Friday, April 13, 2007

Old phone, new phone

I have decided to enter the late 20th century by getting a cell phone.

Oh, I've had a cell phone of sorts for years. It's a big ol' bag phone that more closely resembles a WWII Army field radio than a Star Trek communicator -which, like it or not, is what modern flip phones are modeled after. It had excellent clarity, was easy to handle and hard to lose (particularly since it never left my car and only worked if it was plugged into the cigarette lighter and switched on) It had a few "dead zones" where it simply didn't work, like several miles of highway near Scranton and a huge area that included the parking lot of the place where I worked and about two miles of highway near it. Unfortunately, it's an analog phone and as of next February will no longer function as my network goes to all-digital.

I didn't want to get a new phone. Not yet, anyway. I was holding out for the arrival of the Dick Tracy 2-Way Wrist TV. All the technology is there: the screen, the camera, the size. All that needs to be done is redesign the components to wrap around the wrist. Well, that, and I suppose there are some bandwidth issues to be resolved. The folks at the cell phone store assured me that something like this is being tested in Japan right now, but it won't be available in the U.S. for a few years.

So I got a new phone, a Samsung a930. Who knows? It might come in handy for the job search. It has the same number as the old phone, but it has the advantage of portability. I think the sound is crappy, but maybe that's just me. I opted for one with a camera, though at 25 cents per e-mailed picture I don't know if I'll be sending very many of them to myself. And any self-portraits I try to take come out upside-down. Anybody know how to fix that?

I just called Samsung. All you do, while in Camera or Camcorder mode, but haven't taken a pic or started recording, is press the volume rocker on the side of the phone and it goes back and forth between upside down and right side up.
It would be so easy for them to include this tidbit in the user's manual.

TITLE REFERENCE: "Old Hat, New Hat" by Stan and Jan Berenstain.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Nice phone!

hedera said...

I, too, have just gotten a cell phone. I retire in less than 3 months, but if I get the phone now, I get my employer's fairly significant discount on the contract.

Having been the custodian of a CrackBerry, I've become hooked on the ability to dial the phone from your contact list, so I bought a Treo. Having your Own Cell Phone is surprisingly seductive. Worse, I'm getting data (yes, I did the budget; I can afford it if I cut back a few other things a little bit each), so I can actually surf the web on this thing.

Your old phone reminds me of the brick we used to haul around when I was on mainframe duty programmer rotation. It was accompanied by the prehistoric "duty" laptop (I think it was steam powered, and it plugged into the cell brick modem). The 2 of them weighed over 15 pounds together, so we bought a luggage cart to drag them around on.