Monday, July 25, 2011

Want Wireless Broadband Service At Home?

Broadband, 3G, 4G, WiMax....too many terms and acronyms. What do they mean and what's actually available in my area?

In the ever-expanding wireless Internet industry, 3G quickly became outdated, and 4G service is now the best available option. For some, this is frustrating, because as soon as they purchased coverage with a 3G network, something better came out. However, it is a simple reality that wireless Internet connectivity is how most of us will connect to the Internet in the future, as more and more areas, and more and more devices, become covered. That said, many people wonder which company to sign with when upgrading to 4G; people want to be careful to choose a company that they can rely upon and grow with in the future of wireless Internet expansion.

There are two leading competitors in the United States 4G industry: Verizon’s LTE service, and a similar service called WiMax offered by companies like Clear Wireless and Sprint. While both services bring you the fastest available wireless Internet over a broad range of areas, there are a few differences between them when it comes to coverage packages and pricing options. When you compare Clear Internet WiMax 4G and Verizon LTE 4G, here are a few of the key differences that you may want to focus on:
  • Typically, Verizon’s LTE service is slightly more expensive; however, this is in part because with LTE service you can purchase a package based essentially on how much use you will need out of your wireless connection. The different packages all have different monthly prices. By contrast, Clear’s WiMax service generally has a simple base package price that is generally slightly cheaper than most Verizon LTE packages.
  • Many people feel the need to use a 3G/4G combination of services, which enables your devices to switch automatically between the two wireless networks depending on availability. Verizon LTE service includes this feature automatically, in most cases. However, with Clear WiMax you will need to pay a small extra fee in order to receive this type of combination package, which can greatly improve the convenience of your Internet experiences.
Ultimately, the two wireless services are quite similar, and, again, both will bring you reliable high speed Internet over a range of different locations. However, the above listed points illustrate some of the most notable differences between the two services, and can be helpful when comparing the two to see which network best suits you. There are plenty of detailed comparisons with specific pricing information available online, and on both companies’ websites. Be sure to do adequate research before signing a contract with one or the other, as your wireless provider will have a lot to do with your Internet usage for the duration of the time that you are with them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Google+

I'm on Google+ now and have been since June 29. I got rid of my Facebook account a while ago and I still have a Twitter account. I'm thinking about getting rid of my Twitter account. Google+ is interesting. It's not really revolutionary, just the same social networking site stuff done slightly better. I like it so far.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Remember This? Part 1 - Logitech Scanman

I enjoy technology history, but the web has far too many sites with the top ten worst computer gadgets ever made. Those lists almost always include things like the Apple Lisa and the Iomega Zip drive, which leads me to believe that it's really just the same article written over and over again. I feel there are plenty of other ridiculous gadgets in technology history that we should take time to remember. Also, I liked the Zip drive.

Back in the early 1990s scanners were expensive, required special connection hardware, required very expensive software, and required a large footprint on your desk. Most people couldn't justify the cost for the occasional desire to scan something in as an image. However, Logitech accepted the challenge and gave people an option so long as you were willing to accept half a scanner with no drive motor. The Logitech Scanman.

The Scanman came in a variety of models while it was produced, first in black and white and eventually learning how to see in color. The device was still basically the same. Roughly 6 inches across and requiring YOU to drag it backwards across whatever you wanted to scan both (a) in a straight line and (b) at a constant speed. Most people could never meet those requirements, but it didn't stop Logitech from selling tons of these things.

Companies like Kensington and Fellowes added contraptions to their accessory lineups (you know, the companies that made floppy diskette cases, computer locks, and similar items) that would allow you to drag the device in a straight line, at least helping you solve 50% of the problems you encountered.

I was given a Scanman at one point in 1993, a used black and white model. I eagerly plugged it in to my faux 486 system and struggled for a week to make it do anything. The best I got was a squiggly image of a flattened M&Ms package. Yeah, waste of time.

Hitting YouTube shows some people trying new things with the Scanman. Like using it on robots to follow a line in the ground. Yeah, I suppose that's interesting, until it reaches the limit of its six foot power cord. Still, amusing videos to watch.

Odds and Ends

I have a good habit of making work for myself at home. It's probably aligned with just having moved, but for every 3 things I cross off my to do list, I add 3 more. And it's all stupid stuff. Change these light bulbs, install a paper towel holder, install an air conditioner. These are extremely simple tasks that start with a trip to some store, then going home and choosing which task to complete, then realizing that you bought either the wrong stuff or not enough stuff. Happened to me today. Ah well.

Wanting to complete _something_ today, I went to the 24 hour CVS and sought out what I needed. I was able to hang some things on walls and install that damn paper towel holder. Air will have to wait for another day.

OK, time to see what terrestrial broadcasts are on TV. I've had enough chores for today.