Monday, February 28, 2011

In search of?

I have been in search of the perfect companion for my runs, and I don't mean a human companion nor do I mean an animal companion (I do like this kind of dog though).No, I mean a technology companion. As most know, I love listening to podcasts and occasionally music while I run but I also like to have a phone and I really have wanted to have a camera too. So for the last year or so I have carried an Ipod Nano (3rd gen) or shuffle, my cell phone (Motorola Razr V3m) and no real camera (yes the cell phone has one, well kind of, sort of).

My cell phone has a 1.3 Megapixel camera and it works but the pictures are at best so so. So I looked at cameras but didn't really want to carry a 3rd appliance and they were anywhere from $50 to $300+, plus most were larger than I wanted to carry. I thought more about taking a camera instead of the phone but that didn't seem like a good idea.

So I finally figured out what I wanted to do, get a newer phone with a better camera except almost all of the phones with a better camera require a data plan (meaning an extra $29.95 to Verizon) and that didn't make sense to pay the extra cash and carry a $300+ phone on runs in the rain, snow, heat, etc.. with an individual who has been known to fall once or twice on trails. I already have a smartphone (Samsung Jack) for work but I don't like to run with it even
though it does have a 3 MP camera which works ok. It has a weird Samsung cable that I have to use to connect my headphones and syncing my podcasts hasn't worked that well. But the main reasons are that I can't see the keys (yes, carry reading glasses would solve that issue) and the phone has a tendency to make calls when I least expect it (especially when it's in my pocket).

So what's my answer, my initial thought was to buy a phone that meets my camera needs and don't sign-up for any service. So I started looking on Ebay for a cheap solution and at the same time I decided to make sure my idea would work. So, I borrowed my daughter's old env Touch (3 MP camera) and it worked fine, too bad Verizon insists on a data plan for it, as it would be an improvement. It did prove my concept would work which was a good thing, although the glasses were still a little bit of an issue as I couldn't discern "erase vs save" and of course erased the first few pictures I took.

As I was looking into phones on Ebay and experimenting with syncing podcasts and music to the enV. I discovered another thing to listen to, audiobooks, I can download them from netlibrary (available from my local library) for free and then listening during my runs. The first audiobook I listened to was Dean Karnazes "UltraMarathon Man". I really enjoyed it, the audio brought a new perspective to the book and the book again reminded me of why I run, it's because I love running, duh. Running brings me peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, pain, success, failure, fitness (meaning hopefully good physical and mental health) and many other things and it was nice to get a chance to reflect on it as I listened to Dean's story.

After looking at ebay for the past few weeks, I realized that I can get a phone with a better camera and I can use it to replace my work phone. My Jack has a cracked screen, so since I am paying, I can buy one and then I won't feel guilty if I run with it and something happens, like it gets wet. If I ruin it, back to ebay or back to the Jack.

So last week I purchased a Motorola Backflip on ebay. Maybe not the best phone available but with a 5 MP camera, wifi, mp3 player, android 2.1 and a keyboard it is a huge improvement over the Jack and the cost wasn't that bad. Plus Motorola and Nero have an application (Motorola Media Link) that allows me to easily sync from my desktop or from Itunes.
So hopefully you see a few more pictures from me as spring arrives, if nothing else it did capture the before and after of yesterday's run.

Before the run

After the run

Final note they took that fine looking Motorola phone from above and left my ipod, they also left my clif shot bloks, headphones, running shoes, running clothes and bible, go figure.

1 comment:

SteveQ said...

Ugh. I had my car broken into about 6 weeks ago. They stole my glasses - absolutely no use to them, but man was that frustrating!


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