Restless

For the last couple of days I’ve been feeling really restless. I don’t want to focus on anything, but instead want to basically do anything besides the thing I’m currently doing.

Part of me wonders if it’s related to me drinking tons of soda over the last week, or if it’s because I feel like I need to be doing something more significant with my life than I am currently. It’s probably a good mix of both.

I have a lot of projects all going on at once, very slowly. I’m trying to do some work on my Pathfinder, I’m trying to write mobile apps, and learn tons of stuff related to my job. I’m making slow progress on everything but that’s what it is. Slow.

If I focus on one thing for a while though, I get bored. For example, tonight, I’m working on my mobile app. I keep distracting myself to get out of it. As a result, I’ve made barely any progress on it. Stupid soda.

It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m busy all the time but never actually accomplishing anything. Eventually, as I have multiple projects going on at once, they all eventually die uneventful, slow deaths. And I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything.

Well, over the next weekend, I’m going to focus on my app. Let’s see if I can get a release out that doesn’t completely suck. Then I’ll accomplish something and feel better about doing the other things. Woot.

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iPad Returned?

The new iPad

Nope. I kept it. Here’s why:

  • I found some apps to replace the Android counterparts
  • I found some iOS only apps that rock (Tapose for example)
  • The on screen keyboard
  • Its fast and smooth
  • Mirroring with Apple TV
  • SCREEN. SCREEN. SCREEN.

I have to admit, the first week I was ready to take it back. I probably would have if the Apple Store was closer. I figured I’d at least use it until my 2-week return window was up and then return it. On Friday,

March 30th, I found myself at the Apple Store again — to buy an Apple TV.

Missing Apps

My biggest complaint was not being able to find apps that I use in Android. The killer ones? A functioning Google+ app, (sorry, the one in the app store sucks), Google Music, and Chrome.

To get around these problems, I started using the Google+ site instead of the app. It works better, but isn’t as good as its Android counterpart. Hopefully Google fixes this.

To replace/supplement Google+, I started using iTunes. When I rip CDs, or buy music from Amazon, I just put it in my Music folder. iTunes imports it, Google Music Manager finds it and syncs with the cloud and my phone and iPad sync. Everybody is happy. 😀

Chrome is still a little tough. There isn’t an app to replace it right now. I primarily miss the syncing functionality though – and Apple has promised this is coming in OSX 10.8 in Safari.

New Apps

Aside from the iOS apps I started using, there are some new ones I really like.

Tapose is a note taking/scrapbooking app that is in version 1. I’d call it beta, but whatever. It is one person’s realization of the Microsoft Courier and it seems to work alright. It is version 1 though, so they are working a lot of kinks out. It’s a pretty sweet app though and only $3.

FlickStackr is the app I started using to organize my photos on Flickr. It works a lot better than the official Flickr app in the Android store. Its nearly fully featured and runs really fast.

On Screen Keyboard

This has been a big deal for me. At first I was missing Swype and Swiftkey. After using the keyboard though for two weeks though, I’ve grown to love it. Its fast and fairly accurate. I wish I could long press certain things and get numbers and symbols still, but everything else is very nice.

Smooth. Like butter. On pancakes.

The iPad is smooth. Everything just runs fast. I’m never stuck waiting for an app to launch, or my app drawer to open, or watching stuttering transition animations. It hauls.

Going between my iPad and my Nexus S makes me want an iPhone or Galaxy S II.

Mirror, mirror…

This is the coolest thing ever. I never imagined that there would be enough bandwidth over WiFi to pull this off, but Apple did. Watching YouTube or anything else is super easy to do. If I wanted, I could open the WordPress app and type this up on my TV.

The killer app here is just being able to show people stuff. Web pages. Music. Videos. Pictures. Anything I want. Its all there. Plus I feel like I’m in the future controlling stuff on the TV with a touch screen. So cool.

2048xWHAT?!

That was my thought when I first read the rumors about the new screen. 🙂 I wanted to end on my favorite feature.

Pictures look good, but text is awesome. I’ve always liked sans-serif fonts because they’re easier to read and seem more sophisticated. It turns out, I liked them because serif fonts look like crap on the low DPI screens that I use.

When I read books in Kindle, or the news on CNN, or anything else, I like to have serif fonts. They look nicer, and I think they are even easier to read now.

Three weeks ago, I never thought I’d be raving about fonts. :p

Conclusion

There are some Android tablets coming out *hopefully* in June that I would be tempted to buy had I not bought an iPad. The Transformer Infinity 700 is my favorite so far. The screen isn’t as good though, it likely will cost more, and I’d have to wait. Do I love Android that much? I thought I did, but after living with the “The new iPad” for a week, I’ve changed my mind. I wish I could buy another one.

Ham Radio License

I’ve been thinking about getting a HAM radio license for a while now. My last backpacking adventure has really pushed me over edge though on this decision.

If I ever get stuck again on a mountain somewhere, I’d really like to be able to call for help.
If there is ever a disaster, I’d also like to be involved in communicating stuff going on in my area.
Lastly, and more importantly, it sounds like it would be fun to mess with.

I’ve always been interested in radios. One of the best things my parents bought when I was a kid was a pair of walkie talkies. We barely had enough range to talk to each other from opposite ends of the house but we had a good deal of fun with them.

I’ve had a basic understanding of radio, but I’d like to learn more about the physics involved as well as the electrical (read as practical) side of things as well.

So, I looked up what I need to pass the test for a technician license as well as a testing center. The next test is in Salt Lake County this coming Saturday. The next test is in June. 😦

I figure I’ll email the administrator of the test and see if I can get on his list of test takers. I’m going to have to study hard this week if I plan to pass the test. It should be interesting.