My Mobile History

A few years go, I tried to write a couple of posts on all the computers I have ever owned: My Computers Over the Years and My Computers Over the Years Part II[*], so today I decided to reflect upon my history with smartphones, and document it here just for the fun of it.

For many years, I carried around a pre-paid phone, and really only used it in emergencies. It was only after my job started requiring me to be oncall that I jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. Below is a list of the phones I’ve owned accompanied by any first impression reviews I wrote about them back when I first got them.

  • iPhone 3G – December 2008
  • iPhone 3Gs – 2nd half 2009
  • Palm Pre Plus – June 2010: Article I wrote for the Linux Gazette
  • iPhone 4s – October 2011
  • HTC One X – June 2012: Blog post about it.
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 – July 2012: Blog post about it.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – May 2013: Blog post about it.
  • iPhone 5s – November 2013
  • LG G3 – August 2013

As you can see I’ve owned as many iPhones as I’ve owned Android phones over the years, and I think (for now) I’ve gotten to the conclusion that I really am platform agnostic. IMHO, iOS and Android and its respective related hardware are usually pretty great and either allow me to get my job done well enough. Neither are perfect, but then again what is?

lg-g3-screencap

As per the list above, I am currently using the LG G3, and so far I’ve been really happy with it. It is the first phone I’ve ever rooted mostly because of how simple it is to do it nowadays. Thank to rooting, I’ve been able to install and uninstall things that were affecting the device’s battery life.

The only thing on the LG G3 that I really don’t like is the micro USB plug, it is so hard to connect it to the USB cable, specially right before going to bed when my room is already dark. I really did wish all phones would standardize on Apple’s lightning connector.

The LG G3 is fast, big and the screen is amazing! As I said, after rooting it, I am getting amazing battery life on it with light use. The two other things on the LG G3 that helped me make the decision to go with it (instead of the Galaxy S5) were:

  1. the no side buttos around the phone. The LG G3 volume aand power buttons are on its back, it is not necessarily easier to access, but I liked the chance LG took with the design.
  2. the navigation buttons are not part of the hardware, but it is software (like the ones on the Nexus 5, 7). I really like that for some reason. Sure, there is no fingerprint reading, but that’s ok.

I’ve just completed 2 weeks with this phone, and I am glad to report that I am very happy with it.

[*] From around March 2013 through April 2014, I owned a Macbook Air and a Macbook Pro. Since April, I am now using a ZaReason Ultra 440. (68)

Posted in android, apple, galaxy, galaxys3, htcone, htconex, lgg3, linuxgazette, mac book air, macbookair, macbookpro, mobile, palmpreplus, samsung, zareason | Leave a comment

Follow up to editing videos in Fedora

This post is a quick update to my original post “Editing videos in Fedora 19 with Openshot

Editing some Indy 500 footage on Fedora

Editing some Indy 500 footage on Fedora

I just got back from the Indianapolis 500 race, and used Openshot on Fedora 20 to put together a few video footages I took of the race into 1 video with some text and backround music by Arcade of Fire. Check it out below:

(182)

Posted in fedora 20, linux, video | Leave a comment

Google Drive Client for Fedora 20 and dwb

Check out this open source implementation of a Google Drive client for Fedora called Grive… it actually works!

Grive for Fedora 20

Grive for Fedora 20

As a bonus, check out the TopIcons GNOME 3 extension, it shows legacy tray icons on top of the GNOME 3.x bar.

Finally, if you are a vi fan, check out the web browser dwb.

yum install dwb

dwb

dwb

(1235)

Posted in browser, fedora 20, gnome3, google | Leave a comment

ZaReason UltraLap 440 + Fedora 20

For my birthday I wanted to get a non-Apple laptop to run Linux (specifically Fedora) on. I haven’t purchased a personal non-Apple laptop in a while. I am not a huge fan of what PC manufacturers have been doing with laptops recently (quality, price, design, hardware)… Long story short, I decided to give the laptops from ZaReason a shot. I picked up the UltraLap 440, which turns out to be some obscure brand called Compal, model VAW70.

So, here are a few notes about my experience so far:

The Service

  • Price is reasonable comparing to other PC makers, but when compared to a Macbook Air (specially after this week’s announcement) it is not as attractive.
  • The shipping was a bit on the high side (specially since it was ground, very expensive for 2nd day delivery), but I understand I am on the very opposite side of the country.
  • The laptop was back-ordered for a few days, but there was no communication about it until I actually emailed them about it.
  • Once I did inquire about the delay, ZaReason was very professional and quick to respond emails. That’s good!
  • Very well packaged!
  • Absolutely love the fact that you can pick a Linux distro to be pre-installed, Fedora 20 being on the list.

The Hardware

  • The design is OK, it is plastic all around, feels a bit cheap (again for the price), but not horrible. The specs are actually pretty nice. Intel Haswell i5, 8Gb RAM, 500 Gb 7200 RPM (I could have gotten SSD, but decided to save money)
  • Not too heavy (when comparing to regular PC maker laptops)
  • I don’t use cd/dvd drives anymore, but these do come with one.
  • Resolution is only: 1366×768 (it was known when I bought it), for the price, I wish it was 1400×900
  • The touchpad is no Apple (probably my favorite feature on any Apple macbook laptop), but it is better than a Thinkpad.
  • The keyboard is probably the part of this laptop that has disappointed me the most. It is not very responsive. The way I type, I press certain keys, and it doesn’t respond. It doesn’t feel like it is a ‘there is something wrong with the keyboard’ type of thing, it is more like the keys are a bit too stiff to type on.
  • The AC adapter is pretty much like any non-Apple, AC adapter, black and bulky.

Overall:

I wanted a laptop to run Linux on where I wouldn’t have to be jumping through hoops to get things working. This laptop does that. Aside from the ‘looks’ of it, and the keyboard, it is not a bad laptop at all. If the price was about $100 cheaper (or even if shipping, 2nd Day was free) it would be a much more attractive alternative to the Dells, HPs and Lenovos of this world.

Terminal output:

$ sudo dmidecode -t system

Handle 0x0001, DMI type 1, 27 bytes
System Information
Manufacturer: Compal
Product Name: VAW70
Version: V1.01T01

Gnome 3.12 about:

zareason1 (663)

Posted in fedora 20, linux, zareason | Leave a comment

Article: RHCE, the developer’s key to production access at Red Hat IT

I wrote an article for Red Hat’s Developer Blog this week.

Check it out at http://developerblog.redhat.com/2014/05/01/rhce-developers-key-production-access-rh-it/ (262)

Posted in article, redhat, rhce | Leave a comment