Desperate thoughts requires a great payment plan?

I’ll continue with my obsessive iOS, Apple vs Android talk. I can’t stop, as you might as well know. And it’s all getting worse as time moves on. It doesn’t help that I know I can’t spend money on new things. It does not help either that I’ve sort of found a way to get an iPhone 8 plus without breaking the bank too much. And also, it certainly does not help that I lost my job and will become “poorer” even if I’m a student in the fall.

It would be a lifelong dream come true, since I’ve always wanted to work and/or study computer science. My dream of doing that this years hangs on a really thin thread however. If I’ll be able to get a passing grade in my math class I’ve been struggling with during this spring, I might have a teeny, tiny chance of getting accepted to one of the college applications I’ve made, but I guess it’d take a miracle for both those things to happen. If I will be able to get in to college in the fall, I’d be happy as hell, even with less money. Then it would all be worth it. As life is right now it is just “meh.” and I do not like it. Besides that I have wonderful people in my life and food on my table and other stuff without having to worry, there are so many other things I’m longing for right now and I’m so sick and tired of waiting.

If I do not get in, I’m either unemployed until I get a new job or get in to college during the next fall, or I’ll keep studying and go do math for a 4th time. Yeah, in case you didn’t know – this is the 3rd time I’m taking this class! The first two times, however, I wasn’t serious about it and didn’t need it. I just took the class for fun, but now it’s like life or death scenario. I’m kicking myself pretty hard these days for not knowing back then how much I really do needed it for my future. If I had a passing grade already in math, I’d already most likely be a developer of some sorts, but I am not and because of crappy choices I’ve made I have to go back to school, 4 years after graduation because I will not get a full-time, passionate job otherwise. With my current situation, I’ll only be able to work part-time with administration or something and I’d like to try and do more with my life and earn a lot more money to boot.

It all depends on a passing grade in math right now. And all I can think of is that I want an iPhone. It’s a bad feeling. I hate it. It should be a miracle that I managed to keep using the Mac mini as my main computer and that i have an iPad to play around with, but no. That’s not enough… I desperately want an iPhone. No other phone will do right now. I really dislike Android. I do not trust Google. You can read why here, in case you’ve missed my reasons for all that.

When I say I want an iPhone, it’s not hugely important that it’s an iPhone 8 plus. Of course, that’s the phone I’d most likely get if I get the chance, but I’m also contemplating getting the SE, even though it’s so frickin’ tiny. I’ve stated in my last post that it’s not a bad phone, but I really dislike the size of the screen and Apple did not release a new rumoured version of the SE either at WWDC 2018. It’s sort of like this:

Benefits of the iPhone 8 plus:

  • Bigger screen
  • It’s the latest iPhone to get (besides the X, of course)
  • It has wireless charging
  • No headphone jack (yeah, I’d probably wouldn’t mind skipping that one)
  • Easier to type? (because of the bigger screen?)
  • Better camera (Studio Light, Portrait mode etc)
  • Better battery life (than both the X and the SE)
  • Perhaps also better reception due to the glass back?

Benefits of the iPhone SE:

  • Cheap as hell (could buy it in one go without to much financial damage, or just get a cheap payment plan, without breaking the bank)
  • Easier to hold?
  • it’s an iPhone!

Downside of the iPhone 8 plus:

  • More expensive
  • Might be too big and/or heavy? It’s the same size as the Nexus 6P and that one was almost too big, but you get use to it. I’d rather have a bigger phone, now that I know I have pants with big enough pockets to fit the phone in.

Downsides of the iPhone SE:

  • So tiny with huge bezels!
  • Great camera, but no special benefits like Portrait mode etc
  • It’s an older model, two years+ as of writing this

Benefits of both phones:

  • They’re iPhones
  • They’re not Android crap! Aka I’ll probably get a more reliable smartphone experience
  • I’ll get better privacy options
  • iMessage & FaceTime! Huge benefit in regards to communicating with my family. They all have iPhones!
  • Both will be supported and fully functional for many years to come. The SE will most likely get iOS updates for at least 3-4 more years and the 8 plus for at least 4-5 years.
  • I can talk to Siri and/or dictate in Swedish with my accent. That does not work with Android!
  • Both work seamlessly with the Mac mini and iMovie etc. It’s amazing, really! ecosystem for the win! Android and Windows can not even compare!
  • A gazillion other reasons, such as all the cases and accessories you could get and customise them on the outside. It’s a bit hard to do that unless you have a crappy Samsung phone if you go with android… I’d love to have a phone that I could show off with a personal logo, or a favourite photo of mine etc. See an example below:
Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 20.37.11
Wouldn’t this be an amazing case for a smartphone? It’s a photo of the biggest cuddlebugs out there. A Great Dane called Gandalf!

So what’s the conclusion, then?

Well. I do not know. Not until I get an OK from the BF that I can spend money on a new phone I won’t get either one. I’m sort of to scared to talk to him about it, because of whatever reasons. It’s my money to spend, of course, but I’m guessing that he’d both understand why I want this and also feel a bit betrayed because I’m spending “promised” money on something I don’t really need. And I have mentioned his dislikes about Apple products, but we’ll se. I will not do anything without his approval. Now, that might seem that he rules over me like I’m his slave or something, but nothing could be further from the truth. I owe him a lot. He’s a great boyfriend and I would be nothing without him and I’d basically do anything for him. It means a lot for me to do things with his approval. About 99% of the time we agree on everything we should do or buy, so why not in this case? Because I made a promise – that’s why! Even though it was my own choice… And you already know how “ashamed” I feel about my Apple obsession that just won’t stop.

But that bugs me daily and it keeps me from focusing on other things besides math. More on that later. At the moment it feels like basically everything we own breaks or does not work properly. Besides the Mac mini then, and the iPad that is… My Android phone is buggy, lags and stutters like crazy, and it is unresponsive several times a day. Also with the knowledge that I now have of Google makes me wanna puke and get everybody I know to switch to Apple. It’s so sickening with this privacy and AI crap. Apple can do all that without spying on peopleC’mon Google! WTF?! 

I should also point out that exploring macOS and using the iPad for various stuff has been really great. I feel it has helped me to focus more on the math class, since I no longer wonder what macOS is like and how to use iMessage etc. It’s a lot of fun, and I like that iTunes and the Podcast app syncs as well and the built-in email client in macOS has helped me use Gmail without thinking about the privacy issues, so that’s also great.

Ok, if I check the list and explain a little bit more of my obsession with this it should go a little bit like this:

I’d love to have an iPhone and I am certain that no matter what phone I would get, I’d be happy with it. I mean, anything would probably be better than Android right now. I also have to mention a thing I’ve found out that totally changes everything. It’s not uncommon that people these days get smartphones a long with a payment plan. It’s how a lot of people manage to afford the iPhone X, for example.

For me, it’s a little bit different, for basically two reasons. The first reason is that I’ve sort of made a promise to myself that I would never, ever again get anything on a payment plan. Besides the obvious that is, like a mortgage etc. The promise is basically that I will never ever again get a payment plan for technology or stuff. That’s because of one of my ex boyfriends that fucked up my life totally money-wise.

It’s all fine and dandy as of now and it has been for over 5-6 years or so, even though I’m getting poor again, because of lack of jobs and hopefully becoming a student. I’m the “poor” one now, but together with the awesome current BF of almost 10 years, our lives are great and we are more rich than poor, really. The other reason for not getting payment plans for smartphones or technology is due to money and me being smart about spending it.

I prefer saving up and buying the stuff without having a bunch of loans etc to pay off. It’s cheaper in the long run. Also, I am a person who rarely makes phone calls and do 95% of surfing the web on wi-fi, so my phone bill is really low. It’s generally between $12 and $18 per month and I’d like it to not exceed that, if I’m honest. Basically all my phone calls go to family members as well and all of them (except the BF) have iPhones! At least the family on my side…

Most payment plans for an iPhone in Sweden right now is somewhere between $37 and $55 depending if you’d get the X or the 8 plus. And on top of that is often a really high phone bill of at least $22 or so depending on your carrier of choice. The “low” price of $22 is a set amount “all-you-can-spend” phone buffet per month, but many carriers in Sweden usually have at least doubled that price. It’s more likely the norm to have a phone bill these days around $100, including a payment plan for a smartphone so I’m really on the low-end here.

I have gone with one of the cheaper carriers, so that’s why I’ve managed to have such a low phone bill. Basically, my point is that a payment plan with a set amount is at least $60 or so, and that’s not cheap. For me, personally that means I’ll get $40 less to save every month, so it’s not really an option for me.

However, the thing I’ve come to know is really mind boggling. It’s something I thought wasn’t possible to do any longer in Sweden, but it turns out it is. It is possible to make a down payment on your payment plan and also you could pay the rest of it whenever you’d like as well and keep your original and current plan with the carrier. It’s sort of amazing. That means that I’m in a situation that sort of looks like this:

Scenario 1, I’ll get the iPhone 8 plus:

  • I’ll make a down payment of $608 or so (which is the equivalent to what I’d spend on the OnePlus 6 if I should have gotten that one instead)
  • The rest, which is $400 or so without AppleCare+ I’d setup in a payment plan that spans for 24 months and/or pay it off before that when I feel I can afford to.
  • The monthly bill for my phone bill would then be the original $17 plus an additional $16 or so, which would be more satisfactory for my wallet. I don’t spend much money and that I’d personally could live with. Having a working phone is like all I ever need, or something so that in itself is not that expensive.

Scenario 2, I’ll get the iPhone SE:

  • I’ll get the whole phone on a payment plan and do not pay anything upfront, except for maybe 25 cents or so. Then the monthly bill would be a total of $27 for 24 months, unless I’d pay it off in advance.
  • Or, I’ll buy the whole phone at once which I could get for as little as $367, which is a lot less than $608 that I’d originally plan to spend on an iPhone if I’d get one.

What would you choose if you were in my shoes?

No matter what, I’d get a customised case and a screen protector for my phone, just because I can and because it’s a must. I do not know id I’d get AppleCare, but it would surely be recommended if I’d end up getting the 8 Plus.

And this was another long post. I might have to change my tagline… Long rants about veganism and Apple?😂

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The obsession with privacy is becoming a bit too much…

Ok, you’re probably starting to think that the only topics I talk about are veganism and Apple. Or something like that. Well, that might very well be true, but what am I supposed to do with such a messed up brain that I have? I have to write a bit more about this privacy shit, but hopefully after this, everything will cool down and I’ll try and continue living my life like nothing has happened. Or maybe it will end with an iPhone, who the hell knows?! I certainly do not.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

During these past months or so, all back to when the obsession with iOS, Apple, OnePlus and the creeping privacy issues started to emerge, everything (as always) has escalated, and especially with the latest Google I/O. I wrote about that in my last post. Since that post I’ve been doing my best to “de-googlify” my life to no avail. I’ve tried looking for a new e-mail service and created a few accounts with outlook.com, protonmail and I’ve started to use my poorly created iCloud mail as well that I made at the ending phase of my Apple obsession I had in the fall of 2017. With poorly I’m referring to me creating the wrong email address. If I’d created a better one I might have only used that one for now, even though I’m not a complete Apple user yet. If I’d been an Apple user, I could easily transfer everything to my iCloud mail, but since I’m not I won’t do that. At least not today.

I even created a g suite account, but that only lasted less than 24 hours and it was a huge mistake. It might have been worth it if I could just transfer everything from my personal Google account, but no. It is not that easy. Unfortunately. The reason why I tried out the G suite is because I read that Google does not need to “spy” on those users, since they pay for the service and do not get it for free. I found that very compelling since i really do like using Google services. But it did not work, so now I’m stuck right back at the beginning.

My feelings regarding Microsoft are also very mixed. It might be a better service overall regarding email, but I do not know. Outlook as an email service feels better, but it’s a pure roller coaster where I love it one minute and dislike it like hell the next. That’s because I am not sure if they read my emails or not and want to sell me stuff because of what I write. Microsoft themselves say they do not do that, but I am not sure if I trust that. Google does this, but personally and usually I rarely email people about stuff I talk or search with my Google account, so in that regard I also do not know if I should care so much about this either. I basically have used my Gmail account for work for the past 3½ years, and I’ve only written a fraction of those thousands of emails to friends, government or family so why is this privacy thing such a huge deal now?

Before I got my job, I used my Gmail mainly to get accounts somewhere else and notifications from all of the other social media accounts and other types of accounts I’ve created during the years. I rarely (or perhaps never) email people and that’s because of message clients, social media and phone calls. The biggest deal I have with Gmail is the self-completing email feature that they mentioned at the latest I/O and all the AI and machine learning crap Google wants to implement all over their services. Everything else is no biggie, I guess, since it hasn’t been before. My Google account in itself is primarily used for Google+, YouTube and Google Drive outside of Gmail. Not necessarily in that order, though…

Basically I’d like a service that is not that personalized if all I see are stupid ads and an OS that follows my every move, predicts everything etc. If I have to “do everything myself”, than I’d guess I’d be happy with that because it will only take me like 3 seconds longer to find the app I’d like to use on my phone next and I can completely decide myself on who to call etc. I basically do that already and it works fine. What I dislike is what I’ve mentioned before, being haunted from searches and watch history and seeing uninteresting shit I can’t/won’t buy or do. It’s that simple, or something. I’d also feel freaked out if every time I take a walk by myself I get suggestions (or notifications in the future, who knows if that will even be a thing?!) to call my family, because that is when I mainly do call them. I do that because it’s boring to just walk by yourself. I want company while I’m walking outside. I also want to decide myself who and when to call somebody, ok?!

Regarding the OnePlus 6…😥

I won’t be buying it after all. This I say after I’ve watched the launch and seen the amazing specs and price. I say this for two reasons. Number one is that I probably won’t afford it and it’s useless as of now to spend money on a phone I don’t really need. The other reason is because it will have Android P. Starting with the beta and then the full version when it’s released. I really do not want Android P. Actually I do not want Android any more, but I’m stuck with it because I can’t afford to do anything about it. On the plus side, my old and current phone does make me feel a little bit safer regarding these terrible AI and machine learning changes that are becoming a bigger part of Android with every new version.

With an older phone I do not and will not have all these new creepy features that new phones will have, but Android in general right now makes me feel sick. Still, that doesn’t make my Android experience reliable or exciting. Or anything. I just have a smartphone that works somewhat as it is needed to. I mean, it is a laggy phone, the camera is crap (yeah, I admit to that now) and some other shit I can’t remember now. The only thing I like is the battery life. That alone makes my phone worth having as of now.

But I also feel like if my next phone will have a smaller/shorter battery life, I’d learn to live and deal with that as well, so that doesn’t matter in itself. I’d rather have a phone that is fast, does not lag, has all the apps I need, with better reception for phone calls and maybe even type-c and/or wireless charging. And of course one hell of a camera so I can start taking photos with pride again. I could probably get all that with the OnePlus 6, but then I’d only get more and more AI crap and that I do not want. That is not OnePlus fault, I blame Google for that. They are the ones who pushes the AI crap even further than they need to. And that makes me so sad…

To simply put it short. I feel trapped. No other email service can currently match Gmail. If they can, it means you have to pay for them. That in itself I don’t really mind. However, I might get terminated from my job any day now because lack of things to do. If that happens I’d probably get a lot poorer and then it would be stupid to start paying for stuff if I can’t afford. Even if I’ll get accepted to a college in the fall, I’ll get less money than I have today, but at least then I’d be able to use all the student discounts. If that happen it means that like $10 will be a lot of money for me yet again. That’s fine however while I’m a student, but if I’m unemployed for a longer period of time it will be a bit worse. At least if I get less money than I have today. It’s a good thing I have a BF with a high paying job! 😉 The money issues are really just in my head for now. And I feel like Scrooge McDuck regarding my money no matter what!

The last talk about iPhone. For a while at least…

After Google I/O, me and the BF are totally creeped out regarding Google and we want to leave it or something like that. I wrote in my last post that my BF does not want to “sponsor” any other phone maker out there. But he’s actually said that he’d have to switch to iPhone if worse comes to worse. This is because there is no other OS out there that is better than all of them. It will hurt both the wallet and the mind, since he really dislikes Apple as a company and their “narrow minded” software, but it’s worth it to be sure that our privacy remains safe. I do not know when or even if this will happen.

Since Google I/O, his Blackberry has started to work a lot weirder than before and because of that I do not know what he’d wanna do about it. He does however believe that it’s not the Blackberry’s fault – it’s android itself with all the AI crap that Google recently has turned on for all Android users. We both feel that we do not want to spend money on new phones when the ones we have sort of work already. Even though they stutter and lag and act crazy as fudge sometimes because of some software issue. I myself have not noticed anything special since Google I/O with my phone, but that could be because I do not use my phone like my BF does. Also since I’ve turned off as many things as possible within my Google account, that may also be an explanation as to why I have not noticed anything special yet. The only strange thing I’ve seen is that all of a sudden the Google Assistant was in the app drawer, which it has not been before. At least not right where it was, but it disappeared as soon as it got there basically and I have not seen it since.

Also, I have to mention the obvious here. If I can’t afford a OnePlus 6, why will I afford a “doubled priced” iPhone, if I’d ever decide to get one? Well, that’s because if I get an iPhone I know it will most likely be worth the money. If I buy one, it will be a phone that has to last me at least 2 years, preferably even longer than that. From what I’ve come to learn, an iOS device easily lasts that long. A OP6 will probably be a better buy in general, but because of the huge privacy issues with Google that are only getting worse – I do not want to spend my money on that. I also do not really feel like another OS is of interest either. There’s Lineage OS, that sucks and barely works from what I’ve heard and there’s also Eelo or something like that as well. Both are of no interest to me. Both are also in a sort of startup mode.  Then I’d rather be stuck and trapped within Android to be honest, or spend my money on something that will last and keep me safe for years while I enjoy being online as usual. Maybe other OS’s will be of interest in like 5 years or so, when Google already will control the world and know everything about everybody? Not to mention how they’ll predict everybody’s daily actions and activities…

The conclusion is that whatever my BF decides to go, so will I. If he buys an iPhone, I’ll do it too and not before then. If he stays with Android – so will I. If he stays with Gmail and Google itself – so will I etc. I’ll do this because I feel safest that way. My BF is usually right about things and since I don’t want to think about this any more than I should, I will go back, or at least do everything I can to not think about this and when he makes up his mind about what he wants to do, I’ll stand right there with him. Why?

Because it’s most likely the best solution for me right now. That’s why.

Oh, god this was a long post…😅

Google I/O 2018 made me creeped out as hell! 😱

 

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I wrote this post mainly because of my feeling regarding Google I/O 2018, but also as a very long answer for a friend of mine, Aengeln. Check him out and wait for his response to this post!

Google I/O for 2018 was yesterday. It was, even this year, boring as hell. Last year I missed it, but I watched it a little bit afterwards and I saw the videos from The Verge etc that talked about the new stuff. Even then I was not amazed. The I/O of 2016 was the year of the gazillion messaging apps that Google released and ever since then I’ve slowly stopped liking Google. I’m still a fan, but it has really started to dwindle since then. Now it is all about AI and Machine Learning(ML), and that’s boring. I’d rather see a bug free range of Google Products and bring back Google Reader or something?! If you’ve read my last posts, follow this blog etc. You already know how and where I stand regarding all about this and I know I’ve talked way to much about Apple and their expensive stuff, so I shall try to not mention them in this post excessively. Ok, so here we go.

Auto completing e-mails in Gmail?!

The first issue with yesterday’s Google I/O was the self writing email stuff within Gmail that’s apparently a new feature. Immediately I felt like that was not something I’m interested in. I hope you can opt out from it. My BF even said that if Google is gonna dig into your mail even further it might be time to look for another mail service. We both love Gmail, but I agree. That did not feel good. I’ve actually created an account with ProtonMail, the service seen in the TV show, Mr Robot. I don’t know if it’s any good, but perhaps I’ll look into another service that might offer more, but I don’t know.

The Google Assistant makes creepy calls in the background?!

The other thing that made me wanna get out of my own skin was the news with the Google Assistant (GA). Now, at first I do like the Google Assistant but I basically never use it. I used it a lot in the beginning to make calls etc, but these days I might use it 5 times a year or something like that. I’ve even turned off the assistant from time to time, so it’s not really something I care about. When they announced that the GA could make calls for you in a very realistic way I got so creeped out that I did not know what to do with myself. I said “I call bullshit” and then I ran to the toilet. I had to pee, so that’s why.

#truestory.

If this is purely done by a “robot”, it’s way to creepy for me to even begin using. It has to be normal people who are calling, but even if that was true – imagine the costs for that service?! Way too expensive… To sum it up. Me Do Not Like. I welcome the more natural voices though, and the additional voices as well, but who the fudge is John Legend? It seemed that the audience didn’t know either.

Android is ruined…

First, I gotta say that there were one or two things I liked when they talked about Android. The things I can remember was the landscape lock thing and the other one is that the Android P beta is available to more phones from the start. Instead of the phone automatically switching to landscape if I put my phone that way (when not watching a video), it could really be useful to push a button instead, because my phone has a huge problem with always switching to landscape if I manage to have my phone turned on its side for like half a second to long. I hate that. It happens probably once a day, and I do not want to lock it to portrait mode, because then all of my photos and videos would be locked in portrait. I have a lousy memory and I’ve forgotten to switch back to unlocked mode. And I hate vertical videos!!!😣

Besides those little things, I felt that Android is really getting ruined. Beside all of the AI and machine learning shit I do not care for, I got a bit “pissed” as well with the new gesture modes. It’s just like the iPhone X FFS! Basically all of this year’s android phones also have notches and I hate it. I am neutral regarding the notch in general, but I hate that every phone with Android is now copying the iPhone X. I understand why phones go in that direction, but I’d like to see more cheap Android phones to blatantly copy the iPhone X instead of all the bigger players as well. Why? Because that makes more sense. There are other ways to make smaller bezels. Just look at the Samsung Galaxy s9 or the OnePlus 5T. The OnePlus 6 will have a notch and if I can afford it, I’ve said I’ll buy it. However, personally a lot have changed lately so I’m probably stuck with my Lenovo P2 for another year or so. More about that in another post. Generally I did not like the Android update and that makes me sad. But it makes me happier that I have an older, crap-cheap phone instead of a brand new one at the moment.

Google Maps becomes more useful, and ML is useful when you talk about self-driving cars.

The stuff about Google Maps was fine. It will now start using your camera for directions and show you the right way. I think that could be a good thing, so I have nothing more to say about that. When Waymo talked about their self-driving cars I got somewhat happy, because that’s when ML is really useful. I don’t have anything else really to say about that either. It’s good.

Conversations about Google being boring and how it’s a “good thing” to be spied upon by huge corporations.

During the whole Keynote, me and the BF had our conversations about how Google is not innovating any longer. I’t just focus on AI, Machine Learning etc. instead of something different and purely new. My BF said at one time that he would be really happy if Google “did an Apple”. Like all of a sudden they presented a real “EyePhone” or something. VR lenses that could fit in your eye with 4k resolution for each eye etc. Something absolutely amazing! Like they did when they showed Google Glass back in the day… My BF also said that he really wished that there were a 4th company or something that had phones with a different OS to offer. He does not want to “sponsor” Google (with Android in mind), iOS or the Windows phone, because “they’re all the same”. Like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. I told him that might not be true. With what I’ve learned about Apple during the past 6 months or so, I know they care about Privacy a whole lot more than all the other companies out there, like Google and Microsoft. Or even Facebook for that matter, but they do not make phones or provide Operating Systems. He hates Apple as a company, and he really dislikes iOS, but he knows what I also used to know regarding the stupidness of iOS and I have investigated further and found that iOS is not that bad. Sure, it’s limited, but at what cost? A reliable smartphone experience that typically lasts you for years. Like I mentioned before, iPhone users tend to have their phone last for like 4 years and that is so amazing! Android users? They usually switch phone every year or so. Not to mention the gazillion accessories you can have to express yourself! He uses a Macbook Pro for work, and it works fine. Some things he loves, other he hates. He says that the only reason why he uses it is because Unity is available on both Windows and MacOS, but he also says the laptop is really not worth the price. He prefers Windows clearly over MacOS, and I don’t blame him. I guess I do to, but I do not remember what it’s like to work with MacOS so I really can’t say.

Other articles I’ve read since yesterday (and regarding Apple products) say that if you care about privacy there is only one option. Get an iPhone. Get a Mac for a computer. I found on their website a lot of examples on how they can use ML and AI and still keep the privacy secure for the users of the platform, and I think that’s great. I mean, I have nothing against AI or ML, really, but I don’t like the fact that everything I choose to do will be saved somewhere in the cloud or sold to some ad company. The only thing I want in the cloud are my personal files such as photos and documents. I do not like that my email will be read and completed for me and that everything I’ve watched or researched will “forever haunt me” in my social media when it’s not really relevant. Apple say that they can make a personal experience great without spying on you or sell your information to ad companies. All the information about Face ID is stored locally on the device, and many other ML stuff is also only on the device. Everything as well on your devices are encrypted and I see that as a big difference. Apple does not read my emails and they can’t say that I’m the one who searched for dolphins (as an example) yesterday at 3:04PM in my home in Malmö. Both Google and Facebook can do that, unless I turn a lot of features off and use another anonymous browser. Apple does not spy on you by default. Instead they sell you “great and expensive” hardware. The only thing I do not mind sharing with Google and Facebook is my location and basic contact details. The latter is if they only use it to contact me like send an email if something new has happened with my account that I need to check or to sen 2 step verifications to my phone via SMS. I’d be angry if sales people call me up because they got my number from Google… I guess basically that everything else I’d like to be kept locally or not at all. At least not shared and sold off to ad companies. I also love the fact that I can see in real-time in Google Maps where my BF is, and that he can see me. That way I don’t have to ask him all the time where he is, and that’s a great thing.

Also, to point out – once again about me writing about Apple and their products. This is not a praise to Apple being perfect or some crap like that. I write what I know, what I’ve learned and how I interpret these corporations that everybody basically is involved with these days on a daily basis. I do not hate Google, I do not hate Apple nor have I become an Apple sheep/fanboy etc. I just call it like I see it. And I do not like where Google is going with their AI business.

Not one bit.

 

Some thoughts about Facebook, Google and privacy. And Apple?

Since the Facebook scandal regarding Cambridge Analytica came out, I’ve started more and more to think about stuff that bugs me. It has to do with ads and feeling targeted. The crazy thing about this is that this used to NOT be a problem at all – for years. But now it has started to grow on me, and I’d like to know why.

The Facebook scandal was really not a shock for me. I’ve known this for years, and like so many others have said, I sort of known when I signed up for an account with FB that I’d be targeted and followed across the web. That used to be fine and dandy. Why? Because I did not feel targeted. For years and years I haven’t seen a single ad on Facebook. All these ads people keep talking about? What the F is that? I’ve never seen it. And then they came. I do not really remember when it happened, but probably somewhere during 2017, the ads started popping up. It also probably started with Google as well, but I’ll try and keep this separated. If I can that is.

I have been a daily, and active Google and social media user since it was created. Or something like that. I created my first Google account in 2009, and my first FB account probably during 2008 when it started to become popular in Sweden. I’ve had (and still do with basically all of them) Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many other social media profiles and it is a daily routine to check Facebook whenever possible, watch a bunch of YouTube videos, make a blog post and look at images on several platforms. However, I tend to use Twitter and Instagram very rarely these days. Basically every day, I do at least one Google search for various things that are on my mind and everything has been pretty good. For years. What I feel about all of this right now is a bit mixed, but I’m guessing that not much will change.

I’m a huge Google fan as well. I know a lot about their products and I teach many on how to use them. I also trust Google’s products a lot. I don’t really think they’re spying on me while I write on a Google docs document… Regarding the other end of the Spectrum, Apple that is, I’ve basically forgotten all my knowledge about them. Until recently when I started to become obsessed with having reliable technical devices in my possession in stead of crappy and unreliable ones. All I knew until then was that Apple sucks. IOS is crappy and unusable and their products are way to expensive for anybody who are not willing to sell their soul for an iMac. Besides having a 3GS for like 4 months up to a year or something in 2009 and using an Apple computer in high school – that’s all I knew about Apple. The only “positive” thing I can remember about Apple is that I desperately wanted an iMac when it was first released, because they looked so cool! Back then I didn’t even realize that there were different kind of operating systems either. To me, Windows and MacOS was exactly the same. Since learning more about them and their products, my views on technology have vastly changed. It has really opened my eyes and I think that’s an important change. But I’m too poor to do anything about it, I guess. Or maybe unwilling. I don’t know, really. Haven’t decided. All I know is that I can’t talk crap about Apple that much anymore… No matter what they did to Linus Tech Tips. I just can’t do it. Watch the channel Tailosive Tech if you’d like to know a whole lot more on why I can’t laugh at so called Apple sheep anymore. It’s a great channel, even if you hate Apple. He’s taught me a lot.

The thing is that Apple as a company have a huge privacy policy standard. You are not their product. That is why they do not care about spying on you, target you with ads, and why they make products that potentially lasts for years without hiccups. With Google and Facebook – you are the product and therefore they keep track on you to try and sell you more garbage (or change the way you feel about stuff) without you knowing it until it’s probably to late. Apple has made it clear that  you can feel safe while browsing the web using their products. You will not be followed in the same way that Google/Android and Windows users are. They’ve even gone to a greater strength to try and prevent Facebook ads on the web and them spying on your Google searches so you’ll se less ads etc. I think that’s pretty cool, but I do not know if that is true. More information in the video below:

This post, however is not about me getting an iPhone again. It has more to do with priorities I guess. I still plan on buying a OnePlus 6 if I believe I can afford it when it gets released in a few weeks, but I really have to rant about the thoughts I’ve started to have regarding privacy and those goddamn ads that I see everywhere these days. I also still hope that whenever I get a OP6, I’ll drop the “wanting an iPhone” crap i’ve dealt with for so long… It’s annoying, especially when there’s no real need to make the switch. More about that later.

Just like in the video above, I have searched for stuff I’d like to buy or know more about. Then, hours later I see ads for those products in my Facebook feed. The weird thing is that it especially keeps happening  AFTER I’ve bought something. Why would I be interested in buying the exact same thing again after I just bought one? Whatever that product may be? Then the ad is useless. It might be more useful if it’s another model, taste, color or whatever else, but it’s been shown to me in another few weeks or months when it’s due time to buy another one of those products again? I mean, I might be interested in buying a new bottle of shampoo in another month, but not a new car or whatever else that’s expensive.

Also my Youtube feed has been garbage lately. I mainly use and watch YouTube via the Playstation 4 app or the app for Android TV. I sometimes watch videos on my phone or on my computer, but I mainly use the TV versions of the YouTube app. In those apps there are several categories to choose from. I mainly watch videos from the recommended, technology, food and entertainment categories. It usually works fine, but for the past months or so I’m basically shown videos I do not like to watch. Also if I watch one single video about technology, or mainly about smartphones, then 90% of my feed is about iPhones or Apple products. Even if the video I just watched had nothing to do with iPhones or Apple in general. It’s like automatically and magically Apple for some strange reason… Instead of videos about Great Danes or veganism that I’d really like to watch!

Now, I do admit that i still watch videos about various Apple products on YouTube sometimes, because I like it. I like watching videos about smartphones, and I’d like to know more about why every programmer uses a mac instead of windows computer and how users feel about iOS vs Android. I do that because I’d like know the likelihood of me being somewhat “forced” to buy a Macbook when I go back to college sometime in the future. I think that is fun, because I also like to hear people’s opinions about stuff. Even if that includes iPhones, and I currently do not plan on buying one. I’m really fricking curious though, so if I get the chance, I might still make the switch and try it out once more. But we’ll see what happens. I’ll try out a One Plus device first, and then we’ll see. Unless someone buys me an iPhone 8 plus/X that is. Then I’d gladly take it! I’m not willing to buy one myself in any shape or form (like on contract) and the iPhone SE is to small for my liking. If the iPhone SE would be all screen like the X and have all the features of the X, then sure but as of now? No, not unless I’d get it as a gift. Then I’d be happier. Because then I did not have to pay for it.

I still however feel somewhat ashamed of me “liking” to watch videos about various Apple products, because I know I can’t/don’t/want/have to buy their stuff. My Lenovo P2 works fine. So does my desktop computer. And the windows laptop. But oh, if I could, I’d really like to try it out… I am still hoping that my future employer will let me use both Apple and Windows products whenever I’m an educated programmer of some sorts. I even hope that the school I’ll go to will make me try it out, just for fun, but also for reals. I mean, what’s the harm, besides how much it will hurt my tiny wallet?

Ok, enough about Apple and potentially getting their products. I have other feelings regarding Apple products and that is just the privacy concerns I’ve started to have as an active Facebook and Google user. I’m so sick of those ads! I do not wish to see videos that I’ve disliked or removed from my YouTube watch history. I do not want to see ads about a career I’m not yet able to achieve until after I’ve finished a degree in computer science. I’m betting you don’t know what I’m referring to there, so let me tell you.

About a year ago I made up my mind to go back to school and become a developer of some sorts. Ever since then I have googled sometimes for the salary etc. of people working as developers. That’s because I’d like to know as much as possible of what it’s like to work and live as a developer. What it’s like to know and breathe code and the benefits from that. Being able to use and work on both a Mac and a Windows computer is awesome in my book, and if I might have to do that in the future, why is there harm to know more about it now? Better to know all the platforms than only one of them, right? Better to know both Swift, C#, C++, Javascript, Java and PHP, Google and all the CMS platforms than nothing, right?

Anyway, since then I’ve also continuously seen ads on Facebook of recruiting firms for developing jobs. Before I realized that they were ads, I clicked on them to learn more, but now I just find all of it so annoying. That’s because I am not a developer of any sorts today and totally unable to look for that kind of work. So stop showing me ads for my dream job, please…

It’s almost to the point that I again feel like I should stop using Google, delete my Facebook account but I know why I won’t do it. Without it, life would be horrible and so boring that I’d most likely kill myself or something. I need Facebook and Google in my life, and I just hope that there are solutions to these feelings and experiences I have regarding me feeling so followed whilst online.

Well. I guess that’s it. If you have anything to say about it, leave a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts about this.

My wishlist for my next phone (OnePlus6)

Yeah, I’ve talked a lot about phones lately, but I have a very short wish list regarding my next phone, that’ll probably be the OnePlus 6, and not 5T, since I’ve decided to keep the Lenovo P2 for a bit longer. It’s a decision I feel somewhat comfortable with, since the Lenovo P2 is slowly growing on me.

Another macro shot of some sushi. Taken with a Lenovo P2. The images keep getting better!

Specs & shit…

Like I said in an earlier post, I’d like to have smooth and reliable phone that I don’t want to upgrade soon after I’ve gotten it. It has to last me like 2 years or so before I feel I want another phone. It’s pretty much always been like that for me before and I like to continue that trend. Of course it has to be as close to (if not actually) stock android as possible. The only choices I have there are the Pixel phones (which do not sell officially in Sweden, and probably never will do), maybe the Essential phone or the OnePlus phones. From what I’ve learned, I would really like to try out the OP family and hope it will be to my satisfaction. OP phones are not expensive either, so that’s good. In Swedish money, the current OP5T is like at just the right price point I think. It’s about a $100 more expensive in Europe than in the U.S, but for me it really is an ok price for the specs you get.

I really do not care that much about chipsets, RAM or storage, but it would be nice to try OP’s gigantic 6 or 8 GB RAM models, just to see if it makes a difference in the android experience. Some have said that more RAM helps with typing, and apps not reloading if you leave it. Like if you click on an article you’d like to read in your Facebook feed, and when you return to Facebook, you’ll have to start at the beginning again, because FB has very much conveniently forgotten where it was that you left. I hate that! One huge minus on the Lenovo is that it keeps happening over and over again, so reading articles on FB is something I take huge risks on every time I’d like to read something that has been linked to a blog or website.

The only two things I’d like.

Let’s play and say that the OP5T is the perfect phone. Or at least almost the perfect phone. At least we have something to start with here… Without having to tried it, held it or played around with it, the only thing I’d like to add to the OP5T’s features are OIS (with EIS also) and stereo front speakers. At least that is what I’d like to have right now. Huge bonuses would also be if the phone would come in more really colorful colors. The Lava Red version will soon be released in China. That gave me an idea that I’d like the OP phones to come (even if it’s limited edition versions) in a lot more colors – or if it was a lot easier to find colorful cases for the phones. I’m talking Hot Pink, Midnight Blue, Really Green, Purple Poison etc. Not my choice of names. They’re just to give you an idea on what type of colors I’d like the OP line of future phones to have. I’d love to have a truly pink phone, or a really pink/Magenta case, but if I’d have a Samsung or an iPhone – that problem would be solved ages ago. Unfortunately, OP or the Lenovo are not that big, so finding the perfect cases for those phones is pretty hard. I’d also would love to be able to print my own case. There are a lot of places that offer that service, but only to Samsung or Apple products, and that also sucks.

The camera question

Lots of people say that the only thing letting the OP family of phones down is the camera. I don’t know what I think about that. I’ve probably seen every available video about the 5T these past few weeks, and I’ve seen my share of photos and videos. Sometimes the photos look bland, terrible, blurry and oily. Other times they look absolutely stunning! Same for the video. Then I saw this video (seen below) of the OnePlus 5 (not the 5T!) and my mind was blown. It probably has a perfect camera, at least for me. When I take photos I basically take macro shots of my food or selfies. When I record video, at least videos that are meant to be shared, I use a tripod or something like that. In the future, when I actually have a Great Dane, I might buy a Gimble or something to go along with it. I basically never take photos in HDR mode. Some people in the OP forums have mentioned that if you turn of HDR, the photos will improve a whole lot and that’s good news. I really do hope that in time I’ll buy my next phone, whether it will be the OP6 or perhaps even OP6T (if I really can last that long), that the camera will be absolutely amazing. If the camera is basically anything like the video below, it is really good enough for me.

Conclusion.

Well, only time will tell when I’ll get my next phone and hopefully it will be sometime next year. I like the Lenovo P2. It’s a good phone. The battery is the nicest feature about it. The performance is ok, but I do not hate the phone. I would never go back to the Blackberry, unless the Lenovo really breaks really bad in the future long before I can get a OP phone.

Let’s just say that 2017 has been a really strange year… Smartphones included.

A Lenovo P2 to the rescue?

Yes. And I’m staying with Android. Confused? You probably should be, but that’s just me.

The same day as I wrote my last post, I got to borrow my boyfriend’s phone that he bought in spring of 2017. It’s a Lenovo P2, and he bought it only because of the battery life. It was only supposed to be a phone he was gonna use temporarily until he himself got a Blackberry Keyone. He liked the phone and it lasted for like 3 days with normal to heavy usage. Plus it’s an Android phone and that is also important.

Now I’m using it and how do I like it? Well. I like it a whole lot better than the Blackberry. That’s for sure. There are,  however some things I do not like. It stutters and lags a lot and it also has a lot of bloatware and apps I do not care for. Thankfully you can easily disable most of them, and so I have.  I prefer a clean android experience, and the Lenovo is like only half way there. The camera is ok as well. A real downgrade from the BB phone or any of my previous Nexus devices, but it works.

Closeup macro of some veggie sushi. Ok, image quality but not as much bokeh as I’m normally used to.

It also did not remember where all my apps were when I was setting it up, so, even though I got the Google Now Launcher, I had to reinstall all my apps the way I remember them. Hopefully, when I buy another phone later (android of course), I hope it will remember all my apps and layout from the Google Now Launcher. It’s not a biggie, but I’d sure appreciate it.

So my next phone will be a…?

Instead of keeping on watching a bunch of YouTube videos about Apple products, I’ve changed my focus to Android instead. It only took me hours to let go of the feelings of me wanting an Apple product and an iPhone after I got the Lenovo P2, and that felt wonderful. However, I like technology and my YouTube feed is pretty much dead, so then I started thinking about what my next Android phone could be. I kept thinking the same thoughts as before:

  • I want a smooth and fast, reliable phone that potentially could last at least 2 years without any hiccups.
  • Preferably as pure to stock android as possible without buying an old phone, like the Pixel 1 XL, that actually just came to Sweden – 1 year later after its release!
  • I don’t want to pay to much for the phone. My limit is at $780 at the moment, but since I “just got” the BB phone 6 months ago, and now a P2, I’d prefer if I get a new phone “soon” that it would cost a lot less than that. Preferably below $600 and still be a great phone.
  • I want great a great camera, and preferably with portrait mode features. Autofocus while filming videos would also be great.

So, how can I manage this? Well. I will probably get a OnePlus 5T. Or perhaps the OnePlus 6, if I wait longer.

The OnePlus hype I failed to notice…

It’s pretty amazing that, even though I really have heard a lot about this brand of smartphone manufacturer, I still did not know how this phone would basically solve everything. I would get the best of both worlds – if what people say are true. The OnePlus has really gotten great reviews, all of them, really and even though they are not perfect – I feel like this is what I’ve been searching for since the Nexus line ended and Pixel came alive.

I surely do miss the pure Android experience and I love the customization of it. Yes. I know I said that iOS is also more customizable than you might think and that’s true, but Android wins the race by far in that department. With android it is also so much easier to change the push notifications alerts. I do not need iTunes to do that. Yes. Android is not perfect either, but I love it more than I do iOS. That is true. And I would also not be sad or upset if I got to work or use iOS or other Apple products in the future, but for now, I’ll happily stay with Android.

The typing experience.

The big deal with having a Blackberry Keyone is the typing. Even though my fingers had trouble with that, due to my Fibromyalgia, it still perhaps was a better experience all together. But far from perfect. I’ve actually noticed that typing on a touch screen is really not that bad. Gboard has also learned a lot from only the 6 months or so I’ve been away from it. I have noticed several changes in Gboard that makes typing a breeze, and that’s awesome. The biggest change is that some words that are usually always together, even if they are spelled wrong, Gboard changes them afterwords into the correct sentence. That is great! I have also tried to type without the vibrations and it seems to generally work better.

Yesterday, I was riding the bus for a very long while and a friend of mine wrote to me. At first I felt a little bit of anxiety. Like, OMG, how am I supposed to type and chat with this person? All of the misspelled words etc. It will be a complete horror I thought. And then I started to type and we chatted for like at least 20 minutes. In that time, I’m guessing only a handful of words ended up misspelled. All the others were corrected by Gboard. It was amazing. Also, I’ve heard people saying that have been reviewing the OnePlus 5, that typing on that phone is even better. Something to do with more RAM? I have no idea. It is simply just better. Well, as long as I can use Gboard – I’m fine.

The money issue and the future of being a poor student…

Like I said in my last post, I cannot afford a new phone. I basically can’t afford a new OnePlus, even if it is a lot cheaper than most great smartphones out there. However, I could wish for one for Christmas, wait a little and buy one in a few months, or wait even a bit longer and buy one in spring or when the OnePlus 6 comes out in June or so in 2018. I do not know how my financial situation will be next year, or even the upcoming years. I just hope that it will not be as terrible as I once thought. It could be, but not necessarily. Also, basically all my saved up money will go to the apartment for new appliances and such, but that does not mean I can’t afford a new phone later on. With the OnePlus regime of things, or something like that – I am definitely a lot more confident that all will work itself out soon enough. The Lenovo P2 works fine as of now, but I’d like a more pure Android experience and less stutter and lag if I could. Until I know what will happen with my next phone, I can gladly keep this one and be satisfied. It’s not that bad of a phone and I actually do recommend you buy it – if you can find it and you want a phone with a better battery life.

The big battery question…

Battery life for me in general does not matter that much. I generally get somewhere between 2½ – 4 hours of screen time with my usage, and I usually never end up with less than 70% battery – no matter what phone I’ve used. Unless I’ve been traveling a lot and I’ve used my phone pretty much all the time during the train ride. During travels I easily get below 50%, and that is when I start to panic. My usage basically consists of a lot of scrolling through social media accounts, a little bit of gaming and sometimes I take some photos or record a video. I usually rarely get phone calls, but I call my family about once a week and talk for maybe 20-30 minutes or so.

So, basically I could get 2-3 days worth of battery life with any smartphone I think, and I really do not have any problems with carrying a charger with me when I go travel, since all trains in Sweden now have a lot of charging ports (or whatever they are called). Usually one for every 2-4 seats, depending on the train type.

I guess this smartphone rant is over, and I personally feel a lot happier now and I’m looking forward to my next android phone, and I hope that experience will make everything even more amazing.

If you have a OnePlus, please leave a comment below and share your experience with me. Thanks!

The Blackberry KeyOne makes me want an iPhone. Seriously.

This is a post about Android vs. iOS. And how much I have come to realize that I may want to try the dark side once more. First a bit of history.

iPhone 3GS and following nightmares of smartphones…

Back in 2009, me and the BF ordered ourselves an iPhone 3GS. It was our first real smartphone. My boyfriend, Henrik got it first. I had to wait for another couple of months until I could afford it. Until I got mine, I played around a lot with his and I think I liked it. I mainly used it to record videos and I started my first YouTube channel. At least until I got my own. Then I got bored so fast I don’t even remember what hit me. I remember the typing experience most, and how ridiculous it was that it was impossible to create custom ringtones for calls and texts. So we jailbreaked them. To type on the phone was the worst. Basically every word was misspelled. It was a huge nightmare. Back then, Android was simply the best operating system for smartphones. Maybe it still is? And Android phones also had physical keyboards. Just a couple of months later, after I got my iPhone 3GS, we bought the Milestone 2, I think it was called. That one sucked balls! I could type. Yes. That worked wonders, but the camera was crap (as pretty much all smartphone cameras was back then), but it really was not a good camera. Henrik’s Milestone worked ok. My was in the shop more than I had it in my hands. It was really awful.

I don’t remember as of now what phone we got next, but we sometime later got the HTC Desire Z. That one was absolutely amazing! It also lasted a pretty long time for a phone. After that, we bought into the Google Nexus line, and we started with the Nexus 4. That was even more amazing! Things had really changed with that phone, and typing on a non-physical keyboard was great. Of course words were misspelled, but it was not as horrible as the iPhone 3GS. I think we kept that phone for over 2 years. When Nexus 6 came out and it turned out to be a phablet, be bought the previous years model, the Nexus 5. I first thought I’d regret that, since it was an older phone, but it turned out to be an even better phone than the Nexus 4. I was amazed at everything. That phone worked for almost 2 years as well I think and then we bought the Nexus 6P. Yeah. We actually bought a phablet. But it worked.

The end of a beatiful Nexus era…

My 6P worked so beautifully, that I had planned to keep it for as long as possible. It was a bit of a challenge, getting such a huge phone to fit comfortably in pockets and in the hands, but for the most part it worked. During this time, I gained some more weight and for a time during spring of 2017 I had huge troubles finding pants to wear which resulted in destroyed pockets and me buying pants at least once a month, because my huge phone was simply to big for those pockets and badly sewn pants from H&M. At that time, those were the only type of pants I could wear, since my butt was to big for men’s pants, but finally I could fit into a pair and the pant problems have been gone ever since. I’ve even lost weight since then and I’m down a size in pants as well.

Also during that time, the rumors of the Blackberry Keyone started to emerge, and my BF was really keen on getting a phone again with a physical keyboard. I was not that interested, for good reasons, but then something happened with my 6P. All of a sudden it started to act weird and typing was a mess. Maybe this was something unconscious that I did, knowing that I might be able to type on a physical keyboard again, but none the less – my 6P started showing off many other types of problems as well. The battery life on that phone was ok. Not great and amazing. Especially not while traveling, but luckily Androids often have fast charging and I got pretty used to carrying my charger with me if I was gonna travel by train for a day.

During the fall of 2016, the Nexus era had officially ended and Google came up with their own kind of iPhone. The Google Pixel. At first I was sort of excited, but when I started to realize that this phone was NOT gonna be released globally (I live in Sweden), I was horrified and that set of something I probably still have not settled with, or something. Can’t really find the correct words for my feelings here. I hated the fact that it was not gonna be released globally and also that the price had risen from pretty cheap to “holy-crap-that’s-expensive!” price. iPhones are expensive, but now Android phones are that expensive too? What’s happening with the world?! That year, Google also became boring when they spent all of I/O with releasing a gaziliion messaging apps, when they could just upgrade Hangouts and make sure more people would use that platform more. I am still disappointed with Google for all their crap they keep doing. If Gmail wasn’t so amazing and I did not have a YouTube channel, I’d probably delete my Google accounts, because I’m getting so bored with Google these days. Ok, I admit – Google Drive and Google Photos are still amazing, but you get the point. I am not that huge of a Google fan that I used to be. And that is so sad. And boring. And no, I will never delete my Google accounts, because that would be stupid.

The physical keyboard experience was not what I expected.

In may I got the Blackberry Keyone as a birthday gift from my BF. At first I loved it, but it was a bit of a hassle of typing on it. Due to my fibromyalgia, my fingers really don’t like to type on hard surfaces. The keys on the Keyone are pretty soft, but my fingers hate it. I haven’t had this much issues with my fingers since I started using the Keyone. During the summer it also started having several bugs with push notifications and other problems emerged as well. I don’t remember all of them, but let’s say that this reminds me a lot of when I had the Milestone 2. This phone I do not like and I now regret deeply of getting one. I’d rather have kept my 6P. I still have it, but due to the battery life being better on the BB, I’ve chosen to keep it anyways. For now. The only thing that I genuinely like with the BB is the camera. It has the same camera as the Google Pixel, and it shows. The image quality is amazing! Just look at the sushi photo below

Closeup of sushi. I love the blurry effect with the Blackberry Keyone. And that’s basically all I like with this phone.

Every fall I temporarily turn into a somewhat of an iSheep…

When Apple releases a new iPhone, at least ever since they finally changed the look of the phone with the iPhone 6 lineup with bigger screens – I get so curious about iPhone that I basically decide to switch over again. But, a few weeks later I get the latest Nexus phone and problem is solved and last year, my 6P was still so amazing that Apple really couldn’t sway me that much over to the dark side. Except for the 7 plus and portrait mode! But I got over it. The 6P rocked! And kicked ass!

This year, everything is different. This year I might actually switch over to the dark side. And perhaps stay there.

This is due to several reasons. This year has officially been the year of emotions or something like that. I have moved two times in less than 8 months. I have said goodbye to several of my “friends” and I’ve been generally alone a lot of the time this year as well. I almost hit the wall, working my ass off with crappy crap stuff at work and I was really close to getting burned out. I have decided to be a programmer and I have spent pretty much every waking hour (when I do not think of Great Danes, Apple products or like when I’m doing the dishes) looking for educations and how I best can be a developer of some sorts in the future. All this with a stupid Blackberry phone that does not work properly. Not to mention the really frickin’ awful reception we have in our new apartment! It is truly horrifying!!! We can only use it for calls if we’re on the balcony. Fucking crap! Switching over to the dark side might not help with reception, but our building is lots of concrete and metal, and the phone is basically just all metal. The iPhone has a glass back that will probably help a lot with reception is my guess.

I have spent a lot of time recently looking for information on Apple products. I also have an old iPad Mini 2 that I’ve been playing around with, to explore iOS more and I’ve found that I actually can live with the “limitations” of that OS. The iPhone 8 plus (or X if I could afford it) has really caught my eye, and if I could get one – I definitely would. Problem is even though I technically can afford it (I have the money to buy it), I also made the decision that every bit of money I can spend – will go to our new apartment. Getting new appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dish washer, stove and freezer a fridge. Also we are planning on changing the floors and perhaps to a little bit of painting as well. All my money will go to that, and that’s fine and dandy. Really! Also I will lose maybe half of my current income for the upcoming years due to me going back to school. This is if worse comes to worse. It might not be that bad. Therefor I can’t afford an iPhone as of now. Not unless a miracle happens and get a lot of money from nowhere or my BF says it’s okay to spend my money on a new phone (even though he hates iOS!).  And I refuse buying one with a payment plan of some sorts either way, just so you know.

iOS is really not that bad. At least not on an iPad…

I have discovered that iOS is really more customizable than one might think.  For starters – just think of all the cases you can have!!! You can have custom ringtones for calls, texts (iMessage), mail, reminders, calendars and a few more. You can have a custom background for your homescreen. You can put apps in folders and place them in the dock if you want, and clear up your homescreen if you want. You can have like one app on your homescreen and 25 or something on the 2nd screen and so forth. You don’t have to have Apples default apps installed. You can delete them. The only downside I’ve noticed is that with iOS 11, you’re not able to customize ringtones (alerts) for all apps. If the app itself, like Viber have builtin alert tones, you can change those, but Facebook, Messenger and Twitter do not (at least that I’ve found out) have the option as of now to customize the alerts for push notifications. And you also can’t set the “do not disturb” feature to be different on weekdays and weekends. It’s the same for all days. However, there’s a physical mute button that silence your phone if you’d like not to be disturbed, so I guess that’s something you’d get used to.

The Apple ecosystem.

iOS works a whole lot better if you have more Apple products to sync your stuff with. If you have a Mac, either laptop or PC you could use AirDrop to send videos to easily edit videos for YouTube without loosing image quality or waiting for cloud services to upload and sync stuff for you. The list goes on and on, and from what I have learned I hope that I’ll be able to work with Apple products when I get my first real job as a programmer/developer. I think it would be good to be able to work and use multiple platforms and be flexible.

The conclusion.

I could basically say; Give me an iPhone 8 plus, and I’d could move on. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of me getting obsessed with tiny crap, just because of logic stuff that has happened to me lately.

Basically it comes down to me wanting a phone that works. That does what it should and would last for a long time if I want it to. Every person I know that has an iPhone uses them for like 3-4 years without any problems. If you have an Android, you’re basically forced to buy a new phone almost every year, because of lag and other issues. Only really “poorly technical” people keep their android phones for longer than they should, and I’m sick of that. I want something that works perfectly.

Yes. Iphones are more expensive, but people also have told me, if you pay more for a phone and it lasts at least 1 or 2 years longer, doesn’t that make it better, or perhaps even cheaper? Also the resell value of an iPhone is a lot higher than for Androids. My Blackberry Keyone is only worth a fifth of the price – 6 months later, if I’d use it to get a discount on an iPhone 8 plus. That is ridiculous! I bought it for ~$780 from the UK and now it’s worth like $140. Blargh! An iPhone 7 plus from last year is worth at least $530 if you’d use it in Apple’s renew program. That makes me angry! And hopeful. If I hate the iOS experience if I decide to get an iOS device, I could easily sell it or use it to buy another phone a lot cheaper.

My brain decided a few months back that I should learn about Apple, instead of reading manga, books or learn C# at a slow pace which would be a lot better, but no. Let’s focus on expensive stuff I probably do not need anyways. Yeah. That’s how my brain works. Isn’t it wonderful?

I am seriously thinking of switching over, and if I could get a green light for this – I’d walk over to the Apple store now and buy one. I live 10 minutes away from one! And then I’d hopefully brag and teach people that iOS is not that bad (or perhaps it is?) and make people become more open about different platforms. There are cons with iOS and there are cons with Android. If I would buy a new Android phone, or like get one as a gift, I’d probably also “forget” a lot of my thoughts I currently have about Apple, but I do not see why that would happen. Therefor I really do think that within a couple of months, weeks or even days – I might sit here with an iPhone 8 plus in my hands and I will then have joined the dark side. Until then. I’ll sit happily and continue to be displeased with a phone I do not like and dream of the days when I can afford everything I want and use both platforms in some way and be happy about that.

Sometimes I just feel really, frickin’ stupid… 💩

I’ve kept a tiny secret from my boyfriend, and basically everybody else as well, but I had to change hosts. Again. I said I was going to a while back, because the web host I chose during the early spring sucked balls and I got really so annoyed with them that I started looking for another one practically immediately. I found a new one, they’re called “Egensajt” which basically means “Your own site” or “your website” cramped into one word. They are also very cheap, they provide SSL easily with let’s encrypt and also provide a bunch of other useful stuff I plan on starting using later, WP-cli, SSH and git.

WTF is going on in my mind lately? Well, (not)learning to code and shitty web hosts and the struggles to find the energy to focus on the right thing!

However, my trip over here hasn’t been the greatest either, due to me being an idiot, but I guess everything is fine now at least. I’ve spammed the support a gazillion times for the past weeks since I started my account there, because I’ve struggled a bit with the move of other domains, the obligate down time while moving a website, installations of Drupal, WordPress Multisite and Limesurvey and a few other things.

The good things are though that, except for the Drupal problems(I’ll get to that one later), all the other issues are fixed and were basically down to two things; Me, having a brain that requires that everything should happen in an instant and me being (yet again) a complete, uneducated n00b regarding techie stuff.

All of this have just taught me that I really need to learn how to code, so I can understand all of this fun stuff for real, but I haven’t been able to find the energy for that all spring, basically. I’ll explain a bit more below, but I have my reasons for doing all this, even though it’s practically unnecessary…

I realized that you can’t have folder listing or anti-hotlink (or whatever it’s called) activated if you want to install php applications with your web host. I had no idea about that! Folder listings make php apps to not activate, and anti hotlink makes you get broken images if you’ve got SSL activated.

I also had the problem with WordPress. Like I’ve mentioned before my setup is basically this:

  • I have a multisite install where all my public blogs and websites live, except for this one at the moment.
  • I have another WP multisite on a separate subdomain where I do all the testing for the main site.
  • I have this install for this single domain, that has moved around a bit, but will probably stay as a single install and separate from the others just because it’s for the best. I think.
  • I create other various subdomains and use other domains from other web hosts I’ve registered that I use for testing purposes. Most of them are WP related, but some are for other PHP clients, like Drupal and Limesurvey.

Since moving to yet another host, I’ve tried to have my normal setup and I finally got everything to work, but Drupal did not work like it should for some strange reason. The reason I wanted to play around with Drupal is due to a thing at work. I got an idea and figured out that Drupal can basically solve everything, but sadly my proposal was denied for now which basically just made me more upset 😦 . I did most of the Drupal testing at my previous host (Inleed) while I was waiting for the main domain to move over to the new host. Then, as I got to the new host, Drupal did not work. It was practically impossible to install it, because I fell into the classic Drupal trap where I got access denied, even though I was the admin and everything. In the end I had to ask the web host to install it for me, but it was to no avail.

During all of this I had also installed Limesurvey and the test sites, but no matter what I did the templates from the clients, aka the text inside the php files where showing when I visited the url and I could not install, or login. Turned out, like I mentioned above that this was due to the folder listing being activated. When I turned it off I could install the applications. Then the other issues came up…

First of all I noticed that the clients had broken images when I viewed the sites with SSL. After a bit of googling again, I discovered that it was due to the anti-hotlinking was activated. Also I had problems with wildcard…

Yesterday I noticed that my testing site did not have an .htaccess any longer and the network settings had vanished. This I have no idea why it happens, but as I’ll explain what happened below, maybe these two are related?

In order to use WordPress Multisite you have to setup a wildcard A record in your dns setting. The thing is, I’ve done that like a billion times and I know what it is. The difference is that with this new host, I thought I’d done that correctly, but I had not. I did not set the wildcard as a dns record. Instead my web host turned the wildcard as an alias for my main domain. I also had no idea there was a difference! When I changed it from an alias to a proper A record wildcard dns, I could access my sites again. The old problem of the redirect thing happened again until this was changed and I felt depressed and like a total idiot while I couldn’t figure this out. I also decided I did not want to bother the support again either, even though they get paid to help me out. I just want stuff to work!

The only problem I have now is that WordpPress – all of my installs are incredibly slow when it comes to updating plugins, the core and saving post and other changes. Otherwise it’s pretty fast and works well. I upgraded the PHP memory to 256 MB, and I’ve also activated the Memcached that this web host has. I also turned on Varnish Cache that’s also an option here. So far it has helped a little, but it’s still extremely slow when I want to install or upgrade something. I just hope that this post will publish as usual to social media as well. Maybe it’ll work properly in a day or two…

An important note!

The reason for me switching host once again is due to several reasons. I said that I’d probably do this in a couple of months and that was the truth. I’ve had a really painful spring at work and also in my private life and playing around with php clients, like WordPress and my newly found interest in learning code really helps with not feeling bored and/or restless as fuck.

I still should point out, that me wanting to learn code has turned into crap, basically which is not surprising due to all my illnesses and how my mind works. I have made up my mind that I’m gonna finish the C# class I started a while back, but I’ve been way to tired to focus on that, due to a gazillion other stuff going on that steals my thunder. I really hate it, because I’m so into this. It feels like the right time is now to start a new beginning, but I guess I won’t be able to until I’m not this tired anymore and there are no other problems lurking around the corner… I can’t really explain this tiredness either. I just feel it and the only thing that helps are shitty crap-stuff with the usual stuff. Aka, playing around with code and knowing nothing with WP, Drupal and Limesurvey being the test subjects as of today.

I’d like to learn as much as possible, but everywhere I turn – there’s trouble for some reason – because I don’t understand code! I’ll probably blog a bit more about it later, and for those who understand Swedish, I’ll make a post soon as well to explain myself a bit more. Basically, I’m stuck in a circle and I’m doing what I can to keep up and not lose my mind, but no matter what I do, I feel bored, lost or angry and disappointed.

In less than a few weeks, me and the BF will move to another apartment that’s closer to everything and I bet that after having a long vacation from work, I’ll find my strength somehow. I think living right where we live now is one small contributing factor to why I feel like i have these past months. I really thought it was gonna be a life changer, but all the move to this exact place was, was nothing but meh. Besides living more to the south in Sweden and having the luxuries of living so close to Malmö, it’s not been that great. After the move I hope I’ll learn to code a bit more and hopefully I can focus more on blogging instead of struggling like I have AND need to in order to feel a little like myself these days.

Thanks for reading this far!

I really do not recommend DirectAdmin as a control panel

If you’re like me and you’re pretty much obsessed with blogging, (and really lousy at coding), you know that a proper web host is a must for hosting applications such as WordPress. There are tons out there to choose from and I think I’ve tried nearly all of them. At least it really does feel like I have during my years of blogging and being present online.

Oh, the struggles I’ve been having with my current web host and Direct Admin as a control panel… Oh, the horrors…

I started blogging for real with WP in the beginning of 2009. Since then I’ve changed web hosts and blogging platforms as often as a parent would change their kid’s diapers or something. I really do not know why I’ve done this so much, but now that I am more experienced and know a little bit more about what I personally need – I do not recommend switching hosts every so often. Do your research and stick with a great host to begin with.

A proper web host should have this:

  • cPanel as their choice of control panels. DirectAdmin works, but it effin’ sucks for various reasons. It could also be my web host’s fault, but I do not know.
  • Offer WP as both single installs and multisite with wildcards (*). As a user, a wildcard being added to your dns settings is all you should ever have to care about.
  • be able to point a domain to a folder of your choice; I.E point sub.example.com to user/domains/example.com/public_html/sub without any hassle.  This also includes add-on domains and aliases.
  • Free SSL support that works for both subdomains and top level domains.
  • Full access to the database. With this I mean so you can change the table prefix etc. Also one login to rule them all or something. Not one user AND a database for every frickin’ login.
  • Being able to install WP (for example) manually, like the famous 5 minute install, as well ass offer a 1 click service.
  • Backups that do not drain your space every 5 minutes or something.

There are many, many other things as well that a proper web host should offer and the things mentioned above is what I personally need and prefer.

My struggle…

Like I mentioned before, I’ve struggled for various reasons with my web hosts of choice. In the beginning I changed hosts basically because I thought I had to or I did it for some other stupid reason. When I got to know WP for what an awesome thing it really is and when Multisite was introduced, I changed web hosts for other reasons and always thought that “this would be the final one”. Eh… that only lasted for so long…

All that finally changed, when I partly quit being an idiot and stuck with WP for ever and discovered a Swedish web host that almost did it’s job perfectly. I stayed with them for nearly 3 years. They were called Binero. Then, a few months back I started noticing that my blogs in my WP installations did not have SSL. I basically thought they did, but it was probably a Chrome extension that fooled me, because I started noticing this when that extension stopped working. It became a big deal to change hosts, and I finally switched to another Swedish based host. They’re called Inleed and they are almost illegally cheap, but you get what you pay for…

The move went fine, but almost from the start I’ve had problems and they haven’t gone away completely yet.

The issues

This is what I’ve had to deal with so far. A real pain in the butt…

  • Not being able to install anything on general subdomains, especially with SSL.
  • I’ve added subdomains as i.e sub.example.com but not been able to access the subdomain at that level, only at domain.com/sub which effin’ sucks balls! However, if I do this – everything works as it should, I get SSL etc but it’s not a pretty sight and makes subdomains completely useless.
  • Redirection issues to my main WP install if I have installed something on SSL. Even though I have separate installs this happens! For example; my main WP install is a multisite at domain.com and I created a WP multisite install for testing purposes at test.domain.com. If this test install is installed on SSL, it redirects or is not found at test.domain.com and it redirects to domain.com to the signup page or whatever other page I’ve set NOBLOGREDIRECT to. So frustrating!
  • I had to contact support in order to get WP multisite to work – which in part also created all the other issues I’ve been having.
  • The support have been struggling as well with my domains and subdomains, not answered all of my questions as far as I can tell, because I felt somewhat ignored sometimes. They may have read it all, but have chosen to only answer one question in a long email.
  • I do not have complete access either to my files, since I’m “only” a user. I do not know if it’s possible to upgrade, since I’ve asked about this and did not get an answer. Every time I need to “fix” something, I have to ask the support to edit the httpd.conf files etc and I do not like that.

After weeks of struggling I finally got proper help and I got my main installs I want to function properly, but I still can’t install anything properly on SSL, even though I finally can use real subdomains like you should always be able to. I will be contacting the support soon, after I’ve done some more testing.

The Conclusion:

Well, basically I’m getting tired of this shit and a couple of weeks ago I decided that I will be downsizing my web hosting affairs a bit, which means I shall stick to simple blogging instead and I will start to learn to code for real. Don’t worry, I sticking to WP! What I mean is that I shall try and not hassle that much with my blogs and instead I’ll keep on writing good posts.

I’ve started to learn C# in order to give me something I really can use, and when I’m done with that I shall try to create games for both desktop and android using Unity. After that I shall also try and learn C++ and maybe .NET as well. All done in my spare-time of course, but if I succeed with this I might start to work with it later on in a few years. Who knows? All I know is – choose your web host carefully and stick to WP whenever possible if you’re a blogger like me and like control over your shit.

 

Stuff I’ve learned this week…

It’s been a “shitty week” or something, due to me having to change web hosts and struggling with getting everything to work properly. I had to change places because I noticed that my WP installs did not have SSL on them. I was so sure that they did but apparently not. Any who… This is what I’ve learned(in no particular order):

  • Don’t get angry (if you can help it) if it does not work the way it’s supposed to. Just call the support, and they’ll help out.
  • It’s okay to get upset if all questions are not answered. Just keep nagging the support until you do. That’s what they get paid for.
  • If you use DirectAdmin with your web host and cannot install applications on a subdomain, add the subdomain as a regular domain instead, wait for it to resolve with the dns & shit and then install as usual. However, if it still does not work after 24-72 hours – contact the support! I’m not even sure that it works for me yet 😦
  • If you can’t connect the amazing WordPress plugin called Jetpack’s sharing module to a Facebook page – make sure that your FB page is published! If it is not, publish it, reconnect and then it’s okay to make it unpublished – the connection will still work.
  • It’s really not worth paying nearly $9/month for a web host, when you can get a better one (hopefully) for like $2/month.

I’ve also learned a bunch of other stuff as well, but I’m to tired to think of all of them now. I’m sorry if you’ve tried to access my site these past couple of days and I’m even more sorry if you’ll see troubles here in the future.

Please leave a comment below if you’ve noticed i.e. security warnings (due to SSL not being properly setup etc) or photos or other images not loading.

Now – I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’m gonna sleep in. It’s finally the weekend again!