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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Results of A Month of Android

Comments (32)

A month ago, I decided to switch from my iOS devices to Android devices for a month and see how it went. I turned off my iPhone and iPad and turned on a Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.

I enjoyed the Nexus / Android a lot.

But I couldn’t decide if I liked it better than the iOS experience. It was different in some ways and the same in others.

So yesterday after my digital sabbath was over I turned off my Nexus devices and turned on my iOS devices. I figured the only way I’d be able to really decided which I liked better was to switch back and decide how I felt after a few days.

The meta of the experience is that they are both great devices. Every app I used regularly on my iPhone existed for the Nexus. I found a few new things on the Nexus that I wasn’t using on my iPhone. And I started using my Nexus differently in a few ways, although I expect that behavior will carry back to my iPhone.

So – the experiment was completely and totally inconclusive for me.

A Magical Android Cover Lock Screen

Comments (36)

My Nexus 5 / Nexus 7 experience has been a winner so far. I’m 14 days into “Android instead of iOS” and I’m enjoying it a lot.

Almost all of the apps I use on iOS are on Android. Most are just as good / some are better.

And some of them are awesome. I’ve discovered Cover and I love it. It’s one of those things that just does what you want it to do. Another is Agent which has helped with battery life but also made it simple for me to keep my Nexus 7 in the bedroom since I just tell it to “sleep” from 9pm to 8am and as a result all the notification activity goes away and I don’t have to think about anything. Finally, the Nexus Wireless Charger is awesome.

I’ve got 17 more days before I decide whether to stay with the Nexus 5 or go back to the iPhone. Either way, I’m learning a lot.

How’s the Performance of Feld Thoughts?

Comments (27)

I’ve had continual performance problems with Feld Thoughts over the past few years.

Yesterday, we moved the site to Lagrange Systems in an effort to meaningfully improve things.

How’s it doing? And, more importantly, what’s your favorite high performance, high availability WordPress configuration?

A Month of Android Instead of iOS

Comments (170)

I’m going to spend January using an Android phone and tablet instead of my iPhone and iPad. My Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 are charged up and ready to go – all I need is a SIM card.

I’ve been an iPhone user since I ditched my HTC Dash running some version of Windows Mobile 6 oh so many years ago. I’ve struggled with battery life, broken screens, water damage, and this insatiable urge to upgrade to the latest iPhone the day it comes out. When I travel overseas, I’ve gone completely off the rails trying to figure out how to get a SIM that works even in an unlocked iPhone 4. But, overall the iPhone has been good to me and the companies I invest in.

But recently I’ve been sad. I didn’t like iOS 7 when it came out and I’m still not loving it. I felt bummed out by the latest iPhone release which seems to have – well – nothing really new except some fingerprint thing and different colors. And as more and more of my world is Google-related, I find the iOS apps fine, but lacking.

I asked Fred Wilson which Android phone I should get. Fred’s been an unapologetic Android fan from the beginning because he hates the closedness of Apple. He told me “Nexus 7″ so I bought it without looking. When it arrived, I realized I now had a really big phone since the Nexus 7 is actually a tablet. I just assumed it was better than the Nexus 5 (how’s that for not paying attention.) So I went online and got a Nexus 5 also.

That inspired me to run the January Android experiment. I use an iPad Mini for some stuff at home, although my favorite device to read on lately has been the Kindle Fire HD. But I’m going to see if I can consolidate all my activity to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 for January.

The one big miss was a SIM card. I ordered one with the Nexus 7 and then didn’t get one for the Nexus 5, as I assumed I’d just use the one that came with the Nexus 7 for the Nexus 5 (since the Nexus 7 would always be on WiFi). When the Nexus 7 arrived, the SIM and the wireless charging pad weren’t in the box. I’ve tried to figure out how to tell Google they blew the shipping on this (since I ordered it directly from Google Play) but there doesn’t seem to be any way to do that. So I ordered another wireless charging pad and I’ll swing by one of those old fashioned phone stores tomorrow and pick up a SIM.

In the mean time, if you are an Android fan, I’m all ears for any suggestions, tips, and tricks that you have for my month of Android.

Apple TV and Google DNS Issues

Comments (10)

A few days ago I suggested anyone using Google Apps should use Google Public DNS. The performance difference at my house in Keystone (which uses Comcast) has been dramatic for almost everything.

The one disaster has been Apple TV. Suddenly, Apple TV which previously worked no longer buffered well and HD shows took an interminably long time to load.

I confirmed there was an issue by searching (in Google) for “Apple TV Google DNS.” I quickly found confirmation of the problem, but as I laboriously trolled through threads on Apple’s support site and things Google search turned up, I found no answers. Only complaints. And flame wars. And nonsense.

The only logical thing was that Google Public DNS and the Apple CDN weren’t playing nice. Trying to dig deeper into that surfaced more complaints, but no real solutions. The FAQ for Google Public DNS has a short explanation of the potential problem, but then a bunch of nonsense and self-justification for the balance of the FAQ. Again – no solution.

So I started fucking around with my Apple TV settings. Searching the Apple support site didn’t help me much except for the hint somewhere to edit the WiFi settings manually. It took me a while to figure out how to do this (Settings-General-Network-WiFi (assuming you’ve already got something set up) and then while highlighting the network hit the Center button on the Apple TV remote.

The punch line is that you leave the “Configure IP” setting alone (let it do this automatically) but change the “Configure DNS” setting to “Manual.” Then enter the DNS for your ISP. In my case, I’m using Comcast, so it’s 75.75.76.76. If you don’t know the DNS setting for your ISP, you can usually find it via Google or go back to a default config on your router setup (before you changed it to the Google Public DNS of 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.)

Voila – amazing. Lightening fast Apple TV on Comcast’s DNS, lightening fast Gmail on Google Apps, and everything else is rock solid.

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