Connected to the world of computers an consumer technology, I want to share a few things I’m thankful for this year.
1. I’m thankful for the way Apple takes care of their customers. I may not have said this in so many words, but from January to April of this year I actually abandoned the Mac as my primary computing platform. For many reasons, related to my experiences and some design flaws I was fed up. I went through a period in the wilderness where I bought and returned the same model of Dell Latitude laptop 3 times. After going through all of this, I will honestly say that the Dell Latitude E series and Lenovo Thinkpad T400 series laptops are built with some of the highest standards of quality that I’ve ever seen and will hold up well from life on the road. However, I concluded that Apple simply gives me the best customer experience. This overall experience encompasses design, build quality, software and customer service; I’m not just basing this on one factor alone. Their polycarbonate (plastic) white MacBook model was greatly improved when the late 09 and early 2010 models were released as a major relaunch of the product line. I am realistic enough to know that some people need a Windows only laptop and so I’m thankful to have gone through this experience and would highly recommend the Thinkpad T400 / T500 or Dell Latitude E in the right situations.
2. I am thankful that many cell phone carriers have a 14 to 30 day trial period. I really tried to make the iPhone work for me this year. I tried one out in June and also tried one out on three separate occasions in Sept. and Oct. Being such a cheerleader for Apple products these past 6 years, I felt that I had to use their phone as well. Ultimately, I decided that it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t deal with the fact that it was offered on AT&T only and I didn’t like the restrictions Apple put on the customer’s experience — something quite contradictory to my experience as repeat buyer of their computers. If it weren’t for the flexibility in the return periods and contract trial periods that both Verizon and AT&T offered, I would be stuck with a phone that I didn’t like. As I mentioned in a previous update about two weeks ago, not sticking with the iPhone caused me to expand my relationship with Apple and purchase an iPad.
3. Finally, I’m thankful for the Android family of cell phones. There are many Android phones on the market; every carrier has at least one currently available. Android is the software on the phone (like the Windows or Macintosh on a computer), but the phones are made by companies such as HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. The Android operating system has allowed me to expand my horizons beyond Windows and Mac, for really the first time and the experience has been delightful. While I don’t get involved in serious programming — I have become very interested in modifying / customizing my Android phone (the HTC Droid Incredible in case you were curious). I’m thankful that I have the ability to make my cell phone experience exactly what I WANT IT TO BE, and not what a handset manufacturer or wireless carrier imposes on me. Android has caused me to think creatively about finding solutions and the possibilities of wireless communication.