Friday, 23 January 2015

Friendship Report: Modern Technology

Dear Readers,

If any of you read my personal blog, you may know that I now have a smartphone, I don't know why I have one, but it was given to me by Nathan's dad, so I'm not going to complain. It's about four years out of date, so it's nothing too fancy, and for those of you who are wondering it's a HTC Desire S, and no, I don't know if HTC are actually a good brand or not, because I've only known of the existence of HTC for six days now.

Since I've had six days to get to terms with the beeping monstrosity, I think I'm slowly starting to get used to it's constant pinging, buzzing, flashing and gurgling, but it is still really annoying, I imagine it'll pass eventually. Overall I have come to good terms with it, especially now that I have replaced the faulty SIM card I bought with one that actually works.

My current quarrel with it is currently that I think the £10 I just put on it has been converted into 1000 free texts and 500 free minutes (and also 500mb of data, whatever that means). I don't know if that genuinely is the case or not, but if it is, and those all disappear before I use them up, I will flip, and I'll probably throw rocks at my service provider, and call them names. I'm a cheap-skate, and so I choose the free ways to communicate, meaning I can save my credit for emergencies, making my credit last about six months.

I am using a pay as you go SIM, and not a contract, so it shouldn't cause me any problems. I just have no clue what I'm doing since I haven't had a working phone in two years, and even when I did have a working phone, my dad sorted it out for me.

Anyway, onto another topic which loosely relates to the first since I referenced it in the opening paragraph. Is it really worth paying extortionate money for top brands? This is something that is really close to Nathan's heart, he talks about it a lot, usually using guitars as an example. I'm not going to use guitars though, I'm going to use shoes.

So my college mate Josh, he likes his big brand shoes, in fact he spends about £70 on a pair of big brand shoes, and he calls it cheap. I on the other hoof, spend about £30 on shoes and call it a rip-off. I'm not going to go into any brand names, I don't want to put you off anything.

Anyway, Josh's running shoes cost him £70 (ish), and they lasted him about three weeks, just about long enough for him to break them in, and then he buys another pair for a similar price. To me that seems pointless, mine cost about £30 (but I payed £17 since they were on sale) and they are still going strong 18 months later, I definitely think I've got the better end of the stick here.

I understand that some top brands are top brands for a reason, I can only really speak for the brands I know which happen to be guitar and amp brands. So in this case I can understand why the top brands are the top brands, such as Gibson, Fender and Marshall. During the early days of Rock 'n' Roll, there were many guitar brands going, but the majority of them weren't particularly good, so if you ever see a vintage guitar on eBay, it may be collectible, but remember that vintage is just another word for old junk.

The good brands of the era, were Gibson and Fender, they continued to make top quality guitars, and also revolutionized the guitar. As for amps, at the time, only Marshall were making the amps that musicians required, and so they built up their name from there, or at least, that is what my sources tell me.

Anyway, since then, many brands have became at least as good as those, and some brands may even be better, but all that is up for debate. Either way, you have to remember, just because something is the top brand, doesn't necessarily make it the best brand, so be careful, before you blow out an ungodly amount of money on something you don't strictly need, if you are going to start a hobby, you should start out small, and learn a bit about it before you upgrade.

- George "Kitty" Booth

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