Monday, February 27, 2012

Teh Future Iz Hear

Stock photo of the old phone. R.I.P.
I loved you more than the Blackberry.
This is a post about my history with cell phones. Feel free to skip it if you like. I'll get back to things about writing next time.

I like to hold on to my phones until they DIE. The old phone was hobbling along for the last three weeks or so but really had been on life support for about six months. It was my third smartphone, the Google G1 and I was very, very happy with it.
My first cellphone was a Blackberry and it died a horrible death by being smashed in my pocket as I closed a car door one evening. I was dismayed because I'd paid a truckload of cash for it and it was pretty damn cool. For the time. We're talking early 2000s here. Anyway, it did everything I wanted it to do and I paid good money to my carrier to have that unlimited access that's so hard to get for a reasonable price these days. Anyway, I killed it and I was sad and I went home and trolled eBay for a replacement.

The new phone has TWO screens.
I am  so far in the future  I'll
Neuromancer all of you.
The next phone was a Treo because Warren Ellis had one and was doing interesting things with his like attaching it via Bluetooth to a portable keyboard and writing stories on it. Well sign me up, Slappy, that's the phone I want. Found one for a reasonable price or at least one that was comparable to what I paid for the Blackberry. It arrived in the mail and I got to work. I found the portable keyboard and when I traveled I was able to write long emails to my wife and my parents. I also was able to write some things that translated to the home computer and Word.

I liked the Treo. I did. It was handy and did everything I wanted. I could surf the 'net, send messages and take phone calls (the one thing that seems to be an afterthought on almost any new phone nowadays). It was handy though its screen was tiny by comparison to the Blackberry. Still I was getting spoiled by having full keyboards.

Anyway, it was a good phone and lasted about three years. It died by inches, tire with a slow leak. Various functions stopped and started and then stopped completely. It was time to look for a new phone.

Set the alarm for crunchies. Don't forget.
The iPhone was out and still new. Maybe second generation was coming at the time and boy was it a sexy machine. I was happy with my carrier and I didn't want to change. So I went to the store and found the Google G1 and I liked it. They told me the G2 was coming soon but I couldn't wait for it. So I knew I was getting into a phone that was going to be outdated as soon as I signed the credit card receipt. This was the first phone I bought that I touched before I paid for it and I was glad of it. It did everything I wanted and was very comparable to the Apple product. I thought I'd be able to use it like an iPod.

(If you know me at all, you know I'm an Apple guy. Despite that, I don't have an iPhone or an iPad. Just couldn't justify the cost of the iPhone and still can't.)

This one did even more than the other two put together. I could show videos to my wife while we waited. I could do WAY more than I ever really needed. I could acquire apps that did things I could only do on my computer before. I was in love with a phone. Yeah, I know. Shut up.

Recently it started doing things like shutting off after only a minute or so of use. Apps had died and there hadn't been a firmware update in a looooong time. Finally when I realized I couldn't really use the phone any more for anything it was time to go back to the store.

I had a great experience with the guy who helped me. He treated me like I was a person and not an old guy who had a preference for full keyboards. He showed me the best options he had for something that was very similar to the phone I liked and he was respectful. All in all, this transition to a new phone has been fairly painless.

This is one less thing that I have to worry about now and I can get back to writing.