Thursday, 14 September 2006

For someone that works in high-tech, I’m not exactly known for having cutting edge personal tech. A couple buddies like to call me a Luddite, mostly because I’m usually the nay-sayer, the voice of temperance and prudence when it comes to gadgetry, but also because they like how I cringe every time they say it.

It’s not like I’m completely hopeless: I did drop my home phone service in favor of using my cell phone exclusively. It wasn’t too much of a leap since I’d been telling friends for a few years to try my cell. The only thing I really kept the analog line for was to support the Series 1 TiVo. The modem in it got fried by an electrical storm last September, so I finally put the thing to rest, both the TiVo and the phone line.

I used a Nokia 8200 series phone until it wore out. I liked its size, small bordering on tiny, so I replaced it with a second one off eBay even though I hated its address book. I kept the 8200 for another year or so, then switched to a Sony-Ericsson T610 (again through eBay). I picked it mostly because the address book didn’t suck, but it also had Bluetooth and voice dialing. Late to the as usual, the T610 had already been out for a couple years by the time I bought it.

This is all to help you understand why it’s a big deal when I say that I bought a new cell phone on Tuesday. Not just new to me, but new as in not used. And not just any phone either…

I bought a Blackberry Pearl. Yes, the day they came out.

Mainly I chose it because I’m doing a lot more text messaging than I used to (this is the start of a short rant, but I’ll save that for another time) and the SureType keyboard on the Blackberry will make that less gruesome than it was on the T610.

What do I think of it so far?

It’s sleek. It’s sexy. It has a built in Web browser (not a big fan of it), can do IM via Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo, and their kin. I don’t have it completely set up yet, so at times it can be a bit frustrating as I try to figure out how it works and tune the thing to my liking. It’s even got a camera, but only 1.3 megapixels which means I’m unlikely to use it for much of anything.

The good folks at Opera have released a mini version for smart-phones so I installed that, plus an RSS newsreader, a couple extra games, and a few ring tones converted from MP3 files. The Internet access has already come in handy, so it’s not the fourth horseman I thought it to be, but it still takes getting used to.

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