First I will deal with the cell phone. I had arranged to lessen the cost by lessening my phone capabilities and this has worked for several months but now dealing with daily activities and the kids I needed to up the ante back to where I was before the shake down cruise.
During the course of the trip I found a serious need for "offline" information. Things like how far is it to a specific anchorage! Is it any good? Where is the marina? do they have fuel? And the paper guides are only as up to date as when the author edited it, then printed it, distributed, sold, sitting in the boat....you get the idea. Well there is a marvelous source for up to date, cruiser opinionated, information. That is ActiveCaptain! One little problem...it is an online source. You need to be online to access it. But if you go online to Active Captain and read newsletter number 39 (the link to the newsletters is at the bottom of the home page) you will find out about Navimatics Charts and Tides. This iphone and ipad app (you get both for the price on one) allows you to store all the information off line! So in other words when you are in the everglades you have all the active captain data at your disposal. When you are in the Dry Tortugas you have all the information. This is one big reason to step up to an iphone. By no means do I think I can navigate with an iphone but the information from Active Captain and the Tide information are worth the cost of the app and phone. I actually have to thank Capt "K" of s/v Wee Happy who had this on his ipad and informed me as I didn't read newsletter 39 either.
Then during my idle time I was looking for something fun to do with the kids when we went to Shell Island. One of the google'd pages listed a couple of Geochaches on the island. looking deeper into the activity and trying it out to see if they are interested went over well with the crew. They are eager to "treasure hunt" on land and sea. When looking over the Geocaching.com site it had the same limiting issue as Active Captain. But they also had the same "work around" in the form of an iphone app.
So with 3 reasons (broken phone,charts and tides, geocaching) the iphone was looking like the leading contender. Then the $49.95 nailed the proverbial coffin shut. So here I am stuck with another 2 year contract with the overbearing overcharging lousy service phone monster that should have as many bars as they think they do and I will often have to remind myself of why I did it. Now I need to buy the way over sized not very sleek, down right fugly otterbox case and then stick it in a zip lock when leaving port case.
Okay so now onto replacing the netbook,
Hmmm? (Wheels turning) At this point there seems no justification for getting an iPad. Even though I now have a set of those little white ear buds that have been on commercials for the last 10 years. They came with the iPhone. I have also been forced to due the iTunes thing to get the apps. Until now I have avoided the iAssimilation. Do you remember the episode of Next Generation when the Borg say "You will be Assimilated!" and "resistance is futile". I think they talking about apple. They do a superior job of assimilating knowledge from those they encounter implementing it into their collective and making people think this is what "you" wanted. Continually improving the base with new apps (at a cost to you of course) but always holding out on the prime directive; only sell what we need to and hold the rest of the cards until next year. Seriously why doesn't the iPhone or iPad play flash? Why can you not upload photos to a blog without buying an app? The only people more in control of the human population than those behind the "conspiracy theories" are Steve and the boys. Yes there will still be outlaws on Window based systems modifying and upgrading, pirating bites of information, and worrying about "contact". Think of the internet...Now think of the internet in your hand...Now think of the internet implanted within...Now think of Terminator the movie...You should be afraid! Apple is making the internet personal! The next step is interconnectivity to ones nerves, no key pads, no volumes, no batteries. All human powered. Just pause and think... Where were computers when you were born? Where were computers that many years before you were born...Subtract you age again and the same question. Silicon chips..they control the world. What will be the next step in evolution? Bio? We are only at the beginning of the bell shaped curve. Intelligence is exponential and uncontrollable? So I guess I will get an iPad when I get the funds. After all it is better to not know.
Seriously click the photo above
I want an iCar... you know basic transportation that only goes so fast, only hold so many people, pretends to be green as it burns its gas, and has a whole crap load of options and upgrades on the market. Oh wait Daimler already did that with the Smart in Europe. Bet it would have sold better over here as an iCar with little white ear buds and clip on body panels you change with your mood.
Damn, I'm going sailing