Pulling the plug.

No, I’m not pulling the plug on the blog. It’s this little guy whose days are over:

Yes, my sad, tired little Motorola flip phone is finally getting retired.

I remember well the day I got this phone. Not so much because it was an exciting phone, but because I got it at the same time as John got his first iPhone. As in the day the *first* iPhones came out. I wasn’t ready yet to commit to such an expensive phone, but since we were getting a new plan, I got my new phone.

That was a little more than 5 years ago. I know this because I posted this on that day:

original iPhone

So, 5 years old. The phone is a good year older than my second born, who is just starting pre-K. If my phone were a human, it would be getting ready to start kindergarten in the fall. It might be learning to read and write its name.

As a gadget, though, it is ancient. Its memory is failing. (It can’t always find its sim card.) It tires easily. (It won’t hold a charge.) It’s looking dated and is showing its years. (The case is frayed and they don’t even make accessories for it anymore.) And I’m pretty sure the thing is on a daily regimen of metamucil. (Really, I have no phone-related analogy for that one.)

Yesterday, John brought me home a shiny new iPhone. I used it to take the photo above of my old phone. Of course, then I thought I should have a photo of the new phone, so I used my old phone to take a photo of the new phone.

Naturally, I thought I should get another shot with my new phone of the old phone with the photo of the new phone with the photo of the old phone.

How could I then resist taking a photo with the new phone of the old phone showing a photo of the new phone with a photo of the old phone?

And yet another photo with the new phone, showing the old phone with a photo of the new phone with the photo of the old phone with the photo of the new phone showing that first photo of the old phone.

It’s really not clear to me how long I would have continued in this vein if Phoebe had not pointed out to me that it was well past lunch time, and that she was hungry.

So now it’s time to let the phone run out of battery one last time, and pack up the old phone and its less-than-fully-functional accessories.

Rest in peace, once trusty flip phone. May you forever hold your charge in the afterworld. (Send me a text when you get there.)

Apple announces the iCup

icup.jpg Eagerly anticipated by sixth-graders everywhere, who have been predicting (and getting each other to spell) the product for decades, Apple announced that it will soon be releasing the iCup. Like the iPhone, the iCup is a hand-held device that syncs up with your computer.

iCup Features

  • wireless beverage access
  • intuitive tip-and-sip interface
  • equipped with touch-sensitive LID technology
  • cross-platform compatibility: will sit on desktops, tables or other flat surfaces
  • handles-free design allows iCup to be held either in left or right hand
  • choice of 2 storage capacities: 16 oz, or the luxury 24 oz model
  • holds beverages, your choice of hot or cold, or some temperature in between
  • powered by cutting-edge gravity-based storage methods
  • stylish aluminum casing coordinates with Apple’s professional line of computers
  • In related news, the 79th Carnival of Satire is now available for your reading entertainment, and features my recent iPhone review (in which I come down hard on the iPhone’s chunky, clunky design).

    iPhone: good features, but falls short of design expectations

    As some of you know, we are very much a pro-Mac household. Also, John is more than a bit of a technophile. So it shouldn’t come as much surprise that John wanted to get one of the new Apple iPhones as soon as possible. John camped out for most of the afternoon today outside a nearby phone store, and we were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the coveted, ultra-cool, ultra-sleek iPhones.

    The iPhone has been awaited with great anticipation for years, long before it was officially announced by Apple. But since Apple released details and images of the iPhone, with its large high-res LCD and touch-pad with multi-touch operating, and versatile phone + camera + video player + music player + internet ready identities, it has been creating quite the buzz.

    We were, naturally, quite eager to see whether the iPhone could live up to the hype. Since some of you may not have had a chance to see the iPhone in action yet, aside from in the commercials, we thought we’d share our own experiences and impressions.

    When we got ours home, John opened up the box.


    As advertised, all he needed to do was plug it into the computer, and go through iTunes in order to activate it.


    Also as advertised, the iPhone not only shows images, but it can also function as a music player:


    The iPhone is easy to navigate, with handy built-in scrolling features:


    While much of the functionality has been very cool, the design of the phone itself is surprisingly clunky: with big plastic buttons, and a screen that’s a bit smaller than we’d hoped. The sound quality of the music is a bit tinny, and somewhat annoying with various boingy and chirping sounds jumping in unexpectedly, and the selection of songs you can listen to is quite limited. While I do like the way the brightly colored lights flash when I push the buttons, I haven’t yet figured out how to dial the phone, as there are only buttons for 1 through 4. Most distressingly, we have already encountered at least three bugs with the iPhone, which are obvious in the image below.¹


    Has Apple fallen down in its standards?


    ¹ And not just bugs: a frog, a bird and a duck, too.

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