Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Quran and Me

Car radios are now built in (which is a good thing), but are much more complicated than they used to be (not necessarily a good thing). After getting my new car, my husband set for me the radio stations I use to listen to on my way to/from work. But the stations did no stay put. Every few minutes a TP Search was initiated and the Quran station popped in. After fighting it for a couple of days, I decided to listen to some CDs. Same happened and something even weirder, the Quran station would start at an increased volume.

Told hubby exasperatedly what was going on. "Maybe you should convert to Islam and enjoy it", came the intended-to-be-funny reply. The leasing company rep said there is a setting somewhere in the menus to disable this annoying feature. The way he dealt with my previous questions was reading the manual in front of me and then explaining to me what he read - perhaps suitable for an illiterate customer, but I can read by myself, thank you very much. So by now, we knew there is a setting and it took my husband some more time to set all the stations again in two different configurations and disable the TP Search.

So long Quran station, hope not to meet/hear again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mobile Help Needed

"It's difficult to get used to a new phone after a certain age", "You can't afford not having a smartphone, you work in hi-tech for God's sake, it ruins your image", "Stop using gadgets from the 70s, they make you look old" are just a few comments shot at me since I told people I need a new mobile phone.

I am a proud owner of a Nokia 6310. For 9 years. In mobile technology years, that means an eon. It has a monochrome display, but synchronizes with Outlook, where I keep my contacts and calendar. I would have used it for longer, but its sync application doesn't run on Windows 7, the operating system of my new PC at work. Plus, I'm getting a new leased car and I don't think it's worthwhile installing the old hands-free in it. On the other hand, the phone doesn't have Bluetooth to communicate with a headset. Since I can't synchronize the phone or use it in the car, and it's 9 years old, I decided it's time to replace it.

But with what? The possibilities seem endless. Some swear by Apple's iPhone, some by Android-based smartphones. But do I need a smartphone at all? I made a list of useful features, but haven't found any unbiased site or person to tell me what phone I need based on that list. Here goes: large screen and buttons (no qwerty keyboard), thin, updated design, sync by cable (for contacts and calendar), Bluetooth with headset and hands-free, decent camera, WiFi, GPS with local maps.

To complicate things even further, in September-October, my employer will sign a new agreement with one of the mobile operators that will possibly include some good models and plans for employees. And the iPhone 5 will be released, should I decide to go in that direction, and the iPhone 4 will get cheaper. So maybe I should buy a cheap model now and go for a more serious one in a couple of months?

I'm drowning in options. Help!

The Real Paris

I am a big fan of Woody Allen. So is S, my former New Yorker friend. Natural progression: last week we went to the cinema to watch 'Midnight in Paris'. The reviews described the movie pretty accurately. It is a very aesthetically pleasing concoction of romance, comedy and fantasy with an underlying message.

Watching the movie urges your soul to board the first plane to Paris to experience all this beauty in person. And then comes the mind and asks whether you will see the same beauty as in the movie or rather this?