Noah's Blog

Noah W.'s blog is full of technological exploration, findings, programming, and the life of a young developer.

Times of Change

Life so far has been pretty crazy.  I started the semester with more to do than I anticipated.  Though, I'm not sure how I didn't expect to be busy working two jobs as a full time student.Regardless, I do have some updates I wish to share.  I plan on posting some new projects soon.  I have a guide in the works about Nintendo's gameboy games and how to replace the batteries in games.  I also have another life tips guide on what services are most compatible with devices.  I have used so many different phones/tablets/computer operating systems/online services that I have become almost an expert in which ones work best for which people.  Expect that to come soon.

Published: 9/21/2013 11:55 AM

Article by: Noah Wood

My Android Plunge

In 2009, I wanted to save some money and get a smartphone, which put me in the position to either move to T-Mobile (offering the G1) or Sprint (Offering the Pre).  While the Palm Pre was a very nice phone, I wasn't thrilled with it, and I felt that the feature set on the G1 was better.  In all honesty, I never expected Android to go very far, but it's amazing how wrong you can be sometimes.  I had the G1 for about 1.5 years, at which time I went between it and a used original iPhone I picked up.  When our 2-year contract was ready for renewal, I opted to get the G1's successor, the G2x, the first Android phone with a dual-core processor (the NVidia Tegra 2).  I loved my G1 when I first got it.  The Google Maps navigation was already out at that time, and was amazing.  The keyboard was something that really appealed to me, and was a very flexible, functional phone.

The problem I had was Android was outpacing itself very quickly.  The G1 became obsolete and slow after 6 months of having it.  When I finally did get my G2x, it was blazingly fast in comparison.  But during that time, it was hard to really like Android.  It was still incredibly unpolished and had a lot of issues keeping up in even the simplest tasks, like using the browser.  The transition to Android 4.0 and 4.1 (ICS and Jelly Bean) has been phenomenal for the platform.  My phone today is the Galaxy Nexus and it's running Android 4.2.  I think that Google just started caring about design, this can be seen with the improvements to the UI (in the form of Holo), Google Now's cards interface, and the overall smoothing of bumps in the platform as a whole.  This is great for consumers, as Google's push for a design-first approach makes Apple work equally as hard on improving iOS, a win-win.  In many respects iOS is a more fluid experience, but I think that Android's improvements have made it almost par with iOS.  Today, I love the platform and don't have hesitation recommending it to family (with the right phone, of course).  Although I do ponder switching to Windows Phone to get a taste of Windows Phone 8.  Personally I like the design language and mentality of Windows Phone more than either Android or iOS, and my next phone will likely be a Windows Phone.  But for now, I'm very happy with my Galaxy Nexus and look forward to what Google has in store for Android in 2013.

Published: 3/13/2013 11:32 AM

Article by: Noah Wood

My Thoughts on...

I thought I would do a new series to pass the time while I think of new stuff/work on new projects to post here.  Although my opinion likely holds little weight with any of you, I figured it can't hurt to at least express my opinions.  As it turns out, a lot of people read blogs for the writers' opinions.  Who knew?

I figured I could talk about my thoughts about devices, software, and technology ecosystems from the major players I've tried so far; namely Google, Apple, and Microsoft.  When I explore a new technology I really like to immerse myself in the experience.  When I bought my first android phone, I jumped into the Google bandwagon hardcore.  When I switched to iPhone, I moved my stuff over to apple (you get the idea).

Before I really start with my initial thoughts, I thought I would explain the services I use on a day-to-day basis and quickly go over my transition of technology.  We'll start in the year 2005, since that was the year that I consider to be the year I started to make the calls about my technology. October of 2005 rolls around and our old Dell Dimension desktop died. It was your typical XP-era Dell desktop complete with a Pentium 4 processor and 15-inch flat panel monitor. My relationship with that Dell was rather emotionless: I neither liked it nor disliked it. It was there, and it was what I used. When that died my parents graciously gave me the choice of the new computer (within reason) and we settled on an iMac G5. The new G5 was just announced and debuted the notion of a built-in iSight camera and Front Row (which never really took off anyway). This iMac was a huge step for me in terms of computing. I quickly got the hang of the Mac and loved the way it worked. When Leopard came out, I upgraded right away; for me, Microsoft slowly started to fade away into the background as I grew less and less concerned with their current offerings. Shortly after 2006 began, I also bought a used PowerBook G4 online to use as my portable computer until just two years ago. I used the iMac G5 until the summer of 2010, a long time considering 2006 was the year Apple moved from PowerPC to Intel and caused PPC-based machines to lose their luster.

In 2010, I continued along the Apple path and did the only sensible thing, upgrade to another iMac of similar stature. I bought a 21.5” iMac with an i3 processor. The upgrade to that machine was just as exciting as the move from the XP-era Dell to the G5. It was loads faster and had a lot of upgraded features and design. Meanwhile, my 15” PowerBook G4 was simply not keeping up pace with the needs of student starting at a college university. It was large, slow, and the battery didn’t last more than three hours on a good day. And—after a brief and disappointing experience with an Archos 9 Windows 7 Tablet—I bought a laptop you wouldn’t have expected from someone who moved away from the PC as a platform: a Lenovo ThinkPad X220. At the time, it was a tough decision between that and the 11” MacBook Air. Both were similarly spec’d and were around the same price range.

This basically ends my technology in the past. And I’ll definitely elaborate on my experiences with each of those devices in time, but now I thought I would list the current list of devices I own and their transitions. The last device in each list is what I’m using now.

  • Desktop PC: iMac G5 >> i3 Intel iMac >> Dell Optiplex 7010
  • Laptop: PowerBook G4 >> Lenovo X220
  • Tablet: Archos 9 >> iPad 2 >> Surface RT
  • Phone: HTC G1 >> iPhone (Original) >> LG G2x >> Nokia Lumia 710 >> Galaxy Nexus

My next piece will be my thoughts on the beginnings of Android and my decision to have faith in the first Android phone!

Published: 1/29/2013 8:54 AM

Article by: Noah Wood

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