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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon.com’

Fave Apps for the LG Optimus V Part 1

Well, had my new phone, the LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile, for about a month now, and I’m loving it. After having some issues with downloading new apps a few weeks back, I bit the bullet and went back to factory settings again to see if that would fix the problem. Nope. Turns out apparently something was clashing with some file on my SD card (I’d already swapped out the included 2GB card with the 4GB card that I had in my old phone but never really used, to give me some additional elbow room for the apps). Once I reformatted the SD card, everthing worked fine.

But then I had to go back and reinstall everything from scratch. I’d backed them up to the SD card, and then backed the SD card to my PC, but since I didn’t know which program/file on the card was causing the download issue, couldn’t just copy everything back over willy-nilly.

What’s good is that allowed me to make a list of all the “must have” apps that I put back on my phone.

So MY recommendations for what to get for one’s Android phone are:

Barcode Scanner: Haven’t used it much for comparison shopping, but the QR code reader is a must have in my book. Installed that first, to allow me to reacquire via the QR code on the Amazon site the

Amazon App Store. They have most of the same things that the Android Market does, but I’m really liking their Free App of the Day offering, so getting a lot of use out of that. Don’t always INSTALL everything they offer, but do order just about everything and if it’s something I don’t need right now, I just don’t install it yet. That way I still get it gratis, vs having to pay for it later on.

And along with the App Store, I also installed Amazon’s Cloud MP3 Player app. I LOVE that. Upload all my music to Amazon’s 5GB free cloud drive, then can access the same tunes on my phone without actually having to download them and take up precious phone space. Pretty slick.

Thick Buttons is another reinstall PDQ app. I’m having a HECK of time with typing tweets, or texts, or emails, with the preinstalled Android keyboard. Then discovered the ThickButtons keyboard, which depending on the word you’re typing, enlarges the size of the buttons that you’re using, so that the expected upcoming letters are easier to hit. Still type like I’m drunk while using it, but not nearly as badly as with the default keyboard. So yeah, loving that one.

After trying several different programs, Tweetcaster Free by Handmark has become my Twitter app of choice. I like the notification in the status bar when new tweets come in, I like that it can handle multiple Twitter accounts, AND much like Brizzly on my PC, has a “mute” type of feature, to hide tweets by anyone who happens to be temporarily overly chatty without UNfollowing them. Tweetcaster calls is “zipping”, and actually hides their tweets in the timeline behind an actual zipper graphic. Pretty handy. I’d almost be inclined to actually pay for the ad-free version, except that in their FAQ’s they mention a change between the free version vs the paid version that I don’t care for, the fact that it apparently just indicates that you have new tweets, but doesn’t tell you how many, which the free version does. Still looking into that.

Silent Boot is another must-have app to re-install ASAP. All it does, and it does it well, is turn off the irritating “Virgin Mobile!” audio announcement when you first turn on your phone. My old non-smart phone did that with a menu option, but apparently they’ve done away with that choice on the Optimus V. And for people who don’t tend to turn off their phones much, maybe the VM announcement isn’t any big deal, but I switch mine off pretty frequently so end up turning it back ON just as frequently, so hear it WAY too often. With Silent Boot, it’s gone. Yay! (word of warning, one reviewer said that it bricked their Samsung VM phone, so this may needΒ  to come with a warning, use at your own risk. Hasn’t hurt my phone at all though and I’m enjoying the peace and quiet when I turn my phone back on. :)

Stay tuned for my list of less imperative, but still must have apps in my book. IE the ones that are more fun than necessary, or ones that just make phone life a little easier with them installed. :)

@Team_Barrowman AmazonUK order finally arrived! Woot!

Something just occurred to me… Another Side went gold, right after I ordered it. Why do I visualize it sitting there at 499,999 after all this time, then I order it, and *poof* it pushes it right over the top into Gold status. Coincidence? Maybe. But I’d like to think that I was responsible for it, lol. You’re welcome, John. πŸ˜‰ (But what happens if I send the CD back, do the Powers that Be take the gold record away from you again!?! LOL)

Another Side goes Gold

Anyway, it’s not like my CD order from AmazonUK was really all that late, it only came in a day later than guestimated. But I guess I’m just used to AmazonUS giving estimated delivery dates and then beating those dates by 3-5 days regularly. Not used to them coming in after the fact. (Why do I keep thinking “My CDs just flew in from England, and boy are their arms tired!” LOL). I can be an amazingly patient person when it lets me save $50+ on an Amazon order. In all honesty, though, I was getting a smidge itchy about hearing the new CD; I’ve been reading for the last week and a half how GREAT it was, and was getting just a little impatient to hear it for myself.

John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter

Click for larger image

So anyhoo, the John Barrowman CDs are finally here (and arrived on his birthday, no less. Happy John’s birthday to ME! πŸ˜€ ). To recap, I picked up Another Side, Music Music Music, Swings Cole Porter, and the new one – called simply John Barrowman – that came out a week and a half ago. FINALLY, I have liner notes to go with the songs that I’ve been listening to for the last month or so. I’ll probably put the new CD in the CD player of my clock radio and give it a listen tonight, but the CD that I’m actually most interested in the liner notes at the moment is the Cole Porter CD.

I’ve really been grooving on that one the last several days (have one or two tracks from that one in the mp3 player widget at the left – What is This Thing Called Love and Don’t Fence Me In – if anyone wants to take a listen), so hoping there’s some good background info to be had on the songs in the liner notes. And as I mentioned on my webpage, out of all JB’s album covers I’ve seen, Swings Cole Porter is DEFINITELY my favorite. If I were one of my cats, I’d be purring right now. LOL. πŸ˜‰

In other news, I apparently threw out my bum knee this morning during ye olde Wii Fit workout. I think it was a combination of too many crossover lunges and the fact that it’s been damp and rainy here all day today. Rain always tends to set my knee off. So I’ve been keeping the bottle of ibuprofen close at hand, and while it’s not bothering me quite enough to do the usual 800mg 3 to 4 times a day, 400mg did absolutely nothing for it, so I split the difference and have been taking 600mg three times a day today. I’m HOPING that it’s just a temporary setback (temporary as in “just overnight, will be fine in the morning”); I’ve already missed 2 workout days this week already, and was just getting back into the swing of things yesterday and today. And I’ve been on such a roll with the post Christmas diet, down almost 10 pounds courtesy of my Wii EA Sports Active workouts 3-4 times a week. Really don’t want to have to give it up because of the knee again, or I know me, I’ll never get back to it. :(

Allrighty then. Looks like 600+ words is enough for one night. To reuse a favorite phrase of mine – Put a fork in me, I’m done. πŸ˜€

Amazon.com vs Amazon.co.uk

Thinking of ordering import CDs from Amazon.com? If they’re being imported from the UK, you might want to do what I did tonight, and actually compare prices (the item cost as well as shipping) between Amazon.com proper and Amazon.co.uk.

There were three CDs that I was looking at at Amazon.com (decided to feed my recent John Barrowman addiction – see the mp3 player at left) and pick up two of his earlier CDs, as well as preorder his newest, being released the start of March), all three of which are only available as imports, and at a fairly hefty cost each ($36.98, $31.98, & $28.49). I thought, if they’re importing them from the UK anyway, let’s see how much it would cost me to have Amazon.co.uk ship them to me directly. So I pulled them up on THEIR website as well, and stuck them all in a shopping cart. Cost each directly from the UK? Β£4.24, Β£5.26, & Β£7.64. Converting the currency from pounds to dollars makes them cost more than the original poundage, but still MUCH less than Amazon.com’s imports.

Long story short, once I tagged on the actual shipping cost for each order, and did a currency conversion on the UK order to compare it to the US order, it came out like so:

Ordering the 3 CDs plus shipping from Amazon.com?: $102.41 USD

Ordering those same three CDs, plus shipping, from Amazon.co.uk?: Β£22.20 GBP.

Which equals *drumroll please…*: $34.79 USD. A WHOLE lot less than $102.41.

So word to the wise… when ordering imports from Amazon.com, it definitely pays to do a little homework first. :)

And yes, now that you mention it, this IS my first real blogpost in a while. Thought I’d better post something other than Tweet archives, and this would have been too long for a tweet anyway. LOL.

Of Bluebirds, Tivo, & John Barrowman

Noticed that I wasn’t getting a whole lot of hits on the blog recently, and it occurred to me that maybe it was because I hadn’t posted anything new since April 28th or so. πŸ˜€ So a few updates to some prior posts to remedy that. You can do a search on some of the main terms to see the original posts on each one.

THE BLUEBIRD EGGS:

Bluebird Eggs And then there WEREN’T five. Apparently those five bluebird eggs were defective. Last weekend we checked the nest, which was supposed to have hatched by then, and there were only four eggs left in the nest, and none had hatched yet. We were told to wait another week or so, and then if they hadn’t hatched by then, to get rid of them and the nest, clean out the box, and let the bluebirds start over. Took a peek today. ALL the eggs were gone, and Ma and Pa bluebird had already started building a NEW nest over the top of the old one. So apparently they figured out that the eggs weren’t going to hatch, cleaned house all by themselves, and are starting over again. So we may still have baby birdies to watch yet. Yay.

THE WHOLE TIVO SITUATION:

Aaaaand, it’s OUT OF HERE! The wireless N adapter that I bought at Amazon arrived Friday afternoon, so I figured I’d take a couple of hours on Sunday to get the Tivo up and running. HAH! After banging my head against a wall with the thing for FIVE hours on Sunday, 3 of which involved another online chat on the laptop with their tech support folks (you know you’re in a bad spot when even the guy at Tivo technical support is at a loss as to why the adapter – which connected to the network just fine, but refused to connect to the Tivo box – refused to connect), I said enough of this crappydoodle stuff, and we decided to ditch the Tivo and just call Time Warner to have them set us up with digital cable and one of their cable box/DVR combos.

As much as I hate getting beaten by anything electronic, which almost never happens, I’m not all that heartbroken about getting beaten by a dinky little Tivo adapter. Didn’t want Tivo in the first place, and between coughing up $300 for the box, another $100 for the adapter, and $100+ for a years worth of service, I’m more than happy to send everything back, get my $500 back, and let Time Warner, who we’ve been happy with 99% of the time handle our DVR needs for a while.

So packaged up the wireless adapter and printed out the postage paid return label from Amazon, that will go back out in the mail tomorrow. Boxed up all the Tivo cables and connectors and will be bringing THAT back to Best Buy tomorrow. And called Tivo proper last night, and got the $120+ credited back and the account canceled (Had to laugh, when he pulled up my account to see my tech support info, he’s all “You’ve got 12 PAGES of chat here from yesterday!” And I’m all “Tell me about it!”). DID find out something of interest though, assuming the customer support guy wasn’t just feeding me a line. Apparently Best Buy was selling first generation Tivo boxes, and with most first generation things, there are bugs. And the wireless N adapters are pretty new (the only two local sellers selling Tivo wireless adapters were Best Buy and CompUSA, and both were still only selling G, not N). And apparently, one of the bugs in the first gen boxes is that they don’t tend to like those newfangled wireless N adapters. So had I bought a Tivo box from someone else, I probably wouldn’t have had a problem. And for my trouble, since I was taking the Tivo box back to Best Buy anyway, Tivo would sell me a box direct, for $100 off the price. I told them thank you but no thanks, I already had the appointment for Tuesday with the cable company.

Which I did. When I called THEM Monday at lunch, they were actually able to schedule an installation for between 5-7pm tonight. The guy came before 5:30, and was done in less than an hour. And now we’ve got a DVR that will record two different channels at once, and more channels than we know what to do with (I’ve FINALLY got BBC America! Yay! And while I’m not ready to jump into watching the new Doctor Who quite yet – never seen a Dr. Who ep in my LIFE – they actually had a Doctor Who Primer episode on at 10am tonight, which will hopefully give me an idea of whether I want to waste time trying to get up to speed on the show or not.) Alas, we’ve already had a scheduling conflict with having the new channels now. Already had both DVR tuners and my RAM disc recorder programmed for the main three networks tonight at 10pm, what’s a girl to DO? Why, pull up Doctor Who in the onscreen programming guide and see if the episode is going to be airing again at a later time. Why yes, yes it is! 1am tonight. Selected it from the list, hit record, and whambam, it’s programmed. Just that easy. Tivo WHO? πŸ˜€

I will say though, in comparison to the customer “support” that I received from Philips when I contacted THEM for help, despite the fact that the whole Tivo thing didn’t work out, the Tivo customer support was actually pretty impressive, IMHO. So they get some points for that.

JOHN BARROWMAN:

Just a webpage update, if you Barrowfans haven’t found it yet without a blogpost to point the way. πŸ˜‰ After not being included in the Desperate Housewives episode LAST week (which was a good thing, since locally, the whole first half of the show was pre-empted due to tornado activity in our viewing area), JB’s 3rd episode aired Sunday night, so I finally added his 2nd and 3rd DH episode clips to the site.

The clips can be found here, as usual. Enjoy, all you Johnettes and Barrowboys! πŸ˜‰

Danny: “Heeey, double cappuccino, extra hot. Need anything else?”
Patrick: “Inspiration.”
Danny: “Sorry, we just have muffins…” πŸ˜€

Patrick: “…I’ve had an exhausting couple of days, what with searching your house looking for firearms, and running over Dudley Douche-bag…”

@Team_Barrowman : CDs, Olympic tunes, BBC radio…

Ended up canceling my AmazonUK order for the three John Barrowman CDs. Wanted to add on a fourth – John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter – which supposedly I should have been able to do, just place a separate order, then request it be “combined” into a single order. It refused to be combined. So rather than email Amazon for help and wait for a response in case they tried shipping in the meantime, I opted to just cancel both orders. Then turned around and RE-ordered all four CDs in a single order. πŸ˜€ Amazon didn’t have a problem with me doing that, I guess. So now I’ve got Another Side, Music Music Music, Swings Cole Porter (What? No “Night and Day” on that one!?!), and the new self titled CD that’s coming out March 1st coming in in a single shipment from Amazon.co.uk. And again, saved a nice chunk of change vs if I’d ordered it from Amazon.com proper. I think AmazonUK was $55 total, vs $110 from Amazon.com for the exact same CDs.

Didn’t have to get up at 3am to listen to John on the BBC radio thing the other night (see my Twitter stream about that). Once again, internet saves the day; the radio station is keeping that showgram as an online stream until early March. So I was able to listen to the entire 45 minutes of interview at my leisure last night. Although why JB would come on a show that is so clearly NOT into his music is beyond me. I guess any publicity for the new CD is considered good publicity, and maybe my American brain is just taking British humor too seriously, but IMHO they were seriously slagging off his choice of tunes, *pththtt*. Wasn’t a total loss though. Got to record 45 minutes of John, AND picked up that live Snow Patrol track as well. Yes! She shoots, she scores! πŸ˜€ Haven’t heard anything from Snow Patrol since D and I saw them open for U2 up in Boston last September.

When it’s not so late, I’ll have to see about some of his other radio interviews, since he’s doing something like 11 of them in the next week or two.

Hmmm… Heaven in my blog mp3 player just cut off early. Something must have interrupted the upload when I put it online last month. Will have to fix that. That’s okay. That just means Feelin’ Good came up sooner than later. πŸ˜€

Speaking of which, two songs that John has covered have made it into the Olympics, I noticed. Not his versions, no surprise there, but they did Both Sides Now during the opening ceremonies. And the first skater in the women’s short program last night during the figure skating competition did her routine to an instrumental version of Feelin’ Good. Since that one is currently topping my list of favorite John songs, needless to say I sat up and took notice in a hurry.

Gaa! Another song cut off short. Note to self: reupload I Know Him So Well too. Grrr… I was going to add a few more songs anyway, so I’ll upload the lot of them at the same time, probably over the weekend. NOT tonight though, I overslept the last two mornings, so promised myself I’d be in bed by midnight tonight, so I wouldn’t miss another Wii Workout in the morning.

I can't get no…satisfaction…

… out of Philips Electronics.Β  >:(

Got a response back from my request for technical support from Philips (see my previous post on the subject here, if you missed it.) Essentially, what they came back with was “here, check this link on our website, if that doesn’t solve your problem, since it’s out of warranty, take it to a service center.”

I just about blew a gasket.

My response? A fairly civil (?)

“The unit does NOT need service. Or to be repaired. It is not broken.

We just need to be told whether we can or cannot change the frequency
between the remote control and the unit so that units from outside the house
do not change our channels, and if it can be done – like we’ve been able to
do per the operation manuals of other brands of recorder – how to do it,
since the manual does not say.

And if it CAN’T be done, what happens when you have two Philips units in the
same entertainment unit, how do you tell keep the remote for the second unit
from unwantedly controlling the first unit?

I would think that someone at Philips could tell me at least that much.

Thank you.”

If they should once again recommend a service center, I will thank them profusely for their “help”, and advise them that the entire email exchange WILL end up being tweeted, and facebooked, and blogged, and since I bought the unit at Amazon, I’d be sure to share how “helpful” Philips “customer service” was in the product revue section over on Amazon.com as well.

Any place else online that you can think of that I might could share something like that?

Won’t do anything to fix the problem, but I’ll sure feel better about it afterwards.Β  Mwahaha!

(And yes, Julie, if you’re reading this, Philips customer service did a GREAT job of putting me intoΒ  “I’m Noko Marie, don’t mess with ME!” mode! πŸ˜€ )