Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Want

Someday, sooner than later, I'll need to curb my materialism. I want too many things. There has always been a latent part of me that wants a motorcycle. I don't think I'm anywhere closer to fulfilling that desire now than I ever have been, but it is a thing I think about. "If I were to get a motorcycle", I ask myself, "what kind would I get, and why?"

And, more often than not, I answer thusly.

I'd get something classic, timeless, even anachronistic. Anything but new. Modern, maybe, but in the vein of modern art. That's really what I'd want. Form as prominent as function; a ride that's equal parts expression as it is transportation. The above bike meets those requirements, and, not-withstanding their differences, virtually any motorcycle from this blog.

From pipe-dream to commercial reality, I'm well overdue to replace my phone. I'd like to say the G1 was a faithful companion, but it wasn't half the sidekick that my dear old Sidekick was.

My breaking point was a year ago. I'd defended the G1 when it was made fun of. Sure, it didn't always work like it was supposed to, and wasn't as fast or have as many apps as an iPhone. "But come on, people!", I would say, "Does everything have to be an iPhone?" There are plenty of reasons to avoid getting wholly in bed with Apple, but that's neither here nor there. My decicion was deliberate, principled, and I was standing by it.

Then, last summer, probably eight months after I first got the G1, I was getting a girl's number. We didn't have anything in common, and I never even called her, but it just seemed like the proper thing to do at the time. She began reciting the ten digits she'd probably given out more times than she'd ever wanted to. "Hang on", I said. "My phone is... slow sometimes." I was ready to take the number. The G1 was not.

"What kind of phone is that?"

"It's the G1, it's the phone Google came out with. It can do a lot, but it's a new system, and is still slow and buggy."

"Oh... why didn't you just get an iPhone."

At any moment during the previous 8 months, if she or anybody had asked that, I would have spouted off a fruitless tirade about openness in development and the virtues of competition and individual customization. It wouldn't have gotten me her number, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, I didn't do that. There was no tirade. There was a quiet moment of reflection.

Why... didn't I get an iPhone? An iPhone would have worked. This whole time.

If I had gotten an iPhone, I wouldn't be defending my hardware from ridicule. It wouldn't have broken down repeatedly. It wouldn't have force closed half the programs. I wouldn't have had to wait for firmware updates so I could simply use the hardware for what it was designed for. I wouldn't have had to deal with single touch interface, even though the hardware is perfectly capable of multi-touch. I wouldn't have had to buy an adapter on eBay so I could plug headphones into the thing, and then have that adapter malfunction (but not entirely break) just enough so that I'd keep trying to use it, even though it would cause songs to restart and jumble around my playlist for no apparent provocation at all. I wouldn't have had to buy an extended battery pack that turned my new shiny tech into a brick sized Zach Morris style walkie-talkie, just so I could actually use the thing throughout the day and not have it completely die before 3:00 p.m., and then have the backing on that battery break off. I wouldn't have had to buy a MicroSD card with 16GB on it so I could actually use it for some mobile storage, and then have the card get corrupted.

I wouldn't be waiting to get this pretty girl's number.

Why didn't I get an iPhone?

As it has completely broken a couple times, I'm on my 3rd G1. That's not to say it's stopped breaking, it's just that the malfunctions now are more of annoyances; little things that are usually solved with a reboot. But should I have to reboot my phone regularly, daily, mid-day, mid-use? Sometimes it just reboots itself. I think it must be a self-defense mechanism, like a boot camp trainee who curls into a fetal ball when he can't handle his drill sergeant anymore. I wouldn't have thought I was asking too much of the thing. After all, I'm only using it for what it's purportedly designed for, should be up for the job. Man up, soldier. Your momma ain't here to wipe your nose anymore.

I coddled it so when it was new. Made sure it stayed nice, clean, shiny. That was then. The other day, I dropped it from 5 feet up. The screen cracked, and I didn't even care.

Also, since my review of T-Mobile isn't exactly glowing, I think it's time to move on. I've payed an obscene amount of money to them over the past 5 years, for virtually no customer recognition. I thought maybe this would be like a country club; you pay a fortune, but they treat you like royalty. Nope. Every time I've had to deal with T-Mobile, they've politely treated me like an annoyance. That is, they've hardly fixed anything for me ever, but they smiled the whole time. Yup, time to move on.

Enter the Sprint EVO 4G. Nice, isn't it?
It does everything. It even has that fun kickstand and red accents. For further proof, see the spec sheet here.

We'll see. I've hopefully learned my lesson some, and won't order till I hear the announcement on the new iPhone. That'll probably happen in June. We'll see.

Is anybody reading this? I wouldn't. If you've gotten this far, really reading, I don't know whether to be impressed or startled. If you've read this far, and are still reading, I want you to go to the comments, Now, and leave the two word comment, "octopus foots". Go ahead, do it.


Rob said...

octopus feet.

though you were correct in pluralizing octopus as 'octopus' (though octopodes would also be acceptable) , foots is wholly incorrect.

seriously dawg, just get an iphone. you'll have complaints still they'll just be a lot more focused on apple and (maybe) at&t.

Optimistic. said...

Octopus foots.

That may be the best way to see who's actually reading I've ever seen. Hats off.

Pickett said...

I'll oblige: octopus foots

Also, for what it's worth, I'm sticking with Android. Got myself an HTC Hero last month, and it is pretty great. Yes, it has problems. Yes, it can be slow. Yes, it reboots at random. But, I am still going to prefer the open platform that multiple companies are using and developing and improving and testing. Maybe it's just my ever-growing dislike for Jobs coming through, but I will still say that I nevertheless prefer at least the image of freedom.

All the carriers need to do is get on the ball and release firmware updates in a timely manner. WTF am I still doing on 1.5?

And I'll ditto Rob, that I will take my Sprint network over AT&T any day, even if they did help fund the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.

Jasie said...

octopus foots. I don't know why, but I feel I have an interest in your phone since I was there when you were SOOO excited about it coming out, counting down the days and such...

Aaron said...

Octopus foots.

Angela said...

But octopus have tenticles...
Also, I find it humerous that you spent this long time contemplating how you should have gotten an iPhone, and at the end, you say you're gonna get an HTC. Awesome.

anna. said...

anachronistic. just like me ( :

Emily said...


David said...

octopus foots

i am also thinking about getting a new phone.

Austin said...

I'm sincerely amazed at how many of you read all the way through my rambling on the shortcomings of my personal technology. I'm honored.

Rob, Octopus Foots what what I wrote, and it's what I meant.

Optimistic, from such a prolific blogger as yourself, that's a high compliment. Thank you.

Pickett, I'm right there with you. There's almost no chance I'll get an iPhone, but I have to at least wait and see. I'm almost surely going with the EVO.

Jasie, you were there. What mania overcame me, I still don't understand fully. Hopefully I can keep that under control in the future.

Aaron, I'm not sure who you are, but you're welcome here.

Angela, the phrase "Octopus Foots" was chosen because you penned it on the bottom of my Doc Martins one day when we were bored in church, YEARS ago. It's always stuck with me as a fun piece of nonsense.

anna, if I ever get an anachronistic motorcycle while single, I'll give you a ride. Seems only fitting.

Emily, good abbreviation.

David, what kind are you thinking of getting?

Richard said...

octopus foots

The EVO is really cool...

abby said...

octopus foots

(i skimmed a little.)

SamYam said...

softo copouts

Wes said...

octopus foots. What can I say, it's a 4 am shift and I'm about as awake as the rest of you who are in your beds.

mdiller said...

Get a motorcycle. Come ride with me. You'll love it, I promise. Also I'm not going to play your silly octopus foots game. I'm just not going to say it!

Anonymous said...

"octopus foots"

haha. You don't know me... I acutally just stumbled upon this blog, but I did read all of that—and agreed with most of it (especially the motorcycle part :) ).

Austin said...

Thanks, Anonymous! I'm surprised anybody read that far, especially a complete stranger. I guess I should write more often if people are going to take the time to read it. You're welcome around these parts, come on back when you feel like it.