July 9th, 2010

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ROOM CLEANING PROGRESS - END OF DAY 4

Well, here is my update from the middle of day 5. It is safe to say I will get little to nothing done for the rest of day 5 for starters.

Day 3 - Some Shredding - Day 3 was pretty unproductive, especially compared to day 1 and 2. All I was able to accomplish was to bring down my dads super shredder (which must weight like 20-30lbs btw!) and shread maybe 20-40 sheets of paper (which means thats all that I threw away on day 3). I also shredded all of the cards (creditcard sized cards) that I had that were utterly useless such as my SF and SJ library cards (which haven't been used in at least 5 years). Old AAA membership cards, other OLD membership cards (current ones that have had use within 1 or 2 years were kept). Although I am being much more ruthless than usual about what I throw away, I am still keeping things of reasonable size that have sentimental value. So while I may not keep my huge items, I am keeping things like cards and notes I've received.

Day 4: - Google Voice - I honestly don't think I did ANYTHING on Day 4 with regards to cleaning my room. I did however start messing around with Google Voice, so you could say I learned about what Google Voice is - and signed up. Since Google Voice is such a big deal these days and relates to my industry of expertise, its not unproductive to learn about it, you could argue. Google voice gives everyone a free new phone number which you can choose (from what is available) I got a cool new phone number that you can dial if you wanted to, its pretty easy to remember :). Works just as if you called my current number. GV also has an option where you don't have to pick a new number, and it'll just simply take over your voicemail. Its like Youmail, only better and completely free even for the advanced features. Here is a breakdown of the coolest features of GV's voicemail portion:

1. You can have a VERY SHORT outgoing message with none of that "if you would like to send a message press blah blah if you would like to leave a message please stay on the line" BULLCRAP that takes like 45 seconds. My outgoing message just picks up and says "Ken's Voicemail" *beep*. This feature was also present in Youmail.

2. You can have customized outgoing messages which change automatically based on who is calling you. I used to have messages such as "You have reached Ken, who is INCREDIBLY BUSY at the moment, please leave a message and he will get back to you in *robotic voice* 4192 hours" when I get calls from work, or outgoing messages in Japanese for people I knew who spoke Japanese. This feature was also present in Youmail.

3. One of the COOLEST features of the Google voicemail is the speech to text transcription. Anyone who leaves you a voicemail is reasonably clear english will automatically get translated to text and emailed to you. Since I have push notification, as soon as I get an email my phone lets me know and I can go and READ the message that was left for me, or listen to it from the attached soundfile. The text transcription is SURPRISINGLY ACCURATE! Youmail had this feature, but it cost money. Google's version is completely free.

Unfortunately, as famously published many times such as here, Apple has rejected Google's official app for iPhone (shortly after accepting it, I've heard). Many speculate this is due to AT&T's influence, since Google Voice has a lot of features that replicate what AT&T charges money for, only Google does it all for free (or very cheap, if we are talking about international calls). For that reason, GV support on iPhone is clearly behind that of Android (which sounds really well integrated). People with Android phones who don't have Google Voice better look it up! *hint hint to someone who reads my blog and recently got a brand new Android phone!*

Plans for the next couple of days:

Well, rather than cleaning my data (which is just as big if not a bigger deal than cleaning my physical room), I decided I'll clean my actual room instead, since it physically gets in the way, while data is not messy when my computer is off. I also want to spend some time learning 2 things that have been around in the technology world and I think I should understand better. Those 2 things are RSS feeds and Wordpress. I do think I will be transitioning my blog to Wordpress pretty soon, and I want to use it and understand what it is capable of. After I weigh the benefits of LJ, I think recently that comes down to almost nothing. The main benefit of LJ is that people who already have accounts can comment easily on my posts, and the "friends page" gives a good summary of every friends latest posts, but since my friends recently don't post at all, and Wordpress has good support for guests wishing to post comments, I basically am ready to ditch LJ in the coming months.

Learning about exactly what RSS feeds are (in more detail - I know the basics) should just be a short reading session in a web browser. Will try to update regularly.