Sunday, July 09, 2006

Proudly obsolete.

I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the wireless era when I moved into my current abode. My then-housemate and I decided to go with a cable modem and didn't activate the house's landline. This meant I had to finally swallow my pride and get a cell phone. I went with Cricket, and picked up the cheapest phone they had; an already-antique Audiovox. "But Tam," you say "Cricket is local calls only! You won't be able to get calls when you're out of town on vacation!"

Exactly.

Anyhow, I've been perfectly happy with my little phone. It doesn't have ringtones. It can't take pictures. It doesn't have a color screen that lets me play Prince Of Persia or Tetris. All it does is allow me to place and receive calls. Which is all I want it to do.

After five years, though, its battery was in such a state that I had maybe fifteen minutes of talk time a day. Although I talk on the phone so infrequently that this only caused a problem once a month or so, I finally realized that I was going to have to do something about it. Unfortunately even Cricket's most rudimentary phones these days seemed to be all fruited up with MP3 players and goofy little picture icons representing the person who you are trying to avoid by not answering the phone in the first place. That's the last thing I need: Aunt Hilda's visage staring accusingly out of the phone's screen while I'm trying to pretend I can't hear it ring.

It was with great relief that I found that Batteries 'R' Us stocked the proper power pack for my paleolithic rap rod. Granted, it cost almost as much as Cricket initially charged me for the phone, but I paid for it happily, knowing I'll be able to drag my knuckles for at least another five years for less than eight bucks a year of initial investment.

Ahhh, Luddite bliss. :)

13 comments:

CGHill said...

My slightly-less-ancient Nokia candy bar - it contains one actual game and can do email but is otherwise dumb as a post, which suits me fine - exhibited similar symptoms. Solution: exactly the same. Forty bucks, and I don't have to replace either my phone or my minimal calling plan ($20 a month).

RHT447 said...

Yep, I can hear you now. My cell phone also belongs in a museum, and is chugging along happily on it's second battery. I'm still signed up on the oringinal $19.99 / 45 minute plan, which no one even offers anymore. And yes, I have gone over the 45 minutes once, I think, in five years.

For me, it is not a yak machine. Only my immediate family and one or two close friends have my cell number. If something important comes up, they can reach me. When I am out and about my business, I don't want to be constantly interrupted.

pignock said...

Ummm,

You do know The Singularity is coming, don't you?

Why not embrace it?

http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0134.html

http://mindstalk.net/vinge/vinge-sing.html

Cowboy Blob said...

I'm the only one I know among my friends and family without a cellphone, but I still don't need one. Almost everyone I talk to lives at long-distance, so all communication is via Email, except Mom. I spend most of my time at home and I'm still on cheap dial-up...all those local solicitors usually get a busy signal. Maybe once I start classes I'll try to find a cheap local phone like you did.

Paul Simer said...

eBay is your friend, Tam.

A battery for my wife's phone: $42 at the store.

On eBay: $9 shipped for the same dern thing.

The youth pastor at my church was told that he had the budget for a cell phone. He told them to pay for internet at his house so he could keep up with the yuts instead. Good trade.

BobG said...

Only reason I have one is in case of emergency; I keep it turned off. Only had it for a bit over a year. Went 50+ years without needing one, didn't think it was too important until I developed a bad ticker.

Ben said...

Ancient cell phones are A-OK with me. Dial-up is not. Thank goodness I have a choice. Of course the same people who bring me broadband (Charter) can't be bothered to provide HDTV. Bastards.

Lizard said...

Ah, I see you have the same luddite fetish as I do. In most areas of life, I am a shameless neophile. If it's newer and shinier (Now with tint control!), I want it, my precioussss. But cell phones? My one bane. I still don't have one. Eventually, I'll give in, I suppose, drink the wireless kool aid and get on with it, but for now, I remain without my invisible leash. (Besides, I prefer email. I like to deal with people on my terms, not theirs. Did I mention was a curmudgeon?)

Fairlane64 said...

I finally got a cell phone a couple years ago, but I ignore it as much as I answer it. I did discover if you only answer it occasionally, the people trying to call you start calling you less!

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I would still have my "candy bar"... a well-aged Sanyo 4000 dating from ~2000. But, not only was the battery crapping out, the recpetion was steadily getting worse as well, so now I have my camera-phone with far too much built in...

Diamondback said...

I have a Tracfone myself. I reload it with a $20 60 min card every 2 months and the minutes I didn't use roll over to add to the total. It allows long distant calling at no additional cost. I don't use it very much, but works well when I need it. It's the best deal I've found for a cell phone that doesn't get used on a regular basis. I generally just keep one for emergencies. I don't live on a cell like so much of the public does these days.

bjbarron said...

I don't have a cell phone either...I gave it up 2 years ago when I realized I was only using about 20 minutes a month.

I've got a blackberry from the company which is only turned on during (1) work hours, and (2) when I'm on call. Otherwise it sits on my desk at work.

I don't miss being that freakin' connected.

BryanP said...

Dr Strangegun,

The Sanyo 4000 "Candy Bar" was a great phone. When mine started to wear out I went on ebay and bought a 4700. It uses the same battery and charger and the interface is pretty much identical. It, in turn, is now looking a bit ragged. Still works great though.