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Category Archives: Barely-technical

nce upon a time I got sick of not having a smartphone. I kept my calendar and task list on my laptop, and when I didn’t have it open, I didn’t know what to do next to make the best use of my time. So, I broke down and got a Motorola DROID from Verizon. Before you ask, I never even considered getting an iPhone, because there is no way I am switching to AT&T. On Verizon, we can get away with having the cheapest plan, because almost everyone we talk to also has Verizon, and let’s be honest, they have the best network. BlackBerry also wasn’t an option, because I hate them. The DROID is the first phone on Verizon that I consider a reasonable alternative to an iPhone. Here is a list of the pros and cons I’ve found so far. I’ll try to keep it updated and hopefully it will be useful to someone looking to buy.

Pros:

  • Giant screen (bigger than the iPhone)
  • Integrates well with Gmail (which I use at home and school), and other email sources.
  • Calendar syncs to Google Calendar, and you can also sync with Outlook (you have to install Google Calendar Sync on your PC if you don’t use Exchange, but if you do, Exchange support is native)
  • Task list syncs to Google Tasks (use the gTasks app)
  • Excellent web browsing
  • Wide array of useful apps (I don’t really care that the iPhone has 100,000 apps, most of them are useless)

Cons:

  • No voice dialing through Bluetooth. I’ve read that this is coming in a future software update. Unfortunately though, this feature lack is a dealbreaker for some people that make a lot of calls in the car. (I put in a ticket to Motorola on this)
  • Touch screen can be unresponsive when plugged into a PC via USB. (I put in a ticket to Motorola on this.)
  • No Flash video support. This is supposedly coming in early 2010. You can still watch YouTube though, because they have published an app.
  • Limited video support. It can play MPEG4 and H.264, but not anything fun like xvid/divx. I have read that Divx is planning android support soon.
  • Can’t view email forwarded as attachment
  • The Android Market place needs a lot of new features to be able to find apps you really want, like sorting by rating, or downloads within searches.
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Once upon a time, my old college buddy made a video game for XBOX Live Arcade. And it’s pretty dang cool. It’s called A Kingdom for Keflings, by NinjaBee Studios.

A Kingdom for Keflings is the first game to take advantage of the XBOX 360’s avatar feature, part of the New User Experience (NXE). NXE, released November 18th, is basically an operating system upgrade for the XBOX, on the order of say, going from Windows 95 to Windows 98. The interface is prettier, and there are a few new features, but underneath its really the same. I’m not against it, just being honest. I really like the new features, it’s much easier to navigate than the old blade style interface, and it has avatars. It’s really fun to create an avatar that looks like you (or doesn’t), and it’s extra fun to use that avatar in a game, which brings me back to A Kingdom for Keflings.

The game is a very simple city building sim. You are your avatar, a giant in the land of Keflings. They need your help to build them a kingdom. You direct the Keflings to mine or chop wood or carry things by picking them up and placing them where you want them, and then you use the raw materials produced to start building pieces to construct bigger and better buildings. The game is really enjoyable, even for people like me that hate sim games. It’s calming after a tough day at work/school, easy to pick up and put down, yet still addictive, and you can drop kick the Keflings! And the price is right (demo available too). I give it 9/10. Good work Sascha.

And I lived happily ever after in the Land of Keflings. ZZZZZ

Once upon a time, Microsoft Word was driving me crazy. I, like a large portion of the population, must use this unfortunate program almost daily. Why unfortunate? Because sadly, this is the best document software out there, and it’s pretty bad. The latest version, Microsoft Word 2007, is no exception. The new ribbon style layout of buttons and features is better, but the time spent learning the new format practically erases any potential gains in productivity.

My latest issue with Word is that it somehow reset my tab indents. I use a lot of outline formatting and bulleting in my documents, and I am used to being able to hit tab to increase the indent of my points, to make them sub-points, or shift+tab to do the opposite. Somehow this got turned off, so that when I hit tab, Word just inserted a regular tab. By “somehow”, I mean Word did it. I know that Word did it, because I’m the only one that uses my computer, and I’ve never even been to the options menu where you turn this feature on and off. On to the solution.

If Word 2007 has turned off your ablity to hit tab to indent:

  1. Click on the circular Office button in the upper left corner of Word.
  2. Choose “Word Options”.
  3. Click “Proofing” from the menu on the left.
  4. Choose “AutoCorrect Options”.
  5. Select the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab.
  6. Find “Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspaces” and make sure it’s checked.

 

So now, with that fixed, I won’t have to go to the insane asylum, and I can live happily ever after for now. ZZZZZZZ

Source: Tab indentation no longer works