i went with my father on this cold morning to a chinatown supply run. it didn't seem that cold but all the people we passed on the streets were bundled up as if the ice age was coming (maybe it makes more of a difference if you're walking versus driving). the cold is a good thing, it is still winter after all, not to be feared, but to be celebrated. what should worry people more is the fact that we've hard a fairly warm winter thus far.
as we got closer to ming's market, we noticed the parking lot they share with the local car mechanic across the street was surprisingly empty. was it just a friday morning thing or were people actually so afraid of the coronavirus that they were opting to stay home instead? when we went to the supermarket that's when we noticed their doors and windows had been shuttered. out of business? there was a bilingual sign taped outside, "closing business for a few days sorry for the inconvenience." only in the chinese version did they specify the reason, to sanitize the store.
we had no choice but to go to the super 88 (c-mart) a few blocks down the street. they were still open, and with the temporary closing of ming's market, business was booming. so much so that a line of cars (including us) was parked outside the small and cramped parking lot, waiting for vehicles to leave. some asshole cut the line and drove straight into the lot, the minivan in front of us didn't do anything about it but meekly let the other driver jump to the head of the line. there was also no one directing traffic, and there were actually a few empty spots on the far side of the parking lot that was hard to see from the street.
c-mart was very busy, the coronavirus did not deter chinese customers from getting their groceries. i only saw a few people with surgical masks, mostly the cashiers, they'd be most at risk.
i got back home by 12pm. of course today was the big day: the google pixel 3XL was due to arrive. i waited all day, looking out the window every 20 minutes to check if the mailman had arrived. normally we get our mail mid-afternoon, but it was a different letter carrier today, and he didn't get here until it was almost dark, close to 5pm.
excitedly i took out the phone. just like the pixel 3 i had a few days ago, this 3XL looked brand new, you couldn't tell it'd been renewed. it was freezing cold from being on the delivery van all day, i waited for it to thaw to room temperature before opening, but not before i took out the microSIM card from my iphone and put it in the pixel 3XL. when i finally turned on the phone, the display was the perfect size, similar to what i was used to with my oneplus one, same width, slightly taller. the longer length is deceptive, because the top of the screen is taken up by the menubar and camera notch, while the bottom of the screen is reserved for navigation.
as if getting a new phone was exciting enough, we made another record production day for 2020, with 39.11kWh, nearly going beyond 7kW, despite the morning clouds. the graph line was dramatically taller than what it was 2 weeks ago.
i spent the rest of the evening setting up the pixel 3XL. i migrated my data from the oneplus one (backed up onto google drive) but selected only the apps i wanted (good time to get rid of those apps i never use) and did the homescreen layout manually. i started with the default pixel launcher, just to get a feel for it, knowing that i'd eventually switch to the nova launcher just because it was more customizable. with the pixel launcher i couldn't resize the icons, hide the labels, change the folder appearance, plus a list of other little things. i wasn't used to the clock being on the left side of the screen; in lineageOS the clock location can be changed, which doesn't seem possible with stock android.
i did eventually change over to the nova launcher. the screen was so tall, after i laid out all my icons, there was still a lot of empty space on top of the screen so i added a google search bar for lack of anything better. android 9 did away with the standard back-home-history buttons found at the bottom of the screen, replacing it with just a single drag bar: tap to go home, swipe up to open the apps panel, and swipe left to go back. this minimalist approach with take some getting used to, but it makes sense user interface wise.
i tested the pixel camera, this time comparing it with the canon 80D dSLR as well. i was impressed, the pixel photo looked not only sharper, but better colors as well; with the dSLR there was lens barrel distortion and the color was off. as for the iphone 5s, the photo looked blurry, likewise with the oneplus one.
afterwards i tested out the night sight feature of the google camera phone, something i wasn't really able to do with the smaller pixel 3 because i was getting ready to return it. i compared it with the iphone 5s, the oneplus one, and the canon 80D dSLR. the google pixel outperformed them all, even when i mounted my dSLR on a tripod and did a 30 second exposure (though the dSLR had better resolution simply because of large megapixels).
while activating my accounts one by one, i noticed i couldn't log in with my nest app. i couldn't figure out why, at first i thought i had the wrong password, but i was able to get into my nest account just fine through the website, and my password worked on my old oneplus one and iphone. i went searching the nest website for answers, and came across a tech support live chat. i clicked it thinking i'd just get an automated response (since it was already so late) but surprised when somebody actually answered me. i then spent the next hour troubleshooting with the technician, doing all the things i already did before (restart phone, clear cache, reinstall app) just to humor him. he ended up transferring me to somebody higher up, and i repeated some of the things i did with the last person. he also couldn't figure out what the problem was, but said he'd escalate this issue and have one of their engineers take a look, would get back to in a few days. i wasn't confident they could fix the problem, figured worst case scenario i could migrate my nest account to my google account, which might fix the issue.