Slightly Off-Topic

Love is……

By DOM Team| 7 Min Read | March 19, 2008

I’m not one to fall in love easily. I’m more inclined to fancy the pants off something from a distance. The thrill is in the chase and the whiff of the greasepaint.

You are my quarry – hear me roar.

I was always primed and on the prowl. Every Sunday round at my Grandma’s as a nipper I’d latch on to some kind of retail campaign. All day I’d bang on about some toy or other I wanted until I fell asleep mid-pitch. I’d spend hours opening catalogs and presenting my case to anybody who’d listen as to why I had to have [insert name of toy] immediately.

Whilst I was a pain, I wasn’t a brat about it. There was no stamping of feet or pouting, just an incessant amount of attempted persuasion. If I had been a form of torture I’d have been of the Chinese dripping variety as opposed straight-up water boarding.

The thing is, by Monday, all was forgotten and I didn’t want anything. It was strictly a Sunday thing. Although I do remember at the age of 5, 6 or 7 being convinced that the Addams Family were living through the fireplace and I needed to buy a drill so I could visit them. I spent all afternoon pestering my Dad then my Mum then my Grandma to get permission to start the drilling. I’m still amazed to this day that they put up with me as long as they did that afternoon. Still, how can you have sympathy for a group of elders who constantly fobbed their child off with pleas to go and ask the other parent for permission.

It wasn’t until I took the initiative and found a lump hammer in the pantry and came back into the front room with the intention of smashing the fireplace to bits that they collectively took me seriously. I knew the Addams Family were through the fireplace and I was desperate to go visit them. If they weren’t going to provide me with the necessary tools then I could only improvise.

I only required a stern talking to and I was fine. Half an hour later it was all forgotten and I was wrestling a five-foot stuffed bear in my underpants.

I’m still the same today (especially the stuffed bear wrestling).

The only thing that’s maybe slightly different is that I anally research everything to its constituent parts. The Internet is a great tool for the OCD shopper in anyone.

My current anal retail campaign is the search for a new computer. Saturday saw me and Steph head off to Pittsburgh to check out that retail park where Ikea is – or at least to start off there. I’ve been doing her little pretty head in with computer talk for a couple of weeks and she finally succumbed to my computer Chinese water torture and had no other option than to take me.

Me being a native of these parts boldly stated that I knew exactly where we were going and to put the Garmin back in her bag. An hour and a half later we were stuck behind a load of student plastic paddies in some downtown Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s parade. We’d overshot somewhat. Out came the Garmin and I set it to find Ikea. And what a merry little dance that was. Not for the first time has my gps been moderately useless in Pittsburgh.

Is it some satellite dead zone? Or is the excess of bridges, underpasses, flyovers and on ramps blocking signals or just too befuddling to map?

Spaghetti Junction

I finally got to Bestbuy to do the usual Bestbuy thing of making sure they were selling older spec puters at $100 more than the most current version of the same thing. I simply couldn’t hack it for too long and set off again to find some supposed Apple store. And by jove, if we didn’t find it without too much hassle.

I’ve only dabbled with Macs that friends owned and never once set foot in an Apple store. I’ve never really fancied the idea of tangling with in-store ‘creatives’ as they like to call themselves. But, they aren’t that bad. They leave you well alone and are obviously hired because they love their Macs or at least have one. It was like a funny little workshop with everybody at their own station and the ‘creatives’ just showing people how things work if they needed any help. Lovely.

And then it happened. It wasn’t so much an eyes meeting across a crowded room type thing, but more of a something to pick up as Steph was messing with something next to me. I started playing with an iPod Touch along with an iPhone. I swear I felt my heart melt after about 20 seconds of finger twiddling on its touch screen. This thing was beyond saccharine.

All the love signs were there: heart palpitations; sweaty palms; giddiness – we’ll, it was either that or early onset food poisoning. I wasn’t quite getting the same love bug from the iMac, though, and that is what I’d gone to take a look at. Seriously, that funny little plastic keyboard had me thinking of the first computer I ever bought at age 13 – an Oric:

Oh the delight that is the rubber molded keypad.

Neither of us shut up about it. Not on the way home, not during dinner, not while watching the tv and not all day Sunday. Enough was enough. By Sunday night, it was just too much to bear. I concocted some odd story about SDKs, Skype and jailbreaking, and that we could get one at Walmart if we hurried up. (Not that they were running out or anything, just that it was Sunday evening.) I like Walmart for the fact that they allow you full refunds if you take things back – there be a method in my madness!

After slapping down $425 for the 16gb version whilst Steph wasn’t looking having promised her that I’d buy the 8gb version for $100 less, we were off back home.

Opening the thing was a delight. I can’t remember the last box I had that glided open under the weight of its contained product. Everything was just so right. Oh, and that touch screen. Everybody goes on about how much smarter Apple users are, but they aren’t. If the iPod Touch is anything to go by then it’s designed for even the most bumbling idiotic technophobe. It’s the sort of gadget you could take home to your mother – even your grandmother. There may be no point teaching her how to suck eggs, but you won’t even have to show her how to use one of these.

From a search marketing perspective (blimey, did you ever think I was gonna get there?), the iPhone and the iPod Touch with their fully functioning browsers offer an opportunity for business as usual with regards to searching on a mobile device. Rather than the Windows Mobile experience of a mobile version of your site that requires browsing via mobile search and a barebones page, you can just have your normal site viewed in miniature.

Just a pinch and a squeeze with the occasional finger flick is enough to resize and move the pages around. It doesn’t require anything different from a Web development point of view.

I seriously recommend you have a play with one when you get the chance just so you can see where the future of the mobile device is heading. After all, it’s the most ubiquitous of personal devices that people are using more and more to browse.


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