If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bobbing for Apples

I know it's not Halloween, the apple with a big "A"

Almost two years ago I jumped into the apple barrel head first with the iPhone 3 (already surpassed by the 4).  It made a few things much better especially the Charts and Tides app.  After all this was the motivation to upgrade once again.  I had been living with a Blackberry but moving onto the boat I downsized the bill and was using a cheap phone.  Just because the phone died with a little salt water didn't mean I had to go full out again on the bill.  Recently I updated this old i3 to iOs 6 and installed Garmin Blue Charts in anticipation to use it in the Bahamas.

Fast forward to the Florida Keys.  During the last few months I had been staring at the iPhone 4, not an "S" or even the 5.  I just needed what I already had but wanted a newer phone.  First I did the normal online stuff then I actually went into the Marathon AT&T store.  LOL.  Nothing more needs to be said that a person didn't say on the morning net a week or so after our visit.  Bottom line, we didn't give them our money.  One our first trip to Key West we did the stop in and touch it thing,  We also looked at the iPad and mini iPad.  We brushed off the sales person and continued to process the info.

Then on our next trip to Key West we stopped in again, brushed off the salesperson, and processed more info.  We finally approached the attractive 50 something keeping the gate and asked "who do we talk to?"  She set us up in the system for the next available sales rep.  Mean while she spoke to The Fisher King and asked about his "Mum".  Yes she had a heavy English sound.  I couldn't help the voices in my head... "Have you seen my mummy?" over and over.  I guess we watch too much BBC TV.

We can confirm that Doctor Who returns to BBC One 
during the Easter weekend on Saturday, 30 March, 2013.

The four reasons for making the current jump and "bobbing for apples" once again in the barrel were simple.

  1. It was on sale for 99 cents. LOL  I mean just short of $170.*
  2. It afforded us a hot spot for the internet, sucking up our data plan of course.
  3. The Lifeproof case and LifeJacket would in theory make it waterproof and float.
  4. I needed a fix for the "Want a new toy" bug.
*Your mandatory one time activation fee comes out to "Way too much!", the Lifeproof case and the LifeJacket would bring the total close to $170 for a 99 cent phone.  This does not include the upcoming Ram   brackets to mount it near the helm as a back up device and a second one for a safe location.

So here we are pacified for the moment with a new iPhone for me and a new to him iPhone web browser for the Fisher King. (Shh don't tell him it is OUR backup, for those just in case times).  We actually had a just in case time when the Blue Charts crashed and I needed to access Charts and Tides (now on both phones) on the old phone.  

On to the third dipping of the head in the barrel hoping to pull out a nice shinny Apple.  The iPad fever was getting pretty bad also!  After all our laptop, built like a tank, was around 7.5 pounds.  We had been using this recycled Tough Book due to our original ASUS net books not surviving our cruise last year.  We diligently did our internet research of pluses and minuses on the ipad.  We did the research onto other platforms like google and windows.  With the holy grail of iPads (iPad Retina 128gb AT&T ) now running $929 we could not justify what we really wanted.  Enter eBay, okay that was quick enough, no way to guarantee a quality item.  Then Amazon was a little better as was just poping down to Game Stop with their recycle system.  The good thing about Game Stop is if the local shop had one you could put hands on it.  But the best they had was iPad 2 16gb AT&T for $475.  Still a little bit steep with the small memory amount.  The store up the road had a 64gb AT&T for $595 but I couldn't come off the boat cash even for the larger memory.  

The it was off to Craigslist.  A couple of days later we finally broke down and made a couple of calls.  The first was for an iPad 2 32gb AT&T that never returned the call for $325.  The next was for an iPad 2 64g AT&T that was way too far for us to bike or even bus.  Only about 20 miles but that could be a full day one way and need a decoder ring on a bus.  After a few minutes to process the other options we called in favors and secured a ride to his meeting location.  Feeling like "a drug deal about to happen" things took a turn for the better as the neighbor hood containing the 7-Eleven we were to meet at became very respectable.  The 7-Eleven was even brick instead of block.  After meeting the well dressed gentleman, his wife and daughter with him,  the iPad looked new!  He offered a bill of sale and all that would make one feel better about a 7-Eleven "deal".  If anyone needs an iPad it seems his business sales off all the "out of warranty" iPads when they are replaced.  We now have an iPad 2 64gb AT&T for $425 compared to the new price of $829 at Apple.  

What pushed us over the edge of the barrel once again?
  1. The new toy fix from the iPhone 4 only fueled the need for toys
  2. We got a fair deal compared to the $595 at Game Stop and $829 new.
  3. The Lifeproof case and LifeJacket would make it water proof in theory.
  4. I was tired of dealing with 7.5 pounds plus a charger every time we went to shore for internet.
  5. Enough space for part of the photos and song libraries.
We now have to learn iTunes proficiently.  LOL.  I never liked it.  We are trying to go from "removing after every forced use" to actually having to use iTunes.  Maybe one day it will grow on us.  For now we are syncing two iPhones and an iPad still using the old Toughbook.  Will this mean we need a MacBook pro?  I hope not!  LOL.  But it would give us more Apples from the barrel and a secondary system to use all the current programs.  For now it is The Fisher King's boat school that keeps us mandated to Windows.

What are the short comings of the iPad?  
  1. For us number one is the fact that boat school needs Windows
  2. That getting items from the iPad to another device is an effort, but not impossible.
  3. You must use a Mac or Windows computer to do the sync.  I know iCloud but that is another adventure one day.
  4. The need for an external real keyboard for long entries like this one.  And No Mouse!
  5. The iPad loves iTunes and doesn't play well with other means of acquiring music and videos.

With all this sync'ing keeping apps seperate and consolidated is getting simpler.  The Fisher King doesn't need everything I do and vice versa.  Really, I don't need to be killing zombies every bus trip.  Here are the most used apps from the growing iStuff on s/v Gemini Dreams.
  1. Charts and Tides
  2. Garmin Blue Charts, Buy the whole North America for only $5 more!
  3. Drag Queen,  Just met someone that wouldn't down load it because of the name!
  4. iBooks,  Great Place for all the pdf manuals.
  5. Google,  Keeps better bookmarks
  6. Google Earth
  7. Google Translator
  8. Gmail, Apple gives Gmail the short options in the original email controls.
  9. Flipboard,  keeps track of iGoogle and Google reader plus so much more.
  10. Around me
  11. Skype
  12. Windfinder
  13. Jasmine
  14. OnLive Desktop, Windows productivity online
We have others of course but they are more for entertainment than anything really useful.  One thing I really miss is LastFM on the iPad.  It keeps going to scrobbler..  I just want plain old LastFM and my favorite channel.***  And what is up with Hulu wanting only Plus + on the iPad!  

Why do I insist on putting Saint Lu vids on the blog?
I like the music and it is not available in the US by normal means.

*** Well I have been able to push the LastFM phone app onto the iPad using iTunes but as will all good things LastFM has now upgraded to a pay site and will only allow 50 songs for free.


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