Monday, May 9, 2011

You can't teach an old dog new tricks...if he just refuses to play.

Okay...I'm not THAT old!

I consider myself quasi tech-savvy. Since the PC became commonplace in American homes, I've been through my fair share of desktops and laptops. Now that the smartphone has become the wave to catch in the geekster waterways, I'm on board there too...well...sort of.

Smartphones are a phenomenal piece of technology and really a misnomer. Instead of a phone that can do other things, they are essentially a portable computer that you can just happen to make calls on too. They're the Swiss Army Knife of multimedia tools. From a small box, you can watch TV, send messages a number of ways, browse the internet, and find an application program (app) for virtually everything to make life easier...and many you could certainly do without (i.e. that cursed Angry Birds app).

I first jumped in with a Blackberry several years ago and was quickly sold on how the mobile device made my work life easier. In my job, I deal with military bases literally all over the world, so somewhere someone is in their office at any given hour of my 24 hour day. Instead of checking my laptop several times a night when not at the office or waiting until the start of my next work day to address a plethora of accumulated issues, the smartphone allowed me to instantly respond to a customer's needs taking just a minute of my time. Almost immediately, I started receiving comments from customers in East Asia wondering if I ever slept! There was an issue with Mrs. Tony C at first, but she pretty much knew what she was signing up for from the start with me, and she also knew that the smartphone made my work day a lot less stressful...or at least a concentrated stress. You know...the kind that kills you.

I loved my Blackberry. Loved it. For over two years, I carried the exact same phone with virtually no problems. A small little box that just simply sneered at the once coup de grace of all communication device fantasies, Captain Kirk's communicator (duh), had made me master of my domain. I was king of the world (a la Leonardo DiCaprio/Titanic).

Apple just couldn't appreciate my euphoria.

Along comes the iPhone (said mockingly, I assure you). Every one's got to have an iPhone. iPhones are so cool. iPhones are so much better. An iPhone saved my brother's life. Well, I bravely resisted the spontaneity of standing in line for seven days to be the first to lay hands on an iPhone. Really, how much better could they be? I was king of the world and feeling unbeatable at my game. However, Mrs. Tony C was a much different story. She dumped the 'gotta have' Blackberry...excuse me...the fifth different Blackberry device she was using to join the sheep...I mean masses.

Boy is that phone a lot of fun.

Still, I stood firm to the technology at hand...I mean in hand...and kept on doing what I was doing. Don't fix something that isn't broken I was always told. My customers were happy, my boss was happy and I was completely comfortable not being on the leading edge. It all boiled down to me being, well, stubborn actually.

April 30, 2011 is the day my Blackberry died. I still get a little choked up about it and even keep the darkened shell in my desk drawer as a reminder of where I've been and how far I've come. Literally years (okay two) of mastering my domain...dead. What was I too do? That's where the antagonist of this story comes to play. No, not Steve Jobs. Not Mrs. Tony C, Keith S or even iPhone poster child Josh R. The culprit and controller of all things technical in my little world (at least at work) is our IT Department Head, and he said just four need DroidOkay. It should have been four words, but his English has definitely improved since coming here from China several years ago.

The die was casted. No, not an iPhone, but might just as well been. After a little research, I decided on a Droid Pro. At the very least I could keep my chubby little fingers busy still on a Qwerty keyboard. Has there been some adjustments? Absolutely. Aside from 'oops wrong move' erasures of emails and contacts, missing the heck out of BB messenger, and also now gone rolling over at 2 am to see the 'new message' red light blinking, I'm a lot more conscience about sticking my finger in my nose or ear and winding up with what's known in the geek arena as touch screen residue 

I'm sure there's an app that deals with that...but it probably cost an arm and leg...or at least a finger.


Michelle said...

hahaha. My BB is a Storm so I dealt with the touchscreen things early I'm a pro. But rather than moving on to the next best thing...I going back. Yes, as soon as I figure out how to get internet in Surgoinsville...I'm leaving my smartphone in the trail. That thing is like Satan to me. I'm almost positive if I prayed or read my Bible as much as I touched my smartphone...I'd be a prophet.

David-FireAndGrace said...

The iPhone is for kids that don't need capitalization and punctuation. I once typed an email to Brooks McCarty and typoed it: "McFarty" I lost the account. I don'tneed any help.

But it is cool for bands: you can get a sound pressure level meter, and all sorts of midi stuff. However; if you need to type coherently, forget it. I received a text from Mary Anne when hers was a few days old, and with the help of auto-correct it read: "Peas pup muck loser you" = Please pick up milk love you. It hurt my feelings.

I do like the Droids and there are lots of cool apps. My wife likes the one that tracks her through out the day. It shows her every move on a map. You can see her parking space, her jaunt down the hallway to the ladies room - and it records her speed to compare to the cop running the speed trap. ;)

I just want to know more about these lap tops you've been on.

Anonymous said...

Stop living in the past man!
jk You'll love the Droid. Just watch those screen boogers. lol

Tim K