Technically Outclassed I know… by Arthur

I am old fashioned. I have a simple mobile phone that makes phone calls and does text messaging. I have a camera that takes photographs. I have a PC that surfs the net, edits pictures and so on. They suit my needs and I am happy.

A couple of things happened recently that made me realize I’m falling behind. The first related to music. I barfined a girl from a gogo on Soi Cowboy and took her back to my apartment. She likes Thai pop music so I showed her my collection on the PC. She pulled out her Nokia combination phone – music player – camera – makeup case and asked me if I could give her the latest Clash album that I had on the PC.

She didn’t have a USB cable to connect her phone to my computer and my PC doesn’t do Bluetooth. Then I found her phone has a slot for a memory card. She showed me how to extract the card and I pulled out my SanDisk 9-in-1 memory card reader. I plugged the reader into my PC and found a slot that fit her card. Then I looked at my music files. It seems that recent CDs published by GMM Grammy are copy protected. When you rip them to a PC you have to run an application which transfers licensed WMA files to your computer. Hence I couldn’t copy the files to her card.

Now you try explaining to a 20 year old gogo girl from Buriram at 1 o’clock in the morning why I, the farang who can make money appear from ATMs at will, cannot do something simple like give her some music. I tried explaining file formats, encryption and Digital Rights Management but she wasn’t impressed. ‒Sorry, cannot do” would have done just as well.

Soon afterwards I was showing a Big Mango lady some photos I’d taken. She wanted copies on her phone. She too had a super combo phone that I think included a som tam maker, but no cable. ‒No problem” I thought. Surely her phone can read JPEG files. ‒I can do this.” I knew enough to locate the memory card on her phone and extracted a little piece of plastic smaller than my thumbnail that held 256MB of stuff. But it was smaller than anything my 9-in-1 reader had seen. I nearly lost it in the reader poking it into its slots. So I failed again. Instead I burned a CD of the pictures and gave it to her.

A few days later I saw she had one of the pictures as the background on her phone’s screen. ‒Did you find the cable?” I asked. ‒Oh no”, she said, ‒I displayed the picture from the CD on the computer screen and took its picture with my phone. Easy.” These Big Mango girls are clever as well as sexy.
Why didn’t I think of that?

13 thoughts on “Technically Outclassed I know… by Arthur”

  1. Because she asked me to, I bought my girlfriend a new mobile phone on Valentine’s day. She has a favorite photo of herself in a frame in our apartment, and wanted to use it as wallpaper on her phone. I spent an hour trying to figure out how to get the copy in my computer on to her phone, and she finally took the phone from me and snapped a photo of the framed picture and had it on the wallpaper in about 30 seconds. Yeah… I felt stupid. I guess many Thailand experiences that seem unique are actually shared by others.

  2. thanks for the post. DRM is something u shd know about, because it does things…well, like what u experienced.

    u shd also know that Microsoft’s Windows OS has all sorts of ways to keep you hooked on things like WMA formats. ask Smitty sometime.

    i too keep my tech setup simple. i rip my own mp3s from CDs i own (thus compensating the artist) and load them onto my iPod(s). loved yr line: “Now you try explaining to a 20 year old gogo girl from Buriram at 1 o’clock in the morning why I, the farang who can make money appear from ATMs at will, cannot do something simple like give her some music”…anyway if u avoid the Windows-view-of-the-world you’ll be able to dispense the tunes with equal ease.

    as for JPEGs, more complex. the JPEG format involves compression, image-quality issues, and much more besides. i’ve tried to explain this to various people and unless they’ve had some experience with image-processing or desktop-publishing, they’re usually confused. the main thing is to consider the resolution of the FINAL device. a mobile phone screen does not require a file that can be printed out at photo-quality at A4 size. the beauty of computers is that you can take the hi-res file and make COPIES in the resolutions u need. software like Photoshop will handle this. then u just transfer, by memory-card or Bluetooth, but it’s not a straightforward process. it helps if u do some reading of FAQs online if yr interested in this stuff.

    and take heart! everyone dealing with tech has problems–it’s the nature of the beast. plus u probably had a great time with the gal, and that’s the main point.

  3. “I knew enough to locate the memory card on her phone and extracted a little piece of plastic smaller than my thumbnail that held 256MB of stuff. But it was smaller than anything my 9-in-1 reader had seen.”

    I can’t be certain but it sounds like your talking about Mini-SD or Micro-SD(they’re two different types), these are medias for newer cellphones and often times not for cameras. It would explain why your laptop or pc didn’t have the slot for it. Most of the time when they are sold they come with an adapter for fitment into SD Media slots. Just thought I’d chime in on this as I’ve had some frustration with this form of media as well.

    By the way, I’m looking forward to hanging out at the bar again, and possibly barfining one of your cashiers.

  4. Glad I’m not the only one to be technically humiliated by a bargirl.

    Theory: we farangs think linearly – Thais can be better at lateral thinking.

  5. “By the way, I’m looking forward to hanging out at the bar again, and possibly barfining one of your cashiers.”
    ===================================================
    Two weeks ago I was walking through Pantip Plaza and heard a girl call me name. Turning, I saw a cute young thing behind the counter of the Japanese food shop next to the escalator (level 3?)

    She smiled and said, “Do you remember me?”

    I didn’t think so, but she knew my name so I asked, “From where?”

    “Big Mango… I used to be the cashier there.”

    Recognition dawned! I had never barfined her, but bought her drinks several times. Small and very cute with a nice smile. I might well have asked her what time she finished work, but my girlfriend was just a few steps ahead of me and turned to glare.

    I asked how long she’d been in the new job ~ I think she said 3 or 4 months.

    I can’t remember her name for the life of me, but if anyone is trying to locate a tiny ex-cashier from the Mango, she can be found at Pantip Plaza.

  6. Hmmm. I just realized it could be Tong or it could be our first cashier – Goong but Tong was smaller. PMMP may be able to settle this with a pic.

  7. Wow I’m impressed, looks like I spawned a whole off topic with one sentence. I’ll be sorely disappointed if “Nid” gets taken away from Big Mango by the new apparent competition Pantip Plaza. By the way, is there a limit to the amount of days you can barfine a cashier? Heck I might just barfine all three with “Oh” and that funny dude too. Hoping to be back in April, till then Cheers!

  8. Yep, her sister told me she changed restaurants. After Mango she was working in a Japanese restaurant in Bang Sue. She is a sweetheart.

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