Do you remember the first phone you had? The ridiculous weight of it? The little (or not so little) antenna perched on the top? Yes. These are fond memories. I was in Form 6. Everyone else had had a mobile for at least a year and a half before me. It was a Nokia and I was a Snake pro. A text message was 50 cents, and we sent tacky quotes or jokes. But times quickly changed. I got a new Nokia in Upper 6. It had a colour screen and the Snake game was still good. It was a water-resistant phone, so I talked in the rain whenever I could. I can attest to the fact that this phone is indestructible. Roll down a flight of stairs? It’s fine. Sit on it? Good to go. Eventually, I changed the case to a (cheap) black one then decided to upgrade.

When I started UWI, I got a random Motorola. I never liked the clam-shell business. It had a colour screen though, and for a short while the novelty of learning a different mobile OS overshadowed the fact I much preferred Nokias. (Of course, it wasn’t mainstream to call the software phones ran on “OS” back then, which says a lot about how far mobile communications technology has come.) Around that time, cameras on phones were beginning to become trendy. One would send pictures via MMS. It was a good phone. Then, one day, at approximately 5 pm, the phone slid out of my sweater’s pocket and into a waiting, full mop bucket in the female restroom of first floor Natural Sciences building. I remember looking at my reflection in the mirror and wondering if I was the sort of person who was crazy enough to put her hand in that bucket. Sadly, I am. The phone was toast, and I remember feeling ridiculously sour. Tech withdrawal is real, even if your tech is low-end.

I ended up getting a black Moto Slvr. Perhaps my favourite thing about that phone was the aluminium case. A thing of beauty, it was. I had that phone for a long time. I left UWI, and started working in the Eric Williams’ Medical Sciences Complex and had Love and Attention as my ringtone for maybe 2 years. The day the first sign of trouble came was a sad one; it stopped showing the name or number of persons who sent me an SMS. I knew better than to wait around for that problem to metastasize. What I bought thereafter, I simply cannot recall. There’s a fuzzy period until I got my Nokia E63. It was a lovely navy blue that many mistook for a pretty BlackBerry (an insult, if I ever heard one).

In true Nokia fashion, it was quite sturdy and touted as a business phone. This meant that if you didn’t download some interesting themes, your phone would look VERY BORING. It was an absolute nightmare. Heaven forbid you had to plug your phone into your computer to transfer some media to or from your SD card. The theme would lift because it was saved on the SD card, and you would be reminded of how much aesthetics can make or break a mobile experience.

After 2 years, I grew antsy. It was time for graduation; it was time for a touch screen phone. I remember when the thought first occurred to me. I was seeing my uber-techie friends fiddling with their HTC phones. They spoke of Android and a land of milk and honey. But did I really want to wallow in this awesomeness 24/7? Could I handle such awesomeness? Was I ready? No one ever really knows this answer before they step over to the touch screen. It is a leap of faith. The day I unsubscribed from the Ovi Store, I felt like I was crazy. But buying my first Android was the best thing I ever did. The HTC Desire Z… as heavy as, beautiful, wonderful, and Android. HTC Sense was the sort of thing dreams were made of. I ran from the keyboard to the touch screen the way toddlers take hurried steps to their parents’ waiting arms.

Previously, I would have told all who would listen of the wonders of the HTC mobile. It was sturdy. It was lovely-looking. HTC Sense running over Android was like having a generous layer of your favourite cheese added to the perfect burger. Awesome. I really loved it. Here comes the reality check. Friends, if you drop any (smart)phone several times, for 2 years, without a protective case of some sort, your phone will behave accordingly. Can you imagine your phone not recognizing your SD card? I’ve tried gentle tapping, removing and replacing, fiddling with the battery (I was getting desperate), and I even spoke to it a couple times in a kind voice. Nothing. I handed the device over to Mr Right and started looking for a new phone… albeit, on a budget.

It’s been a month since I bought a Samsung Galaxy S II phone. As an HTC lover, the only fact more scandalous than that purchase is the price I paid: a paltry $1400TT. That’s roughly $220USD or £140. One would think that I would be overjoyed at this sweep, but every now and again I find myself thinking back to my old friend, my Desire Z. That “Sync All” widget and trackpad. That notification light. I never believed I could nitpick over something so seemingly insignificant as a a little LED. To the HTC Android owners out there, buy a case. It doesn’t make your phone any less awesome, it just makes you smart. The old fella had the worst battery life ever, and cost a whole thousand more than its replacement, but it was faithful and beautiful. I really appreciated the HTC’s affinity for UI aesthetics.

How am I liking my SII, you ask? I’ve come to accept the lack of notification light. It was really difficult at first, but I’m over it now. I can have a ton of apps open all at once and switch between them with ease, yet that’s really the perks of ICS OS and newer/ more powerful hardware. I use Swype now, so much so, that I robotically try swyping on other phones by default. Also, my phone is delightfully light. Once I tossed that default widget with the tacky font for the time, and customized the screens, I settled in.

So, Mr. Chou, if you are reading this post, think about me. I’d love to come back to the warm embrace of a beautiful HTC Android phone. You know, something with a sweet UI, and a decent battery life (mutually exclusive, I know) and maybe not heavy enough to double as a weapon. As a matter of fact, if it could make me breakfast just the way I like it, that would be super too =)

Warm Regards,

HTC Customer with ridiculous expectations

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A Brief History of Telecommunication

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People, Random

Waiting

The security guard passes by. Her uniform was typically ill-fitting. Her pants ballooned unnecessarily and had an iron-induced sheen. Her shirt seemed to be a pale shade of gray. Her nails though… Those were neon green. Like a shout in a funeral, or ice-cream on a dying man’s tongue. Her face passed me, unchanging.

The four men behind her came into view. They sat in front of the Chinese food outlet. I couldn’t decide if they were Chinese, or Philippinos, or something else all together. Their skin seemed to have learned melanin by force. Their eyes looked at everything. Everything. Twice. I wondered if the Chinese food they ate here tasted like home, or just a cheap knockoff. Perhaps it tasted like nothing because they were in a place that meant nothing to them. Who would I be in their land? Burned and lost? Or happy? The meal was over and they were relaxed now. Eyes no longer roamed endlessly, but squinted amidst laughter and lighter postures. The day’s hours were well behind them for the moment. Indeed, the week, too.

As for me, I sit in a shaded corner awaiting his arrival. The bright green and the foreign faces fade into the din of the food-court, and I’m drawn into his eyes. The eyes of my love take me away.

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waiting

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Music, Random

Rumour Has It Today is Friday

Today, productivity is at an all time low in work. Not much to do, and a decent internet connection. You know what I’ve been doing… that’s right, YouTube videos galore!

Came across this gem today, Glee’s Rumour Has It/ Someone Like You performance. Golden.

This is so good, you almost think Adele should have done this song herself.

Happy Friday =)

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Hearts, Random

Pause

So you ever had a conversation and when you look back you realize that:

1. you cannot take back the words you said (not that you ever can, obviously)

2. you really really wish you could swap what you said with pretty much anything else, namely silence

3. you were not even in the frame of mind to have a conversation at the moment in question

4. oops… you broke it (“it” being the friendship)

Yes, this happened to me.

Mind you, the opening line of this doomed discourse was “is everything ok?” One would think that is the precursor to a nice, heart-felt conversation. Not so much. I was having a bad few weeks/ month, and was under the distinct impression we were not even talking anymore (can you tell this story is more complicated than I’m letting on? Yea.) So my good ole default kicked in with a “what does it matter if I am or am not?”

In case you didn’t know, this is not the way to handle an outstretched hand on a bad day, and definitely not on a good one. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather harp on their lack of communication or change in behavior. In the long run, you will realize reconnecting over the fact you share concern for each other will probably go a long way to sort out any static.

And now there is the deafening “nothing” that I can’t decipher.
Is this the new and permanent state of affairs because people got hurt?
Is this the new and permanent state of affairs because people got indifferent?
Or is this what a friendship on pause sounds like?

I hope it’s a pause… I miss my friend.

a simple truth

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Random

A Bend in the Path

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If the words fell off the screen
And the sands slipped back in time,
Would you go back to that moment,
Would you pass me by?
At the start of this long road, consider
Would you walk with me?
Or think better of it,
Never plant the seed
Never see where the path leads?
I can almost taste the regret
A drop of bittersweet on everything.
A silence in the deep
That betrays the crashing at the shore.
There was a time I would have given all to fix
This, you say one dozen and I say six
But the night has come to us, my friend
The tempest tests that which we tend
Will this be the one that finally breaks us at the bend?

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Random

My Inner Gamer Says Hello… when I should be sleeping =/

When I was a wee lass (and teenager), I was obsessed with games. My summer vacations were 2 solid months of gaming. Street Fighter (Chun Li wins!) or Mortal Kombat (Raiden or Sub-zero) or Tekken (which I could barely remember, oddly) were the usual fare and challenging the nearest person with coins was a chance to shine. In those days, I had not yet discovered computer games. When I stumbled upon Duke Nukum though, I never looked back.

hardly an age-appropriate game, now that I look back on it

Long gone were the many, many, many requests for coin money. Enter: scouring the hard drive for disposable programs and documents so I could build my game empire. Back then, I was all about Duke. And Heretic. And Doom. Gee, that makes me sound dark huh?

But there was also an awesome Mario Brothers game I downloaded from some little hole-in-the-wall website. It had no start-up page with the familiar “start/options/help”. When you clicked it, you were in the first level. If you pressed F1, you got nothing. To exit you had to press ESC. I had to learn the controls by trial and error. There were 2 things that were awesome about it, though. 1: the sound effects and game itself were just like the original game. 2: it was 66KB. Yes. 66KB.

The true gamers among you are asking “Can we get this game also?!” I regret to inform you that little diamond in the rough was lost in one of many times some virus got hold of the hard drive back then. And the random website, you ask? No where to be found… C’est la vie.

So when a friend gives me a link for a game now, I always tell myself it’s not like I could revert to those late nights and obsessive cheat-code hunting days. Think again. It’s called Angry Birds.

Most recent game I played: Nexus Contraptions

And before that, I just had to win: Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure (yes I will play anything 🙂 but I bet you will be charmed by the general cuteness of it)

What have you been playing?

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