July 16, 2016

Starting Fresh With An iPad 3

I do the majority of my writing and internet browsing on an iPad. The same iPad 3 that I bought in March of 2012. About a year ago[1] it started freezing up and crashing. I’d usually restart it and it would work fine for a while, then I’d repeat the cycle. Yesterday my 4.5 year old iPad finally pooped the bed.

My iPad got into these crash loops. It would reboot itself, then immediately crash again and reboot. It would repeat this process for 30 minutes or so. If I tried to do anything on it another crash loop would begin.

I wanted to go to the store and buy an iPad Pro, but that wasn’t in the cards. I decided the best course of action would be to start with a clean slate. I was going to restore my iPad back to factory settings and start fresh.

The process was pretty painless. I don’t store pictures or files on my iPad itself, so I didn’t have to worry about losing anything. I hit the restore button in iTunes and left to do yard work. An hour later I came back and it was done.

I was starting with a brand new iPad. No apps. Nothing. It was freeing. I had built up so many unused apps. I had been meaning to weed through them, but this method was way better. Just get rid of them all and only re-download the stuff you absolutely need.

I’ve used my iPad for a week since refreshing and it has been working flawlessly. It feels like a brand new device. It is so much more responsive. I haven’t had one instance of lagging or crashing. I only have a few apps on it, but that is all I need for now.

I use a Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad a lot. A few months ago there started to be a noticeable delay between when I typed on the keyboard an when those letters showed up on screen. There have been times when I’d type out a whole paragraph with nothing showing up on the screen. I’d sit there and wait for several seconds and then the words would start to appear. Before the refresh it would happen to some extent every time I typed. I am writing this post right now with my bt keyboard and it hasn’t happened once.

It appears that my old iPad has new life, and should be able to get me to whatever iPad announcement Apple makes this fall or early 2017. I am still hoping to upgrade then. For now I am just happy to have an iPad that works.

I was skeptical about how effective it would be to restore the iPad. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was old and probably wasn’t going to work very well ever again. I’m amazed by how big a difference it made. If you are having any slowness or weird problems with an older iOS device give it a shot.

  1. Probably around the same time I installed iOS 9 on it.  ↩

July 7, 2016

Finding Dory Review

I was thinking a post about Finding Dory was going to be my return to the movie blogging game. Here we are two weeks after I saw the film and still no review has been posted. It’s weird because I have actually written 3 of them. All have been scrapped. At this point I am just going to write something and go with it.

Finding Nemo has been one of my favorite Pixar films. In my eyes Nemo and the Toy Story trilogy are elevated well above the rest.[1] I was really hoping, and expecting, to be able to put Finding Dory right up on that pedestal.[2] Dory didn’t live up to the hopes I had for it. I enjoyed the movie, but it is middle-of-the-road Pixar for me. The story felt sloppy, which I can almost never say about Pixar’s normally extremely tight storytelling skills.[3]

I feel very similarly about Finding Dory as I did about Up. Both films have great moments, but they just get… weird. The gravity of the story becomes lost when you have to imagine a crazy universe where this stuff might actually happen. There were so many times in Dory where I found myself asking “why?”. Maybe if I see it again some of the events and character motivations will make a little more sense to me.[4]

My biggest head-scratcher was the sea lions. The two main sea lions seemed like nice helpful guys, but that didn’t stop them from bullying poor little Gerald off their rock. His exclusion was played for laughs. I’m not sure what Gerald’s purpose was.[5] In the scope of the overall film his treatment sent a mixed message. The movie as a whole seemed to advocate for the acceptance of those with differences, yet it was funny to bark at Gerald until he got off the rock.[6]

I imagine I will like Finding Dory when I see it a second time. It won’t have the weight of the expectation to live up to. I will be prepared for the random weird stuff that distracted from the story. Maybe I should go read some Dory think pieces that will explain exactly what the point of it all was. Surely somebody has ascribed some method to the madness.

I did really like Frank. I thought he was an interesting character. I didn’t like the fact that a majority of the film took place on dry land and Dory was usually confined to a small vessel. It made me claustrophobic. Frank’s ability to maneuver on the turf made me a fan merely because he was a character that could actually do stuff.

I feel like I have been hard on Finding Dory. I did legitimately like it. Even mid tier Pixar is better than most movies out there. My daughters liked it so I am sure I’ll get to watch it over and over… and over. Maybe I will grow to appreciate its loose plotting and oddball charm.

  1. Though I haven’t revisited many of the Pixar movies since they first came out.  ↩

  2. I may have had my expectations set a little too high.  ↩

  3. I have never seen Cars 2.  ↩

  4. I’m not really sure why Nemo & Marlin were in the movie… except for they kind of had to be.  ↩

  5. And why couldn’t he talk? Or why didn’t he talk?  ↩

  6. Don’t even get me started on Becky the bird.  ↩

July 1, 2016

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
-Eleanor Roosevelt