Do you want a new cell phone, yet not quite ready to pull the trigger on the purchase? Well, if so, you can do what I did and just remove the protective case from your existing cell phone to provide the “New Phone Feeling” again.

I am currently in the position where my contract is about to expire so I can get a discount on a phone purchase with another 2 yr extension.  Initially I was leaning towards the Blackberry Bold until I realized the price for it is roughly $299!! Personally, I do not like to spend more than $150 on a phone. I almost made the jump and got a refurbished 8g 3G iPhone for $99, but didn’t want to fit the bill on a $30 monthly data plan. I’m just a frugal person and want to keep my expenses as low as possible.

So, right now, I am basically leaning towards getting the “new to AT&T” Blackberry Curve 8320 that includes wifi. This way, I can use my phone to hop on the information superhighway when I’m out and about if I’m near a hotspot like StarBucks or Burger King, etc.  Soon, it will be time to say goodbye to my first generation Samsung Blackjack. The journey has been interesting and I’m ready for new beginnings

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New Term: Quarter-Life Crisis

December 23, 2008

While driving into work this morning, I was listening to the Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk

Quarter-Life Crisis [wikipedia]:

term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the early twenties to the early thirties. The term is named by analogy with mid-life crisis. It is now recognized by many therapists and professionals in the mental health field.

I must admit, I was surprised there was even such a term and even more surprised at some of the emotional aspects.  The following paragraph sums things up nicely:

These emotions and insecurities are not uncommon at this age, nor at any age in adult life. In the context of the quarter-life crisis, however, they occur shortly after a young person – usually an educated professional, in this context – enters the "real world".[1] After entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities, some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity. The individual often realizes the real world is tougher, more competitive and less forgiving than they imagined. Furthermore, the qualifications they have spent so much time and money earning are not likely to prepare them for this disillusionment.

I must admit, that I recently hit the big three-O (aka 30 yrs old) and don’t really feel that much different nor do I have many doubts or regrets about my current stage. I used to have quite a bit of nostalgic memories of college and remembering how things were care-free then, but those are times of the past. What I can do today, however, is to try and reforge some of my old relationships that I have let slide.  This has mostly been achieved by becoming a bit more active on Facebook.

I never really used Facebook much in the past, but after noticing more and more of my family members sharing photos and thoughts via Facebook, I decided to take the plunge after seeing my wife become more active in trying to reconnect with her old classmates and friends.  I have to admit that it has been rather fun and I do see the allure in using Facebook.

Ripping Audio OCD

December 7, 2008

I used to play World of Warcraft (WoW), so that was an easy outlet for my OCD fix. Without WoW, I now just rip things into MP3.  I guess I just traded one act for another. At least I can easily stop as ripping something only takes about 5 mins or so.

Hulu in the Hizzo

November 28, 2008

For those not in the know, be sure to check out a site called Hulu if you want to catch up on some missed TV goodness. For example, I missed the episode of 24 that aired on Sunday, but instead of purchasing the episode from the iTunes Store, I checked out Hulu and it was there! In fact, they have Hulu has a gangload of episodes from 24!

I could never justify getting a Tivo in the past because I don’t really watch that much TV. Also, I have always had a working VCR that could be auto-programmed by the satellite receiver, so I could record shows that way. I know, not very techie of me as I am way behind on the gadget curve.   Well the issue is no longer pressing with Hulu in the hizzo!

Last night after coming home from work, I look at my wife and say to her, “I caved.”.  She gave me a slightly puzzled look and said, “What did you do?” I then told her that I bought a digital camera. I got a really good deal on a Canon SD880 IS that is basically $100 below MSRP, and roughly $50 lower and other retailers. This did not really surprise her too much as I have been talking about getting a new camera for a while now.

My old camera is a Canon SD400 and is the same one that I purchased in like 2002. I think it’s time for an upgrade as the shutter speed and autofocus mechanism is starting to get a bit long in the tooth.  Plus, not many people are still using their camera 6 year old camera in this day and age (at least that’s what I say to justify buying a new one).  Anyhoo, enough dilly dallying, I bit the bullet and purchased the camera at a very good price.

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Local Ventrilo Server

November 18, 2008

Since my wife and I have started up World of Warcraft (WoW) again, we needed to find a way to communicate with each other in game. Previously, we would just use our guild’s Ventrilo server, but we are currently un-guilded right now. We also tried using Skype, and while it worked well, there was a concern for lag as well as lacking the ‘push-to-talk’ feature.  In other words, I can choose whether or not I wanted to broadcast my loud, ear piercing cough.

I checked out some Ventrilo server hosting and was seeing some quotes or roughly $4 per month. While not extremely expensive, definitely not a cost we wanted to incur for such a sparse event.  While looking at the Ventrilo clients, something sparked and dawned on me, why not just host the Ventrilo server myself?

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After upgrading to a new computer I started getting some very weird DVD Burning Errors. Basically, the errors consisted of the following message (from Nero Output Log):

#32 CDR -1080 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 1820
Disc not present
E: PIONEER DVD-RW  DVR-216D

#33 TRANSFER -24 File ThreadedTransferInterface.cpp, Line 1820
Could not perform end of Disc-at-once

** Note, this would happen at the very end of the burning sequence after everything has finished and the application would begin finalizing the disc

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