Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Whatever 2013

With all the crap you hear and read these days about people getting butt-hurt and their undies in a twist over whether or not a retail store clerk says “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” I just wanted to take a moment to say - Happy Whatever!


Seriously, I don’t care what you believe in (or don’t believe in). Just have a happy and safe holiday season. If you don’t like that I didn’t say Merry Christmas, then get the sand out of your vagina and try being a member of society instead of whiney, self-entitled, twat-waffle. :-)


Note: The following video is an old Virgin Mobile ad, but I love the sentiment of the whole thing. It is not an endorsement on my part of Virgin Mobile and I’m pretty sure the pricing it mentions isn’t valid anymore. Enjoy, and Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah!



~ JC

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hot Water is Now a Beach

A few weeks ago I wrote about wanting to replace my traditional drip coffee maker with just water pot since I now use the very awesome Aeropress Coffee Maker. Being that my coffee maker had a auto-on timer, I was looking for an electric kettle that had that feature as well and in addition to the ability to program the temperature wanted (something a coffee maker doesn’t have). I found one at Bed, Bath & Beyond that cost $250! (see my blog post “You Want How Much Money Just To Make Hot Water?!”)


I had pretty much reached the point of deciding that a coffee maker was going to be the best (read, only) way to go if I wanted to be able to arrive downstairs on early weekday mornings and have hot water already available to make my requisite cup of coffee. I wasn’t finding electric kettles that had a programmable timer feature without also have price tag of $130-$250 (I mean, come on - does it go out and pick the damn tea leaves for you too?)


Well, thank the coffee gods for Amazon.com. While searching for something completely unrelated to hot water or coffee a couple of weekends ago, I found, on my wish list no less, a listing for the Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle.  Listed for a retail price of $49.99, it was only $37.40 with free shipping on Amazon. I took a closer look, as my first glance at it (when I had initially placed it on my wishlist) I hadn’t noticed how “programmable” it was. I was quite pleased to find that it was what I was looking for; it has programmable temperature (including presets and the ability to set custom temperatures), and it has a clock and the ability to set it to turn itself on at a set time. Like a programmable coffee pot, it also has an auto-off feature (only 1 hr compared to 2 hrs on most coffee makers, unfortunately, but still a nice safety feature; it will also turn itself off if it detects that the pot is dry).


I’ve had the Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle for a week now, and I have to say that I really like it. It takes up considerably less counter space than the coffeepot did and now that I have control over the temperature, I can say that using this in conjunction with my Aeropress Coffee Maker makes a better cup of coffee than using a standard coffee pot or just using hot water from the coffeepot with the Aeropress. Some reviewers complained that it quit working after only a couple of months, so hopefully I won’t run into that problem and chalk those comments up to being the rare defective unit (there were a lot more 5-star ratings than there were 1-star reviews).


It is true that I could have bought another coffee pot for about half as much and the Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle, but these days even the coffee pots that have the programmable features I prefer were ranging in the $40-$50 range, so I’m OK with having paid as much for the kettle as I did. Shipping was pretty quick too, especially considering that I paid the low low price of FREE (ordered it on a Saturday night, had it in hand by the following Friday).


So, if you’re looking to make a great cup of coffee, pick up an Aeropress Coffee Maker and a Hamilton Beach 40996 Programmable Kettle; that’s my 2¢ anyway.

~ JC

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Re-Browsing FireFox

I have been a pretty die hard fan of Google’s Chrome browser for several years now. I loved that it automatically synchronized my bookmarks and add-ons between devices simply by logging into my Google account. Also, when it first came out, it seemed to be much faster than FireFox and Internet Explorer (really, what isn’t faster than Internet Explorer?) Recently, though, Chrome has really seemed to slow down. Sometimes I have to reload a page several times by almost hammering on the F5 key before it will come up. My first inclination was that maybe the Wi-Fi signal in my living room was not very strong (the AT&T Wireless Gateway is upstairs, after all). But when this started occurring even when I took the laptop upstairs and plugged in the ethernet cable, I then started wondering if something was up with the PC itself, so naturally I rebooted (several times).


Yesterday, for shits-’n-giggles, I decided to spend time using FireFox instead of Chrome just to see if there would be a difference…. and there was. So, I exported all of my bookmarks from Chrome and imported them into FireFox. I’ve been using just FF for several hours now and it, so far, is proving to be more reliable and loading pages correctly and quickly compared to Chrome.


That’s not the only reason I’m considering fully switching back to FireFox though. Until my recent smartphone upgrade, I did not have access to Chrome Mobile, and honestly never really gave FireFox Mobile much of a look. Now, though, I find myself really preferring FireFox Mobile simply because it supports add-ons, which Chrome Mobile does not. That may not seem like that big of a deal, but since I use LastPass password manager, if I need to log into, say, my banking site on the go to see if a payment or deposit has cleared yet, having to open the LastPass app, copy the password, and then paste it into the browser can become cumbersome while having the add-on in my mobile browser like I do the desktop version is much more convenient. I will admit, Chrome Mobile seems a bit more user friendly in terms of its interface, but that lack of add-on support is kind of killing it for me.


Synchronization was Chrome’s biggest advantage for my decision to keep using it, but I discovered this morning that FireFox has that now too (ok, granted, it probably has for awhile and I just never noticed it because it has been so long since I regularly used it). The sync is pretty seamless. I set up the FireFox Sync account on my primary PC (namely my laptop) and then was able to connect the mobile versions on both my phone and my tablet (which is a rooted and flashed Nook Tablet, in case you’re interested). Not only does the FireFox Sync service synchronize my bookmarks, but also my add-ons, preferences, and history; it will even sync my tabs and passwords if I choose to do so.


There you have it. Sorry Google, but Chrome has started failing me, so I’m going back to FireFox; at least for awhile to see how things go.

~ JC

Sunday, August 18, 2013

You Want How Much Money Just To Make Hot Water?!

About a month ago I wrote about using a Aeropress Coffee Maker and abandoning the old school drip coffee maker for my morning cup of java (the drink, not the programming language). I also mentioned that I had discovered that the old coffee maker got the water sufficiently hot, the recommended temperature being around 175° F. The thing is, it’s getting about time to replace the drip coffee pot. It’s starting to get hard water deposits in the tubing, the panel on the front that marks what each button does is starting to peel off. Plus, since it’s only being used to make hot water these days, it’s taking up unnecessary counter space. So I’ve been looking at electric tea kettles, which take up less counter space and essentially are built for making hot water and also have temperature control features.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered how much these damn things cost! The thing about my coffee pot I love is that it has a timer on it. I can pour in the water and set the timer for 5:00 AM and go to bed, and when I get up at 5:30 AM, there’s already hot water (or in the past, coffee) waiting for me. So far I’ve found one... one electric tea kettle that has a timer as well as temperature control.



Seriously? $250 to make a pot of hot fucking water? Sure, I’ve found some for cheaper, but they don’t have the timer nor a “keep warm” option. The model pictured above would be ideal, but sweet dear and fluffy Lord, why the fuck is it so expensive when all it does is make hot water? The coffee pot I have was only $20 and it has a time - ok, so it doesn’t have temperature control, but I don’t see how that in conjunction with a programmable timer justifies the price being 12.5 times as much.

I guess I’ll keep looking, or maybe just buy a less expensive model and one of those old school plug timers like folks use for their lights when they go on vacation and just plug into that. Or maybe I’ll just keep using the coffee pot to make hot water.

~ JC

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Searchin’ For Research, Part 3: Reading, Notes and Note Apps

Now that I’ve chosen a topic, the next logical step would be to start gathering resources and reading; a lot of reading.  I really enjoy reading, so this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right? What I am very quickly discovering (or rather re-discovering) is that reading for fun or general knowledge versus reading for research are very different. Reading a novel, or even a non-fiction book for fun or to gain knowledge of a topic involves sitting down and reading; that’s it. Reading for a research project, however, is a bit more arduous as I keep having to remember to stop and take notes on what I’m reading so that I can not only remember it, but also so I can properly cite that source later. It doesn’t help that, as much as I enjoy reading, I’m very slow at it -- I’ve never developed the skill of being able to read without sub-vocalizing the text in my head. If I try to scan for content, I either skip important facts, or I end up re-reading the same line several times anyway. Having to stop to notate what I’m reading (thank the gods for post-it notes) makes the task of reading take that much longer.

Speaking of notes, I remember back in highschool that the prescribed method was to create note cards, one for each source (duly numbered, of course) and then to use more note cards to take notes or write down quotes from said sources. Now, however, we live in a digital age with computers, smartphones and lots and lots of “apps for that”. This is a very useful thing, because now, if I quote or note a source, when I begin writing the actual paper, I can copy and paste instead of having to retype it all over again. The problem arises with this method of how to organize all of these notes.

When I began this self-imposed task of writing a research paper about the history of role-playing games and the effects they have had on modern society, I starting off using OneNote to make notes and keep track of my sources. It made sense at the time because creating a text-box for each note sort of mimicked using an index card. After awhile, though, these text-box note cards began to get somewhat jumbled and not terribly organized. It is at this point I recalled my former college roommate mentioning on Facebook an application/web service he had been using called Zotero. I love this service! I wish it had existed when I was still in college. I personally prefer the standalone desktop application, but it also has a web based version. It also, very handily, has plug-ins for both MS Office and LibreOffice, et.,al., so creating footnotes within a document are a breeze.

Zotero also makes keeping sources and notes in one place very easy as well as creating the correct formatting for a footnote and bibliography. Instead of having to have a document with my sources in both a bibliography format and a footnote format for future copying and pasting, not to mention the entries in OneNote with my notes and quotes, I can keep everything in Zotero with any notes attached directly to the entry for the source. When citing a source, all I have to do is use the plug-in in LibreOffice and select the appropriate source and enter the page number (if any) and it automagically inserts the footnote for me in the correct format for the style I have selected (in my case, I have selected Turabian style, but Zotero offers 6,463 different citation styles that can be downloaded and installed including Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, APA, etc.).

I had initially set a goal of completing this project for the end of September, but with all of the sources I have found and continue to find, I am shifting that goal to the end of the calendar year to give myself plenty of time to gather my research. One this is for certain; if I were still in school and had to adhere to a hard deadline, I’d be pretty screwed since I am horribly out of practice at doing this type of in depth research project. Still, I’m enjoying the challenge.

~ JC

Related Posts:
Searchin’ For Research” (July 7, 2013)
Searchin’ For Research, Part 2: Getting Started” (July 21, 2013)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Searchin’ For Research, Part 2: Getting Started

The first step in beginning a research project, of course, is to decide on a topic. Once the topic is settled on, finding source material and actually doing the research can begin. I would have thought that the internet would make doing research easier than it was fifteen years ago when I was in college. To a certain degree, that is true. The problem is, since I have decided to write a paper titled “Role Playing Games: Their History and Influence on Society”, the vast majority of what I’ve found in the way of information has been on the internet. Considering my topic and that I’m only writing the paper for my own enjoyment, that is probably fine, but there is always that concern about sources such as Wikipedia not being seen as trustworthy and accurate. Unlike the woman in the insurance commercial on television, I know better than to believe that, “They can’t put anything that’s not true on the internet.”


Internet research aside, I have also obtained, for the first time in years, a public library card. Of course, as I’ve mentioned, finding materials for which a library card is actually useful or needed has been difficult. Still, it is kind of cool to have a library card again and with today’s technology I can search the entire library system catalog from the comfort of my couch and request anything I need to be placed on hold and pick it up at the branch closest to my house.


So far I’m enjoying doing the research and tracking down sources. It has been so long since I’ve done something like this, though, that I am a little concerned about achieving my goal of having the whole thing written and posted by the end of the quarter.


~ JC


Related post:

Searchin’ For Research” (July 7, 2013)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Coffee Has Become A Pressing Matter

Let us harken back to the days of yon; ok, let’s just go back to December 25, 2012, upon which date I received an Aeropress Coffee Maker as a Christmas gift. I had put this on my wish list because it seemed like a really cool idea to be able to brew a single cup of coffee without having buy an overly expensive machine that uses little proprietary premeasured packages. I was quite excited to get it, but I have to admit my first attempt at making coffee with it resulted in something more like coffee flavored tea. I tried again one other time a few weeks later, which resulted in a very good cup of coffee. The first attempt I simply didn’t get the water hot enough.


For the last few months it has sat behind the coffee maker untouched; that is, until last weekend when I decided to try a bit of experiment. As I mentioned before, my first attempt resulted in not having the water hot enough because I had tried to heat it in the microwave. The instructions recommend a temperature of 175° F. Using my electric hot pot worked much better, but it has not real temperature control (it’s either on or its off). I good electric teapot with programmable temperature is pretty expensive, so I decided to find out if the coffeepot itself would get the water hot enough. Thankfully, it does get the water to a little over the recommended 175° F.

The way the Aeropress works is pretty simple. There are basically three parts to the whole thing; the chamber, the plunger, and the filter cap.  The filter cap (naturally with a filter in it) attaches to the bottom of the chamber which is then placed on top of your favorite coffee cup. Using the included scoop, measure an amount of coffee into the chamber (for me, it’s three scoops since I use a fairly large mug). Pour in the hot water (the amount will depend on how much coffee you have used); let that steep for a few moments, give it a stir then put the plunger into the chamber and press. Voila! There are, of course, some other methods I’ve found on the internet for using the Aeropress in other ways which supposedly make a better cup of coffee than the prescribed method in the included instructions.

This won’t fill the mug to full. What you end up with is a really concentrated amount of hot coffee. What I do is top off the mug with more hot water, essentially making an Americano, but you could also use steamed milk to make a latte or cappuccino if you prefer.

My next step will be start trying whole bean coffee to figure how many scoops of whole beans I need to use to make the coffee strong enough.

The other great thing about using the Aeropress is that I don’t waste coffee. There have been plenty of mornings that I’ve made a pot of coffee (actually, I set it up at night and use the timer on the coffee pot so it’s ready when I get up) and only had time to drink one cup before having to head to work. Using the Aeropress, I make each cup fresh, so I don’t waste coffee by having to pour out the leftovers. Cleanup is also much faster as the Aeropress itself only really needs a quick rinse in the sink, and the coffee pot only had water in it.

So now, I get a better cup of coffee, cleanup is much faster and I can still use regular coffee instead of having to revert to instant if I just happen to want a one-off cup of coffee later in the day.

~ JC

Available from:


Sunday, July 07, 2013

Searchin' for Research

As I’ve mentioned so many times before, I write this blog because I like to write. I don’t necessarily think I’m that particularly brilliant at it, but it’s a very cathartic act for me. The thing is, as you may have noticed by the gaps in the dates of my more recent postings, I’ve been having a bit of trouble coming up with topics, or at least trying not to rehash topics that I feel like I’ve written about entirely too much or too often.


As strange as it may sound, one of the things I actually enjoyed most about my college courses was doing research and writing papers. It has been some thirteen or so years since I left college. I kind of want to do a research paper and post it on my blog; perhaps even in parts, like a serial blog.


Ideally, I’d love to write a novella or short story, but I seem to lack the ability to write fiction without blatantly “borrowing (read, stealing) ideas from books and stories I’ve read (or from the backstory “fluff” found in role playing game rulebooks).


Here’s the thing; I’m much better at writing non-fiction than fiction, but so many things interest me that picking a topic is difficult. Should I write about history, technology, religion? I can’t decide!


I’m not looking to come up with a Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation here. I just want a topic that I’m interested in that I would like to learn more about and then parlay that into a research paper.


Step one, of course will be to start making more time to actually read and dedicate that time to reading articles and books other than novels. It probably wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and get a library card at my local library (because, you know, books are expensive and borrowing them versus buying them doesn’t kill my budget - as much as I’d much rather add even more to my personal library).


The second thing would be to remember how to write a research paper (odds are I’d format it in Turabian style as that’s what I primarily used in college). As I said earlier, it’s been at least thirteen years since I have had to do a research paper, and to be honest, most of the ones I wrote in college were of the 2-5 page variety and not the lengthy 10 or so pages I’m thinking of attempting for this project.


So, for those of you who have read my past blogs, any thoughts or ideas on something you might be interested in reading about that I could expound upon from just simple Sunday morning blog post? And for that matter, does it need to be a full blown research paper, or should it be more like an essay?

~ JC

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Tale of Three eBook Apps


When I got my first Android smartphone back in 2009 (the Motorola Droid, if you’re interested), one of the very first apps I downloaded was Aldiko Book Reader. It took almost two years before I actually used it, even though I downloaded several public domain classics using its built in store. Since then, I am now on my third Android based smartphone (again, if you give a shit, I recently upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy Note II) and have not only the aforementioned Aldiko app, but also the Nook and Kindle apps. I have also embraced ebooks as a format and also own a Nook Tablet.

Since going to the Galaxy Note II and its generously sized 5.5” screen I’ve practically abandoned using my Nook Tablet for reading these days. That being said, it is worth giving a brief overview of the three reader apps I now use to indulge my reading habit.

I suppose the first question to be answered is, “Why three readers? Why not just pick one and go with it?” That’s a fair question, for which there is a logical answer; I like having options. Having three reader apps installed on my Note allows me the option of acquiring ebooks from multiple sources instead of being locked into a single, proprietary source. As much as I enjoyed my Nook Tablet (at least as a reader, as a tablet it’s severely lacking) it limits me to Barnes & Noble’s store for the most part. While it’s true that I can (and have) sideload the occasional DRM free ebook (as long as it’s in the .epub format), there are still things that I want to read that are exclusive to Amazon and therefore require the Kindle software to open (which uses a file format called .mobi). I have also discovered a few independent authors, and continue to find others via Twitter, some of whom self-publish via Smashwords or occasionally offer their books for free as a limited time promotion via either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Then, of course, there is the occasional pricing difference between the two bookselling giants.

As far as the readers themselves are concerned, it is difficult to pick a favorite, although I have to admit, thus far I have only read one book using the Kindle app and right now it is my least favorite of the three. The Kindle app, unlike the other two, utilizes location numbers instead of page numbers, which is just confusing as hell. It also has a very limited interface in terms of displaying my library and customization of settings. Speaking of settings, I actually prefer the Nook app over the Nook device itself for this very reason; strange as it sounds, the Android app version of the Nook software renders the text better in my opinion, and I also like the animated page turns on the Nook app that look like a real page flip (why this animation is missing from the Nook device software is a mystery to me). For displaying of books in the library collection for the particular reader, I tend to prefer Aldiko because I can display them as a list or in “shelf view” as well as being able to sort by either author or title. I guess the only problem I have with Aldiko is that it is exclusive to the Android platform and since it’s a standalone reader there is no ability to sync between my phone and my laptop as I can with both the Nook and Kindle apps which also are available for Windows 8.

Neither the Kindle nor the Nook app will show my wishlists that I have stored on the Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites, which I find annoying as it forces me to shop from the site instead of from the app if I want to get something that I’ve previously saved for later. However, they both do a decent job of syncing items that I’ve already purchased, and I do like that the Nook software has an archive feature so that things I’ve already read need not be displayed in the list on the Android app, Windows 8 app or on the Nook device.

All three have options for margins, text size and whether or not to display the traditional black text on white background or white text on black background for low light/night time reading. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut winner in this category, although the switch from day settings to night settings is a bit faster on the Aldiko app than the other two as it’s basically a single tap. Aldiko also has more fine tuned control over margins versus the three of four options of Kindle or Nook.

The bottom line is, all three serve their purpose - allowing me to read a good book on the go without having to carry around more than one device or an entire, heavy stack of dead trees. Having all three allows me the option of multiple sources for material as well. So, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that I’ll continue to have Aldiko Book Reader, Kindle for Android, and Nook for Android installed on any and all Android devices I own or ever will own for a very long time to come.

~ JC

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Play Store App Links:


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Other Blogs I’ve Written about ebooks and readers:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Never Forget


It is Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. Many Americans have a long weekend for the holiday and have made various plans ranging from backyard cookouts to attending local events. But what today is really about is remembering those who gave their lives while serving in one branch of the military or another so that we could have the freedom to have those cookouts, sales and events. So, today, instead of blogging about my new smartphone or reviewing a book or ranting about something, I pause to remember the men and women who gave their lives so I could live free. Never Forget!



~ JC

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Take Note


A few weeks ago in my blog “The Great Gadget Debate”, I wrote about the plethora of mobile devices and platforms on the market these days. I became eligible for upgrade through Verizon in April, but waited an extra month for budgetary concerns and to research devices before deciding on the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Actual retail price of this “phaplet” device is $700, but I can got it for $200 from Verizon; I could have gotten it for or $150 through Amazon.com but I was to impatient to wait on the shipping. Plus, I like having the option of simply going back to the store should I have any problems or change my mind (not that I'm likely to).


As you can see in the picture to the right, the Note II (on the right) is quite a bit larger than my previous smartphone, the HTC Incredible 2. The Incredible was a great phone, and served me well for the last couple of years; recently, though, it began having issues with the battery starting to go bad and running out of storage space. Despite running most of my apps from the micro-SD card, I still had a lot of apps that could no longer get updates because the phone itself was running low on space. The Note II has 16GB of onboard storage in addition to a micro-SD slot that supports up to 32GB (I transferred my 16GB micro-SD card from the Incredible to the Note already). Some may balk at the size of the Note, but since I’ve gotten to where I read mostly ebooks these days instead of printed books, I really wanted the larger screen the Note offers. I do still have my Nook Tablet, but I was tired of having to carry two devices around; plus, the Note is better at being a tablet than is the Nook, not to mention that with the Note I have access to both the Nook and Kindle apps, so I have more options for where I can purchase ebooks. Further adding to the bulk of the phone is the fact that I have it in an Otterbox Defender case; yes it adds to the size and weight, but not that much - certainly not as much as some reviewers of the case have asserted.

Speaking of reviewers, I naturally read a lot of reviews of the phone before making my decision. I have come to the conclusion that the bad reviews are mostly the result of people who are either too stupid or too lazy to figure out who to use technology; they fall into the same category of people who complain about Windows 8. Among the more ridiculous complaints about the Note that I read online were folks who gave it only one star because the screen broke (after they dropped it because, you know, it’s Samsung’s fault you’re a clumsy oaf) and another one that apparently went into a rage because Verizon had dared put their logo on the home button (as though no other carrier puts their branding on any phone that they sell). The only real complaint I read that I might be inclined to agree with is that the phone software apparently does not allow for apps to be installed to the micro-SD card; however, with 16GB of onboard storage, if this becomes a factor for you, then you’ve got to many apps, in my opinion (I mean, really, how many apps do you need that you would use up 16GB of storage to install them all?).

As to technical difficulties that some reviewers complained about, I have yet to experience any of those problems. The Kies Air app and functionality for connecting the phone to my PC via Wi-Fi worked fine (at least in terms of actually connecting - I haven’t delved into actually using it yet); my Bluetooth headset paired to the device right away (I don’t have Bluetooth built into my car, so I cannot confirm or deny if it has any issues with pairing up a built in car Bluetooth speakerphone). Another person stated that they couldn’t email pictures via the Gmail app - totally did this at least twice already. To the guy who complained about Flash content not displaying in their browser, that’s not Verizon’s nor Samsung’s fault; keep up with what’s going on in the tech world dude - Adobe dropped mobile support for Flash several months ago (as in, before this phone even came out). Most of the other complaints/critiques I read were more of a “this phone just isn’t to my liking” after having given it fair trial, which I can at least respect.

My review, after roughly three and a half days is that I love it. I love the larger screen, I like the large form factor (for me it’s easier to hold on, especially with the Otterbox case and its rubberized back cover). The quad-core processor along with having access to Verizon’s 4G network means that web pages load pretty damn quick (almost as quick was on my laptop) and apps take seconds to download and update instead of several minutes. And, I actually really like the S-pen stylus; my fat fingers have a tendency to tap the wrong place on the screen, so having a stylus helps and I like that I can do handwritten notes with the S-Note app that came built into the phone.

Admittedly, I haven’t had it but a few days, and I’ve yet to really dig into all of its features, but so far it is the best Android device I’ve owned.

Just for fun, and to demonstrate that the S-pen makes it super easy to get screenshots, here’s the current home screen line up I’m using. That’s another thing that I like about this phone - I can add and remove home screen pages. It had the default five screens, as you can see here, I currently have four, but at one point I had seven (primarily because I kept accidentally adding screens).





So, there you have it. My initial review of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. If you’re looking for a tablet - this probably isn’t for you. If you just need a smartphone, again, this may prove to large/bulky for you. If, however, like me, you’re looking for a device that can function as a tablet and a phone so that you only have to carry one device and you don’t need a full on 10” Tablet, then you may want to give this a look.

~ JC

Online Reviews: