30 June 2010

I Really Need Some Advice

It's unlike me to be this paralyzed. I mean, I do tend to take an inordinate amount of time to make a decision because I want to weigh all the factors and consequences. But this time ... I'm stuck.

I've invested a lot into a project, but I've been thinking for some time that it just isn't going to make it in the market. Because I've put so much into it, it's hard for me to look objectively at where reality actually stands.

To those of you who have walked away from something to which you've dedicated a lot of personal resources, no matter how easy or difficult it may have been, how did you walk away?

I seriously need some advice here.

25 June 2010

A Blessing In Disguie?

If I hadn't recently renewed my AT&T contract, which disqualifies me from smartphone discounts until May 2011, I probably would have been one of the early adapters to the new iPhone 4.

I guess now I'm glad I did.

It appears that while the iOS 4 is a thing of beauty even if it still lags behind other smartphone OSes in some areas, the iPhone 4 hardware, while still a thing of beauty, is a major step backwards for Apple.

So I suppose that I will gladly wait until next year, when my contract is up for renewal, to see if Apple fixes the design flaws in the iPhone 4 ... or releases the new-and-improved iPhone 5.

22 June 2010

Initial Thoughts On iOS 4

I downloaded and installed the latest, greatest iPhone operating system (iOS 4) late yesterday afternoon. I haven't played with it much, but what I have played with makes me smile. For instance:
  • Folders means no more unlimited scrolling screens of apps! It was such a pain in the ass to have to scroll 8 screens over to play Zombie Farm. Creating folders is quick and painless. I can now dump those native apps that I never use (*coughcoughStockscoughcough*) into a folder and never see them again if I don't want to. And, I only have one screen now ... oh, yes!
  • Multitasking ... that is all.
  • More customization! Any time I am granted my gods-given right to be *mostly* unhindered me, I am a happy man. So it's a major positive step that Apple has loosened its grip a bit more on what I think my iPhone should look like.
But I have one major gripe (at least for now). I had recently bought an alarm clock/iPhone dock for my nightstand. And it works beautifully. Or at least it did until I upgraded to iOS 4. Now my music won't play through the system.

Not cool, peeps. Not cool at all.

16 June 2010

Why Liberals Irritate Me

I've stayed out of political discussions for quite a long time. I used to run a politically-themed blog, but it was exhausting and stressful. And I'm not the kind of guy who thrives on those types of conversations ("screaming at the wind" is how I described it in my final post on that long-dead blog). But Eugene Robinson, who is typically one of those Liberals I can't stand, opined today on last night's Presidential speech on the Great Gulf of Exxico Oil Slick (thanks, Craig Ferguson). Mr. Robinson said:
Less than a minute into President Obama’s Oval Office address, my heart sank. For the umpteenth time since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill began, an anxious nation was informed that Energy Secretary Steven Chu has a Nobel Prize. Obama’s speech pretty much went down hill from there.


We can all applaud Chu’s accomplishment. But here’s the thing: Chu is a physicist, not an engineer or a biologist. His Nobel was awarded for the work he did in trapping individual atoms with lasers. He’s absurdly smart. But there’s nothing in his background to suggest he knows any more about capping an out-of-control deep-sea well, or containing a gargantuan oil spill, than, say, columnist Paul Krugman, who won the Nobel in economics. Or novelist Toni Morrison, who won the Nobel in literature.
Or President Obama, who won the Nobel in peace, for that matter.

See, they are all smart people. And that is the problem with Liberals. Most of them are smart ... went to college, got a degree or two, became very important people with very important jobs ... and they won't hesitate to make sure that you know how smart they are. So smart, in fact, that they know what's better for you than you do.

It doesn't matter that they don't have your life experience. It doesn't matter that they don't live in your neighborhood. It doesn't matter that they don't know the variables in your personal universe. They have degrees. They have awards. They have elevated social positions. They can look down from on high and divine what is best.

But, Diarist, the President and his people have meetings and commissions. Liberals seek out knowledge and understanding. They must have a better idea of how to do things than I do!

See, I have to disagree with you there. Yes, it's true that Liberals tend to be more intellectually curious than the rest of us but, from my experience, it isn't out of a desire to learn or know more. They are simply looking for justifications to their pre-conceived notions ... voices of agreement with their pre-planned agendas. Is it any accident that last night's speech dealt more with the President's energy agenda and less with addressing the catastrophe at hand? I think not.

I don't have a witty ending to this post. I just needed to get that off my chest.

Being Left Behind

At one point in my life, I was riding on the wave of technology. I was up-to-speed on the latest-and-greatest and updated my tech just about every three years.

But that was over five years ago.

These days, I'm using a Power Mac G4 as my desktop, a Power Book G4 as my laptop, and an iPhone 3Gs as my phone.

As you can see, everything except for my iPhone has been obsolete for at least four years. Also, everything except for my iPhone has been a hand-me-down.

My desktop is running along just fine and does everything I need it to do. I haven't used the desktop as my primary computer in a couple years ... it exists primarily to house my digital music catalog. My laptop, however, is dying a slow death and seriously needs to be replaced.

Which is where I find myself today. I'm very picky about my tech. As you can see, I've made my bed with Apple. I know exactly what I want and need in a new laptop. The problem is that I can't afford to buy it outright, I can't get financing through Apple, and I can't add any more credit through my current cards.

I know how I got into this predicament. I was in a relationship in which we racked up a lot of debt. Some of it was solely mine. Some of it was solely his. Most of it was ours shared. But I've ended up being the one left holding the tab on the vast majority of it. I've enrolled in a Debt Reduction Plan to get the interest rates back down to a manageable 9.25% (from a criminal 28.99%) on each of my two credit cards. Even with that, it's going to take me almost five years to pay off what is owed. That's left me in a bind in many areas of my life (i.e. selling the current condo and buying something in an area I want to live, saving money, replacing older things with newer things, et cetera).

But back to the tech issue. I have no choice but to ride the back of my laptop (and then desktop) until I'm in a financial place to get what I need to replace the laptop.

It's just irritating that I'm left in this position ... a position that I am not solely responsible for being in.