Sunday, March 09, 2008

New Hardware and Soft-"wear"

The Phone

It's been about two or three weeks since FedEx brought me my new cell-phone.

After much research and indecision, I went with the Samsung A727 Cell Phone model.

One of the biggest factors was this review at a great review site infoSync.

I've held off making any comments until I have really had a chance to put it through it's paces.


  • no more flips, it's a candy-bar format
  • very slim, but still feels like I have a phone in my hand
  • pictures are very clear
  • call-quality is very, very good
  • reception is very, very good
  • menu system is fairly intuitive
  • standby battery life, not too shabby
  • messaging is pretty easy, despite the small
  • although it is in a case, the rubberized exterior does feel nice.


  • although the screen is bright, it's "room-bright" but almost impossible to see in direct sunlight
  • no "voice-calling" like my old Nokia.  I REALLY miss that in traffic
  • after taking a photo, it's not intuitive to quickly "save" or "delete" then snap another
  • the camera software application takes a bit of time to load going into/out of it
  • it can be a bit challenging finding the applications (notepad/tasklist) so I am still digging out the manual from time to time
  • DST didn't adjust automatically today.

Keyboard/Mouse Combo

While away on living on the laptop last week, I realized that I had one big issue.  It was very hard to do data-entry with the number keys on the keyboard and awkward to use the embedded 10-key buttons using the function key.

I quickly resolved to pick up a 10-key USB pad for just such occasions once I got back.  I was also wanting to get a second Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical Mouse for work.  I've been carrying my original back-n-forth between work for the past few months.  So once I got in I stopped in the local "Good Purchase" store.

Pricing out the options left me looking at about a $100 outlay for the both. Ouch.

So while considering the options, I noticed that Logitech had a LX 710 Laser wireless keyboard/mouse combo for about $60.  Hmm. Same (almost) LX 7 mouse, wireless keyboard with pleasant key response.  It does have a 10-key pad.....along with the keyboard.

So I got it instead.

Interestingly, I didn't have to install any software on my system as I already had Logitech's SetPoint software up and going with my current LX 7 mouse.  The keyboard and new mouse just worked.  I was surprised to see that it sees each mouse differently.  I don't know if that is tied to the receiver or not. I had to reprogram SetPoint for my scroll-click action settings.  If I turn both mice on, only the new one works. I guess that makes sense if you were sharing wireless mice in a group setting, don't want everyone interfering with each other.  I'm sure this will be an interesting subject to pursue when I have more time.

I'm leaving the new set at home for use on our laptops (or to carry with me with my work laptop on an extended stay) and using the old LX7 at work.  Despite being the same model, the undersides are a bit different with the original having more of a "slot" for the laser optics than the new one which just has a little round and flat surface where the optical rests. It does seem a bit more "jumpy" on the same mousing surface (a super-slick plastic chopping mat) than my original one. The old one also has more of a polished surface feel and the new one is more "rubberized" which is fine, but not as pleasant to the touch.

Modders-Inc - Logitech LX 710 Cordless Desktop Review

Benchmark Reviews:  Logitech LX 710 Cordless Desktop Review

Ideas on this printer?

In our printing life, we have only had two printers; an Epson 640 and Epson 740. That's it.

I'm quite tired of listening to the "fussing" from the girls about how crappy the 740 is now. Looks good for me for daily family printing needs, but I can sense a loosing battle.

The 740 is attached via USB to our desktop system.  I could use a shared printer networking solution, but it's really a bit of a hassle, and I would have to leave the desktop on all-day for access.

As it stands now, when we are using the laptops, we just save the document on USB and then transfer it to the desktop to print (or email-it).

So I'm looking for a Ethernet-capable printer.

After much looking, I've been fairly captivated by the HP Photosmart C6280 model.  It can print photo-quality images from 5x7 photo paper cards, direct-prints from digital memory cards, has a scanner, and carries an Ethernet port so could be used as a true "shared" printer.  And at pricing in the $150-200 range, seems like a good bargain.

However, the reviews seem a bit luke-warm.  And experience at work tells me that many of these HP devices install a slew of auto-start ware on your pc in order to use all the features effectively.  I would think that might be mitigated in the network installation manner, but I'm still cautious.

Any opinions?  Any other recommendations for a new Ethernet able color inkjet printer? 

Usage would be for school reports, printing of odd items off the net to note, the occasional photo-grade digital photo.


My watch-strap to the cherished Citizen Eco-Drive watch broke. Yeah, I know. How do you break a rubberized watch-band? I don't know but I managed to do it.  I did patch it together with some "Gorilla Glue" for a month, but the repair failed.

What I didn't consider at purchase is that the body has a custom style that renders all standard bands useless to swap-out.  I did some searching on the Net but couldn't ever find a perfect match and some of the sites I did find looked a bit "dodgy."  So I took it back to the jeweler where I purchased it and had it sent in for repair.  Probably will end up being worth more for the rubber bands than it would be to buy a new one....but I do love it.

In the meantime I am back with my super-bling Seiko 7T32 Sports 100 chronograph.  It is a big and heavy "bracelet" style watch with gold and stainless. The face is a deep hunter-green. I've never been able to find a good picture of it on the web.  I don't think it is "rare" but is uncommon. Its been idle for over a year with a dead battery (I know...dangerous) but the reason I stopped wearing it is that after a bang or drop, the day indicator stopped advancing. I can manually update it, but it is annoying. (Repair cost would be more than the price of a new watch.) Other than that, it still keeps perfect time. So it is back on my wrist until my Citizen comes home.

Finally got around to taking Lavie's wedding and anniversary bands in to be re-sized. Her fingers have expanded a bit over all the drug-treatments we have been on.  Most days she won't wear a band anymore, although she does have a cracker-jack box wedding band she wears when we go out.  While I was in Austin for some reason I just decided that we'd talked enough and it was time to get them fixed.

Our jeweler was able to resize them in about an hour Saturday.  Watching Lavie put them on again was amazing. You would have though we were getting married all over again. She gushed and grinned and bounced with joy.  I should have known.  Now I feel bad for not doing it years sooner.


I did look "lightly" for some fitted dress shirts, but was unimpressed with the offerings. Lavie promised to sit down with me and go through the Land's End catalog I got in last week or two.

We did find a cute "World Wildlife Fund" recycled tee at JCPenneys for Alvis.  She has been on a real "green-kick" lately and this with the cute panda logo would be a hit.

We were right.

In looking for this link, I somehow tripped over the DAILY DANNY blog where Danny Seo blogs with light text and heavy pictures on how to add stylish green-living to your life.  Good stuff.


1 comment:

TxGoodie said...

re: printer - I've always gone with HP until my current new's an Epson because I wanted something great for photos. It's all that and more, but be sure and check how much it'll cost to reink that puppy! I'm in shock after pricing ink AFTER I bought the beast. It sure makes good prints though. Six of one, half dozen of another I guess...