Apr. 18th, 2011

grrgoyl: (ferrets attack)
Hey, LJ, long time no see. I'm still around, just not much to talk about. Not that this entry will change all that, but if I don't write for awhile I start to wonder where my life is disappearing to. Like all I'm doing is working, eating and sleeping, and that's no kind of life at all.

I do have an update on the Banksy T-shirt. Remember that? Quite tragicomical, really. The replacement took so long to arrive I really thought it had gone missing in the mail. The countdown had begun for when the seller and I would give up on it (but how refreshing to deal with a seller who didn't vanish as soon as they received payment), when at last it showed up. Whew.

I eagerly unwrapped it, only to have my hopes dashed once again to see they had sent a different graphic -- a chimpanzee preparing to push down an old-timey bomb detonator. This is my life. Why is this my life? Why does EVERYTHING have to be a damn saga?

I said to myself fuck it. I'd live with it. At least it had an amusing history behind it. And I probably would have done exactly that, if it still didn't fit me quite right (we had upgraded to a large -- better than medium, but still a bit too tight to ever be my favorite shirt. And at this point with the money I've invested in this transaction, there is an insane amount of pressure for this article of clothing to exceed all expectations).

I emailed the seller about the good and bad news. I said I would live with it, but then he replied, "Arrrrrrgggh! (a/n: I couldn't have put it better myself) Forgive our incompetence! Are you sure you don't want another replacement?" Ahh, the British. It's refreshing to deal with someone who owns their mistakes.

So this morning chimpy went back to Merry Olde. I told the seller I insisted on paying for shipping both ways (bringing the total to more than $40 for me) because it wasn't fair the way his profit was dwindling with each trip. But, I added, $100 for a t-shirt is my absolute limit! You know, to lighten the mood. Because this transaction is clearly cursed.

The irony of this shirt is, of course, the buying of it ended my 2011 spending freeze. I had agonized a good two weeks over the frittering away of $23, and now look where we stand. I've learned my lesson and the spending freeze is back in effect.


Particularly since my birthday present to myself was a new phone. My old phone works fine, fine enough to resell at least. It will go down in history as the phone that soured me on Motorola, who strung owners of my model along for a year promising an update to our version of Android, only to announce a few months ago that it wasn't going to happen. Leaving us with the oldest version of the firmware that was losing support by app developers every day. And no Angry Birds for us, not with this laggy ass processor.

This resulted in a deafening uproar, at least on the support forum on their site. Did Moto care they had pissed off so many customers? Not so much. Nothing was offered in the way of compensation, except a free Bluetooth headset if you complained loudly enough, but I don't use Bluetooth. Bluetooth is for people who get so many phone calls they need to handle them while walking around the grocery store, not for people who use their phone for playing solitaire and reading slash fiction.

Having such a short time before upgrade anyway, I opted not to go the route of haranguing T-Mobile call centers to try to get out of my contract, but there were plenty who did, with mixed results (reportedly it depended on the agent you spoke to, and more often than not you had to be persistent and nag and call multiple times. I ain't got that kind of time. Plus harassing innocent low-level workers in crappy jobs isn't my style anyway -- I'm more of a let people walk all over me and then bitch about it online kind of person). Perhaps if I were stuck with the phone for the next two years I might have (most of the truly unhappy customers had just bought the phone fairly recently, largely based on the promise of T-Mobile salesmen that an update was coming any day now).

So my stupid obsolete Moto is currently up for auction (bidding up to $56 with 24 hours to go even with full disclosure about its lack of an update, believe it or not. Never assume no one wants to buy your used crap. And thank god. I need the proceeds from the Moto to finance my Banksy t-shirt shipping habit). It still works great as a phone, if that's all you care about. But now I have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S 4G, and it is about the slickest device I've ever held, let alone owned.

I took this vid with it:

For now, it might be the first and last I make using the phone -- not least of all because I look like a terrorist. (If it seems to end rather abruptly, it's because I was forced to cut out the final segments because the wind noise completely drowned me out.)

In case you skipped the video (why did you skip the video?) I explain how the Galaxy has a front-facing camera like the iPhone, which weirdly doesn't take video with the stock software, only pics. But a video chat app called Qik, also stock, does let you record in addition to chat. I used it for this vid, but then was forced to install an update that evidently fixed the app for some other devices, but made the front camera stop working (for video) on mine. (I know, my life is such a thrill ride. Hang on!!)

I emailed the developer and they are aware of the problem, but evidently unable to just let me roll back to the previous version that worked fine for me -- doing so only brings me to a screen insisting I update and won't let me go any further. Ah, Android. Your quirks will never make me switch to an iPhone, but you can't stop me wishing you weren't quite so quirky.

Edit: Wahey! Finally got a fix. We'll see how long it lasts. Apparently there's nothing protecting me from further forced updates.

Here are some photos taken with the Galaxy, both using night shot mode (the phone lacks a flash, which is a dealbreaker for a surprising number of people, most of whom welcome any chance to get online and bitch at great length about it).

Non-shit-eating ferrets

Taken in almost total darkness. On the Moto this would have been a big splotch of white in a field of complete black

And now, honestly, truly, I mean it, I am done spending money.


grrgoyl: (Default)

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