Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

3 Cell Phone Options

I’m not a big fan of cell phones. However, after I moved to Alpena I bought a cheap Tracfone so I could at least have a number that I could put on job applications.


I used the Tracfone for a while, and if you get double minutes, and if you buy the minutes in large quantities, and search the web for coupon codes, it can be a fairly economical choice. I think this is the best choice for those who only use their phone on a very limited basis.

However, I charted my minute usage and after a while I found that I was using the phone fairly regularly, and the more I used it the less cost effective it was. So, I started looking around.

I looked at AT&T and Verizon because through UPS I can get an employee discount, but the prices were just too high. Especially if you wanted a smartphone.

Then I came across Straight Talk.


Straight Talk is a contract free cell phone service. They basically have two plans. The first one is $30 for 1000 minutes of talk time (any day, any time), 1000 texts, and 3o Mb of web. The second plan is $45 for unlimted talk, text, and web.

I currently have a Samsung phone (can’t remember the model) with the $30 plan which actually comes to $32 after the fees. It has a traditional Blackberry layout with the keypad below. However, that’s where the similarities end. I can use this to check emails if I absolutely have to, but that’s about it. It’s very stripped-down. However, the OS is fast, and the price and the call quality is good. And around here they use Verizon’s towers which is usually preferable to AT&T’s.

However, I just became aware of Consumer Cellular.


It seems to me that Consumer Cellular runs off of AT&T’s network. However, this place will sell you a Motorola Bravo which is a full-fledged Android phone. And you have more options for payment plans. It’s also a no-contract deal. You can get 300 min for $20 and 700 min for $30. Plus you can get larger plans and then add another phone for $10 and split the minutes. Sounds like a great deal.

However to use text and web you have to purchase another plan on top of the minutes plan. But the lowest one will give you 100 texts and 4 Mb of data for $2.50/month. And then for $5/month you can get 500 texts and 20 Mb of data.

Anyway, this seems like a pretty neat plan to me. And it might be especially nice for those of you who would like a smartphone  but don’t want to pay up the wazoo for it. And another nice feature is that the smartphone also works on wifi. So whenever you are near a hotspot, you can use that instead of the network, and save your web usage for when you really need it.

I guess Straight Talk has also got, or is coming out with an Android smartphone, but it’s not available in my area. However, that might be one to consider as well.

I just thought I would share the info because we all know how $10-$20/month in cell savings can add up over time.

And… I will get $6.35 for every person I refer. Just tell ’em Matt sent you.

Chuckle, chuckle.


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iPad 3 With Retina Display

As many of you know, I’m not a huge Apple fan or anything, but I have come to appreciate many aspects of both their hardware and software. However I’m pretty cheap, so I tend to buy weak little PC’s and then give them lots of loving care to keep them running long past their life-expectancy. For example, both of my computers still run Windows XP.

However, I’ve messed around with a few of the iPads and I think they’re pretty nifty. But ever since I held an iPhone 4 with the retina display I could never bring myself to even think about buying an iPad that didn’t have an equally brilliant display. Not that the one it has is that bad or anything (and if anyone wants to give me one, I will be more than willing to take it) but once I saw the retina display, there was no going back.

Well, I just saw this article speculating that Apple may come out with an iPad 3 sporting a retina display sometime in 2012.

If this does come to fruition, expect to receive a support-raising letter from me in the near future!

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