iPhone vs. Motorola Droid 
Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 01:52 PM - Technology

iPhone vs. Motorola Droid

For the past year i have had the opportunity to use an iPhone for work. The iphone 3G was heads and tails above the windows mobile Motorola Q that i currently had. I used it in its full glory. The phone was pushed to the limits. This cannot be done on a stock iPhone however, it needs to be jailbroken. So in my comparison i will have 2 iphone categories, stock and jailbroken.

One week ago my dear wife flushed her enV2 down the toilet and killed her phone. We picked up a pair of Motorola Droids in the buy one get one free deal. So we both got one. So far i have loved my droid, even coming from an iphone. Now, as with the iphone, the droid can be unlocked as well. Rooting is the term used in the droid sense. Some features are only available on a rooter droid, and i will mark them as such.

A note about rooting/jailbreaking. Both are easy to do. Both need to have an eye on them when new updates come out, as it could break the mod.

This is by far a comprehensive list, this is only a list of things i have come across thus far, and i will try to update this list as i come across them. Some things i will put pros and cons, others i will just pick one that is better ;)


iPhone - (100K+) TONS, any app you can think of. In a nice little app store.
+ ease of app store
+ tied to your itunes account
- restricted to what apple thinks you shold have
- no apps outside the app store
+ ANY app, not just approved apps
+ works with all non-jailbroken apps
- can be slow
- buggy

Droid - (30K +) Lots of apps, but not the same apps
+ Marketplace is fast
+ Open, no filtering of content.
+ tied to your google account
- comparable apps can cost money vs free on iphone
- less apps to choose from
+ vendor specific apps, i.e.: t-mobile app on a verizon phone.


Not a phone specific quality, but a carrier...
Droid (Verizon) and iPone (ATT)
Droid > iPhone

The iPhone has selected areas where 3g is available, whereas the verizon network is the exact opposite. It has select areas where the ISN'T 3g. Droid wins.

Call Quality:

when the phone has a decent signal, i have been satisfied with both. Neither stood out.


iPhone 3G (sorry, i don't have a 3GS to try) vs Droid
Droid > iPhone. The iphone seemed very nice when i got it, but its bogged down now. Some apps take a long time to initialize and start, some. Some apps are smooth and load well. Some apps like Cydia take forever to load. The Moto Droid is very snappy, i pop in and out of apps almost as fast as i can click them. The one app that both phones use is the camera app. The droid loaded this faster.

Droid is much faster than the 3G, again, not the 3GS.


I took two photos, one with each phone. I won't say which is which, so that you can formulate your own opinion on photo quality. Click the picture to see which is which.
I personally think the droid is less grainy. This is a tough one, as the focus point isn't the same on both. I will try to make a new shot later.

Video Recording:

-no built in video recording
iPhone (jailbreak):
+cycoder will shoot decent video, depending on the light. Link.

+ Built in 720x480 video, light dependent. Link.
- can make large videos


- None
iPhone (jailbreak)
- multitasking of sort, phone gets hot and battery drains quickly.

+ multitasks very well
+ snaps between apps without losing place in an app

Quick Picks:

+ feels nice in your hand,
+ lots of apps
+ tether (jailbreak)
+ mms
+ indoor GPS
- touch keyboard is nice
- push notifications can't be put aside for later
- can be slow
- locked down by apple
- no themes (jailbreak only)
- no multitasking

+ notification bar.
+ speed
+ themes
+ mms
+ "share" feature on media
+ tether (rooted)
+ custom roms (rooted)
+ Physical keyboard
+ multitasking
+ outdoor GPS
- Visual voicemail costs money
- heat sensor needs some tweaking
- touch keyboard needs tweeking, 3rd party app
- Indoor GPS

Not covered (yet):
- exchange
- calendars
- Security
- audio player

http://androinica.com/2010/03/16/androi ... id+Blog%29

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New Tivo :) (HTPC) 
Saturday, March 6, 2010, 09:45 PM - Computers
Hello all. I have been living in this house for roughly one year now. Back in Idaho we had dish network with a DVR. I loved it! All this time here without one was starting to get to me. Hulu and downloading episodes did hold me over, but it wasn't how i wanted it to be. I get the most basic of basic cable service through comcast. 10$ a month. a steal of a deal. In order to get a comcast DVR i would have to upgrade to at least a higher plan, plus the cost the rent the unit, and 15$ more for HD unit.

Being me, i hate to pay for things that i can get for free. So i dropped 120$ for the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250. It has dual HD tuners so I could watch something and record something at the same time, HD or SD.

Initially my budget was spent the instant i bought that capture card. So i took some old computer parts i had and built a machine. AMD 3800+, 2gb ddr400 ram, 7800gt video, and a whopping 80gb IDE hard drive.

This was my concept machine, it worked for all intents and purposes. I was originally going to run MythTV on ubuntu. This was shot down rather quickly because my TV card did not support analog in linux :( sad face. I then put windows 7 on the machine and tried out SageTV. I was quite happy with SageTV. It did HD tv, timers, recordings, etc. My favorite part was the mpg format it recorded! Unfortuantly, it had some issues with some or my channels. It would either not see them right or fail to get a guide listing.

My next trial was with the new windows media center. Those who know me, know this hurt me. I HATE windows media center. WMC scanned for channels without me telling me anything but my zip code. The TV interface was easier than SageTV, so the wife liked it better. Its been quite nice really. THERE! I SAID IT! Now to the complaint. It records in a stupid format. .wtv, wtf? Who uses wtv? No one! *sigh*

I used this setup for a couple months. It was working rather well actually. Then the issues started. 1. Random blue screens. something between a windows update and the divers were not getting along. (64-bit). Sometimes it would happen a few times a night, other times nothing. 2. Freezing. It would randomly freeze up. 3. It would overheat due to the POS case it was in. 4. it was LOUD.

This year i have been saving up for something nice, nothing in particular. SO i asked for computer parts to build a new htpc.

-AMD Phenom X3 8750
-2 GB DDR2 1066 ram
-Western Digital WD10000LSRTL Caviar Black 1TB
-Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250
-hec SECC 7K09 Micro ATX Media Center

I chose a small case the fit inside my tv cabinet. I plan to use an HDMI cable to run the video and audio to my TV then from my TV to my receiver through an optical cable.

Here are some of the parts. Processor, Mobo, and Ram.

Here is the case, its sleek and black.

This is the case with the ram, mobo, and processor.

Here is the cpu :)

Here is the nice evenly spread thermal paste :)

Here is the computer about 90% put together. Everything is is installed except the capture card. I was starting to get worried that the card would not fit in the pci slot.

As you can see they have a nice little heatsink sitting where a card should sit. At this point i have not tested it to see if it will fit. Edit: I tested the card, and it works just fine. It wasn't a very tight fit either, which kinda surprised me.

This is the back end of the machine with the capture card and its input extender.

I've been using the new machine for about 24 hours now. I spent a good 12 hours copying media over to the new hard drive. 500 gigs of movie rips to happily watch without mucking with DVD's. yay! The HDMI output works great, and no reboots or blue screens :) yay! I did move to 32 bit windows to attempt to rid the BSOD.

My next venture is to get the remote working with media player classic or VLC.

I use coreAVC for my HD media. Media player classic uses this nicely, but it has to be set up. To set it up right click, options, external filters, add. Add CoreAVC, then click the Prefer button. This will let CUDA do the video rendering if you have a 8 series or higher NVIDIA card. You know its working if you see a green dot in the tray. This uses MUCH less cpu than without it. Very nice.

Oh, and hulu now works in full screen without stuttering, yay!

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Modern Warfare 2 sucakge 
Friday, February 26, 2010, 12:07 AM - Rants
Dear Infinity Ward and Activision, whichever is to blame.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is at the core of the game, a good game. It has all the good parts of a COD based games. It has good, solid gameplay.

That being said. I HATE it! What on earth were you thinking when the retards you call execs made the decision to do what was done. I will get to the list shortly. I am a PC gamer, and as such i expect to have my PC games live up to a standard. Without sounding snooty i would dare say that PC gamers are a more adept and tech savvy than console gamers. No one would argue with me if i said it was easier to start a console game than to chew gum. That is their design, to be dummy proof. Fine, let the dummies play their consoles. I have to ask... WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY ARE YOU DUMBING DOWN MY PC GAMES?!?!! WHY!!!!? I do NOT want a lobby system. I want a server, with people, people that can come and go without dicking the game up. If i wanted to be treated like a damn retard, i would buy an xbox. (no offense xbox'ers)

the controversial decisions made around the PC version of the game were made in order to benefit the consumer experience as much as possible.

Those decisions include removing all dedicated servers and user-generated content, as well as halving the maximum number of players supported in the game.

W T F!!! Ya, its much better now. Thanks for no custom... ANYTHING. Thanks for letting the cheaters go rampant. Its great, i love it!

Did anyone mention that there is a petition with over 250,000 signature to get dedicated servers in place? Their response..

Mouse control!? Really?! no way! So what your saying is "Yes, its the same"
Moriarte: Ignoring IW.net, is the PC version a direct port of the console version?

Mackey-IW: No, PC has custom stuff like mouse control, text chat in game, and graphics settings.

-Good gameplay
-Nice graphics

-"Dumbed down"
-no dedicated servers
-no moderation
-rampant cheating
-Lobby system
-no customization
-"Cheap" PC version
-Lack of caring from Mike Griffith
-User hosted matches
-host migration

I found these amusing:
http://blogs.battlefield.ea.com/cfs-fil ... Blog01.jpg
* confirmation that there will be no dedicated servers whatsoever How outstandingly fucking retarded of them.

Q. Is it true that IW has removed keyboard support? do I have to use a console controller? A. yes, we felt that because so many people who can't read play games, that we would simplify the control scheme to exclude any complicated characters besides Y B A and X, or X, square, triangle and circle in the case of the PS3.


http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/200 ... w2-on-pc/1
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009 ... hought.ars
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showth ... amp;page=4
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showpo ... stcount=83
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showpo ... stcount=77
http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showpo ... stcount=23

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XBOX 360 Firmware upgrade 
Sunday, December 20, 2009, 01:37 PM - Hacks
I was commisioned with a task to upgrade a couple 360's. Needless to say one of them was brand spanking new. Still in the box to be exact. Well, the 83850c Lite-on drives don't like to have their firmware dumped. Reading through countless articles and posts i decided a solder method was the only way to go.

With permission, i dove in.

This is the board with the protective film removed. I used my leatherman and scraped it off with my knife.

Here are my soldered joints. Not bad for a first time on a super small board ;)

And a close up of the solders. For size reference, these wires are strands of cat5e cable.

The switch to enable/disbale the ground.

All put back together and ready to dump :)

Use jungle flasher
1. Intro the drive
2. Read the firmware.
3. Make a dummy copy (right click)
4. Load dummy in source, let it auto-ixtreme it.
5. Repair drive (put all the cuts and solders back)
6. Intro it again.
7. Click "Write"
8. Enjoy

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Job promotion. 
Sunday, August 23, 2009, 10:53 PM - Family
Its true, i got a job promotion. yay! i will be leaving my job as a help desk team lead to go work on the unix deployment team. This was not an easy decision, as i love the job i currently have. It seemed like my current boss wouldn't talk to me for a few days after accepting the job, which is sad because i love working with him. DD, if you ever want to torment the help desk people... i'm game, sign me up!

I'm excited to learn at my new post though (granted its in the room next door). I will be doing Mac deployment for the most part, with some server and AIX thrown in the mix. Good times, except for the part when they said my i-phone is getting taken back :s boo!

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Numara training in Dallas, pt #4 
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 01:11 PM - School
Yay! last day! Training started as normal wit the exception of me checking out in the morning before i headed over.

We wrapped up and took the assessment test. I passed, yay! I promptly checked to see if i could get an earlier shuttle to the airport, i was able to get one and get to the airport in time to catch the earlier 5:50pm flight.

After the maze around the airport and a shuttle link to a terminal and back i found my gate and was good to go.

I made it home alive, and my wife brought me a pizza when she picked me up. wahoo!

I'm tired...

I helped her burn DVD's for her class video...


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Numara training in Dallas, pt #3 
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 10:05 AM - School
Hello, day #3 has ended. I didn't feel like wandering the mall by myself again today, so i bummed a ride with some of the other guys from training. We hopped in the rental car and headed out to the restaurant area. We picked some Brazilian-Texas place. They had valet parking and people were walking in with suits. Ya, we found out it was 45$ a person for dinner. So we promptly left and went next door to Pei Wei. The food was good.

This is a picture of the huge bowl of soup a couple guys got when they ordred. It was enough soup for 3+ people and a couple guys got them for themselves. We shared one, and the big guy attempted to eat his.

Here are the crab and cheese wontons i got to share with everyone. They were quite good. The sauce wasn't the best. Still good though.

I got some fire chicken or something, it was rather good. The sauce was different than i expecred, but it was a nice change from pizza the other night.

This is the outside of the hotel as i am coming back from dinner, i was on the 5th floor, so i had a view of the tops of some buildings. Couldn't see much really.

Here is the lobby of the hotel in case anyone cares ;)

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