Happy Birthday to Me

27 years ago today I was born in Nashville, TN.

I’ll be working today, and then going home.  There were plans to meet up with some friends this evening, but those have fallen through, as I passive-aggressively noted earlier.  Just to quit stewing and come right out and say it, I’m disappointed about that.  Birthdays are a big deal to me.

At any rate, I will be celebrating by taking myself to the Robert Heinlein Centennial in Kansas City this weekend, as I have mentioned previously.

Apart from the above-mentioned, my birthday week is going pretty well.  Watched Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders yesterday.   Beautiful film.  When I wasn’t doing that I was dicking around with my phone, installing firmware updates and new software and generally trying to make it suck less.

Speaking of which, I won’t be buying an iPhone anytime soon; I plan on waiting for the second or third generation.  But thank goodness it exists.  The state of the art in smartphones is truly pathetic.  Tycho of Penny Arcade puts it well:

I’m not unhappy with Windows Mobile, and I’ve appreciated the ability to install third party applications – at least in the abstract.  I just think I’m ready to use a device where each application was designed by people who seem to talk to one another on occasion.  I sometimes get the impression using this phone that every program on it was designed by a different alien culture, each in conflict with the other, each clinging to radically different values and ideas about what it means to be civilized.

My phone is a Palm OS device, but the story is the same.  I have spent easily $200 on 3rd-party software just to bring it up to a reasonable level of base functionality – software to play videos; software to listen to podcasts straight from the internet; software to send instant messages; software to make the default dialing screen a little less butt-ugly and a little more functional; software to make the damn thing stay on while it’s plugged into the charger on my dashboard, for goodness’ sake.  Every single one of these applications looks like it came from a different planet.  They use different widgets and subtly different control schemes.

All this on a device that crashes and resets itself at least once a day.

The iPhone is a giant and desperately needed kick in the pants for the smartphone industry.

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  1. Hey, happy birthday!

  2. Happy birthday!

    I must confess to spending some cash on my 650 when I got it, although not that much. In the end I only find myself using a few external apps: pssh (free), Mergic VPN once in a very very blue moon (~$30-40?), MMPlayer once in a while (forgot its price), and TinySheet (forgot the price, $10-20ish?)

    But the disconnect between Palm Treo, Windows Mobile and other O/S’s (symbian, etc.) is tragic. I agree that the iPhone sets the stage for a much-needed kick in the ass on the part of mobile developers.

  3. Happy birthday to you again!

    This time, I’m sover.

    Enjoy your 27th birthday. Go buy yourself lunch or ice cream or some such thing. It’s what I usually do for my own birthday and today should be a treat for you.

    1. haha..

      really.. I am sober…. It’s just when I try to respond to your posts, the font is so incredibly small (for a reason I cannot quite figure out–cuz it’s only on replies to your posts..) that I am generally just guessing what I’m typing..

      again.. Happy trip around the sun! Sometime in this upcoming year.. you will also hit another marker–your 10,000th day alive. I had to celebrate that also.

      1. Re: haha..


        Sorry about the font; it drives me up the wall too. Time for a new LJ scheme/theme/thingy…

  4. Happy Birthday

    Hope it goes better than it started.

    I totally agree with you about how bad the new smart phones are right now.

    The hardware is all there and totally awesome with huge capablities and such -but the GUI just sucks ass. It’s a combination of just how bad the actual phone is integrated with their own internal operating systems on the ROM-flash and how BAD WindozeMobul is. WM isn’t even up to the stage that windows 3.0 was back in the day. In many ways they are still in the DOS stage when comparing these devices to a PC. The hardware is there though, they just need to get their collective heads out of their asses and fix the GUI. The iPhone is a crappy system that is already behind most good modern phones with regards to hardware -but they have built a first-class GUI so that Joe and Sally Inbred can figure it out intuitively instead of having tons of features that are so poorly supported by the GUI that it takes a progammer a half hour to puzzle them out.

    Having to spend tons of money and time adding 3rd-party software to make these phones do what they should do out of the box is just stupid. Half of the things I need/want require me to hack the phone with a registry editor just to turn on or off basic features or tweak small things that should be available at the options menu.

    But I think in 2-3 years as these devices become mainstream most of these bugs will be worked out. iPhone is going to be a huge kick in the pants too.

  5. Merry birthday to you hun!

  6. “The iPhone is a giant and desperately needed kick in the pants for the smartphone industry.”

    Amen to that….

    Though the iPhone itself lacks about dozen useful & key features IMHO. 1/2 of which are already present on a great many smart/PDA phones and even regular cell phones.

    (ie: voice dial)

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