Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Accidental iPhonist

The Accidental Tourist is a film I was exposed to in 11th grade English. The premise being a travel book author sleep walking through life as his marriage falls apart. Macon eventually meets a unique woman who brings color and flavor back into his life.

Forgive me, the following metaphor is pathetic, but I couldn't help shoehorning the blog title into something literary.

Much like the woman to Macon, the iPhone has brought me new found enjoyment.

But, before I go further, let me construct the context. I bought two iPhones to resell on Ebay. After missing the Wii opportunity, I hustled at the same perceived opportunity during the iPhone launch. I figured, at the very least, I'd break even. All while learning the ins and outs of Ebay salesmanship.

I learned, learned to hate Ebay. There's no Ebay get-rich-quick scheme just as there's none in any other medium. Don't get me wrong, there certainly are ways to make money (even good money) selling on Ebay. But you have to work hard. Very hard.

Without getting too deeply entwined describing the aggravating Ebay selling process, I will say that, mainly, there are two ugly monsters lurking in Ebay's closet: Frauds and Fees. The first makes it difficult to actually sell anything. The second makes it difficult to actually make anything. Frauds and fees alike are rampant on Ebay; pirates of both the digital auction house and the digital bank account. The two combined make for one, nearly insurmountable Megabeast of anti-entrepreneurism.

To make a long story short, I ended up selling one for negligible profit and keeping the other. I tried FOUR times to sell the second and eventually kept it. I convinced myself of iPhonership thanks to the battles waged at the "Theater of Ebay." Two other reasons that made the rationalization easy: I desperately needed a new phone and I was already an existing Cingular / AT&T customer.

So I own an iPhone. And perhaps - for all you astute Freudian scholars out there - yes, I might have even secretly wished this iPhate would befall me.

Onto the iPhone.

I usually avoid Gen I tech. I knew I'd eventually become an iPhowner but certainly not upon the first release. And certainly not at a $600 price point. But an Accidental iPhonist I am. And it's a pleasure. I'm thrilled. Or, as the recent Tony Blair divorcees might say, the iPhone is "brilliant." It really is.

Now I could go on describing how it's pregnant with cutting-edge tech and gadgetry. But I'll spare you since it has been hailed all over the blogosphere ad nauseam. What I will say is that it has brought the color and flavor back (was it ever there?) into my mobile life. The iPhone really is a joy to use. My "aha!" moment happened during a recent cardio session at the gym. The iPhone synch's itself with iTunes, bringing over music, podcasts, and videos. And as I peddled away while exploring the contents of my mobile media, there I found - to my surprise - a fresh new episode of Diggnation. It quietly lied there waiting to give meaning to an aimless stationary bike adventure. That was the easiest 25 minutes of cardio I've ever endured.

But I think iPhone's glory is stated even clearer by my girlfriend's experience. Colleen is practically one recycle bin load away from being a self professed luddite. In fact, she doesn't even own a computer. Huh? But she LOVES the iPhone; requesting it two or three times a day. Where to eat? Give me your iPhone! Where to see Ratatouille? Hand over your iPhone! With what to write a quick love note? The iPhone!

And that makes me smile.

About me:

I'm Abe Gillespie, GIS - and anything else - programmer for hire (abe at digital - pulp dot com). I'm a technophile, love life, animals, people, and God. I'm involved with some Open Source projects such as Mono (more of an outside observer) and zigGIS. I'm a relatively new immigrant to the capitol of Virginia and love it. Check back here for posts on life, consulting, GIS programming, and whatever else might strike my fancy. Check out my company at www.digital-pulp.com. Thanks for reading!