Apr 09, 2008, 12:10am
So I bought an iPhone.
Yeah, I know, I've been critical of the phone in the past, but I recently dropped my cell phone, and I also shut off an old VOIP service we had (tip for Canadians, never use Primus Talk Broadband - the quality sucks), and well, it was time for a new phone.
So I found one online (they aren't available in Canada), and I bought it. It arrived a few days ago.
I have to say, I'm not quite sure what all the hype is about. I mean, let me talk about some of the "features"; I'll start with the good stuff.
- on the positive side, I was able to get it working with a new Yahoo! Messenger voice account. I can get voice calls straight to the iPhone on two new Y! Voice phone numbers I purchased and set up. I can even do outgoing calls on it via VOIP, which is super sweet. Don't ask me how I managed this though, I don't really know how it all works - black magic, I guess. I just read up about how to use the iPhone to do this online, and followed the instructions, and it seemed to work.
- voice quality is surprisingly good. I have friends who have iPhones, and they always sound like they're in a tunnel or something. Not sure why mine is better.
- range and battery life is really good. Much better than I thought either would be. I've talked on the iPhone for about 6 hours of talk time so far, and haven't had to recharge it yet.
- it's small and light. Sure, it's bigger than my old cell phone, but it's smaller than some other phones I've owned.
- I like how I can assign ringtones to different callers and groups. Pretty sweet.
- The colour screen is very bright and, well, colourful.
- the volume of the phone, especially in handsfree mode, is very good.
As for negatives, well I have a few.
- I haven't figured out yet how to get voicemail on this thing. Maybe because I'm in Canada, but I need access to my voicemail!
- The screen is very "muddy" and quite difficult to read. Much worse than I was led to believe by the various screen shots and publicity photos I've seen of the device.
- The built in contacts software completely sucks ass. Adding contacts is a complete cludge too.
- Weather option is built in as you may know, but I have yet to get it to work. Everytime I've tried so far, I get a "Network Error". I even tried putting in various N. Washington zip codes and still - network errors.
- The user interface is far too confusing. I don't have a clue what buttons I should be pushing here or there.
- I see a list of my contacts, but it's impossible to tell who is available or can accept calls.
- I can't seem to dial any of my imported contacts, at least via the Y! Voice system - I have to manually type in their phone numbers each time.
- I would have liked the ability to page the base station.
- There's no built in way to chat via IM. Considering the connectivity of this device, I expected that.
- I can't SMS from the iPhone.
- I wish it had the ability to page the base station.
Overall though, considering I paid $32 plus shipping for this thing, I can't complain much. And it's replacing my existing landline phone, thanks to its dual ability to use both VOIP and wired communications, so that's totally a positive. And getting a new phone number with unlimited incoming calls (no extra charges) for $24.95 a year is so cool, I got two - one based in Seattle, and one based in London, UK. And the calling out features are cool too - just a penny a minute to a lot of countries, and not much more to the rest of the world. It took about 30 minutes to set up, 14 hours to do the initial charge, and it works like a charm. A pretty good $32 investment, I'd say.
The only thing I wish is that this were a dual mode Skype phone instead of a Dual Mode Y! Messenger phone ;) I have a long standing Skype account and like their voicemail, and skype-out options much better. But at least it photographs well - Here's a photo of my new "iPhone".
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Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D