one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Behind the curve...

Sometimes it is nice to be behind the curve. When it comes to gadgets and tech, I've always tried to at least dabble in the cutting edge. Rarely have I passed up an opportunity to at least observe the new and untested. I have my brother (an OS X beta kid) and dad (who bought an Apple ][ in 1977) to thank for this... And the legions of more-fortunate around me who bought the latest geegaw, or had the cajones to download some Strange New Thing.

But I have little love for the cell phone industry in this country. To me, they are a bunch of greedy, twisted old farts who twirl their mustaches and squeeze the earnings out of the poor and stupid. The rich and stupid too, but I shake my head when I see some farmer sitting at one of those kiosks being sold a line of crap...

Anyway, we decided to stick with the same carrier we've had for the past 4 years: US Cellular. They ain't the brightest crayon in the box, but they are coming around. Three years ago I asked them about Bluetooth. The dude on the phone said, "it isn't compatible with our network." I was like, "uh, CDMA and Bluetooth really aren't related..." And guess what? They listened. Today US Cellular has a little bit of everything, including BlackBerries.

The clincher is their service. We went in to get RAZR phones (2 for $50 after rebates, naturally)-- yes, I know I'm late to that party. We walked out with 2 new phones and a slightly better deal on our service! Now, US Cellular won't let me put Gmail on my phone, but they do provide an "unlimited" data plan and the Nweb browser (yes, I know it sucks in comparison). Those two items, plus AIM Mobile, cost less than other carriers' data plans in general. Very nice. And honestly, I don't have time for a bunch of crazy apps on my phone. I need a little email (via Nweb), and a little IM. Some easy-to-access data comes through the pre-fed Nweb links, which is also quite handy.

Sometimes LESS is MORE. Of course, if I had more money, I would have waited for the iPhone. But by the time my contract is up with US Cell, I'll get to grab an iPhone without the 1st-gen bugs in it...

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