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iPhone 3g!

As everyone knows the new iPhone was released about a week and a half ago. I tried a few times to get one on launch day – but I just don’t have the time or patience to stand online more than a half hour during work. My old iPhone was still fine for the time being, so I opted to wait and download the 2.0 firmware instead.

It took me a week of messing around with all the new applications and everything to get the itch to try out the 3G network and GPS on the new phone. I tried to grab a phone a few times during the week, but everyone was sold out or the line was still too long for my taste.

Last Friday, I happened to find myself near an Apple store in a mall I don’t frequent too often. I ran in and found the store, to my surprise there were only about 5 people on line. I decided to wait around and I finally got the new phone – albeit the white one because they were out of black. I like to be a bit different and I was planning to put a case on it anyway – so I went ahead and purchased one.

After about a weeks worth of use, I like the improvements.

There are a ton of useful applications, with more arriving in the iTunes store daily. Some of my personal favorites:

WordPress application: Allows wireless posting and management of your WordPress hosted or self-hosted blog. (I already use an iphone type plugin, but future releases of their application should bring it up to speed with what I have installed on my other blog)

City Transit: Shows you a subway map of NYC and the rest of the boroughs (and LIRR), utilizes the GPS to find the closest station and logs into the MTA website to download service advisories. While I am not a commuter, whenever I go into the city I am clueless as to the lines not known as major thoroughfares. It works pretty good I must say, I used it on Saturday!

Showtimes: I tend to be a movie junkie, so this little application uses your current location to find the nearest movie theaters and shows you the show times. Enough said there – A+

Facebook: I was never a social networking junkie and I cannot stand Myspace, but somehow I find myself addicted to Facebook. This little app gives you access to your account with the touch of a button – looks and feels like their iPhone page. I even uploaded pictures from the Linkin Park show last night through the iPhone’s camera.

eBay: Need to get a last minute bid in? The eBay app gives you account access in a way the web cannot – it’s fast and even won me two auctions over the weekend!

Weatherbug: Just like the desktop version, this little application gives you up to the minute weather data and advisories. You can view radar and select local cameras as well. It’s an upgrade over the stock weather app, I even moved mine off the first page.

TruPhone: A Skype like VOIP application for use on WiFi

AOL Radio: Stream FM radio

Fun Applications:
Monkey Ball, Scrabble, CBNK 3D, Phonesaber, More Cowbell, iBeer, Flashlight and of course AIM (although it doesn’t run in the background).

That’s about it for now, I would bring a car charger with you if you use the net like I do, or run all of these applications regularly. Between 3G and the extra stuff, the battery drains down pretty quick – but not much faster than the 2G model.

Popularity: 38% [?]

Best Data 56USBP Modem Driver For Windows XP Fix!

I know, you read that title and say “Mike, you are an Air Conditioning mechanic – why are you playing with computers? Especially a dial-up modem?!?!”.

Well, if you are asking the first question you don’t know me well enough. The second question is a good one though – allow me to explain.

In my company I wear a bunch of hats, one of which happens to be that of IT guy. Back when we moved into the building we are in, I wired the entire network and got the company up to standards in terms of computing. I even hooked up their brand new Xerox to the network so they can use it as a network printer/scanner. Being in the Air Conditioning trade, we have the option on certain accounts to dial into a system and adjust set points and read temperatures without going on-site. Whenever the system doesn’t work – instead of calling the manufacturer, the office calls me. Today was one of those days.

The modem that was spec’d out originally was a Best Data external serial modem – it died. I found a replacement USB model and figured because it was basically the same it would give me the least amount of problems communicating with the system software we use….I was right, but only to a point.

Come to find out, the XP driver for this model was never signed and failed to work properly. It would blue screen XP and cause a never ending reboot cycle that was infuriating. A quick Google search turned up this post on Newegg in the review section. A few edits of the driver later and another attempt proved successful.

Here is what you need to edit in the .inf file:

HKR,,""LowerFilters"",0x00010000,""usbser"", acfva

This is what the line should read after editing:

HKR,,""LowerFilters"",0x00010000,""usbser""

Hopefully, those coming to this page via Google or however they find it – find this information as useful as I did today. So consider this a very long winded answer of why I purchased a dial up modem.

Popularity: 62% [?]