Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category.

About my Virgin Mobile Phone

Here’s the review I’m posting on the Virgin Mobile site…

Total: 3 of 5 stars
Features 4/5
Performance 4/5
Ease of Use 3/5
Battery Life 1/5

I live in San Francisco. 4G sucks the battery fast (3 hours will kill the battery dead) but it’s fast when available. It’s definitely not available everywhere. Powering up the 4G takes like 2 minutes. :-(

Virgin 3G data is definitely universally slower than AT&T. The browser will hang for 20 seconds at a time. But browser pages usually eventually load.

Chrome has problems, an update is supposed to be forthcoming. I installed Opera browser which is working well.

I bought a $75 Seidio 4,000 mah battery so the phone will last all day with 3G turned on. Without it, the phone is DEAD at 7pm. With the new giant backpack battery, the phone is usually at 50% at midnight :-) …. but one day I had a runaway process or something so that the battery died at 8pm. :-(

But hey, $35/month for 3G and 2.5Gig/month! Begrudgingly happy.

And the 3D camera is a really neat Gee-Wiz toy.

Pros: (blank)
Cons: slow 3g, data sucks battery, spotty 4g service

Review of Delta Rothko Rolling Bike Stand: Don’t trust it. Don’t like it

As I posted on REI.com (and next to all the other poor reviews):

It was the only bike stand at REI, San Francisco and there weren’t any set up which made me suspicious but I bought it anyway.

Why the hell is it on wheels? That makes it slip around!

When used “correctly”, it holds my full size men’s hybrid bike by pushing on the spokes. I’m sure something will happen and it’ll put my wheel out of true! I don’t like it and I don’t trust it.

The plastic parts have that noxious cheap Chinese plastic smell.

I’m returning it right away.

Health Insurance

A couple of friends have asked about health insurance they might get. Here is my current solution. Feel free to write me if you have a better solution!

I have ClearProtection Plus 5000 from Anthem Blue Cross http://anthem.com/ca
$190/month for “very good insurance after a $5k deductable” for this 42 year old man living in California.

ehealthinsurance.com is a good site to price out plans. It gets confusing and frustrating quickly thought because well, insurance is confusing and frustrating. It’s likely that my plan will come out the least expensive of the plans that actually cover anything. Cheaper plans are available but I noticed that they always only cover something like 50% after the deductible. So your $100k heart attack might cost you $50k :-(

Lifehacker Notes

LifeHacker continues to be one of my favorite geek sites. Here are two great articles that taught me, the consummate geek, something recently

Top 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Slow Technology

 Protect Your Stuff From Loss and Theft This Weekend

 

Some tidbits I learned today from Lifehacker today

Did you lose your Android phone? Install Plan B from the Google Store and your phone will email its location to you! It worked on my phone perfectly. I also have Prey on all my devices

SSD hard drives are cheap enough to start buying ($100 for 100 gig) especially since new (as of Nov 2011) Intel motherboards have built in support to use them as a cache (called  Smart Response Technology)

Excellent Two Finger Scroll on a Laptop PC

I just “upgraded” my laptop’s Synaptic trackpad with the latest drivers so I can do 2-finger scrolling like on a Mac. It sucks. It doesn’t react properly.

But I found a donation-ware program called two-finger-scroll that does the job nicely. I disabled the 2-finger scrolling in the factory drivers and installed this and I’m good to go. Hurray!

Any Opinions on Virgin Mobile in Bay Area?

I’m thinking of switching from my AT&T cell phone plan with an Android phone (Samsung Captivate, AKA SGH-I897, AKA Galaxy S) to Virgin Mobile.

What is your experience?

It looks like the difference is:

AT&T (monthly)
$75
200 MB data
1000 texts
450 Rollover minutes
Unlimited talking with other AT&T cell phones

Virgin Mobile
$45 ($30 less!)
unlimited MB data (I dunno if I could use more than 500 MB/month)
unlimited texts (I sometimes use 500 texts/month)
1200 minutes (plenty)

It looks like I can sell my phone on eBay for $100, buy an LG Optimus Elite for $150, and start saving $30/month.

Why shouldn’t I do this? Leave a comment.