Mobile Tech Off-Topic Rants

Tech Struggles

This weekend, I gave up my Samsung Galaxy S7 for a shiny new iPhone XR. Ok, the XR isn’t the newest model, but the price was right and with my oldest kid now getting a phone, going the iPhone route was the easiest.

My S7 was starting to get a bit old – the battery lasted maybe 3/4 of a day if I didn’t use it much, and the last straw came when I was trying to get a picture of Drew Brees at the Purdue football game this past weekend (on 11/2/2019), and the camera completely failed. Oh sure, it worked again after a restart, but I missed my chance to get a picture of Purdue Football’s current largest legend.

So I spent Sunday evening between grading and doing other prep fumbling around with my new iPhone. I don’t like pages and pages of apps, so I was trying to come up with groupings of apps – so for example I put iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, etc into a folder called “Apple Apps”. I put my Roku, Hulu, and other streaming entertainment apps into a folder called “Entertainment”. Boring, right?

The worst part was Contacts. I scrubbed nearly 400 unneeded contacts out of my iCloud contacts on Monday night while trying to watch football. Somehow, Facebook (yuck) imported all of my “friends” information into my Contacts. First – that was unnecessary, and second – I don’t need to see the contact info for my seventh-cousin-thrice-removed* when I’m trying to write an email (unless they’re a work colleague, and that’s a different story).

The worst part was on Monday – I was used to muting my phone just by turning the volume all the way down until all system sounds were muted. I tried to do that with the iPhone – and realized it doesn’t work that way. I found out about this while one of my students was giving a speech, and my phone went off three times during his presentation. I gave him three bonus points; 1 point per incident.

The iPhone XR does have a small switch on the left side of the phone that I can toggle on/off to shut down system sounds and alerts. Wish I had known that before getting embarrassed in front of my class. Oof.

I did have an iPhone in the past – a 4s. In between, I had a Galaxy S5 and S7. I got used to the Android environment, so this is a change. I’m sure I’ll still be fumbling around with this for a bit.


*I don’t know if there’s a real thing as a seventh-cousin-thrice-removed, and at that point of separation, does it really matter?

Off-Topic Rants

The Cloud Crashed? Say It Ain’t So!

Well, Amazon AWS decided to crash today.  Limited impact where I work, which is good (we self-host our own Blackboard instance).

Of course, the cloud never fails, right?  Always on, always accessible, of course!