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Taking Flight: A Tech Geek’s Tale (Miami Edition)

Labor Day! What a joyous holiday it is!  This holiday marks the unofficial end of summer (with the actual end being September 22).  From what I’ve gathered from the rest of my Enthus/GGR crew, everybody seems to be cooking out, which is normally the right way to do it.  However, Tiffany (@nakika85) and I decided we’d actually leave town for the weekend and what better place to do it than…

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That’s right, I’m taking my talents to South Beach!

And you know I wouldn’t be able to perform without my team of electronics for the trip.  Its amazing how far we have come as a society and how much technology does play a role in our day to day lives, whether it be your smartphone or your digital camera, or something as small as a watch.  As I was doing some prep work for the trip (i.e.: Scheduling flights in my calendar), I began thinking how I used tech to navigate a city I had never been to before by foot.  Armed with only a Samsung Intrepid, an iPod Touch, a Samsung point-and-shoot camera, and a Lenovo Y510 laptop (See photo below), I was able to navigate through the streets of Chicago and locate my friends for dinner. By the way, this was 2009 and FourSquare had just launched just months before the trip, so hardly anyone was using it (except those darn hipsters).

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My buddy! My buddy! Where I go, he goes!

So, this blog is pretty much a nod to that trip as I believe it was one of the best I had ever taken using the technology I had readily available.  Now, I have taken even better trips, and have used my technology more extensively at or around my house, but I want to see what to what extent I can use my “Dream Team of Technology”.

Now time to introduce the starting lineup!


Nikon CoolPix L810

This camera has been my pride and joy since I received it as a belated birthday present from Tiffany.  It isn’t one of the “big boy” cameras (DSLR) that I’ve always wanted, but I feel like this is the next best thing for me as I slowly work my way up to that level.

Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch

I read on a blog that it is the phone with the name that everyone loves to hate, but my E4GT has been giving me nothing but love since I replaced my HTC Evo 4G (circa 2010).  This phone is sporting Android 4.0.4 (the latest for the device) and is rooted with a few hidden goodies inside, one of which is Google Now, which is only available for Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) devices such as the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7.  Google Now will be the big player here as it is equipped with useful features like smart traffic notifications (it will let me know how the traffic to a certain destination is based off of Google searches that I’ve made (can be turned off) or if it detects I’m not at home), flight information based off of flights I have searched, and enhanced voice search with voice response. Add Google Music and the multitude of music I have stored in the cloud and I have one half of my entertainment duo, the other half being…

Sony PlayStation Vita (WiFi Only)

Now granted this is only the WiFi only model of the device, it isn’t without its merits.  This device is a little special because I was able to get the system, two memory cards and two games for less than the system actually retails…and I bought it from Target (which doesn’t technically sale used equipment).  With a few more downloadable games including Sound Shapes, the trip to Miami is going to be a little bit more bearable.

LG Tone HBS-700 Bluetooth Headphones

This has been by far one of the best purchases I have made in my life.  I bought these to replace my HTC branded headphones that didn’t work quite the same with my E4GT as it did with my OG Evo.  They were originally bought as they were Bluetooth with both media and phone controls and with independant ear buds so I could use them at my old job where I could only wear one ear bud so I could hear my team members calling me or hear the phone at my desk.

JLab J3 Earbuds

These earbuds were purchased off of a sale.  With a list price of $59.99, I was able to buy them for $15 and you can buy them on Amazon for $20 as of this writing.  There really isn’t much here as it is one of the newer members to the squad and was bought to supplement the Vita so I can listen to Sound Shapes in peace.

Energizer Value Charger with 8 Rechargeable AA Batteries

For everyday life, these batteries will serve multiple purposes like powering my always dying Xbox 360 controller.  However, for this trip, its sole purpose is to make sure my camera will be supplied with enough power to get through the day.  As my camera takes 4 AA batteries, this becomes no easy feat as batteries tend to be a little expensive, especially for good ones that you need to last awhile.  I feel like I made a great investment.

Lenovo ThinkPad T420s

This is the piece de resistance!  This bad boy is sporting a Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM, but while that might not seem like much.  You have to keep in mind that this is a business machine and for me, hardware doesn’t really matter.  Its all about the software and you know they call me MajorLINUX for a reason.  That’s right! If it isn’t evident in the picture, the laptop is sporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 (not the latest in Linux, but I’m good).  I think it will be interesting to see how Linux will perform in a world dominated by closed source giants.

Well, that’s it for now.  By the time you read this I would have already left for Miami and am possibly already there depending on when I decide promote it.  I’ll be trying to release a post a day highlighting the best and worse of the tech throughout the day.


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