Cellular Nostalgia

While waiting for my iPhone 4 to be delivered yesterday I began to think of the list of cellular devices that I have used in the past.  I was surprised at how extensive the list was so I began to type up my history with cell phones.  Then again while even beginning this post I had to return to the list to add AirCards.  While insignificant at first I thought, I realized I have used them on three different carriers.  Here’s my list:

These analog phones were before your cell phone did anything other than make a phone call unless you had a cool Nokia phones that had snake (nibbles) on it.
Nokia 252 – Nice compact phone for the time period.  It was my first phone, and I even had to convince my parents to sign the contract to let me get a pre-paid phone because I was under 18..
Motorola StarTAC – This phone was truly ahead of it’s time, but wouldn’t be the last innovative Motorola flip phone that I would own.
Nokia 5110 – The Nokia that everyone had a the time.  It had the first run of games and RINGTONES!  These were pretty amazing MIDI tones that made the Motorola nine different rings looks pretty sad.  The original Nokia Tune still carries on today on their phones. Out of no where while typing this I had *#6391# come into my head.  I believe that is the code to initialize programming on the Nokia phones. The Motorola method involved thirteen pressings of a particular button (it’s been too long!).
Motorola Vader – This phone was the StarTAC’s little brother but was the sexy phone of it’s time.  The compact design made it a must have phone!  I remember spending a couple hundred dollars on this phone in High School and thinking what a ridiculous amount of money that was for a phone.  Little did I know what I would be getting myself into.
Nokia 3310 – Very sad day when my Vader was the casualty of being thrown across a room and breaking in half. 🙁  I was given a Nokia 3310 (very, very similar to the previous Nokia’s in software) as a replacement from CellularONE.
Motorola v120e – The first phone that I modded.  It was as close to the v60 that I could get at the time, and was given to me by a CellularONE rep.  I replaced the number pad with a “waterfall” set of numbers that would light up and dance around when you got a phone call.  I’m sure my dad just loved that feature when he ended up with the phone after I moved to college.
Motorola v60i – My first text messaging phone.  I remember having to convince my mom I would pay the extra 5 or 10 dollars a month for 200 text messages (I was still under 18), and then had to call and have her up it because I texted too much.  Wow things were simpler then.  CellularONE didn’t have service outside of Northeast Arizona at the time that was very cost effective at all so I migrated to Alltel.  I got a discount on the phone from the Radio Shack in Globe where we stopped on our way down to move me to the valley.  This was the business man’s phone, and was another amazing piece of Motorola hardware.  This and the 120e allowed you to compose your own ringtones, and Riley Trickey made me a ringtone after a song that he had written.
Motorola T720 – Again working at Radio Shack (a real corporate Radio Shack this time), I was eligible for employee discounts on Verizon Wireless plans.  For 25 bucks a month I had my first cell phone (IN MY OWN NAME!!).  I remember getting the very first camera phone into our store that Verizon carried.  It was a big deal!  I got a ridiculous amount of minutes and messages for the time, and loved that phone.  It was my first colored screen phone.  There were some pretty handy Hex editing tools that allowed me to upload my own wallpapers (not even an option back then, I had to hack my phone to get some sweet 120 pixel images on my phone), and even get some ringtones on there.  There were the higher class polyphonic ringtones mind you!
Motorola v60s – Right before my mission, I upgraded to the new hotness of the v60 that had a built in SPEAKERPHONE!  My mom was kind enough to help me build credit by using the phone while I was gone.  Dang parents are awesome!!  I never did get that phone or number back.. hehe  She still has it to this day with a Droid R2D2.
Motorola RAZR v3m – Fresh back from my mission I was ready for my third amazing Motorola flip phone.  The V3m version of the RAZR was amazing!  A camera phone with text messaging integrated that worked well.  The phone was so thin, and to this day is still one of my favorite phones.  We were way past polyphonic ringtones now, and I could convert a mp3 to a mid file that was smaller than 250k and less than 30 seconds to the phone and have real ringtones.
Palm Treo 700w – Windows Mobile 5 – Things went spiraling down hill from here.  My first smartphone.  I got hooked up with this phone from a friend of a coworker, Brad for $150.00 I think.  A steal for the phone at the time.  This phone was so horrible compared to today’s standard of phone, but it was one of the best smart phones of the day.  My employer, Azstar Communications, paid for my data plan and I was in business.  I had Outlook mobile hooked up to multiple email accounts (Exchange and IMAP), and we were off.  That phone served me very well, and my mom even used it for a few years after I upgraded.
HTC Mogul (XV6800) – Window Mobile 6 – My first HTC phone, but last Windows Mobile phone.  This slider was a step up from the Treo because of the newer version of the Windows Mobile operating system and larger touch screen, but it was still a Windows Mobile phone.  I used this phone without a data plan because we had just moved into our home and were trying to save money.  Pay-As-You-Go data is not the smartest idea, but using the built-in 802.11 wireless card made it a usable phone.
BlackBerry Storm 9530 – The timing on this phone was pretty spot on.  My employer was getting me a BlackBerry, and it timed to the release of this fail of a phone.  It was slow, and slow.  Definitely not the best introduction to the RIM line phone cellular phones.
BlackBerry 8830 World Edition – I finally caved and got rid of my Storm to inherit a phone with no MMS support (because RIM decided if it didn’t have a camera you didn’t need the ability to receive picture messages either) and a QWERTY keyboard.
Palm Pre – This phone was loaned to me for a summer to provide internet access to rodeos that I was live streaming.  I didn’t like the phone at all, but the built-in and free Mobile HotSpot feature made it a home run for what we needed.  Thanks Verizon! (Please bring the free HotSpot back!!)
BlackBerry Tour 9630 – The last phone RIM had on Verizon to offer the ball for navigation.  it was a nice functioning phone running the BlackBerry OS Verison 5.  The newer OS made the phone a much more pleasant experience.
BlackBerry Bold 9650 – My current BlackBerry.  Basically a Tour with more memory, and a the optical track pad in place of the notorious ball.  The 3.2 Megapixel camera takes sharp pictures of still objects.  The focusing takes some time, but pays off for snapping pictures of serial numbers and other small information on technological devices.
T-Mobile – Sony Vaio TX770P Integrated EDGE Modem (Unlocked).  EDGE was definitely slow, but I can’t complain about having an integrated modem in my already ultra portable laptop.  I still have that laptop because I can’t bare to sell it.  It is a nice live stream computer using UStream.
Sprint – PCMCIA EVDO Modem (When Sprint offered truly umlimited data plans).  Sticking out of the same Sony VAIO laptop it was always on.  I don’t even know how many GBs I would rack up in a month.  Amazing coverage in the Phoenix Metro area.  I found myself using my work VPN even while at work with that laptop instead of switching to my WiFi card.  It would use Verizon’s towers when I would travel home, but only at 1x, so the dial-up speeds, similar to my T-Mobile EDGE experience, while away from the valley were less than stellar, but at least there was service.
Verizon – Multiple USB Pantech and Verizon modems.  Verizon has consistently had great coverage for the majority of places I travel.  It is slower than it’s competitors, but I drop connection rarely in the many situations I’ve used either an aircard or my Blackberry as a modem.  it sure makes my trips up to Colorado to visit Amanda’s family more bearable.  Travelling drives me crazy!

iPhone 4 Review (Verizon)

Like many others I stayed up on February 2nd to pre-order my iPhone at 1am Arizona time.  Again, like many others I have been hitting refresh on my FedEx tracking seeing it make it’s journey from California to my doorstep.  Activation was painless (although I have heard of people having issues with activation due to the overwhelming number of activations today) after the mandatory application of  Ghost Armor on my screen.  Ghost Armor is a nice Arizona-based company that provides screen protectors for all sorts of technology.  My iPad, BlackBerry Bold, and my wife’s HTC Incredible all sport the protectors.  It was slightly weird using my Droid X to a picture of my iPhone, and post it to Facebook letting everyone know that beautiful piece of Motorola and Android technology would soon be gathering dust.

Once activated and dried off, I booted up the device and setup my mail (gmail using Microsoft Exchange support for calendar and contact syncronization), my voicemail, and Google Voice number.  After my core messaging applications were in place I plugged the phone into my MacBook Pro for the initial sync (which is known to be notoriously slow and drawn out).  Many of my iPad applications that had been designed for both iOS devices were synced over (including my “must-have” LogMeIn Ignition, DropBox, and Documents ToGo Premium among others).  45 minutes had my music and apps installed and ready to go.  The process was painless, and surprisingly easy.  My only wish would have been to have the option to import all  the settings, accounts, and logins from my iPad to my iPhone.  A small qualm, but it would have made the process even more plug-and-play.

So far the experience has been great.  I have not dropped any calls (but that has never been a problem for me on Verizon Wireless‘ cellular network), I have the familiar iOS experience from my iPad, and at the end of the day it is an Apple product.  I do not see the inability to use voice and data services simultaneously a problem, because I like most other geeks are never too far away from another piece of tech.  Those who enjoy Apple products will enjoy the iPhone.  For many in the tech field we desire technology that “just works”, and while my background would dictate that I would be an Android phone supporter (which I am, I have a Droid X, HTC Incredible, and a Droid R2D2 currently on my family share plan even after my switch to the iPhone) I need a phone that just works.  I do miss Swype a little, bit but I’m sure having it auto-correct me incorrectly more and more will will be a short-lived downside to switching to the iPhone (I would be okay with the option if it was available on my iPhone someday).  This device, much like my MacBook Pro and iPad, is reliable and ready for me consume and create content whenever and wherever I need.

Tether a Black Berry 8830 via BlueTooth to MAC OS X

1.) Pair the phone with your Mac via Bluetooth using the Bluetooth Setup Assistant (this is the easiest way)

2.) After pairing, be sure to check the box that says “Access the internet with your phone’s data connection”

3.) For verizon this is the information you enter as the username, password and phone number:

Phone number: #777
Username: [your phone#]@vzw3g.com
Password: vzw

*** For other carriers use the following information ***

Phone Number: *99#
Password: CINGULAR1

Phone Number: *99#
Username: [blank]
Password: [blank]

Phone Number: #777
Username: [blank]
Password: [blank]

4.) For the modem script make sure you set it to “WWAN Support”

5.) Click continue

6.) Your all finished! Just click on connect and it will dial out and make the connection for you. BTW your speeds are around 250 – 300k (real speed) for the connection.

When your connected your phone should say “modem active” at the top. By the way make sure you have a data plan otherwise it will not connect and in the “odd” event that it does, you will pay out the nose in data charges. Oh yeah calls can still come in while your connected but they terminate your connection if you answer the phone.