead of taking turns.  The graphics are top notch in this game and the music is an upgraded version of what was in the original games.  The controls are easy to pick up since its like using an old NES controller but now you can spin like a top and what not when you jump by shaking the Wii-mote and you can grab objects as well.

Overall I like this game and I think it is pretty true to its Super Mario roots that I first saw in the early 1980’s.  Granted its super frustrating just like the original due to the patterns that have to be learned but thats all part of the fun of the game.  So far I’ve been playing the game for 2 days and I’ve only made it to world 3 which is pretty sad.  Maybe I’ll make some better progress before I head off to work on Monday.

First blog post of 2010

It’s a brand new year and today is my first blog post of 2010.  I didn’t set up any New Years resolutions since I never seem able to keep them but I’m hoping that this coming year will be better than last year over all.  Rest assured I’ll still be blogging about random crap that happens to me in the different cities I visit for work and what happens at home from time to time.  I think I’ll keep last years goal of 100 blog posts for 2010 since that seems like a reasonable amount of posts for a calendar year.  It’s not like I’m posting anything of great importance anyway.

My wife is making us our first breakfast of the year so this post is going to be short but more  will come in 2010.  Happy New Year!