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CSpire shady business practice

So here is my beef with CSpire. I switched to Sprint to take advantage of their buying out my contract. What I had to send to them was my bill from CSpire showing my Early Termination Fee along with my phone number. What CSpire did was send me a bill that had the ETF but changed my phone number on the bill to the temporary one when my phone number was ported to Sprint. So basically CSpire is trying to screw me out of the Visa gift card from Sprint for the ETF fee CSpire is charging me for which is $240 btw. So basically I’ve decided I’m not paying CSpire until they correct the issue.

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Why MidSouth Geek?

I recently visited Nashville with my wife as we do at least once a year. We lived there for 2 years in between California and Mississippi and I still love the town, I actually miss it more than I do California.

I say this to reach the core of this blog post and that is why I decided to rename my blog. Let me start by saying that I love Tupelo, it’s a very friendly and pleasant place, you can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger while waiting in line at like a gas station.

But what if we decided to move on to another town, maybe a better work opportunity for example. So this got me thinking, my identity is really wrapped into the place I call home in the hear and now…what do I do if we moved on? Luckily, any idea hit me for a name that has a more broader regional name…MidSouth Geek.

The Mid South historically represents North Mississippi, West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, and Northwest Alabama. By focusing on a more regional identity, it gives me the freedom to think beyond Tupelo, to explore other places in the area. This excites me and say for example I did move to Nashville I could probably still getaway with the MidSouth identity there.

Along with the branding of the website I also took advantage of the availability of MidSouthRob on both Facebook and Twitter to identify with.

So there you have it, the reason why this blog now sports a new fancy name. Give me some feedback on your thoughts about it.

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Why I Went Android

My goal here is to be objective on technology. Part of the reason I went Android is to fully immerse myself into all things Android. I’ve spent 6 years in the iPhone world so I figured a little change up is good. That being said I do see pluses and minuses in
Android already.

Plus side is it gives you more freedom to change the look of your home screen, change a default on a texting or browser app to another one and so forth. On the down side is OS update schedules. With iPhone when Apple releases an iOS upgrade, it pretty much works on any iPhone or iPad that’s on any carrier. Not so much with Android, for example the Samsung Galaxy S4 is running Jelly Bean 4.3 but a Moto X or Nexus 5 will be running Kit Kat 4.4. Even then when one phone gets an update on one carrier the same model on a different carrier won’t get it at the same time.

Now, obviously this may not be such a big deal to a lot of folks but for someone like me that likes to have the latest OS, it can be. That being said it is not a deal breaker for me. A lot of this has to do with the OS developed by Google, working with devices made by multiple manufacturers to support multiple carriers. This leads to a lot of logistical issues as you can imagine where on the Apple side the OS and hardware are made by the same company allowing it to be more uniform, but controlled at the same time.

So with all this in mind I have been enjoying my Samsung Galaxy S4 and I am learning a lot about the Google and Android world that I never knew before. It will be an interesting journey.

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Blogs, blogs, and blogs

I’ve been extra busy this week revamping my websites. Colors and headers have been revamped, and links updated and added. I do enjoy the design process, it allows me to be creative. Anyhow happy to say that this site along with The Tech Father (Formerly Rob’s Offline World), Father 4 Country, The Walking Catholic have been revamped and relaunched. Speaking of relaunch, Tupelo Catholic is back as well. Feel free to check them out and let me know.

Rob

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The iPhone 5S/5C Rundown

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Well Tuesday at 10am Pacific in Cupertino, CA. Apple is expected to show off its latest iPhone model. Unlike previous years though we will be seeing 2 different iPhone models.

One will be called the 5S which is the standard name for the incremental update model which maintains its predecessors form factor.

The 5C on the other hand may be a different story as it will probably be a more cheaper model in a plastic housing.

All these details of course are based on rumors and speculation of course. So what can we expect out of these 2 models?

iPhone 5S

From what I have read about the 5S is we can expect an A7 processor chip, better camera specs, and maybe a finger print sensor chip on the Home button. Other rumors point to a gold or champaign color model joining the standard black & white models, but I’ve not heard enough details to say this is certain to be.

The other things make sense though, based on previous models the S series always bumps the processor and camera specs, and adds a new feature (iPhone 4S of course saw Siri introduced), so the finger print sensor makes sense. So what is that? Based on posts, it is basically an optional security feature for your phone. Currently you can set either a pin or pass code to get into your phone and to keep lurkers away from your data on your phone.

iPhone 5C

Now when it comes to the iPhone 5C is basically a cheaper phone to sell in places like China or India, in fact I kind of call the C in iPhone 5C “China” cause Apple has struggled to establish a market share there versus the likes of Android models mostly due to price. So a phone made with less expensive parts such as a plastic case, would make a lot of sense here. Also there is speculation the 5C will come in multiple colors kind of like iPods do.

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So that’s in a nutshell what the run down is, we’ll see how things shake out Tuesday afternoon and I’ll have a follow up post after the announcement.

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Tim Cook Needs to Ditch the Nice Guy Act

So I’m getting tired of the sophomoric antics of Samsung and Microsoft taking shots at the iPhone and iPad. I know Apple and Tim Cook want to remain above the fray, but it might be time to be a little aggressive in advertising again. I loved the I’m a Mac and I’m a PC ads cause it laid out exactly what was great about the Mac and why PC’s well suck! What Apple needs now is a similar campaign in the mobile area. They need to show how easier it is to get up and going with an iPhone over an Android (yes I’ve used an Android and I wasn’t impressed). Let’s target the Android OS fragmentation to start. Ok granted with so many Android makers you may run into that but why can’t a Galaxy S III run the same Android OS as the S 4? It’s ridiculous and confusing to people. On the iPhone there is not the fragmentation you see in the Android world, while you do have some iOS devices that can’t run the latest and greatest OS (iPhone 3G can’t run iOS 6 for example), but basically any iPhone sold in the last 2-3 years will be supported on the latest iOS even iOS 7. There is not the fragmentation there like it is on Android.

Now as for Microsoft and their terribly selling Surface tablets, they are still focused on 90′s and early 2000′s tech. They point out the iPad lacks a USB port and smart card reader, well for good reason it’s called iCloud and cloud based services. You don’t need to sneakernet your photos and files to the iPad. Are we still stuck in 1995 Microsoft? Microsoft likes to bring up the iPad can’t run Office, well who’s fault is that Microsoft? You make Office if the iPad can’t run it its because you bastards are too lazy to make a version for it. Doesn’t matter though cause I would rather look at a Keynote presentation over a crappy PowerPoint one any day! Speaking of which with iCloud you can work on a Keynote on a Mac and finish it on the iPad or iPhone or vice versa. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Microsoft.

So it is real simple Apple just has to be aggressive on pointing out why the Surface features are outdated like to the Bill Clinton era. Sell the features of iCloud connectivity and you have a winner and how you don’t have to Google to see if your phone will run the latest OS like Android users do.

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Hello Again!

Well, it’s been a while since I have written here. Being a full time Apple Tech and a husband and father doesn’t leave much time to write like I did before in this space. I guess an update is needed here for those that don’t follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

New Daughter

First off, we have a new addition to our family, Sarah Elizabeth. She was born on 6/13 and we just can’t stop loving on her. She was a surprise adoption for us, one we got a 2 month notice on. I hope to write more about her once the adoption is finalized.

Sisters hanging out. #adoption







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working Life

In my last post I told you I was returning to the working world and over a year later, I can tell you I LOVE MY JOB!!! I work with some talented guys and my boss is top notch! I get to go to work and play around on Macs all day, I mean what is not to love about it? It is very much a family type atmosphere at Computer Universe, a far far cry from the more corporate-based jobs I have worked before. I love working for a small biz, my other favorite job, MacAuthority in Nashville, was also a small biz and a great owner in Mark Gregory. Speaking of Nashville, I got the opportunity as part of my new job to be there for 3 days earlier this year for Apple training and testing. I had some evening time to enjoy my old stomping grounds. It’s a great city and I do miss it and hope to return there someday, but not for a while.

New Technology

Since my last writing, I have a new MacBook Pro to replace my older white MacBook which I gave to my Godson Jay’won to do his school work on. I also updated to an iPhone 5 and switched from AT&T to C Spire. Savannah now uses my old iPhone 4 as a iPod touch basically since it has no carrier capability now.

New Ride

With the second addition to our family, we had to say goodbye to Kristen’s old Corolla. It was a solid car and at 250k+ miles on it, still going when we traded it in to buy our new Toyota Sienna minivan or as we call it, the Swaggerwagon. I never thought a minivan would be cool but I have to admit it is a nice ride. I still have my Chevy S10 pickup and it is running good and I am just going to drive it until it doesn’t want to run no more, it is a 1997 so basically, it is old enough to have its own drivers license.

Well, I guess that is all in a nutshell. I still intend to write a blog here once things with our newborn settle in. Until then follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or circle me at Google+.

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Going Back to Work

So today was my first day back at a job in almost 2 years. I work at a computer store that recently became an Apple authorized reseller and I have been brought in as the Apple point man you could say. I will reveal more details later, but it is a Monday-Friday job and first shift so I couldn’t be happier with the days and hours.

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Remembering Dr. David Foster

I wasn’t sure which blog to post this to, but ultimately I chose TupeloGeek because new media falls under tech really.
I found out today via Cliff Ravenscraft on Facebook that Dr. David Foster a pastor in the Nashville area who I saw speak in a panel at PodCamp Nashville last year, died Monday morning in his sleep at the age of 58.
Pastor Foster was married to his wife Paula for 38 years. They hosted a podcast for a while called The David & Paula Show and I enjoyed listening to it when I had more time for podcast listening. To hear a Christian couple discuss their lives, I am used to with podcasts like Catholic in a Small Town, Catholic Family, and The Catholics Next Door. But with David & Paula, you had a couple that were not in my age range yet they got what new media is and David used it very well, he would stream his church service online too. My heart goes out to Paula and the family as well as the congregation at The Gathering during this time of grieving. RIP, David.

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More thoughts on iPad

Well, it has been a three days now since I got the new iPad. I can say that I have had none of the problems I had heard about before buying it.

Battery and Usage

My battery life is incredible, I unplugged it from the charger around 10 am yesterday and when I plugged it back in around 1:30 am it was just down to 20%. That is 15 1/2 hours off the charge and that was with normal use and a good hour or so of playing Angry Birds Space.

Heat and WiFi Signal

As far as heat goes, nothing out of the ordinary here, if anything it seems cooler than my 1st gen iPad and a whole lot cooler than my MacBook. In terms of the stories about weak WiFi strength, again not an issue here. I have been to a couple of public spots now and get great WiFi strength.

LTE

While I was out at lunch yesterday at a place that didn’t offer WiFi, I used my LTE connection from Verizon and got 29 Mbps. I played a couple of movie trailers in HD with no buffering issues at all. I can’t wait to switch my next iPhone which will have LTE, over to Verizon!

So those are just a few of my thoughts on the iPad as I use it more and more. One note, my MacBook has not left my desk since I got the iPad.

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My new iPad Initial Review

I have been following the news about the new iPad since it was announced. Some of the positives have been the obvious retina display and the ability to run it on a faster 4G/LTE network. I have also read about the negatives such as it being hot, the battery charge issue, and some reports of poor WiFi reception.

Weighing the pros and cons I have been looking for an upgrade from my first generation iPad.
Being that I already own an iPhone 4, retina display was a must which is why I stayed away from the iPad 2. So I made my decision last week after hearing good initial feedback from my friend Jeremy with his new iPad. I have been sitting on a share of Apple stock since about 2006 when I bought it at $60. Last week I cashed that in at $605!

The Purchase

Yesterday I headed to the Verizon store after calling to confirm they had the model I was looking for, the 32GB 4G. Once I got there the same salesperson that took my call, Marcus, assisted me with my purchase. I explained to Marcus the reason I went with Verizon despite being an AT&T iPhone customer was simple. One, Verizon offers LTE in Tupelo where as AT&T does not. Secondly, Verizon allows the iPad to use the hotspot feature of the iPad. As anyone that follows me on a regular basis knows, I have had repeated issues with Comcast regarding the Internet going out. Having a hotspot feature which I won’t have to pay anything extra a month for btw, was a huge selling point.

The Setup

I walked out of there and headed home to set it up. I showed Savannah’s babysitter how easy it was to setup right out of the box, needless to say she wants one now and is even going to give up cigarettes to pay for one. Talk about a positive goal! Setup was so easy as anything Apple does (fanboy gloat). I configured it with iCloud and boom, my contacts and calendar as well as Photo Share was setup. Next was getting the obvious apps on it. Facebook, Twitter, Reeder, DayOne, and WordPress, among others installed from the previous download section of the app store.

Retina Display & Camera

Next was trying out the features of the new iPad. Retina display is stunning! Readability and Read it Later have both been updated to reading my news stories look sharp, I would say even sharper text wise than my Kindle. Taking pictures and video was also cool. The more lighting the better when using both of course as there is no LED flash on the iPad like there is on the iPhone 4.

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So if you want that 1080p video, I would highly recommend doing outdoor shooting for optimal results. Low light indoor was Ok but it is a bit grainy.

LTE

Then there was the LTE network. I turned off my WiFi to try that out and got about 10 Mbps download, easily beating my 1-2 Mbps 3G speed and coming close to my Comcast connection which at the time was 14 Mbps (it fluctuates). I will only use LTE in non-WiFi conditions or very slow WiFi (like right now at Atlanta Bread during lunch hour).

Dictation

Then there is Dictation, this feature I knew about but was not high on my radar in making a purchase decision, but once you use it, it does spoil you especially if you don’t own an iPhone 4S with Siri. Since it is built into the iOS for the new iPad, you are able to use it for darn near almost anything. I have the option to even utilize it within WordPress but the people at Atlanta Bread would think I am either rude or crazy talking to my iPad. But I can also speak my status updates to Facebook and Twitter as well. I will be using this feature a lot. It’s not perfect yet but I usually only have to correct 1-2 spellings per sentence but even with that it is still less time consuming than typing everything out.

Case

I can’t say this enough, you do want a case with this thing and I picked up a Targus one at Best Buy for about $40. It doubles as a stand for the iPad when you want to do some serious blogging. It is also a slim but protective case so it won’t make your iPad look fat in its dress. ;-)

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Closing Thoughts

Overall after the first 24 hours I am very impressed with my new iPad and haven’t touched my MacBook much at all. Having a camera on it will be huge as I try to move away further from the laptop and going more tablet on a regular basis. The real test will come when I leave the MacBook at home for our West Coast trip and I just take the iPad and iPhone with us.

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The new iPad

So look what I got today!

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More later.

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Daily Tech Journal #2

Ok so for this edition we are going to focus on the Apple Mountain Lion OS announcement.

We do know it will arrive this summer and will be even closer tied to the iOS in terms of messaging, contacts, and calendars, as well as notes and reminders in edition to many other features. Now for the bad news, there are a number of systems it will not run on (mine included).

Here is a video of 30 features in it.

Tim Cook sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal to talk about Mountain Lion.

Of course there is the official Apple video of features.

So that is the lowdown on Mountain Lion. I have downloaded Messages which is available in beta and replaces iChat at least in name. Love it so far as I can get texts from my friends and family that are using iOS 5 iMessage.

Back tomorrow with more news.

 

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Daily Tech Journal #1

Hello everybody, I decided to separate the tech news from my daily blog and put into the TupeloGeek blog.

Shep Smith goes off on AT&T and data throttling. He is not a happy camper and even compares them to crack dealers.

This is a pretty good step by step on Enabling push notifications on Tweetbot. I have been using it for a while but notifications are not enabled by default. Now it is the most complete Twitter app for me.

Siri speaks Japanese, as well as a few other languages when it rolls out to those countries.

Downloaded the new Clear app for the iPhone. A review will be forthcoming, but here is a video showing an overview of what it can do.

Clear for iPhone – Available Now! from Realmac Software on Vimeo.

Ultrabooks suck, customers only want the MacBook Air. No surprise really, why buy a pretender when you can get the real deal.

Apple iPad Driving Accelerated Enterprise Transition Away from Printing. Makes a lot of sense really, why print when you have a device you can easily distribute into the field with live updated content.

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Tuesday Tech Talk #102

Hello everybody and welcome to what I hope is the re-launch of Tuesday Tech Talk. Going forward it will be more of a review of a certain hardware or software app as opposed to a rundown of general tech news. So with that in mind I want to talk about a new app I am using on both my MacBook and my iPhone and iPad, it is called Day One and it basically allows you to jot down thoughts, updates, links and even YouTube videos as you go along through the day. They make a version for the desktop which runs $9.99 and for the iOS at $1.99 and the best part is it has iCloud built in as well as Dropbox support so whatever you record on one device will appear on the other.

I had seen it promoted on both the Mac App Store and the iTunes App Store but then my good friend Scott mentioned it to me as a way to keep up with my blogging, so I checked out their website and sure enough it is the missing link I have been looking for. You can star certain posts that you view as more important, in my case these are things I want to record into my daily blog I have started as a result of using it which you can see here. What I really like about it is how it handles HTML. For instance copying YouTube embed code will actually display the video within Day One on the desktop (I have not tried it on the iOS side yet). At the end of the day I simply copy and paste my entries into MarsEdit on the MacBook or the WordPress app if I am blogging from the iOS. One feature I hope they add is the ability to export your daily entry right into a blog app like ME or WP.

Overall I have to say I love using it and I highly recommend it to anyone if they are looking to blog daily or simply to maintain a journal and yes it does offer a passcode/password entry on both versions for privacy concerns. Best $12 I have spent! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Mac 1 5 sync

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