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I Think I Just Want A Flip Phone (blog/vent post)


That isn't to say that you should have a flip phone, or smart phones are bad, or any other amount of nonce you could think of.  Nor is it to say I don't appreciate having a oneplus 9.  But....  hmmm, its not of human design.  To say that is very bold given that all a phone is is a shrunken tablet, both designed by humans.  As well, companies have had express jurisdictions put down in their design; looking at apple, their reasoning for why they don't put a touch screen on a laptop is the exact same argument I am making for a flip phone.


I gave some thought to Apple's concept of "Human Design" and I decided I agree with them on almost all of it.  Where I and Apple differ is that they studied this in order to manipulate a market, where I just want life to be easier / "Normal" again.  Its felt strange since the advent of Smartphones and the FCC selling off over the air channels, and its honestly just gotten more and more intense.  So...



What does Apple mean by Humanistic / Human-Aided Design?|



The entire strategy of Apple's Design Language is basically the same as Pokemon's Child-Attention-Keeping Design.  Big shiny beep boop thing that you interact with (in whatever form) that makes the user more comfortable to spend money.  This bothers the absolute shit out of me, and this is in general how humans work.  Even Ferrari rips off the Corvette, if you know what I mean.


I can go to Apple, BBK, Samsung, Kyocera, Unihertz, it really doesn't matter.  All of these devices are built to constantly keep your attention and burn out your neurons with activity.

I appreciate OnePlus at least a little bit for their rigid standards of no adware, but that doesn't mean that I don't then pipe funding to other companies.


Where Apple differs from these other companies is they often set these standards with everyone soon following suit.  Because they spent time researching how humans most effectively use different types of devices for the most general markets possible, they have maximized both the ability to dongleize everything, and make a buttload of cash doing it.  On top of just basic creature comforts; what keeps the least pain from happening, carpal tunnel etc.  IE, why there isn't a pen compatible macbook outside of a few from 06/07 from modbook and euroclu.


Where this leaks over is that all of these design cues start to add up, and in a way, they cause just more mental fatigue because of so many god damn shiny beep boop flashy bullshits.  Its absolutely exhausting to me, and I'm a person that has to take Focaline to actually function properly every day.



What is Design Fatigue?|



Design Fatigue, as I define, is either the incompatibility of user to item context, or, the incompatibilities with every day life determined by the over-designed product and its determined user interaction standards putting the user in a worse off place than where they started, or, how they were operating prior (perhaps with a different/similar/x product, or with an older version of the current standard).  This can be applied rather broadly, even outside of manufactured products (bureaucracy standards for instance).


In Apple's design studies they talk about why they think its a bad idea to put a pen screen on a laptop.  Lifting your arm to draw etc hurts eventually (with arguments for flip screens), so why have a heavy machine to draw on at all?  So, iPad.  Not only iPad, but now your iPad has the same chip as your macbook, is a display for any of your macs, and theres 500 dongles to sell inbetween the two to patch the random minor use cases from people who need those in between design niche's, such as 2 in 1's.


In a way, Apple's idea is to play your Fatigue's against your needs and wants to get you to stay/play within their bubble.  That way you only spend money with them, or companies that are minimum compatible with them, so that no matter what they get their income; relations be damned.  But, the problem is they don't consider what that mentally does to a person over time, nor how much shit is going on outside of that, or at least it used to be that way.  Now we have tech that disables a phone while you're driving but that def doesn't cover everything.


I may not gain favor in saying this, but in a way I feel like the ever growing issues and irregularities in society stem from the idea of fatigue in general, but especially design fatigue.  Whether it be whatever awful thing I have to hear about on the news today that I don't honestly care about, or the amount of noise from just using the internet every day.  The world is built on Fatigue, at this point.  Screw the gold standard or landbanking, Monsters Inc had it at Scream Tech (ironic given that movie is a critique of corporations).



How to push back?|



In all honesty?  By yourself, unless you drop everything and live in the woods, not likely.  And, if Australias Libs and Nat's deforestation efforts to capitalize on landbanking shows anything, that route won't last much longer either.  Frankly, living out in no mans land is on limited time.


As of now we have a lot of fun stuff in place to do the pushing back for us.  FOSS companies putting out open devices, adblockers, you name it.  Theres even Right 2 Repair and other anticorporate efforts pushing back against it.  


Personally, I will be going back to looking at such strange phones as the Light Phone, and seeing whats available in the non-android flip market (gimme my god damn java phones).  I think there was another one that was just a dumb dialer, which I would much rather have.




Alternatively, I get a farraday bag and start getting rid of social media lol.



Then what is a "Human Design"?|



Now, I do want some amount of rationality inset here.  I don't think you should have more multitools than a gerber, meaning, stop stuffing so many god damn functions into things that don't need them.


Nintendo gets this right, Partially.  The Switch / NX at this point is only a tablet for gaming, and it only plays nintendo games.  This VS nintendo releasing their stuff on phone stores is much more profitable, and in some ways, is better.  Though the switch moves on Capitalization of Fatigue, a 3DS is just as handy.  A DS Lite, even, is rather straight forward.  To get them to operate outside of that takes an amount of effort, and unless you are specifically trying to get around limitations (eshop), then theres not much reason to break stuff.


Windows 10 AME tries to do similar things in wanting the user experience to only be what is added on top, not what is broken underneath.  You shouldn't know how the theme park ride works, you should just get on and have fun and thats it. 


Arguably, the Wii, DS's, really all sorts of nintendo products nail that right on the head and thats why they have been successful at all.  The Wii was their clap back because they had gotten an insight to general user availability.  That level of user to product equilibrium is exactly why every single nursing home in the US has at least 1 or 2 Wii's laying around.


While it might be a pain to deal with itunes, I argue that an ipod is vastly superior to any convenience spotify gives me.  Because I have to deal with updates and crap, ti never works.  It skips songs, breaks after 4 hours of music has been played, I even have premium, thats the same quality as a dying ATRAC tape.  I'd rather have to deal with installing rockbox on an ipod than ever install spotify on any of my devices ever again, and thats both for convenience and sake of frustration.  Plus....  I NEED A FUCKING HEADPHONE JACK, APPLE.


Lastly....  A phone needs to just be a phone.  We don't need apps, ads, shopping malls, food delivery, we need literally NONE of this.  I was thinking about back when I got an LG Optimus G, my first smartphone.  My sister had put it to me that my flip phone wasn't a "real phone" at the time, and honestly I probably listened to that too much.  I think many people feel this way, but what is a phone?  For some its their computer, for some an internet terminal, for some a mall, and for some a server.




Personally?  A phone to me goes on the wall in my house.  I'm not even old, I'm just used to land lines, still.  I'm used to the rounded shape, the hand feel, the actual ability to hear whoever the fuck I am talking to, and the satisfaction of knowing that at any point, with one fat clack, I don't have to deal with whatever jackass has decided to bother me with a phone call at whatever time of night.  Peak smartphone happened in 2012.  Advancement since has been nothing but billboards and white noise.  So, take the components of your phone that you used to have, and see where they went.  iPods are actually fucking cool now, and most audio players are built for a human to use.  Flip Phones, EInk phones, you'll have modern replacements for old designs if you want them, but equally, the old designs really haven't gone anywhere.


Trash is just fashionable now.

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sounds like you'd like a Hisense a9 or similar.


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5 minutes ago, OhYou_ said:

sounds like you'd like a Hisense a9 or similar.


I have no idea what that is but I am going to find out


Uh no, I want my 2g compatible blue samsung flip phone that ran java 5 that I got from verizon in like 2007 lol best end user experience of a phone in my life


The only smartphone I think I am actually OK with ATP is the PinePhone

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/27/2023 at 12:09 PM, XZDX said:

I have no idea what that is but I am going to find out

The a5 was the model I had read seen online, didn't know or maybe forgot there was an a7 version.  Just today learned of a9.  a5cc is the e ink color (yep it finally exists) if you want some dim colors, just be aware that this seems to reduce contrast quite a bit, especially indoors.


Have you considered the Punkt phone?  It has a transflective LCD, so outside viewing is brighter!


There are now two mp02 models.  The previous model with blackberry software, and the new one, without.  Seems like blackberry was unwilling to work with punkt and they couldn't update their software.  Previously the company had plans to keep updating the device, but I guess blacknerry wasn't going to let that happen.  So they released a new mp02 and hopefully since all updatea are done by punkt, they can stick with it.


There is also mudita, which uses a realtime operating system and boots in five seconds.  According to reviews from one of the Mudita members, call quality is choppy and low quality, both sides of the call.


Maybe this is hardware, maybe software.  The reviewer thinks it's the speaker itseld just by listening to ringtones / notification sounds.  Also, no t9 for any language, and with only 12 buttons, many non-english languages just wouldn't be possible to quickly create a message, possibly taking 30 minutes for a short message with many, many possible characters to choose from in some cases.


Yotaphone, maybe you've seen it, is dual screen e ink on one side and oled  (which I don't like, flicker is atrocious, sadly, most people are unable to see it--wave your hand in front of a grey or white backrground on even 75% brightness.  Now try it at 0-5% brightnes, it's really, really bad).


Now, for non-e ink, there is the sunbeam phones, but I don't know what software they run.


The reddit



has reviews and opinions.  I'm partial to e ink and don't really need t9, but maybe the light phone would be much easier to send messages.

"Now you get what you want But do you want more?"
- Bob Marley, Rastaman Vibration album 1976


Why do you need a 90 or 120 or 144 or 165Hz screen on a smartphone?  You're viewing 60Hz games (maybe, I hope so) and viewing 60Hz or even 30Hz content, so how does this improve your quality of life?


OLED is cool and all, but LCD is fine, I think we probably stare at these things more than is healthy anyway.


Speaking of, my favorite software for screens is

https://justgetflux.com/ so your screen isn't bright white at night, released in 2008 and still being improved.

Dark Reader addon for webpages.  Pick any color you want (thousands of colors) for both background and text (background and foreground page elements).  Enable the preview mode on desktop for Firefox and Chrome addon, by clicking the dark reader addon settings, and somewhere there is a settings gear icon on the left of some window that pops up.  Clicking that allows you to choose the preview, or beta mode, to allow color options.  Not needed on mobile.


NoScript or EFF's privacy badger can block many scripts and websites that would load and track you, possibly halving page load time!


F-droid is a place to install open-source software for android, Antennapod, RethinkDNS, Fennec which is Firefox with about:config, lots of performance and other changes available, mozilla KB has a huge database of what most of the settings do.


Enjoy discussing firewall (blocks apps) and dns filters (redirects all dns requests om android, to your choice of dns, even if overridden).  RethinkDNS is my pick and I set it to use pi-hole, installed inside Ubuntu, which is inside Virtualbox, until I go to a website, nothing at all connects to any other server.  I also use NextDNS.io to do the same when away from home wi-fi or even cellular!  I can even tether from cellular to ANY device sharing via wi-fi, and block anything with dns set to NextDNS, regardless if the device allows changing dns.


You most likely have never needed a new phone (new hardware) to play most android games, using OpenGL, which hasn't seen updates in I think at least a decade or so, it's been quite a while.  Especially not what is on SoC GPU chips, it's lighter than regular openGL, which is already succeeded by Vulkan.  Look up videos for the games you want to play, and see how well a phone from 12 years ago will run them.


Look up n64, dolphin and ps1 emulation on hardware from over a decade ago on mobile processors, and you'll be surprised.


PC specs:


Linux enthusiast, LineageOS fan, WebOS, SymbianOS, MeegoOS was, backed by both Nokia and Intel, and e-ink displays.


Intel Xeon quad core, clocked down and peaks at around 0.97Ghz, even though it's set higher. I now have multiple profiles, one of which tops out at 0.53 GHz!

2 GB DDR3 clocked down to 800Mhz and undervolted 1.28v

GPU: GTX 960 (more than enough for games I play)

SSD: Samsung 840 232GB

HDD: 4 old spinners, less than 500GB each, using two.  One dedicated to Linux, open-source such as Ubuntu, Mint, or Fedora and the rest for downloads / games. I also use a third as an offline backup of Windows, because it sure can use it!

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