Level 2 Begins…

Thanks to one and all as we’ve reached Stage Two of the Free Tools Pledge Drive to raise funds to acquire some new hardware for the device testing pool. For this year that means a new iPhone and iPad. It will likely take some clever shopping to make that work with Apple’s premium prices.

I’ve always purchased used iPads with the drive funds to make the dollars go as far as possible, and that’s always worked out great. However there’s quite a bump in terms of resolution, etc. (everything that makes a testing device valuable) from the 2nd to 3rd Gen iPad Pros, but the savings on the used 3rd Gen devices make it hardly worth it at this point. So a 2nd Gen 256 gig device is tempting at $500 less than the 3rd, but I don’t think there is a big enough bump from my 1st Gen Pro to make that a wise use of the funds. (Though the extra gigs would be very useful). Hmmm.

I’m much more leery of purchasing used iPhones because of the potential for getting a waxed battery, so I think I’ll go with a iPhone XR. Apple offers a $150 trade in for the current testing device (the iPhone 6, which has a battery you can watch drop in real time), so the XR would cost $650. (Which is vastly, vastly more than what I would like to spend on a phone, but hey, it’s Apple…) 🙂

But that would only leave enough in the kitty for the 2nd Gen Pro. Oh what the heck, I’ll probably just use adventure sales funds, or if we go over the 3rd Stage goals by a few shekels, that could help get the 3rd Gen iPad. Then we’ll be set for at least 3 years on the Apple device front!

Thank You

Sorry for this boring diversion: the real point is just to say thank you! It’s just incredibly gratifying to pay off all the hosting costs and software expenses in big lump sums, and have the privilege of adding extremely helpful devices to the pool that I couldn’t possible afford on my own. And it’s all because of the generosity of this incredible community.

I hope everyone forgives the indulgence of Stage Three. I’ve been putting away nickels and dimes for quite a while saving up to try and make it to GenCon in 2020, and the successful Kickstarter allowed my to put a nice chunk of change in the pot. It will be both a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and interact with many from the community to discuss the tools, but also a chance to have one final adventure with my boy before he heads off to college. He’s talked about the trip since he was a little guy, and it’s amazing to think it might actually happen.

Thank you! You make it all possible.

Jon

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