Sunday, October 17, 2010

All teched up

My phone died. Or at least the screen did. Which means that although I can still use it to make calls, as long as I remember how I named the number I want, I can't see my alarms. There is obviously a problem with this. The wake up alarm was set to 5.30 and I can't change it. This is not a good wake-up time for the weekend and it will be too late for Tuesday when I'm going to Solihull by train.

I've had this phone for three and a half years now. It's a Samsung and has always been just a bit rubbish but it has done what was required, made calls, held numbers, very occasionally taken photos and provided three alarms, one with a snooze. I wouldn't have changed it, no matter the functionality of fabulous new phones, whilst it did what I required. Without the screen it doesn't do this any more. 

Ian did a bit of research and we found that I could have an iPhone from Tesco at the best price. To be honest I don't love Tesco. I don't love any of the standard service providers either. I've been with Orange for ten years but it's really not because they're a good company, just that they're all a little bit shoddy and changing now would be disruptive. The kids both have Orange phones, my free wireless broadband is through Orange and I also have a mobile dongle from them. For me to move would either require Orange to be even more useless than they already are or for another company to be obviously better, provide a noticeably better service at a lower price and make it easy to move. Still waiting. So, despite calling in at O2, I ended up back at the Orange shop.

The young man (Daniel) who served us hid his irritation inadequately but sufficiently that we didn't walk away. The very mirror of Orange's technique. I was either going to buy an iPhone or something cheap as chips and go with the laptop/Touch/dongle combination that I've got at the moment. The cheap option that did what I wanted (flips like a Star Trek communicator) looked like it would fall apart after a couple of months. The iPhone was shiny. Daniel offered an Android. It was also shiny and had vibratory icons. The fact that the iPhone has billions of apps did not sway me, not being a collector, but the familiarity of it did. I've got a Mac and a Touch and have played with Ian's iPad so I already know how to use the system. And the iPhone was shiny. Very shiny.

So now I have a lovely new iPhone4. Apple only provide a 1 year warranty. I'm on an 18 month contract. Something to think about in eleven months. After eighteen months I can transfer to a sim only contract if I can keep the phone undamaged for that long. Given that the Samsung lasted twice the life of the contract that may well be possible. I'll put a note in my diary for a year and a half from now to renegotiate.

And now it's time to organise my address book and choose some new music. Maybe see if there are any actually useful apps available (I want MyRail Lite!) to go with MyBus, TrainSearch and Dropbox. What else would I do with a free Sunday?

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