Ramblings
The Repository

Welcome to my repository of useless information. Here you will find a collection of stuff I've come across that I may feel like posting, expose my geekdom, and provide random thoughts. Excuse the mess!

For any products or services I may list here or talk about, I have to say that I am in no way a salesman or have any connection with the company behind them. (Plus this website is free so its not like I need ad revenue to support it.) Its merely stuff I have personal experience with that I feel like sharing for the betterment, or perhaps downfall, of humanity.

 

Prepaid Cellular

Yes, I am a prepaid cell user. For basic, no frills service, it really is the way to go. Think about it - if you have a landline at home and a phone at the office, how often are you in a situation where you really need to use a phone? You may use a cell phone because you have it, but by restricting yourself to when you just need to use it, a lot of people would probably find they can get by with cheap prepaid fine. Besides, there is the bonus of never being locked into a plan. If you need more service you can just pay for the times you need more service or you can always switch to a regular carrier without a penalty if you find its just not for you. 

After much shopping and research, I have found that Virgin Mobile is the way to go. Would you believe cell service for $5/month? No joke. If you register a credit/debit card on their site and register for the $15 auto-top up plan, it just deducts $15 every three months. I have found that this rate on a monthly basis is the cheapest you can pay for just cell service. What do you get for $5/month? Not a whole lot. Their basic pay as you go rate, which is about the only thing that will work on $5, is currently $0.20/minute, so you get 25 minutes.

Downsides - You have to be comfortable with the web. VM has the best website in the prepaid business so you can pretty much do anything you need to do from the website, however, their phone support, as is the case with a lot of companies, is sorely lacking. Their coverage can also be restrictive. They use the Sprint network so a lot of rural areas do not have any service. If you need maximum coverage on a prepaid and still want to go as cheap as possible, I strongly recommend Tracphone.

Here are some sites for more information:

http://www.howardforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=234 - This is the best VM users forum I have found.

http://g4pp.blogspot.com/ - A blog devoted to prepaid carriers. Generally informative, fair, and he gives some nice phone reviews as well.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/ - In case you missed it the first time.

Big O

While I am not a huge anime fan, I do watch some. I have a particular soft spot for the giant mecha variety. One of my favorites, despite the unfortunate title, is Big O. Think Batman, Gundam, Total Recall and at least a half dozen other sci-fi shows rolled into one and you get Big O. This series lived for two 13 episode season with the second in 2003. It is definitely a thinking person's show akin to Lost in its mysteriousness, although without as many plot twists. It plays on the post-apocalyptic theme quite a bit as well, being set in Paradigm City, where no one seems to remember anything from beyond 40 years ago and with little in existence outside the city. Despite all the obvious references to other shows, the end product is really a unique show in the anime genre and in general. The animation provides a weight to the mecha that is frequently not common in the genre as well. The second season does come to a close of sorts, but it does not answer all questions and manages to create a bunch of new ones. The show also experienced some technical gaffes on the part of Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network during its second season of the type that could be the makings of urban legend. Apparently, the writers had enough material for a third season but funding never materialized,  however, rumours still persist that a third season will happen. There are many episodes up on youtube so you can get a sampling there, or buy the series, or check it out at your local library. I highly recommend it. For more information:

http://paradigm-city.com/index.php - a site devoted to Big O. Lots of links, news, and multimedia.

http://www.paradigm-city.net/ - the dominant Big O forum

 

Mobile Wallpapers, Screensavers, etc.

I found a variety of images and gifs that I resized to work on my Slider Sonic (caveat - you need to be able to hack the phone to get the gifs to work, however wallpapers can be loaded through picture messaging). I also created a couple new gifs. If you have some images or gifs you would like to resize or would like to put together your own basic gif, here is a easy, free site to do it - http://www.online-image-editor.com/

GIF - 176 x 204

 

 

Wallpaper - 176 x 204 (stills from above) - note that Slider Sonic Wallpaper size is 176 X 180

 

 

Wallpaper - 176 x 180

Ringtones

For the Batman fans out there, you can download the mp3 theme for Batman: The Animated Series here:

http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/media/introcredits/  - if you scroll down the page you will find the edited version used for the credits that is cut just right for ringtones at 29 seconds or download the whole theme and cut it yourself.

There is much talk about the so-called "silent" or "mosquito" ringtone. The high-pitched tone takes advantage of the fact that hearing degrades with age, meaning in theory, many adults are no longer capable of hearing it. Here is one at 17khz. Can you hear it? - Mosquito Ringtone

 

More to come. Stay tuned...