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The hardware on the phone feels pretty solid in general, and the way the screen is layed flush with the frame which makes it feel very nice. However Im not too keen on the buttons which have been positioned at the bottom of the screen, I often find that I accidentally press one of these buttons while trying to tap a menu or typing on the keyboard, which can lead to some frustration. The volume buttons on the side are a nice addition which feel very natural to use. Something Im not too sure in the point of is the optical trackball on the front of the phone, which I notice is now gone from the S version.
From the software side this is a typical HTC phone; it looks very nice and HTC Sense adds alot of nice bits of polish to the device. It does everything that you expect from an entry level smart phone really well; send/receive texts, make calls, read emails. Its also not to bad for opening small apps such as the internet, foursquare and imdb. I also really like the pinch to zoom out and see all 7 screens at once and the ease with which widgets can be added to the home screens.
Unfortunately the phone seems to suffer from regular attacks of slowness. When the this phone slows down everything seems to become a laborious task, even typing out texts becomes a slog as the device seems to struggle to keep up with my pace and letters appear on the screen many seconds after I've typed them. I have however found that by regularly deleting old text messages and using an app killer I can keep the phone at a reasonable pace.
Much to my disappointment I've found that this phone really struggles with games. Its fine for simple games like sudoku, and it manages game dev story quite well. But more intensive games like angry birds run too slowly and are more of a frustration. Before now it has managed to run the GameBoy colour emulator though with very few complaints.
When put to normal use (sending/receiving a few texts and emails, and a few calls) this phones battery easily lasts a full day, sometimes even 2! However heavy app usage very quickly kills this phone. I had toyed with the though of getting a 32GB microSD card and using this phone as an MP3 player for work, but the battery struggles to last a full 8 hour day. If using as a GPS then the battery is further reduced down to about 5-6hours in total.
The GPS in this phone isn't great, but its certainly usable. When using the GPS it rarely seems to struggle to find satellites, however using Google Location as the primary GPS it often chugs a bit as it seems to struggle to keep up. However its an awful lot better than not having a GPS at all, and Google Location makes finding places really easy! Finding the nearest zoo is as simple as typing "Zoo" then selecting the closest one (they are brought back in order of proximity).
The camera on this phone has been a bit disappointing since the first day. Its has 5Mega Pixel camera, but pictures almost always come out blurry. On the plus side there is a very powerful flash LED fitted to the back which helps take photos in the dark, but most importantly be used as an awesome torch!
I'm a big fan of reading, but I often like reading either big books that are a pain to lug round, or
One of the things that really sold me on a kindle in the first place was the size and portability. Its small enough and light enough that I can easily put it in my inside jacket pocket and carry it around all day without noticing. Which is great for if you end up waiting round for things lots! Its also just the right size to easily hold and operate with one hand, weather sat in a chair, or lying in bed.
As a computing student its also a great way of carrying round my reference books and although it doesn't store as many books as some other kindles, or e-readers on the whole, it still manages to store an awful lot of very large books!
The other great thing about the kindle is the e-ink screen, I spend all day staring at computer screens and after some time it becomes hard to concentrate enough to read a proper book, but with the e-ink screen the strain is greatly reduced and its easy to concentrate in the same light conditions you can read a book in.
The only down points with the kindle are fairly insignificant, this models lack of keyboard can be annoying, but the number of times you actually need to use the keyboard are few. The only other down side is a personal problem, it feels very fragile, and breaking it is a serious worry! Otherwise this is almost as good as a book!
Each new game of Anno2070 seems to start out fairly slowly for me, as a lack of population seriously restricts what you can build, and because of this its very easy to get into the frustrating scenario where your population isn't rising but you need just a few more people to build something that will let you boost up the population again. However once your used to the constant need to build and expand and do anything for those extra 10 citizens you need to build a burger factory!
The real joys of the game come when you start to carefully plan your cities to best utilise the resources available, slowly you start setting up scheduled trade routes so that your cities work well as a whole, balancing this kind of supply chain is alot harder than it sounds, and constantly changes as your cities expand.
Its a constant aim in the game to get your cities as big as possible and sustain them, which is made difficult when a variety of random events constantly mess up your progression, from workers who protest over environmental hazards, or nuclear power plants that explode destroying the surrounding area(very not cool)
And when you think your cities are running as smoothly as they can with the hand you've been dealt, just sitting back and watching it all tick like clockwork is deeply satisfying, not to mention very beautiful!
I bought a set of these radios some time ago for abit of fun and so far they haven't let me down. At first I used this as my main form of communication for night time "escapades" during my first year at uni, often giving one to a friend and keeping the other for myself. This radio is great for this sort of purpose, it has a respectable range for this type of PMR radio, though I would suggest that up to 6km is a bit optimistic! Its also pretty rugged; mine have survived several drops that I know of, I think this is mostly down to the thick rubber ring round the outside of the radio and the generally sturdy build quality. Its also got a good selection 121 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes.
This radio also has a great scanner feature which is brilliant if you have friends who operate on different frequencies and want to listen out for anyone active on the airways. It also has a VoX function which I've used a number of times when on my bike, and seems to do the job relatively well.
Something I would have to say about this radio however is that heavy usage kills the batteries pretty fast! But I think thats fair to say for alot of radios in this class. Oh and it has this really annoying "ringer" button which gets very irritating.
As a student studying Computer Games Programming I decided to build my PC round the Phenom IIx4 940. This CPU is not only excellent value for money, especially when compared to the equivalent Intel CPU! As a development/gaming machine this has quite happily sat in the background running a small minecraft server, dev web-server and MySQL database while watching a movie and playing video games... I dont think I could have put this CPU under more stress if I tried! But this thing just keeps on going, with no let up.
This CPU is suprisingly green too! When set in the bios this CPU will quite happily clock itself down to about 800Mhz per core, saving power, reducing heat output, reducing cooler fan speed, so saving more power! But as soon as the power is needed it clocks straight back up to 3GHz per core! Even more astonishing is that I've experienced a constant 3.1Ghz speed straight out the box, I dont know if this is intended, but Im sure as hell not moaning about extra power!
I've heard of others who have felt the need to clock this CPU up to 4Ghz+ per core, however I personally find that 3Ghz per core at stock, with the stock cooler is perfectly adequate for my needs!
One draw back with this CPU which became apparent when my motherboard went the other week is that the AM2+ socket doesn't seem to be very well supported anymore, and I'm not too sure if this will work in an AM2 or AM3 socket?
As a self taught guitar player I often buy a selection of picks just to see how they suit my style ( I'm a big fan of softer accoustic folk music, and the odd bit of rock on the electric). However these are the picks I find myself going back to time and time again. I think the best part of these picks is the matt finish which helps keep the pick in right place. It helps that they seem to be readily available EVERYWHERE!
The Tortex selection is perfect for all my playing styles! The purple 1.14mm picks are great for hammering out power chords, while the orange 0.60mm picks are great for gentle folk chords... and the Green 0.88mm are a happy all rounder; I think I have at least one in the back pocket of every pair of jeans!
One draw back with these picks, is that they are fairly soft and round down fairly quickly!