45 years ago today – one small step!

I get a chill just reading about this. I remember exactly where I was that day too. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a ocean liner from Haifa to New York, so we couldn’t watch it on TV! But the ship sounded its whistle, and there was a party on board that night.


Maybe I am a “Apple fanboy” after all?

It turns out that despite my protestations to the contrary, I may be an Apple fanboy after all.

I wasn’t happy with the simple, non-smart phone I bought at Walgreen’s in March. The sound quality wasn’t great, and everybody here seems to like to “text” a lot, and the simple texting feature on that phone was very 20th century and cumbersome to use.

So I changed my pre-paid GoPhone plan to a smart phone plan and bought an Avail 2 Android 4.1 device for $54 at Target on Sunday. But it was just horrible. The sound quality was better, but it was slower than Moses, and plain didn’t work well. The reception in particular was very poor.

I had originally wanted to use my AU iPhone 5, but was not able to unlock it from AU. So I can only use that phone on wi-fi.

Finally I decided to try my hand on getting hold of an inexpensive, used AT&T iPhone. I found a 16 GB iPhone 4S yesterday on Craig’s List for just $120!

The AT&T store here was very cooperative and gave me a free SIM card for it, so I could continue with my current GoPhone plan (unlimited talk and text, plus 2.5 GB of data for $60/month), and even transferred over my Android contacts for me. I returned the Android to Target today for a refund. (One thing I like about shopping in the U.S. is that it’s a lot easier to return things. In Japan, it tends to be more difficult to return something that isn’t actually broken.)

Anyway, it works just fine. It’s about 500 times faster than the painfully slow operating Android device. It’s used, and looks a somewhat used, but everything works fine and I guess I am just more comfortable with the Apple ecosystem. It was nice to see all my photos, calendars, reminders, etc. just automatically be there via iCloud.

It’s one version older than my iPhone 5, but the camera is more or less the same quality.

The battery is a bit old, and doesn’t hold charge as long as a new one, but I bought a recommended $10 do-it-yourself replacement battery kit from Amazon and will update that when it arrives.

Anyway, it’s nice to have a contract-free iPhone to use in the U.S. The texting is integrated with the Messages app, which works a lot better than the texting feature on the Android as well.


Target and new mobile phone

I went over to Target today to get some things I needed, and got there and back with the help of that amazing Google voice navigation.  I’m not exactly sure where I went, but I just followed the voice on my iPad and got there and back with no problems.

I didn’t find what I was looking for at Target. But… I got hooked by their mobile corner. I decided to grade up from this dinky $12 GoPhone to something more usable – especially for text, because the texting on the older non-smart phone is incredibly awkward and old fashioned.

They had an Android 4.1 GoPhone for just $54 and were able to just switch out the SIM card and it was all basically working in a few seconds, with my contact list all transferred over. But the Target person did mess up on the setup and so I had to call support to straighten it out, right there in Target.

The problem was the plan I had on the non smart phone was $45/month for unlimited talk and texting. The GoPhone smart phone plan is $60/month for unlimited talk, texting and 2.5 GB of data and you can use it for tethering as a mobile hot spot – very convenient!

Since the Target person set it up incorrectly originally, AT&T gave me the full month ’til June 30th for no extra charge, applying my other balance and giving the rest for free. AT&T seems nice about things like that.

Since this is a real smart phone I can do real email, run apps, etc. It’s overall nicer than the tiny non-smart phone. And the sound quality is 10 times better than the other phone, so it’s less annoying to use.

So while I still don’t have what I went to get, I have a new toy to play with.

Monitoring the situation

It finally dawned on me that if I stand my LG monitor on a stable box, behind my MacBook Pro, that my MacBook Pro lid won’t cut off the bottom part of the monitor anymore, and I can have a big beautiful full-screen. The box is a perfect width and height.

And I think it’s just as stable even with an earthquake. Maybe.