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my 2 year itch

Like Grumpy, I too have reached a point where something had to be done about my cell phone. We had the same phone (the Nokia 3650 on AT&T Wireless) because, and I’m not ashamed to admit this, I’m a follower, not a leader. At least in this corner of gadgetology.

When it comes to cell phones, I need a trail-blazer. I need that trail-blazer to come to my house and make a phone call from within my house. If that works, then we have a winner.

So two years ago, I convinced Grumpy to come over and do this. Unlike my previous experience with Sprint, this worked great, so, within a week or so I became the owner of a new Nokia 3650.

Well, I’ve been fairly happy with this phone and plan for a while, but the 3650 was developing, shall we say, issues. The main issue was that the phone would unaccountably turn itself off. Not so good when you are counting on the phone to be on most of the time. More insidious however, was the problem of the phone losing the network connection with no on-screen indication of the problem. You would just try to make a phone call and have every attempt just “disconnect”. (Michael tells me that this is the “software radio” crashing. Sounds plausible to me).

But, when you need to follow, it is sort of hard to switch phones. Fortunately, I had a new trail blazer: my brother-in-law, Craig. Craig and I had a conversation that went like this:

Craig: I just ordered a Treo 650 from Cingular.
Me: Why did you get a Treo 650?
C: It was time to get a new phone…
Me: Me too!
C: and my Palm Vx is dying.
Me: Me too!
C: Yeah, I have to re-digitize it every time.
Me: Me too!

(Ok, that was condensed a lot. There was some significant amount of bitching about Cingular’s website, and a lot of wondering by me if the phone would even work in his house) But, the bottom line was that the Treo was looking justifiable because I was both replacing my phone and my seriously aged Palm Pilot.

Still, I needed some hint that the phone would work in my house. All I needed was to wait a few weeks for Craig to get the Treo and to convince him to visit. When he did, the phone call went well. At this point, I was 90% of the way to getting the Treo. That last 10% was jumped when, not long after this when I discovered my Palm Vx, which I had left sitting in the dock charging for days, apparently out of power. This looked like a sign of doom for the Vx.

I mentioned this to Pete (“The Enabler”), and he suggested that he needed to look for a new car charger for his cell phone and so why don’t we go to the Cingular/AT&T Wireless store across the street. I said sure. I was convinced at this point that the only way to get a Treo 650 was to order it on the Intarweb, but I wanted to ask some Cingular sales person about how the transition to Cingular would be given that I was an AT&T customer and they had become the same company. We get to the store, and, in the process of asking about what getting a Treo on the Cingular network would be like, it became apparent that the store actually had the Treo 650 in stock (although not on display). 10 minutes later, I was the proud owner of a new Treo 650 and a newly useless Nokia 3650.

Written on Mar 25, 2005.

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