Friday, September 21, 2012

What is the buzz surrounding iPhone 5

So we all know the new iPhone launched today and we all know it will be sold out for a while after a few days, which by now is the norm for Apple's launch. So the big question is why is Apple so successful? Or why does the new iPhone have so many critics?

I personally ordered my phone the day it went on pre-order, now I admit I did not wake up at the middle of the night to order it,  but I knew I did not have a contract and it would cost me nothing (will explain  below) to upgrade except the addition of a 2 year contract for my wife and I. Some say the IOS 6 upgrade on the iPhone 4S is worth more than shelling out the $199 for the new device, but I disagree. I have 2 devices, one iPhone 4 16GB from AT&T and one iPhone 4 32GB from AT&T. The key is knowing the value of your devices. I have successfully factory unlocked both devices via AT&T since they are no longer under contract, now what does that mean? Well it means that every pre-paid phone user would love to be able to throw a sim card into the phone and enjoy the iPhone where it is not normally available.

So the going rate on Craigslist for a local sale of an iPhone 4 32GB is about $350, and the iPhone 4 16GB is about $250, which totals $600, and after paying for all the fees and the new devices, I am still a few bucks on top. So is it a bad investment? No, that's the thing about Apple devices, as long as you take care of them, they hold their value.

To those who got their device today, enjoy, and to those who did not like myself even though I pre-ordered, like myself no rush, we will get it eventually.......

Friday, July 8, 2011

gHome, why pay more for VoIP ?

$5 goes a long way! Sign up for gHome and receive 2 months of free service instead of just one.

So I always liked the idea of VoIP, I mean who wouldn't? Most people pay for internet service, so why not use that same bandwidth for phone service? If you are someone like me, who is barely home, and uses the cell phone most of the time anyways, but would like a cheap home service alternative to Vonage or the VoIP from your cable company which is at least $25 a month, why not use Google Voice, which is a great service already, and get a SIP from TelTub which is in turn used with the Gizmo to get your home phone setup for $5.00 a month!

Google also has a great voice app for most smart phones, so you get the voice mails and call information on the go!

gHome is free to try, so what's so give it a try...

More info at this link:

Sign up for gHome and receive 2 months of free service instead of just one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home Ownership

So just like the average Joe, I always wanted to have my own house. When the time came last year for the bird to leave the nest, or for me to move out from my parents house, I quickly realized that the only type of ownership I would be having is in a building. This is familiar to people who live in bigger metro areas. It is popular in New York City, where a building is like a corporation, so these Co-Op units sell shares when you purchase an apartment which represent your ownership in the building. Co-Ops are uncommon outside big metro areas, in fact it was not really too easy to find a reputable mortgage broker who would work with lending organizations that were familiar with the Co-op structure.

Similarly to a Condominium apartment, you pay maintenance, and there is a board of directors who are elected and are placed in charge of everything relating to the building and day to day activity. Overall I am happy I was able to purchase something, but I still have my eyes set on a real deal HOUSE! From what I have seen the trends in NY are that the housing pricing are really not coming down as much or as fast as the rest of the United States, which I suppose is a good thing for the general economy of New York City, but not so great for a young eager individual such as myself trying to become a home owner.

For those that are interested in becoming home owners but are not ready to purchase a house I would highly recommend an apartment for the time being. With all the costs, I am still paying less than I would have paid for a similar apartment if I were to rent, the only down side is you do need money up front for a down payment and any renovations you might like to do before moving in, but you have to look at those expenses as up front investments. Houses are not getting much cheaper, but many people are selling them because of financial hardships and in turn they try to move into smaller Condos or Co-Op apartments, which is why I think the apartment market is flat and not really losing value in this financial environment. People will always need to live somewhere, if not in their house, then in their condo/co-op, and if not in their own apartments then they will need to rent. And don't forget after you are a home owner you do have the benefit of righting off your interest and taxes during tax season.

For those looking to buy, just make sure you have a secure financial income, and just buy what you know you can afford. Always calculate for possible maintenance increases, and utility bills. Remember your bills will look different in winter and summer seasons, so take that into consideration as well.  Do not invest in home ownership unless you know you can handle the burden even if there is some type of unforeseen financial problems. It is always better to have a safety cushion than have to foreclose your home because you stretched your income too thin.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Clap for iPad

So the Apple iPad is nothing new these days, except it is new to me, and I gotta admit I do find it useful. There is really nothing more to the iPad compared to the iPhone, it is just a big iPhone, but it does get addictive. In the month that I have owned it, I think I have not opened up my laptop at home. I do all the web browsing, bill paying, emailing, and entertainment on the iPad. I even started reading some of the great classics which are free from the iBook library. All in all it is a great device, the battery life is not bad at all considering it has a huge screen which is always on. But I have to admit the price tag is a little high. I mean starting at $499 it is limiting compared to a full PC, or a netbook which are around  $300.

For those who are interested in purchasing the iPad, make the investment and buy the original case for it, at $40 it is the cheapest and sleekest case on the market, and you will thank yourself. I would hate to see scratches all over the new iPad. And maybe invest in some microfiber pads, the iPad screen is notorious for getting finger prints all over it, and sometimes it's just not a great sight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

iPhone 4 and the new AT&T Data Plans

We all saw the Apple web site take a big hit on Monday June 7th from the entire world wanting to find out more information about the all new dual camera iPhone 4.0. According to Apple, the new device will be better than ever, including the all new 5-Megapixel camera with a dual lens to allow video calls with the front camera. The new iPhone should have a better battery life and better multitasking as well as a list of surprise features.

The new iPhones will also be priced at about the prices, $199 for the 16GB model with a 2 Year Contract from AT&T and $299 for the 32GB model with a 2 Year Contract. But the big change with AT&T is that there is no more unlimited Data Plans. There is a 200MB plan for $15 and a 2GB plan for $25, according to AT&T the two new Data Plans will cover 98% of all iPhone data users, but the top tier data user are using 40% of the current AT&T network bandwidth.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dealing with LOSS!

So is there a proper way to go about losing something? Or in my situation losing someone? Unfortunately, one of my best friends has passed away abruptly February 17th 2010. I have known him for a long time now, and we have gone through a lot together, mostly good times, and though we have drifted slightly apart in the last few years, I always knew he was a phone call away.

He was the glue that held people together. Filled with energy and a fun loving person who would always initiate an event or gathering helping to keep everyone in touch. The last few times we spent time together was at his 27th birthday party and the Halloween party he hosted with his girlfriend. Those were some great memories. I will never forget the caveman costume or the decorations he helped put together for the party.  

The last time I talked to him was a few weeks before his death. If I only knew then what I know now. Would things be different? Or would they be a different version of the same? No one knows really. But these are the type of questions that keep resurfacing inside my mind. The one thing I do know for sure is that he will always be missed and remembered. Not only missed by the Mother, Father, sisters and his girlfriend that he leaves behind, but by all the people who have been touched by his huge heart.

Rest in peace my dear friend Michael Angelo Mirasola.