a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

After laundering my iPhone 4 last weekend (doh…also duh), I took it to a phone repair place recommended by a friend. They said they fix 9 out of 10 water damaged phones. I said it was submerged for a good 3-5 minutes. The woman said bring it in – it was worth trying. True, so I did. After 2 days of working on it, they did get it to turn on which is pretty amazing but said the damage was to the main board which is not replaceable so it was D.E.D. Damn.

The same friend suggested I take it to an Apple store and see if they offer me a deal on a replacement. Honestly, I didn’t want to spend anymore time on this and just wanted to find a phone replacement ASAP and not think about it anymore. I plan on getting the iPhone 5 when it comes out in 2 months so whatever. He said just try. OK, maybe I will I thought.

Decided to run over there today so that if they said “that will be $500 please”, I still had tomorrow to figure things out before the weekend, in case I decided to go up to Tahoe tomorrow night. As usual, the store was packed. I found the 1 rep not already helping someone and when he asked how he could help me, I told him about my drowned phone. He checked it out and agreed – yeah pretty obvious water damage. He said he could make an appointment with me for the The Genius Bar and maybe they could help me out with a replacement. I overheard the salesgirl behind me telling her customer that there were no appointments open until 5pm. I asked him if she had been talking about for the Genius Bar and he responded yes. He offered to make me an appointment for 4pm at a different location if that would help. I did my best dejected and pouty face. He said “Do you want me to see if they can get you in now?” YES – that would be so awesome of you! Off he went and I followed. He went to the back and came out and waved me over and handed me off to A Genius…at the Bar.

I explained that my phone was dead from water damage. The Genius asked if from ocean, pool, shower? I said washing machine. He responded “Wow – new one for me.” Yay I said – glad to help :) Then he took my info and started looking up my number in their system. Turns out I was still under warranty (YAY) but water damage is specifically excluded (BOO). But then he said he could help me out anyway with a replacement. WHAT??? No charge. HUH????

He took my phone, transferred the number and handed me my new phone. And asked if there was anything else he could do. Umm…no. You just made my day so we are all good here :)

I’m sure Apple knows they can lose customers at any time to Android phone buyers. So they treat customers well to keep them. Smart (Genius really…get it? Genius?) business move. And I’m sure they looked to see when I was due for my 2-year renewal with AT&T so how long would it be till I upgraded/bought a new phone from them, or if I spent hundreds of dollars now on a replacement phone what were the odds I’d do it again in 2 months for the iPhone 5. Plus we know they have $10gazillion in cash just sitting around burning a hole in their pocket ($10gazillion more than the US government does as the news stories pointed out last week) so keeping customers satisfied with some refurbished (I assume anyway) phones is a cheap way to keep existing customers happy so they spend more money with you!

So I have to say a BIG thank you to Apple and their staff for turning a pain in the butt yuck issue into an easy and very satisfying (and quick!) visit!

I will definitely buy my iPhone 5 when it comes out now! Oh – and will definitely add more AAPL stock to my portfolio! :)

I’ve been thinking about getting an e-reader for awhile now. I love reading. It’s been one of my favorite past times since I was a kid. When I was about 12, my best friend’s Mom loved me because she was a voracious reader and saw it in me too. So she gave me tons of classics to read. Both of her kids weren’t readers so she sort of adopted me. And I discovered reading War and Peace at the age of 12 is not as common as I thought.

And I’ve been reading ever since. I always seem to have a crazy busy schedule but definitely need to find “me” time to read. In the summer I love to read out in the sun for a couple hours on the weekends. In the winter I love to curl up in my chair in front of the fireplace when the snow is coming down in Tahoe.

I love having nice books fill up my bookshelves. I would love a whole room in my house dedicated as a library with built-in bookshelves and the ladder you roll across to get up to the highest shelves. Darker wood than in “Atonement” but that was a great library (great book, great movie, great actors, GREAT dress!) :)

At the same time, not all of the books I read need to be kept on my bookshelves. I keep all of my leather bound classics there. My Greek and Roman mythology is there. All of my Arthurian tales. My Ayn Rand, my philosophy books, books about wolves & nature are there. My Siberian Husky training books have a spot (they are…ahem…dusty.) My husband’s Porsche and surfing books occupy the bottom shelf :) But I don’t need to keep my James Patterson, Janet Evanovich or Candace Bushnell books up. I do love to read them but I usually pass them on to others or trade them in at a used bookstore. The Twilight series…well..yes, I believe those will go up too :)

So I thought an e-reader would be great for books like this. Silly to waste the trees on me. But I have put it off so far because:

a. They are all fairly pricey
b. Something newer and “better” comes out a month later
c. I have 3 stacks of real-life bound books on my nightstand calling my name each night.
d. What I *really* want is a reader with a color screen that has comic book downloading/reading ability

And yet…I go to the Amazon homepage every day to see if they have lowered the Kindle 2 price. With the Kindle DX out, Sony’s readers shipping 8/26 (2 of them priced at or lower than the current K2 price point of $299), Barnes and Noble releasing their e-reader soon AND school starting any day now (isn’t that a reason to lower prices on everything!!) I keep hoping I might just open the AMZN home page one morning and see it for $249 (or less!) Wishing and hoping and thinking and praying….come on Jeff…

BUT…I am now reading about the other e-readers and am thoroughly confuzzled as to what I should buy. There are actually a few of them available (I had no clue) but I am only considering the Kindle, Sony or BKS ones as I want it to be seamless and easy with the e-bookstore associated with it. My take on these 3:

Kindle 2:
a. I love AMZN. And I am an extremely brand loyal girl if I like you.

b. Wireless purchasing. I will use this feature. I hate having to sync my iPod and iPhone with my home computer so having another gadget I’d have to sync is NOT what I’m looking for. BUT – is it worth the extra $100 compared to Sony’s Pocket Reader? Hmmm….

c. iPhone app. The idea that I can read a few pages while sitting at the vet, or getting my oil changed or waiting for my husband somewhere sounds awesome. B&N has a nifty app too though. Not sure about Sony. The touch screen function of turning pages is very nice..Kindle 2 does not offer this.

d. The screen/glare. I do a lot of my summertime reading outdoors so I need to know I can read the screen with NO glare. None. I tested a friend’s DX in the sun and it was perfect. From what I’ve read online, this is not entirely true of Sony’s (although this applies to the touch screen ones only & not the Pocket Reader.) This is actually one of the larger decision-making factors for me.

e. Built-in dictionary. I refuse to go past words I don’t understand so I need a dictionary handy. Kindle has it built-in. Sony Pocket reader does not. B&N has a downloadable Merriam-Webster dictionary for free for the iPhone app. Not sure on their planned Plastic Logic e-reader. Another large factor.

f. Can hold up to 1500 books. The DX can hold 3500 but by the time I read the 1500, my color one capable of comic book reading should be out for me to purchase :) The Sony holds 350.

g. Large e-book selection. And let’s be real, even if B&N’s offering is larger when their e-reader comes out – I feel AMZN will catch up quickly. Every new book that gets published for e-reading will go to all 3 (or whoever lives.)

h. It’s Whisper-Sync operates on Sprint. But this is built in to your reader cost. No monthly subscription fees. I believe the larger Sony reader coming out will be on AT&T but with a monthly fee. The Pocket Reader has no wireless at all. Not sure about the new B&N one.

i. CON – is kinda ugly…(ummm..why is that AMZN?)

a. It’s CUTE! And I can get a pink one :)

b. Much sleeker and prettier design over all – even in basic black or silver (but yes I’d get pink.) Metal (not plastic) and still very light – under 8oz! Kindle 2 is 10.2 oz.

c. I assume Sony will make a great product and I base this on past performance overall. I wouldn’t buy a brand I didn’t know for this reason but trust Sony to be fine.

d. Did I mention it’s cute and comes in pink?

e. They have a full-ish bookstore. And thumbs up for giving Star Wars and Star Trek their own categories but I think they will have to make a deal to have access to either Amazon or B&N eventually. A Sony bookstore just isn’t their market (much like hardware isn’t your market AMZN…..AHEM….)

Barnes & Noble:
a. You can download the iPhone e-Reader app and read books you buy online right away. I tested out their iPhone app with a sample book. Pretty nifty. With AMZN you have to own the Kindle for the iPhone app to work with it/your e-books account. Clearly this was so you had to buy their Kindle hardware and not just use your iPhone for their content. But AMZN is all about content sales anyway so this seemed like a silly road to take IMO…

b. Really no solid reason I can see I’d choose this one over the first 2 other than the larger store content which I feel is a non-issue. Now if it comes out quickly, is less expensive than the Kindle 2 but as feature-filled and yet cuter than the Sony….but good luck with that…

I have blogged about my desire for the Kindle before: https://a99kitten.com/?p=877 and I’m still sure that I don’t want the Apple $600-$800 one with a monthly subscription, but thanks for asking…unless someone was going to donate it to me that is ;-)

At the end of the day – I will buy 1 of these 3 soon to use and love until someone comes out with the color screen version that will offer comic book and graphic novel reading. And if I can subscribe to my comic titles with it – I will buy it as soon as it comes out and sell my KindleSonyBarnes e-reader on eBay faster than you can say “Wonder Twin Power Activate”…