Thursday, April 30, 2009

Unfortunate iPhone effect

You can quote them, disagree with them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing that you can’t do, is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.

It's almost 2 and half years after iPhone was first announced. It is almost 2 years after iPhone was released. It is almost 1 year after iPhone 3G was released and I've got one (16Gb, black). It's less than two month before next iPhone to be announced officially.

There's one problem about it. In the past two years there was no phone released that would be better than iPhone, but only iPhone 3G. Seriously without any bias look at the market - there's no phone to really compete with iPhone. To say that, you'll have to use iPhone for a while and then try other phones. I did. I've had my hands on Samsung, Blackberry and LG. I've seen people use G1. You can't compare them by neither quality of build/materials nor quality of software. I am not talking about applications - at some point there will be quality apps for Android and Storm which can compete or be better in some functionality than same apps for iPhone - just give it some time and drive more interest of users. But I can't believe no one was able to come up with at least near quality even without being better! Well, you may think, there is Palm Pre. We'll see that one, but so far it looks that it's less intuitive and more messy. We can confirm it possibly on May 17th. But again in less then a month new iPhone is to be announced and Pre will lose it's pedestal (if it will ever gain it).

Until that date I have a problem with iPhone. Actually two. One is minor cuz I don't care about that much - too many people around have the same phone as you have. It's like everyone driving Bentley. What's the point in fancy thing if everyone has it?
Second problem is bigger - for the past 5 or 6 years I've got used to that there are phones and there are better ones. I have cellphone for four years and for three years there was always some better phone that you can plan on getting.
That's not the case with iPhone!!! If you get it you're stuck when there's nothing better. It's not ideal at all, it has a crappy camera (if you use it a lot) and no music over bluetooth (have you seen quality BT headphones?). But there's just nothing better! There's nothing you can dream about! Isn't that lame?

Addictions and addicts, with music on the background

There are many types of addictions one may have. Unfortunately it could be too well known smoking, alcohol and drugs. Besides these there could be sexual addiction (anyone?), music, computer games, internet, computer in general, long sitting in "beis a-kisei" and others.

From noted here I can highlight two as I am highly addicted to them - music and computer in general.

I always start from the end - especially magazines and books are most interesting in the end. I'll start from the second here too.
If I wasn't addicted I would be simply in the bed for the past two hours. I just can't live without computer. I can't concentrate if I don't sit by it for few minutes. There are times when I tell myself I'm done with work for today or no work today at all but I still get back to the screen every few minutes.
While looking up a link to my comment, i've noticed a relevant topic about life without technology.

Another addiction I mentioned is music. This is not a big deal on regular days - it's just almost 24/6 me listening to music would that be in my earphones or blasting so it's sounds well in the whole apartment. You could hardly see me outside without headphones - it helps me turn from surrounding world and bring some peace to my mind. I listen to music when I program - it helps me concentrate. I listen to music as a noise canceler in the train so I can sleep. I listen to music when I'm depressed and when I'm in a good mood.
These days are hard since it's sfira time when it's customary not to listen to music. There people who say you can listen to recorded music but I hardly accept these leniences. However it doesn't stop me from giving up sometimes and turning on something. Every year it's different (read my comment to get more details on previous years so i don't have to repeat myself). This year it's a choice of only listening to when it's really depressing or when I really need to concentrate on work. Either way it's only part of my playlist which contains depressive music and nothing happy; plus it could not go loud meaning that I would hear anyone talking to me when I wear both headphones.

So yesterday I was having really hard time on concentrating on my work and I turned on music. First it was a set of Eminem (just few songs) but soon it was switched to Dark Tranquility album "The Mind's I" - something I was rarely listening to unless it was in a random play of my entire iPhone playlist. Few hours later I realized that although this music did really help me to concentrate I can't recall most of what I was listening to - i.e. it was just making a comfortable background that didn't not bother me but at the same time it didn't get my attention. Something nearly perfect.
Something I was noticing before too but this time I made me think again on it's meaning - most of the time I don't listen to the music. I breath it. Like we don't notice how we breath i listen to music, but if we stop breathing we'd die - same if i stop music I'm not feeling comfortable anymore.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Madness in March - recap

Since I didn't get much of time to post during March I've thought I'll write at least recap of what happened during it.

There's no particular order.

For me March started from fast dating session. I don't know if I appreciate integrating of modern non-Jewish concepts into something that is at least a tradition which proved itself many times but since it was organized by a rabby whom I know I decided I'd go. Especially after turning down another offer with out even wondering about details...
I knew most of people there would be much older than me but I let it to be just a fun time spending. It turned out I knew like 7 or 8 from 15 girls there. I knew age of about 12 of them. I marked three girls just to have someone marked there but I didn't mark one girl I was thinking of cuz I assumed she's older than me. It turned out she was younger and she marked me. I didn't push anything forward after that so I've never went out with her though. I still think I need someone stronger than I and MO just won't work for me.

Next there was Purim. I don't like people getting drunk anytime but that's something that bothers me especially every Purim. I feel depressed and antisocial. I try to avoid places where people drink. I just don't believe they yoitze in most cases but I think they just get drunk because it's another reason to.

March 13 is always marked for me as my older brother's birthday, but also I have one tradition on this day for past 5 years - I start saying my upcoming age. For example officially I'm 20 until June but I already say 21.

I've got a new Twitter account - follow me at @btslowly

Last two weeks were a mental disaster - besides regular antisocial feeling I felt like I just can't talk to anyone - none would agree and everything would go wrong. Except for work stuff - that just goes on and I never have anything to complain about.
Someone actually was able to calm me down by just having a conversation online and I'm still very thankful to that person!

Regarding work - one of our devs quit in the first days of March and I'm now one on one with my head of department in our room :). We actually have one more full-time guy in Canada (he more there recently) and we now have first outsourced freelancer from Argentina. Cool guy. I've got bunch of extra stuff to take care of but he helped me a lot. I think I f'ed up seriously only once but not delivering project on due date which I set myself. That went far to top bosses but seems like it wasn't a disaster (I hope).

One of my friends finally finished his long road of giur! I am very happy for him!! Beizrat Hashem after Peisach he goes to yeshiva!

Unfortunately, my other friend's mother in law passed away in a very young age - she wasn't even 50 yet. Boruch Dayan Emes.

Over past 5 weeks I've met 3 non-native Russian speakers. Usually it's a rare thing to meet one person who'd all of a sudden would start learning Russian... I understand people learn French, Spanish, Japanese but Russian? Wth do you need it for?
So one of them somehow end up learning in Russian university for a semester or so. Second guy is my new colleague from Argentina - he learned Russian for 4 years just to know it. Third is a girl from frum blogosphere. She refused to tell neither openly nor in a private conversation how she end up knowing Russian but I'll leave it up to her.

This is a second post I wrote on my iPhone - kinda big deal because I often have things to day based on emotions (good or bad) and it's very important to write them down right away or they'll loose that taste which drives to write it down. That's how I didn't post like about 5 posts in March. May be it's good for some of them though...

Btw, iPhone!
First of all I've got new headphones for it Apple in-ear ones. They say these headphones incompatible with iPhone. Here's why: first of all they've got additional controls for volume which iPhone doesn't support. Second is that microphone is facing back so it doesn't catch voice as good as it's supposed to. I understand that they were trying to make controls more useful since you don't need mic for iPod 99% of time.
Another tidbit of the month is iPhone OS 3.0 - looks very promising because of copy/paste, full Bluetooth support, MMS (do you ever use them??), search and tethering. The last one does not mean we'll get it right after 3.0 is released but it's a big promise!
One advice - if you plan on buying iPhone hold until June and buy a new one for obvious reasons.

I might have forgotten something but this is most of notable stuff.