Tuesday, November 15, 2011

technological ponderings

I'm thinking and overthinking. I think I stopped evolving technologically about ten years ago, so I'm not entirely up to snuff on all the new gadgets out there.

You should know, for example, that I don't have an iPhone. Originally I made that decision because at the time it was an AT&T thing, and was already with Verizon because they have better coverage here. Now... well, they're expensive, and I'm an artist in a crappy economy, do I really need to elaborate on that? Anyway, I'm pretty happy with my little LG phone with the cute little keyboard and the cute little buttons. I like buttons! I don't feel the lack of iPhone has negatively impacted my life. Though if I could get one cheap and didn't have to upgrade my already-expensive phone plan, I'd totally do it. But that's not the point. Or maybe it is.... eh, I'm kind of all over the map right now.

I'm thinking about an iPad. Or thinking about an iPhone. Probably not both, at least not right now.

A few months ago I had problems with my credit card terminal and had to buy a new one (grrrr), and someone left me a comment here suggesting a little device that can be used on an iPad or iPhone to process credit cards. Well I'd never heard of that, but it really got me thinking... Currently, I am spending $290 per year just to have a merchant account (that's $20 per month and a business executive Costco membership, which is $50 higher than the normal one, my account is through Costco). Plus the transaction fees on top of that. Well, I'd love to be able to cancel that account and only have to pay transaction fees, that would be swell! If I had either an iPhone or iPad, I could do that.

Here's another example of why that interests me so much. In September, I was at an art show. I sold a couple of originals one day, and was paid with a credit card. There is no phone hookup at the show (this is usually the case at shows, though some offer it for an exorbitant amount of money), so I could not use the card terminal itself, and had to use the manual imprint machine instead. What normally then happens is at the end of the day I get back to wherever I'm staying, plug in the terminal, and input all the numbers. Well, turned out the people I was staying with did not have a land line phone. And this was a big enough transaction that I didn't want to wait a few more days to process it... just in case. Luckily one of my friends was nice enough to drive me into town where I could use the office phone line, but it really made me think "I need a better system for this." I hate having to wait. I mean, what if someone scams me, what if I get to the end of the show and input the numbers and it turns out they have no money? It's something where instant gratification would be really nice.

So I'm leaning toward an iPad. Besides the abilities I just mentioned, it would be neat to have available at shows as sort of a portfolio, or to show people my website, or things along those lines. I don't think I'd feel terribly comfortable putting my phone into someone else's hands.

Anyway, do you have an iPad? Do you like it? Are there things you don't like? Do you think 16 GB is sufficient? Would 32 GB be better? Know any place that's going to have fabulous sales after Thanksgiving?

Blah blah blah. This stuff makes my brain hurt.

If anyone wants to send me large sums of money or winning lottery tickets that would also be swell.


Mike Plumer said...

I don't have an iPad (but do have an iPhone). Everybody I know here with an iPad loves it. Get all the memory you can, especially if you imagine holding a portfolio on it. My two cents...

Sam Alfano said...

As an Apple geekboy, I have both iPhone and iPad. Abigail does as well. At first I was going to recommend the iPhone to you as you'll use it more. You can also get a little credit card swiper for it and my buddy who uses one at shows says it works really well. But the iPad's wonderfully clear graphics make it the PERFECT portable electronic portfolio. Put it on a little stand and start a slideshow or page through you photos like a book.

iPads come with and without 3G data capability. If you go 3G it's $30/mo and there's no contract so you can buy as you need it. If you have WIFI access then you're good to go. It's been my experience at shows that there's no WIFI or it's absurdly expensive. If you go iPad, I'd get the 32GB. 16GB might be enough depending on the amount of photos you have and their resolution. Oh, and the iPad is GREAT for movies and videos!

If you go iPhone then you will have 3G as that's they way they come. Then you can swipe cards, surf, check email, send text msgs, etc. The new iPhone 4S with Siri, the personal assistant, is nothing less than astounding. It also has wonderful hi-res graphics and 1080p high-def video. Is it as good as the iPad for showing your work? No, but it's still darn good.

If I had to give up one of mine it'd be the iPad because I use my phone sooooo much (although I don't actually talk on it much). At the same time, Abigail and I use our iPads every single day, relaxing in a chair playing scrabble, surfing, or making a FaceTime call to someone. They are bloody awesome and worth every cent.

Bob Easton said...

What Sam said!

The more memory the better.

In looking for seasonal sale prices, the best I can recommend is to stake out a few electronic emporiums (I often like newegg), and look for their sales on "cyber Monday," the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

My recommendation (which isn't worth much ;-) would be to go with the iPad, and as much memory as you can afford.
Your portfolio would look great. Much easier for people to see on iPad than an iPhone. You can now get them with black or white framing, so you might want to see which would really make your work pop.
I think I was the one that made the comment about the card swipe. Glad it helped.

Anonymous said...

It is a tax write-off too, isn't it?