Category Archives: Life

Wireless TV Receivers from AT&T U-verse!

I’m so excited that AT&T U-verse has come out with wireless TV receivers. I have not had cable in my upstairs bedroom for the 6 years that I’ve lived in my current home due to the fact that the wiring was not in-place. I’d been told by multiple companies that I couldn’t get cable installed up there without tearing through the walls or running a cable up the side of the building, and I haven’t been ambitious enough to do such things. I’d dream to myself–why can’t they just come up with a wireless receiver? I can stream wirelessly from my computer, so why not do the same with TV?

Well, my prayers have been answered, and I am so happy! I ordered my wireless receiver from AT&T the day after I found out that they offered it. They charged me a one-time fee of $49.99 plus $7 per month, which is the same as a second non-wireless, non-DVR HD receiver. It arrived in the mail two days later, installed in minutes, and has worked flawlessly since.

There are two pieces to the setup. A small access point that plugs directly into the U-verse home portal (or whatever they call it–the router), and the wireless receiver. When you turn them on, you pair them much like a bluetooth device. And that’s all there was to installation & setup.

Hats off to AT&T for this. I love it 🙂

Force the Mango Update

I have a Focus v1.3 on AT&T, and it was announced that the Mango update was available for me. I got home from work super excited, but when I went to my computer, Zune told me that there was no update.

After a few minutes of googling, I found this link that tells you how to trick/force Zune into letting you have the update, though! It worked for me, so give it a try if you’re in the same boat 🙂

http://www.wpcentral.com/force-mango-update-early-through-zune-software

AVG Free Edition

If anybody asks me for recommendations on an anti-virus solution, I always point them to AVG. I’ve used it for years and love it. It has a great UI, does a good job detecting and cleaning viruses, and they have a free edition to-boot! The only drawback to the free edition is that it’s so hard to find the download!

If you try to find it by browsing through http://www.avg.com, it’s near impossible to find. So, the easiest way to find it is to remember this URL: free.avg.com.

If you do happen to download and/or install the not-free version, it will prompt you to convert to the free version when you go to uninstall. So that’s another way to get it.

Bright Future for WP7

Microsoft has come out with a list of new features that will be coming with the Mango update later this year. I gotta say, I’m really excited. I’m happy with the phone exactly how it is now, but it’s getting so much better. You can find feature/update lists all over the internet, or you can browse the What’s next | Windows Phone 7 page at Microsoft.

These are the features that I’m most excited about:

  • IE9
  • Voice turn-by-turn navigation
  • Bing Vision
  • Local Scout
  • Better integration with Twitter & support for Facebook chat
  • Improved multitasking (alt+tab-like behavior)

The only feature that I was really missing from the BlackBerry Curve that I had with Sprint is the Sprint Navigation app. It was nice to always have a GPS in my pocket. WP7 has Bing maps with directions, but it’s not the best for figuring out where to go while driving since you need to scroll through and read the steps. So I’m definitely happy to see that voice-guided turn-by-turn directions are coming. I’m also looking forward to trying out Bing Vision.

Also, the check out PC Magazine’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards for mobile phones here. The Samsung Focus on AT&T (my phone) had a sparking 9.1 rating. I agree with it–I love this phone!

Goodbye .net Reflector, Hello ILSpy

I love[d] RedGate’s .net Reflector and used it all the time. It made me sad to see that they decided to eliminate the free version. The price isn’t terrible at $35, but it’s enough to make me explore other options before putting in a purchase request at work. I talked to some colleagues, did some quick Google research, and was pleasantly surprised to find a wonderful substitute called ILSpy.

ILSpy does exactly what .net Reflector did for me. I can explore objects, methods, and properties in assemblies, and it’ll decompile to show implementation details. ILSpy (or something similar, like .net Reflector) is a must-have tool for debugging and troubleshooting. I definitely recommend you check it out!

More info here.

‘Must Have Games’ for Windows Phone 7 Schedule

The schedule has been announced for Microsoft’s ‘Must Have Games’ promotion that will bring popular games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies to Windows Phone 7.

Here’s the schedule:
* May 25: Hydro Thunder GO! – $4.99
* June 1: Doodle Jump – $2.99
* June 8: geoDefense – $2.99
* June 15: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 – $6.99
* June 22: Plants vs. Zombies – $4.99
* June 29: Angry Birds – $2.99

Really looking forward to getting Sonic & Plants vs. Zombies! Hooray!!

More info here.

HBO GO

It’s HBO. Anywhere.

I just heard about HBO GO, and it sounds like a lot of fun! It’s a downloadable app for your iPad, iPhone, or Android device that let’s you watch HBO shows (movies, series, and originals). I’m a big fan of HBO, so I’m really excited to try it out on my wife’s EVO.

I sure hope they come out with an app for Windows Phone!

More info here: http://www.hbogo.com