A small windfall hit me like welcome summer rain. I decided to celebrate by getting a pair of Apple AirPods Max.
Ebay was the perfect shopping destination. I found a pair in great condition in happy neutral space gray at way less than retail.
Setting them up was super easy. The software interface was very simple to use and had numerous options.
Then reality hit…
- The biggest problem I faced was intolerable sound when listening with noise cancellation. My favorite podcasts sounded like the participants were speaking from inside a small narrow tunnel.
- Listening in an airplane almost worked. But each time we took off, there was a loud “pop” that Apple’s software injected after detecting a sound made by the airplane.
- The magnificent quality construction resulted in a heavy pair of headphones. After an hour or so of listening, they started to get uncomfortable.
- The Smart Case seemed like an afterthought. Its design was about a tenth as good as the headphones’ design.
- A very minor glitch in the software meant that it never remembered the noise cancellation modes I selected.
So, goodbye AirPods Max. I sold them yesterday on Facebook Marketplace.
I enjoyed exploring this product that I had always been curious about. I only lost $20 in the exchange.
I left with a nice little reminder that the only satisfaction available will be in heaven.
And then I went back to a modest pair of Sony phones.
I spilled tea on my trackpad. Then it started acting weird.
Dilemma: call my 2011 computer a loss and get a new one or have the old one fixed?
Fixing the old computer won the day.
$200 later, and it works just as good as new.
I love my old MacBook Pro. Years ago, I upgraded the memory and hard drive, and it still works fine. It’s fast enough for just about everything, and it even has a built-in CD-DVD drive, which comes in handy every once in a while. (I even used that earlier today!)
Kudos to Mac Outlet for the fine job.
We bought our first Toshiba laptop in 1995. It was a good one. It lasted about 5 years.
This latest Toshiba lasted only about 9 months. Sadly, the warranty lasted 6 months.
In between that first Toshiba and our final Toshiba, we have bought several other brands of Windows laptops. I can’t even remember those brands – Acer or Asus was one.
But in the interim, we have bought a few Apple laptops too. And they have been much more reliable. The laptop I am typing this on was bought in early 2011. It’s still running very strong. (I have replaced the battery and hard drive and added memory.)
We bought Heather a MacBook Pro in 2009, and it’s acting like it never wants to die. Its first battery is even performing well.
No more Windows laptops. I finally learned my lesson.
The photo is a speaker inside that ill-fated Toshiba. My index finger is there to show its size. (I removed the hard drive for security purposes before giving it to Best Buy for recycling and thus saw its innards for the first time. It had stereo speakers.) It is sad to send them off to China’s Great Recycling Machine in the Sky.
If you read my Tesla review, you might think that I desire newer, faster, better everything.
That’s not always true.
My early 2011 Macbook Pro is still humming along gracefully. Five years is a long time in computer years. (According to this website, my computer is 92 human years old.)
But it still works great. I’ve changed its battery once, added more memory (wish I could do that for me!) and swapped out the spinning hard drive for a smaller-capacity flash drive.
It’s running the latest operating system – Apple keeps supporting this old machine.
The strangest thing is that I have no burning desire for a newer Mac. Yes, I do like the newer Macbook Pros (and think the new Macbook is a thing of beauty). But the functionality of a newer Mac isn’t different enough that I’d go through the hassle and expense of upgrading. Plus, my old Mac has a CD/DVD drive – I can add music from that old fossil media source without an external drive. (However, I wouldn’t really miss that capability if mine ever died.)
Also interesting – Apple still sells my same basic computer brand-new (though it has a newer brain).
Finally, if you’re ever in the market for a Mac, I’d recommend buying a factory refurb direct from Apple. Those computers have the same warranty as all-new versions. And often, you can get the latest models as refurbs.
No, I don’t have one.
Yes, that’s my wrist that the Watch is sitting on.
So this is not a super-deep review, since I do not own one. But I will give you some first impressions, having spent about 90 minutes in an introductory workshop at my local Apple Store, playing with one and trying several on.
Here are my initial thoughts:
- They’re nice. The feel and workmanship is as you might expect: top-notch. The vibrations that tell you things are not annoying. If you had your settings at a level where you were getting taps more than once an hour, you might start to go crazy. The interface is very well thought out.
- Costs: The $349* price of entry (Sport model) definitely makes it a luxury item. And then your style choices are limited to the color of your watch (silver or black) and the color of your Sport band. If you want more choices, you have to spend $549 for the Watch (middle) model that lets you have a lot more band choices.
- Pretense: They can be less visible than the old Apple white headphones that told everyone you had an iPhone or an iPod. If you know what they look like, you can start to think about who has them and imagine their budgets. (I was amazed at the mom with her two teenagers who were part of my workshop. The kids already both had Watches. When I asked why he got one, the boy said, “I just wanted one.”)
- Bands: The Milanese Loop was amazing for its simplicity and ease of use (add $100). The leather bands (add $100 or $200) seemed like step backwards from the synthetic sport band. The Link Bracelet (add $400) was incredible. You can size it without going to a jeweler. Having said all that, the only style I’d consider would be the Sport band (black case with black band, probably). The others are just a little too glitzy for me.
- Sizes: My wrists are tiny. The only one that would work for me would be the 38mm. The 42mm does have a little more breathing room for viewing the screen, but it costs $50 more. (Casey Neistat described them as “girl size” and “boy size.” I disagree.)
- Apps: Fitness seems to be the big one. If you aren’t interested in tracking your fitness, notifications for email and texts would be a big use, though habitually looking at your wrist might be just as annoying to others as habitually looking at your phone. (A whole new level of, “I’m not paying attention to you,” might start becoming widespread.) Phone calls seem to be so limited, due to issues like low audio volume, that I can’t imagine many people doing calls more than a few seconds through their Watch. Maps are limited but could be useful after you get used to the tiny interface. Music means pretty much a remote-control for your iTunes or Pandora. Photos: The maximum size for a photo is so small that I wouldn’t be spending much time with that one. And any library of more than about 100 photos probably means a hard time ever finding the photo you want to show someone. Oh yeah, and there’s the watch part. It’s super-easy to change its time-telling face between a variety of cool time-keepers… and then modify each one.
- Tethering to your iPhone: A lot of people have hugely complained about this aspect. I don’t see it as any big deal, since my iPhone is always in my pocket, unless I’m at my desk or puttering around the house. And I like the idea of being away from messages, so I’d feel free to leave my iPhone at home. You can listen to a limited music library (with bluetooth headphones) while you run or bike ride without an iPhone nearby.
- The Edition: Paying $10,000+ is just absurd. It’s for people that zeros do not matter. And for Denver residents, you’ll have to travel to Las Vegas to try one on.
Bottom line: Game-changer… 1) I think there are vast possibilities for how this will transform the way people relate to technology. 2) Today’s Groupon email had fitness wristbands – and a series of Breitling luxury watches – for far less than half price. The luxury watch and fitness band markets are changed forever. 3) Health professionals are just beginning to imagine new worlds that will open up for monitoring and then responding to health spheres.
None is on-order for me …. yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to justify the (not insignificant-to-me) expense.
* Apologies to my friends outside of the USA. You’ll need to go to your nearest Apple Store website to check pricing for your area.
For more info, visit Apple Watch on the web.