LIKE A FLY ON THE WALL

As I sit here, in the banking hall of a local bank, like a fly on the wall; watching everyone come and go, the behinds of people as they lean against the tellers’ counter; trying my best to stay cool as I wait my turn for the specific counter, waiting…waiting…waiting for the very, very old (by her movements) elderly lady; I try to get things done.

Now, you may ask, “What is the difference between an old lady (or man) and an elderly lady (or man)?” Well, let me tell you. A person can be one who is 25 years old but behaves and moves like one who is a 100, that has a saline bag attached, and uses a walk cage to move around. An elderly person may be 85 years old but behaves and moves around like a person of 50 years.

Though I am filling up my time with things to do, working on my Fold 3 (1) flipped open, checking messages, going through my agenda and tasks for today, and working on this article and on any other “bright sparks” that may be an opportunity for new article start-ups; I just can’t help think that I have been waiting for more than an hour.

Though ordinarily, I would be fidgeting and all flustered up by now; I am trying to understand this lady and her transaction. I am sure she does not want to spend that long a time at the counter; and standing to boot. She is, after all; getting her things done. The teller is assisting her the best she can.

As I said, being “the fly on the wall”, quoting the late HRH Queen Elizabeth II, has its advantages; I think. I get to see the comings and goings of people.

I have just completed the draft of an article, no not this one; another. This is still work in progress as I write. Hope to publish this later on today as I have other appointments on after this.

Waiting and watch the world go by….that could be a past time. As I watch men, women and children of all ages and their mannerisms; sometimes I am fascinated by their behavior even for the littlest of things. This can only happen when you are seated and waiting.

I guess for me, I am gathering light bulbs of ideas, but most times they are only scraps. My ideaSketchpad 💡is quite full of jagged thoughts, spilling out of make-belief pages, but then again, it can never be too full. It seems to have an enormous appetite for more ideas and thoughts. Like a jigsaw with a billion pieces.

Yes, heaps full to put in the book that I am to write – the same “book” I embarked to do at the beginning of this year. It does not seem to be enough, yet, I don’t seem to know how to “connect the dots”.

While I can say I have not got the book together, because it seems like it is a whole lot of work, I have been gathering material. The latest is some information from my aunt in Australia about the time when she and the family (she being the youngest in the family) moved from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur. And the reason they moved to Kay El? Read about it in the book that is to come.

More to come…

So, have I used “like a fly on the wall” correctly?

NOTES:
1. Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 smartphone (Tablet?)

Queen Elizabeth II said, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall…”

DROPPED IT!

It’s a heartache! Nothing but a heartache! Oh the pain!

The lights were off. It was near total darkness, with the exception of the tv set which was on. I had turned off everything at my workstation, got up from my chair; took one step towards the living room to watch a bit of tv.

I heard a loud thud! I turned around and looked on the floor. There was my Samsung Fold 3, in a galaxy of its own. I did not see the charging cable that was plugged into it to charge it, of course. It fell from a side table, 15 inches high. My foot got entangled in the loop of the cable and tugged at it, bringing the Folding Fold Folded 3, crashing to the floor.

It landed on it’s spine, which is the mainframe of the phone. I felt the $$$ pain.

The first thing that went into my mind before I checked it to see if it was alright, was a conversation I had with the Samsung representative during the launch at the 1st generation Fold in 2019. He said the cost of replacing each of the two inner panels would be RM2,500 (US$550), excluding service charge.

I picked it up, inspected it, gingerly. Of course, by this time; I switched on all the lights for maximum brightness. First glance, it looked ok. Inspected the inner “glass” panels, and then, the outer panels. All was ok. Phew! You can say that again. Phew!

The Fold 3 still has to be handled with more care than the standard, ordinary, everyday run-of-the-mill smartphone because of it’s movable parts.

I would still advocate you to switch to the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 if you are in the market for a new, premium, top-of-the-line, flagship smartphone. Unless, you decide to go for a new fruit phone that promises you two year old technology at the very most. In the folderable smartphone category; the bite-in-the-fruit brand promises you technology of at least 4 years or older.

Bonnie Tyler – It’s a Heartache.

This article was totally unplanned for, on the spur-of-the-moment when I had to do while on a banking errand. Don’t get me started with that. I mean I had to go online, book an appointment, was punctual on my arrival and still had to do the usual process that I normally would do without having to book for an appointment. That meant I had to wait which I did not mind. So much for booking an appointment.

I know that I should have more wireless charging pads placed all over the house for easy convenience of wireless charging. The catch is that the wireless charging pads are connected to the power sockets with cables!

“It’s A Heartache” by Bonnie Tyler came to mind when I started writing (“keytapping”) this article. Adding her “apt” video here, it is the first time I have seen her. She is stunningly beautiful. I knew of her popular songs from the 1980s and 1990s, but I have never seen even a picture of her as far as I can remember.

I hope that you the reader, viewer, listener have enjoyed this article. Perhaps, providing you a short break from your heavy day, even to stop for a few moments to live in the present. Leave a comment in the comment section.

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Salute.

NOTES
Salute is another really common way to ‘cheers’ in Italy. It literally means ‘health’ as in ‘here’s to good health.’ This way to ‘cheers’ is used in many different languages, including French (santé), Spanish (salud) and Portuguese (saúde). https://mominitaly.com/cheers-in-italian/

The FOLD 3 IN YOUR POCKET, FOLDED

Bits of plastic coming off my Fold…Actually it’s just bits of the plastic wrap around the Fold, that is often overlooked, coming off the Fold. These bits are peeling off the sides of the Fold.

Plastic peeling off the sides.

I still believe this is the way smartphones are heading towards. Folderables and the prototype roll-out screen gets bigger / roll-in scroll becomes smaller.

I’ve had the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 for about 3 and a half months. now. (If you notice that in my past few articles I have been using “and a half” instead of “.5” or “0.5”. “And a half” sounds nicer, don’t you think?) Mine is the Phanthom Silver colour. Whether it offers the same high standards as the Rolls Royce because it shares the same spelling of its”Phanthom” model or not; that is up to the individual owner to judge.😉

A bit of a fumble to open and close it.

Though the fold phones / folderables or foldies (terms used mainly for folding bicycles) have had resistance to being accepted just like the phablets (Samsung Note) smartphones experienced initially, the tide has changed with Samsung’s 3rd iteration of its Samsung Fold and Flip phones. There will be the group of those “diehards” who won’t jump the sinking ship of the “standard” smartphone. I believe the plug has been pulled out and the ship is actually sinking…slowly but still sinking.

In this respect, I could be considered a “Benedict Arnold” as I was not and am still not loyal to any brand or type of smartphone. So, I, the captain of the ship; “abandons ship” by switching to the latest phone, more like the latest technology and specifications a smartphone has to offer.😂 (I’ve got to do something about getting better emojis instead of these worn out smiley faces).

The Fold 3, when folded shut, feels compact and comfortable to hold in my hand because it is much narrower in width than most other flagship smartphones. My phone has been in its original Samsung flip cover Fold case, with a nifty S-Pen Silo that holds the S-Pen on the fold of the case. The Silo sits in a groove on the spine of the case. The silo can be removed by sliding it off when you don’t need to have the S-Pen around. I leave it on all the time. The narrow width advantage is lost with the additional thickness coming from the S-Pen. I can leave with it.

The flip seems to have lost its stiffness when it is closed. It does not close fully over the screen now, as it did when I first had it.

When I removed the phone from the case; I noticed that it did not collect as much dirt as phones with other cases would.

The flip cover as it is now.
The flip cover: Almost perfect close

There are times when the phone becomes more than I care to handle. The cover seems to be in the way when a call comes in. Generally, we have to flip the cover open to use the phone. I should not be complaining about this as I should expect this of a cover. Yes. It can become more than I care to handle when I am trying to type answer a message in a car or a tight space. It is fiddly. Now, that I am on a roll….let’s see.

When I want to open the phone, I usually have the phone in both hands, using my left hand and mainly my thumb, to grab the side of the Fold 3 (next to the on / off button) and pry open. The huge pain here is that it can be quite slippery. My thumb has slipped on more than one occasion and hit the edge of the screen protector, forcing it to partially lift off from the screen. An improvement could be this thumb grip area, adding a sort of rough ridge. Definitely a grip improvement.

The solid spine or backbone of the Fold 3.

The camera housing bump.

The camera bump looks a bit rough around the edges.

The Sportify music coming from the Google Home Mini: Australian Crawl’s “Downhearted”. Love this group for their unusual, yet entertaining music. They made Australia unique. The Voice (Whitney Houston’s nickname) “I Want To Dance with Somebody” and “One Moment In Time”

Coming back to the camera. The “island bump” does not look all that great now. Looking at the picture on the left, it seems the camera slab is fused on to the phone back. This slab does not allow the phone to lay flat on when it is put down. There is a bit of a rocking motion. I guess we can live with that.

As for the cameras themselves, they perform pretty well. Unfortunately, not the latest which means it is not the greatest. But they do take pretty good shots. Really,…how many people out there are gonna demand Leica “R” or “M” series or Hasselblad’s famed large format quality shots? How many are going to be able to frame, set aperture, shutter speed, light exposure for every picture they take with their smartphone. Admittedly, it would be nice to have, though.

AS for the UDC (Under Display Camera) on the main open screen, the pictures, the video…ok la. I mainly used this camera for my video calls on Whatsapp or Messenger. As long as people don’t say, “Looks like you, sounds like you, but is it you?”

When folded, this front / top screen looks sharp and crisp. I think the apps look kinda cute in its miniature size. Though it seems relatively easy using the apps on this screen; I found myself automatically opening the phone to the big screen, which means I hardly every use this front screen. Not that I don’t want or need it there, nice to know that it is there when you need it.

This is the inner screen, opened, though not fully. The fingerprints and other stuff – this I have to live with. I wipe the screen once in a while – a sense of achievement. Note that the original screen protector film by Samsung is still on.

I have not ventured into peeling off the original Samsung screen protector film on the main display. Samsung does warn that doing so would void the warranty. I think that peeling the screen protector film off or replacing it with something else or just leaving the screen without one, is not going to drastically reduce fingerprints, etc.. Just have the practice of wiping the screen once in a while.

The edges of the screen protector looks like it is beginning to peel.

Picture taken with a Samsung Galaxy S-21 Ultra 16gb ram 512gb
When opened, the flip case sticks out on the left. This entails a lot of fumbling to get a good grip of the phone. When The S-Pen silo is removed, the cash opens with the same width of the phone. Picture taken with an Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Now, we come to the reason for the Fold 3. We have gotten past the unfolding of the phone in public and they say, “What is that?” Yes…well, no. No one really has exclaimed in such excitement. But many people do like the screen, the bright pictures that come on and all the functions that you can’t even do with the Samsung S22.

Getting past all that, I simply love using this device. Wherever I am at, and have a few minutes between appointments. I whip out the Fold 3 and get down to work. Some people who know me as a writer, think that I am taking notes of them and become concious of what they say and do. Maybe.

I love the 3 screen split.

The ability to have 3 screens on at anytime is a real boon for me. As I write an article; I may have an idea for another article and maybe an additional idea or two for the article I am working on. My hot idea or train of thought may get lost when I swap from one screen to another if I was using a less versatile device. Did I just find an excuse for having this Fold 3?😁😂. It has happened many times before. I must get into the habit of writing down these ideas on my idea Sketchpad💡mini.

90º angle looks good but serves little purpose. When you pull up the keyboard, the article text does not show.

I don’t find much use when the screen is at an angle. When I pull up the keyboard, the text does not show. The angled screen is good for taking pictures. What you take immediately shows in the bottom of the screen. And probably when you are having video-conferencing. You can view and work on the split screen apps, too.

Is this Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 a great phone? Absolutely! It needs a rough surface patch at the “thumb pull open section” side. There also has to be a wider range of cases with an S-Pen slot than just the flip case.

Should you get one? If you have the use for multiple screens, absolutely! Or if you just have the money and still only use this device for making phone calls, sending text messages and taking good photos.

Samsung is expected to launch the Fold 4 somewhere next month – it’s usual annual August event. So, expect strides of improvement from already great device.

The pictures shown were taken without the usual fanfare of a studio-styled setup. The idea is for readers to relate as ordinary non-tech users or testers. The Samsung GalaxyS21 Ultra 16gb 512gb and Apple iPhone 11 Pro were used to take the pictures..

Do leave your comments or questions in the comments section below.

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NOTES:
1. https://leatherpotato.com/2019/10/17/the-butterfly-samsungs-galaxy-fold/
2. https://leatherpotato.com/2021/09/09/folding-n-flippin-slipping-n-sliding/

Australian Crawl: “Downhearted”. They made Australia unique.

Pushin’ and Slidin’

It’s my usual siesta time…whenever I get a chance. Which is rarely…which is usual. So how does it become my “usual” siesta time? Does more than once constitute it as “Usual?”

So, what am I (“was”, since I am reporting this hours after) doing at my usual siesta time? For one, Malaysia has public holidays aplenty. Great breaks for those who work really hard. Tough for those guys who look forward to going to work to get a break from all the holidays.

Anyway, in the wee hours of Sunday morning (after 10.00am); we (Jeannie my wife, and I) were looking for a joint we have not been to before for our coffee fix. Over the last two weeks; we were sipping coffee, having lunch and eating cake at cafes that were leafy green decorated – surrounded by plants and such (an article on this topic is on my ideaSketchpad).

Our plan was to chill, while our time away and do almost nothing. This is near impossible for either of us. I would whip out my Fold 3 and get on with writing something…anything…or working on any of the topics on my ideaSketchpad. Jeannie would be on her usual, “Business development market survey”.

I said, “We have two main choices: one was to look for a cafe we have not been to, which could be in a shoplot on its own, where we could sit and relax for a few hours…drinking coffee and eating cake or pastries.

The other choice was to have coffee in a cafe located in a shopping mall. We could drink coffee, eat cake and pastries. Then, walk around all the stores and shop…..then, to another cafe…drink more coffee, eat more cake and more pastries. Generally, we still do keep watch on our calorie and sugar intake. Which means, working off the extra calories on my daily 15 kilometer walks.

Of course, we all know the outcome of this. Though I love my coffee fix, I am not one who can sit for hours in one place, then get up and go home. This is so (so? Like, like so not “English” English?) not me. Ok ok. Throw the brickbats, coffee, mugs, kitchen sink, an S22 Ultra 18gb ram with 1 Terrorbite of storage, all your boxes of unopened chocolate (just had some milk chocolate from Germany. It was sssooooo ss-mmm-ooo-th and divine) at me. As for the chocolate, I like the ones with hazel or mixed nuts, better (hint, hint).

Oh yeah… the outcome was: we went to a shopping mall – Mid-Valley shopping mall. We drove to the carpark and parked our car; finding an empty space fairly easily without having to loop the carpark several times. Ours is not one of those self-drive, electric vehicles. From the looks of things, the upcoming new models may be able to “twit” as well.

When we got in the shopping area, it hit us like the “matrix”. There were like (like?) a kezillion people. It was crowded. It was like this on all the shopping floor levels. I did not see people carrying their portable printing presses to print cash if they ran short. I suppose now is the day of plastic. But that’s on its way out, too. It is pay by scan.

Jeannie and I headed to KFC for a quick bite as I had not had lunch yet. The meal was good. Then, we braved our way through the crowds again. This was not what we had envisioned for a nice Sunday afternoon… coffee, cake, pastries, relaxation, shopping, coffee, cake, pastries. When I say, “relaxation”; I’m with my fold 3, in my ideaSketchpad💡; “writing” / tapping / swiping / keying – working on my articles.

We spent about an hour window-shopping. Jeannie went to her favourite – “Zara” store. She spent a bit of time at Metrojaya, too. I popped in to the various IT shops – TMT, Logitech and Samsung. Samsung’s premium store does not promote many of their accessories like watchbands for the Watch 4 & 4Classic, cases for the Fold 3, etc. It would be good if they do as they will be able to reach out to a broader base of customers.

I went to Skechers, too. Skechers is Jeannie’s and my favourite brand of footwear. They are the most comfortable to wear, especially for long periods of time. We find their “air-cooled, Goga Mat” inner soles the most comfortable. The soft outer soles completes the comfort. I was looking for a casual, sort-of-formal pair – dark tan leather top, with a white or off-white outer sole. They did not have such a pair.

We left within an hour to an hour and a half after arriving at the mall because the crowds did not make it comfortable for us to shop. I had a couple of rough “bump-offs” by two oversized (and I mean oversized) people who may believe they are God’s gift to mankind, because they did not even apologise.

So, making our way back home was a capital idea. When we got home, I made a “Super” Rich 3-in-1 kopi ice. Very nice. Not too sweet, not too weak, either. This is my new “try-out”. After a cup of this coffee, I go back to my usual all-black coffee, strictly plain and rather “kau”, too.

There are helpful instructions on the back of the packet, for you to follow to make this coffee. That’s if you can read them. It’s in 0.0001pt font size.

The thing about being back home is I have all my creature comforts, big screen monitor, laptops, tablets and phones and I am back working.

Folding n Flippin’, Slipping n Sliding

Was it just recently, i.e. a few years ago; that we were using bank books roughly the size of 12 centimeters (cm) x 5 cm to keep track of our deposits and withdrawals in our savings account?

Then, there was the famous little pocket “Three 5s”, no, not the cigarette brand. In Malaysia, mostly everyone from the yester era of the 1970s or 1980s (I have to put “19” before 70 and 80 as it is fast coming one full circle of 100 years 🙂 ) remembers this as the “Buku Tiga(3) Lima(5) book.

This little roughly 10cm x 7.5cm book had it’s cover in light blue, yellow, green or pink. It had about 48 lined pages.

BICARA OZZY: BUKU 3 LIMA

This book was / is famously used as the “I.O.U.” book. All purchases were recorded in these little books as I.O.U. with the agreement to pay at the end of the week or month. These books were used by small business traders. The traders would write your name on the book – your account, but they keep your book. Those recordings of purchases would be crossed out when payment is made. Famously used by the “sayur man” (vegetable seller), meat sellers and the “roti man” (bread sellers).

In 1972 – 1975, I had the opportunity to utilize one of these books because I was granted credit. I was still in school at that time. I used to love reading aeroplane and car magazines but could hardly afford them as they cost about $4 or $5 (no RM Ringgit those days) each and they came out on a weekly basis. So, I had an “account” with our neighbourhood newspaper and magazine shop in Palm Grove, Klang.

The shop owner would stop the supply of these magazines until I settle at least 75% of what was outstanding each time the total amount owing reached a certain amount. This was to ensure that I had the money to pay him. Anyway, he knew my parents and would have gone to them if I did not pay up. Haha! Lucky I was a good paymaster. Phew!

If you lived in Palm Grove or nearby at that time, this newspaper vendor’s shop was next to the barber shop in that row of single-storey shops. I think that was the only row of convenience shops in the whole of Palm Grove and its surroundings.

Did I go off tangent by rambling along (a line from the film “Mrs. Doubtfire”?) with a “blast from the past?” One thing led to another and more nice memories came to mind. Back to the present: Samsung just launched their latest and their greatest in smartphones and watches.

In March of this year, I decided that I was going to buy myself the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. Though it’s price was expected to be hefty at RM8,000 or US$1,925; I was planning on using the Fold 3 to help improve my productivity especially in writing my articles whenever I am away from my workstation. I thought it a minimalist way of doing things – everything could be done with one device.

At a recent big Samsung world launch event on August 11th; Samsung unveiled the not so secret Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, Z Flip 3 and the Watch 4.

The Fold 3, probably the most awaited for; top-end, premium flagship phone of this year, did not fail to impress. It is on par with the other two Samsung flagships, namely the S21 and the Note series in terms of build quality and looks. Being able to fold the nearly 8 inch screen into two so that it fits in most pants pockets, is in itself an interesting attraction.

My amateur skills in recording this video.

The decision that hinged (the folding hinge) on whether I should pick up this phone or not (Malaysian decision making: can or not), was initially based on Samsung’s pre-launch video which highlighted and underscored the impracticality of holding the phone in one hand and using the S-pen in the other. It also focused on the difficulty of holding the Fold folded at a 90 degree angle and using the S-pen. Based on this video, I decided that I was not going to get it.

But then again, I waited eagerly since March to get this device of the year. At this point, I was still compelled on getting it. Talk about being fickle-minded.

This edition, Samsung’s third, impresses and will continue to impress for a long time to come. It’s closest competitor, the other brand which is from China; seems to have withered away without so much as a whimper.

I managed to get my hands on a display unit at Harvey Norman in Mid-Valley Megamall, not once but on two occasions. On the first occasion, I managed to do the video above. I was itchy-fied (1) to make the pre-order straight away. But I was a bit hesitant and wanted to check it out further.

On the second hands on limited review, I found the phone to be top notch build quality, screen was good. The front panel screen was Samsung’s usual Dynamic Amoled. It had hardly any competition or no real competition. Another thing I noticed about the front screen panel – it looks like a slab of glass was attached to it, with its edges above the body of the phone as it does not seem to be recessed in the body.

Unfolding (opening) the phone, needs a two-hand operation. It is stiff. I don’t know if it will remain stiff or firm throughout its lifespan or get into a loose, dangly mode after using it for sometime. The screen may seem really big, but in reality; it is almost 3/4 inch bigger than Samsung’s S21 Ultra or Note 20 Ultra only.

Oh, by this time of my second hands on of the Fold 3, I picked up the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 512gb storage 16gb ram with the optional S-Pen. I bought the silicone cover case for the S21 because it could house the S-Pen in it. (I may do a user’s review of my Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 512gb storage 16gb ram – a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Galaxy S21 Ultra pen coming out of a case attached to the phone
The Samsung S21 Ultra 5G with S-Pen capabilities. Shown here, is the S-21 in the silicone case which tucks away the S-pen neatly at the side.

And I was still thinking of the Fold 3. It was like being lured into an entrapment with no way out. And this time round, the S-Pen was available for testing. This was what made things look complicating to me, from here the Fold 3 was downhill all the way.

The S-Pen for the S21 Ultra does not work on the Fold 3. The Fold 3 S-Pen does not work with the S21 Ultra. The Fold 3 S-Pen pro does not work on any of the other Samsung S-pen enabled devices. The Master S-Pen Pro sells for RM499 or US$120. Not cheap. Using an S-Pen other that that designed for the Fold-3 could damage it’s main screen though the claim is the screen is much stronger than the previous Fold 2.

The different S-Pens. Now, there are 5 S-pens for the various Samsung devices. Shown here from left to right: Master S-Pen Pro, S-Pen Pro and S-Pen. Photo: PCMag.com (Nice pic)

After watching JerryRigEverything’s You Tube video review (2) on how he put this phone through the various forms of damage tests to gauge its durability, I decided to give the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 a miss for sure. It still seems a very delicate phone.

At the events unfolded (pun intended) further, I finally decided against getting the Samsung Fold 3 5G. There were just too many caveats that deterred me from getting this otherwise marvelous smartphone.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

i. I have not attempted to give a full, detailed preview of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. Therefore, I have not provided the full specs, etc, of this smartphone. I am attempting to bring you into the aura of me awaiting for the arrival of this folding marvel, and then giving it a miss as it did not quite meet my expectations. I may not seem forgiving but this is too expensive to close an eye on its shortcomings.

ii. Having said that, this article is in no means meant to discourage you from buying this smartphone. Those of you without high or much expectations placed on this Fold 3; are going to enjoy this device for sure.

iii. Let me know your thoughts and views in the comment section.

NOTE:

I, an amateur, did these video-recordings. They were done on a spur of the moment, not planned for. No pre-written script. My voice was very muffled due to me having two face-masks and a face shield, on.

1. itchy-fied” – Can’t keep ones hands to him/herself. The word is famously used within the Atkinson – Gomes family.

2. JerryRigEverything, “Is the Galaxy Fold 3 really 80% Stronger?!”; https://youtu.be/F8Thuw3qPGw