I was forced to move into the 21st century yesterday. I broke the latest incarnation of my venerable Nokia 6210 - a phone that was discontinued around the time of the Sydney Olympics (I think). My first one was a work issued phone, and I liked it so much, I stuck to the model through thick and thin. The company I worked for bought hundreds of them, and people were always returning used (but serviceable) models as they retired, resigned, died etc. If I broke my handset, I simply went and saw the phone guy and he would pull one out of his bottom drawer for me.
The other thing that saw me stick to it was that I have a car kit installed for that model, and Nokia, being bastards, changed the fittings on newer phones so that a handset made after about 2003 won't fit into it. Yes, you can buy adaptors and things to help with the changeover, but I couldn't be bothered going to all that trouble to move away from something that met my needs perfectly well.
I view a phone like a hammer - it is a strictly utilitarian device used to perform a few simple functions. I even used my old handset to bang in the odd nail, so you can't accuse me of being a luddite when it comes to using technology in new ways.
It all came to an end yesterday when I broke handset number 7. I won't go into the "how", but I snapped the power button off the motherboard, and that was the end of that. I could have bought another replacement on e-bay, but it would take a week to arrive. On top of that, the pins in the car kit are shot - the phone gave up recognising the car kit about a month ago. That car kit has seen an awful lot of use.
And to cap it all off, handset 7 of 7 went through power like a desalination plant in a drought. I'd get barely a day out of a battery, when that same battery would last 6 of 7 for a week. Something was wrong with its innards. I decided that there would be no more reconditioned phones for me.
So I bought a Nokia N95. A fancy phone. One that has a camera, can play videos, has a radio, an MP3 player, a GPS and all sorts of other stuff that I will probably hardly ever use. I got it home, stuck the SIM card into it and then went to perform a very simple, but vital function. I had to send a text message to a work colleague.
Do you think I could work out how to send a simple SMS message? Nooooooooo. I managed to take some photos, view a bit of video, backup the memory card to my PC, find my location with the GPS and upload a few hundred songs to it; but I could not send or recieve an SMS.
Now I only used my old phone for a few things - storing phone numbers in the address book; talking to people and sending and recieving the odd text message. (Actually, since I used to be connected to an automated alarm system, I used the phone to read thousands of text messages that basically told me to get out of bed at 3am and fix something that was busted at work. That gave me a very good reason to hate mobile phones with a passion).
What use is a phone that won't do SMS? I'll tell you - no use at all. It might as well be a $500 brick.
In the end, I had to reload the firmware in order to get the entire messaging function to work (which includes mobile email and other useless fruit that I'll probably never bother with). That finished about midnight. So the urgent text message that I had to send at 2pm got send at 7am this morning.
The amazing thing is that with phones 1 of 7 through to 7 of 7, I just pulled them out of the box (or the bottom drawer), turned them on and started using them. It was like buying a car, inserting keys in the ignition and driving away. This bloody N95 - using it was more like assembling and launching a space shuttle. What a frigging rigmarole.
I was going to talk about window lickers, wasn't I?
When we first got the 6210 at work, it was a very fancy model. About 10 of us in the office got them on the same day, and we all got them with a plain, silver cover. Except for Fuckwit - he had to be different. He insisted on getting the next model up, which had bluetooth, and I suspect the real reason he wanted it was because it had a very cool, dark green and bronze cover. He never used the bluetooth feature in all the time he had the phone, but he talked about it an awful lot.
What a window licker. I'm so glad I don't work with him anymore.