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Butter Fingers

Butter Fingers

Phones and I just can’t get along.  I’m constantly fat fingering letters when I try to use the virtual keyboard, which is why I had a slide out keyboard for a long time and then switched to the Swype way of typing texts.

But the worst thing of all is that I am a butter fingers.  I can’t keep a hold on my phone to save my life.  Death could be looking me right in the face and say “Rachel, you have to hold this phone in your hands or else you will perish.”  I no sooner would start to say “I un”, then the phone would just slip, jump, tumble, hop, etc, etc right out of my hands.

The image at the top of the post is the top of my phone.  Well, my ex-phone (i’ll explain in a minute).  That corner actually had to be filed down because the phone fell.  I was holding it.  So maybe it was 5 feet at most off the ground and it said “I’m done being held” and fell right on to the concrete floor in my garage.

Now you would think that all these tumbles and bumps would be the end of my devices (I’ve had more than a few phones).  BUT NO!  These things keep on going.

So you might be wondering what was the cause of my Droid 3’s (current phone’s) untimely demise.  Funny you should ask.  Rain water!  I was out for a walk last night in the rain and a puddle formed in the holder where my phone was.  :(

I tried the rice thing and that seemed to dry out the phone.  It actually turns on.  Screen still looks great.  But it won’t respond to my touch.  So I can’t do anything on it.

Fortunately, for me I have a handy techy for a husband.  So we’ll be taking the phone apart soon and trying to retrieve any lingering data.

In the meantime, I’m using my original Droid.  Thankfully, I still had that one.  I was using it as an alarm clock in my bedroom.  Of course, it has it’s fair share of dings and dimples.  In fact, the back is being held on by packing tape.  Used to be duct tape, but I upgraded it.  ;)

I will say this, reactivating my original Droid was pretty simple once I realized I needed to put a sim card in there.  But it was time consuming.  Thanks to Verizon for having very nice customer service people to finish the activation process for me.

Inquiry, an iPad Application

In the past, our group’s custom development projects have mostly targeted web applications designed for the desktop/laptop. However we have recently started to focus more on mobile application development. There are a lot of compelling reasons to work in the mobile application space, but to me the proliferation of tablets (mostly iPads) is the most interesting. Tablets offer a sort of middle ground between smaller mobile devices and full fledged laptops, especially when you have a keyboard to attach when necessary.

Our first official mobile application, Inquiry, was released this week to our admissions department for installation on their iPads. The application will be used by admissions counselors at college fairs and other events to gather information from prospective students. In the past this data was collected with a paper form, and that data would then be hand-entered into a computer. This application will not only save data-entry time, it also communicates to students that Valparaiso University is forward-thinking when it comes to new technology. Hopefully this will be a big win for both admissions and IT.

TV Tuner for your computer

TV Tuner for your computer

My family and I just recently moved, so naturally we tried to get rid of old stuff and consolidate when possible.  Up until recently we still used the old fashioned CRT TV for watching television, but we also had our computer in our living room for watching DVDs and streaming video from offline.  I had thought about replacing our TV with a new flat screen, but then decided that it would be better to just start consolidating.  I decided to purchase a TV tuner for my computer which has worked very well.
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Linux Wireless Headaches

I’ve installed various linux distributions on a variety of different hardware and I really like how much control (especially with the more DIY distros) you have over configuring your OS. However almost every time I set up a new linux box I seem to hit a snag, usually with drivers. It’s pretty frustrating when it happens, but after the problem has been worked out it’s not too difficult to see these things as learning opportunities. There will always be an inverse relationship between ease-of-setup and configurability (not talking about picking your desktop background here), so if you want maximum configurability you will have to get your hands dirty and deal with hardware drivers, amongst other details.

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What’s in your hotel?

I’m in the process of catching up on my daily 404 podcasts.  A portion of episode 1086 inspired today’s post.  Apparently, there’s a hotel in the UK that will be replacing their printed copies of the Bible for a Kindle.  I followed up on this by googling and found this same article on Fox News, Mashable, and Engadget.

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