The iPad is all paid off, so it’s time for a new phone, and since the monthly cost of the phone and the iPad are nearly identical there is no noticeable effect on the monthly budget. Considering that I’m still using an iPhone 4S, it’s obvious that I don’t upgrade every time a new model comes out regardless of how much I may want to. This time I decided to get something close to top of the line (6S Plus, 128GB, space grey) so that I can still be using it in a number of years like I did with the 4S. I’d go for the 7, but right now the headset jack is a bit of a deal-breaker because of how I use the phone in the car (see my previous posting about how to control your phone via an in-dash switch).

I tried supporting the local AT&T store, but all they had was Rose Gold. Sorry - I may be a modern, open-minded kind of guy, but you’re not going to catch me carrying around a pink phone unless it’s free. They said they were getting more in today and that they’d call me but they never did. I called them and then went to the store when I didn’t get a response. Even if they did have what I wanted there wasn’t a manager on duty that could have put them in inventory, so they wouldn’t have been able to sell it to me for a day or two. Is this any way to run a business?

I tried Target next. Once I got the staffer to stop texting and actually wait on me she checked the inventory. They had a silver one, which I could have lived with, but the activation process was asking for all sorts of PINs and other access related crap that neither myself or the primary account holder know. After 20 minutes and several phone calls (on my part, not theirs) I gave up and walked out empty handed. Rather than finding a solution she let $750 walk right out the front door. Their loss.

I finally went over to the local mall. The AT&T store didn’t have what I wanted (no surprise there), but the Apple Store did. The right size, color and capacity - no compromise necessary. It was an incredibly easy, simple transaction without all of the PIN BS and other roadblocks. I was in, out and done in just a few minutes. Regardless of where I went the price was going to be the same, so I now kick myself for not just going to the mall in the first place. Apple really knows how to make a satisfying sales experience.

I know there are a bunch of great Android phones out there, and I do have experience with both platforms. I use a big-ass late-model LG on a regular basis, as well as some cool Motorola Atrix units, albeit not as phones right now (that’s really a tertiary function on these devices, right?) After years of different smartphones I’ve found that I just have a preference for the iPhone for day-to-day use and don’t really see a compelling reason to make another platform switch.

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When the Mazda’s paid off next year I’ll probably replace my primary computer. I’ve almost completely switched to a Dell i5 running Windows 10 for most day-to-day stuff, leaving my trusty ol’ 2009 Mac mini as the secondary. But the Dell is driving me crazy right now with an odd mouse issue. I’ve read plenty online about the issue, something lots of people are having with various versions of Windows, but it seems nobody knows how to fix it. Because of this I’ll probably end up with another Mac mini since my current one really doesn’t give me any problems; it just chugs away in the background, getting things done quietly and efficiently, albeit slowly by comparison to the Dell. The only thing wrong with the current one is just that it’s feeling kind of slow, but given that it’s almost 8 years old that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. It’ll probably serve as a great media player once a new machine is acquired.