eXtensions - Sunday 18 June 2017
Cassandra: In the event of Fire, Theft or Other Permanent Loss - Priorities for Replacement
By Graham K. Rogers
What happens if all the essential devices we use are suddenly unavailable? In 2007, before the iPhone was ever released, I had a burglary. My laptop and camera were among the property I lost and it took a while to replace them. I also learned a lesson about backing up data.
Unlike some countries, here it is almost impossible to buy insurance for theft or damage of such portable devices. The owner covers the bill. A look at the tragedy that unfolded in the UK last week, shows that those who survived will need to replace all their property, although there is hope that some outside assistance will be made available.
Although I rely perhaps most on a Mac, I would not make this my main priority. I can do many tasks on a smaller device such as an iPad or even an iPhone at a pinch, and I do have a Mac mini at the office. In addition a Mac is a higher budget item, so I am also trying to prioritise in terms of cost and cost-effectiveness.
The Phone 7 - Image courtesy of Apple
When the iPhone was announced in 2007, the "breakthrough internet device" had the least applause from the audience (widescreen touch and phone were more exciting then), but it has now become the most important feature of all smartphones. Although I use the phone the least, with a SIM card I have almost constant internet communication when I want. Unlike those who walk down the streets or spend meetings staring at the screen, mine stays in the pocket until I want it. My essentials are the Camera and related apps, Twitter, and writing apps like iA Writer (which synchronises with macOS and iOS devices). FaceBook too, as that is the only way I have ever found to communicate with my students.
Apple Watch - Image courtesy of Apple
A major feature of a cable-less device is that there are no cables and no tangles: saving a few minutes of frustration each day as (no matter how carefully they were stowed) the twin wires have to be untangled before the Ear Pods can be used. With the AirPods it is simply take out of case, put in ear, listen for pairing sound, play: either by telling Siri (it works for me sometimes), or using the iPhone.
With a new iPhone as my Number One priority, I would have EarBuds of course and I would make do with these until my personal budget eased enough to go for the AirPods.
I have been using the 12.9" and the 9.7" iPad Pro models and prefer the larger one because the screen (and its SIM card) makes it far more flexible. It is almost the computer replacement for me that Tim Cook has hinted at. Early reviews suggest that the 10.5" iPad Pro is worth considering by those who have the 12.9" and may want to try something a little smaller, while also saying this is a good move up for those with the current 9.7" version. With starting prices around double those of the standard iPad, this would take some thinking. A corporate user, would be wise to go for the Pro version.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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