Saturday, April 03, 2021

gadget tears

In the early days of the pandemic, before the quarantine took hold, I ordered a pair of wireless earbuds, “Klipsch T5 True Wireless Headphones”, reasoning that since I liked their wired headsets the wireless ones must be decent too. Well, after a year of use I will say that the audio quality is good but overall this was a very disappointing purchase:

  • The buds are hilariously large, and while they do fit in my ears they stick out like Frankenstein’s bolts, and snag when I remove a mask or change my shirt etc.
  • Despite their size, they only have one button per bud, and this button is placed so that it’s frustratingly easy to accidentally play or pause by mistake.
  • The buds have these intense blue LEDs that you cannot configure in any way. Particularly annoying since I primarily use them at night while everyone else is asleep, but it’s also not great when I’m out and about, blinding passing strangers.
  • But my number one beef with them is that they are constantly losing their connection to my phone or each other. About half the time when I take them out of the case I have to reset them to connect with my phone. Sometimes one bud will just turn off. It’s bad enough that I’ll sometimes not bother with them if I’m only planning on watching something for a few minutes.
The other tech purchase I made over the pandemic was an Apple Watch, the SE with GPS. I’ve had a few episodes where my heart rate jumped around quite a bit over seemingly mild physical activity, and so I thought it’d be useful to have something to monitor my pulse. After the initial excitement I’ve cooled quite a bit over the watch, which replaced my trusty Pebble Time.

My main beef with the Apple Watch is its lousy battery life, about 100 hours. It sounds like a lot but for its size and heft I’d expect to charge only once or twice a month. After checking the time and notifications, my top use is the timer function, which really helps with meal prep. Though when I think of it this way it seems I didn’t get my money’s worth.

Haven’t been doing much reading since my last update. Slowly making my way through The GoldFinch, which I’ve mostly enjoyed — the writing is delicious but the story and main character I am thus far ambivalent about, and I’m about 60% of the way through.

Game-wise, I am having a blast with Valheim. I was never a fan of Minecraft’s aesthetic and Terraria’s control-system was a real slog for me — Valheim seems to have hit the sweet spot for myself and many others. There’s something very satisfying about setting up a new camp in an unexplored land. I do find death in the game to be absolutely punishing though.

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