Jan 31 2012

Updates on my gadget life

Adel Gabot

Some updates.

I got my Amazon credit yesterday. It was quick. As soon as I got home, the code appeared on my email, so I set about redeeming it from Amazon. (The guys from ERegalo wrote me another email confirming receipt, and asked me if I wanted a scanned version of the Amazon gift card. For the heck of it, I said yes, and they promptly sent it to me. Efficient bastards.)

Redemption was quick and painless, and I set about to purchase RetinaPad from Cydia. It went well at first – then hit a roadblock. The payment service said it was the first time I was using Amazon Payments, and could I please confirm my account by telling them my credit card information? Sure, but the problem was, I had no credit card anymore. Not for several years now, in fact. I couldn’t get certified, no matter how many times I tried, no matter if I tried it with my old card number, which apparently, was still stored in their records.

I tried purchasing something from Amazon in the hope that that would certify my account (I bought a Kindle single called My Seinfeld Year for $1.99), and it went through without a hitch, but going back into Cydia, it still asked for a card certification before it would allow my purchase to go through. No choice. I had to get a new credit card.

I don’t know if my old trouble would come back to haunt me, even though I had settled it some years ago, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. So I texted my old friend Topper, whose wife Reggie worked at a bank, and was trying to get me to apply for a new card years ago. He said, yes, it was worth a try, as long as I had some proof of billing, like a couple of cable or phone bills. I’m seeing him tomorrow to give him the papers and for me to accomplish the application forms. Fingers crossed.

On the laptop front, I finally decided to get an 11″ MacBook Air, the one with an i5 processor, with twice the RAM and twice the flash storage. Essentially the top of the line, short of having one built to order. Not that I really needed one, but it would make a great 50th birthday present for me. At least that’s how I justified it.

So I closed the deal for one last Sunday evening. It was good deal, P47k for a two-month old laptop. The original price online was P60k. The problem was, the seller was still a student (or a teacher, I don’t know), and had school, and the earliest he could break away was the weekend. Damn it. So I’ll have to wait, and sit on the cash I set aside already for it. Long damn wait.

So far that’s the state of my gadget life.

Jan 18 2012

Apple makes a siren call (again)

Adel Gabot



I just saw on PhilMug another something that I want. A slightly used 2011 11″ i5 Macbook Air with 4gb RAM and a 128gb hard drive. Perfect. Just the one that I was hankering for. A generous RAM package and hard disk, and an i5 processor, and all at that convenient 11″ size. Just right. Selling for P50k negotiable. I figure if I haggle well, I can probably get it down to P45k or even P40k.

The question is, do I really need it?

I bought the bluetooth keyboard case for my iPad 2 to make do with a laptop replacement, and I swore to make it stick. And stick it does – I hardly have a need for a laptop anymore, this one is working out so well. Great battery life, portability and almost everything I’m looking for in a laptop I find in here (barring a precious few things of course).

My old, first generation Macbook Air, the one I bought from Nina’s brother, is still in the house, mouldering away. I turn it on every now and then, mostly to update the software, but honestly, it’s getting boring doing that and I haven’t really updated it for the past, let’s see …maybe two Apple updates? And there’s a slight problem with it. The hinge is acting up again, the result of putting on that damned case Ynzal gave away for free last summer. The hinge cracked where it cracked before, and it’s deterioratiing fast. I was able to have it repaired the first time because of Applecare, but since that expired, I don’t feel any urge to have it fixed anymore.

I tried to sell it for cheap before, back when the hinge hadn’t cracked yet, and someone took the bait and inquired, but when I was prepping it for the look-see, I noticed the cracked hinge and lost heart. I figger I can still sell it as is for real cheap, maybe P15k or so, and that would go some way towards offsetting the cost of buying the newer Air. It’s given its worth as a laptop many times over, and I don’t really feel bad about giving it up.

But the question remains: do I really need a new Macbook Air?

It might go towards relieving some of the needs this iPad2/blutooth keyboard case doesn’t address, which isn’t really that much. It would be convenient to have the ability to blog simply and plainly and not have to go through all this sturm und drang to get a post up on Technoodling. It would save me the heartache of getting graphics and attaching them to posts. It would be great to use Word for finally writing that novel of mine. Plus a host of other little things.

But then again, it would only be a way to remove minimal inconveniences. Not really a compelling reason. It would be nice to finally complete the Apple experience and have a mobile alternative as well. Yes, I think it would be mostly that. It would be great sitting in Starbucks and opening up an honest-to-goodness Mac instead of this jury-rigged, albeit powerful, alternative solution that is my iPad 2 setup. But that’s all it would be, really.

Besides, I don’t know if I’d be ready for the attendant hidden costs attached to getting a new Macbook Air. For instance I have to figure out a solution to get mobile internet for it. And a bag to carry it around in. But mosty it would be sitting around the house, unused, like my old Macbook Air now. I don’t see a need to use it when I’m at home, the big iMac is there for that. The same way I don’t use my iPad setup much when I’m at home.

Sure I got the money to buy it (which is dwindling fast, thank you very much). But I don’t need to buy every little thing that strikes my fancy. I’ve done that bit. Take note the 3DS. Or the Vita. Or the GoFlex Satellite. I don’t really use them often, but they’re there.

Still. What’s the cash for, if not to buy what you want?

I think I’m going to sit on it for a day or two before really deciding (if someone doesn’t buy it before then, that is). Although I think I already know what the wise decision is.

We’ll see.