Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Where do you get yours?

114 Responses

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  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I guess I'll come around to them eventually, but streaming services -- Radio and Spotify -- don't really really work for me, and I never really got the hang of Last FM.

    What really makes last.fm useable, I think, is the Chrome extension that queries the entire database seamlessly and behind the scenes for you, revealing the stored riches behind the interface. I have a Spotify subscription, too, but that's really only for Spotify mobile and its way of making long train/tube journeys bearable. I love last.fm and spend way too much time there (this is me); it's really opened up a whole new world of music for me, though its charts are a little worrying for the way they lay bare my Stereolab obsession. Oh well.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Hebe; ereaders typically have battery life measured in weeks, tablets in hours. Against that, a tablet has much more functionality and interactivity. (the eink displays use no power but are very slow)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I'm now both short and long sighted

    Maybe you're astigmatic!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astigmatism_(eye)

    I discovered that I was on the Friday before last, during my first ever proper eye examination. Since getting my glasses on Monday, I've been engaged in what can only be described as a delightfully distorted orgy of seeing. Leaves! Wrinkles! Non-blurry words! No headaches!

    You'll forgive me my exclamation marks but it really has been that exciting. Recommend eye tests Very Highly..

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to John Armstrong,

    Heh. I too remember when I got my first glasses. I had hidden the right eye defect for years as it was not cool to have to wear them. But suddenly, when the new pair was worn for the first time, my world moved to my right eye. My good left eye had by de-fault taken over my world but as you say, the leaves, wrinkles and sharp traffic lights leap out.

    Marvelous.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to John Armstrong,

    Maybe you’re astigmatic!

    Nah just old.

    Been short sighted since I was ... well, found out I was short sighted at age 11.

    Developed long sightedness over the last 3 or four years, simple age related lack of ability to pull the lens into the shape need to focus on close things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    learned I was *very* shortsighted at age 5 (I’d gone to primary school knowing how to read….but couldnt see what was on the blackboard.) Got shot out of primer 2 into primer 4 when my parents insisted actually, I could read – and write – and not in that primitive hand they were teaching me at NNBPS-
    been downhill all the way since, I suppose-

    (but I still remember the day I discovered what 'The Port Hills' were and what lightbulbs were...aged 6 and a bit-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I had naively thought that my short-sightedness would intersect with age-related long-sightedness when I became middle-aged, leading to a happy few years without glasses or contact lenses, and being able to buy frivolous sunnies from the gas station for $20. Instead I've become short-sighted and long-sighted at the same time and have two pairs of glasses, and lose them twice as often. Apparently it's a common condition.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I’m astigmatic and got my first glasses about 3 years ago. I’d been mildly so for many years but not enough to justify glasses…and it had got worse without my consciously noticing. Oh what delight and amazement to suddenly be able to focus without effort! My optometrist said he was amazed I’d been managing without, as focussing was clearly a struggle.

    Some of my friends expressed commiserations that I had to wear glasses, but I was like, “Are you kidding?? Now I can see !!”

    The disadvantage with astigmatism is the lenses cost a fortune. When I got a new prescription last year it was almost $400 to re-use my existing frames!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Astigmatism is quite separate from the one eye=longsighted/other eye= shortsighted thing. Generally doesnt happen when a very shortsighted person has a cataract operation in the dominant eye (and can I add my huge appreciation to those of you who have also experienced to the “WOW! Now I can see!! thread?”
    (It’s why my major donations go to the Fred Hollows Foundation.))

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Islander,

    one eye=longsighted/other eye= shortsighted thing

    I've known several people with this problem. Apparently it's easy to tell if you put a contact in on the wrong side. :-)

    It's now possible to get contacts that correct astigmatism, although they are expensive and apparently not as good as glasses vision-wise (although obviously they have other advantages). They're weighted at the bottom, so after you insert them they automatically swivel into position. Clever, huh?!
    One day, when I'm rich....

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    If I buy music at all it's probably a single song via iTunes...Maybe 5 in the past year. Otherwise, I use JetVD to download the soundtrack to YouTube music videos as mp3 files. The sound quality is usually more than good enough for my aging ears. The last several CDs I bought in a shop either sounded terrible or wouldn't play at all on my player....so they ceased being an option. Sometimes people just email me a song they think I might like. I often do.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    Some of my friends expressed commiserations that I had to wear glasses, but I was like, “Are you kidding?? Now I can see !!”

    have heard similar from some who finally get a wheelchair

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    The disadvantage with astigmatism is the lenses cost a fortune. When I got a new prescription last year it was almost $400 to re-use my existing frames!

    Unless you live where I do. There are two huge optometry markets 10 minutes walk from my place. I've bought a few pairs of glasses and prescription sunglasses there and never paid much more than 300 yuan (yuan:NZ$ is roughly 5:1) per pair, neither top nor bottom of range, including eye tests. That's one thing I'm really going to miss about leaving China (but my daughter's education is a higher priority than cheap stuff).

    Got my first pair of glasses at 15. I was about to write I'd just started 5th form, but that doesn't make much sense, must've been 4th form and I was studying the Road Code to get my learner's licence, but realised that in our poorly-lit science classroom I couldn't read the blackboard without borrowing a friend's glasses. I thought perhaps if I'm having trouble reading the blackboard I might like to get my eyes tested just in case somebody decided I couldn't see well enough to drive, so I told my parents. The optometrist said I only needed glasses in particular situations like class or driving at night. But then, like others here, I had that, "Wow, I can see!" moment.

    Then in my first year in Beijing so many of my friends got so frustrated with my inability to see them at dusk or after dark if they were more than a few metres away I decided to go get my eyes tested again and I discovered the joy of Chinese optometry - cheap but quality glasses available almost anywhere.

    What I don't understand is how my daughter, despite having a short-sighted mother and short-sighted astigmatic father can apparently see quite long distances and doesn't seem to have any problems up close either.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    discovered the joy of Chinese optometry

    Does anyone know if prescription glasses are actually put together in NZ any more? Because in my recent experience what used to take 2-3 days now takes around that many weeks. Chinese product without Chinese pricing?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Chinese product without Chinese pricing?

    May well be, cos last time I got glasses it took two to three hours.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Because in my recent experience what used to take 2-3 days now takes around that many weeks.

    I don't know where they make them, but I got mine about 3 days after exam and that was quite recently.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Lilith __,

    The disadvantage with astigmatism is the lenses cost a fortune. When I got a new prescription last year it was almost $400 to re-use my existing frames!

    I have astigmatism in one eye and short-sightedness in both. I've worn glasses since I was ten. I get all my glasses from http://www.zennioptical.com because the last local pair I bought in the early 2000s cost $600, and I thought 'fuck that noise'. They take a couple of weeks to arrive but the most expensive pair I've ever bought from Zenni was about $60, delivered from Hong Kong. That price includes both frames and prescription lenses. If you have a vague idea of your ideal frame shape and get your prescription written down by your optometrist after your test, it's a no-brainer. </evangelism>

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

    great place to download old jazz and new beats, changes almost daily

    http://rappamelo.com/

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 877 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Lilith __,

    When I got a new prescription last year it was almost $400 to re-use my existing frames!

    Here they have these fancy machines they put on your nose. They press a button and it prints a prescription out the top in seconds. It's free if you buy glasses and if you require a longer eye test that's also part of the gratis service. My last pair of glasses cost around $110 including the Porsche frames - and I was given a second pair with a no-name frame as a safety backup at no extra charge.

    Glasses seem to be one of the great scams of New Zealand. Why you should be charged for the test when you are about to be overcharged for the frames and lenses still bemuses me.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    I was with some friends in a glasses shop some time ago, and I was holding forth about the scandalous prices---I think I used the words "for a bit of bent wire...".

    This brought on a huge, loud tirade of, basically, abuse from the shopkeeper---including the priceless (!!) "how much do you think the machines cost that make the frames---millions! They have to get their money back somehow".

    It was very amusing, and a bit scary! Didn't buy from them, needless to say.

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    <q>Glasses seem to be one of the great scams of New Zealand. Why you should be charged for the test when you are about to be overcharged for the frames and lenses still bemuses me.

    To be fair, my optician and opthalmagic surgeon suggested, that since initial cataract op had been so successful and I had good depth vision & useful close-up sight in the other eye – Warehouse reading glasses would do just fine. They do. Between $7.99 and 15.99 apiece.


    Edit – but if I can ever get some more Porsche frames (the kind where you can interchange lenses) – like my late lamented orangelensed (my eyes work best with that colour) sunglasses that I inadvertently sat on for the very reasonable price my brother got ’em for on e-Bay* I’d be a goer…lovely engineering...

    * Yeah, he’s been trying ever since the disaster…

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Here they have these fancy machines they put on your nose. They press a button and it prints a prescription out the top in seconds. It's free if you buy glasses and if you require a longer eye test that's also part of the gratis service. My last pair of glasses cost around $110 including the Porsche frames - and I was given a second pair with a no-name frame as a safety backup at no extra charge.

    My heart is filled with envy!. My current sunglasses cost $300 all up -- I was able to keep the price way down by buying old wire rayban frames and having gorgeous green polarised lenses put in for 260. And that seemed like reasonable! Plus the eye test for 70.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    My current sunglasses cost $300 all up

    I had to get prescription sunglasses because although my ordinary glasses can take clip-ons they're really awkward to take on and off because of the type of frame. $415, not including the exam.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Lilith __,

    Sheesh!
    I paid $340 for
    *thorough eye exam (being doing these things since I was 6 – necessary)
    *new Adidas frame & couriered lenses (yeah- orange & optical grade plastic.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    Ouch. I started to think laterally about buying specs when a pair cost $750 six years ago. The frames were nice enough but nothing special. since then I have successfully used vintage frames (opticians loathe this), Specsavers cheap deals. Haven't yet been confident enough to try the internet option because I don't undertsand the minutiae of sizing.

    (Odd the way this topic has morphed. Next will be comparison of hearing aid batteries, or will Russell block our logins at that point in order to retain PA's hip factor? Oops, hips.., shouldnta mentioned them)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

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