Year: 2009

One Year with iPhone 3G

intro-iphone-everything-20090608At the dawn of the smart phone era, I considered purchasing a phone with Internet access, but quickly shied away from that idea when I realized how painful mobile web browsers were at the time. I made up my mind to wait until a smart phone with a true web browser was available.

Enter the first generation iPhone. Finally, a mobile phone with a true web browser—not to mention an amazing interface—and a standards compliant one at that! The downside was that the first iPhone was tied to the abysmally slow EDGE network and I swore I would never go back to dial-up speed again. Well that and the $600 price tag. The first iPhones hadn’t been unboxed yet and rumors were already swirling that Apple would release a better 3G capable iPhone in a year. So I (reluctantly) waited.

I stood in line at the Apple store the day after the new iPhone 3G was released—with all of the other nutJobs—to fork over $300 and sign a $85/month, two-year contract with AT&T. After using my phone for just under a year, I can say with conviction, it was totally worth every penny. (more…)

Announcing: Ordered Thumbnails

Ordered Thumbnails Page on

I’ve written over a dozen WordPress plugins in the past 18 months, but the Ordered Thumbnails plugin is the first one that I’ve submitted to the official WordPress Plugin Directory. The plugin became available mid-afternoon today, but it’s already been downloaded over 70 times.

I’m not sure how the response compares to the rest of the plugins on the site, but I’m considering it a big success. After all, I wrote the plugin to solve a problem that I was having, so if other people find it helpful too, it’s just icing on the cake.

The one thing about writing an official plugin that surprised me is the amount of time it took to prepare the documentation. There was a bit of a learning curve in that I’ve never gone through the official plugin submission process, but writing the documentation for this plugin took almost as much time as writing the plugin itself!

Check out the archives of this site to see the plugin in action, or learn more about it on this site or on the official WordPress plugin page.

The Xbox Failure

Close-up of Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

On Monday, my Xbox succumed to the Red Ring of Death. I managed to fix the DVD drive on my Xbox, but in doing so I voided any warranty that still remained on it. While I knew that Microsoft would no longer fix the Red Ring issue for free, I didn’t realize that Microsoft will not fix any Xbox that has been opened for any reason, for any price. Any Xbox that has been opened is considered “tampered with” and will not be fixed.

It’s bad enough that so many Xboxes fail, but to not offer a paid repair service is just foolish. I’m sure I’m not alone in being willing to pay to have my Xbox fixed. Fixing what amounted to a minor mechanical problem on my Xbox was frustrating and time-consuming. Fixing the Red Ring issue is considerably more involved and I just don’t have the time or patience to mess with the Xbox’s innards again.

So I just bought a new Xbox 360 Arcade: the easy, expensive way out. I’m planning on selling my old Red Ringed Xbox on eBay as is for somewhere in the $50 range, if possible. Why buy a product that’s already failed once? When it’s working, the Xbox 360 is a great game system. Xbox Live is excellent for online gaming. The Xbox 360 has more games and is much less expensive than the Playstation 3. Unfortunately, it also has painfully defective and unreliable hardware; I imagine it’s designed that way to remind users they’re dealing with Microsoft. Couldn’t make it flawless, could they now?