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ATPM 17.12
December 2011


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by Mark Tennent,

The Best Thing About the iPhone 4S and How to Cope in Clink

Another two weeks in clink, or hospital whichever way you look at things. All to dig a vein out of my arm to fix the twice repaired artery in my leg. Bloody stuff and still very painful. However, it does give the armoury of entertainment a good run out, and here are some recommendations.

First up is the iPod, which proved essential when stuffed to the diodes with radio shows and plays downloaded in advance. They even left enough space for a movie or two and some TV shows. All courtesy of BBC iPlayer and home recordings.

Next is the iPad. Its small form factor, with an STM cover for propping it upright, made all night viewing a breeze. Movies and TV shows recorded and compressed kept me going for days. Meanwhile my lifeline, or more accurately wifeline, was busy preparing new ones for me.

We did try a MacBook, but its weight and large size made it vulnerable in a situation where every surface is cleaned several times a day. A MacBook Air would have been a better choice, but I don’t know how safe it would be on open wards with no secure locker. Get whisked off for a scan and return to find it had also been whisked off. Whereas the iPad is small enough to keep with you.

Finally, the iPhone rounds off gadgets for the gammy. At first my old iPhone 3GS, but the lure of a 4S waiting at home proved too great, and what a good thing, too. A quick switch of contracts was all that was needed to stream TV and radio to my hospital bed-bound misery.

Obviously, the above are all Apple products, but there is a good reason for this: they all take the same charger. One tiny white plug and lead powered them all up, rather than the large box of transformer-rectifiers used by other manufacturers.

The best thing about the new iPhone is the aerials. Apple spent extensive research time on them, and it has really paid off. This is the first cellphone I can get a signal on in my own home, which being near the seafront, is surrounded by buildings rising higher as the land slopes gently away from the coast. A cellphone signal has been all but impossible to pick up from any supplier on any of the dozens of handsets we have tried.

With the iPhone 4S, I get a solid three or four signal bars anywhere in my home. Brilliant!

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