This week’s app of the week is an iOS treasre that has already saved me a bundle, and will hopefully help you in the long run as well!
AppShopper is a website as well as an iOS app (4.0 or later) for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that will help you find the right time to buy an app that you’re looking for. Got your eye on a game, but think the price is a little steep? Add it to your watch list in AppShopper and let it do the rest. You’ll receive a notification if and when the price drops.
Simple enough, right? It really is. I had no idea that some app prices fluxuate so much. And to give you an idea as to whether or not an app will go on sale (face it, some developers set it and forget it, when it comes to pricing), the AppShopper App on iTunes has a price history – you can see the dates and prices when prices of certain applications went up or down. If you think an app that you’re considering purchasing is a due for a price drop, you can hold out a while longer and be notified when the price drops – then tap the notification, follow AppShopper right in to the iTunes App Store and buy that app! It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it’s awesome.
I’ve had lots of time to tinker with the various pre-release and preview versions of Windows 8. I find it to be quite snappy and good at managing system resources. But, I’m still concious of the fact that no operating system can do a truly unlimited amount of tasks. Microsoft (much like Google did with Android) insists that modern memory management doesn’t need to be babysat the way older operating systems did, but I’m a creature of habit! Occasionally you want to close completely out of one of the “Metro” Apps. So here is the quick and easy “how-to close an app” in Windows 8.
Let’s say I have Hydro Thunder open. If I press the Windows Key on my keyboard, it will “exit” the application – but all it really does is forces it to the background. If I re-open the app, it will resume right where I had left off, meaning that it’s constantly taking up at least some system resources. If you really want to completely exit the application, all the way out, your best option is to drag it down.
Put the mouse pointer (or your finger) at the very top edge of the screen. You’ll see the mouse pointer become a “hand” rather than the normal arrow.
Left click and hold, while you drag down toward the bottom of the screen.
At this point, you can choose to snap-aligh it to the left or right side of the screen if you wish, or:
Continue to drag off of the bottom of the screen, and release the left click.
I recently mentioned the band Nerf Herder when talking about the band’s front man Parry Gripp and how he releases a song a week then turns some of those songs in to crazy music videos. But this throw back punk rocker has had a fun-loving career lasting over a decade at this point. In the album American Cheese, the band Nerf Herder gets absolutely rediculous, it’s easy to see how this guy knows how to play to a YouTube audience and release songs directly to the internet: he’s a geek at heart. This should have been painfully obvious in that the name of the band is an overt Star Wars reference (who’s scruffy lookin’?).
“No you needn’t / shed a tear / ’cause I’ve got waffles / and I’ve got beer / and I’ve got Mr. Belvedere / Welcome to my world.” References to Mr. Belvedere and Cheers pop up in the first track of the album (you know you’re a child of the 1980’s if…). Welcome to my World is the ultimate breakup song for “dudes.” Although the lyrics concede that, in his bachelor pad, it’s “non-stop no-girl action / without you” it is also a powerful mantra to staying positive and enjoying what a co-worker of mine once described as “beer in the fridge, underpants on the floor” single-living.
Other songs that draw out Parry and the rest of the band’s inner-geek include Mr. Spock, wherein the girl he is trying to impress clearly wants “something more than human / someone with blood that’s gold and green / you want someone better / than me.” Other songs deal with being the one picked last for a team, inspiring anyone out there who is willing to listen to put in the time and start their own band, and more relationship songs – all of which have absurd twists and laugh-out-loud lyrics.
Some of my favorite tracks, mostly for the rediculousness factor, are New Jersey Girl, Cashmere, and High Five Anxiety. So go on and give American Cheese a listen.
People ask me all the time if they should “upgrade” to a newer Xbox. The answer is simple: if your console is working, then I say no. Sure it might be nice to have some newer features, but the Xbox 360 console is just the hardware of a platform. The platform is what delivers you the games, the movies, the music, everything you’re already enjoying. First generation Xbox 360 owners might not have an HDMI port, but if you haven’t had a Red Ring of Death and you’ve got a first gen 360 then you might just about have a collectable!
The changes made inside the Xbox 360 might have came with a few speed improvements, but the overall changes have been designed to increase stability, fix issues, and with the most modern revisions, to conserve power. But as far as your experience goes? It’s not going to change. I got sucked in to the hype after having a couple of minor disc read errors, I decided it would be a wise decision to plunk down the cash for a new slim console. Other than the occasional minor hiccup, my old console was working just fine. I still wonder why I wasted the money! People like the sleek new look of the slim console, but be honest: after the first day when you can’t take your eyes off of it, it will just be another one of those boxes under your TV that has a green light on it when you’re using it. It’s not the center piece of your living room!
Unless you have the scratch to afford one of the “limited edition” consoles, like the Star Wars Xbox 360, or the upcoming Halo 4 console as pictured above, I don’t think buying a new console is worth it. Even then, it’s only “worth it” if you want the collectable factor. Once it’s safely tucked away in your entertainment center, your experience won’t change at all.
Unless you’re experiencing frequent disc errors, lock ups, a red ring of death, an E74 error, or another serious failure of your Xbox 360 console… I would suggest holding on to it until you absolutely have to upgrade. You don’t get a better picture or sound, faster downloads, or any other benefits when you upgrade to a slim console. You get more storage. Other than that, your interaction with the console will be the same as it is now – so why spend $300 or more? It’s just not worth it, if you don’t need to.