iObsolete

Just the other day, I thought I’d charge up an old iPod of mine and take a listen to the songs that I have in it. Besides this iPod Video (I think), which is the 4th gen of iPods that comes with a click wheel, I have an older 3rd gen iPod that comes with no movable parts at all (except the lock slider on top). But I think that 3rd gen iPod is probably almost dead, whereas this iPod video is surprisingly still functioning. It still has decent battery capacity, although it had in past times hung and refused to on or off, but considering that I came to own this since… 2006? I must say that it has lasted really long. Also, it has a large capacity of 80GB, more than I could ever use and even with a lot of songs that I do not listen to loaded into it, I barely cross the 30GB mark. Perhaps I could start loading some of my current listen-to songs in it, but then it would mean that I have one additional item to tote around in my already too-heavy bag, and also I can’t speak on its reliability. Besides, many of the songs I am listening to now are embedded in the AMPed app which can’t be extracted, so I need to change how I “own” the songs.20130208-095846.jpg

Then there is the iPhone 3GS, which I bought in January 2010. It hasn’t died yet and now I am only using it to listen to songs (AMPed) and as an alarm clock. I didn’t trade it in when I bought my new phone, for whatever reasons back then, and now I still have an active line on it; the silly thing is, the SIM card doesn’t seem to get detected on the phone now, so it has a perennial “No SIM” indication on the top. I tap wifi when it’s available while I travel, and use this sometimes as a back-up for my other phone where the battery depletes really fast. Overseas I don’t have that problem if I’m not on some roaming plan or prepaid SIM with data, but in Singapore, because of our lousy 3G coverage, the time the phone takes to try to connect to the non-existent network drains my battery. How ironic.

So I know I should cancel the other line already but am just procrastinating on and on. It would save me some money on a monthly basis for sure, so maybe I should just do it pronto.

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the 4S

It has already been a month, or a few days more than a month, since I got the iPhone 4S. And I’m totally loving the phone. It isn’t the best phone around in terms of functionality or otherwise but since I was so lazy to try a different type of phone, I thought I’d just get this, and transferred stuff on the 3GS onto it, lock stock and barrel. Well, actually I got the 16GB model so it didn’t make a lot of sense to port everything over since I was already close to reaching the storage limit, save for a few GB of space. But I am just stingy in weird ways, and I wanted to not spend so much on the phone; this already set me back by a fair amount, and I had not yet traded-in the old phone because I am still hanging on to the 2 numbers. But… I will try to see if I can dispose of it soon and then cancel the other line.

So… presenting my now-not-so-new iPhone!

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With all that I have already stored on the paltry space in it, there were already times when I could feel a little lag in its responses, but compared to the 3GS, it’s heaps better. My old phone has lost its sensitivity to touch, both on the screen and the home button, and responses in the apps were rather painful to wait. There are some new functions on the phone too, like the weather app now comes with a local weather if you enable the location services, maybe not so useful in Singapore where weather is perenially constant despite your location, but in some cities that are huge, weather conditions can differ depending on where you are. Plus the soft-touch button that frees me from the need to always press on the home button when I want to exit an app may just allow it to last a little longer.

The fact that this is a white version is something of a novelty for me too. I used 2 white iPods in the past, and they are actually still sitting around somewhere at home and becoming real white elephants, but I sort of got used to a black phone. Then when I got this I thought I’d want the white, and I’m really loving it! For whatever aesthetic reasons.

I bought the phone the day after I came back from Makati and a day before I left for Tokyo, and while I was in Japan, I decided to buy new accessories for it! I really think the pluggy doesn’t serve much purpose besides yes plugging the earphones port, but I thought it looks cute. And I decided to look for a new casing too, even though the metallic cobalt blue casing I got from the Hello Shop was also nice, but that went to my sis-in-law when she came around for dinner one night and asked if I had any spare casings. Since I already had this miffy case, I let her have the other. And then I will have an excuse to scout for another spare perhaps. Funny how when I used to 3GS I never really bothered with accessories but now all of a sudden I want to buy more casings for the phone.

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This casing wasn’t cheap but I have a soft spot for this rabbit and while in Tokyo, I bought a plastic folder and a pen from Takashimaya! I bought a couple of magnetic bookmarks when I was in a museum shop in Amsterdam too. Plus a keychain if I recall, from the Schipol Airport. That’s the lure of the rabbit.

So that’s it for gadgets for me. I don’t think a MacBook Air is going to happen in the near term, at least not that I can foresee soon since I have budget constrains and the need just isn’t there currently. I don’t even get a lot of time to be in front of the PC sitting at home now, so the laptop will end up being another white elephant.

finally!

After much procrastination and much trouble in checking for available stocks at the SingTel shop, I have finally gotten my new phone!

Just before I went off to Manila for work a couple of weeks ago, I was rushing around various shops in town looking for the phone, and because I was going to port my number I was only of course going to the shops of the telco that I wanted to port the number to.

As luck would have it, all the stocks for every single model was sold out that entire weekend so I was really annoyed that to buy a phone I had to go through so much effort. I left Singapore without a new phone.

This weekend, surprisingly I was told by my bro that there were stocks at various of the shops that he passed. And so yesterday I went down to one of them in town and got the phone! Yay.

I know how some friends have already jumped off the Apple bandwagon in favour of other smartphones like the Galaxy S2 or even HTC, those which I would really consider are more sophisticated than the iPhone, but I’m quite resistant to change sometimes. Especially where technology is concerned. As it is, right now I am still trying to get everything in place and it’s already proving to be a little bit of an annoyance. I hope I can get everything sorted out and settled by today because tonight I am going to be off again!

Happy Chinese New Year to all! Have a prosperous year!

I checked my TOTO numbers last night and sadly I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to get any share of that $7m jackpot prize. Oh well, there goes the lofty dreams! Haha.

coming home

I know, I’m already home. But this just happens to be a song title of something I’m listening to currently because I like the female vocals so much.

Right now, there are 2 items on my list that I would really like to get. The first is something more practical, that is a new phone. My current phones are still functioning, but the E71 that I have is almost 3 years old and it gets a little wonky at times. Plus even without using it much since not many people call me on that number these days, the battery life is shit. The 3GS that I have is coming to 2 years really soon, and yes it’s still working although it threatened many times to die on me, and it’s getting more and more laggy as the day passes. Obviously, the release of the 4S has something to do with my train of thought, because if they hadn’t released it I wouldn’t have thought of getting a new phone, at least not so soon unless I decided to try out the Samsung S2 that apparently has earned many rave reviews, some of my friends use that too and they swear it trumps over the iPhone any day. I have no doubt about that, but I am really lazy when it comes to getting acquainted with new technology and stuff. I am no techie, in fact I think I’m one of those for whom idiot-proof ‘gadgets’ work best for me, so since I have used an iPhone for 2 years, or close to, it makes sense to stick to it. I am resistant to change yes, in this form. I advocate change in my job so I have to put a disclaimer somewhere just in case I get called out on it. Always have yourself covered.

The 3GS that I have is black, because back in those days when I was about to buy a new phone, the white version wasn’t available. So now, I thought that perhaps I can get the white since really, to me, Apple products look best in white, unless of course it’s chrome that we’re talking about, which you will see later… But you know, in my department of 10+ colleagues, there are 6 including my boss whom I lunch with almost on a daily basis. Among them, 4 of them have gotten the white 4S, and my boss is using the white 4G. It’s kind of scary how the iPhone has proliferated our lives and I know for sure there are always people who want to be different, yes me too sometimes, but where technology like phones are concerned, I am quite happy to be among the crowd because when something goes wrong at least there is a wider pool of help available to ask. It’s a lame way to justify me getting the iPhone again, but anyhow we shall see what happens in the end. Unless in the midst of me deliberating the 5 comes out, which I highly doubt. Not so soon anyway, I hope.

Then, there is this thing that I have been thinking about for the longest time. I don’t think I have considered a purchase for so long. From getting a [insert various brands here] laptop to a netbook to an iPad2, I have more or less decided that I will probably get this.

Yes. The MacBook Air. My colleague and I even went to an Apple rep while we were out for lunch one day, and asked him the difference between the MacBook Air and the Pro. I think he probably thought we were morons but then we asked him for some comments on which he thought might be more suitable for someone like me. Well, obviously it came across that yours truly would be the bimbo sort of user who will be using the laptop for really simple tasks, so he recommended the Air. Hmm. Ok, it was more like I told him I just needed it for simple photo-editing since I am no Photoshop expert, blogging and watching videos and stuff, etc., things that don’t need the kind of processing speed that a Pro would offer (it will probably be wasted on me). Plus design-wise this looks much better, although it has the drawback that you can’t ‘expand’ it or upgrade it in future if you’d wanted to. And if you plan to work with storage media like CDs and the likes, then you will need an external combo drive since the Air being this thin, doesn’t come with much, save for a couple USB ports. My decision was between the 11″ and 13″ but after thinking a little bit more, I don’t really think I will be carrying it around with me much when I’m travelling because I really cannot imagine lugging the Air (even if it weighs only about 1 kg) in addition to the monstrosity of a laptop that the company provides to me (not yet now but soon after they do the refresh). I don’t check in laptops because I have had a laptop’s hard disk crash on me even though I hand-carried it, I didn’t want to run the risk of something like that happening if I were to check it in, the risk is just too great. And I don’t honestly think it’s safe.

So, the 13″ makes more sense if I were rationalising in that direction, although at the back of my mind I still harbour whimsical ideas of me blogging on the go from the Air (I can do that on my current laptop too if I have a LAN cable because that stupid thing’s wifi doesn’t seem to work at all, bleah). Someone suggested the iPad2, but that’s not really something that was considered much; it was for a while but I still very much like the aesthetic features of a laptop somehow. Don’t ask me why or how.

Gadgets… these should hardly be the things that I should worry about. But maybe for good reason. I don’t think so much about other things that cost equally much or more, but these days I find it easier to let go of ‘those things’. For a while, then I will start obsessing about it or something new, and the cycle goes on. I can’t afford to keep purchasing new leather every now and then because I need to save for the roof over my head, and even though I know, females never have ‘too many’ bags/shoes/clothes/etc., for the time being, I think I don’t have the luxury of space to not think that it is enough at this point in time.

All images above from www.apple.com

AMPed

When I first got my iPhone, I deleted the application AMPed. I cannot remember why I did that, maybe because I felt that I wanted to rid my phone of apps that I don’t use although that is a weak reason since even with a paltry 16GB of space, I haven’t even used up half of the space (I think) after almost 2 years and more than 2,000 pictures later. I don’t store a lot of songs in the phone because I have a separate iPod which is fast becoming a white elephant; I still need to figure out how I am going to get a proper back-up of the more than 30GB of music in the iPod if I were to try to import them to a new one, if I ever decide to get a new one that is. Any suggestions anyone?

So anyway, it was only after a long time that I somehow ventured into AMPed and discovered (see, another telling sign that I am an absolute laggard where such things are concerned) a rather large database of songs available for download! Of course the songs are downloaded into the app itself where with the iPhone signed on with a SingTel line, I automatically get an account that comes with the benefits of free song downloads (or did I sign up for an account before, I couldn’t recall), so you need to go into the app to listen to the songs. I don’t know if these songs could be somehow ‘ripped’ out of the app, but even without any network the app can still be accessed and ditto your downloaded songs, so that’s not a big issue to me.

I think the app is a great idea and wonderful replacement for the iPod where I am concerned, because there are so many songs available, new or old, and it is also a channel through which I can discover new music/songs. I don’t listen to the radio, so often how I am introduced to new songs is really random; through friends, movies, dramas, random youtubing of MVs, etc. This is another great place to do so, and just a few days ago I discovered this singer called Skylar Grey. She has been around for a long time with a first album out in 2006 but I sampled one of her new songs on AMPed, Invisible (that will be part of her new album to be released in 2012), and really loved it! Went to look up some info on her and found out that she was the voice in P.Diddy’s “Coming Home”, and she was also part of the team that collaborated on all three versions of “Love the Way You Lie”. Now, no wonder she sounded familiar in Invisible, and no wonder I enjoyed the song so much, although maybe the lyrics played a part in getting me hooked onto it currently.

I think I’m becoming more and more reliant on the phone. What used to be a tool for calling and texting has evolved over the years into so much more. When I don’t have data coverage overseas I begin to feel very handicapped that I can’t check my email and feeds from the various social networking platforms, since I’m not big on games and most of the other apps that I use requires data too. It is quite a common sight to see people being so absorbed with whatever they have on the screens of their smartphones when we are out, whether we’re commuting, waiting for friends or even while with friends, or sometimes even when walking. I’m not so sure if it’s a good thing because it puts a lot of distance between people even if our world is growing smaller each day, but that’s one of the price that we pay for the advent of technology. It is a great idea to have it as a distraction to while time away, or when we need information on-the-go, but when it starts to encroach on interpersonal relationships, then maybe it isn’t such a great idea anymore.

the apple of our eyes

It’s become almost a habit that each morning when I wake up, I’d power up the phone and then while having breakfast I’d go through the feeds in Twitter and the various other social media apps I have installed. One tweet from Anderson Cooper caught my eye, “Sad news, steve jobs is dead”.

Steve Jobs’ ailing health wasn’t news, but somehow after the hype (or rather lack of it) of the iPhone 4GS launch yesterday announced by Tim Cook, this news came as a bit of a surprise/shock. It just seemed very surreal, that someone like Steve Jobs is gone.  

After that one tweet I read, there was an explosion of posts on Twitter, Facebook, wherever you named it, mostly stating “RIP Steve” and followed with some of his quotes or what they thought of him. Words like “visionary” were common. I don’t know how we identify who are the visionaries of our time, but I think it’s befitting of the co-founder of Apple. Sure, not everyone is an Apple fan, but you can’t deny that a lot of people have bought in to the Apple concept and its family of “i” products. I was first introduced to Apple when I was in university and a friend had the lime-green iBook. It was so eye-catching and revolutionary aesthetically that I would really liked to have one. But I didn’t eventually.

My first Apple product was actually a gift of an iPod, which I believe to be a 3rd gen version, a pure white iPod without any movable parts; everything functioned on the premise of touch, and I really loved it. I had a second one to replace it, an iPod video, to this day which I am still using on-and-off (as the phone has more or less taken over), and then 2 years ago I succumbed to the iPhone 3GS. I was deliberating between the MacBook Air and iPad2, neither of which are in my possession currently, and just yesterday I was mulling over the 4GS or whether I should just hang on and wait for the v5.

It is easy to get used to Apple’s products, even if most of them are designed simply and for ease of use by the mass market. Where technology is concerned, I don’t mind being part of the homogeneous market; Apple’s designs just appeal to me, the use of sleek lines and the combination of white with chrome just exudes a utilitarian charm that I can’t resist.

Frankly, I was a little disappointed too that they decided to come out with the 4GS instead of unveiling the 5, because rumours had it that it would be a thinner iPhone with a wider screen but now what we’re getting is a version with upgrades that are contained internally. Superficially it’s still the same phone, and where siri is concerned, I’m not really that big on it. If I do get the 4GS eventually it will be because my 3GS cannot work anymore, and I am resisting to leave the iFamily in favour of Android phones because I have gotten so used to the iProduct.

It was shared online something Steve Jobs once said: “Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” All of us will die one day, it’s just a matter of when, and for him perhaps knowing the finite time he had remaining he chose to follow his heart and maybe that’s what helped in his success. For most of the rest of us, not knowing or thinking that we still have a long way more to go, makes us hold back in fear, of anything at all. We don’t follow our hearts because we fear failure, judgment, and that we have everything to lose if that happened.

pitter-pattering

It’s a wet drizzly day. It started raining in the middle of the night while we were all sleeping, and I awoken by the brother who got up to shut the windows. I fell back to sleep almost instantly, having been feeling extremely tired since… when has it been since I have felt energised?

I can’t recall if I did wake again mid-slumber before the alarm decided to go off, a soft polite beeping of the mobile phone that is surprisingly able to rouse me from the very first beep.

The air was crisp and cool as I made my way to the office, enjoying the slight chilliness that brushed my long, unruly hair off my forehead, as the mood tries valiantly to stay high.

Decided to head out during lunchtime to run a couple of errands with a colleague, and as we stepped out a light drizzle that had began to fall became heavier. We still proceeded for lunch anyway, and by the time we were done eating, the rain had not stopped. Even after the errands were done with, it was still raining, and so we trudged back to office in the rain, with umbrellas of course, wishing that we didn’t have to go back.

Sometime ago when I was surfing the web, I came across this cute bag that caught my eye. I have something similar, I believe, from Louis Vuitton as well, but somehow with the bandouliere (the strap) it just seems really like something I would want, now. Plus the colour is a great change from the usual blacks and blues that I have, right?

But… after running that errand I did earlier on, I think I can forget about this for a long, long time. For this year 2011, I hope I can continue on the downward trend where buying of bags are concerned, and maybe limit myself to 2. I haven’t decided what I should get yet, since there are still 11 months more to go. There is still that camera that I’m hoping to get, and just now while I was on my way out during lunch, I dropped my phone, yet again, on the hard tiled floor of the office lobby. Sigh. I just wish that my 3GS will last me long enough until at least the 5 makes its way to our shores, and when that day comes, I won’t have to wait too long to get my hands on a piece.