1) An interesting change here at Casa de Nyquil: a 12 year old boy is now turning our cozy little twosome (9-some, if'n you count the rodents and birds and feline) into a trio (Dectet?). So far this has only meant more Wii time, as only one day has passed. Today D and 12yo are off to the beach, meaning I've got the place to myself for the evening. Updates as to problems/benefits of a child to follow.
2) I'd just like to take this time to point out the value inherent in knowing your audience. As a Dreamhost Blog reader, I saw that Crazy Josh Jones was waiting in line to purchase an iPhone he didn't even want, and that he was giving it away in an amusing little contest: make an image showing the real reason behind the mysterious downtimes all Dreamhost customers fondly recognize. I saw an opportunity -- not to win, mind you -- to make Josh laugh, which is something he's caused me to do on any number of occasions. I entered the contest, making reference to something pretty much only he would find humor in, and did it in bad pun form -- which, after being a customer of Dreamhost for several years and constant reader of at least eight "monthly" newsletters, I know he has quite a proclivity for.
This, apparently, is the trick to winning prizes from him, cuz he's now mailing me his unwanted 8gig iPhone.
I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with this monstrosity, for after spending like an hour at a Cingular store trying to get all the deets from the peeps, I've learned that there is not a comparable plan to the one I currently enjoy thru T-Mobile (0 minutes, unlimited data for $29.99), and the best I can do is 200 minutes unlimited data for $59.99. That's a pretty steep monthly increase, but maybe the super-cool new features the iPhone provide are worth it. Steve would have me believe so. (When you pay $600 for a device, you get to be on first-name basis.)
The two demo models at the store were both borked already, so that's probably not a good sign, but before I did a hard reset on the semi-working one (requiring some Cingular employee to eventually re-enter the WiFi security key. Sorry, future iPhone demo-ers!) I did get to scroll and zoom around things. It is pretty neat.
Safari crashed after loading half of nyquil.org, so I'm not entirely sure how well that works. Most of the apps on the phone actually use Safari to operate (which Blackberry customers will be all-too familiar with) meaning that you can't switch back and forth betwixt a web page and and the cool GPS screen. Or any screen, for that matter. There doesn't appear to be any sort of multi-tasking, as the only button on the unit just takes you back to the menu, where clicking on the application again gives you a new, blank window. Perhaps I am just stupid and couldn't figure out how, though. (But aren't us retards the exact demo Apple's products are targeted to? That smarmy Mac guy on TV is constantly telling John Hodgman how much less-smart (inversely proportional to how much more cool you are) you need to be to use Apple products. Maybe I'm just not cool enough?)
Overall, after the 10 minutes I goofed around betwixt crashes, I was actually pretty danged impressed with the interface. The virtual keyboard is very nice. I've used a lot of portable device keypads, and really, the lack of tactile buttons is far less off-putting than I expected; I was pretty quickly two-thumbing out things like a pro. This will probably be more irritating as I try to compose longer, less "test test 1 2 3 4"-type things... we'll have to see when I actually get mine.
I also learned the crucial bit of info for which I trekked out to a store in the first place: I can activate the phone, try it for 30 days, and then cancel the mandatory two-year contract, enabling me to re-sell it on eBay should I not like it. Yes, even if you are not buying the phone at this time, you are still required to sign a multi-year contract just to activate it.
I'm not sure who is crazier: those loons at Apple or the nutjobs (like me) who can't wait to use their equal-parts shiny/shitty products. Updates to follow.