Buying the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2019.

The difference between thinking and knowing what you want.

Why do I want to talk about a two year old piece of tech? Well I bought one of these as they were just lowered in price last week by Apple with the release of the Series 5 Apple Watch and I feel as a layperson, my views on the Series 3 today in 2019 might be of interest to those reading and haven’t bought one yet themselves, but might want to.

I’ve held off buying an Apple Watch ever since they were first announced, the watch never felt capable. In the ideals of ideals I would prefer a digital watch of this caliber to last at least a week on a single charge, and I’ve always thought the Apple Watch was conservative in its design. I don’t mind if it were bigger, even the Series 5 still isn’t my ideal watch size, make it bigger! Heck give me that wrist device Leela has from Futurama, a device that comes with a larger interface,bigger battery and assumingly, more body function trackers please. A man however with expectations can dream.

I bought the Series 3 not just for the lower price, but also to temper my expectations, I allowed myself and this is ridiculous; to be disappointed with a $200 dollar purchase as opposed to an even more expensive purchase towards a later Series watch and expecting it to do more.

Go figure with that logic. But it’s working.

Because I paid less, I knew it could do less, and with expectations set to low, somewhere down the road of ownership I’d be also eventually surprised by its utility. I figured if the Series 6 came out next year, it would be an even greater improvement of course over the S5 and I’d have a better idea of how a future watch could serve me because I’m now in the ecosystem. Getting into this purchase for example, it didn’t bother me when in the Apple Store; I found out I can’t listen to podcasts locally on the watch. It only has remote functions. That means I can’t take just my headphones and Apple watch for simple supermarket journeys where I thought I could leave the iPhone at home.

Next time I guess? I know the sim version is more autonomous, but wifi in HK is so prevalent here there really is no need to buy that model.

I’ll allow the Apple Watch to disappoint this one time then. Nothing is perfect. 

Since getting this watch, let me tell you a few things I’ve realised and that I like about it.

First I don’t know what tech bloggers are talking about when they say they can shower and the watch is almost fully charged again, and charging the Apple watch everyday isn’t actually an issue for them. Because of the slow charging times on the watch, I’m left wondering how long does it take for tech bloggers to shower? It must take a long time to wash the lies and the tall tales of Apple cum off their bodies. I find the charging to be incredibly slow and the charging cable too long. Also the box is a silly shape. Sorry, I slipped a few negatives in there (the box isn’t really a big deal).

Currently while working at my computer or sitting down with a student are the best times to charge the watch. I’m moving around the least during those times so the Watch summaries at the end of each day are more inline with reality.

The Apple Watch lasts more than 18 hours a day.

I’m really happy with this. That’s Apple’s rated battery life. I’m finding I’m charging it every other day, and that’s with me sleeping with it; turning the watch to airplane mode. It makes a huge difference to the battery life. First night I slept with it, it drained by 60%, then realising my error, I changed the settings and its just a 2% drop in charge. I don’t have a fixed schedule for charging, I’ll just try and run it down to 5%-10% whenever and then charge it back up.

Never being a hard core watch owner myself, I don’t care about the delay in moving my wrist to see the time for when the screen turns on. So I’m quite comfortable with the delay, which really isn’t a delay. I think that perceived negative to be overblown.

<rant>

Sometimes I think the mainstream tech bloggers lose sight or perspective on some things us lay people will live happily with. Okay, you have a series of classical watches because you’re a nerd, but most of us don’t care they tell the time instantly when you glance at it, and if your boss gets upset because you’re checking your watch in a meeting then its his/her ego that is the problem, not the watch’s inability to tell you the time on the sly.

Instead of buying the Series 5 with its always on screen, why not be not passive in meetings and admit the meetings are too damn long. Suggest the stand up meetings thing, we all know stand up meetings are far productive and you’ll get closer to completing the Move circle on your watches. Also the boss isn’t a true capitalist either if his/her ego is getting in the way of a succinct meeting so you can all get back to work.

</rant>

Normally for me when checking the time I do one of three things, I ask someone ask for the time, I have to look at the top of the computer screen for the time or I tap my iPhone’s screen for it to tell me the time, compared to those three things, the watch is actually faster, and it’s always on my wrist!

I don’t even have to go to the computer or look for my phone or talk to anyone anymore. Life is good.

For some perspective, I haven’t owned a watch since the 00’s.

I don’t even remember the last watch I wore, because once I owned my first iPhone, the phone could be utilised in so many ways, I’m simply downsized what I owned, out went the clock, the radio, cd player, calculator and of course any ambition of wearing a watch.

What I do remember were the straps that came with the watch being part of the deal. Customising watch straps was never a consideration.

I’ve never bought a watch strap separate for a watch in my life and the idea to customise a watch with my perfect strap to complete me, sounds like a joke. I will never accessorise this Apple watch with another strap. Seriously I cringe when tech bloggers lament about the more expensive varieties of straps out there. Fuck off. #beyondinsanefirstworldproblemswhiletheamazonisburning

When I was in the Apple Store I could choose either a black Nike strap or a white one, fine. I’m happy with either, I’m not going to get caught up in #straplife.

I do have nice things to say about the strap itself however, it feels great on the skin and the strap is so cleverly put together, how did watch companies settle for the current strap solution for this long? I like how the strap tucks under itself 

The fitness functions and ergo the date to be gleaned; the actual things I felt were worth the asking price alone are amazing to have, I can see why “all your data belong to us Mark Zuckerberg” wants you in his ecosystem, it is truly empowering to know so much about oneself. Since owning an Apple watch, I’ve already skipped on taking the bus for a few journeys and avoided eating a cookie or two in order to be a better me.

In addition to that I’m actually taking note of all the journeys I don’t take, and deducting the savings against what I spent for the watch, in a way to prove that this thing can justify itself beyond the data collection. I love knowing how long I’m standing for, the calories I’m burning and just talking into a text message instead of typing it out.

The Move tracker however is something I’d like to adjust upwards, why is it only a 30 minute minimum? The minimums are also too easy to achieve. I’ve realised I can walk to the nearest MTR station to my house, burn a ton of calories, have the watch tell me that I’m technically doing a workout (or one time it says I’m on the elliptical) and include that “workout” into my minimum of 30 minutes of exercising.

The bar the watch sets, is so low, but Apple know the lifestyles of millions of people, so maybe the bar has to be low in order to encourage everyone to consider living the healthier lifestyle so they live for longer and buy later series of Apple Watches. I’d like to though increase in increments, the physical activity I can do.

One hesitation I did have with ownership of an Apple Watch was being interrupted directly on the wrist as I go about my day. That isn’t turning out to be the case because I only ever really talk to one person on iMessages and thankfully Facebook via WhatsApp doesn’t have a complication for the Watch. WhatsApp users aren’t able to badge me. There is a 3rd party company offering a complication, but you have to pay. That’s a good incentive to not install it.

Upon setting up the watch, the iPhone side loads all the complications it can related to the apps you have on the phone. “Oh you have it on the phone here, the watch can have it too”.

You have to consider everything that was installed, but it takes two minutes. iMessage functionality is a nice bonus however with Siri perfectly composing my spoken words into text.

This purchase really is about understanding what is going on with me body wise. I have a digital scale, I use a sleep tracker on my phone and I felt the Apple Watch would compliment those devices to fill out my profile. I just need the watch to prick me now and again for free blood testing as opposed to going to the doctors. A foot massage or a handjob would be welcome also. You can see I really wanted this watch for body tracking and to measure me. 

<zerowaste mention>

I did originally want to buy a secondhand Apple Watch to save a bit more money but the prices are fluctuating and are trading fast online so much I saved myself the stress and bought new. Also these batteries don’t last long either, so any savings I made by buying second hand would catch up with me probably a little later on with an expensive battery swap.

</zerowaste mention>

Some final tidbits, I got to say I like the ability to ping my phone, the ability to automatically unlock my Mac, Spotify is something I can see myself using more of because of the watch, the remote functions with Castro, the camera app and its overall functionality are helpful. Importantly and oddly, it really does feel like a watch instead of a computer. The computering stuff just gets out of the way, keypresses are at a minimum. As for the screen size itself, now having used it for nearly a week, it isn’t *that* bad, it makes me happier I bought the Series 3 even over the discounted Series 4 that are still in stock. I can deal with it and I’m actually content with this until something that can justify the need for a larger screen is released.

This is the first time I’ve bought a serious bit of tech with a clear understanding how it can serve me and how long I would expect to use it for. I think I choose correctly. For the moment though, this is a really cool piece of tech. If you’re considering one, I hope my opinion helps.

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This article is actually the written script for episode #76 of the Loose Rants Podcast. If you fancy listening instead of reading, then look for ‘Loose Rants” on Spotify or iTunes or go to www.jonathanjk.com/podcasts.

One Zero Waste Act, Many Benefits

1. 500 gram pots I was buying.

1. 500 gram pots I was buying.

I've wanted to do something about all the store bought yogurt pots I'm throwing out each month (I eat 8Kg of yogurt a month). I constantly went about refining how to cut down on my plastic consumption.

In the beginning I switched to larger yogurt pots so I'm making fewer trips to the store and saving on *some* plastic waste in the process.

2. Then I switched to bigger pots.

2. Then I switched to bigger pots.

When that wasn't enough:

I used some of the pots for my numerous plants making lightweight homes for various plants I've bought, lightweight matters because I can hang them more easily.

But after a few plantings, I've still throwing the rest away.

My last idea was to buy my own yogurt maker, I found I am saving enough money that I will pay back the investment in the yogurt maker, save money on a monthly basis AND I get the chance to eat a healthier yogurt than store bought, even if I was already buying greek style (already one of the healthiest).

From this third idea, I buy a much smaller amount of yogurt from a plastic pot as my starter culture, I buy the milk that comes in glass from 7/11 (the only place I’ve found that sells glass bottles, everything else is PET in HK).

So in summery I’m only throwing out some small plastic wrappers that secure the tinfoil to the top of the glass milk bottles, I can return the bottles and get a discount saving further money and the tinfoil is recycled. As you can see in the photos, the plastic wrappers are far smaller than entire yogurt pots so that's immediately better in terms of minimising my waste.

The milk I’m using and the 3 materials, glass, foil and plastic, two of which I can return or recycle.

The milk I’m using and the 3 materials, glass, foil and plastic, two of which I can return or recycle.

3. Amounts of plastic I’m throwing away compared (left), plastic wrapping from ten milk bottles that would make 8 portions of yogurt for me (right) the old tub I threw out that would contain 4 portions.

3. Amounts of plastic I’m throwing away compared (left), plastic wrapping from ten milk bottles that would make 8 portions of yogurt for me (right) the old tub I threw out that would contain 4 portions.

If I can make sure to look after my own yogurt culture, I'd hopefully never need to buy yogurt itself ever again, but I've already made 4.5L of yogurt from a store bought greek yogurt (0.5L pot) - I usually buy 8Kg of yogurt per month, so the difference is dramatic.

Fourth, greek style means you've got whey ( protein packed liquid) as run off which is useful for (1) watering tomato plants with because it's slightly acidic and I can use it to ferment other foods simply by mixing the whey with the fruit or veg, see link below (2):

https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening/celeste-garden/beet-kvass-recipe.

So I'll be making that today for the first time and learnt something about food culture outside my own environment! I've even started soaking nuts (3) using the whey instead of water to better activate them.

There are even more uses for the whey besides.

Anyway, I just wanted to share because it's amazing how things are snowballing into different directions that I would never imagined just because I wanted to cut down on my use of plastic pots and have instead expanding my ability to make even healthier probiotic foods. Some of my friends even suggest I should sell the yogurt. I'm fermenting the yogurt at a minimum of 24 hours and my current batch is fermenting for 36 hours.

TLDR:

1, reduced my plastic waste drastically.

2, saved money making my own yogurt (honestly its so easy).

3, expanded my diet options.

4, educated myself.

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If you’re interested in saving money by going zerowaste, then download the podcast for more ideas.

Only A Second Hand Computer From Now On

Zero wasting: Computing

I am still very nearly the type of person who when wanting a new computer, would go for the very best I’m able to afford so I can use it for as long as possible. That long term attitude exists vs the kind of short term thinking where people may just buy whatever is cheapest at the time (or budget will allow) and aside from the technical constraints that pop up when needs change, buying cheaper now is seen as better than buying something expensive without factoring in the entire lifetime cost of each product.

Of course this depends on your needs and budget and there’s no shaming happening here. We all just think about it differently and some of have to re-consider later if we’ve made the wrong decision thereby costing us more money.

George RR Martin for example is still using the same computer from the 1980s for his word processing whereas YouTubers will always try to stay up to date on the latest in tech. I fall down closer to the YouTubers and I do need to stay relatively up to date to edit video.

To cut a long podcast story short, I happily saved myself around $1500 by reconsidering my computing options with the zerowaste lifestyle in mind this time, and of course if you’re listening to this, I’d suggest to you to consider the exact same thing when you make your next big computer purchase. But back up a second, I know trying to save money on a computer isn’t an original thought, but its a new choice I’m open too as I further try to save money first and lower my carbon foot print second and then third share these thoughts with you in this new context.

So that’s it, if you just wanted the conclusion already. Try to buy second hand. Thanks for reading.

Now, let me preface my decision by saying two things when it comes to maximising MY cost savings.

  • Yes I know I didn’t need to buy an Apple machine, I could have easily bought something else.

Linux and Windows are great alternatives to saving money with, the trouble is I like Apple devices and the software, this is a personal choice made out of practicality for my work flow and the progress Apple have made towards their environmental impact, something which I will talk about at the end of the episode.

  • Yes I could have bought an even older Apple device than the Apple machine I bought.

Anything older than what I bought, which was a 2017 27” iMac, isn’t going to be that much of an improvement in many ways. The laptop I’m sunsetting is Prosumer and the iMac consumer line is held back against the Pro line. So anything prior to 2017 isn’t going to get me a performance boost. Lastly the upkeep of an older computer might also be higher because of its age, compatibility, and servicability might be difficult.

So all the potential politics aside, I’m aware of what else is out there and it’s good you know also, if you have objections to my decisions, because I want you to flex at me bro with your own ideas for savings.

In 2012 I bought the latest Apple laptop, a rMBP with all the upgrade options maxed out. Now 7 years later, a few minor components have failed, it’s a bit slow for my video editing needs today but thankfully its fine for everything else I need the Mac for like content management.

Now the total cost of ownership thing has worked out to being around $530 dollars a year. So far. If I keep it for another year then it works out as $467 dollars. 9 years $415, 10 years $373. If you don’t know where I’m getting the numbers from, its the purchase price + repairs divided by the number of years it was owned. Do you think like that?

Last year I purchased an iPad pro for creating videos and podcasts, it was half the price of the laptop I paid, so in five years its TCO will be $373. The iPad is also cheaper to run in terms of electrical use and is far more portable than the laptop. Tablets are almost at a point where they can replace all my computing needs. I would love to just have tablets and phones to use on a daily basis. They’re cheaper and they save on a ton of space.

But I still need a Mac. The iPad can’t do everything.

I found myself pricing out a 2019, 5k 27” iMac, I wanted all the bells and whistles but was staring at a $2850 price tag for a machine that wouldn’t even be my main computer! It would have given me piece of mind, but a purchase like this is insane and I’m not rich.

This whole endeavour to purchase a new computer was a three way balancing act between my costs vs my time vs the environmental cost.

7 years ago I wasn’t a zerowaster, I didn’t think then the way I barely do now, seven years is also relatively speaking, a long time to change computing machines, so any machine I’m upgrading too is going to be objectively faster right?

Right, this is where my new mindset has saved me the $1500 I can brag about here because I went second hand for the first time in my life with a computer instead of new. I already made an episode on my Loose Rants podcast about never wanting to purchase a brand new iPhone again for much the same reasons. I didn’t think I’d be doing the exact same thing with computers so soon. But once you’re on the second hand technology train, you can better appreciate what’s available to you. Whatever is speculated for release becomes less important, and now I see my future tech devices in a whole new light in terms of making future upgrades and as a bonus never pay full price ever again.

I think the iMac I bought has become a decent compromise where I haven’t ended up paying the typical Apple price for a product, I’m buying tech that already exists, as in I’m not requesting something entirely new from a factory. The iMac is still relatively new by being only one or two processor generations behind, and let’s admit it. Who am I to demand the absolute best? I’m just a youtuber and podcaster, I don’t even edit 4k videos just yet.

Of course, the final option is to just not buy anything at all and make do with what I have until the laptop truly dies, but with that view in mind, what do I get with that kind of super frugal lifestyle in mind? Again its cost vs time vs the environmental costs.

What are your considerations when you’re making your next purchase?

  • By the way I’m still keeping the laptop, I’m using it solely for my school career and as a backup device in case of a problem with the iMac, I was going to sell it but the utility of the machine is still too great to just make a second hadn’t for someone else to use.

This article is basically the transcript from the ZeroWaste Podcast, a podcast designed around saving you money first when comitting to the zero waste lifestyle.

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While doing research for this episode, the environmental reports Apple put out are quite interesting. Here are a few takeaways:

  • Apple computers are 100% recyclable when they are at the end of their actual life.

  • The manufacturing processes for Apple devices are entirely zero waste and made with renewable energy!

  • They use wood pulp for their boxes come from responsibly managed forests.

  • Server side processes run off renewable energy, that means purchasing content on iTunes, texting on iMessage are contributing to our carbon emissions

  • These reports come out every year so you can track their progress towards making sustainable products.

Links to the reports can be found here.