Monday, 19 September 2011


The new 'toy'
I confess the have spent the morning 'gadget-fiddling', something I undertake every couple of years when a new mobile phone is purchased.

In Singapore people change mobile and smart phones as quickly as they change shirts, which is often in the sticky tropics.  The latest models available from Singtel or Starhub are a sight to behold. Every year sees more features and smarter product design.  The models available in New Zealand it has to be said are more utilitarian.

This was a case of 'needs must' as my previous iPAQ which had given sterling service died an unnatural battery death.

My mobile has become something I have relied on to organise my life over the years.  Where once upon a time you simply spoke to someone on a phone, now its tells you where you are standing at any given moment, prompts you to buy a coffee at a nearby restaurant, provides a camera so you can snap the accompanying muffin and share it with friends and lets you schedule what you will be doing for the rest of the week. Appointments such as 'attend gym' to burn of the muffin calories.

Hence the expression 'smart phone' which usually means that it is smarter than you, the Luddite who made the purchase.  There after all only so many apps that one can sensibly use in a lifetime.

My morning then has been spent taking the Google Android device out of its box and getting my spatulate thumbs moving in unison so that I can drag and flick the menu around the touch screen.

Mine's a Huawei device which just goes to show how Chinese manufacturing has combined with US know-how in the modern world.

Founded in 1987 in Shenzhen, this company now sells $US20 billion of its products annually in 140 countries - not bad going for a small enterprise that started off selling switches.

Of course the thing I really wanted to get working, I couldn't.  The camera told me I need an additional SD micro-card installed.  A quick rummage through the packaging again and no, I clearly have not got one of these.

A car ride to the local Dick Smith's electronic store followed where I purchased the necessary storage card, which had a retail price of $NZ32.

It was my lucky day as the price was discounted to $20 (reason given - old packaging) and the bargain came with some additional free goodies; a can of V energy drink, a soft screen cloth and a set of earphones and voice activated microphone in a clear plastic tube.

Frustrating as the above may have been, it was a lot more pleasant than the annual 'flu shot which I also had this morning.
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