Shout out to Home Telecom

A couple days ago, we started having problems with the incoming Internet service (Home Telecom) cutting out at random times for 5-30 minutes at a time.

With a bit of help from my friend Patrick (who works for Home Telecom), he was able to tell me my ONT (optical network terminal) was dropping out.

Put in a call to Home Telecom this morning to open up a trouble ticket with them.  Told them about the service issue, and what Patrick told me about the ONT.  A little bit later, I got a call back saying they were seeing issues with the ONT and were going to send someone out to replace the unit.  An hour later, the service tech came by, swapped out the ONT with a new one and verified that we had connectivity.

After a couple hours everything seems fine so far, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for any more service outages.  So far so good.

Thanks to Home Telecom for the awesome and fast service, especially on a long weekend.

Thoughts on the Galaxy S7

So far, the S7 is a pretty nice phone, although there are a few things I’m still getting used to.

  • The location of the power button is closer to the middle of the phone than it was on the Nexus 5, so I’m still hunting around for it.
  • The positions of recent apps and back buttons are reversed, so i’m always pressing the wrong button.
  • The touch screen area extends to the edge of the phone, so when I’m holding the phone and my fingers or thumb end up wrapping around the phone, I end up triggering screen touches.
  • The Home button is an actual physical button, so I have to remember to actually push instead of just tapping that location.
  • Speaker is only on one side of the bottom of the phone, which I end up covering up sometimes depending on how I’m holding the phone.  If I’m playing podcasts at the time, the volume suddenly gets muffled and I’m wondering what’s going on until I realize what’s happened.

Android 8 (Nougat) has lots of options to tweak, especially with notifications.  Nice.

Battery life seems pretty good, although I haven’t really worked the phone really hard yet.  

The 32 GB of storage on the device gives  me more than enough space for the apps I want to keep handy.  

Split screen is really nice.  Got a sneak preview of it when I had Android 7 (Oreo) on my tablet.  Comes in pretty handy on the phone.

Still many more things to explore on the phone.

A new phone!

The Galaxy S7 I ordered came sooner than I expected. Inside a large shipping box was a considerably smaller and fancier box with the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S7 box
Samsung Galaxy S7 box
Samsung Galaxy S7 box
Samsung Galaxy S7 box

Comes with a few accessories including earbuds and a OTG adapter.

Galaxy S7 accessories
Galaxy S7 accessories: Wall wart, USB cord, USB OTG adapter and earbuds

The SIM card tray also holds a MicroSD card for extra storage, which is nice.  Going to have to get another MicroSD card now.

Galaxy S7 SIM/SD card holder and extraction tool
Galaxy S7 SIM/SD card holder and extraction tool

Size wise, the screen is about the same as the Nexus 5, but the phone is physically longer than the Nexus 5.  Seems to be about the same thickness.

Galaxy S7 vs Nexus 5
Galaxy S7 vs Nexus 5
Galaxy S7 vs Nexus 5
Galaxy S7 vs Nexus 5

Going to have to get used to flipping the USB cord over when I’m plugging it into the phone.

Setting up the phone is pretty easy, as with most Android devices these days.  Four OTA updates were downloaded including one that brought the phone up to Android 8 (Oreo)/Samsung 9.0 (the phone shipped with Android 7/Nougat).

The phone naturally comes with a fair bit of bloatware including Facebook, Instagram, and Whats App, in addition to all the other Samsung apps.  Out of the 32 GB of memory on the phone, 21.2 GB is available for apps and storage.

Seems to be a pretty nice phone so far.  Time to get all my apps reinstalled.

Certified Pre-Owned: Not just cars anymore

While shopping for a new phone yesterday, I came across Samsung‘s Certified Pre-Owned phones.

We do more than hit the reset button. Before any device gets labeled Samsung Certified Pre-Owned, it gets completely taken apart and rebuilt by the same engineers who build our new phones. They replace worn out pieces, and we include the same one-year warranty our new phones come with for extra peace of mind.

At the moment, the only model available is the Galaxy S7.  I also considered the Galaxy S8 at $499, but the S7 at $349.99 won out.  I like that the S7 has a MicroSD slot for extra storage.  It was a nice feature on my Galaxy S2 that I’ve missed having with the Nexus 5.  A Google Pixel 2 would have been a nice replacement, but it’s a pretty spendy device and I hear the Pixel 3 is just around the corner.

With 32GB on the S7, I’ll have plenty of room compared to the 16GB I had with the Nexus 5.  It was getting pretty crowded with all the apps I wanted to keep on my N5.

Hopefully S7 will be here by the end of the week or early next week.  Should be fun to play with.

Parts containers

We stopped by Lidl yesterday to do a bit of shopping, and I saw these organizer containers in the Middle Aisle Of Surprise, so I picked up a couple.

Organizer bins from Lidl
Organizer bins from Lidl

At $3.99, they’re pretty inexpensive and have a decent number of compartments.  Perfect for organizing the electronics components that I don’t already have in bins.  They stack nicely, the transparent lid makes it easy to see what’s in them, and the dividers provide lots of options for compartment sizes.

After stuffing the two I bought yesterday, I decided to go back and pick up four more today.  Should provide me with sufficient small parts storage for a little while.