Getting Wired Wirelessly

My hubby got me a surprise – a smartwatch, with a pedometer and some other features. It was a prize or a free gift with something, and he knows I gleefully enjoy such things.

Early experiments trying to pair the damn thing with my phone resulted in vast irritation so I stopped that.

Sigh. Technology. Younger me would be shaking her head in disbelief at current me.

I got to the whole mobile phone thing very late. I refused to get one all throughout high school, saying that the only reason why I’d ever need a phone on the road is to let my mother know I was going to be home later than expected, and there were plenty of pay phones for that! Also, I ran on the notion that if I was going to be on the road, I’m NOT going to be contactable, and at the time I never had anything so cripplingly important I needed to be contactable 24/7.

I finally had to – my teachers in college said that they were going to be sending texts to let us know if they were going to be late or if we got the timeslot free, and well, I needed it for the inevitable, much despised group work. Annoyed, I got the cheapest, most durable phone I could get – a bright orange and gray Alcatel phone the shape of a peanut. “What’s that?!” gasped my classmates. It came with a belt or top-of-pants hook, so I tended to wear it on the waistband of my uniform skirt, just under my blouse.

I have to say, that bright orange, the kind you see on hardhats, ensured that I could find it at a glance anywhere in my room, and it looked so ridiculous that nobody tried to steal it – in a time that cellphone theft was rampant. Also I dropped it several times, and the thing was always okay, unlike the then fragile Nokias. It was also somewhat more water-resistant than the more popular phones, which was very important in a country where typhoons are such a regular thing that classes do not get canceled at the college level unless it’s a Category 3 / Signal 3 level typhoon. (Don’t get me wrong. I loved Nokia phones; they fit anywhere and if I wore them dangling off a wrist strap I didn’t really notice them. I just haven’t touched one since I started using smartphones.)

Now I have laptops (yes plural – some of the people who have had laptops given to us to repair sometimes can’t be arsed to go back for them even if they are fixed up, and say ‘keep it, chuck it, I don’t care’) and I definitely also count netbooks as laptops. I have one of the first ASUS netbooks that ever came out. Aff gave it to me when he first came up to Townsville, saying my hands were so tiny I could probably type on it juuuust fine.

It wasn’t something he bought either. He was waiting at a bus stop in Adelaide when a guy in a business suit finally got frustrated at the teeny tiny keyboard and chucked it in the general direction of the bin, where it clanged off the side and crashed onto the sidewalk. Surprised, Aff picked it up. “Can I have it?” I think he got the charge cable flung at him too. It ran on Linux and had a 4 gig solid state drive. And yes, after that rough treatment, it still worked.

When I got that little ASUS netbook it was fantastic for the most basic of typing and keeping in touch through chat or Skype. We got her 16 gigs of SD card space and with a USB stick I could listen to music and watch movies on the thing. She has a rather powerful set of HK speakers for something so tiny, and her little camera isn’t bad.

Aff is somewhat disgruntled, but unsurprised, to declare that the teeny tiny first gen ASUS netbook was the one thing that survived an-across Australia housemove. I resist suggestions that it be chucked because she works just fine and frankly, I adore netbooks as purely writing devices that happen to also be able to play music while I work.

Well, writing work, that is. I started looking at getting something that would let me draw while I was sick in bed – which, over the last… three? years was a frequent thing, what with two difficult pregnancies, one ending in Damien’s stillbirth, the second in an emergency C-section and losing Brandon later to SIDs (Still haven’t got a full coroner’s report, and we’re nearing the first death anniversary. But I digress.) See, faceplanting into a Cintiq is probably a bad thing for the thing and I didn’t particularly think I’d enjoy finding out what it was like to fall out of the chair when I’d randomly doze off. My deeper points of depression would have me constantly feel sleepy as the first emotion over anything else, and it was a lot like trying to jump-start my brain in a deep blanket of smothering snow. You know how they describe the feeling of falling asleep while trapped out in a snowstorm? That’s what it felt like. Still feels like, quite honestly. But outside of the depression, my immune system took a massive hit and I pretty much caught every single sniffle, cough and elementary-school-petri-dish mutated plague that my son brought home. (Not my daughter. She’s got the immune system built out of tungsten, it seems. There was one time when we were ALL laid up sick and she was the one person not sick, and feeding us with chicken congee.)

Aff was able to get me a secondhand ASUS tablet that came with a pressure sensitive stylus. I’ve been pretty busy so I haven’t really gotten a chance to try her out but I’m hoping I’ll have the chance once I get around to finishing the house-unpacking. The nice thing is that this will also let me road-test Krita, which, from what I can tell, is potentially a viable alternative to GIMP and Photoshop. I wonder how it would work with a Cintiq or similar Wacom tablet, since my initial test run shows that you have to toggle the eraser. I don’t think it’ll disrupt workflow too much once you get used to it, and I did find it more intuitive than GIMP. This might, in my opinion, work out better for people transitioning over from Photoshop and Painter.

Anyway, I’ve greatly digressed from where I’d started from, which is my watch. I’ve got it set to count my steps and remind me when I’ve been hunched over the keyboard/drawing monitor for too long. I haven’t really used the heart rate monitor thing, but I don’t really want that to be racing anytime soon.

Unless it’s with excitement because I see my darling Rhys again. Man still makes my heart go doki doki.



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