Followup: Upgraded my iPhone from 3GS to 4 for MINUS $40.00

Following up from yesterday’s post, in fact, I was able to get $300 for my mint condition iPhone 3GS on Craig’s list, and was able to buy a new iPhone 4 from Radioshack for $260 after tax!

So, if you have an iPhone 3GS in good condition, and your AT&T contract is up, then you should upgrade to an iPhone 4 and make $40 in the process. Cool!

Free iPhone 3GS upgrade to iPhone 4?

So Radioshack is offering $50 off the price of an iPhone 4 for the next several days. As far as I can tell, the difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS is not that great, so I’ve not really been that interested. But it got me thinking.

It turns out that there are many sites that supposedly give you cash for your old iPhone. Oddly, Radioshack is offering $125, and I see sites like and offering anything between $125 and as much as $315. How can that be? I am not sure.

As current AT&T contract lock in is over, so from my calculations: $300 for the phone, $50 discount from Radioshack is $250, so if I can get $250 for my old phone, it’s a free upgrade. My remaining question is, who the heck is and can I trust them?


Woz speaks (on iPhone)

I happen to be reading iWoz, which is Steve Wozniak’s memoir/biography/whatever. It’s a very breezy easy read and fun if you follow this kind of thing. So naturally this caught my eye:

“Woz then moved on to the topic of Android saying that Android smartphones, not the iPhone, would become dominant, noting that the Google OS is likely to win the race similarly to the way that Windows ultimately dominated the PC world. Woz stressed that the iPhone, “Has very few weak points. There aren’t any real complaints and problems.” (from “Steve Wozniak: Android will be the dominant smartphone platform“)

Of course Engadget may not have selected the particular headline that Woz would have liked, because he also lavished praise on the iPhone saying it has “”Has very few weak points. There aren’t any real complaints and problems. In terms of quality, the iPhone is leading.”

Fun article about faux-physical UI metaphors

Ok, that’s my own curious headline for this interesting article in the New York Times:

“What, after all, is a more recognizable symbol of the capriciousness of life than a deck of cards, out of which your fate is randomly dealt? And yet here the deck icon is only superficial. At heart it’s not a random-card generator but the opposite: a highly wrought program with a memory, an algorithm and a mandate to keep children in the game. An app posing as a spatiotemporal object.” (from The New York Times)

Rhapsody vs. iTunes

I think I might be entering a new phase in my music listening. I listen to a ton of music, on my iPhone, on my computer, in my car, all the time. And up to now it’s always been downloaded (purchased) music that I organize manually within iTunes.  From time to time I’ve had subscriptions to eMusic and similar services.

As a result I have a huge number of tracks on my computer and on my iPhone. And as my music taste develops, and I discover new artists and composers, lots of those tracks are listened to rarely.

The alternative services like Rhapsody, which has been around for a while. But I didn’t like the idea of paying $10 per month to ‘rent’ music to listen to. Without owning it I would ‘lose’ the music if I ever cancelled the subscription. I would be tied to this $10 subscription forever.

Lately I’ve been trying the various streaming products like Rhapsody, Rdio, Mog, and various others. From those that I’ve tried I still like Rhapsody the best. Rhapsody is the only one that organizes music into genres so that I can browse through for example, 20th Century Classical. The other ones seem to be focused more on current popular music, which I don’t really listen to.

And I feel a sea-change coming in my own listening. I am really liking Rhapsody. I am playing more variety. Yes, even among my 10,000 or so tracks on my disk I was finding myself repeating the stuff I liked best. With Rhapsody I can go spelunking through a category I don’t know that well (e.g. Jazz Blues) and discover new music. I can have a playlist playing all afternoon of music that I like that I never heard before.

And who cares about ‘owning’ a track anyway?

The funny thing about iPhone apps

So a friend of mine told me of his iPhone app, called Etude. He sung the praises, it sounds really cool to me. So I whipped out my iPhone and went to download the app. Wouldn’t you know it costs $4.99. I turned to him and I said, hey, “it’s not free!”.

Yeah silly reaction, given how I’ve ranted myself about free and not-free. And here’s the funnier part still. He said, Oh, yes, it’s $3.00. I said, “No it’s more like $5.00”. He said, “Oh yes, we just raised the price.” I gave him a blank look.

Here’s the kicker. He said, “What if I give you $5.00 right now?”.

I still didn’t want to buy it… How does that make any sense?

iPhone 3GS – Questions

Ok so I’ve had the new iPhone for a little while now. This is my first ever iPhone and I have some questions. Maybe you can help me?

  • iPhone knows how to announce the album name and artist (using the voice recognition “what song is that” command.) Then why can’t I enable it to automatically announce each and every song?
  • Why is it so dang hard to convert a DVD I own to iPhone format? I tried a bunch of ‘solutions’ using software I already have, as well as 2 or 3 utilities I downloaded. None finished successfully. All took forever. Isn’t there an easy way?

Any experts out there who want to comment?

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Maybe I hate my iPhone

This is from today’s New York Times Magazine. I didn’t know Virginia Heffernan was funny!

“Actually, the iPhone probably sips, like a lipsticky girl with a vodka drink. It usually does things in a cute way. Whatever. At 4 in the morning, I was in bed, fighting rage. I couldn’t stop thinking about that device’s tarty little face and those yapping “apps” you can download for it. The whole iPhone enterprise seemed to require so much attention, organization, explanation, praise, electricity. I know — I know: in the morning, Apple’s latest miracle machine would fill my palm with meaning and magic. So why couldn’t I contain my annoyance? I had no new-thing excitement. It dawned on me: I hated my iPhone.” (from I Hate My iPhone)

Read the whole thing, will you?

I actually don’t have an iPhone although I’ve been seriously considering getting one when the next generation comes out in June. Why have I waited so long? I worry that the reality won’t live up to the anticipation, and that I might grow, over time, to hate my iPhone or what it does to me.

Kindle book prices: another genius move

Take a book that I was interested in, “The Lords of Finance”, by Liaquat Ahamed. This is a brand new book, very timely that I heard mentioned on TV.


I think this might again turn the publishing world upside down. Questions:

  1. Will it cause publishers and printers to loose a bunch of money because people who normally buy hardcovers will by Kindle books instead?
  2. Will it cause them to MAKE a bunch of money because people who never buy hardcovers now will buy Kindle books (as I am tempted to, with this particular book)
  3. What is Sony thinking? I think they are running a huge free marketing program for Kindle. They convince someone to read books on a device, and once they do they see the huge amount of money they can save by doing it on a kindle and go buy one.