Thursday, October 19, 2017

Apple: It's good if you like crap

So the video below is by YouTube user Rick Beato - who has purchased a lot of Apple products over the years. Feel free to listen to his rant about why he thinks old Apple products are actually better than new Apple products.

Why I despise all Apple products: Overrated, Overpriced, Incompatible Garbage

By C. M.

To me Apple products were NEVER good, and it was never for a lack of using them.
  • My high school used Apple computers. They always had errors.
  • My university used Apple computers. They were annoyingly slow and had compatibility problems.
  • Several work places over the years used Apple computers. They were very slow to work with. Doing what is normally a simple task would take forever on a Mac.
  • My wife has an Apple computer and 2 iPhones. Both of which I find annoyingly slow to use due to bad software design.
And I hated these horrible computers the whole time.

So when iPods, iPhones and iPads eventually came out, I was none too impressed because it was always the same problems.
  • Apple was not compatible with anything else - often including other Apple products.
  • They were slower to use.
  • Could not be modified or personalized as easily.
  • More errors.
  • Even simple things like using the phone to call people was sometimes beyond products like the iPhone 4 because of design faults.

And to top it all off, Apple products are notoriously overpriced and overrated. eg. You could get equivalent products from other manufacturers (Hewlett Packard for computers, Samsung for cellphones) which had better prices, better reviews, and less problems.

And innovation? Basically non-existent.

True, the iPhone and iPad were the first mass market smartphones and tablets which won popularity - but they were not the first products of this kind. They were actually ripped off from older products that were less popular, but had been innovative ahead of their time.

All Apple did was take innovative products, make a few tiny improvements, slap the Apple logo on it, and then market it.

And to be clear, most of Apple's operating expenses is actually marketing.

They spend very little on innovation.
Their software designs have become increasingly sloppy (as pointed out in the video at the top).
They don't even manufacture their own parts - they farm that out to Samsung and other companies and then hire intermediate factories to assemble the final product.

This is why the new iPhone X is now $999... and yet really doesn't anything new to brag about. It is basically identical to the iPhone 8 with a few minor tweaks.

The biggest change is actually just the price tag.

So look at the huge price jump between the iPhone 8 and the X. It is an extra $300 USD.

So what has changed...?

Slightly Bigger Screen Size, Resolution and Ratio
  • iPhone X - 5.8-inch 18.5:9 True Tone OLED, 2436 x 1125 pixels (458 ppi), 82.9% screen-to-body ratio
  • iPhone 8 - 4.7-inch 16:9 True Tone LCD, 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi), 65.6% screen-to-body ratio
Size and Weighs More
  • iPhone X - 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm (5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30 in) and 174g (6.14 oz)
  • iPhone 8 - 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm (5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in) and 148g (5.22 oz)

Lightning Port
  • iPhone X - Lightning Port compatibility problems.
  • iPhone 8 - Lightning Port compatibility problems.
  • iPhone X - Apple A11 ‘Bionic’ chipset: Six Core CPU, Six Core GPU, producing 2.5 GHz, M11 motion coprocessor, 3GB RAM
  • iPhone 8 - Apple A11 ‘Bionic’ chipset: Six Core CPU, Six Core GPU, producing 2.5 GHz, M11 motion coprocessor, 2GB RAM
Release Date
  • iPhone X - November 3rd 2017. (2 weeks to go...)
  • iPhone 8 - September 22nd 2017. (Almost 1 month ago...)

Price and GB Space
  • iPhone X - 64GB ($999), 256GB ($1,149)
  • iPhone 8 - 64GB ($699), 256GB ($849)

Trust me, when getting a new cellphone it is worth it to have the extra space. So only morons would buy the 64 GB version.

But ultimately you are paying an extra $300 for ... what? Slightly better screen resolution and size? I suppose if you cannot afford a TV set and you watch movies on your cellphone all the time, it might be worth it...

Meanwhile those of us with brains just go and buy a TV set.

eg. Canadians can currently get a Samsung 50" 4K UHD HDR LED Tizen Smart TV for $799.99 CDN at Best Buy. (Sale ends November 2nd 2017.)

And then just Netflix and Chill.

Is an extra tiny bit of screen size really important to you that you have to pay an extra $300?

Because if it is, just go buy a tablet - or a mini tablet even. They are getting really cheap...

Asides from price the biggest new thing on the iPhone X is that it has a retinal eye scanner, making it more difficult for thieves to open your phone - or making it more difficult for your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend to check if you are cheating on them.

Meanwhile, just for argument's sake... lets see what Samsung is coming out with.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 (already on the market) is:
  • The exact same screen size as the iPhone X. (So evidently the iPhone X is copying Samsung.)
  • 64 GB in the base model (same thing), but you can get up to 256 GB.
  • 4 GB RAM (that is 1 extra GB of RAM more than the iPhone X, and double what the iPhone 8 offers).
  • 2960 x 1440 pixels (570 ppi), 18.5:9 ratio (same ratio, but with an extra 112 ppi than the iPhone X)
  • Chipset x8 - Exynos 8895 Octa - EMEA Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 (so 8 chips instead of 6 in the iPhone 8 or X) producing 4x2.35 GHz Kryo.
  • Micro USB port - compatible with pretty much everything on the market (except Apple phones obviously). 
  • Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery. (The iPhone X only has a 2,715 mAh battery.)
And that is the current model that has been available since March 2017. 8 months ago.

So clearly the Samsung S8 is already superior to the iPhone X. More pixels per inch, more RAM, more compatibility, and more battery life. The CPU speeds are comparable.

But above I said "lets see what Samsung is coming out with."

Meaning the future. Not what Samsung released 8 months ago. What we really should be talking about is the...

Samsung S9
Samsung Galaxy S9

  • Featuring a retinal scanner - again, so people can cheat on their significant others - but also with the options for facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.
  • Probable release date? February 26th or March 2018.
  • Snapdragon 845 processor - with 30% more power efficiency than the 835, which increases battery life.
  • Boost modem speed by 20% so you can download files from the internet that much faster.
  • Base price expected to be $1,049.99. Expect closer to $1,199.99 for the 256 GB version.

A lot of the details of what the S9 will have are unknown at this time.

But what we do know is several things.
  1. It will probably be more expensive than the iPhone X.
  2. It will be better than the iPhone X (seeing as the S8 is already better).
  3. It will provide faster internet.
  4. Significantly longer battery life - which will be a huge step forward.

And therein lies the problem with the whole Apple Vs Samsung rivalry. They are always trying to one up each other, but Samsung is increasingly winning.

Just look at the iPhone 8 / X for example. The S8 came out back in March 2017 and it took Apple 7 months to come out with the iPhone 8 (a clearly inferior product) and then they are rushing to market the iPhone X before Christmas (which is also still an inferior product, just not as bad as the 8).

So why should anyone buy somebody an inferior product as a Christmas gift?

Or better yet, why not wait? Just wait for the S9 to come out in February/March 2018 and then get it as a birthday gift or whatever instead. Because it will clearly be a superior product.

Which explains why Samsung will be able to charge an extra $50 USD for it.


Years ago we posted about the iPhone 4: Apple doesn't make the iPhone.

During the post we explained how most of the iPhone was made by other companies, like Samsung. The actual cost of the components to make it was a mere $178 USD.

So a good question now is, what does the components of an iPhone X or Samsung S9 actually cost?

It is an important question, but I am willing to bet it is less than $200 USD for both. They just jack up the price and sell it for $999 or $1200.

Which makes you realize that most of what they are doing is marketing. Marketing and claims about how wonderful their product is.

It makes me wonder what would happen if someone came out with a No Name Brand cellphone.

Spend zero on marketing, but design it, use Android as an operating system, and then sell it for a mere $333. Less than one third the price of an iPhone X or a Samsung S9, but with all the power, performance, screeen resolution, etc.

And don't sell it in Best Buy or electronics stores... sell it in grocery stores. Which means every time people go to buy food they see a sleekly designed smartphone that is affordable and does everything you expect a smartphone to do. A seemingly basic model that has comparable performance.

It would not be a status symbol like Apple or Samsung have become. It would be a phone that works, is inexpensive, and there is no fuss about company rivalry or status.

That would be a welcome change actually.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Toronto Compound Bow Repairman

So where is the best place to get your compound bow repaired in Toronto?

Honestly... there isn't very many places.

#1. Bass Pro in Vaughan Mills

If you don't mind traveling all the way to Vaughan (just south of Canada's Wonderland), Bass Pro does offer a variety of repairs and tuning - but be prepared for several things.
  • They will try to sell you a new compound bow.
  • They will claim your bow is beyond repair or;
  • They will claim it is "too expensive to repair" (this can sometimes be true).
  • If your bow is really old - vintage - they might simply refuse to repair it because it is so hard to find parts.
  • They will charge you an arm and a leg for repairs.
Now we have talked about Bass Pro in Vaughan before and it is certainly a good fun place to go shopping. But going there for repairs? Not so much. Expect to be spending at least $100 if someone dryfired your compound bow.

#2. Al Flaherty's Outdoor Store at 2066 Dufferin Street

More known as a hunting and fishing store, Al Flaherty's Outdoor Store also services compound bows and crossbows. However, it is more conveniently in York/Toronto and not way out in Vaughan.

However, just like Bass Pro expect the repairman at Al Flaherty's to:
  • Try to sell you a new compound bow.
  • Say your bow is beyond repair.
  • Say it is more expensive to repair it than to just a buy a new bow.
  • Refuse to repair your vintage compound bow.
  • Be really expensive.
So yeah. More convenient perhaps, but really more of the same isn't it?

#3. Compound Bow Repairman in Toronto

I am getting to a point obviously. is a website run by a guy in East York/Toronto. He makes his owns bows, his own bowstrings, repairs bows, repairs compound bows (both vintage and modern compound bows), he collects bows, and he even makes "Frankenstein Compound Bows" by mixing and matching parts from different broken bows.

He also buys broken bows to salvage their parts, so he can then repair other bows.

So unlike the others mentioned above, he will not try to sell you a new bow - because he doesn't sell new bows (although he does sometimes have old bows for sale).

Is your bow truly beyond repair? Maybe. Won't know until you ask someone who is willing to actually TRY repairing it.

Will it be more expensive to repair? Less likely, because he only charges $30 per hour for his services - which is comparatively cheaper to what you will find at Bass Pro or Al Flaherty's.

He collects vintage bows and compound bows, like the two shown further below from his personal collection. So his willingness to repair vintage compound bows is going to be higher when you consider that this guy is a fan of restoring vintage bows.

So who do you think will offer the best price, the best value and the best results when it comes to compound bow repair? Our recommendation is that you visit to find out.

1970 Model T Jennings next to a 1973 Black Hawk Chief Scout.
History Note

The compound bow was invented / patented in 1966 by H. W. Allen Jr., who then partnered up with Tom Jennings to create the first commercial compound bow in 1969.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Game and Hobby Zone at 2 Bloor St West, Toronto = Racist Owner

Years ago I witnessed the owner/manager of "Game and Hobby Zone" located at 2 Bloor St West, Toronto doing something racist.

He told a black customer to "step aside" so that he could serve white customers instead.

The black customer and the manager then got into a huge argument, which I watched - and should have recorded on my phone, but it was already low on battery.

I did later go back and take the following photo of the manager, on the right, with one of his staff on the left.

Ever since that incident I have boycotted Game and Hobby Zone - for multiple reasons, not just because the owner is racist.

  • The products in the store are overpriced. You can find the same products elsewhere for much better prices.
  • The shelves are crammed and disorganized.
  • The service is sub par. Not helpful.

In contrast there are other stores that make more sense to spend my money at.

Here are a few of my favourites:

  • 401 Games
  • Hairy Tarantula
  • Face to Face Games
  • EB Games
  • Meeplemart
  • Strategy Games
  • Mastermind Toys
  • The Sword and Board
  • Toys R Us

My point is there are plenty of other locations to buy the same products... but with better service, better prices, and you are not financially supporting a racist bigot.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Wooden Figurines Nativity Scene

Details Behind The Figures

If you like figurines on the shelves and tables in your home, then consider the numerous options from the Willow Tree collection. These are detailed figurines in a variety of designs. You can find the collectibles online or in specialty stores. Sometimes, retail stores will carry a select few of them. You can usually find the figurines more during the holiday season as many people enjoy giving them as gifts.

When you look at a figurine, you'll see an authentic stamp of Susan Lordi's name. The name is usually located on the bottom of the figurine. If you don't see the name, then it's likely not an authentic piece. There will also be a date with the name, which is when the figure was entered into the collection. You can usually tell if a figurine is authentic by looking at it as the pieces have a distinct look, but the name and date offer verification. Most of the pieces are of a mother and a child or of children. There is a nativity set that includes the wisemen, a stable, a baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary and all the other components of the Bible story. You can find angels holding harps, animals or other items. There are figures of couples hugging, couples with a baby, animals, and children in various positions.

One of the things that you'll notice about the Willow Tree figures is that there aren't any faces painted on the people. This is a detail that is intentionally left out, bringing more character to the pieces in the collection so that you focus more on the message and the feelings that the pieces bring. Each figure is etched with details that include flowers on dresses, wrinkles on clothing and indentations in the hair. These aspects give the figures life instead of the pieces being plain and simple with straight lines. You can purchase the figures to give to family and friends or to keep for yourself. They are an idea for a newlywed couple or a couple who has had a baby. The figures are also used for familial events, such as an anniversary or the passing of a family member.

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