Julie’s Gadget Diary 03-01-12

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been having a bad case of RGS (Restless Gadget Syndrome) lately. I’ve been bored with my iPhone 4S for a few weeks now, so this morning I switched back to my Motorola Droid X. Yes, I know it’s an “old” phone, but it’s the only Android phone that I own at the moment. Why did I switch back? I found myself missing desktop widgets for the calendar among other things. Being bored with your phone is mild though compared to being bored with a “gadget” that is way more expensive… like your car. Yes, I am having new car lust too…

I’ve wanted a Jeep Wrangler or even a Cherokee (older models with the square body style) for as long as I can remember. I’d love to pull the trigger and get one, but I’d be taking a big hit on gas mileage. None of the other crossovers and smaller SUVs that are currently on the market appeal to me at all. I don’t like the way they all look the same and have rounded body styles. Bleh. A Jeep Wrangler with a hard top would be my dream vehicle (at least it’s what I’m dreaming of right now)… sniff.

My friend Rob Healy brought his brand new fully loaded 2012 Ford Edge for me to see yesterday. That’s me sitting in the driver’s seat in the picture above wearing the SCOTTEVEST Chloe Hoodie. Varooom! I probably wouldn’t pick this vehicle for myself because it’s bigger than what I need. But sitting in it fueled my already burning desire for a new car. It’s not like I really need a new car though. My 2006 Mazda 3 hatchback is perfectly fine. It’s just the RGS talking.

So here’s how I hope to “cure” my problem without spending over $20,000. I’m going to go shopping for a new stereo for my Mazda. That’s been my biggest complaint about this car other than the weak A/C. The radio has always had a problem keeping the time for the clock. I reset it and a few days/weeks/month later, I’ll notice that it’s 20 minutes fast or slow. The radio is also very generic. The only premium feature it has is a CD player and who buys CDs anymore? Not me. I think I want to get a double DIN stereo with all the bells and whistles. Anyone have any suggestions/advice? Think it will solve my RGS?

And no, I’m not really all that excited about next week’s announcement for the iPad 3 if it’s just going to be a bit faster and have a better display. Am I the only one who wants more? Or maybe I’m always wanting too much.

Julie Strietelmeier

I've been obsessed with gadgets, gizmos since I was a little kid. Other interests include ukuleles, photography, and minimalism.

35 thoughts on “Julie’s Gadget Diary 03-01-12

  • March 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm
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    I know how you feel. I too am not that jazzed about the IPad3, but I am looking forward to a new MacBook Pro design. I’m hoping the new MBP will be light, a-la MBA, but with a 15″ screen & fast processor (quadcore) and graphics. Oh yeah, and less than 4lbs…

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  • March 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm
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    Whatever radio you get make sure it support Bluetooth audio. With that single option my EVO 4g, does everything now. Nav, phone, music, pandora, you name it.

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  • March 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm
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    How about one of those Android radios?

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    • March 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm
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      @David I didn’t know there was an android radio… or if I did, I forgot about it 😉

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    • March 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm
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      @Janet Ah… I remember it now 🙂

      @Jared My iPhone is jailbroke. I haven’t found a way to have my next 5 or so calendar entries on my home screen instead of the notification pulldown. Is there a way?

      @alfred I wanted a mini years ago, but haven’t checked them out lately. Hmmmmmm…

      @Runner I’d like to try the Note, but I’m wondering it would just feel way too big…

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  • March 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm
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    If you’re missing widgets, have you considered jailbreaking the iPhone 4S?

    Regarding the radio, I went with a single DIN Oxygen Audio O’Car a few months back. Love it, but it’s also iPhone specific.

    Best regards, Jared

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  • March 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm
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    As far as the new car thing is concerned, I can definitely see you in a new Mini Countryman S. It follows your desire for a squarish, utility but still sporty vehicle…. Once you get a mini, you’ll be driving one for like….

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  • March 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm
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    I too got bored with my iPhone and got the Samsung Note. Talk about day and night difference! I’m on my 3rd day with it and so far I’m really enjoying it!!

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  • March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm
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    @ Julie: Regarding having calendar entries on the home screen with a jailbroken iPhone, look into either LockInfo or IntelliScreenX. Both are paid apps on Cydia, but well worth it. I think LockInfo has less data overhead and taxes the battery less, but IntelliScreenX has more features (most that I don’t need). For car use I’d also recommend getting NoAccSplash and Navigate From Maps.

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    • March 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm
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      @Jared Thanks for the info. I’ll check those apps out. Not exactly what I was wanting though as they display info on the lock screen and not on the home screen. Close though.

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  • March 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm
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    @Julie: LockInfo has options to display data on the home screen as well. You can configure it to not display on the lock screen if you so choose. It has a trial period so you can check it out without paying. It’s a little deep to configure as it has a lot of options but I think you’ll figure it out.

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  • March 2, 2012 at 1:37 am
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    Talking about car and audio. I was complaining to my friend that the only reliable way to play my iPhone on my old car is via the cassette tape adapter. The FM transmitters are all hit-and-miss and the good ol’ car does not have bluetooth or AUX. May be I just buy one of those inexpensive cars such as the Nissan Versa so that I can listen to podcast while driving–think of it as the most expensive iPhone accessory 🙂

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  • March 2, 2012 at 4:14 am
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    Speaking of cars … why not go for a full electric car?
    Less pollution, no gas bills, smooth silent ride … less noise so you can listen better to your music on your stereo.

    🙂

    I’d go for a Opel Ampera (full electric with range extender) if I had the money and if the car would have enough seats (it only seats 5, that’s not enough for my family of 6).

    We’re driving a Dacia MCV (7 seater) now. Very popular in Europe.
    There’s an electric version in the USA (not in Europe alas) bij Envision Motor Corp.
    Have a look at: http://envisionmotorco.wordpress.com/

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    • March 2, 2012 at 7:32 am
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      @Ronald That’s an idea. But I think electric cars are crazy expensive and of course I haven’t seen one that I like the looks of yet. I want something with 4 wheel or all wheel drive this time too.

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  • March 2, 2012 at 7:59 am
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    Business rules our world with the key word being profit but I would like gadget designers to purposely make devices easily upgraded and improved as time goes on rather than discarded or traded in. It’s such a waste of our resources. I have a question though. What are jail broken phones? Are they legal and how do you do it?

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    • March 2, 2012 at 8:22 am
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      @June google iPhone Jailbreak and you’ll learn more than you wanted to know. It’s basically just “opening” up the iPhone to do the things that Apple won’t let you do. Yes, it’s legal.

      @Robert That’s a very pricey radio… it’s on my list to research though. Thanks!

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  • March 2, 2012 at 10:58 am
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    Julie,
    If you decide on a new car instead of the stereo upgrade, let me know what you want for the Mazda! I’m giving my old Acura to my son and will be in the market myself. Take care!

    Bill H.

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    • March 2, 2012 at 11:02 am
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      @Bill are you going to come up from Florida to get it? 😉

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  • March 2, 2012 at 11:09 am
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    Julie, Crutchfield.com is the first place to go to. Even if you don’t buy from them they can answer any questions you may have. Funny you like the older square body style, I was just pricing a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited last night.It came with the 5.7L V8! (talk about a hit on gas mileage!)

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    • March 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm
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      @Bob Thanks!

      @Pam T. It’s a curse I tell ya! 😉

      @alfed I am seriously looking at that Mini Countryman… I wanted a Mini really bad years ago and haven’t looked at them in a long time… I love the style and the gas mileage is good too.

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  • March 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm
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    I’m really glad I’m not the only one that gets RGS. I picked up a new baby laptop (HP DM1-4050us) recently because of that terrible, terrible disease.

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  • March 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm
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    @Jared I love you! 😀 Lockinfo does exactly what I want 😀 Back to the iPhone I go…. That didn’t take long did it? 😉 Especially after the way my Droid X has been acting today. It won’t display the lock screen unless I set it to a pattern and then it shows this unplug your ac adapter message whenever I charge it and that message will not go away unless I reboot the phone. I’m wondering if there is a problem with 2.3.4 on the X… I never had these issues before I updated it.

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  • March 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm
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    For a bit over $20k, you can upgrade your ride. From TopGear:

    “If the Astra VXR is a hooligan, then the Golf GTI is a jewel thief played by Cary Grant – sublime, effortless, powerful. You’d like not to be seduced, but dammit he’s good.”

    As far as your phone, the Note is good if you want a tablet without having to find room in your purse for a tablet. Other than that you could go with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (I’ve got the unlocked Euro model on T-Mobile) or wait for the HTC One X.

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  • March 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm
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    @Julie: Thanks, that made my day! LockInfo is the primary reason I jailbreak.

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    • March 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm
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      @Jared Right back at you, you made my day 🙂 Now that you’re my jailbreak guru, do you happen to know of an app that will let me move icons around on a non-grid basis?

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  • March 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm
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    @Julie: I’m not an expert on springboard theming, but Iconoclasm allows you to choose different layouts, albeit on a predefined grid. Check out the vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhrIZRINufQ
    There’s also Gridlock and Barrel, which may allow for more arbitrary placement. Again, I’m not an expert on this, so these may be out of date.

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    • March 3, 2012 at 9:41 am
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      @Jared Thanks! I’ll check them out 🙂

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  • March 3, 2012 at 12:29 am
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    @Julie : Woah, you look radiant ! Looks like you are doing great, health-wise. Congrats.

    Nothing brings on a happy grin like a brand new car or gadget huh.

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    • March 3, 2012 at 9:44 am
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      @chriszzz Thanks! Radiant huh? Must be from all those radiation treatments 😉 Hehehe. Just kidding. I feel great though. No complaints!

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  • March 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm
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    The picture of you in the Edge kinda looks like a teenager in her dad’s car. Get the Wrangler… you deserve it!

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    • March 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm
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      @Tom I’ll take that as a compliment that you think I look like a teenager 😉 Ha! I keep going back and forth about even wanting to be serious about getting a new car. I feel guilty even thinking about it considering there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my Mazda… well other than the crappy radio and that it isn’t good on snow/ice because it sits very low and has low profile tires. Oh and the AC is really weak. 😉

      Reply

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