A Wii little story

A friend from college visited me a few months ago and we played a few rounds of Wii tennis and he fell in love with the game and wanted one. Then I had to break it to him that it was still currently almost impossible to buy a Wii. He recently told me a story of his coworker tracking one down:

So my friend is walking through Wal-Mart on a Sunday morning and I guess it’s when the Wii shipment comes in because just as he’s walking past the video game area, he watches an employee put four Wii console boxes on the shelf. He picks up a Wii box and he’s reading the label for maybe 30 seconds. He looks back at the shelf, and the three other boxes are gone. Then someone taps him on the shoulder.

“You gonna buy that Wii you’re holding?” says the shoulder tapper.

“Yeah, I think I am.”

And he did.

Now that’s consumer demand for a successful product.

Planning to attend the MeFi party in Portland, July 14th?

For MetaFilter‘s 8th anniversary, we’re throwing a party at Ground Kontrol (511 NW Couch St.), a bar/80s arcade in downtown Portland. It’ll be from 7pm until 2am on Saturday, July 14th. It is strictly 21 and over because there will be free drinks (roughly 5 free drinks per person, $1.50-$2 per drink after we run out the tab) and games will also be on free play mode. The venue can accommodate about 100 people so I need to do a head count beforehand (at this point I’m not sure if 50 people or 500 are actually coming).

The party is open to any and all current members and you can bring one guest if you want. Please mark “Yes” if you’ve made plans and would like to attend, “Maybe” if you’re not sure yet. If you can’t make it, no worries, feel free to ignore this. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing everyone on the 14th!

RSVP here

Canceling tmobile

Getting an iPhone meant I’d be leaving tmobile after four years of service, and I re-upped my contract last year for a blackberry pearl, so unfortunately that also meant I’d get hit with a $200 contract charge. Today I called to cancel and I knew it might be painful so I decided to record it. The total call was 12 minutes long, about half of that spent with a retention specialist. The best part of the call was both the first support rep and the retention guy saying “you got an iPhone! how is it?” and sounding genuinely interested.

Here’s the part of the recording where the retention guy comes on (he starts with a bit of iPhone FUD, then gives offers):


He gives me the following offers:

  • $299 for a Tmobile Wing (“more compatible, more features than the iPhone”)
  • 1 month of free service
  • transfer phone to someone else
  • monthly service reduced from $59/mo to $20/mo

24 hours with the iPhone: my dream mini computer

After my initial problems, I got a new iPhone from my nearby Apple store and spent several hours using it. My first reaction is that it’s very good, meeting the almost impossible expectations I had for it. Photos are fun and look great, movies are nice and will work great on planes, and the iPod functionality looks good.

The thing that really knocked my socks off was Safari.

I do almost everything in a web app, and even with my blackberry pearl I was stuck with a crippled browser that could only use about half the apps I need. It was a breakthrough over my last device (which was painful for more than 1 or 2 web page views) but I never thought having a full copy of safari on a phone would be so liberating (especially since I only use firefox on my mac).

I have a set of tasks I normally do to keep up on all the workings of metafilter, but I used to only be able to check email and read the front pages of my sites on the pearl. Typically that was the bare minimum and I would wait until I got to a desktop to finish the rest of my work. Last night while catching up on some fluffy TV, I used my iphone for about two hours and it was pretty close to what I do with a laptop. I could check the sites, use all my admin tools. Ajax effects worked throughout and I could finally check my bank balance from my phone (my bank’s site requires javascript and locked out my last 2 phones).

Usually before I go to bed, I have to sweep through half a dozen sites and apps to make sure everything is on the up and up. I learned that I could do everything on the iPhone, and I could do it from anywhere on earth. This is going to be great for airports and other places where I used to feel bored, trapped, and in dire need of internet access.

So in conclusion, the iPhone is nice from start to finish, but Safari is really the thing that turns it from a phone into a mini-laptop. Once I get more used to two-thumb typing, the last limitations that keep it from feeling like a real computer will be gone.