On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Living With Technology

First the good news.

My Mother has been fighting with her cell phone for some time due to what I finally realized was a sticking button. Unfortunately it was the button that you press to answer the phone, and, as a result, people were getting put on hold and the key board was being locked because of the bad button.

Instead of trying to get the thing fixed, she now has a new phone, a clamshell type, that automatically connects when you open it, and disconnects when you close it. She is a happy camper.

The not so good news is living with the iPhone and GPS.

I still use my tried and true Nokia cell phone. It makes and receives calls, which is all that I require from a cell phone, being the Luddite I am. Other people need new technology and buy it immediately, hence the two iPhones that have been in residence all week. Yes it does some nice things, but it does them very expensively, and the real strengths are totally absent in this area because of the antique nature of the local AT&T network. Connection to the ‘Net via an iPhone is about as quick as the old days of the 100 baud/10 character per second original modems unless you can find a WiFi Hotspot. Not exactly a useful tool in my local environment.

Yes, the ability to carry your snapshots, and music with you is “nice”, but in the end I had the feeling that it was “a jack of all trades and master of none” – a minimal digital camera, a minimal MP3 player, a cell phone, and a difficult way of sending e-mail and reading web sites. If I had seen it in an urban environment I might feel differently, but that’s not where I live.

The iPhone guys also rented a car that came equipped with a GPS system. A note to Hertz – you need to modify the software so it doesn’t instruct people to make illegal left-hand turns. The people who use it are probably not local and may not be aware that the local police did not install the large NO LEFT TURN signs as a prank.


1 Alice { 12.29.07 at 8:14 pm }

Admittedly, the iPhone is a sleek design. And while sitting at O’Hare, it’s a great distraction from the fact that you’re 40th inline for takeoff. However, I prefer my basic Nokia that fits in the pocket of my jeans or that I can throw in the bottom of a bag without worrying about scratching.

2 Bryan { 12.29.07 at 9:03 pm }

The solution for the scratching is the spring steel and leather cases that the guys kept theirs in and the special cloth used for cleaning the screen. It seemed to be more trouble than it was worth.

OT: Happy holidays of your choice, Alice.

3 Alice { 12.29.07 at 11:25 pm }

Thanks! and a great holiday to you as well. I’ve been juggling too many projects with EOY deadlines so only been able to cruise by lately — but still enjoy the reading.

4 Bryan { 12.29.07 at 11:33 pm }

My EOY’s all tend to be summer events, so I can enjoy this solstice and sweat the other.

5 hipparchia { 12.30.07 at 12:02 am }

any cell phone that lives with me has to be of the clamshell variety just to survive, what with the cats playing soccer with it, the dog hiding it under the bookcases, and me treating it about like alice treats hers [although i care less about damaging the phone than i do about accidentally dialing kathmandu or listvyanka].

i can always count on my gadgethead brother to have the newest and bestest toys and i fully expect him to have an iphone that i can play with the next time we meet up in some out-the-way corner of the country.

6 Bryan { 12.30.07 at 12:18 am }

Be ready to be unimpressed if there’s no nearby WiFi. You can telling that the CostCo eyeglass cleaning kit has a special fabric in it that works really well for cleaning the screen.

7 andante { 12.30.07 at 3:21 pm }

I definitely need a clamshell model. I keep forgetting to lock the keypad – or it mysteriously unlocks itself – and some of my loved ones in the address book get calls from deep inside my purse.

8 Bryan { 12.30.07 at 4:29 pm }

If anything happens to your current phone, that’s what you end up with, because this is the lowest cost of all of the phones that AT&T offers. The number on the phone is actually from San Diego as this is one of those “special deals” that was offered and the cell phone company would like to cancel but can’t because she is on a “family & friends” plan with the California branch of the family.