Want to double your Android's speed? I found a way…

It’s App Wednesday! But this week I don’t have an App, I have a great story of taking back what’s mine! I set my phone back to “factory default” last week. I have an HTC Evo Shift 4G – it’s a Sprint exclusive device which only has one major down side: storage capacity. It includes only 512 MB of onboard space.

The problem with the Shift seems to be a strange setting on it. When I get below 45 MB of free storage space on the phone, it locks into a panic mode and a lot of features like background sync don’t run properly. It’s trying to prevent you from running out of storage space – but 45 MB on a device like this is still more than 10 average sized apps! I don’t get why it chokes me at such a high level of free space. So most people say, still, it’s no big deal. Just install some apps, move things to the SD card and you’ll be all set! Wrong.

It turns out, at least in my case, after performing some Over the air Updates, some of the files were left over and hogging up space in some hidden way that I couldn’t find them. Even using apps like Disk Usage, I couldn’t remove stuff from the System partition. So when it was all said and done, I decided to make sure I had contacts synchronized to my Google account, made sure pictures, etc… were all moved off to the SD card and my computer in some cases. Then? Settings screen, SD & Phone Storage menu, then Factory Data Reset.

It kept the firmware and software updates that had been pushed to the phone, and got rid of the installer files that had clearly been left behind from OTA updates. I now have nearly all of my apps reinstalled, and nearly 3 times the free space I had! Also, this thing is running like lightning. Slow down must have happened gradually, but I forgot this phone was ever this fast when I got it. But, much like Windows, the occasional reformat may prove to be a good idea! Glad I did it, and just wanted to share!

SonicWall and Cisco VPN Client Download Links

Why is it so hard to download VPN software? Too many times I’ve been in a pinch and needed a VPN client to install for someone. To get the files installed, I have to log in to the website for Cisco or SonicWall and dig around for what I need… for some reason, they lock these things down. You can’t use them without already owning the multi-hundreds-of-dollars piece of hardware, anyway, so why they keep the software under lock and key makes no sense to me. Well, I’ve found some links with the files you need – they aren’t the LATEST versions (in fact, I don’t have the exact version numbers written down), but I can guarantee they work for Windows XP, Vista, 7, as well as your 32-bit or 64-bit needs. I’ve even found a client which, I’m told (I’m not a Mac Guy) works on all versions of Mac OS X (at least up to Lion), if necessary – although with Mac users, IPSEC connections are probably built right in and will work fine. The links are reliable and have been online for a long while, feel free to post below if they ever don’t work for you.

UPDATE 1: SonicWall has gotten the hint that people are tired of hunting. While my links are still available below, SonicWall has finally provided links to the latest Global VPN Clients.

Update 2: WARNING – these downloads are available for your convenience, but please note that I have added approximate dates to files. THEY ARE OLD. They are functional, but they may not be the most compatible with newer operating systems, hardware, or may even have security flaws that have been fixed in newer versions. For the latest Sonicwall client visit their download page. To download the latest Cisco client you must have an active membership with Cisco – your IT department or contractor should be able to obtain the latest versions for you from this page. Again, local downloads are available if necessary, but you should look into getting newer, more secure versions of the software as soon as possible.


Cisco VPN Client 32-bit – 2010 or older.
Cisco VPN Client 64-bit – 2010 or older.
Cisco VPN Client DMG for Mac – 2010 or older.


SonicWall Global VPN Client 32-bit – 2011 or older.
SonicWall Global VPN Client 64-bit – 2011 or older.

Enjoy the links!

2012 – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Out of Frequency

It’s not often you get a new album with fourteen tracks. It’s also twice as rare for that many tracks to be consistently good throughout. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour brought us just such an album earlier this year. You may remember The Asteroids Galaxy Tour from their 2008 single, Around the Bend.

What you’ll hear from 2012’s Out of Frequency music is definitive “head-bob” music. A funkadelic ska band that is trapped somewhere between the 70’s and 80’s and blessed with the gift of time travel that lets them come forward to today and listen to our current generation of acid-rock bands like MGMT, Air France, or Washed Out.

There is no doubt in my mind that The Astroids Galaxy Tour is not for everyone. People will detest them. Psychedelic can be redundant, it can drag, it can get too “out there” for a lot of people. But I love listening to this album and hearing all of the influences that have made them in to a band. You go from a song with a church organ right into a synthesizer that sounds nearly like chiptune music, but if that chiptune song were inspireed by the disco song Kung Fu Fighting.

The album has a few misses, but beginning to end it entertains me and brings enough different influences to the forefront that the variety makes up for the songs you may not enjoy. You can tell that the band members are students of musical history, taking lessons from the chart toppers of decades past. if I were on a long car drive, I wouldn’t hesitate to have Out of Frequency
in the rotation. If you still can’t figure out what genre of music I’ve been describing, that’s because it is very hard to pin point, but I’ll simplify it for you: I can all but guarrantee that at least one song from this album will be featured in an iPhone commercial this year.

How do I disable automatic renewal of Xbox Live Gold? Here's your how to…

Maybe you’re like I was when I was young, and you were never sure how much money you would have in your bank account on a certain day which could be weeks or months in to the future. I never trusted myself enough to have “automatic renewal” tied to some sort of debit card, then suddenly one day get notice that I had overdrawn my account. It’s not fun. Or, perhaps you just don’t know for sure if you want to continue using a service which you may have just started using. Either way, or for any other number of reasons, you may want to disable the automatic renewal feature for your Xbox Live Gold subscription. Here’s how to do it from the web:

Go to the My Account page, here: http://www.xbox.com/accounts
UPDATE 11/24/2013: the instructions below have changed due to a redesign of the Xbox.com website. Go to the accounts page as linked above, then click “Subscriptions” (a large button at the top of the page) and you should be able to disable the Xbox Live Gold Subscription near the top of the Subscriptions page.

Original Article:
On the center of the page, you’ll see your current Automatic Renewal status: click the CHANGE button.*

On the next screen, simply set it to OFF.

Microsoft has the steps listed on their support page as well.
*Please note: at the time of publication, the “change” link is currently redirecting to the Contact Us page. You should be able to change the auto renew status online without having to contact customer support. I have contacted Microsoft for a response to see if this is a temporary change on the website, or if they will be making us jump through more hoops in the future. No comment, yet. I will update if I hear anything of substance.