The Wandering Lion
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Shopping Madness

I normally avoid crazy events like Black Friday or lines at Ticketmaster for a chance to spend hundreds of dollars and more for things I can easily do without. Somehow, I forgot my own rules on March 1, 2014 when I went shopping for a smart phone.

The Store

I visited a Sprint Store somewhere up on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago. It was a pleasant enough space, and the salesman was low key and helpful. I wanted to make certain that the device I purchased had certain characteristics, like and ARM processor and NEON support (a graphics feature) since I am working on development for Android devices. We downloaded a free app called Syscheck that displays a ton of technical information about the device and found that the Samsung Galaxy Note III had what I needed.

The Madness

He offered to give me a free tablet. Unthinking, I said “Sure!” What I failed to hear was his explanation that the free tablet comes with strings, like a two-year contract for cell phone service. So that jacked my monthly bill up even more.

I have a collection of Android devices already, used for testing and application development. But adding one more couldn't hurt, especially if it was “free.” I guess I left my brains on the night stand with my teeth that day.

Perhaps the one good thing I did was to buy Otterboxes for each of the devices. I'm clumsy. I drop things. When I'm developing and testing, I have devices tethered to my PC and will frequently trip on the USB cable and send things crashing to the floor. The Otterbox protects the device so that it becomes nearly indestructible. They are also expensive.

I left with a lot less cash than I walked in with.

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