Gumby

Thoughts from the clay guru.

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Why I like my WP7 phone over my iPhone

Here are the highlights on why I like my Windows Phone 7 phone over my old iPhone:

  1. When looking at the keyboard, am I typing in upper or lower case?  On my iOS device, you have to look for a slight blue highlight on the up arrow of the shift key, yet on WP7 and Android devices, the entire keyboard changes that characters to upper or lower case to show what mode you are in.  This is software, why can’t Apple just change the keyboard.  And the funny thing, I did not notice the issue when I had my iPhone, and everyone I have shown does not really realize it…but once you notice it, it becomes a minor annoyance.
  2. Downloadable, subscription music.  For $10 month, I get a Zune pass subscription that will allow me to stream or download all the music I want on my device.  Now this is really nice to:
    • Minimize my mobile data traffic over a pure streaming service (like LastFM, Spotify, Slacker Radio, etc.).
    • No outages when my data plan cuts out (like in remote areas in the midwest)
    • I get to download and stream music to my PC, XBox plus 3 other mobile devices (my phone, daughters Zune HD player)
  3. Love the configuration and look and feel of the Home page.  Not just a bunch of icons, but the Live Tiles show me a lot of extra info like (all this without any input):
    • Weather temp, and flips to show radar
    • Next appointment
    • Family group tile that shows if I have any calls, text messages or emails from anyone in my family.
    • Missed phone calls, text messages, emails, etc.
    • ToDo Tasks remaining
    • New RSS Feed articles, with highlight titles
  4. I can create groups of contacts.  I currently have 2 groups defined; one for my family and one for my immediate co-worker.  The contact groups allow me to:
    • See if I have any new emails, phone calls or text messages from the group.
    • I can view the groups’ aggregate Twitter or Facebook posts
    • I can send an email or text message to the entire group with the single click.
    • I can view all the photos of the group members in a single place
    • I pin my Family group on my Home page so I can get updates and communicate easily and quickly.
  5. The People (or contacts/phone) application merges all my contact information together for me.  For example, I have one co-worker in which his single contact card on my phone merges all the information together from my company MS Exchange contact, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and XBox ( my @live.com account).  So I don’t have multiple contact cards, just one, with all his data in a single place.  And when I view the contact card, I can swipe right and see all the communications I have had with this person, which includes:
    • Phone calls
    • Text Message
    • Emails
    • Tweets
    • etc.
  6. BACK BUTTON.  All caps because this is a big deal when you get used to it.  I still use an iPad on a daily basis…and I REALLY miss the back button when switching between apps.  I know, I can double click on the Home button, then select the application I was just in, but this is much more difficult that just clicking the Back button.  Everyone with a Blackberry, Android and WP7 device I am sure know what I mean.
  7. It’s quicker for a lot of daily tasks.  Google “Smoked by Windows Phone 7” and see what I mean.
  8. Initially, WP7 won with the quick picture taking by simply holding the Camera button down.  And for those of us that are required to enter a password because of Company security policy…this is a real time saver.  I think Apple might have closed the gap a bit with their later OS versions…but not sure if they would still beat WP7 in a “Smoked by” test of taking a picture.
  9. Options, options, options.  Now I have gotten used to the soft keyboard, but try and get an iPhone with a physical keyboard, or maybe a 4.3 or 4.7 inch display.  Replaceable battery anyone?

That is my quick dump on why I like my WP7 phone, and am currently looking at another (Nokia 900) WP7 phone to replace my current Samsung Focus.  I still love my Focus, but LTE (can I get an iPhone with LTE????….think not) would be sweet, I need a new GPS and for the lower price, I think I might just be fine with Nokia Drive (included with the phone), and a bigger display and faster CPU might be nice.

Please feel free to comment on why you love your WP7 phone.  And if you have carried a WP7 phone for any period of time (say 1 month) and went back to an iPhone, I would like to hear why as well.

Windows 8 and Proxy servers

This post is only relevant if you are trying to use the Customer Preview version of Windows 8 within a corporate firewall.  If this is not you…go do something else…like google “cat breading” (and that is breading…like Wonder Bread…and, I can’t figure it out either…what a waste of bandwidth).

Okay, on to the regularly scheduled blog….

After reading some posts, looking up some MS articles, and miscellaneous other reference materials, I finally got Windows 8 – Customer Preview to download and install apps from within our corporate firewall…and here are my 12 easy steps:

  1. Go to the windows Desktop (if you don’t know what this is…wait until the final release of Windows 8) and fire up Windows Explorer (the folder thingy)
  2. Under the View menu, make sure you have “File Name Extensions” checked
  3. Right click in a folder (Documents is fine) and select “New | Text Document”
  4. Name this new file MikeIsCool.cmd (or some other name that states I am not really a geek)
  5. Click on “Yes” when prompted if you want to change the file name extension.  If you don’t get this prompt…go back to Step 2…you forgot to turn on the file extensions.
  6. Right-click on the MikeIsCool.cmd file then select the Edit menu item.
  7. Type in the following 2 lines:
    netsh winhttp set proxy http://<your proxy server here>:<your port here>
    pause
  8. Close the Window and click on “Save” button to save the file
  9. Right-click on the MikeIsCool.cmd file (yes, again), and select “Run as administrator”
  10. (optional) Enter your administrator password.  A command prompt will pop up and you should see a line labeled Proxy Server(s) with your proxy server to the right of that.  Make sure it all looks good…if not, you typed something wrong in step 7…or I got something wrong…but I am guessing it is you.  If it is me, please post a comment and tell me how much smarter you are than me…and please tell me and others how to fix my blunder.  And make sure you don’t really type in “<your proxy server here>” or “<your port here>”
  11. (optional) Press the spacebar to close down the command window.
  12. Reboot your Windows 8 machine.

That worked for me.  After the reboot, I was able to install apps in Windows 8.

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