Falling into line

Falling into line

So its been a while since I last posted. In fact its been a while since I last did anything with my websites but here I am in the new year, attempting to get back into the swing of things with playing around with websites. My Animay website really needs an update – it hasn’t been touched for over a year so its well overdue for some action.

The problem is that I’ve been so busy. Normally I’d have a few extra minutes or so during the day even at work where I could spend a bit of time putting together something for any of my websites, but its been one of those years and it looks like a similar one on the way for 2013.

But lets focus on what this particular post is about, and that is finally succumbing to buying an Apple product. Yes I did it, I bought an Apple product.Not that I had anything against Apple products, its just that I preferred everything other than an Apple product. So what did I go out and buy?

Well late last year I realised that my trusty little Sony MP3 Walkman was not doing so well anymore. I had had it for quite a number of years and it never did anything wrong by me. Great sound, easy to add music to and it was quite compact and small. Only thing was that it didn’t carry enough music for me. I always change my mind about what I feel like listening to on the way into work or on the way home from work, and often it ends up being something that I don’t have on the player, and couldn’t fit unless I remove some other albums or tracks to make the room. It was a 4GB player which is still reasonably sized, but way too small these days. So I started to investigate the possibilities of what I could get. Now I leaned towards Sony in the first instance as I’ve always had a Sony MP3 Walkman and prior to that I had a CD Walkman by Sony as they produce great sound, however the price kind of put me off. It wasn’t an awful price or anything, but you didn’t get a lot of bang for your buck. I thought I’d take a look at the Apple iPod products and just see if I could do a comparison. Now Sony were intending to (or already have by now I suspect) release an MP3 player that was similar to how an iPod Touch works, in that you could do a lot more than just listen to music and watch Videos. Now when I went onto the Apple Australia website, what do I see but brand new, colourful, iPod Touch players about to be released. They looked beautiful and there was that sudden temptation that I really wanted one. Of course the cost was fairly high and I had to try and justify it to myself to spend that much just for a music player. I guess because the iPod Touch is pretty much an iPhone but without the phone features it ended up winning me over. I really did take my time and read things over and continually compare between it and the Sony MP3 Player I wanted, as well as focusing on what I actually wanted the device for. Did I just want to listen to music on it? Did I want all those extra features or should I wait till I upgrade my mobile to a smart phone and get all those features then? The thing was I kept going back to that front page on Apple where they were showing off the lovely colours of the new iPod Touch and the more I stared at it the more I wanted it! So I did one of those “lets go now and buy it before I change my mind” moments and headed straight to the Next Byte store here in Adelaide. Unfortunately they didn’t have any, even though they had just been released by this time. Saddened but still with that same “I want it now” attitude driving me on, I headed over to JB Hi-Fi and wandered over into the tiny corner section where they sold all the iPods. And there they were… even the colour I wanted (blue) so as soon as the sales clerk was free I said “I want one of those please!” and then very reluctantly handed over the cash for it. My heart was racing the whole time as that was a hefty amount I had just put down (for me anyway!) but I did it. I am now an Apple Product owner. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I’m a big fan of all Apple Products, or am I…?

Prior to Christmas I had been having a chat with a colleague at work about his iPad. He and his wife shared one and he was thinking of getting another one so that they had one each. This would also help when they shared the iPad with their kids too. I was intrigued but wondered to myself why would I need an iPad when an iPod touch had just as much stuff on it as the iPad did? Still, lately I had been reading a lot of books on the way to and from work and while I love reading, the problem I now face is storage. I don’t have enough bookshelves for all my books. Yes, I could just go to the Library, borrow a book and then return it, but I’m a re-reader, and will re-read a book on a regular basis. Plus I’m not really keen on going to any of the Libraries near me. And I like the ‘ownership’ of the book. It is mine, my own… my precious.

Everyone at work had a Kindle that would, of course, solve the problem of storage as I wouldn’t need bookshelves anymore since the books would be stored on the electronic device. But did I want a Kindle? Here in Australia we are behind with the Kindle releases, and not all of them get released here. There are other eReaders out there and a lot of them have good reviews (I spent a lot of time reading over them) but it still seemed like Kindle topped the lot. So I went into Dick Smith Electronics and found the Kindle on display. You can play around with it and read a book, and since I wanted to see how it would be for me, I started ‘turning’ pages. The size seemed a lot smaller than I thought it would be, and the grey-ish background made it hard for me to be able to read the words clearly enough. On top of that I didn’t like that little ‘flicker’ when the page changed, that made my eyes go all funny and then I was searching for the start of the page (yes it only takes seconds and its normal reading anything, but the flicker seems to make my eyes lose focus for an nth of a second hence the need to refocus again on the page… if that makes any sense at all). I played around with it a bit and the only attractive thing about the kindle was the price. About 10 paces to my left was where they were displaying all the Apple products, well namely the Mac, and the iPads. Sitting on the corner was the iPad mini. I picked it up, and since I was already attuned to the Apple interface thanks to my iPod Touch,  I was able to navigate around quite quickly. I headed to the iBooks app and hoped that it had a book loaded up. Now I had loaded up a demo of a book (excerpt actually) on my iPod Touch and it was great, but just a tad too small. Despite the ability to increase the font size on my iPod Touch, that would mean I’d be reading 2 sentences a page! Okay maybe not that bad but close enough. To my delight they did have a book loaded up in iBooks so I immediately began flipping through the pages. Lovely. Nice and big (screen size as well as font size), clear & bright background to make the letters stand out more, and no flickering when you flipped the page. It was really great! But it was also expensive if all I was going to use it for was to read books. Still I couldn’t really help it and once again that burning desire of “I want this” was coming through loud and clear. Now it was just after Christmas when I was at Dick Smith looking these things over, and while the sales clerk was really enthusiastic and encouraging for me to buy the iPad mini (the other positive thing about the iPad mini was its weight), he then enthusiastically told me they were all sold out and didn’t know when the next shipment would arrive. Bummer. But like with my iPod touch, I still had that determination that I was now going to buy this damn thing by hook or by crook.

So I went to old faithful… JB HiFi. Rather than walk in and head over to their Apple Products area, I just spoke with the sales clerk who was minding the front of the store. I poked my head in through the door and said “Excuse me, do you have any iPad mini’s in stock?” She whipped out her little dooflicky that connected her to their main computer with all the stock listed on it, and I was pleased to hear her say “Yep, we have 4 in stock by the look of it.” She headed out back to pick one up for me (I didn’t mind which colour though I said I’d lean more towards a black one) and within a few minutes she reappeared carrying my new little gadget in her hands. I then proceeded to pick up a cover and screen protector as well and again had the nervous moment right before handing over that wad of cash (via my card of course) and wondering if I was doing the right thing.

So now not only do I own 1 Apple Product but I now own 2! Would I be going for the Trifecta??

No. My mobile phone is on contract and I’ve always been on contract ever since I picked up my first mobile phone many, many, many years ago now. The company has been good to me and I’ve been able to reasonably keep up with the times with the phones. The only downside is that your contract is for 24 months which is to pay off the phone as well as services and can add up to quite a lot. This time around I needed a phone that could act as a modem for my two new Apple Products. I wasn’t interested in the sharing stuff that you could do with all 3, just so long as the phone could give me the ability to download apps and update stuff while on the go for my iPad and iPod. Adelaide is keen to become a WiFi city, but its a way down the track right now, and while there is WiFi in the building that I work in, its completely restricted, so I can’t do anything with those devices. Besides, my phone that I had was not compatible at all with the iPod and iPad mini as it was too old (and not really a smart phone). My sister, nephew, brother and a couple of colleagues at work all had the Samsung Galaxy phones and I really liked them. So when I went into my store to upgrade my phone, that was what I wanted. The sales clerk was talking about the HTC and the iPhone and some other device to but when she asked me what I was interested in, I kept pushing for the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

And I have it. So that breaks the chance of a trifecta with Apple products, though I suppose if I wanted to I could by an Apple Mac but that’s not likely to happen.

If you are wondering what I think of all these devices. I’m still a bit overwhelmed. My iPod went from being a music player, video player, Facebook and twitter watcher to just being a music player as soon as I got the iPad Mini. And with that I’ve used the mini as a book, a gaming device, Facebook interact-er (lol) and video player. Now I’m also discovering great stuff for my new phone so who knows what will happen there!

I just feel glad I’m up to date with all these techno gadgimawhatsits. At least for the next few months anyway.