Recycle plastic grocery bags!

Maybe I’m the only dumbass that didn’t realize this, but plastic grocery bags have a #2 recycle symbol on them which means I can put them in my weekly recyle bin! My wife discovered this by chance and I don’t know why this isn’t publicized more. You’d think that at least the neighborhood grocery stores would have a sign or something on their usually overstuffed in-store grocery bag recycle bins. Stupid.

Jensen JiSS-250i speaker dock works well with 2nd gen Touch

Just browsing through Target I stumbled upon the Jensen JiSS 250i iPod speaker dock. According to the box, it was compatible with the iPod Touch 2nd gen, so I read that to mean it would have no problem charging it–a surprising challenge for many speaker docks on the market currently. After my poor experience with the Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere, I was a bit gun shy, but ended up getting it.

Anyways, I’m happy to report, it charges the 2nd gen Touch fine and the aux input also works perfectly–unlike with the Pure-Fi.

It has an interesting design in that it expands and allows you to rotate the Touch/iPhone for viewing in landscape mode. You can run it on 4 AAAs or just plug it in. Comes with a carrying pouch and several dock adapters. It’s quite portable and appears to be solidly built.

For $69.99, it’s abit pricey considering the mediocre sound quality and lack of remote control. Volume controls on the unit are not as responsive as I’d like. I also wish it didn’t slide as easily when expanding. It needs some type of locking mechanism.

Better units are bound to come out, but the 250i gets the job done for me right now.

Trillian Astra beta multi-protocol IM client

For years, I used Trillian Pro (TPro) exclusively to chat with all of my ICQ, AIM, MSN, and gTalk friends. I liked it cuz I could not only handle all of IM needs in once place, but it saved conversations, which is nice when you need to refer back to something. It would also monitor my gmail and yahoo webmail accounts.  However, TPro would often grab up a boatload of RAM and I migrated over to the web-based Meebo.com client several months ago.

The folks at Cerulean Studios have been working on the next generation of Trillian called Astra for years. So long, in fact, I thought it would never come out and I had given up. Well, it finally is in beta and I installed it today. I’m thrilled to report that so far it works as well as TPro and is occupying a paltry 14k of RAM.

I won’t even attempt to cover all of it’s features and benefits, go over here for that. Some neat new Astra features that TPro didn’t have include support for Facebook including chat, and Twitter.

It feels like more of a TPro version 4 than an entirely new app. It has a spiffier look, but functionally it’s very similar to TPro. It still has the same confusing options and preferences that always seemed to be scattered all over the UI. Fortunately, you don’t have to mess with settings too much, but on the plus side it is very configurable.

Fixing the memory issue alone is enough for me to return to Trillian and I’m happy to be back. Web clients are nice, but there’s nothing like a good desktop app. It installed right over my TPro and retained all of the existing accounts and settings. I believe after 30 days I’m going to have to pony up $10 to upgrade. It’s $25 for new users. Worth it IMHO.

The Nokia N97 over the Palm Pre or iPhone

I had pretty much decided to go with the Palm Pre, but the more I read about the Nokia N97, I may just get that. Why?

  • Tethering over WiFi
  • Don’t have to switch to Sprint
  • 5MP camera with good lens

It won’t have the sexiness of the Pre, or the iPhone for that matter, but I’ve come to depend on WiFi tethering and using my phone as my only camera. Tethering over Bluetooth may be possible, but that’s pretty sucky if you’ve ever done it. My N95 does WiFi tethering using JoikuSpot and it’s just SO nice to be able to turn my phone into a WiFi hotspot whenever I want. The Pre’s and rumored upcoming iPhone’s 3MP camera offering just doesn’t cut it and I bet the lens will be crap.

So I guess I’ll have to hang onto my aging N95 for a bit longer. The N97 isn’t even out yet and I’ll have to wait even longer for a US version. Tethering my N95 to my 2nd gen 32GB iPod Touch makes things bearable, but an all-in-one device would be much simpler.

Still, I have limited will power and if  a new iPhone appears, particularly if it multitasks–my biggest gripe–I could be convinced.

UPDATES:
2009-04-11 – The N97’s resistive touchscreen (as opposed to a capacitive one, like the iPhone) might be a big negative for me. Some people that have actually seen it have been less than impressed. Guess I need to rethink.

2009-05-04 – This demo of the phone makes the screen interaction looks pretty nice. I might be back on the N97 bandwagon. This supposed to ship in July for $699. Here’s the official demo page and here’s the preorder page. I must say I’m pretty tempted to give them my creditcard number.

2009-05-08: I pre-ordered it using coupon code on here. Saved $175! Have no idea how long deal will last. Actually I think I missed out on at least $20…seems the discount was higher yesterday based on posts in this forum.