Friday, February 10, 2012

Are you sitting down?

The Farmer got an iphone…an iPHONE!!

After having an old flip style dumbphone for years, he finally began to wish he was in the world of smartphones. I think the many times he would ask a question at dinner, and the kids would whip out their smartphones to get an immediate answer, began to have an influence. And then when he found out they had maps on them…well, it was all over! A smartphone it must be…

Next thing I know, he has ordered an iphone…straight to the top, it seemed to me. But then this is the same guy whose first purchase on ebay was a Kenworth…Go big or go home.

Of course, the fact that The Farmer got an iphone meant that I would be learning a lot about it…And, in fact, for the next several evenings hours were spent trying to figure out how to run the mumble-mumble thing! We were under pressure, as The Farmer was about to fly to Ohio for meetings, and he would need to know, at least, how to answer his phone – and he wanted to get his email – and he wanted to use all those maps.

But first we had to learn a new language: Apple. We know some PC, but are not fluent in that either. We were looking for buttons to click that were not there. We couldn’t find our folders, or categories, or whatever they are, and even had to go looking in the clouds for our information.

We had severe spelling problems as we used the touch screen. When your fingertip is approximately the width of 3 letters, typing is a challenge, and you say things you really don’t mean…And call people you didn’t know you were going to call…And select things that really mess up your phone usage.

And then there’s Siri…

Of course, when we would get stuck, I would tell Randy to ask Siri how to fix the problem. Siri knows a lot about the world, but she doesn’t know much more about how to run an iphone than I do. Sure, she can tell you what the capitol of Kenya is, but how to add a contact? “I’m sorry. I don’t know ‘contact’.” Yeesh!

We found out that she didn’t know The Farmer either…She started calling him “Spik-ee-wheel”.  Spik-ee-wheel? The Farmer asked her straight out, “Who am I?” “You are Spik-ee-wheel.”

Houston, we have a problem…

A little investigation showed that somehow (think touch screen typing with Farmer hands) a business called “Spikewheel” on The Farmer’s phone contacts list had been selected for the identity of the phone’s owner.

Our lack of fluency in the language of Apple had us certain that from now to forever, The Farmer would be known as “Spik-ee-wheel”. It was already obvious to us that Siri could be pretty stubborn, and when we asked her how to change identity, she thought we were planning something illegal.

At this point, there was some serious buyer’s remorse going on…and a bit of complaining about why a smartphone can’t be more like a dumbphone…And why were all the contacts mixed together, and not sorted…And how can anybody type on these things…and so on, and so on…

I let The Farmer vent, and then encouraged him to persevere! And persevere we did…We found out how he had become “Spik-ee-wheel” and corrected the problem. We got the contact lists sorted out. The Farmer got so comfortable that he bought a few apps, and he drove all around Sandusky, Ohio with the help of Siri and all those maps he coveted.

I still have not been able to give The Farmer a clear picture of what The Cloud is…I’ve explained servers, and storage, but he still thinks that his contacts are floating out there somewhere, not sure they are tethered to earth well enough to stay safe…

Siri can’t explain it either, and we’re both giving up. Just use the phone, and don’t ask too many questions…

Fortunately, the buyer’s remorse is gone, and The Farmer is using his iphone all the time, and I am going to get mine in August when I am eligible for an upgrade...because I want to buy apps and answer questions at the dinner table too!

Hey! Go big or go home.

1 comment:

Jerrie said...

The Farmer and the iPhone. Sounds like a movie in the making. Glad he is liking it...You won't be disappointed. I just moved out of the iPhone world but it is a great phone and super easy once you get to know it (except Siri she's a feisty one). If you have any questions you just ask Troy he's an iPhone master now! :)

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Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (