It has arrived, at least. (The screen is rather brighter than it looks here – the picture was taken with flash so the screen seems dark in comparison.)
So when I wake up after a long night’s sleep, my first thoughts (or nearly so) go to the Galaxy Tab waiting for me at the post office. After a leisurely morning, I wander off to the post office … or rather, the place where the post office is supposed to be. I checked the tracking message and a couple different maps, they all agree that Mandal post office lies in Arkaden, the mini-mall in the center of the town.
There is no post office. There is a list of the various shops in the mall, and the post office is listed there, but it is not there.
I decide to check on the Net again, and fire up my trusty (?) Huawei Titan smartphone. Unfortunately, it cannot find the Internet anymore. It was there this morning, but it is gone now. I put it in flight mode and back. I turn it off, take out the batteries, wait, and replace them, then do a cold start. Twice. Â It cheerfully informs me that yes, there are Telenor networks available, both 2G and 3G. But when I pick one, it works for a while, then plays dumb. “What is this ‘internet’ of which you speak?”
Eventually I walk around the outside of the mall, and find a sign telling me that the post office has indeed moved, to Kastellgata 8. Unfortunately I have no idea at the time where Kastellgata is, and the name does not really give any hint in itself. I could have looked it up on Google… if I had Internet access. I start going home.
Partway home, I decide to start the mobile phone again, and lo! It has Internet. I find out where Kastellgata is, and make my way there. It is is within walking distance, but then most of Mandal is, for me. Success! Objective obtained!
I already got the SIM card, so now the only thing I lack is the PIN code. It is not in the letter, which makes sense. Better not have it stolen at the same time as the card, if there are mailbox thieves. For the same reason, it would make no sense to send it in a separate letter to the same address on the same day. But it isn’t here today either.
On the other hand, I have a pretty, shiny paperweight now!
You did not think I would stop that easily, did you? On one hand, I have a shiny paperweight without a functioning SIM card. On the other hand, I have a mobile phone with a functioning SIM card. It cannot act as a WiFi hotspot, but the paperweight can. So out goes the one SIM card, and in goes the other. Now, I cannot receive calls with the mobile phone, but that is not something I do every month anyway. People who know me well enough to call me, know me well enough not to. They will instead send a mail or, failing that, a text message.
I have a shiny paperweight that is also a WiFi hotspot! That was the most important reason I bought it, after all, so I should rejoice. Just as soon as I am able to actually log on to my new wireless network. It works just fine with my Huawei Titan smartphone, but that is not much progress, since that is where I had the SIM card before!
Now to the Windows 7 desktop computer where I do most of my writing (and gaming, such as there still is). I look in various plastic bags that are still not emptied from when I moved, and eventually find the Jensen USB wireless dongle. I insert the USB plug. Windows starts installing, then gives up. It does not recognize the device. I install the driver software from the CD. Windows installs it, then ignores it. The latest version is for Windows XP, which may have something to do with it…
I try the Jensen USB wireless in the Vista machine. No go. Then I remember that I had an even older wireless dongle, from D-Link. It seems kind of pointless to try something from my first ever wireless network (not counting the Bluetooth home network I improvised before wireless became available for the masses). But I try it, and it works at once, in Windows 7.
Now that I have Internet access again, I get a one-time password so I can log into my Google account from the Galaxy Tab and access Android Market. (Because I have Google 2-step verification, I needed a special authentication password for my first login on a new device. It is inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as having my Google account hacked, as happened last year.)
And so the long, long row of talking donkeys finally come to an end, and I wonder if I have learned anything from it.
As for the Android tablet itself, I shall quote my Google+ report:
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is reasonably nifty for its age. It really is just a big, flat, and somewhat heavy smartphone – but that is good enough for now. The next model seriously needs higher screen resolution, but I find the 7″ size ideal and the weight acceptable, especially seeing that it has great battery life.
The resolution is fine for the Kindle reader, but a bit grainy for Zinio. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all look as if on a really big smartphone. If there are tablet versions of the apps which make better use of the screen estate, I have yet to see them.
It was probably not worth it, actually. But these are the kind of things I want to support, things I want to see more of in the future, if any: Android tablets (especially the smaller 7″, which is about the size and weight of a smallish book) and wireless networks. So I encourage them with my money. But to tell the Light’s own truth, I suspect that money – and that time – could have been put to better use, if I had been a wiser person. But for now, I am this.