Barometer

by Jinryu

For the past week or so, my life has been running a bit differently.

First of all I’m on a new ‘training’ plan. This training plan involves me getting stronger– I can do more pushups, more chinups, more situps, etc, with less effort. The plan? Sleep.

For the past little while I’ve been working those good old Fasttracker shifts at the hospital, which means that I’m back working on day/evening shifts (allbethey about 12 hours each…) with the land of the living. It’s been much easier to sleep during the night and in general I’m just so much better rested. It makes a huge difference.

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I got an HTC Dream the other day. I must say, that from the very start, this phone just wowed the crap out of me. I’ve used an HTC Vox s707 before, and that was a piece of crap as far as I’m concerned– the only reason I gave HTC a second chance was because the Vox was running Windows Mobile, which, like many Microsoft products, has a lot of good ideas but gets stuck at entry level jack-of-all-trades innovation instead of really sealing the deal. WM made the Vox slow and although although MSN and Activesync bridges worked almost flawlessly, it was just a very bloated OS that always felt slow and unpolished.

The phone after that was the P1i which I was actually quite happy with– it was running Symbian OS, which I liked much better than WM or any previous non-smartphone OSes that I’ve used. Symbian was really cool in a number of ways– it felt like I was going back to the hardcore days of Dos, where there were command line modifiers to EVERYTHING. There were so many options in the Symbian OS that I really felt that I had a truly customized experience. Even though it wasn’t built for it, and even though the P1i is at this point several years outdated, Symbian is still a robust enough platform that I could perform my own patches to integrate 2009 standards for web browsing, VOIP calls, IM, and even integration with Google products.

The big problem I had with Symbian is that that much homebrew and customization leads to problems with support– you really have to do a lot of tweaking to get things working just right. There are a lot of bugs as a result.

HTC Dream running Google Android though seems to be doing almost everything I want it to– without customizations. I mean, the only reason I want to customize things is because what I want a phone to do might be different from the factor setting– but the factory settings of Android seem to be pretty in sync with what I want. From the getgo, I basically entered my Google username and password, and voila– forget about swapping simcards and crap (I had to get a new one since I switched carriers), it automatically synced all my data from the ‘net. Instantly, my phone was loaded with my contacts, calendars, email, etc. The true (as opposed to patched) Google integration of Android meant little bonuses as well– for example, I can see multiple shared calendars with no fuss, compared to using activesync patches on WM or Symbian which only supported the displaying of my native calendar.

Now, I’ve already heard it before– “But you know, an iPhone also does that!”

I’m not sure what it is about people and their iPhone stuff. I never said that iPhones can’t do things– I just don’t like Apple products. Nor do I need to. I could just as easily say to an iPhone user playing with his tilt-labyrinth game or his lightsaber app: “But you know, an Android phone also does that!”

If you asked me why I don’t like Apple products, I probably wouldn’t be able to come up with a better reason than that the branding annoys me way too much. It’s not a question of hardware per se, and nowadays pricing is a bit better (although still NOT as good as comparable products of the same ability from other brands), it’s just what I call Apple ‘culture.’ So it’s not so much Apple that I dislike as the people who use apple.

Kinda like how I can just as easily wear a YMCA sweater instead of paying 200$ for a lululemon one.

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Upgrades:

I got a full sized chopping board for the apartment. No more running out of real estate while trying to cook. Bring on the butchery!
Android phone.
Laundry basket. No more using a storage bin as a laundry basket! Now I can pretend that I don’t live in a ghetto!
A pair of Ikea lamps. Added for irony!

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