Archive for July, 2010
Everyone has heard the old saying “No one likes a show-off.” I however completely disagree with that. Different people are attracted to different things. Some people are attracted to wealth and power. To draw the attention of this crowd, people show-off their wealth and power with a brand new Ferrari. Others are attracted to athletic and competitive individuals. In order draw their attention, people will show-off their talents in sporting and competition events. While others are attracted to those who live a simplistic hippie life style. This can be shown-off by driving a hybrid and eating granola. The point is that showing-off is necessary for human advancement and procreation. If no one felt the need to impress others, we would still be in the dark ages. (You can’t tell me the Wright brothers didn’t have fame on their minds when they started building their first plane.)
With that said there is a line between jackassness and showing-off. Taking your Ferrari on an African Safari through starving villages would be a jackass thing to do. So would completely skunking a team of crippled kids at basketball. In fact, both these ideas are flat out stupid. Your assets are so unevenly matched with the “competitions” that it voids any real comparison. Also on top of that your audience is wrong. Very few if anyone would be impressed with your accomplishments. Those who are impressed with nice cars or athletic ability are not anywhere near either one of these activities.
This brings me to the unnecessary public show-off Fanboy. We have all seen these Fanboys. They are the ones that bring their MacBook Air’s to the bar or bring their Amazon Kindle DX to a Barnes & Noble to sit and read. (You can’t read any Barnes & Noble books on the Kindle.) The ultimate unnecessary public show-off Fanboy is the person who brings their personal iPad to work to replace their company purchased laptop.
I completely agree that taking your laptop, e-reader, or tablet to a coffee shop or library is completely acceptable. Coffee shops and libraries are designed to improve the experience of using these devices. I will even go as far as bringing your new gadgets to work for 1 day to show your work friends also does not make you a Fanboy. I think you should be proud but not too proud of your new gadgets. If you don’t have some pride in what you bought it means you just wasted your money.
Let’s get back to the Unnecessary Public Show-Off Fanboy. Why is someone who unnecessarily publicly shows-off their gadgets defined as a Fanboy? The answer to that is because people who publicly show-off their gadgets in an unnecessary way are doing it for one of two ways. First, they want people to notice that they are one of the 20 million unique users who own that particular gadget. They want to make the point that their gadget is so awesome it even works in the competitions lair. If they are really lucky, someone will strike up a conversation with them and maybe even get into a long debate about who’s gadget is better. One of the best ways to do this is like the example the Kindle in a non-Amazon bookstore. (Which to my knowledge is any bookstore.) The second reason they are doing this for is because they are so completely in awe of their device that they believe everyone everywhere needs to be in the same state of awareness of their gadget. The best way to accomplish this is through subtle but forceful showings of the device to a population of people who are not used to seeing such a beautiful and sleek looking gadget. Such as bringing a high end laptop to the bar where everyone will ogle over it. Both reasons are classic Fanboy ideals. Fanboys know that their gadget is in every way better than the competition and everyone needs to know the truth about it so that they too will realize that they need to go out and buy one for themselves.
Not only are these points Fanboyish but both of these points also cross the line into stupid and jackassness. What point is there to make about the competition by bringing your gadget into a place where your device’s weakness are enhanced and your experience enhancement is absolutely zero? Unless you have the Barnes & Noble Nook you should not be reading any e-reader in any Barnes & Noble bookstore. Do you read better at Barnes & Noble? Does the in-store Starbucks sell better coffee than the 6 other starbucks that are within a 2 min walking distance? No! You just look like an idiot! As far as the Fanboy’s Macbook Air that is taking up bar space next to me, I care about it as much as the crippled child who just got his ass handed to him cares about someone’s basketball skills.
I understand that this post comes across as attacking Fanboys but understand that is not my intentions. There is nothing wrong with being a Fanboy. In fact our economy relies on them. I am just telling you to not be a Fanboy who is also a jackass and an idiot.
Kindle (finally) released an app for Android. You can find the app here. The app syncs directly with your Kindle Account so you never miss a page. The app also allows you to shop and buy new (to you) Kindle books. The app also gives you full access to your archived items and allows you to add bookmarks. I have used this app and my favorite part about it the syncing capability. Being that I am a new Kindle owner (review to be posted soon), I can see the cross functionality of this app and how I will be using it in the future. The overall look and feel of the app is pretty.
Are you going to download the Android Kindle App? Or do you use something different?
Some people may argue with me that because someone pre-orders something does not constitute them as a Fanboy. However, let’s break it down. First let us use software as an example (videogames typically). I know many people who are Halo Fanboys and they don’t even know it. I know this because they are the ones who buy the “special edition” Halo sets that come with the little plastic figurines for who knows what reason… maybe they play with them, maybe they put them under their pillow, or maybe they just think that because it is the “special edition” it will be worth more someday even though the company mass produced the shit out of it… I don’t know. Anyway, for whatever reason they buy it. The other reason they are Fanboys is because they pre-order everything that is Halo. Software and videogames are not like gadgets, video games cost the manufacturer pennies to burn and print new copies. This allows them to print and burn millions and millions of copies. This negates any reason to pre-order software. You will always be able to find the game in stores without waiting. Unless of course you take your Fanboy status to the next level and create the wait by forming lines outside the store with other Fanboy’s before the release. When in reality you can just walk in 10 min after the store opens and the line of Fanboys gone and pick up a copy from the 3000 other copies still left on the shelf. For example, look at the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. (No I do not want to have a stupid argument over which game did better, if you think Halo did better than COD:MW2, then you’re right… I just don’t give a shit.) COD:MW2 sold more copies than any other game on the market on the first day. However, on that day, I went to the busiest Best Buy in Grand Rapids at 7pm and picked up a copy off the shelf. I even had the choice if I wanted buy the stupid toy or whatever it was that was in the Special Edition version. The next day I went to Target and Meijer (Meijer is a regional retailer similar to Walmart but better) and guess what? Both stores still had shelves full of copies still in stock… Case and point there is absolutely no reason to pre-order a video game or software unless of course you are a Fanboy.
Let’s switch gears to gadgets. Again most people will argue that pre-ordering a gadget doesn’t make you a Fanboy. You need to pre-order hot gadgets. The reason for this is because you either don’t want to wait in a long stupid line of other, ehem, people or you just don’t want to run the risk of the gadget selling out of stock. Both points on the surface are valid, we all hate long lines and we all hate it when things are out of stock. However, this still DOES make you a Fanboy. You’re telling me that someone who is going to blindly drop $200+ on something that no one other than the company has tested or used before is not a Fanboy? How about the fact that since you pre-ordered, you are one of the guinea pigs that will need to find the issues and fast! Most retailers only have a 14-day return policy. Sure the manufacturer usually has a 1 year warranty but manufacturers can be a pain in the ass to deal with and then you’re still out of a gadget 4-6 weeks during the swap and that is only of course if they acknowledge there is an issue.
The smart and logical thing to do, which is difficult and nearly impossible for a Fanboy, is to wait a couple weeks or months to buy the gadget. You will be able to do a proper comparison and review that was not done solely by the manufacturer trying to sell it. You can see if there are any wide spread defects such as reception or connection issues. But most importantly you can see the reason why you really want it. Do you want it because it is the next new toy or because you really will use it long term?
The great thing about this is everyone reading this right now knows and probably agrees with the rationality behind waiting. But we all also know that when the next gadget we can’t live without is released, we will put all logic and reason aside and rush out to be the first ones in line to buy it. Why? because we are that gadget’s biggest Fan(boy)!