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Just ordered a new phone!

Yeah, I love my Optimus V, but there have been several things about it that I’ve not been too fond of. Namely that it’s not all that fast, the minimal onboard storage capacity (it’s sitting there with a “low storage” warning in my status bar as we speak), the fact that it won’t play flash, so I can’t even play back the videos on my own website, and the screen is pretty damn small, even when I wear my readers. Even using ThickButtons, typing on that thing is really tricky, my fingers hit the wrong keys on a fairly regular basis. Plus there have been a few apps that I’ve run into out there that I’ve REALLY wanted to put on the phone, but while they’re compatible with my version of the android OS, they’re just not compatible with just that phone. 

(And yes, I noticed that out of everything I’ve mentioned about the phone, in this and previous posts, about how it operates, one thing that never comes up is how it handles phone calls. LOL. But I almost never use it for that, which is why that Virgin Mobile $25/month unlimited text/data plan with just the 300 minutes is so perfect for me. Essentially, I treat it as a PDA, that just happens to be able to make calls when I need to, which is rarely – don’t think I’ve ever gone over 30 minutes in any given month since I’ve had it. So as long as it can make them when I need them to, it doesn’t need to do much else so far as its phone abilities go.)

So as a rule, it’s been acceptable phone. Gets the job done. And it was the best one that Virgin Mobile offered when I bought it earlier this year. 

Motorola Triumph Phone from Virgin Mobile

But THEN, I made the mistake of going to my Virgin Mobile account to update my credit card info last week, then peeking into their “phones and plans” area. Whoops! The Optimus V is not their best offering any more. Now they’ve got a Motorola Triumph. With a faster processor. And a much bigger storage capacity. And a bigger screen. AND it will play flash video. PLUS it’s got two cameras compared to just the one on the OV. AND a flash for the still camera, which OV doesn’t have. AND HD video that you can play back via an HDMI cable directly into your TV set. In short, it’s like the OV, on steroids.*insert Tim Allen Tool Time grunt here: ARGH ARGH ARGH!*

Reviews on it have been mixed, but it seems like if you get a good phone right out of the box (which seems to be a problem on occasion, some folks have gotten real lemons right from the manufacturer), people have been happy with it.

So after hemming and hawing for a week (and missing Best Buy’s sale on that very phone in the process), and doing my usual comparison shopping, helped by the handy dandy plug in for FireFox called Invisible Hand which pops up when you’re shopping for something to let you know if there’s a cheaper price online anywhere, I found myself at Amazon. Invisible Hand told me it was cheaper on eBay, but I tend to like the return policies better from a known company vs someone on ebay where you’re not sure who you’re buying from. Plus if I put it on my Amazon store card, I’ve got something like 4 months same as cash to pay it off. THOUGHT I could use the nearly $50 in reward points from my Visa card towards it, but since I wasn’t using the Visa to pay for it, apparently that’s not an option. So did the next best thing. Used the $30 gift card that my sister got me for my birthday in July, put THAT towards the phone instead, saving my rewards points for my birthday purchase when I make it. Amazon seemed happy with that. So I got $30 off, free shipping, and 4 months same as cash. Nice deal. Ordered it this afternoon.

And one other thing I like about Virgin Mobile… If you’ve got a phone plan with them, and they change their rates, as long as you keep your same phone plan, you get to keep it at the same rates. So apparently even though VM raised their $25/mo plan to $35/mo recently, even if I swap out my OV for the Triumph, I still get to keep my $25/month plan. Sweet. :)

Can’t wait for it to come in so I can play. Fortunately it’s still an Android phone, so the learning curve on it won’t be to steep. AND all the apps that I already have via Amazon’s app store and the Android App Market should work with it as well (including, hopefully, the ones that were supposed to work but just didn’t like the Optimus V. So we’ll see.

Fave Apps for the LG Optimus V Part Deux

Sometime back I did a post detailing some of my favorite apps for my new Android phone. Just realized I never went back as planned to do another post for my favorite games and other fun stuff.

So at long last, here is said post. :)

Games Icons

A Few Favorite Games:

Just recently had my SD storage card crash, so had to reformat and reinstall a lot of my apps. Which was okay, had a lot on there that really didn’t need to be there anymore, so it gave the card a good cleaning. The only game that I’ve not reinstalled that really SHOULD be on my list of favorite games is Plants vs Zombies. LOVE that game, have it on my PC, my NintendoDS, and when Amazon’s App Store gave it away as a freebie, downloaded it for the phone as well. Unfortunately though, while the game was able to be put on the SD card, apparently the saved game file was not, so when I reached the end of the game for the first time, the saved game file was huge, and ate up too much space on my phone, so I uninstalled the whole game. 

But these games are the ones I tent to go back to over and over again. They’re all fun, but I tend to play Angry Birds Rio, Fire Ball Deluxe, Gem Spinner, Peggle, and Fruit Ninja the most. All of which are either free games, or were given away by Amazon as freebies at one point or another. 

 

Newly Found “Useful Tools”:

Got quite a few of those. Apps Organizer is what set up my massive assortment of phone apps into the useful categories you see here. You decide what categories you want, and which apps go in them, and voila, a nice organized phone desktop. :) Still using the Amazon App Store for their freebies of the day. Droid of the Day is pretty good, it pops up and suggests a free app every day. App2SD Pro is one of those apps I tried as a freebie, liked, then Amazon gave away the paid version. Makes it easy to move apps from the phone to the SD card, something very handy with the Optimus’s limited storage space. App Backup saved my bacon when my SD card crashed. I’d backed up all the apps with that program, then when I moved the contents of my SD card to my PC to Useful Toolsreformat, I was able to reinstall most programs that I wanted from the backup I’d done. Converter is kind of handy, any kind of measurement you can think of that you might want to convert to some other format, it can probably handle. I order from AmazonUK a lot, and it does a fast conversion from dollars to pounds, among other things. Useful and free (I think it might have been a Droid of the Day app, actually). Also on the phone is Cool Reader and eReader. Handles various and sundry types of ebooks and documents. Fringe Glyph Translator is a purely fun app. If you watch Fringe on Friday nights, and you see all those funky symbols with the dots next to them at each commercial break, those actually DO spell something different each episode. Makes me want to go back and watch Seasons 1-3 to see what I missed in those codes. 

GetGlue is probably, especially with the new TV season starting, one of my most used apps. Make it easy to tweet about what I’m watching, listening to, and reading, and earn stickers in the process. Kind of addicting. The two apps in the bottom row on each end – Remote Web and WiFi File Explorer – are both essentially the same thing, they allow you to wireless connect the contents of your phone to your PC to transfer files, use your phone cam as a webcam, all sorts of stuff. It’s how I got the screen caps of my apps from my phone to my PC. I actually paid for Remote Web and had been using it for a while, until Amazon gave away WiFi File Explorer. Now I use them both until I decide which one I like better. :) The app in the bottom row second column is Shoot Me, which is supposed to only work on rooted phones, but works just fine on my unrooted Optimus. Run it in the background, if you want to screencap your screen, just shake the phone, and instant screencap. Yes, it’s what I used to screencap my apps. And last but not least on that screen is Tweetcaster. I’d mentioned before that the free version was my favorite Twitter app, well you guessed it, Amazon gave away the paid version as a freebie so now I’m running the full version and have never looked back.

MultimediaOther favorite apps are QuckPic, a replacement for the default Gallery. Comic Strips, a new one I just added that lets you collect and share some of your favorite comic strips from the paper, like Scary Gary and Argyle Sweater. GhostTown is essentially a music player that lets you search YouTube for videos, and plays them back as music. Kinda nifty. Roku Remote and WDTV Media Player are substitute remotes for, yes, my Roku box (currently used for streaming movies at Netflix and Amazon on Demand) and my Western Digital media player box, which lets you plug in a hard drive and play back almost any video type you can think of on your TV set. Great for all those series episodes that would take up too many DVDs to burn. Tune In Radio Pro is another paid app that Amazon gave away as a freebie. I’d been using the freebie version to pick up Internet radio stations, like the various BBC stations or formerly local CA stations like KFOG. The paid version is essentially the same, only it also includes a recorder if you want to save any of the radio station broadcasts. I use it a lot. And Zinio works in conjuction with the PC app to download either free or paid digital versions of magazines to either your phone or your PC hard drive. Once you’ve downloaded them, you can view them on either. Have only used it a few times so far, but it seems pretty well made.

Well, that be pretty much the majority of what apps I use fairly regularly. Given that Amazon gives away a freebie every day, I’ve got quite a list of apps still available to me that I’ve not actually installed yet, but they’re there if I need them.

 

3 more videos uploaded to my @Team_Barrowman webpage!

Figured I haven’t mentioned JB in any of my last 3 posts, and thought “Can’t have THAT now, can we!?!” 😉 So added three “new” videos to the website this weekend. Two that are actually fairly old, but given that I’m a new fan, they’re new to me. And one newer one from March of this year.

And since I had time over the weekend, I picked ones that needed a little more tweaking than usual, since y’all know how much I just LOVE to tweak. 😀

A Day In the Life Of John Barrowman – 2007?
(Combined the 5 parts into a single video, and edited out the repetitive intros in parts 2-5)
Day in the Life of John Barrowman: Parts 1-5
—–

Charlotte Church Interview – 2007?
(Combined the three parts into one, and changed the aspect ratio
from the very squishy 4:3 to the correct widescreen 16:9)

—–

The One Show – March 2010

(Edited out the “NonJohn” parts and spliced the rest together.
Did some slight reordering of the footage so that the main JB stuff was at the front.)

And the band geek in me can’t help but notice how STRAIGHT he’s a’holdin’ that flute,
even after all these years. That deeply engrained school band training is hard to forget, eh John? 😉

All three are there on the multimedia page. :)

The Great File Migration Has Begun. Yeehaw.

Just noticed recently that the hard drive on the new HP PC I got last summer seemed to be getting mighty full, mighty fast (not surprising, I love to download, so all those videos and games tend to pile up pretty fast). So found myself a nifty little freeware program called AMUST Disc Cleaner, which scans your drives, and breaks down by directories, exactly what is taking up the space on your hard drive, sorted by size. And this week bought two 1 TB Western Digital Passport drives at CostCo when they were on special for $89.99 each. (Nice deal, been comparison shopping for the last couple of weeks, and everyone else seems to want $10 more for them.) Had debated whether or not to buy 1 or 2, but glad I’ve got the second one now. Can use one to move all my Sony camcorder home movies and Nikon photos (currently scattered over a couple of different drives) to, and the other to archive some of the stuff on my PC’s internal hard drive.

Ran the Disc Cleaner software this morning, and hooked up one of the Passport drives, and the Great File Migration has begun. Yeehaw. First place to start? My torrent file directory. Got a lot of files downloaded that way that are now way past their prime that are just taking up a HUGE amount of space – 266 GB to be exact, mostly UK television (lots of things John Barrowman, plus “Doctor Who”, “Torchwood”, “Being Human”, “Million Pound Drop” and some various and sundry science shows, among other things) and LOTS of U2. Not all moving off the internal drive, some of them are still pretty active, but the ones from last summer are definitely on their way out. Used to burn them all to DVD, but when a DVD only holds 4GB, well, I just don’t have that kind of storage space anymore.

UseNet downloads will be next. “Only” 40GB, but that’s still a nice chunk of space.

Then will rerun the scan, and see what’s next to go.

Nothing like a little spring cleaning. Funny how I never feel like tackling the black hole that is my closet this way. LOL!

EIGHT new videos added to my John Barrowman Multimedia page

Got a little bogged down with setting up the new PC at the same time John was doing new interviews and shows, so thought since I was on a bit of a roll tonight, I’d get the whole lot of them uploaded and posted before I went to bed. :)

All the videos added can be found in the usual place, riiiiiiight about here. :)

Tonight’s The Night Preview Video


Behind the Scenes at Tonight’s The Night


John’s Interview on “The Hour”


A Clip from “Animals at Work”


A Set of Videos from when he was on the 5 O’Clock Show


John singing Lean On Me on Tonight’s the Night


And John singing Rule The World on Tonight’s the Night

And with that, I am going to bed, since it’s coming up on 2AM and I need to be up for work in about 4 and a half hours. :-O