Facing My (Irrational) Fear… The Apple Store

Image from buyric.com.

The Apple Store also scares me.  I have never been in, but it looks too crowded and futuristic (like it came straight out of The Capitol) for my liking.  There are so many staff that you just have to interact with one.  And all kinds of people are just taking up space playing with stuff they can’t afford or don’t need.   I guess I should note that I bought my laptop online because this was before the era that you could just buy a Mac at Staples and there was clearly no Apple Store where I went to med school.

My laptop decided to not turn on while my charger light flashed orange (not my favourite colour in this instance) this morning.  I tried it in several outlets and still nothing.  So, I used my phone to google the problem.  I tried several possible “at home solutions” with no results.  Fail.

I check out the Apple Store website and they prompt me to make an appointment  at the Genius Bar.

Image from apple.com.

Really?  Genius Bar?

This is going to come off as harsh, but something tells me that although people working there might be tech savvy, genius may not be the best title.  But, relative to the rest of the world, maybe it is.

I wander in (probably looking terrified).  I get directed to the Genius Bar at the back and told to sit on a stool cramped between a mother and daughter getting the kid’s iPod touch fixed and a girl who spilled a can of pop on her laptop.

I notice that the Genius Bar geniuses are using iPads to direct much of what they do.  I could fix most people’s electronics if I had an iPad tell me all the secrets of what to do without fear of voiding the warrantee.   I clearly was feeling a bit conspiracy theory-ish.  There were obviously some people who worked there who were the more techy go-tos when things were really broken.

I sit at a ridiculously crowded “bar” and some guy tries plugging my laptop into their power source… Fail.  Then, resetting it… Fail.  I knew that.  I already tried those things at home because that is what the Apple help page told me to do.  Don’t people check those things first?   He then takes it out back, takes the back off and unplugs then reattaches the battery.  Presto chango.  He fixed my laptop.  That simple.  If only I would get at the battery without dismantling my computer.  I love Apple products, but really can’t you make it so that I don’t have to go in there?

I am excited to say that I survived my Apple store experience.  And that they were nice.  But it was way too crowded (you can’t tell me that many people buy or need all that stuff on a daily basis).  I will go back, though if something is dysfunctional.  Maybe I don’t have to try for weeks to fix my own stuff (like I did with my phone with the syncing problems… But, it did eventually work after a few week’s worth of reading and tinkering).

The place still gives me a bit of the heebie jeebies, though.

Crossing over to the iSide…

I have crossed over to the dark side.  The trendy side.  The iSide.

I bought… An iPhone.

Yes, I realize that to most people this is not a big deal.  But, I am cheap.  And I don’t tend to break or lose things, so I have the same older model of phone that I got to replace the even older model of phone that failed to pick up my voice two years ago.  I had an older model of phone that provoked laughter when I had to go buy a new charger whilst on the CaRMS tour I have an iPod touch completely full of music and medical apps that I feel is perfectly good.

But, while travelling and after being convinced by numerous of the avid iPhone owners I know, I decided it is time.

Plus, my previous wireless provider does not cover most of the province in which I live… A problem given I have to go to a rural community for four weeks.  If I had to get a new service provider (which was not too much of a hassle, as I have been paying month-to-month for over a year now), I might as well get a new phone.

Getting said iPhone was a process.  I diligently researched plans and phones and settled on the coveted 64GB iPhone 4s.  Yes, that is a ton of storage and even more money.  But, I have 32GB iPod touch that is just about full… Clearly, I own too much music and too many medical apps.

The most difficult call after the plan was the color of the phone… White or black?  I chose white.  It is trendy, but clean looking.

By the time I crossed the threshold of Future Shop (to get the extended warranty no less), I knew exactly what I wanted and where I was to get it.  I was in and out in less than 20 minutes.  I was proud.

So now, I have this amazing piece of technology in my possession.  It is more powerful than a computer from my childhood.  It is almost the same size as my old phone.  And it combines two gadgets in one.  Epic.

Oooh shiny and new! Image via geeky-gadgets.com

But, that is just the beginning of the decision making process…

Settings… Oh yes, settings.

For someone like me, having the right ringtone so as to not totally spaz every time the phone rings is important.  I had to try every tone out.  I consulted Patrick and decided to splurge the $1.29 to buy “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.  I also got “S.O.S” from Mamma Mia… It was going to be Patrick’s ringtone.  The sad part was that I don’t have caller ID (that is what the free voicemail is for), so it didn’t know it was Patrick calling.  Too bad.  It would have been cool… But now I can alternate.

Text tones are equally as trying.  I didn’t want something generic so that it would be irritating, or so melodic that I would tune it out.  Then I found the ideal text tone… A quacking duck.  You can’t miss it… But it isn’t scary.  Win-win.

A further trial for me was choosing background images.  By now, everyone knows I have a problem.  Once I get a background I like, it tends to remain unchanged.  Until then, it changes regularly and causes angst.  But, I managed to settle.  Waves from the beach on PEI and a cheesy, sunny summer picture of Patrick and I.

Organizing icons is another catastrophe.  They need to be laid out in a fashion that is aesthetically pleasing, but practical.  I like to have the games and medical apps in separate menus, as well as the other utility type things (you know, unit converters, dictionaries, etc.).   My eBooks, Bible, Facebook and WordPress apps get to maintain their own existence as solitary items along with Mail and Safari.  Its all about practicality… The things I use most on the front.  The things I use together in categories. Perfectly reasonable and not at all crazy.

Overall, the iPhone thing has been a huge success.  I feel like it is user friendly, but aesthetically pleasing.  It also combines two of my most important electronics… My phone and my iPod into one Internet ready apparatus.

The other part I like is that I can now combine my email and phone contacts.  With a clever picture for each person.   I love to organize (well, I am anal retentive).  And the organization transfers over to and from my Mac… Always a big plus.

So, I joined the dark side…  I am becoming a technologically savvy (okay, well at least technologically equipped) person.  I intend to not become completely attached and dependent on my phone.  But no promises… It is pretty cool.