Friday, December 17, 2010

Intro & The iPhone 4 review

Dear Reader

My name is iMike (Mike Green); I like that alias because it describes me, I'm always connected, connected to the Internet that is. In some ways I feel I am a late bloomer towards technology, I did not get my first computer until 1996 and old Classic Mac (all-in-one). Some of my more savvy friends tried to educate me about world wide web, foreign terms to me at the time. The game changer for me was when I started working at Vision Crew Unlimited and watched the CG artist create special effects for commercials, TV and films. At the time they were using Mac's 8600's and 9600's, state of the art in the late 1990's. I asked a ton of questions and watched the techs do their amazing work.

Today, I consider myself a tech head, I love technology, especially gadgets that enhance my life. I bought my first iPhone 3 two and half years ago, after being an avid Black Berry user. I liked the sleek design, the ease of use and how easily it sync to all three of my computers. On the negative side, the battery life was less than acceptable and the AT & T coverage was challenging in areas outside major metropolitan areas. The iPhone 4 has good battery life, and AT & T has improved their cell and data coverage to more places.

I did not experience the death grip as some users have experienced, but I should note I bought a case for my iPhone at the time of purchase to protect the phone from accidental drops. Comparing the iPhone 3 to the iPhone 4 is like trying to compare a Kea to a Porsche. Programs opened faster, games played better and the screen was two-hundred percent better than the iPhone 3. I cannot compare the iPhone 4 to the 3GS because I did not own one. The single feature that stands out for me is the camera. The camera is amazing, the still images are sharp, the colors are vivid, the video quality is life like. Light is important, if you want to shoot a good image you need proper lighting; especially if you are using existing light and not the flash. I shot some footage on the Amtrak heading to Eugene, Oregon from Los Angeles. I placed the iPhone 4 against the window and held it very straight. The footage was clear, the hues were very realistic, my friends were stunned by the quality the footage, my point and shoot camera is now collecting dust under my bed.

I plan on writing more about the iPhone 4 in future blogs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Verizon New 4G Network

Dear Reader"

Verizon Wireless just launched their new 4G Network called LTE. LTE is promising speeds from 5 to 12 Mbps, what does that mean in layman terms, put on your seatbelt fast. I have been using the Verizon 3G network for years first with the Junxtion Box router, more recently the Cradle Point router; this allows multiply user on my network at the same time. The CP does not have the limitations of the MiFi 2200 which only allows up to five people on at the same time; I have had sometimes as many as ten users on at the same time without any problems in terms degrade in speed. I regress, Verizon 3G network was Ok at best, if one was in a major city one could expect speeds up to 1.2 Mbps, decent but not fast, if one was outside the 3G network smoke signals might be a faster option. I'm kidding of course, even the slower network allowed users acceptable speed for checking e-mails and surfing the web; however I would not consider watching NetFlex "On Demand" movies or "YouTube" videos.

Verizon 4G LTE will allow users to surf the web on the go at speeds that tech guys like me could only ascertain at home using cable or DSL. Sprint launched their 4G network earlier this year, however, Los Angeles did not get Sprints 4G until this month (December 2010). Sprint uses a different technology than Verizon with speeds only up to 5 Mbps. I have not had a chance to try out the 4G LTE yet, I am waiting for a firmware update for my Cradle Point, however once I do get my new card I am going to write about my experience and test it in real world situations.

Though I applaud Verizon and Sprints efforts to update their networks, most of Europe and other nations have faster networks, the United States unfortunately has a lot of catching up with the rest of the world. My other complaint is the cost; Verizon is offering five gigs for $60 and 10 gigs for $80 a month, and $10 per gig after ones limit is reached. If one watches movies on NetFix like I do, you could reach your limit in one day. I would rather wait an additional year for Verizon to rollout their 4G network and give users the option of an unlimited plan. I feel like we are in the early nineties when dial-up plans had limits and if one went over those limits one would pay dearly for that mistake.

Though I am excited about Verizon new 4G; I am hoping for a better pricing plan and a quick roll out to more markets. I am also waiting for the 5G network to roll out, but I surmise, I might have to wait a while.