Sunday, June 19, 2011

Droid did.

Back in early 2001, my then-roommate Marko called home from work "Dude! They've got me trying out a BlackBerry!"

"A hu-what?"

"It's like a pager, but with internet access."

"Oh, cool!"

Marko and I were both big internet nerds, so anything that let you take the internets with you would, by definition, be awesome. He got home from work and we went to Outback for dinner and as soon as the hostess parked us in a booth, he produced the magic internet pager thingie.

"Pull up TheFiringLine.com!" I burbled, all excited.

And it did. After a fashion. I mean, if you had the patience of Job, you could scroll your way through the text-only version of an internet forum on the 132x65 pixel monochrome screen. It was a little underwhelming.

"Dude," I said, "this isn't it. The magic device is going to be something like your Geekmaster 2000, but with the internet. It needs the higher resolution color screen. Handheld computers aren't really going to take off until they can do the three important things people use computers for: Email, games, and porn."

Years later, there were all kinds of fabulous devices that could do email, games, and porn, but still I dragged my feet. I mean, I didn't even get a cell phone until 2002, and only then because I moved someplace that didn't have a land line. In nine years I've had exactly two cell phones: An ancient Audiovox and a newer Kyocera that was more modern and feature-laden in the fact that you could fold it in half when you were done talking. I liked my cheap burners because they let me talk on the phone as little or as much as I wanted and pay the same fixed rate every month; obviously when smartphones emerged, all tied to contracts and data plans and suchlike, I wasn't interested.

But once the phone carrier I paid for my cheap little burner came out with a half-decent Android smartphone ($149 at Target!) with a flat-rate pay-as-you-go data plan, well, it was time for me to step boldly forward into 2008.

Now I can be like the cool kids and get my internets everyplace. Even in a booth at Outback.
.

30 comments:

og said...

Just don't use it in your car, we'll ALL DIEEEEE!!!!

Welcome to this century. Prepare to wish you were somewhen else, if you already don't.

My crackberry has always been a leash, but it also has more than it's fair share of usefulnesses. I used to be bad about mail, now i am on top of my mail all the time. I used to be horrible about dates, but I'm squared away. The problem with smartphones is they always give just a little more than they take.

Tam said...

Og,

I don't even use a regular cell phone in the car except to maybe scoop it up, flip it open, bark "Can't talk! Driving!" into it, and toss it into the passenger seat again.

I enjoy driving. Often I don't even turn the radio on so that I can pay more attention to the machine and the process.

Maybe if I was stuck in a truck in a bumper-to-bumper crawl for hours, I'd think differently.

Anonymous said...

For me it's not so much that I want a "smart" phone, or a texting phone, but that the providers are stocking ever crappier flip phones.

Weer'd Beard said...

FYI that picture you and a jillion others linked to, of the HS Precision Booth empty was snapped and posted all with my Droid2 Phone.

Enjoy it, IMHO Android is the first phone that makes internet browsing look just like it does on your desktop, just on a smaller screen.

Borepatch said...

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he said three things about it. The Press only picked up on two: it's a phone, and it's an iPod.

The third was "it's the Internet in your pocket." I can't stand The Steve (or Apple), but he sure nailed this one.

ZerCool said...

...I'm amused to see that Tam now has a smart phone....

I just ditched my smart phone in favor of a phone that works as, you know, a phone. I'm such a Luddite.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Team Droid takes the lead.

(Tam, am I wrong, I thought you where super Mac girl?)

My Spydero pics shot with my Droid.

Now you can be all atwitter every place you go.

Borepatch said...

Eric Raymond has an interesting post up about the future that didn't happen. Good thing, too, because it was the future without the Internet.

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=3335#more-3335

I mean, no cell phone pr0n. Oh, the humanity!

Rustmeister said...

Early adopter.

Tango Juliet said...

Though I'm no fan of cell phones, I do love my HTC Thunderbolt. It seems to do everything well, including being a phone.

Joe said...

Optimus V user here as well. It's surprisingly good for the specifications and price; it's no powerhouse, but it actually performs snappily, largely due to its relatively low screen resolution. And you just can't beat $25 a month for unlimited data and texting.

Joe said...

Also, a recommendation: download the Quick Settings app. Besides being more customizable than the little homescreen widget that comes with the phone, it'll let you use the WiFi hotspot hardware on your phone. Virgin technically doesn't allow tethering, but it doesn't look like people get busted if they do it infrequently.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Optimus S user here - same phone, but on Sprint. As Joe said, it's surprisingly good for being an entry level smartphone. I frequently find myself running short on internal memory, though.

I've noticed that the compass doesn't like to stay calibrated very well, but that's a minor issue. I've been pretty happy with it, but I'll probably go for a higher end model with my next upgrade.

Drang said...

Tam's made it pretty clear that she's a Mac user, but no phangrrrl.

I stepped up to a smartphone because the kids who worked for me would text rather than call. Annoying even when I could see the advantages. So now that I have a Droid, I now work where there's no signal...

Depending on your access to the Android Market, you can get most of the apps you really want in a free format. (Ass-you-me'ing you want any.)

Bubblehead Les. said...

Currently in Heated Discussions with the Wife on the Next Phone Upgrade. But it looks like we're in a "Beta vs. VHS" phase, and I can see her point. I'm thinking we'll be waiting to do Phone Upgrades when the Wife gets told that our Flip Phones will no longer be supported, and the God Corp she works for will DEMAND she gets one if she wants to keep her job. Then she'll HAVE to come into the 21st. Century.

On a related Note, we just dumped Directv for a Roku box like Unc's. I got a old School TV Antenna and hooked it up to the Directv wiring. Now I can see the Tornados coming towards my House on the Local TeeWee stations, unlike Satellite which crapped out 20 minutes before the Storm hits my neighborhood. Also, I got tired of seeing ads for how much more we could get if I was a NEW Customer, yet, when we called and asked for the Upgrades, we were told to F.O. So the money saved by dumping them will be amortized over the next 3 months, and in the meantime, I don't have to watch the 4th re-run of a 3 year old show on Discovery. And with the money we save, and the price of Ammo today....

Firehand said...

I just got a mobile about 2007 because I was carrying a pager for work and didn't want to have to chase down a phone and- the big one- son was deploying and on the occasions he got to call I damn well didn't want to miss it.

Still have that '$.10/minute' phone. Only thing I don't like about no 'net access? I can't download the Flint ringtone to the damn thing.

TheSev said...

And another head tilts forward and bows down towards their lap as I walk on by.


I dunno, that's supposed to be philosophical or something.

Matt G said...

We used the Geekmaster 2000 iPAQs back in the day, for writing tickets. The idea was that they would be really handy, and could have every charge already installed, and would WiFi to the little portable thermal printer and make things FASTER!!1!Eleven!

In fact, officer safety went down, and things slowed to a crawl, as we peered down to our crowded little screen, using the stylus (Gawd help you if you lost it) to pick out the bitty fields. Though it was claimed to give us the freedom to do it all on the first approach, we ended up going back to the car to sit down and do the ticket, because: A) the screen was often hard to read in direct sunlight, and B) the little device was so damned expensive and fragile, we couldn't bring ourselves to risk taking it out, and C) Stupid portable printer was just too cumbersome to carry around with you.

The only good thing that it did was to store data from tickts, automatically. But someone finally realized, "Hey, we've already got laptops in the cars, and we're already going back to the cars to write the tix... why not just do it with a full screen, a full-sized QWERTY keyboard, and our heads somewhat more up out of our arses?"

(Meanwhile, I've moved to another agency that uses the tried and true pen and paper books method.)

DirtCrashr said...

You and i have the same phone expectations but a different carrier. Pay as you go only, no leashes, no talking while driving.

I just figure one day (too soon) there won't even be a phone for my pre-accelerated 70-yr old mentality, and I'll be forced to get some govt. snoop-enabled POS/GPS phone-droid to scan my social-security tatttoo and get free groceries. And one that will cut-out and stop recording anytime I am at a public Tea Party rally.

FxR said...

I use an absolute POS cell phone that cost me about $30 a couple of years ago to replace a similar unit. No web, text via numberpad only and if/when it breaks, no big deal.

I refuse to spend a lot of money on a cell until I no longer have a job that requires me to fight multiple drunks simultaneously.

I'm right there with you on the idea of pay-as-you-go. I only have my cell turned on when I'm at work or going to be out of the house all day. Anyone who I would want to reach me knows to call my home number.

Kristopher said...

Wifi is just about everywhere these days ... even in truckstops out in the sticks.

I use my iPad, and don't pay for any contract.

My cellphone is a cash and carry disposable for emergency calls from the car. Leave it on a park bench once a year, and go buy another + a one year card.

Old NFO said...

I actually miss my Motorola StarTAC, It worked for years... sigh...

bedlamite said...

And here I just moved from my old Nokia to one of them new fangled Star Trek communicator type foldy phones. I think my new one might even have a funny colored tooth.

Drang said...

Speaking of texting and Tea Parties, I was at one of the rallies in Seattle, and they asked everyone to text "something" (Probabloy "tea", but I've forgotten) to a certain number, so they could get a headcount. Pulled out my Moto Q9c and did the deed, and had to show several guys my age how to text from a standard cell phone. "Let's see, Menu... Yep, 'SMS'..." and then how to type a message with a standard keypad. "My kids know this stuff..." "I had to learn because of the kids who work for me..."

And while you can always turn the phone off to avoid Janet Napolitano, they also sell EMP/RF proof bags and boxes to keep them in if you're truely paranoid...

WV: noxing. Tamara only does that a couple of times a year any more...

Tam said...

Drang,

"And while you can always turn the phone off to avoid Janet Napolitano..."

If you really want to avoid Janet, you need to take the battery out. Or better yet, leave it at home.

There's a reason dope dealers all use prepaid burners paid for with cash.

Ian Argent said...

I'm just going to note that the FBI in particular and law enforcement in general like to appear more omniscient than they actually are (at least in a general sense - paranoids make different mistakes) and that you shouldn't mistake cop shows for reality. Fostering the belief in the criminal minds that certain security measures are necessary is probably worthwhile. See Tam's last - most people (even most wookies) don't rotate phones on a weekly basis, which leads to "reasonable and articulatable suspicion", which leads to all kinds of things.

That having been said, use of a smartphone can result in various pieces of information, including geolocation, being obtainable via subpoena rather than warrant under the 3rd-party doctrine (spit). Since it's apparently permissible for the police to up and GPS-tag my car like a migrating elephant, I'm kind of "enh" about the whole thing. Likewise, anything on the "cloud" (which includes a lot of the data on a smart phone) is less than secure. Android appears to be pretty good about asking you (the first time, anyway) if you want to put stuff off the device, &c

Turning one into an audio bug without first having either physical access to the device or causing the user to enable some kind of malware is strictly fiction, however.

DaddyBear said...

Welcome to the dark side. Cookies are next to the coffee pot.

Drang said...

If you really want to avoid Janet, you need to take the battery out.
I was going to add "remove the battery if possible", but figured it was obvious.

Greg said...

Just a heads up in case you didn't know, Amazon gives away a free paid App everyday. Here is the link to the Amazon Appstore.

Greg

http://www.amazon.com/mobile-apps/b/ref=sa_menu_adr_app4?ie=UTF8&node=2350149011

Dr. StrangeGun said...

That little indestructible sanyo flip phone I had back when I was at the shop... which was already 4-5 years old then... had color internet, and somewhere floating around the house was/is a tether cable that could get me 38K internet on anything with a serial port.

I moved to an HTC evo 4G nearly a year ago and have not only never looked back, but have immersed myself in android ever since... it was followed by a Viewsonic G-tablet (still the best hidden deal on the market if you're willing to flash ROM to one if the 'aftermarket' distros) and I'm seriously thinking of finding a knockoff 'droid phone with an IrDA port to use without service, and mold it into the ultimate combo TV remote...

capcha: mentabl. yes, yes I am mentabl.