Break time

January 6, 2011


Other than eggs to make breakfast, I don’t really break things. The only thing I’ve broken recently—and that was six months ago—was a glass dinner plate. That wasn’t a big deal, because it was plain, clear glass—generic and easy to replace should I choose to do so. It was much more of a crisis when I finally finished breaking my iPhone 1.

This happened in April, just shortly before the iPhone 4 was even announced. I had been pondering the possibility of upgrading to iPhone 4 anyway because who wouldn’t want to from iPhone 1? At the same time, my iPhone 1 was a little bit of a badge of honor, that I still had the original (even though I held out for nine months after it was originally released).

I was intrigued by the better camera on iPhone 4 and thought that it would be nice to have it for my then-upcoming vacation to London. A camera in my back pocket was much more appealing than carrying around some huge thing slung over my shoulder. At an early season Minnesota Twins baseball game, my hand was forced.

I had already flung my iPhone 1 to the ground several times and the glass had been cracked in a few places for quite some time. I had gotten smart and sealed the shatter at the bottom of the screen (pictured below) with clear nail polish. That area was obviously impaired so I gave it some attention.

The cracks on the upper part of the screen (pictured top) seemed more innocuous because although cracked, the surface still felt smooth. I guess I was in denial, or at least not paying attention. In addition, I got a kick out of casually, conveniently, riding the thing around in my back pants pocket while other people encased theirs in bullet-proof cases or old socks. Who’s laughing now?

Well, at that fateful Twins game, there was a rain delay. I had planned ahead. I sat confidently in my seat in my baseball cap and rain poncho, feeling superior to those who ran for the shelter of the concourses. To amuse myself, I took self-portraits of the situation and went about uploading them to the social networks. Trouble was, although my rain poncho was clear plastic, it was getting steamed up inside and I couldn’t see through it to work on my iPhone. So what did I do? Why, I adjusted its position so that my view was no longer obstructed. I put it out in the open, outside of my rain poncho. I could see again!

I’m smart, but sometimes I’m a dope. I was a dope that night. What did I think was going to happen? Raindrops penetrated through the upper cracks and from then on, the top half of the touchscreen ceased to function. I held my breath for a week until iPhone 4 was announced, and then gave a big sigh of relief that I could get it two days before I left on my trip. I was glad that by that time, iTunes had the capability of rearranging iPhone screens on computer and then syncing, so I could move all of my heavy-use apps to the bottom halves of the windows.

I limped along like that for almost two months. I was ecstatic when I picked up my shiny new iPhone 4. I took immediate advantage of Apple’s offer for a free case. That rubber bumper has already saved iPhone 4 from several perilous situations.


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