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Out with the old, in with the new

I finally gave in. I ditched one of my last remaining sources of indie cred: the non-smart phone.

sexy in 2001

For most of a decade I’ve been carrying around a phone that was pretty cool in 2001 and hopelessly outdated by 2003, the Nokia 8390. Just look at this bad mother. It has these sweet white LEDs in its faceplate that light up when you push a button or get a call. Back when nobody had color screens yet, the 8390 was about as sexy as phones got. That changed pretty quickly.

Fast-forward to 2010 to find me carrying the same model. Not the same phone — I’ve gone through three identical ones in all, including one that spent 15 minutes at the bottom of Lake Sutherland and recovered. My coworkers universally have iPhones or Blackberries, and my friends, even the luddites, have color screens and cameras on their phones. I’ll admit to the occasional pang of jealousy at those luminous devices, but mostly I was immune to phone envy.

sexy now

Ironically, what spurred my decision to move into the 21st century of mobile communication is that AT&T became so overwhelmed with the volume of data traffic generated by iPhone customers that they couldn’t even bother to reliably make my simple non-smart phone ring when I got a call. So I caved and, for better or worse, joined the ranks of people who can dick around on the internet in public whenever they want. I chose this sexy beast to the right here over the iPhone, mostly because I want to write applications for it without having to buy a $2000 laptop. Overall it’s probably not as polished as the iPhone, but it has more functionality (at least until the 4G) and will let me put my own software on it without jumping through a bunch of quasi-criminal hoops.

I’m still just scratching the surface of its functionality beyond making phone calls and web browsing, but I’ve already started using it as a camera and a GPS. This weekend I used it to trace Roark, Adam and me as we wended our way up a ridge line outside Leavenworth. I might even buy an armband and take it running, just like those people I used to mock mercilessly once they had jogged out of earshot.

I hate to say this, but Twitter is probably next. Sorry, everybody.

Posted in Musings, Technology.

2 Responses

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  1. Bryan says

    I think I’d feel dirty every time I touched that little track-ball-light-thingy.

  2. nathan says

    Disappointed to say the least. I used to sleep well at night knowing we were together in sporting “advanced phones” offering, at most, SMS capabilities. But let’s be honest, your attempts against technology gadgetry were always ill-fated. The social pressure, Zach! The social pressure!

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