Monday, March 15, 2010

Final Post

Blogging this quarter has changed the way of my writing more than any other class has. Learning to write posts and different ways to construct an essay are two things that I have progressed in most. Blogging is a way for people to express an opinion or review a topic. Millions of people are able to read what you write about. I’ve learned that blogging is like having a conversation over the internet. Everybody reads blogs to learn or discover something new that they don’t know.

Blogging in class has given me a chance and other students a chance to learn from each other’s writings. When I was writing my first blog, I admit I had trouble understanding how I was going to write it. Every week my posts got easier and much more interesting to write. Reading the articles by Rushkoff and Talbot, I agreed more with Rushkoffs thinking. He talked about how the internet is a good thing and was actually good for something and not anything. Learning and gaining new knowledge from other people is how you are able to do new things. For blogging, you can talk about experiences, facts and information on something, arguments, or basically anything you want to. There’s always someone that will have an opinion about what you’re saying in a post.

Blogging teaches people about culture and lets people be socially involved in the world. Sort of like texting, where you interact daily with friends and family, blogging is the same thing. Before this English course I had no experience with blogging and how important it actually is. Everyone has something to share with the world; the blogging community is filled with information to read about. Along with the good factual information, you also read a lot of bullshit.

Sharing ideas through blogging evolved our world. It’s how people are able to invent and create new things. I myself am still a “noob” to the blogging world, but I wrote about technology and how it affected me so far in life. I wrote different experiences with my Xbox, games, TVs, and computers. It’s inspired me to share more ideas with other people. I also read classmates blogs and did some commenting on their posts to. I got to compare their writings with mine and there for come up with better ways to write my blogs.

Blogging is a less formal way of writing, but still requires some etiquette. When you really get into a blog post you sometimes are able to write quite a bit and not even realize it. Saying how you felt and describing how something happened bring a picture to the person reading it. Good blogging is when you leave the reader still thinking about what you wrote. Blogging has defiantly been a good lesson in the ways of writing. It has prepared me for future classes and makes big papers seem like nothing. Blog posts can be good problem solvers. Someone usually always has a solution posted on the web.

Rushkoff, Douglas. “The Internet is Not Killing off Conversation but Actively Encouraging It”. 116-119. 15 Mar. 2010.

Talbot, Neale. “Weblogs (Good God Y’all) What Are They Good For (Absolutely Nothing- Say It Again)”. 130-132. 15 Mar. 2010.

When Dad Banned Text Messaging

For this final post I wrote about someone else’s post about texting. I wrote an earlier post about texting and driving and so I’m going to write some thoughts about what someone else wrote about the topic. Texting is an everyday thing for me. I don’t think I go a day without having a conversation through texting. First off I text when I wake up, at school, at work, and pretty much anytime throughout the day. My parents get mad at me I text so much. They think that texting is an addicting behavior that I need to cut back on. I think they want me to stop because they don’t text as much and are not as familiar with it as most kids are today. Texting has become a part of everyday life and its how people today prefer to communicate. Texting plays a big role in my life as it does to for Debbie Geiger who claims, “I check my blackberry on the way home from work, after dinner, before I go to bed, and as soon as I wake up.”

Parker-Pope discusses a blog post titled “When Dad Banned text messaging”. She wrote about a family from North Carolina where a dad has banned text messaging from his kids. It included how the mother felt about it and her opinions on texting. The Dad took texting away from his kids and his decision was final. He thought that the kids didn’t need to have it because it was consuming their lives. The mom on the other hand agreed with her husband but also saw things from the kid’s perspectives. She saw it as a social connection with the world that you can stay in contact with. This post caught my eye and after reading it, I could relate to the story with how my family feels about texting and cell phones. In the story the kids in the family had texting added to their cell plans after moving to North Carolina from New York. This was so the kids could stay in touch with their old friends. Like in the post I also didn’t stay in contact with my old friends but became real close to my new friends.

In the post there was a part that talked about how the kids focused on the text messages more than the parents and the people they are actually in contact with. My parents feel the same exact way, sometimes the conversations I’m having are more important than what someone is actually saying to me. Sometimes when I’m really into a conversation with someone through texting, I won’t hear a thing you’re saying to me because I’m so focused on the texting. My parents have talked to me about how it’s rude to text in front of other people, but still I do it occasionally. My dad is more annoyed by texting than my mom is. My dad also doesn’t normally ever text and my mom texts pretty frequently. I think most parents today are not as “tech smart” as their kids are these days. They don’t understand how certain things work and how to use certain technologies. Kids today prefer to text than to have actual conversations over the phone. Kids and teens can hold multiple conversations with their friends or family. Instead of having to actually talk to somebody, kids can say something short and simple through a text.

My mom is similar to Parker-Pope when it comes to texting. She likes to know where I am, ask me to do stuff, or just see what I’m up to. I would rather have my conversations through texting than talking. If I didn’t have texting I think I would feel like an outcast to. I think my mom texts so that she can stay involved in my life. With my work and school schedule, I rarely get to see my parents and when I do it’s not for a long period of time. So texting is the way me and my mom communicate most. Without text messaging I think that my mom and I wouldn’t talk as much because of our daily schedules. My dad has never been much of a texting kind of person. He had a hard time learning how to use basic computer programs such as email and using the internet and iTunes. He has got a lot better with computers over the last two years though. When we got unlimited text messaging added to our plan my dad was instantly annoyed by it. It became really natural for me and I learned how to do it pretty quickly. I assume that’s why my dad has thought about canceling texting because he doesn’t really understand how to do it well and thinks we pay more attention to the texting than having actual conversations with people.

Most parents are similar today to the parents that Tara wrote about in her blog post. Many parents today are not as technology advanced as their own kids are. Technology is used and being taught to kids more and more every year in schools. Parents today didn’t learn or use as much as we kids use today. If my mom didn’t text as much as my brother or I think my dad would have canceled the texting service a long time ago. My dad thinks that my brother and I text way too much. He thinks that we pay more attention to the phone than we do anything else. Although I can see how he would think that, I do not agree with him. I think that I do pay attention to whatever it is what I’m doing. All he sees is me constantly looking at my phone; he doesn’t see the work or tasks I complete on a daily basis. If parents today would learn to be more “tech smart” in our world today they wouldn’t have a problem with their kid’s texting excessively. Parker’s blog post in my opinion described an everyday parents feeling on texting.

Pope, Tara. “When Dad Banned Texting.” Well. The New York Times. 30 Mar. 2009. Wed. 15 Mar. 2010.

Buying a New TV

This blog is going to be about how saving money is the only way to get the things you want. I learned the hard way when I got my T.V. Last year I bought a new flat screen TV for my room. I hadn’t had a TV for about a year due to my last one burning out and I was broke out of money. So I got a job and started saving money. After getting a job and saving up quite a bit of money, I decided I needed to open a bank account in order to further help me keep saving money. After about four to five months of work I had saved close to four hundred and fifty bucks. I had no set price I wanted to spend on a new TV but I did have a size and type picked out. I wanted a thirty two inch LCD TV or a thirty six inch LCD TV. The next thing I needed to figure out was the brand of TV. So I asked around for the least costly and most energy efficient brands there were and even checked out some websites such as consumer reports.

I narrowed it down to a thirty two inch Insignia LCD TV. The set price for it was five hundred and ninety nine dollars. This meant I only had to save like a hundred and fifty more bucks. So after about another month I had the set amount I needed to purchase the new TV. So at the end of November last year I went to Best Buy with a feeling of accomplishment because I was going home with my new TV. I walked over to the TV section of Best Buy and waited for an attendant to notice me. Once noticed, I showed the employee the TV I wanted to purchase. He went to the back and told me that they would wheel it up to the front register. I went up to the front of the store and waited for the guy to bring me the merchandise. After what seemed like the longest five minutes I noticed him approaching me with this big box that contained the thing I had been saving for.

After working and saving all this money I now get my reward for it all. The cashier rang me up and I paid in cash. The employee that brought the TV up to the front then rolled it out to my car on a dolly and helped me load it into the car. Once we somehow got it loaded into the car I thanked the guy and headed back home to hook it up. I got home and carried the awkwardly big box up stairs and into my room. I carefully then removed the packaging and Styrofoam protection from inside the box and took the TV out. I then began hooking up all the wires and plugging it all in to the satellite box. After about an hour of hooking it all up and setting up the receiver and configuring the remotes, I finally got a picture. After watching a couple of shows on the new flat screen I notice the picture isn’t as crystal clear as I thought it would be. So I start to research on the computer for the problem.

I came across a blog about potential things required for LCD TVs. One of the bloggers had posted that LCD TVs require HD satellite receivers. These receivers are meant to only play HD quality television. So I then had to call up my satellite provider, DirrectTV to ask about upgrading my regular receiver to an HD receiver. They informed me that there was going to be a charge to upgrade to a new box and that I would have to pay an additional five dollars a month for the HD channels. The total ended up coming to a hundred and fifty bucks. So I had the TV but not the picture I wanted. I started saving money again and kept depositing it into my bank account. After about saving about three hundred dollars, I called up my satellite provider again and placed an order for a new HD upgrade package. They said it would be about a week before it would arrive. A week later a delivery of the new HD box arrives.

I take it up to my room and begin to open the packaging and start the process of re-hooking up the new receiver. After I finished hooking it up, I was blown away with how much of a change the picture was. It was a big change with the new box. I was actually really impressed with the HD quality. All the colors were so bright and clear. It was like watching TV as if it were right out in front of you. The TV and the picture quality was very rewarding to me after waiting so long and being so patient. I worked hard for the money I earned and having this new TV shows me how hard you have to work to get the things you want.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The new iPad from Apple.

Will you be buying the iPad from Apple in April? The iPad is a tablet computer created from Apple Inc. On January 27, 2010 Apple announced the new development. The iPad is similar to the iPhone and iPod touch, it had the same operating system (iPhone OS). The difference is that the iPad is a larger 9.7-inch LED backlit multi-touch display with a pixel resolution of 1024x768. It has 16 to 64 gigabytes of flash memory, 1 gigahertz Apple A4 processor, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 30 pin dock connector to sync with iTunes and connect wired accessories.

Apple has announced two different models of the iPad. One model with 802.11n Wi-Fi and the other model with 802.11n Wi-Fi and 3G (able to connect to cellular networks) and has assisted GPS. Starting on March 12 customers in the USA that are interested in the iPad can preorder it. The Wi-Fi version will be available April 3 and the Wi-Fi + 3G will be available at the end of April. The Wi-Fi + 3G iPad will be unlocked so it can be used on other mobile carriers that support GSM micro-SIMs. 3G will be provided in the U.S. by AT&T and sold with two prepaid contract-free data plan options: one for unlimited data and the other for 250 MB/month at half the price. The plans will be activated on the iPad itself and can be canceled at any time.

To control the iPad and the software it runs you mostly use the multi-touch touch screen display. The iPad also has external buttons for sleep, mute and controlling the volume as well as a button to return to the home screen. Apple will also be introducing several iPad accessories, such as the iPad case, the keyboard dock, and the camera connection kit. Like the iPhone, the iPad will only run software downloaded from the Apple App Store.

The iPad has several neat features. It’s a futuristic looking computer and I think that people are looking forward to the iPad release.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Phone

I am soon due for a phone update and for this week’s blog I am going to write about the type of phone I might choose and other possible phones I want. My cell phone provider is Sprint and I have the Samsung Rant as my cell phone now. It took me awhile to get used to the phone at first but now I am really used to it. My contract for the phone is about to end here in a couple months and so that means I get to choose a new phone.

My mom just got a new phone update and she got the new Blackberry. I’ve looked at her phone and all its neat features and think that might be the phone I want. It has email, internet, and video capabilities and is a really functional phone. However I was also thinking about getting a phone that has touch screen capabilities. A couple blog posts ago I wrote about how I got my IPod touch and how I like the touch screen. Touch screen is much smoother to use and you don’t have to worry about pocket calling someone. One of the phones that not available from Sprint that I may consider is the Iphone. If I do end up choosing the Iphone I will have to change my cell provider to AT&T. But considering price wise I don’t know if I want to switch or not. The iphone would be around three hundred dollars compared to the hundred and fifty dollars with the Blackberry.

The Blackberry has buttons and a qwerty keyboard unlike the iphone. It also has a scroller that is sort of like a little touch pad. I like this because its fast like a touch screen, it lets you zoom from tab to tab and page to page. Although I really do like the iphone best out of all the phones to choose from I can’t afford to get it. I think the Blackberry is the phone I am going to go with for the update because of its price difference. It’s not as cool as the iphone but it’s still the coolest I can choose from.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

phones and driving

For this week’s blog entry I decided to touch upon texting and driving and the negative outcomes that could come along with it. I choose this to write about because I myself have had a bad outcome from texting and driving. This experience happened around last summer one morning on my way to school. I had left my house around 7:48am and had to be in class by 8:00am, so I was running kind of late. I rushed out of the house and peeled out of the driveway. On this early morning me and my girl had gotten into a nasty fight and were fighting through text messaging. I was getting angry and frustrated and wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing on the road, but naturally I was driving at a fast speed in order to make it to my scheduled class on time.

After I had pulled out on to state route 79 here in Heath, the conversation on the phone had reached a boiling point and I had no focus on my surroundings in the car. So as I was sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn green, I was also waiting on another bitchy text message. The light turned green eventually and I peeled out yet again. After I had taken off, I then got the text message I’d been waiting for and without hesitation preceded to respond. Not paying attention to the road, I glanced up from my phone and cars were pulling right out in front of me. I had liked a split second to turn and try and dodge the turning vehicles. I panicked and swerved the wheel to the left and barley got past a Honda CR-V before it nicked my rear end. After calming down after the shock that just happened, I realized that it had been my fault for the near collision. I had run the red light because I hadn’t been paying attention to the road or the traffic lights. It’s so easy to get caught up in your phone and have no clue about the things going on around you. I could have easily been killed had I not looked up at that exact moment. Texting and driving can be really dangerous. You may not think so until you yourself have a personal experience.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Movies The Easy Way

For this next blog I choose to write about being able to watch and rent movies without even having to leave your house. As everyone knows renting DVDs from local video rental stores (Blockbuster, Movie Gallery) can be expensive. Last week I subscribed to an online movie rental site called Netflix.

Netflix is a cheap and easy website for watching and renting movies. Its only $8.00 a month for unlimited movie rental. You can either request for the movie you want on a disc or you can watch it instantly. Renting DVDs only takes two to three business days to get to your house. My preference for Netflix is watching the movie instantly by streaming it on the internet. This is really convenient because instead of having to wait for the movie or go to the store and waste extra money and gas, you can watch it with just a click on the mouse.

It’s also possible to hook the computer up to a TV and watch the movie on a bigger screen. Most laptops today have HDMI connections and all that is needed is a HDMI cord to plug in the laptop to the TV. One disadvantage to watching movies instantly is if you have a slow internet connection the movie will sometimes pause to load. This can get annoying because you can get really interested into the movie and then it just stops randomly to buffer (load). It’s sort of like a small commercial break, but without the advertisements.

Netflix is over all a better and less expensive way to rent movies. Every time I go to Blockbuster to get some movies, I end up spending like $15.00 for only four movies, which is a rip off. Some stores also have late fees for not returning the movie on time, Netflix doesn’t have late fees. You’re allowed to keep the movies for as long as you want to. This is convenient because sometimes you don’t have time to watch the movie. Netflix is defiantly the best way to rent and watch movies.