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.