Archive for December, 2009

Start off 2010 Right with Google Chrome

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. However, I’m always more than willing to give people some advice. Recently, I’ve been telling my friends all about Google Chrome. It is without a doubt, the best browser I have ever used.

Before using Chrome, I used Mozilla Firefox and before that Internet Explorer. It seems to me that I’ve graduated up every time I’ve made the switch. Frankly, I don’t know what compelled me to switch over to Google Chrome, but being an avid Google lover, I seem to want everything Google. It just seemed natural.

The video above was done by Google Chrome UK and shows off all of the wonderful features of the Google Chrome browser. Personally, I love the fact that it is completely customizable with themes, bookmarks and extensions. Not only that, but your online web browsing is confidential and if one tab crashes, it doesn’t send your entire browser crashing (which was one of my problems with Firefox).

Google Chrome has officially been out for a little over a year and after the release of their own web browser, Google has been working on their own Chrome Operating System. Hopefully, their venture will be successful. I know that I would probably invest in a computer that runs Chrome OS once the technology has been fully developed and matured.

As much as I love Google Chrome, unfortunately it still has its shortcomings. They recently just came out with Chrome of Macs (which I have had all of my Mac friends download) and extensions are still not available to them. The extensions for computers running Windows were introduced the same day as Chrome was for Mac. As a result, some are without their StumbleUpon toolbars for a while. Also, not all websites are compatible with Chrome yet. So sad.

I would say Google Chrome has been wildly successful. Recently, it just passed Safari for third in the web browser market. If you want personal testimonials for recent Google Chrome users, ask my friends Wynn and Kyle. However, it seems to me as though Google Chrome is the web browser that all should be utilizing.

The Bane of My Existence – The BlackBerry Tour

Image by kurtthomashunt via Flickr

The BlackBerry Tour has officially made my life hell. This beautiful phone has made my life so frustrating that I feel the need to share it with anyone willing to listen… So it all starts with my father. Frankly, if you haven’t met him this story doesn’t do him justice, but I will tell it anyway.

It all began when one day my father “lost” his phone, a gorgeous, brand new BlackBerry Tour, at his mother’s house. He called his phone and asked for my grandmother to listen for it. She didn’t hear it (she is also half deaf) so for some reason my father thought it had disappeared down a black hole and would never be found again. He did something very stupid – he didn’t go to his mother’s to look for the phone himself and went out and bought himself another BlackBerry Tour (expensive much?). Of course, later on he found his old phone and now he has two phones. But the story hasn’t even begun to get good yet.

Knowing that I had a BlackBerry myself (a Curve 8330), my father thought it would be a good idea to offer me the phone. Of course I want it. As I always say, I’m on the never ending quest to find the perfect phone and the Tour is beautiful. It turns out I can’t switch over the Tour to my Sprint service for whatever stupid reason, so I would have to cancel my Sprint service and have a family plan with my dad. Sounds easy, right? Not at all.

As my father is telling me how much her spends a month on his cell phone bill, I’m appalled. He’s paying hand over fist for a phone where he “only uses Google” and doesn’t text. Yes, he only uses Google on his phone to “read the news”. Doesn’t e-mail. Doesn’t BBM. Doesn’t even use Google Maps for directions. So what is the point?! He told me that when he went to upgrade his phone he just asked them “for the nicest BlackBerry they had” so he just got the BlackBerry Tour without thinking about what his needs are in a phone.

Another note: my father is basically computer illiterate. He can barely turn his brand new laptop on. (If you haven’t noticed by now, my father buys all of the newest and fanciest tech gadgets he can find and barely uses them). So when I try to explain to him all of the differences between my phone and his, he can’t understand. He doesn’t know how to use his phone’s web browser because he can’t use one on his computer.

And even worse, my father doesn’t even read his bill each month! He just pays it. So as I’m trying to figure out exactly what type of family plan we would need between the two of us, he is unable to tell me how many minutes he is actually using a month. What a waste. Granted he does have his office calls forwarded to his cell phone, but I don’t think that justifies paying for unlimited minutes…

Most of my frustration doesn’t come from the phone companies. However, they haven’t made my life any easier. Verizon won’t let me know how much more a month it would be for me to add onto my father’s plan because I’m not “an account manager” and my father doesn’t understand what is going on so I really am the only one that can talk to them.

So as a fair warning to all of you out there… Make sure when you switch service providers that you don’t have a father like mine.

Happy Politically-Correct Holidays!

Photo by hlkljgk via Flickr

Happy holidays to all! For me, it’s Christmas. I hope everyone got everything that they wanted, or at the very least needed.

Which brings me to an interesting point…

As I have gotten older Christmas has changed. The first thing I wonder when my parents ask me what I want is, “What do I need?” A completely different question than what they asked.

This year, I wasn’t in need of anything so I did wind up getting things that I just wanted. It’s a strange feeling, like being a child again in a way.

I hope everyone has been having a lovely holidays and got at least one thing that they wanted rather than needed.

What I really want for Christmas…

Photo credit: somegeekintn via Flickr

So this year for Christmas I want something that most people probably don’t. I really want to Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader. Most people probably don’t understand why, but I’ll explain to you right now…

First of all, this is where the book industry is going. Media professionals are always talking about where they think newspapers, magazines, book and other various media outlets will be headed in the next few years. This is the future. Magazines can be published electronically. Newspapers can even be saved! You can get all of the content you need at a smaller cost. Perfect.

Not to mention the fact that carrying around a small e-reader is much more simple than having an entire library stacked from wall-to-wall with books. It’s a convenience thing. I love to read but having so many books around is a problem and I don’t really know what to do with them. Who do I sell them to? Amazon? But I always know that in the back of my mind, at some point I will want to pick up that book again.

Some of you may be wondering at this point why I wouldn’t just want a Kindle. Frankly, if you do a side-by-side comparison of the two e-readers, the Nook basically comes out on top. My main problem with the Nook is that it doesn’t read PDFs. However, that is something that could easily change in the future. In fact, today Nook users are supposed to be getting their first upgrade! How exciting.

The demand for the Nook is so high that many people who were promised them by Christmas won’t get them. Of course, that is truly sad and Barnes and Noble should have prepared more for the onslaught of order, but people should be willing to wait for the newest technology. It’s a virtue called patience.

My mom actually ordered herself a Nook for Christmas and by the time she gets it, she’ll be lucky if it’s still January. After testing it out I’ll get a better idea of whether or not this e-reader is worth it, but I’m not too worried. New technology always has always takes a while to develop and this time, I’m ready for it.

Why I switched to WordPress

So I decided to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress. (Click here to see my old blog) Frankly, making the switch was a little bit difficult. I love Google, but WordPress overall is just a better blogging platform. Here are my reasons why…

  1. More Professional – I don’t know what it is but overall WordPress just seems like a more professional platform. Everything is incredibly well organized with categories AND tags and a much more involved feel.
  2. Amazing Themes – Frankly, the Blogger themes leave something to be desired. Now, I am no web designer, but back in the day, I was able to design my LiveJournal with HTML, but that is about it. The WordPress themes are so gorgeous, and not to mention that is are just tons to chose from. You can always find something that fits your needs. For example, I needed a theme that would include an RSS Feed button, various page tabs and an overall pleasing aesthetic. I think I found that.
  3. The Widgets! – Whenever there is a Blogger VS WordPress post, it seems like Widgets are a make or break thing. I can include my Twitter feed in my sidebar, a tag cloud and just about everything I need to make my blog special. It just makes me feel special.
  4. Internal Analytics – On my last blog I used Google Analytics, and don’t get me wrong, I loved it. They let me know everything that I need to know. It’s a great free service. However, having internal analytics is just overall easier. Having everything in one place helps my life stay more organized (and I’m all about that).
  5. That Ugly Orange Logo – You all know what I’m talking about. The ugly orange Blogger logo. I don’t like seeing that in my browser or next to my name. There is just something so unappealing about it, which probably sounds shallow, but as a marketing major, logo design is a big deal.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with my switch. I’ve enjoyed customizing my blog to be exactly perfect and hopefully it will all pay off.