Living without a personal smartphone

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tepples
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Living without a personal smartphone

Post by tepples »

Regarding a previous conversation about not wanting to have a smartphone:

A lot of what can be done with a personal smartphone can also be done in other ways. Some of these ways have drawbacks, which may or may not be deal breakers for particular people. In my case, these drawbacks have led me not to have an account on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Cash App Taxes, Apple Music, Pokémon GO, Auntie Anne's, or OpenAI.

Desktop or laptop computer
In many cases, native desktop applications or web applications can be used instead of mobile applications. From about 2008 through the end of 2012, companies sold "netbooks": laptop computers with a low-end CPU and a small display intended to fit in a reasonably-sized bag. Netbooks connect to the Internet through home Internet or public Wi-Fi hotspots. Though they were intended mostly for running office applications and browsing websites, I found them ideal for hobby programming projects. I used an ASUS Eee PC 900 running Ubuntu for NESdev from November 2008 through March 2010, and replaced it with a Dell Inspiron mini 1012 from then through mid-2017 when its second replacement battery stopped holding a charge.

Netbooks eventually became unsuitable in two ways.
  1. Laptop makers stopped making netbooks in fourth quarter 2012 in favor of touch-driven tablets running locked-down smartphone operating systems, which at the time had a greater profit margin than entry-level compact laptops capable of running a desktop operating system better suited to lightweight software development.
  2. Some applications that had previously been web apps pivoted to mobile apps, with desktop and laptop users stopped at a "Download the app to sign up!" notice. Instagram's use of such an app wall early on and WhatsApp's continued use of one is how I managed to avoid ending up with an account on those Meta-owned services. Continued use of "Download the app to sign up" is why I still lack an account on Venmo or Cash App. When Credit Karma sold its income tax return preparation business to Cash App's parent company, I had to switch to a free file service that I could use from a laptop but which is means-tested based on income.
Wi-Fi-only tablet
To run many apps without a recurring bill, I started using a tablet in 2013, soon after Google belatedly started trying to compete with Apple's iPad tablet. This has worked for some purposes, such as keeping me occupied during plasma donations, and proven unsuitable for others.
  1. Because of the mobile telephony requirement in versions of the Android CDD prior to fourth quarter 2011 when Google released Android 4 "Ice Cream Sandwich", Wi-Fi-only tablets lacked access to Android Market (now Google Play Store). This deterred device manufacturers from introducing a tablet with a 4- to 5-inch display analogous to Apple's iPod touch.
  2. Banking apps require a rear-facing camera for deposit of paper payroll checks, and my first tablet (ASUS Nexus 7) lacked one. I've worked for some employers who switched me from direct deposit to paper once they downsized, causing me to speculate that businesses need a minimum employee count to keep direct deposit active. I have worked around this by cycling to an ATM, which has become less convenient as my bank has closed ATMs. Later tablets, such as Galaxy Tab A, alleviated this particular drawback by added a rear-facing camera.
  3. Early versions of the Apple Music app for Android deliberately required a small screen size or telephony, so as to work on phones and exclude installation on tablets. Google Play Store didn't tell me why Apple Music was incompatible with my Galaxy Tab A at the time, just that it was incompatible. I speculate that Apple was trying to shut out use of Android tablets in order to promote iPad sales.
  4. Anything requiring a continuous data connection while the device is in motion, such as the game Ingress or Pokémon Go, or loyalty apps of restaurants in locations without a public hotspot, such as that of Auntie Anne's pretzels.
  5. Anything that uses SMS for human verification or 2-factor authentication.
Shared voice line
Previously, my household had a landline. To lower the phone bill, we ported the number to a voice-only "Wireless Home Phone" line from a cellular carrier. The advantage of a shared voice line over a personal mobile phone is that an incoming call rings on extensions on all floors of the house. We're thinking of porting it again, this time to VoIP provider magicJack.

My bank uses 2-factor authentication through either voice or text. Google likewise allows either voice or text to verify an account. They have an option to text-to-speech. This fails for services such as Twitter, Discord, OpenAI, and which deliberately eschew voice lines in favor of SMS lines. I speculate that these services consider a user with SMS to have more disposable income and therefore be more valuable to advertisers (which are the real customers of communication platform companies) than a user with voice.

Shared mobile phone
One might port a house phone's number to a mobile phone on an unlimited plan in order to use things that require SMS authentication. This has two drawbacks. First, it doesn't ring both upstairs and downstairs (or, in the case of a ranch house, at both ends). Second, a lot of services, such as Facebook and OpenAI, require specifically a unique mobile phone number per user. This means that if my roommate uses a service, and I want to use it as well, I would need to buy another handset and set up another line of service. I speculate that this too is driven by attracting and retaining advertisers, even though some sites requiring a unique mobile phone number claim that it's to discourage overuse of computing, storage, or network resources. This is why I lack an account on Odysee or OpenAI. It's also half of why I lack a Facebook account, the other half being that I graduated and lost my .edu email address in 2003. (At the time I checked, users could skip the phone verification roadblock by adding a .edu email address.)

Personal mobile phone on pay-as-you-go plan
Starting sometime in the mid-2000s, I used a pay-as-you-go mobile plan, initially on an Audiovox 8610 flip phone and later on a budget Android phone by Coolpad when water damage from a spilled beverage made the flip phone no longer usable. Mostly the switch from a flip phone to an Android phone meant I could do "tablet-ish" things on businesses' guest Wi-Fi, such as reading backlog on Discord while on break at work, without needing to carry a separate laptop or a tablet. Previously, this was not possible because carriers such as AT&T would automatically upgrade a line from a pay-as-you-go plan to a far more expensive plan if the SIM were ever inserted in a smartphone. I was pleasantly surprised in third quarter 2016 to find that T-Mobile wasn't doing that.

In my country, carriers offering pay-as-you-go plans charge not only for outgoing voice minutes and text messages but also for incoming voice minutes and text messages. A $3 per month plan from T-Mobile came with 30 units of usage (voice minutes or text messages) per month, and each additional unit cost 0.10 USD. This was ideal for me when I was using my phone mostly to arrange a ride home and for "tablet-ish" things on Wi-Fi, such as reading backlog on Discord while on break at work. However, it meant that every time a website uses SMS 2-factor authentication to log me in, it would end up costing me a dime. A dime here, a dime there, and pretty soon, I've exhausted all 30 units.

When I first looked into upgrading circa 2016, T-Mobile quoted me $37 per month for the upgrade (for a total of $40 per month). This appears to have since come down once mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) such as Ting and Mint decided to actually compete for the business of low to moderate users.

And even handsets don't last forever. Smartphones stop getting operating system updates, which reduces compatibility with updated applications and eventually leads to security vulnerabilities. Moreover, the lithium-ion rechargeable battery stops holding much of a charge after three or four years, and smartphones usually aren't built to allow end-user replacement of the battery. Even for a flip phone with a replaceable battery, a new air interface comes out every 10 years, and carriers tend not to keep more than two generations of air interface running at once. Carriers ended analog and first-generation digital mobile phone service (D-AMPS aka "TDMA") to free up spectrum for third-generation UMTS and CDMA2000. Then they ended second-generation service (cdmaOne and GSM) to free up spectrum for LTE. And most recently, they've been phasing out third-generation service (UMTS and CDMA2000) to free up spectrum for 5G NR. This habit of rotating out an air interface before the 20-year life of its essential patents ensures that there'll never be a royalty-free air interface compatible with networks in operation, unlike with landlines.

I think it's dangerous and exclusionary to get in a habit of taking for granted that all prospective users of a particular service already own an iPhone or Android phone on a service plan with unlimited incoming SMS and unlimited or high-volume data. For this reason, if a service requires each user to verify a unique mobile phone number, I feel a need to calculate and state the total cost of using a service in my country. This includes the price of a suitable handset (a smartphone for app-walled services or a flip phone for other services) spread over 48 months plus the price of a mobile phone service plan with unlimited incoming SMS.
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nesrocks
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by nesrocks »

I've been fortunate to have relatives who help me have cellphones throughout the years. There's an outrageous amount of things that cannot be done without one, but I think I wouldn't have one unless relatives helped. I'm a stubborn consumer.
My biggest gripe with mobile phones though is planned obsolescence. It's disrespectful and it is appalling that the vast majority of consumers simply don't care about that, which is actually the reason why it still exists. Actually, that's the biggest problem with mobile phones, they're made for the masses who are not tech savvy, and those of us who know better are left with little alternatives. I've had people get very defensive and angry at me for criticizing planned obsolescence, that I was being "whiny" about it.

I hate touchscreen for "clicking" and I abhor it for typing. I also hate that people can't stop looking at cell phones when meeting other people or going to new places. And this is coming from a huge nerd who spends most of his day in front of a computer, but come on, focus. You go to the beach you might as well leave the phone at home.
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Pokun
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Pokun »

It used to be incredibly rude to ignore your company, unless you really had to check your pager, mobile phone for an SMS message when awaiting an important call or something, and even then you would excuse yourself acknowledging your behavior to your peers and be brief about it.

But lately it has become almost completely acceptable to silently take up your smart phone and start internet surfing or even playing games on a smart device in the middle of a conversation, when being treated to tea or otherwise being together with other people. I see this everywhere, in almost all age groups and even in the otherwise usually super-polite Japan. It's odd because I feel it's still incredibly rude of them to suddenly ignore me like that, it must be something wrong with me.

Another thing, I see kids only playing around with tablets and doing absolutely nothing else. When I was a kid when we were on a trip I had my Game Boy and was often told I played too much games instead of looking out the car window and things like that. But the time I spent with my Game Boy was nothing compared to many of today's kids that can spend the whole day with a tablet playing extremely shitty games (at least I had Mario and other high quality games) or watching questionable kids' shows on Youtube (parents aren't always checking what they watch either). I see this a lot.
Oziphantom
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Oziphantom »

the problem is when you have to have an APP to do something. For example I bought a gift card to some concerts for my Mum for Christmas. But to use it, you have to use their App in order to apply the Gift card, can't use it online. Lots of ticket companies, ticketet for example have been trying to push people to only get their tickets in App.

We have smart phones, but Windows ones, so no apps for us ;)
zzo38
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by zzo38 »

I also do not have a cell phone. However, I have no desire or use for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Apple Music, Pokemon GO, etc. I also hate touch screen, and I think that the user interface of smart phones also isn't very good, and isn't customizable so much and has too many functions to waste power. (I do have a landline telephone, though.)

I think many modern computers and programs are designed badly in many ways, so I try to make better designs. (UNIX philosophy is you have enough ropes to hang yourself and also a few more just in case, and I think that is good enough and makes a much more effective computer.)
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Garth »

In the "new technologies for developing on NES" topic, turboxray wrote,
That's kind of sad, actually. I don't know if it's a pretty common pattern or just my heightened exposure to near-retired aged engineers (people who were close to technology their whole lives), but I'm seeing attitude/mentality like this more and more from that age career-centric group. I guess I expected people that worked so closely with technology, into the "weeds", to have more resilience against this regression. Instead, it's this regression to modify their lives to replicate a simpler time in their lives (and a more increased level of paranoia for new tech). Maybe for some, working so closing with technology, for decades, actually has the opposite effect? Or maybe there simply is no correlation at all.

I honestly cannot relate; I'm old enough to remember life without smart phones, internet, whatever - and I was VERY active (went to so many events, thrived in large group of friends, etc - an active social life). I spent a large part of my childhood and teenage years outside the house - balanced by gaming as a way to "recharge". Life is SO much better now with the advancement in technology than it ever was back then. I don't see my attitude changing on that, either. My two brothers, who are older than me, share the same/similar view as well. I guess some people's elasticity for adaptation of technology, and its impact on social norms, has reached its stretching point. I hope mine never does.
I have benefited immensely from the internet (via PCs, not smartphone), and have commented about the irony of the internet and internet forums bringing people together who have interests in older things, in this case 6502 and the game machines of yesteryear, and improving the support for these, and promoting growth of something that might have been viewed as nearly dead.

What I'm against is the misapplication of technology, or even harmful application of technology.  A smaller example that sticks out like a sore thumb was the talking car of the 1980's.  I'm sure some pointy-haired manager in a car-manufacturing company thought, "What could be more natural and friendly than the car communicating status to you by talking?  We have the technology to do it now!" so they made the car say things like, "Your door is ajar...Your door is ajar..." and people absolutely hated it, and quickly disabled it.  It's also like the fact that software updates get called "upgrades" when in some cases they're clearly not, but instead make it harder to use, break something that had been working, or introduce something that's very annoying.

If people want to use a smartphone for everything, in spite of the fact that it's heavily documented that the smartphone is the master surveillance device and also that it's slowly doing a lot of damage to health, they're free to do it.  I would prefer however that they not act like we're all required to.  And please be mindful of the effects on others.  Matters of common courtesy have already been mentioned.  Another I'll mention is that I'm a serious cyclist, fit, and I could write a book on riding safely and courteously in traffic, from 100,000 miles' experience.  I used to say the only thing I was afraid of was a drunk driver; but now that's been replaced by cell-phone drivers.  They'll look right at us and then prove they never saw us.

I could write lots more, but I'll wait and see how the topic develops.
http://WilsonMinesCo.com/ lots of 6502 resources
Pokun
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Pokun »

Yeah the afraid-of-new-technology argument is missing the point, the point is how the technology is enforced without second thoughts of the consequences. So it's just a matter of plain old bad judgement, and not a matter of old people preferring the old good days better.

Oziphantom mentioned a perfectly good example with forcing people to use apps. Sweden has a lot of that as I mentioned in the cashless society thread a few years ago. You can't buy tickets on buses with cash anymore in Stockholm (and probably most of the rest of Sweden that I've seen) and they don't take credits cards either. The only way to buy a ticket is to download an app with a smartphone. This system at least excludes anyone without a smartphone with an internet connection such as many elderly (usually don't have a smartphone or at least can't memorize how to use one), tourists, anyone with a smartphone but the battery dies or the hardware/software fails (smartphones are glued together lately and not meant to last more than a year to two despite costing $1000), those that has a smartphone but are unwilling to set it up so it can be used for money transfers and people that simply don't want to download this bloated spyware app.
The list can be made so long there are so many problems with it, yet they continue enforcing it.

Things have changed a bit lately in Sweden though, and the discussion where the numerous above-mentioned flaws in the system are pointed out has finally started to be taken seriously. There is a movement that values privacy rights highly and tolerance towards corruption is very low in the general public. The war in Europe has further advanced the discussion since it is now becoming very apparent that computerizing the whole society and controlling it with devices made by companies known for spying on their clients, and having the whole country run by a very vulnerable system wasn't such a fantastic idea after all. Especially not with recent cyber attacks done by Russian hackers among others.
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Oziphantom »

zzo38 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:24 pm I also do not have a cell phone. However, I have no desire or use for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Apple Music, Pokemon GO, etc. I also hate touch screen, and I think that the user interface of smart phones also isn't very good, and isn't customizable so much and has too many functions to waste power. (I do have a landline telephone, though.)
Honestly try a Windows Phone, the UI is pretty solid, bare-bones minimal fuss. With a customizable home screen that you can arrange the tiles sizes and layout to what you want and it has live tiles. Batteries last days. Basically the Phone is the Windows 8 start menu. Horrible on a desktop, great on a touch screen.
Pokun wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:10 pm You can't buy tickets on buses with cash anymore in Stockholm (and probably most of the rest of Sweden that I've seen) and they don't take credits cards either. The only way to buy a ticket is to download an app with a smartphone.
That is rough, In Aus as per London we have cards that you can buy in any convenience store that you use to tap on and tap off, which you can connect to a credit card auto top up or just go to a website to add money to it when I need to catch a train. It doesn't even have to be registered to any user, mine doesn't know who I am, it just cares it has money on it and that is enough to cover the train/bus/ferry fair. We call ours Opel(each state has its own card and system), but London has Oyster. You can also now just tap your Credit Card and there is an App is you want it. Maybe tell your legislative branch to have a look at it for ideas ;)
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TmEE
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by TmEE »

This is more of a semi related rant, around some problems Tepples raised earlier...

I recently moved to Norway (to live with my GF of 6+ years, among other reasons) and there actually are a bit of a problem with getting a phone number going. I still have my Estonian phone number, which I have had since 2005 or so and it came to be from just a storebought SIM card from one of several service providers with credit that you put on it through a website+bank payment which still works (and same with other providers too). That number will continue to be used until the SIM card physically stops working which perhaps can happen.

I expected something similar to be available where I am now, but it looks like such things are extinct here. Everything I can find and use basically wants you to actually have a contract with a monthly payment and they don't really give those out to people who don't have a "D-number" or the personal ID number, both of which I still lack due to no living permit yet. I have learned of one provider that does, and they even advertise themselves as one for international users who want to make international calls... but their cheapest plan is roughly 10€ a month, and I basically don't use my phone as more than a watch. The times I make or receive calls or messages are rare. The Estonian number I have is ideal for such use cases, I load more money on it when the credit starts running out or I start reacting the 6 months limit where I must load more or the number gets discontinued and recycled. In any case I have no other committments with it, each call or message may be expensive compared to some contract plan, but I make so few that it simply isn't cost effective for me to be on some contract... And to have this phone number I must spend a good amount of money a year on a service I basically don't use. This kind of stuff rubs me the wrong way, even when I have the money to pay for such a service, but other aspect is that a lot of services I need to get going really want you to have a phone number to do the most basic things such as a job site so that I could even get that living permit that gives me the required stuff to even get access the local services. I have seen several catch22 moments during my now more than 3 month stay... ~2.5 months left until I am subject to being kicked out lol (not lol, I kinda really ned to cement my stay here...).

The phone itself that I use primarly is a relatively ancient thing with actual buttons (Nokia 2610). It will be used until the battery of it no longer is usable and replacement cannot be procured. It used to last 4 weeks on one charge, enough that some years ago when I came to this country I could charge it at home, be here for a month, get back home and it will still go on for a few more days... but now it is barely a week. Of course this was with just one or two calls or messages during that time, but according to spec you can talk a whole day on fresh charge before it runs out, but I don't use phone anywhere near enough to verify that lol. I also hope there is a modern phone that can rival this, they still make stuff with actual buttons lol.
The phone that the local SIM will go into is something much newer, capable of internet business even, but it suffers from exactly same battery issue, but unlike the main phone, this one can permanetly live on a charger if it must.

Smartphone itself isn't really that huge of a problem other than usability related things though I do object to the spying aspect but it isn't nearly as important than actually be able to effectively complete tasks with the device. The screens are still nearly unusable to me, even on the recent expensive ones they don't react well to my fingers. I have to place one on the screen, hold it, even press and only then it will find that something is near and input is registered, with accuracy that is nonexistent, typing is impossible and without any tactile feedback it is even worse. I see this with all sort of capacitive sensors and it has made me I dislike capacitive touch screens very much (and I hate putting fingers on any sort of screens in general *does not tolerate dirty screens*), they just don't work for me. Stylus is a much preferred input device but phones with such are uncommon, as are ones with actual keyboards which would solve at least some of the problems. For the time being, laptop works well enough for majority of use cases, even when I leave home. It does seem that in this country I must have a device capable of running variety of android or apple apps to access basic services, users of anything else are excluded and it looks like alteratives will not be provided. This also rubs me the wrong way.
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Drag »

I work in AV right now, and create UIs that go onto touch panels, often for offices where there's always a handful of people who have a lot of anxiety around operating anything computerlike.

The flexibility of a control panel just being glass screen that you poke might seem like a huge advantage, but it's also its biggest detractor. When you press a button, you have no idea how the screen is going to change; it might change to a completely different set of controls. There's also no standardized way to indicate feedback, like which button is currently active.

Instead, if you just had a bunch of physical switches, and physical buttons, and some LEDs next to the buttons to show what's active, there's more confidence because the rug isn't pulled out from under you when you press any buttons. Since they're physical, they stay where they are. Users always seem to be able to handle physical controls vs. touch panel controls.

This is another side to what it means for controls to be "tactile", which I think gets forgotten often; the confidence of what your controls actually control, and that they're not sliding out from under your fingers unexpectedly. It goes beyond "I can physically feel the button being pressed when I press it".

That and it's always faster to reach for a physical calculator than it will ever be to open one on your phone, or on your computer.
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Pokun »

I definitely agree on that tactile buttons feels so much better than any touchscreen, even if it has force-feedback type of tactility (which generally helps but can also be annoying at times).
When smartphones were new I used to think it was a very cool feature to replace the keypad with a touchscreen so that you are not limited to whatever keys the keypad had. And while I still think this I have started to regret that home electronic devices have started to get touchscreens on everything, such as stoves, ovens and other things that doesn't benefit from it in any way. These typically has just touch-activated switches which means there is no benefit at all, just a loss of tactility and the unpleasant feeling of fingers touching hard glass. Even if they have a real touch-screen they seldom really need one in the same way a smartphone or tablet computer does, it feels more like a gimmick riding on the smartphone wave.



TmEE's situation really reminds me of my own when I first started to work in Japan. Not having a phone at all is very inconvenient when you are anything more than a tourist. Although Japan does have a personal ID number (called "My Number") it's not as widely used for everything like in Scandinavian countries (besides I got my own My Number), getting a Japanese mobile phone still had several hurdles.
The first is that you basically can't get a phone that isn't locked to a phone plan, unless you buy some very cheap models that doesn't have all the hardware I wanted. The solution was to buy a used phone, which also meant that you could get the last year's model of a good phone for much cheaper and without a phone plan. The next is that, like in Norway apparently, the monthly fee plan is the only type of pay plan that exists. In Sweden we do still have the cheaper plan (although only one company offers this AFAIK) where you just recharge the SIM card with money whenever you run out, but in Japan you have to pay a monthly fee if you want to be able to call at all, no matter how seldom you make calls. I seldom make enough calls in a month to benefit from that, but I still need a phone.
Finally the last problem was that being a foreigner meant that most phone companies wouldn't want anything to do with you for unspecified reasons. My first attempt at signing a contract ended in a letter to me where they simply refused me with no explanation. Eventually I did find a company that didn't refuse though.


Oziphantom wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:27 pm
Pokun wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:10 pm You can't buy tickets on buses with cash anymore in Stockholm (and probably most of the rest of Sweden that I've seen) and they don't take credits cards either. The only way to buy a ticket is to download an app with a smartphone.
That is rough, In Aus as per London we have cards that you can buy in any convenience store that you use to tap on and tap off, which you can connect to a credit card auto top up or just go to a website to add money to it when I need to catch a train. It doesn't even have to be registered to any user, mine doesn't know who I am, it just cares it has money on it and that is enough to cover the train/bus/ferry fair. We call ours Opel(each state has its own card and system), but London has Oyster. You can also now just tap your Credit Card and there is an App is you want it. Maybe tell your legislative branch to have a look at it for ideas ;)
Ah no, it's not quite as bad maybe it sounded. Stockholm do have travel pass cards which can be used on all trains and buses in the region. I was lamenting the fact that you can't buy a ticket on the bus anymore if you don't have such a card or if you ran out of money on it. A few years ago you could buy a ticket using cash on the bus but they stopped doing this because they were afraid of robbers. But then they stopped allowing you to buy a ticket at all except using a stupid app. The buses in my hometown also stopped taking cash, but you can at least use a credit card on the bus, but not in Stockholm nope.
I used to live in the outskirts of Stockholm which meant I had no way to refill my travel pass card except by going into town, which I couldn't do if I'd run out. I used to explain the situation and ask the bus driver if I could go anyway so I could recharge the card in town, and they would usually just allow you but clearly be irritated, sometimes they would refuse. I couldn't care less that they were irritated since the problem was self-caused by Stockholm's public transport systems, but you still get the urge to pound their faces for being idiots. Stockholm public transport system also had some real problems during this time for things like coming on time or even coming at all (sometimes I couldn't get home before the sun rose), which easily would make you hate how they run things even more.
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by creaothceann »

Drag wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:40 am This is another side to what it means for controls to be "tactile", which I think gets forgotten often; the confidence of what your controls actually control
Physical buttons can also have different functions. For example the buttons on one of my monitors are used for navigating the on-screen menu, but when no menu is visible they act as shortcuts to specific sections of the menu.

Drag wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:40 am it's always faster to reach for a physical calculator than it will ever be to open one on your phone, or on your computer
My use case:
1. Reach for smartphone, use fingerprint sensor to turn it on, tap calculator icon. Takes about 2 seconds.
2. Press Win+R on PC to bring up the Run dialog (which has "calc" already stored in the text edit box), press Enter. Takes about 1 second, and is actually a regression since as of Win10 the calculator is some kind of newer application and needs a few more milliseconds to render its UI than the previous Win32 calculator.
3. Rummage in bag for the calculator (assuming it's even in there), make sure its little solar cells are getting some light, turn it on. Takes 5 to 10 seconds.

Pokun wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:16 pm the unpleasant feeling of fingers touching hard glass
I don't know about stoves and ovens, but on smartphones I always go for glass. The alternative is transparent plastic, which feels worse to the touch.
My current setup:
Super Famicom ("2/1/3" SNS-CPU-GPM-02) → SCART → OSSC → StarTech USB3HDCAP → AmaRecTV 3.10
Pokun
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Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Pokun »

In almost any game the functions of the buttons on the controller changes with the mode, and of course with the game itself.

Which calculator is faster to reach for is very situation-dependent. The smartphone one is mainly useful because you usually always have it with you unlike a physical calculator, and the fact that different calculator apps has different functionality.
When I'm home I'll use my TI-84 Plus any day, as it's comfortable to use, but when I'm away I normally don't have it with me.
When I'm at my computer the Windows calculator is quicker to start up and it can do binary and hexadecimal stuff which my TI can't out of the box. I use the TI one mainly when I need to do larger calculations which it is very good at.
unregistered
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:21 pm
Location: cypress, texas

Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by unregistered »

I feel odd here. (This is a short note to give my small opinion.) Steve Jobs was an excellent perfectionist interesting hard boss. He often fired people for failing a task. He hired a guy; told him what needed to be done; and the hired worker came up with a solution. Though, Sir Jobs didn’t mention that the task had never been invented/done before. Also, Mr. Jobs spent months and months designing his iPhone. It had to be perfect size/perfect in design.

I’m odd here bc I enjoy an iPhone. The screen typing is excellent; before hitting a letter on its keyboard, the actual value of the “key” appears in an enlarged box above where you pressed the screen. Even if you type a word incorrectly, usually a valid correction appears in one of the three boxes above the keyboard. You can press a box and its contents replace the current set of characters, separated by spaces, touching the cursor. It’s also possible to type a word without releasing contact with the screen, but I haven’t learned to do that.


The iPhone is built very well. If you find something it can’t do, you are free to build the function yourself. Watch a yt video about the iPhone’s Shortcuts app. It’s very cool, but requires experience/learning.


The Face-ID thing is excellent bc I used to ruin my Touch-ID access constantly… cuts on finger, dirt/grease dried on finger, I believe I even burned my finger once. But Face-ID solves that finger problem.


Ok, sry Sir tepples and forum, was just my opinion. :)
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Fisher
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:58 am
Location: -29.794229 -55.795374

Re: Living without a personal smartphone

Post by Fisher »

Well, I mostly use my phone to save some bucks on my energy bill and also test my patience and resilience. lol
I really started to use the it when pandemic times arrived.
I was kind of forced do buy a newer and better one so I could use video calls and Home banking, things that where very slow and almost unbearable on the my old "tamagotchi". :lol:
Other than that I think I can live fine without a cell phone.
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