A Month Ago – The Conclusion

Continue from here.

About a month passed and work was coming to the end. I spend the best trying settle in; sleep, work, eat, meditate (Thanks Pacifica), TV, eat, meditate, repeat. Though I had about a week to go, I wish I had one more just to take my camera out one more time. The snow isn’t like that in the city and I wanted this chance to take it all in.

Packing wasn’t as tough as I was beginning to get use to travelling. Works clothes first into a bag, then my own clothes in another and finally my cameras into it’s own bag. I sat waiting for my ride out. It was kind of sad knowing I might not come back working here. With a living space I had, I wouldn’t mind it if I could come back here every day. I turned a small apartment room into a home. Not my home, but a home I would be happy to come back to at the end.

Listening to my MP3 player on the ride back. I watched nature give away to concrete and steel. The 2 lane highway turned into 4, then 6. I saw the city limits, then I was under an hour from my house. Coming back into my room, I felt relieved but I knew I had it better while I was there. If I had my computer and my own internet, I would’ve been content.

It made me fortunate with the time I had there and what I have here waiting for me. Here, the moments I life behind and the moments still waiting to be discovered.

I still have photos to process, hopefully be done with them by March. While I do that, take more of my city. Or perhaps take one more trip as my vacation. Though while I was there, it felt like a vacation from my own life.


A Month Ago – The Town

Continues from here.

I travelled to the next town over after scouting this place for a dining spot. The week before, I ate at a quiet Chinese/Japanese All-You-Can-Eat spot. After walking the main street there, I knew I had to return. I spend the afternoon until sundown taking photos right across town. Starting from a park on the most easterly and following the river right to the middle of town and their marina. For city folk like me, I wish I could just sit there in awe in the beauty. People in makeshift and pre-fabricated fishing cabins, the silence breaking through over the frozen water’s edge. If my damn zipper would have zipped, I could’ve stayed in once place and run my camera through everything in my bag (filters, timers, lenses oh my). By the time I reach the southerly end complete with mall, I had enough time to walk in for a browse before calling a ride home.

A Month Ago – The Beach

Continues from here.

The snow up there is much more than I’m used to, the snowbanks were as tall as single story buildings. The snow laid calm though just underneath was a skin of ice thick as window glass. I went out to the local town and found myself walking into a path leading along a small river. I came across a park covered in snow with one path plowed along rolling cliffs with houses flanking this flat space. It was beautiful and magical; the morning sun glistening on the snow, the wind calmed in the trees. I tried to follow a foot track to the clearing but I sunk into the snow right up to the hip. Rather than wading into a potential risk of hypothermia, I retreated. I photo cam be a gorgeous thing, but I wasn’t equipped to wade into deep snow for one shot. That morning was relatively cold. My breath froze on my camera body, cellphone sluggish to every action I demand from it. By the time I made it to the beach and walked back, the wind kicked up that I had to take shelter behind a snowbank before my eyes froze shut. It didn’t help that my jacket zipper finally broke that week and I didn’t find a good replacement for my poor jacket. From there, the frigid morning gave way to a cool afternoon.

A Month Ago – The Break

Continues from here.

On the off time, I downloaded some apps to help my pills through the infinite sadness. I first downloaded Calm, but being poked and prodded for a premium subscription, I decided to download Pacifica. Both are depression and anxiety apps, the later more geared towards recording my mental well being daily and giving me a communal support group. At first I was hesitant about Pacifica, I can say it’s growing on me. I like the guided meditation and the interface. Though the private groups users created are hidden away but the public spaces there are very helpful. Reading about all the good things happening to people and then trying to help others, I feel so comfortable in that space.

When I was halfway through my time there, I finally decided to go home to pick up one more thing I should’ve brought with me while I was up there. My camera, how much I missed it. The next weekend I had I woke up early to catch the sunrise and went on a walking excursion.

A Month Ago – Here we go…

Hey everyone, kind of missed posting here. About a month ago, I was called to work and pretty much stayed there until I was done. I’ve been far away from home and now I feel settled in to tell you all the stuff that has happened since.

After reading through all the things I’ve jotted down for this lone post, I think it’s best to break it up in parts.

Sorry for teasing you. Hope the keywords don’t spoil anything.

Formality v. Functionality–Big Twitter apps

[Starts 3 paragraphs in for those who want my review, thought you liked a good story…]

It’s not a surprised I use Twitter more often now to promote my blog and YouTube channel. I’m usually on there to just find something to read or have something short to get off my chest rather than posting it on my blog with under 140 characters. For a awhile when I started my blog, I wanted to be able to spread my message out there in the simplest form. Mainstream or some way to broadcast to the world, “I wrote something, might be nice to give it a read.” I started using Twitter as a media prerequisite to learn about the world and the culture I live in, over time the account went into disuse until I started my blog. First impressions, Twitter wasn’t the best place for a 19 year old. I was on it because my teacher wanted me to be on it so classroom censorship was a tough deal breaker when you have something to say but your account is restricted for media studies only. The turn around when I started this blog a few years ago a way to document my thoughts and activities. As I began to grew a skin around blogging and microblogging, I decided to use an application to be a hub for all my Twitter needs. At the time, I just read up on applications and reviews; most of it in jargon. So rather than just reading a review for the pick, I just observed what everyone was using. Most of the time, it was TweetDeck and HootSuite.


For the past couple years, I’ve used TweetDeck on the basis of popularity. It was most commonly used when I was lurking at hashtag threads. When I first got it on Chrome, the interface was simple to master. One simple login screen later, the application went to work by sending me feeds from my own Twitter. Soon after, found the Search button to find other hastags to follow and after that was able to organize to what I wanted to see and not see certain posts. But that’s just one camp out of many to simplify the experience.

The other large one I seen and heard about was HootSuite. Only largely came to me from large app review sites and users from organizations. I was really hesitant at first to ever try it. Today, let hesitation be damned! Setting into a new application isn’t always easy if you’re like me, why move on to something else when one works perfectly? After creating an account through HootSuite, I was greeted with a stark dashboard similar to the TweetDeck app. Along with an approximate sidebar for your options. So how do they fare against each other?


After spending a few hours on HootSuite, the similarities begin to fade away. Both platforms offer multi-account support, so you can monitor each Twitter profile simultaneously. Each can create tabs based on criteria such as retweets, favourites, and hashtags you wanted pinned as a tab for easy reference. TweetDeck and HootSuite provide a simplified interface to ensure ease of use, so you know where to go and how to do certain Twitter-y tasks. Unfortunately this is where TweetDeck ends it’s list of goodies.

HootSuite offers more than just connectivity to Twitter. It provides a way to be connected to other blogging and social media websites like LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook and mixi (Hell if I know what is mixi). Along with account aggregation, it has an array of enterprising features such Assignments to help business consolidate their media efforts. As a Pro and Enterprise user, you have access to team organizations to help with assignments. With organization, you would want to see the team’s or your brand’s performance in media; so they have analytics to help form a report on your media involvement through all your accounts or just particulars. Along with it’s organizational faire; it boosts a range of in-app applications such as a YouTube app to view and share through your HootSuite, which most apps are trying to advertise the same view and share feature if not trying to enhance the in-app experience.

As a Personal user, I found the program fairly restrictive. Most of the features your listed as Pro feature which required a $8.99 (assuming US currency) per month payment for use. The only things I can really necessarily do is add apps within an app and just view counters of my tweets and followings with analytics. As a personal user, the only redeeming quality is a list of followers and a list of people I followed; which is easily accessible but really unnecessary at times. Like this feature already available on TweetDeck and on Twitter itself, it’s analytics is par if not worst to the online solution already provided by Twitter. I’m a free user on both, but getting additional data from Twitter for free. Though if I was a business, I would agree HootSuite might contain some insight through it’s own analytics but would not necessarily change my behaviour within social media. The auto-scheduler is a nifty touch if you want to send out tweets at a particular time. However this feature is best removed to prevent people with spam accounts from filling threads with their wares. Unlike Tweetdeck, it feels more geared towards businesses than it is for individual users. With it’s suite of analytics and in-depth monitoring, it’s a improbable choice for a single user like me.

What I found interesting is the load times and the refresh rates. Upon loading up each application, I found TweetDeck to be much faster. Though if you have a speedy connection, you won’t feel it. As a person who uploads video to YouTube, it’s noticeable. I can only speculate what is going behind the scenes, but this slowdown makes it very regrettable since it feels not optimized for lower connection speeds. On HootSuite, you can set refresh rates to as close to 2 minutes for each tab within the application. On TweetDeck, you can set it to almost real time in a margin of a few seconds if you have a slow connection. While TweetDeck can update in the background, Hootsuite seems to stop updating when you’re not in the Chrome browser tab. Along with update angst, the way it personally handles hashtags does make it easier to read since it gives you a brief amount of time before the dashboard tab refreshes. Good thing if you are watching a keyword or tag with a lot of frequent users.

Each application has features gear towards a niche user. Enterprising and business prefer to see things by the numbers while your average Jane and Joe want to just post and share. As a personal user with very little social outreach, it would be preferable to stick with TweetDeck by Twitter for it’s simplicity. Simple doesn’t always mean better, simple means in this case I get what I need and I don’t really need it to be any better. If I was a social media specialist or a community manager for a large organization with multiple accounts, I would say HootSuite is the way to go to provide the means of easy consolidation; but would not jump on board too quickly on analytics.

Overall experience for both, restrictive on HootSuite where features are blocked and load times are slower when connection is slow. However it does provide a sense of additional control through analytics and aggregation. Where are TweetDeck is simplistic with little to no load times. However remains to be seen if it can handle business.

Don’t believe me? Give them a try on Chrome:



Until next time, follow me on Twitter?

Intel Inbound–Sneak Peek 2012

No doubt some of you see I’ve added a few new things. Well, it’s one of many so far, the one category dedicated to my old “Guild Philosophy” post. I’m pretty proud of myself on that one since it’s still the longest standing post I have so far (I think it was about 2000 words or something, well…maybe 1200.) Aside from that, I’ve added a new “Fun Fest Friday” page for you folks who want to play some games with me. First one will be a post up shortly on there for your convenience, probably should add a schedule there too as well. I’ll try and figure out a date before Wednesday so I can sync up with the F2P launch of Star Trek Online. Remember Friday, we’re taking it back (from Rebecca Black, she ruined Fridays).

For 2012, a little something new in terms of content. I think I’ll start doing some reviews on some programs and online apps for those interested in looking for something free or recommended. That and I have a Playbook now. Oh, small easter egg; last two posts were on my Playbook. So I might give you one hardware review on that. I might take each month and do one review at a time. Rather than last year where I had just a few reviews. They will be something close to cloud computing and such. Also since I’m now hooked on TED Talks, I’ll be linking some of those I like to you and a rundown on each talk for those who don’t have less than 30 minutes. Or your bandwidth is just not going to help stream it, either case I’ll let you know what it is about.

Along with the content, I’m starting a small writing project for you awesome people. I’m going to start a small glossary of terms considering some people don’t understand certain gamer slang. True, I struggle from that too. But it’s best we lay them down the line for all those who need more information. A helping hand, not below the belt. A new blog will pop up too as Star Trek Online comes online. Look forward to that, I’ll be linking that blog in my “About Me” page once I have it up. It will be a RPG blog about my character. For those wanting to play on a Friday basis only; if possible, I’ll make a second characters so I don’t seem too overpowering.

Rants, raves, reviews; those are the three R’s for this year on this blog. Besides from the usual off days where I’ll just write about life. You know? Life. That thing where your meat is animated and moving and thus how you can understand what the heck I’m writing here. Yeah, that life.  The first couple posts may seemed a bit rush and that’s only because I’m working on the new content for you guys. If you have any suggestions or comments for what I should do for the new year, you guys know where to find me.

Stay tuned!

Starting anew and apps

Hooray, this decade is at an end. For 2012, resolutions are one of those superstitions I never made. Satisfied with my potential, there is nothing I would change for myself. There are just a few thing I just hope and receive a few things for the sake of others. By and large, I think of other rather than for me; don’t know why, go figure. Sure I may be affected, but it is more for the community at large. One thing though not credited to are some Habbo Hotel features. Likely many asked and I was one to convey it. I’m okay with not getting the credit (It’s life, you always get screwed) but as long it becomes reality, I’ll be fine with not getting some recognition. That and it was a group effort to make change happen.

Though for the most part, looking around the Internet gives some sense on mobile application demand. Popularly almost everywhere you can see that Apple Inc. holds many apps. Runner up being Google for their Android system. Sadly in the rear, Blackberry apps are not really there for their Playbook anyways (If you own a Blackberry smartphone, send me a comment about your App World.) Unfortunately, fortune and prosperity is not coming up for Research In Motion. The days of business electronics have been over since this century happened. It’s not relevant to make business oriented devices. The market is the mainstream demographic where despite occupation, are on the go and use their devices for play as well. They’re doing well by shifting it with the Playbook tablet. How it seems it is not just changing up their mantra. From a perspective as a electronics observer, a bold image is how to really be seen. If it relied on images, you are solely wrong. Marketing is a big contributor, you need to account for your new demographic. In this youthful group, electronics are about connectivity, apps, music and everything you need in a device that may need or want. My opinion as you tell if of a Playbook user considering there is very little in applications. Sure quirky, but nothing really branding them as a app though more of downloadable trialware. Currently there are a few things I would like to see in my Playbook. These are a few apps, so any developers reading this or you know a developer who can make apps; here’s something you can gain credibility with little competition:

    • Google

    I want to make calls on Google. In 1.0.8, only thing I can get is my mail. Of course there are online apps made by Google, but there is nothing for Voice or Maps. There is Maps since it’s code is supported, but not optimized for Playbook.


    Yeah, no app to necessarily blogging. The website is not really built to facilitate writing and HTML tags. Would like it if was an optimized app for not just WordPress, but something like Windows Live Writer.

      Online Games

    Not just the turn based browser games seen anywhere. But games classical or contemporary games that take advantage of the Flash abilities of the Playbook. More real action and make it free.

      Free Stuff

    Like games, other apps should be free and should equal to their desktop counterparts. So far certain online services do offer their app for free on the Playbook.

  • I would definitely would the ranks and help develop apps, but my abilities are limited to opinions and physical labour and not cyber labour. Leaving it the developer. If you are a developer for the Playbook and reading this, I urge you to go free and be good. I don’t mind some missing features, as long as these feature are going to be in a update. Here some encouragement and expectation, I await for your work.