So I Bought a New Phone…

…and you guessed it, it’s an iPhone 4.

My previous phone was old faithful: a Nokia 6020 that was, hilariously enough, my first cell phone. My Nokia took many beatings over it’s lifetime including two dips in the ocean and recovered from temporary problems as a result in very short order. It always just worked as a phone and nothing more. It’s battery lasted long enough that I would pretty much forget to charge it after a week or two and realize I have next to zero battery left at inopportune times because charging it was the furthest thing from my mind.

But now it’s out with the old and in with the new. Goodbye Nokia 6020, hello iPhone.

There are huge tradeoffs. Voice + data = more $$$ per month than just voice. But with that increased cost of ownership I get mobile Internet, something that a geek like me has wanted for a long time but had a really hard time justifying. The old phone would go way longer between charges but the iPhone does so much more on a charge. The list goes on and on.

Suffice to say, I’m happy for now but let’s wait for the excitement to die off and then I can really start to asses the cost/benefit ratio of this slick little black and steel rectangular box.

iPad & Tablet Thoughts From Your Friendly Neighbourhood Irrelevant Internet Guy

Let me preface this by saying that I do not own an iPad nor do I own any other “tablet” like device. I’ve played with an iPad and some of the older generation of Windows tablets (Laptops with swivel screens and stylus input running a “Tablet Edition” of Window) but I have no exceptional experience with anything I’m going to rant about. That said, I’m still going to talk about them.

I’m going to try to address various talking points I’ve been reading in articles, comments and blogs but don’t sue me if I miss anything.

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iPod Touch Woes

That’s right, my 1st generation iPod touch has been troublesome lately.

First, I took it snowboarding and it decides to get wet and short the battery somehow, killing it. Bad iPod! I told you not to get wet but you wouldn’t listen! At first I wasn’t sure if the battery really was dead or if the iPod itself had died. I quickly found out the battery was at fault when plugging it into my Macbook and seeing it come alive… too bad it was demanding that I restore it.

So, I tried to restore it. Turns out you can’t restore an iPod touch that doesn’t have a working battery. Part way through the restore, the iPod would die, presumably because it would disconnect from the USB power momentarily. Fine, I bought a new battery and soldered the three tiny little wires in and tried to restore it… and BAM! same problem! Ok, my fault, I didn’t let the battery charge enough. Once charged, I was able to perform the restore.

Now after waiting quite some time for the iPod backup to restore and my music to sync, I try plugging in my headphones to listen to some music. Nothing. The software volume slider is there and I can turn up the volume all the way but nothing. Some jiggling of the jack allows for one channel to come through all muddled. Open the iPod back up and I notice how I destroyed the ribbon cable going from the board to the jack during the battery replacement! Noooooooo.

I actually spent time trying to run four cables to jump the broken ribbon cable, but I didn’t heed my friend’s advice: There was no space for four wires in that tight case. Absolutely no way I could put the back on with those four “jumper” wires crudely soldered in. I also ended up shorting out at least two of the four leads, making my iPod think some kind of remote volume control was plugged in and preventing the display of the software volume controls! I decided to remove my failed attempt at fixing the headphone jack ribbon cable.

I’ve now ordered a replacement jack and I’m going to learn about the joys of soldering a ribbon cable to a tiny PCB. Wish me luck for when it arrives!