Trials and Irritations!

This is one of those blogs where I have a brief rant.

And why not? I’m sitting here before a computer that is gleaming and lovely, when outside the birds are singing, the sun is shining and  … yes, I’m sitting here indoors, in a Dartmoor granite house that is freezing. It’s so cold I’m wearing my main, thick pullover from last winter. That’s how cold it is. So I’m grumpy.

I am a keen early adopter. I would dearly love to be able to afford all the Apple and other gizmos there are going. For example, I’d love a new iPod. Not a Touch, but a simple, old-fashioned Classic – but they’ve stopped making them. Why! They have space to store all my music. I don’t want a section of my music, I want all of it. For now my old one functions, but when it dies I’ll be bereft.

However, I need a new phone.

I cannot afford a new iPhone, and it’s a pain. The new iPhone 6 is pretty. I really love it. If only the darned thing wasn’t so expensive, I’d almost certainly buy one. However, and it’s a bit “however”, I cannot justify the cost. The cost of the phone plus contract is over £1,200 over two years. The phone itself is over £600 for a small screen version with reasonable storage. That is just crazy, compared with the prices for other equivalent devices – nearer £500 over two years. £1,200 for a device to last a couple of years? One that will be likely dropped and smashed or get dunked in a puddle and wrecked?

There are things I need with a phone. I don’t only want something to let me talk to people, I need something that will help me with my work. I need to be able to read documents on it, I need to be able to generate mind-maps, I need to be able to make Evernotes, comment on this blog, work with news outlets, edit files.

All of these things could be done on Apple. However, on iPhones (of the sort I can afford), the screens are too small. If I buy an Android phone, I can get a good device for under £300 that has a 5.5 inch screen, whereas if I go to Apple, any device will cost £450 or more for a substandard (i.e. older) device with a screen only 4 inches. The newer, larger iPhones are daft money. That, for me, makes Apple a poor choice. The Android world gives me screen considerably larger, and with my eyesight, that makes a significant difference. Especially when working on mind-maps or when navigating complex websites.

If I had the cash, and money was no object, I guess I’d probably give the Apple world a try. After all, having Apple texts, Apple cloud storage, FaceTime etc would be good. Really good. I have lots of friends who use Apple, and I do use them on the Air and iMac. But that’s the point. I already have them available, and since I spend most of my day here at my desk, so do I really need to spend over £700 extra in order to have the cachet of the latest Apple? Basically, no. What I need is a tool for my work. Other devices will do that work just as well. If they don’t have additional bells and whistles, I don’t care.

So, I think in two months or so I may be getting another Android phone. And I’m already looking forward to larger writing I can read!

Mind you, I still reckon that the most important and useful technology for me is a pen and paper. It works every time. Unless, like yesterday, I leave my pen in the shirt that is going in the washing machine. That is the problem with smaller pens – they can be forgotten too easily. Luckily my Visconti is too large to leave accidentally in the pocket of a shirt!

This is now a really clean pen ...!

This is now a really clean pen …!

5 Responses to “Trials and Irritations!”
  1. Jack Eason says:

    I have a cell-phone, for one reason only Michael – a lot of internet sites require a phone number as part of their registering nonsense. Needless to say the phone is switched off. Why? Because sooner or later the persistent nuisance calls start. Anyway, if my friends need to get in touch, they email me or we chat on Facebook. ;)


  2. Hi Michael! I finished Fields of Glory last night! Brilliant as always! I’ve read all the Baldwin/Simon books in order and loved the Jack Case tome! I gave you a nice paragraph and encouraged readers to purchase the series – on my website at Looking forward to each of your “nexts!” -JAS (AKA kleaspop)


  3. Lindsey Russell says:

    Did you forget to put this on linkedin? I’ve been looking for my ‘fix’ for days. Does the pen still work?


  4. Hans van der Boom says:

    Yeah, the stuff is expensive but still I buy it because I wants my precious. Apple isn’t only bought because it is efficient and reliable. It’s also bought bacuse the (prospective) owner wants the Apple design and the easy way it works. I have said for years that it is too expensive, that they take advantage of us customers but since I’ve been able to afford their products, I am buying them. Not for show, because if that was true I would have to buy the latest product every time.No, I buy it for the reasons mentioned above. And though I do have an iPhone 6, I don’t have the showy big version nor the 32 Gb (let alone the 64). I have the iMac but it is my trusty late 2009 (!) 27 inch with numerous external drives and the max on memory. But it serves me now for almost six years while I bought a Windows pc every 2-3 years in the early days of the internet. Same for the iPad. I don’t need the latest because my trusted iPad 2 16Gb is doing the job and I enjoy working with it.
    What is more besides the two iMacs 27″ in the computer room there is still my faithful 20 inch shaving mirror Apple G3. It works like a dream and fast. Much new software does not run on it because it is a Power Mac. Still, I can’t get rid of it, if only for the fact it is the most beautiful computer ever made…


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