04 October 2012

Tech stuff

A couple years ago, I got a Samsung Captivate, and I wrote about it approvingly at the time. But it didn't age gracefully, and after 2 warranty replacements for the "randomly shuts itself down" bug, I had a friend help me root and mod it. That fixed some of the problems, but it was still laggy and slow.

So when my contract was ready to renew and I was eligible for an upgrade, I got an HTC One X. This was back in June, so I've had it 4 months now. I had to return the first one for a warranty replacement because it developed an inch-wide dead zone on the touch screen after a month, but the second one has been doing fine since mid-July.

I like the shape and texture of the screen; it's very responsive. The two biggest downsides are the camera that sticks out of the back and its overall size, which is much larger than the Captivate was. It's not as ungodly huge as the Galaxy Note, though. When I type on it, I use two thumbs like it's got a regular keyboard. It gets decent battery life, especially if it remembers to go to sleep (ie not sync and turn off the wifi) overnight.

The camera works nicely, and I've taken a couple videos with it. The one thing I wish it had was a way to use the HTC sync on my Mac. Helpfully, if you search HTC for how to install Sync on your Mac, it takes you to instructions about downloading the .dmg and installing it, but nowhere on the site is there a .dmg to download. I'm tempted to see if it'll work under WINE, but that's effort.

I also got a refurbished MacBook Air to replace my 2007 white-case MacBook, which was getting frustrating to use, in part because OSX 10.5 is no longer being supported. Also the keyboard was flaking out, and the screen was getting dim spots, and the USB ports were flaking out. As it turns out, the USB ports are on their way to complete failure soon, as I discovered on Tuesday, the day before my new Air arrived, when I tried to copy a file onto a thumb drive and it didn't pop up in the devices list. So it's just in time.

It has no CD or DVD drive, which is how it's to thin and light. Seriously, it's tiny. (It's also only an 11.6" screen vs the 13" one on the old MacBook, but I can survive. I'm getting used to Lion (10.7), though I have the code for a free update to Mountain Lion (10.8). I'm not sure there's a substantive difference between the two.

I'm liking the trackpad gestures, though I find it difficult to scroll with two fingers, because I have fingerNAILS, and I end up with weird finger cramps. So I've started using one finger from each hand to scroll, and that seems to work. I haven't worked out exactly the timing of using gestures to go back a page in Firefox, though if I try enough, it works.

So, newish phone, new-to-me computer. Yay.

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