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Early morning allergy induced technology review.

October 28, 2012

Ok, so first, my credentials… did I spell that right? Cluedentials … it obviously doesn’t have a spell check… strike one for the WordPress android app.

My credentials – I’ve been doing tech support for 17 years.  I started out doing call center Windows 95 support where I consistantly had both the longest call times and the most problems solved… which means I solved most of the calls in just a couple minutes, but I could take on the calls from hell as well without needing to transfer them away to a higher queue.  I did Autocad support for Autodesk, worked for Bell Labs, worked for the government, and now I work for a large manufacturing company where I’m in charge of the phone systems, corporate cell phones, the helpdesk, the company intranet web page, the video conferencing systems, the print servers, the SQL servers, and the production software used to print all of the outward facing forms and checks.  Oh, I live on a farm with cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and horses too.

Makes me tired just reading it.

I support or have supported iPhones, Android phones, Blackberries, and Windows Phone phones.  The two I like the least are Blackberries and Windows phones. 

Blackberries used to be the standard in a corporate environment, but with the problems involved with needing to have and to maintain a Blackberry Enterprise Server, the problems with and the expense of getting international users to add on the right kind of Blackberry Data from theit local carriers, it became too much of a headache to deal with.  Not to mention, if you’re going to make a phone with a slide out keyboard, why the heck wouldn’t you make it a side slide phone so that the keyboard would be nice and big instead of the crappy little thing on the Torch.

We bought one of the first generation Windows phones, and it truely sucked until Mango came out, and after that it was ok, but not something that really belonged in a corporate environment.  It shines above all of the others as a gaming platform though.  The biggest problem I had with it was that the cell signal was awful.  I thought there was something wrong with the phone at first so I had it replaced, but the replacement was just as bad.  Can’t remember the manufacturer right now, but I’m assuming all windows phones aren’t so bad.

IPhones – I wouldn’t let the iPhone 1 or 2 into our environment because they were too difficult to attach to the Exchange server.  The 3 improved things a lot but I was still prejudice against it, but then the iPhone 4 came out and Apple really did things right for the poor IT guys supporting the thing.  It was at this point we started phasing out the Blackberries.  Most of our Blackberry users are now in Germany and Portugal, and most of our US cell users now have iPhones.

I happened to be the guinea pig for the crappy windows phone, so when the company president started talking about moving away from his Blackberry, I couldn’t recommend windows, but he really wanted something with a keyboard which ruled out the iPhone.  I did some research and found the phone that he and I are using now – the Samsung Captivate Glide with the Android Gingerbread operating system on it.

It’s not the newest phone, but it’s still very nice.  It has a nice big keyboard which is important for me as a writer, it has the flexibility of an android – I can add memory to it and swap out batteries whenever I want without getting permission from Apple.  It’s almost as good in the gaming department as the windows phone, has all of the productivity apps that the iPhone does, and is easy for administrators to add into their environment.

As a writer, one of my favorite apps is called Evernote, which is also found on windows phones, iPhones, and on regular computers.  It allows you to write on one device and then move to another and pick up right where you left off without having to mess around with copying onto USB memory or emailing the thing to yourself.  Plus, as long as you remember your password, you can’t lose it or send it through the wash.

Not all Android internet browsers are made the same.  For regular browsing the default browser is ok, although it doesn’t do tabs very well, but if you do a lot of writing in forum posts or blogs, you’ll want to install something else.  I tried firefox, but it was worse than the default browser.  Moving around in text blocks and editing the text was torture.  So I looked up some reviews and finally settled on the Dolphin browser.  It’s really nice.  It allows you to zoom in and out while you’re editing text, you can move around in the text easily, copying and pasting is actually kind of possible, and the browsing environment is much nicer than in either of the other browsers.  The one sad thing is that it doesn’t have a plugin like firefox to download music to your phone from Pandora.   Oh well.

So that’s it for my allergy induced technology review.  The sun’s coming up and the Allegra has taken effect so I’m going back to bed.

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