So a few weeks ago I purchased the above phone. It is the ZTE Mozilla Firefox OS phone, you buy the phone outright, it is a unlocked gsm phone and then you find a carrier to handle the phone service. My previous phones were blackerry's and Android based phones, but as time has gone along and the insanity of the privacy violations that have come to light I was looking for a phone that would not be plauged by this mess. That and the mess of a new phone comes out every six months and if you do not keep up you end up being behind. And being beholden to a company like Verizon was no fun as well.
So I gave up my android phone quite a while ago and was completely phone less. This really was not a bad thing at all but, for some things having a phone in my pocket sure would of been nice. So as Firefox OS started to take shape I kept an eye on it, and finally this phone became available so I decided to get back into the phone game.
Ordering was simple and it only costs 79.99 with free shipping so really couldn't beat that. I have been playing with it for a few weeks now and it has been some ups and downs. Let me start with the big one, the email app on the phone only works with Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. This was a very large disappointment as I do not use any of those services. I have heard there is a fix upstream so hopefully at some time in the future this gets fixed. Another thing that has bugged me about this phone is it cannot keep time at all. If you set it to automatically keep time it ends up way behind. So I set mine to manually set the time and every few days I have to adjust it back to the correct time, it is like it just loses minutes by the day. Not sure what that is about but really it is minor. Another thing that would probably drive people nuts is not being able to set different ring tones for different things. I found that rather odd, but still not a show stopper for me.
The camera is nothing to brag about no flash so make sure you have good lighting when you take a picture. The gallery app is pretty flaky as well I have taken pictures and they don't show up in the gallery til the next day. No idea so don't ask me ask upstream maybe they could tell you why. I was personally disappointed that the music player did not play FLAC either. My whole music collection is in FLAC and was hoping to keep some of my music on my phone, but unless I re-rip them to another format I cannot. This is minor though I guess as well I was just hoping an open phone would handle open codecs. One other thing this phone is missing is no flashing leds for messages or missed phone calls. Now that I think is more the phone maker ZTE's issue than Firefox OS.
Ok well on to the good things about this phone, it does run quite smooth, at least for the things I have been doing on it. Surfing the web is quite smooth on it. All applications of course are written in HTML5. There is whole section on the phone for just news and other mobile sites. I found that a really slick feature. Adding apps is quite easy as Firefox OS comes with its own Marketplace, which has updated twice since I purchased the phone btw, which has really a lot of apps. I was not expecting a lot of apps but there really is and more and more keep showing up each week. The notes app works quite nicely as does most of the standard ones that come installed. One I reccommend is Loqui which is a messaging app and just updated today some time before I sat down to write this. It handles many messaging protocols and of course it handles my favorite XMPP. Since the first time I used it to the update today this app is coming along quite nicely. There is also wonderful wallpaper which I found to be a prety cool app as well. They have all your standard apps as well Facebook, twitter etc etc. The calendar app syncs with my owncloud server so that takes care of calendar on the phone. You can also sync it with other services as well I just use owncloud. The contacts app is very nice as well, it is your typical contacts app really nothing shocking but it just works.
Weather Underground also has an app and that was the first one I installed, I am a big fan of weather underground so to see that app on the marketplace was very exciting to me. It also has a calculator and a video player, both of which I have not used much but they do work. All in all for 79.99 and this is suppose to be a low end entry phone it has worked very well for me. Granted a few things need to be fixed but a new release of Firefox OS has just recently been released so I am hoping to see a upgrade soon on my phone. Hopefully this will fix some of these issues as well. As far as the phone plan I went to a local provider near me and for 40.00 a month got unlimited talk text and web, so I really can't complain about that. The 3g has been spotty at best so I pretty much have to be connected to a wireless connection to get any data, but that is my choice of phone service not the phone itself. The phone is capable of 3G and if I switched to some other larger carrier would probably have a good data connection when not near a wireless access point.
So to wrap this up I am going to continue to support Firefox OS by buying and using these phones. I would like to get one of the more powerful ones that they have in Europe but those have not been released here in the U.S. yet so I have to wait. This really is a great product and I really enjoy it. Also being run by the Mozilla Foundation you know there goal is to keep the web yours and mine and privacy is a major concern of theirs as well. So I really have to support that as well.
If you are interested in trying out Firefox OS and you use Firefox there is a extension that you can install in Firefox to check it out before you even decide to make a purchase. That is what I did I was already quite familiar with the OS before my phone even got here, and you find that extension right here https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firefox-os-simulator/?src=ss So install that in your Firefox web browser and check it out, it is defintely worth the look.
My days off are often very very busy, always catching up on chores and projects there isn't much time to really sit down and relax.Sunday was quite busy lots of laundry, dishes and general clean up, but I did get to watch some football and Darth Packer Pnut showed up as well to watch the game. Plus my wife had a big meeting at the house about Z's benefit which is coming this weekend. Putting on the final touches for the big event. Monday was busy as well, got the bathrooms all cleaned up and more dishes of course. Then made my way out to the garage a project that has needed to be done for a while now. Pnut and Zayden came out to help and we spent the day outside just hanging out and cleaning up the garage. Cleaning out tool boxes, re-arranging and sweeping it all out. It turned out quite well.
We got hungry and took a break for lunch and had some pleasant conversation, mostly Z conversating actually. Then we went back out to finish up. Later in the day Pnut wanted to go for a walk so off we went. The evening was some pizza Monday Night Football, which was pre-empted by Pnut wanting to watch Turtle Man and Gator Boys, but at least during commercials she would let me check the score of the game. All in all an excellent day spent with my kids, at the end of the day dad was exhausted.
Title pretty much sums it up, enjoy your day off.
Well I am happy to announce that Z's surgery went off without a hitch. Both masses were removed and biopsied. Monday we got a call that the biopsies came back benign, so no cancer. My wife and I couldn't be happier to receive that news. Z is resting comfortably at home and getting back to his normal ol self. Now that the really scary part is over we can concentrate on the broken vertebra in his back and start planning for the kidney transpant. And hopefully there will be no re-occurence of these tumors anymore.
Lately we have been having to make several trips to Madison Childrens Hospital with our son Z. He was born with a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrococcygeal_teratoma and as of late it seems to be re-curring. Over the past year or so spots were discovered and they have gotten bigger. There have been some other issues going on as well but this has been the big one. Other things that will have to be addressed are his kidney transplant and the three cracked vertebra in his back. At this time though the removal of these masses needs to take priority as they could be cancerous. So they need to come out and be biopsied. My wife and I were getting rather frustrated as some of the doctors were really dragging their feet even after reading the MRI reports. Well we finally got in to see someone who wasn't afraid to make a decision. This led to our appointment yesterday, we met with the surgeon and within ten minutes of reading the MRI report looked at us and said “those need to come out now and be biopsied” my wife and I were quite relieved that someone finally got it. It had been a struggle for the past few months most doctors were not making decisions or deferring to other doctors. Meanwhile these masses had more than doubled in size, which rose serious alarm bells in our minds. In our minds our main goal was to get some movement on those and either get them biopsied or removed. Finally this is going to take place this Friday Z is undergoing surgery to get these masses removed and they will be biopsied after removal. Then we should know the biopsy results next wednesday or thursday. So still some stressful days ahead but at least we are moving in the right direction now, and not in limbo waiting for someone to make a decision.
After this is all taken care of then we can focus on the broken vertebra and the kidney transplant issues. The kidney transplant hopefully will be down the road here some ways, but in the meantime it sounds like we will be able to start getting the testing process under way to identify if any of us in the family will be a compatible donor. Hopefully one of us will be. So it has been a painfully brutal few months here trying to get all things moving and get all these doctors on the same page. When you see 10-14 doctors at all kinds of different invtervals it can become quite a chore. Things are definitely moving along though and Friday will be a big day for all of us, the hard part will be waiting for the biopsy results, but at least those things will be out of his body.
Woke up around 5am, birds chirping and starting to get light out. So I thought might as well get up and do something. On most of my days off I tend to get up early and get to working on things. I only have so many days off and no reason to waste them. So got the coffee made, took the dog out and got to my computer bright and early. Check email, check my RSS feeds and then get to the site and start some work here on I am way behind on it. Hopefully I can start to get more focused and get things moving around the Vault. Did get the links page going with quite a few links already with more to come. Still debating on putting in a forum, I have thought about it but am not sold on the idea yet.
Have also thought about setting up my own http://pump.io/ setup here as well, but that will be a future endeavor, right now just need to focus on getting the Vault all squared away, then can proceed with other things.