Thursday, July 26, 2012

Constantly delayed gratification

Today a big box of food arrived at my office from America; I'd ordered a vast number of granola bars from a website, rather than pay twice as much to buy them in a shop in Singapore. I am both surprised and vaguely annoyed that it's so much cheaper (even after shipping) to order food in from overseas. It's a pain having to wait for Mr DHL to bring me a box, rather than go to the shops, but I'm funny about paying an extra 12% for the privilege of taking a half-hour bus ride to a shop that sells organic refuse sacks and cruelty-free drain cleaner. Either it's good old middle class delayed gratification, or I want to be annoyed by having to wait for things.

I'm also annoyed that I didn't order ten pounds of healthfoods while I was in Bellevue (and thus avail myself of free shipping) and also that I had to carry the ten pound box of foodstuffs all the way home from the office, when I was already tired from running 10k. But I suppose that's extra exercise I should be thankful for.

I should also be thankful that in the fourth month of the second quarter of 2012 Samsung finally deigned to release the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich for our Galaxy Tab. Yes, I know most people think each quarter of the year has only three months, but clearly Samsung are special, a company full of out-of-their-box thinkers who can commit to delivering an update by the end of Q2 by the simple expedient of changing when Q2 finishes.

They're not workshy bastards. Not at all.

I should be thankful, but I had to install Samsung's Kies software onto our brand new laptop to do the update, and Kies just has this feel about it, like you're adding vast amounts of unnecessary complexity to your computer for no good reason. Following in the path of Sony, Samsung seem to love making great hardware with horrible software.

Dirtied, I followed the instructions to upgrade the Tab. We waited. We waited. My wife began to fiddle with my hair. We were waiting so long we were regressing down the evolutionary scale, so we went away and played crib, coming back to find the upgrade hadn't worked and I needed to perform an emergency firmware restore.

Oh dear. At least everything was backed up. I followed the instructions for an emergency firmware restore.

Kies said I couldn't do it now, and would have to try later. I began to consider frisbeeing our brand new computer and our Samsung paperweight out of the window. Then Kies asked if I wanted to upgrade the firmware. Again. I wondered if it was taking the piss.

Second time round, following the same steps, it upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich just fine, and all of a sudden the Tab is swifter, looks nicer and isn't running a year-old operating system any more. That's because it took Samsung so long to release the Ice Cream Sandwich update that Ice Cream Sandwich is itself more than a year old. At which point I begin to conclude this is an elaborate joke and that I should have bought an iPad in the first place.


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