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I recently bought some Beyerdynamic DT880 600 ohm headphones. I bought them with a FiiO E9 headphone amp, which seemed okay but sort of boring sound-wise. I wanted something warmer.

What really set me off in search of something “better” than the E9 was Ken Rockwell’s DT880 review wherein he said you need an amp with more than 2 volts RMS to drive these things right. Off I went.

I landed on the Maverick Audio A1.

Runner-up was a Little Dot MKIV for $289 plus about $45 shipping from China. But I found that one after I had ordered the A1 and the A1 seemed a little more appealing to me, so I kept my order.

The A1 arrived last night. The sound is warm but detailed. Incredible bass. It doesn’t seem super spacious, but it’s damned nice and it puts the E9 to shame. I have more to say about the sound.

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Just saw this announced at about 11:41am on 9 January 2012 on KenRockwell.com. I pre-ordered it from Amazon.com immediately.

13 January 2012 update: Amazon emailed saying they have a delivery estimate for my 85mm f/1.8 AF-S: From 3 to 28 February 2012

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Khan Academy

A frontpage article on reddit.com today introduced me to Khan Academy. According to some of the comments on that reddit article, Mr. Khan’s teaching style is excellent. I can’t wait to try out his site.

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iPhone 4S Hopes

My hopes for my as yet undelivered iPhone 4S are that

  • It will become my casual camera of choice (requires awesome photos, great fill flash and instant Camera app startup)
  • It will become a bit more of a personal assistant (due to Siri) than my 3G S is. Requires that Siri runs fast enough over my EDGE internet.
  • It will be super fast.
  • It will be worth the $908 I spent for it.

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Alright, with my new MiFi 2200, I believe I’ll be pretty satisfied staying with T-Mobile and buying a factory-unlocked iPhone 4S. Here goes. It’ll arrive around Christmas or New Years.

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$4.99 per month? Seriously?

I’ve been evaluating a Virgin Mobile USA LG Optimus Slider Android 2.3 (that’s Gingerbread) smartphone. Seriously thinking about dumping my iPhone 3G S and prepaid T-Mobile service (1500 minutes/texts + 30MB internet/mo. for $30 + tax) just because I want to have internet anywhere and a decent driving GPS in my phone. But it’s a hard sell, since Android is such a shabby experience overall and the iPhone offers such a refined experience. I will say, however, that this phone has gotten me the closest overall to sticking with Android.

In my case, it’s all about the plan. Unfortunately, I can’t ignore that it’s also about the device.

So today, in desperation, I started searching with Google for something like iphone prepaid plan or some such terms. Then I decided to check out the Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200. I found one on Amazon for $69 and ordered it immediately. Their current best plan for me is $20/mo. for 500MB. I dig it. I currently use up my 30MB of T-Mobile data about three days before my account renews for the month. This has happened two or three times now (not consecutively).

Somehow my Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 search landed me on TruConnect.com. What a surprise. They offer nothing for $4.99/mo. but 3.9 cents per MB. I did the math. For me to reach 500MB, it’s cost me about $25 and that’s including the $4.99 monthly fee. I’m so in. I canceled my Virgin Mobile MiFi Amazon order and ordered the same device from TruConnect for $10 more, $79.99.

I cant wait to see if it’s any good.

Friday, 9 December 2011update: The MiFi 2200 arrived last night in the mail. Ooh. I set it up this morning at the office. I installed some SpeedTest app on my iPHone 3G S and it said I’m getting:

 

Download Max: 10,642kbit/s

Download Avg: 10,642kbit/s

Upload Max: 810kbit/s

Upload Avg: 803kbit/s

That’s 1.33 megabytes/s upload. I can live with that for this price. Hopefully, I’ll see speeds like that elsewhere and that I won’t get spoiled and want more speed.

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Virgin Mobile USA is running a 50% off Android phones sale today. Okay, I’m in. I love my iPhone 3G S but I’d like more internet than my current 30MB per month and I’d like my phone to be a driving GPS. Google has a terrific driving GPS app, so I’ll give Android a try again. I don’t care about the real keyboard on this phone, but I do care that it has Android 2.3 (good autocorrect on a Nexus S I’ve tried), compared to 2.2 (zero autocorrect) on the Optimus V non-slider.

I really should wait for a phone with Android 4.0, from some review I saw mentioned on DaringFireball.net, but I’ll give this  a go today due to the fire sale.

The wife will try one as well, to replace her beloved Blackberry Curve. We’ll see how it goes.

 

What I expect to miss going from unlocked iPhone 3G S on T-Mobile prepaid to LG Optimus Slider on Virgin Mobile USA

Instapaper. But I think I’ll be okay with Instapaper on Kindle 3, iPad and MacBook Air.

A hard mute switch, for when I get to and leave the office, quiet environments, at bed time, etc.

Apple’s beautiful new iOS 5 notification system, which they ripped part of off from Android but did so much better.

I’m wondering

If the Android calendar app will suck

If the Android contacts/address book app will suck

If the Android 2.3 Gmail or built-in Mail app will be better than what I’ve seen in 2.2 and earlier versions of Android.

If the Android 2.3 on-screen keypad will be better than that from 2.2.

If the Android Twitter client will be any good

If there are any better Simplenote clients since I last tried Android for myself

I’m hoping that

I can set up Google Talk to transcribe my voicemails

There will be a decent SSH client for Android

Android 2.3’s text autocorrect will be awesome

Tasker will be awesome

There will be a good dictionary with derivations.

There will be a decent way to get music onto this thing.

It’ll be easy to find songs in the car so I can play what my daugther asks for from time to time

What I won’t miss

Inability to forward voicemail to GoogleVoice so they can transcribe my messages

Upgrade bullshit (waiting, long upgrade process) since I have to unlock my iPhone to use it on T-Mobile

Things. It’s a great todo list app which I own for iPhone, iPad and OS X, all purchased separately. Last time I went back to iPhone from Android, Things was part of the reason. But these days I don’t use Things at all. I use Simplenote for my todo lists. I haven’t opened Things (or OmniFocus) on any of my devices in months. Haven’t even thought about them recently, until today.

12 December 2011 update: I ordered an iPhone 4S (factory unlocked) late last week. I’m sending this phone back. It came the closest of any Android phone (considered along with the service and price thereof) of being something I could stick with. But Android 2.3 sucks hard in my view and I don’t want to deal with it. I want the excellent experience of an iPhone.

The only drawback of sticking with prepaid T-Mobile and an iPhone are no ability to forward my voicemail to Google Voice (bummer) and limited internet (30MB/mo.) The internet thing is mitigated by my TruConnect MiFi 2200 $4.99/mo + $0.039/MB mobile hotspot data plan.

What I expect to miss going from unlocked iPhone 3G S on T-Mobile prepaid to LG Optimus Slider on Virgin Mobile USA
Instapaper. But I think I’ll be okay with Instapaper on Kindle 3, iPad and MacBook Air.
A hard mute switch, for when I get to and leave the office, quiet environments, at bed time, etc.
Apple’s amazing new iOS 5 notification system, which they ripped part of off from Android but did so much better.
I’m wondering
If the Android calendar app will suck
If the contacts/address book app will suck
If the Android 2.3 Gmail or built-in Mail app will be better than what I’ve seen in 2.2 and earlier versions of Android.
If the on-screen keypad will be better than that from 2.2.
If the Android Twitter client will be any good
If there are any better Simplenote clients since I last tried Android for myself
I’m hoping that
I can set up Google Talk to transcribe my voicemails
There will be a decent SSH client for Android
Android 2.3’s text autocorrect will be awesome
Tasker will be awesome
There will be a good dictionary with derivations.
There will be a decent way to get music onto this thing.
It’ll be easy to find songs in the car so I can play what my daugther asks for from time to time
What I won’t miss
Inability to forward voicemail to GoogleVoice so they can transcribe my messages
Upgrade bullshit (waiting, long upgrade process) since I have to unlock my iPhone to use it on T-Mobile

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