Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HTC Dream Accessories

Every Googler received an HTC Dream as their 2008 holiday bonus. Officially called the Android Dev 1, these devices are very similar to the T-Mobile G1 but without many of the boundaries. I was excited to finally own an Android device and wanted to protect my shiny new toy.

I started researching and speaking with co-workers about protection and cases. I quickly focused on Zagg's invisibleSHIELD and Naztech's Gladiator II case.


invisibleSHIELD corner
Zagg's invisibleSHIELD has become one of the best known protective methods for cell phones and other electronics. I purchased a whole body shield on Christmas day and it arrived twelve days later. I would normally be upset with a nearly two week delivery; however, this was bearable considering it was the holidays. I read the installation instructions and spent approximately an hour installing it on my Dream. My installation went well but I could not perfect the corners using the palm or thumb techniques. A couple of the corners never made full contact to the device; looking back I wish I had used a blow dryer as well. If the corners begin to peel away I may contact Zagg and request a replacement under their lifetime warranty.

The invisibleSHIELD gave my Dream a completely new texture. When I first installed the shield my phone bordered on tacky but after a few days I realized that it had subsided to a clean and barely noticeable feel. I really like having the whole body protection but I recommend the screen protection at a minimum. The shield does not impare the visibility of the screen and, like the body, it has a wonderful feel now that it has broken in.

A few days after installing my shield Zagg released a how-to video for installing on the G1. I did not realize how liberally I should use the installation spray until after installing mine and reviewing the videos. Considering the amount of spray that comes with the kit you can be extremely liberal as long as you avoid the open ports.

Gladiator II
I ordered a Naztech Gladiator II case from onlyg1 on the same day that I ordered my invisibleSHIELD. It took nearly a month for it to be delivered. I would be more understanding of the delay if the company had contacted me to inform me of a shortage, when the package actually shipped, or anything. They charged my credit card almost immediately after I purchased the case which is unacceptable considering it didn't ship for an additional 20 days. Around this time I contacted the company by phone to learn where my case was which was successful after approximately 25 minutes of being on hold. After a bit of digging I learned that OnlyG1 is part of the onlyphonenetwork, is associated to EliteXtreme, and has horrible consumer reviews overall. Thankfully my encounter with OnlyG1 has absolutely no reflection on the Naztech case.

The case is absolutely wonderful and I would suggest it to anyone. One of my coworkers, tgrey, originally suggested it to me and I am glad that I listened. This case is one of the most durable phone cases I have ever owned. The belt clip connections are metal which is a great improvement since I have destroyed many cases at that location. The case comes with two different belt clips as well, one for clipping inside a pocket and another for fastening around a belt. I use the clip that fastens around my belt and enjoy how secure it feels. Many people have suggested to avoid cases with magnets because it can cause problems with the Dream's compass; however, I rarely use that functionality and have not encountered a problem so far. This case may be a little bulky for some people but I'm glad to finally get my phone out of my front pocket.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Still expecting.

A few weeks ago I announced that Jenna was pregnant. We were extremely happy and started preparing; however, New Years Eve was devastating as Jenna and I believed she miscarried. I kept this pretty quiet and only made a single tweet about it, mostly because I didn't know how to handle it.

New years eve was spent at home playing games since Jenna did not feel up to attending any parties. Will decided to ditch his parties and join us. Approximately thirty minutes after midnight Jenna rushed to our bedroom without saying anything. I assumed that she just went to the restroom and after several minutes I decided to check on her. I walked into the bedroom to discover Jenna sitting on the floor crying, I knew what had happened without asking. Jenna had started bleeding heavily and was certain she miscarried. She said that she didn't even feel pregnant anymore. All I could do was hold her, I knew nothing that I said would comfort her.

After a few minutes I contacted Kennestone Hospital to see if we she come to the Emergency Room. I spoke with their oncall staff who, after informing me they could not provide medical advice over the phone, stated that if the bleeding was not severe and there was no fever then it would probably be safe to wait and contact her OB/GYN. I did a lot of reading online from my phone and after speaking with Jenna decided this would be acceptable. Jenna asked me to call her OB/GYN to make the appointment because she was still having a hard time handling what had happened. I called to make the appointment; however, Jenna's doctor was on vacation until January 12th. The receptionist spoke with one of the partner physicians and told me that it would be safe to wait until her doctor returned. I made the appointment for 9:30AM so we could met with her as soon as possible. I continued to monitor Jenna based on the conditions that the OB/GYN, Kennestone, and the internet suggested with the expectation of rushing her to the hospital if needed.

Jenna asked me to go with her this morning because she was unsure if she would be able to handle it alone, especially if a D&C was required. We arrived at the office and waited patiently, the doctor was running approximately 2 hours late due to a surgery. Once the doctor arrived she examined Jenna and believed that she had indeed miscarried. The doctor was hopeful that Jenna was able to handle the miscarriage naturally and did not require a D&C. They decided to perform an ultrasound to confirm that everything was progressing normally.

Jenna's sonogram
The sonographer started the process and uttered the words "there's a baby." Jenna and I both feared that this meant she needed a D&C. In a state of disbelief I asked if there was a heart beat. Jenna burst into tears as the sonographer told us there was a strong heart beat and proceeded to let us hear it. We were both in a state of absolute shock. We had been coping with the loss over the past couple of weeks and finally started to overcome it.

We returned to the examination room and were joined by the doctor who was as surprised as we were. She informed us that there was a slight separation from the uterus which probably caused the bleeding. This means that Jenna is now at a slightly higher risk for miscarring. This should not be a problem as long as Jenna reduces back her work schedule. The doctor was also concerned that her hormone levels may have dipped which would result in her feeling different and "no longer pregnant." They took several vials of blood and will have the results by Thursday.

Looking back on it I wish I had just rushed Jenna to the Emergency Room like my instinct told me I should. We are both elated and only hope that today is the end of our recent emotional rollercoaster. Thank you for everyone who has stood by us, sent condolances, and shared personal stories. It meant more to us than you can imagine and we truly appreciate it.