Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Motorola HF850

After a routine round at the gym yesterday, I instinctively headed towards the juice bar for a regular wheatgrass shot, only to find that there were none. Perhaps it was in due course that the popularity of its health benefits would soon take its toll on the scales of supply and demand, but I had already foresaw that from the beginning.

The shop beside it though, sold accessories. I'd read the papers in the morning that material things do not buy happiness, and wondered what all the fuss was since I had nothing left to buy anyway. At least for now, it was then that it struck me. For someone who has nothing to buy I sure do have a long 'get stuff' list. And lo and behold, as they might have used centuries ago, lay the Motorola HF850.

Not everyone knows what this device is, or what it is capable of. Few in the industry have even heard of its existence. But I began a personal search for it many days and moons ago. Sure you had to put up with strange stares and persistent sales people trying to sell you an entirely different product because they were programmed to do just that, sell you stuff. The thing about marketing and sales people are if they were good, that meant they can sell you anything, whether you need it or not. And if you couldn't find what you wanted, they'd sell you something else. Sometimes they don't even know what they're selling, but they wing it anyway.

The HF850 is actually a car handsfree kit. As opposed to the ear handsfree kit that seems to be quite popular these days. 'Em late adopters. I figured that realistically I only use a handsfree in the car, and talking with the supposed 'handsfree' function on the phone seems pretty strange. If your hands are supposed to be free then why are you holding the phone in the first place? A lot of laws imposed on us creates this whole new generation of features that simply doesn't make sense, but was created to abide by the law. How is talking while holding the phone going to cause any less accidents than if you held it to your brains?

On the box it says 'Professional installation required'. I opened the box to be presented with various components and wires of different colors in a dazzling array of electronical gadgetry. I love this kinda stuff, but at first glance it overwhelmed me. Reading through the manual and corresponding it to the car manual to check only strengthened my suspicion that yes, I can do it myself. But yet I was not confident. I wasn't a certified electrician. So I sought professional help.

The first stop was at the wiring technician that I know. He took a look at it, and said that it wasn't his thing. So I engaged in a rather deep conversation about Amperage, and fuses, and electrical wiring. We ran a couple of what-if scenarios, and I came out that little bit smarter. Apparently I could've done it myself, and wing it because the packaged wires came with individual fuses in case fools like me decide to hook it up to the wrong outlet.

Second stop was at the audio specialist, and the routine repeated itself. They questioned their abilities too, I think, but I had a fairly good idea what to do. The young lad who would undertake this task flipped through the manual, and lost himself halfway through. I said lost, not to be confused with immersed, for confused he was. So I broke it down to him, I need you to hook up these 3 wires to the ground, the ignition, and the constant fuse on the car. Only 3 wires, I said in the best cantonese I could muster. I knew he'd done this hundreds of times but after he started work on it only then did I realize he was wondering what on earth he was hooking up to my car. He did everything that I imagined I'd do. Its strange isn't it? To want to place blame on someone if they screwed it up, but the other way of looking at it was, I simply brought it to the store to assemble, and I knew what needed to be done. Whether they screwed it up, with or without my research before that, would have been irrelevant as someone would still be held liable, wouldn't it?

And so it was. Now my car has wires running all over the front, and I'm happy. Why? The technicalities are figured out, thats why. All I have to do now is to secure the various components, tie up some loose ends, conceal as much wiring as I can and I'm good to go. The controls for this kit is so small, so well designed that I want to just look at it. It seems to be the case with almost any new thing I buy. Does that mean happiness? Well, I am happy. So I guess money does buy happiness.