Sunday, April 14, 2013

Oude tech, nieuwe tech

Two stalwart bits of kit gave out this week: my MP3 player and my mobile telephone.  Finding replacements turned out to be more challenging than expected, but it’s all settling in over the weekend.

My MP3 player cracked open when I dropped it running for an exercise session. It still played, but a hint of water would end that, so I made a  quick backup and hit the online shopping sites. 

Sadly, I discovered that the MP3 player is vanishing from the consumer electronics scene.   Where a dozen manufacturers made units a few years ago, now it’s down to two majors, and both are limiting selection and raising prices.

The tablet and smartphone are likely absorbing the role of music player, although it’s hard to see taking either one to exercise or to bed.  The rise of streaming media may also be a cause, but data connectivity costs too much for me to use 3G as a feed. 

This is, in any case, likely to be my last little player.  At least I’m not left wondering where to store the 8-track cartridges.

My mobile phone was just old, so O2 was willing to give me a straight no-cost upgrade.  A Windows phone seemed to fit best: I negotiated a new rate plan, looked for long battery life, and picked one that was able to make calls rather than run apps.

Setup was not easy.  Nokia’s PC-Suite doesn’t work with new phones, but their new app can’t sync contacts. So we used the SIM to transfer my 150 contacts,  but the new chip got stuck in the old phone.  Once transferred, all  my contacts were overwritten as Windows automagically downloaded my thousand email contacts.

The result was unmanageable.

Two phone resets latter, we solved it by setting up a dummy Hotmail account.  I’m in the settling in phase now, getting settings right, pairing with cars and computers, configuring the access point, and finding the various controls. 

The ‘Live Tiles’ are underwhelming, but I like the way the phone does Skype and Map Navigation.  It’s way easier to set up connections to the Internet, always an issue with the X6.  The acid test be to see if it gets a signal in the grassy wilds of the Cambridgeshire countryside.

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