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Tips for moving to Ann Arbor

Tips for moving to Ann Arbor

These are tips that I wish I had known on landing in Detroit airport. I’ll update this list as more come to mind.

  1. Ann Arbor can be broadly split into two parts. The State St/South University area is aimed at students, with bars and cheap pizza places. About six blocks west is Main St, the area for locals/”townies”.
  2. Thankfully there is now a CVS pharmacy near State St and North University. This is the best place to buy your toothbrush and milk and the like to get you through your first couple of days. It’s open (close to?) 24 hours a day.
  3. The consensus for best all-round supermarket is Meijer. If you don’t have a car, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority run a bus service, The Ride. The 16 bus goes to Meijer every 30 minutes or every hour. It goes in a loop, so the stop in the Meijer parking lot is also where they pick you up an hour later. Swiping your MCard will get you on for free. If you haven’t got your MCard yet, a single pass will do for both legs of the trip.
  4. If you’re not from the US and want a cheap cell phone plan, I recommend Virgin Mobile USA. It’s the cheapest I’ve found.
  5. The undergrad ghetto is south of Hill St and north of Stadium. It can stretch as wide as Main St to Washtenaw Ave. The area around Burns Park is fine, though. In terms of where to live, there’s a good guide here.
  6. In terms of renewing a lease: under Ann Arbor law, tenants have a seventy day first refusal period on lease renewal. This means that your landlord may not re-lease your apartment (for the subsequent year) without your approval within seventy days of you moving in. Consequently many leases are signed around November 10th, or about seventy days after the first day of classes. If you wish to find the best housing in Ann Arbor, it is advisable to start looking – and be willing to sign a lease – in early November.
  7. The Michigan Flyer is an excellent way to get from Ann Arbor to Detroit airport. It’s about $15, whereas a cab is about $60. My understanding is that cab companies are all the same. When all the students are going to the airport (Spring Break, either side of the Christmas holiday, etc.) the university runs discounted buses to the airport. It’s called the Air Bus, and it’s about $7.
  8. The best (but expensive) coffee is in Comet Coffee in Nickel’s Arcade. The best burritos are to be found in BTB’s. The best undergrad bar is the Blue Leprechaun. The most popular grad school bar is probably Old Town, although I prefer Red Hawk. The best dive bar is the 8-Ball Saloon. Cottage Inn is probably your best bet for takeaway pizza. The best “nice” but not ridiculously priced restaurant is Palio’s. The best quiet study place is in the Rackham Building, with the Law Reading Room a close second.
  9. I think the following places are over-rated: Zingerman’s, Ashley’s, Fleetwood Diner.
  10. The two main places for concerts are The Ark and the Blind Pig. There are some noteworthy other shows in the Power Center and Kerrytown Concert House, but these are few and far between.
  11. Make sure you buy your stationary before the first week of classes. The queues in Ulrich’s in South University will cost you twenty minutes if you’re not careful. The only other place to buy paper and pencils (that I know of) is in the basement of the Michigan Union.
  12. Go to the UM Museum of Art. It’s very good. The Kelsey Archaeology museum charmed the pants off me.
  13. The UM International Center website has lots of good advice. They’re also helpful in there, too.
Fixing Barcode Scanner App on LG Optimus

Fixing Barcode Scanner App on LG Optimus

I updated the otherwise-excellent BarcodeScanner App on my LG Optimus phone and it stopped working. After the update the program just gave me a black screen with a red line on it. A quick search of an Android forum proved I’m not the only one who had this problem, it happens on all Optimus models.

The fix is simple. Uninstall the app and install the old version which can be downloaded from http://code.google.com/p/zxing/downloads/detail?name=BarcodeScanner3.72.apk. Done.