Happy New Year: Turning Over a Newsletter

Wow.  I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve written a blog post.  8 MONTHS.  I’m going to give this a try, and see how it flies.  I need a reason to write, and this seems like it might just scratch that itch.  I’m going to use this first one as an opportunity to get you caught up on some of the great stuff I encountered in 2014, but going forward, I expect this to be a weekly recap of what I discovered, what I learned, and what I loved.  Thank you for reading.

2014 was a quick year for me.  It definitely went faster than any other year I can remember.

I helped Siemens Ultrasound launch a new Windows app that lets you view your photos instantly from your tablet:
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/9169a025-f2ac-40a4-9aa4-905f3268b9da

I listened to Serial, and while I loved it, I was just as disappointed as everyone else at the ending.
http://serialpodcast.org/

I discovered a few new video games that I love:

  • Sunset Overdrive – I wasn’t sure I’d like this, but it was amazing.  As a completionist, however, I was disappointed at how long it will take me to gather all of the final collectibles.
  • Hearthstone – I had no idea how much a simple game can have such complex strategy and addictive gameplay.  I don’t recommend starting this one unless you’ve got some dedicated free time coming up.

I also churned through several new Windows Phones.  In one year, I has my primary driver be a Lumia 920, Lumia 1520, Lumia 1020, Lumia 735, and finally, I’m currently using the unlocked Lumia 830 (Orange).  Quick thoughts on each:

  • Lumia 920: Perfect in nearly every way, but heavy.  No removable battery, no microSD expansion.
  • Lumia 1520: Just too big for me.  A 6″ phone will never again be in my pocket.
  • Lumia 1020: The “bump” was annoying, no matter how great the photos were.  Also, it was harder to use/retrieve those hi-res photos than I would have liked.
  • Lumia 735: The lightest phone I’ve ever used.  Could have been perfect, but they skipped the dedicated photo button.  As it turns out, that’s a dealbreaker for me.
  • Lumia 830: This is great.  For now.  But it’s not a high-end processor, and there’s only 1GB of RAM.  Not a flagship phone, but it’s perfect in my hand, and the metal frame is gorgeous.

Speaking of Windows Phones, I also discovered Microsoft Complete.  Available only at the brick & mortar Microsoft Stores, it’s a warranty for your phone.  For $99, you get TWO years of coverage for your phone.  This is not a restrictive warranty.  You could literally walk into the store, smash it with a hammer in front of them, and they’d still replace it.  And they’ll replace it twice in those two years.  Each replacement costs $50.

I’m sure I’ll think of more from 2014, but I’ve got to start somewhere.

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