Decisions Decisions


I decided to cycle straight to Cleveleys today on the basis that if I delayed and visit a cafe in St Annes first I wouldn’t bother as I’m quite weary today.  In the end I got to Blackpool before I had to take a rest stop at Caffe Nero, not in the end because I was too tired, but because I realised that nowhere would be open if I arrived at 8:30.  So rested up I left Caffe Nero at 9:30, arriving at Cleveleys Vincent’s Cafe at 10:00 and had a fine breakfast, followed by a long walk around town and along the sea-front.  The ride north was hard and fast, my arms are very sore from Tuesday’s weight training session, but the ride home was brutal.  My arms had become increasingly sore and the wind was against me, still I enjoyed the challenge and cycled all the way back without a break.

Once home all I wanted to do was sleep, but I decided to at least accomplish something beyond the washing up, so I moved my collection of cherry trees from the drive onto the patio and after some design tips from Anna I think they look great, I’m going to enjoy watching them ripen from my patio chair.

Of course today is Apple announcement day and I’ve been waiting for several years to upgrade my gear.  Here what I decided:

  1. Apple TV – not interested, Windows Media Centre and Netflix currently meet all of our needs
  2. iPad Pro – the iPad pro itself is perfection, the keyboard case looks ok, but it’s not great.  It doesn’t look as lappable as I’d like, the key design makes me nervous and the single position for the screen is definitely not as good as Microsoft provide with the Surface – overall it’s too expensive and I won’t be getting one, I will be keeping my iPad Mini 2
  3. iPhone 6S – lots of new features, none of them particularly compelling for me, although the always on motion co-processor might be useful – but, given that it’s only a £100 premium over the 6 I think I will be getting one

So how am I spending my money? 

  1. Carry laptop – I am interested in a lighter weight, longer battery life, touch enabled carry laptop.  I really like the Surface 3, but even that seems too expensive to me.  Instead I’m going to get a HP Pavilion x2 64GB with a 128GB Micro SD card,  this is a 2 in 1 device and the keyboard is excellent for a 10” device, at half the price of a Surface it’s a steal – in theory!
  2. Phone – iPhone 6S, Space Grey, 64GB – an excellent upgrade to my existing iPhone 4S
  3. TV – No change, if I do invest it’s likely to be a Roku

This is about half the price of my theoretically ideal scenario, which would have been an iPad pro and an iPhone 6S Plus, but when I applied my test “will this investment really improve my life” the extra £1K just didn’t make sense.  What is this, ‘improving my life’ test?

The test I like to apply is ‘will an investment result in me doing more of the things that truly improve my quality of life’, currently these things are learning, reading, writing my blog, cycling, hiking, travelling, photography, programming, gardening and spending time with friends and family

So why invest in a new carry laptop?  Well I wanted something smaller to carry with me, with longer battery life, something that allows me to carry my whole eBook library, all of my documents and photos, my complete Evernote notebooks, all of my dropbox, a full copy of Office and my favourite blogging software. I also want easy remote desktop access back to my home server, desktop PC and Plex video library.  Since I already own all of the software and a Windows 10 laptop will work exactly like all of my other devices it’s a no-brainer for 1/4 of the cost of an iPad Pro which doesn’t have many of these advantages.  

Why invest in a new phone? well the 4S has reached the end of it’s useful life for me, it’s just to slow and unreliable for the number of apps that I use, for the amount of GPS tracking and photography,  the 4S won’t go to waste though as it provides a nice spare for Debbie, who’s needs are much more modest.

Finally we decided to get an estimate for the utility room extension at the side of the house, we should know how much this will cost tomorrow, fortunately it sounds like this will be 40-50% off in the current sale, which would be nice!

The photo today is of our wonderful beach, it reminds me to appreciate the simple things in life and invest in those things!  Sadly at least for a few days I will still be lusting over the iPad pro!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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