User Error

6 Jul

My biggest complaint about my iPhone has been its lousy battery life, particularly when using its GPS processor while on three-hour or longer bike rides. I’ve scoured the Internet looking for a practical battery charger that could turn my pedaling into electricity, then I could attach it to my Torelli road bike and connect my Apple smartphone and ride as long as I wanted. No luck.

I was bemoaning my problem to Cathie, my wife, and she suggested I get an extra battery. I answered that, while small, light, and easy to use, the batteries only added a couple of hours of life to my iPhone. I wanted something that could last for those extra long, 100-mile rides that I take occasionally.

She said, “Get two.”

Now my wife has always been a smart gal. She graduated summa cum laude from college, reads more books in a month than most people read in a year, and was running big IBM systems before I ever touched a keyboard. But these might have been the most brilliant, insightful two words she’s ever spoken to me. While I was over-thinking my dilemma, seeking a perfect solution with over-priced and unproven technology, Cathie was solving the problem.

So I went to Best Buy and picked up two Kennsington batteries. They work simply and effectively.

Yesterday I planned a 50-60 mile ride. I launched my iPhone’s Motion-X GPS app, put the batteries in my pocket, and took off.

As happens a lot while I ride, my mind began to wander, distracted by the sights and sounds around me as well as ideas and observations as I pedaled around the fertile farmland of the Willamette Valley. As hour three of the ride drew near, I realized that I needed to add a battery to the iPhone. Too late. It was dead. I should have attached the battery before I left for my ride. Dumb me.

It reminded me (once again) of a comment made back in the 1980s by a UNIX system administrator at Sun Microsystems who was fixing my workstation after I had screwed it up somehow.

“If it weren’t for users, this network would run perfectly,” he muttered.

Indeed, if it weren’t user errors, my toying with technology would be a near-perfect experience.

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2 Responses to “User Error”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. If it weren’t for users, this network would run perfectly (via Croisan Views) « Chicago Mac/PC Support - July 6, 2010

    […] My biggest complaint about my iPhone has been its lousy battery life, particularly when using its GPS processor while on three-hour or longer bike rides. I've scoured the Internet looking for a practical battery charger that could turn my pedaling into electricity, then I could attach it to my Torelli road bike and connect my Apple smartphone and ride as long as I wanted. No luck. I was bemoaning my problem to Cathie, my wife, and she suggested I … Read More […]

  2. If it weren’t for users, this network would run perfectly (via Croisan Views) - January 13, 2015

    […] My biggest complaint about my iPhone has been its lousy battery life, particularly when using its GPS processor while on three-hour or longer bike rides. I’ve scoured the Internet looking for a practical battery charger that could turn my pedaling into electricity, then I could attach it to my Torelli road bike and connect my Apple smartphone and ride as long as I wanted. No luck. I was bemoaning my problem to Cathie, my wife, and she suggested I … Read More […]

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