I’m always looking for new ways to learn how to code. Up until recently, I had no idea where to really start with Swift, the language used to craft iOS apps and games that mades its appearance in iOS 8.

A few days ago, I came across Swifty, a free app (with a couple in-app purchases) that teaches you the basics of iOS programming. I recommend you go check it out on the App Store. It’s a great way to get started and with no cost for entry, if you don’t like it, you’re not out any money. It’s available for both the iPhone and iPad.

iPhone Trade In

I did something I never thought I’d have to do.

I traded in my iPhone 5 and signed up for Verizon EDGE and got an iPhone 6.

That means: I’m making payments on my phone.

It might not sound bad to some, and I totally get the idea behind it. It serves a purpose, and I think I discovered one of those purposes. Let me explain.

Up until yesterday, I had a white iPhone 5. It served its purpose. It didn’t have the largest capacity nor was it perfect on the outside. It worked and it worked well… most of the time. On occasion, it would play battery tricks on me that I didn’t appreciate.

For example: I’m using my phone and going about my business when I look at my battery level to see it’s at 50%. No big deal, that’ll last me a few hours at my current pace. A couple minutes later, I look at my screen and am informed I am at 10%. That’s odd, I was at 50% just a few minutes ago.

Lo and behold, I’m actually at 4%. Depending on the scenario, my butt might be puckering a bit at this point. As I find a charger and plug it in, my phone tells me I have 50% remaining once more. Unplugging my phone in confusion, my battery stays at 50%.

What did I just experience? Am I in the twilight zone or is the phone hardware just not doing its job reporting remaining charge anymore?

It’s likely the second. In cases where my charge drops dramatically, it will stay there until the likely real charge passes that level, in which case it resumes recording depletion. I had it run on 7% for two hours.

Fun, eh?

I couldn’t handle that drama, anymore. I called Verizon and asked them what it would take to buy out the rest of my contract so I could re-sign and get a new phone. Turns out, it would take a cancellation of my line. Well… that blows.

Oh but wait! Haley, the customer service person on the other end says I’m eligible for a “promotion” that involves signing up for Verizon EDGE so long as I turn in my old phone. Hmm. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about making monthly payments on a phone, paying full price for it in the end, and still being in a contract, but I didn’t care at the time, and $31 a month isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

So in a nutshell, I caved and signed up for what I never thought I would do. On the plus side, I have a sexy new phone that really does kick a lot of ass. On the neutral side, my next bill will be  $140 larger than normal (they bill you for sales tax).


P.S.: The cat photo has nothing to do with anything I just wrote. I like cats.

Never Gonna Give You Up, Never Gonna Put You Down... Sometimes.

As much as I try to stay current with technology, there’s a part of me that just doesn’t care if I check my phone all the time, or am constantly reading emails on the weekend. I know a lot of people keep up to date on the latest everything with every device they have and that’s awesome. I just can’t do that. However, there’s one device that I really can’t live without because it’s become a gateway to the “Quick-Check-to-See-if-the-World-Has-Burned-Down” reality: my iPhone.

I’m quite sure the list of people that say they couldn’t live without their phone is staggering. Hell, Instagram is a phone-only thing and look at how many people share what they’re eating on regular basis! If people stopped caring so much about their phones and making sure everything that was going on was going through their phone, Instagram would shut down. It’s likely that twitter would take a big hit, too. Facebook… meh. People are still butthurt about the unbundling of services that Facebook did recently, because they don’t have anything else to be upset about. They’re rebelling against the system by using their browser or their computer as if that’ll do anything. You go guys… way to stick it to the man.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having my phone around with me all the time, but it’s more of a just-in-case-something-happens kind of need. I might be listening to podcasts while I travel to and from work every day, but we’ve been able to do that for quite some time, before smartphones were a thing (remember the iPod?) so that doesn’t count as a dire need. I listen to music, too, but that also falls under what I just described. I might check twitter every now and then or watch Facebook all morning but that just drains me. Have you ever sat on twitter reading people’s 140-character-or-less thoughts and NOT felt drained or depressed afterwards? The world sucks nuts and I can only read about it for a little bit.

The world used to be a simpler place. Cats used to sit inside cannons like it’s no big deal. You can tell a lot about a time period by whether you have a cat that’s willing to loiter around artillery. Those days were nice.

[![tumblr_neyf5bef5V1sfie3io1_1280.jpg](https://john.ly/content/images/2015/01/tumblr_neyf5bef5V1sfie3io1_1280.jpg?resize=525%2C329&ssl=1)](https://john.ly/content/images/2015/01/tumblr_neyf5bef5V1sfie3io1_1280.jpg?ssl=1)See!? A Cat. In a Cannon. What, did you think I made that up?

For all I don’t use my iPhone for, though, if I didn’t have it with me, I’d feel disconnected, I’ll admit. It’s become more of a security blanket when I’m moving between point A and point B. I, and likely society as a whole, have been trained to think that if I leave my house without my phone, something bad might happen and I won’t be able to call for help! I wonder how people in the 90s even survived.

I think if I absolutely had to, could resort to a dumb phone. Apple still makes iPods, so all my smart tools could just migrate to that device. I’d have iMessage wherever I had wifi and text messaging on my dumb phone. Turns out, though, that I’d still end up paying an arm and a leg for service. The difference of $20 for data isn’t worth the downgrade. On the flip side, the uncharge of $20 for data to have a smartphone is paltry.

Perhaps one day I’ll see if I can go a whole day without my smartphone. I have a ton of technology around me at home, and a ton more at work, so really there’ll only be roughly three hours out of the day where I’m in that disconnected state that won’t allow me to get the latest tweets that I hate or read emails the bleeding freaking second they arrive.

But that’s unlikely.

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