Posts Tagged ‘Cell-phone’

Mobile phone and Sim-card madness (Golden Oldie)

April 20, 2013

Mobile-phone-jammers

If there is one thing that could tip me over the edge, it would be that modern phenomenon; the mobile phone. I have always been a difficult customer, perhaps not meant for anything much more complicated than opening an umbrella or rinsing out the tomato- sauce bottle.

Perhaps my inherited frugal gene is to blame, forever ferreting to save and scrounge for the maximum that costs the minimum. My days of hanging around a phone waiting for calls from friends have long since gone with most calls now coming from unknown sources urging me into the world of a Black-Berry or some other mysterious device. Change your plan through us, they text. “You’ll save with us”, is the lure that got me last time and is now the cause for ‘over the edge tipping.’

I have become a victim of a device that connects five other devices. It does so wirelessly but not effortlessly. All you need do is insert a little card and you get connected to all those devices. That card is called Sim-card. Don’t be fooled by its short name. It’s holding the whole world to ransom. It’s a terrorist in disguise.

My own aim has always been to seek simplicity and certain disconnectedness. This aim is probably steeped in wanting as little responsibility as is humanly possible and… A kind of laziness not to get involved in anything distracting me from …whatever it is that fills my head at the time, most likely, nothing much really.

My dream still is to live in a square room made of straw bales. It would have a wooden floor and a cozy wood heater in the middle. I would live out of a suitcase and eat simple food, may be lentils or smoked pork spare ribs with apples cooked with rhubarb and crumble on top, a simple glass of red wine afterwards…Sleep on a kapok mattress and read Patrick White’s Voss under a kerosene light.

With the $30. – Pre-paid mobile connectivity, it kept me reasonably in touch with any emergency that might pop up. The emergency might be a call from the hearing-aid centre for an appointment or a cheerful reminder that 80% credit has been used up, nothing much more than the most mundane of calls.

I often wished I could get an insight why so many are glued to those devices. If not held to their ears they have them in their hands and they are so busy flicking up and down, even sideways. What am I missing out on? What sort of fascinating world is escaping me?

I believe that undertakers are flat tack with people having been run over by semi-trailers while crossing the road and stroking their IPods, IPad and multiple other connect devices with numerous Apps and Blackberries stand alone. What a riveting world it all has come to!

My latest sojourn into that, to me denied, world of devices was an invite on my $30.- pre-paid for a WeiWah wire free Wi Fi modem that would connect up to five devices. Can you imagine; five devices? It was guaranteed to open a world hitherto unknown to me. Not only that, for a mere $49.95 a month it was going to give me 10 gigabytes of this ‘open world’. It was just too tempting.

Of course my ignorance in those matters I keep close to my chest. Not wishing to show my ignorance and lack of confidence in general, I quickly nod in agreement when experts try and inform and instruct me on device connectivity. Any gadget that uses electricity, especially if it has a screen with options and menus instantly fills me with dread.” Open up tools, please”, they tell me. “What tools”, I ask. I then quickly resort to seemingly understanding it all.

I can’t tell you how close I came to tipping over the edge. Optus must now be having conference calls over it. I became the despair of the Philippines call centre. India gave up on me a long time ago. No matter how patient they all were, nothing connected, nothing worked. I removed the dreaded Sim-card, wiped it and even put it in reverse, all to no avail (as they say in romantic novels when the hero just can’t seem to be able to seduce a recalcitrant virgin).

I must have spent an entire year of $49.50 per month in trying to find this so much desired connectivity. It finally turned out the mini Wi Fi WeiWah wire free was faulty. So, there you go. All that modernity, all those wonderful opening up of a new world, once again denied through a mere faulty ‘device’.

Where are the straw bales?

 

The sad Case of a drowned Mobile.

February 14, 2012

 

I don’t think that those mobile phones are always kept so close to the heart as we imagine. In my case, in my shirt pocket. I see most people on the street carrying them in their hands. It’s almost as if people are afraid of the device escaping. The mobile phone has almost become a bit of an extra body-part, like an artificial hip or implant. Some aficionados of the mobile have special ear-plugs and can receive orders or demands without actually holding the mobile to their ears. Most people like to hold and fondle them though.

The latest phones have become much less a phone and more of an extension of doing the living for the person. Many, many, especially the young, now allow living to be done by this mobile gadget. By the way, why do we still call it a ‘mobile’? Mobile seems to indicate something large or cumbersome, indicating it can be carried, but only just. The more articulate in Europe call them ‘cell-phones’ which is indicative of something more macro-biotic or at least ‘small’.

The ‘living’ done by cell phone is not about having an artificial heart or even a bypass but more like enjoying two hearts or three legs. If the battery runs out or one takes a long bath, life still manages to go on, a bit precariously may be, hovering on the edge of a fatal abyss, but it still survives. At the moment it is a neck on neck race by young people holding on to their Coke bottle and the Iphone. Notice the change from ‘mobile’ to ‘cell-phone’ and now to ‘Iphone’.

Iphone means ‘I am the phone,’ the phone and I are inseparable and are now one. To see those Iphone and Coke holders crossing the road with kids in tow is awesome. I saw one mum crossing a busy intersection while, amazingly, texting on her phone with the hand that held the Coke bottle AND acrobatically sipping the Coke in between texting words while her kids were holding on for dear life lashed onto her threadbare and torn jeans. What I would not give for a peek at her text message. What was so burningly urgent it all had to be done while crossing the road and what level of unimaginable dehydration she suffered that she could not cross without sipping the Coke?

Perhaps the next generation of those bodily addendums will be the Uphone. A phone for U (you). It’ll be a gift phone that you sprinkle around the Christmas tree. The grandchildren will love you. They can twitter and tweet, twixt the tree and the kitchen tap, an insurmountable distance to overcome without a quick tweet first. A bit like the Volvo car ad where the kids on the back seat secretly phone the driving dad at the front, dad picks up the phone through the Blue Tooth ‘special’ Volvo capability. The whole family breaks out in unrestrained happy mirth all meticulously filmed, as always, on a peaceful deserted Swedish road. The week after the advertisements many couples in their new Volvo are all sour faced now, dead- locked in a traffic snarl with little relief from the Blue Tooth…No one films that oracle.

My own fourteen year old Nokia had an amazing escape from death by drowning. As is my want, I am an early riser and scan the laptop for any dire news. The break-out of war perhaps, or another Arab Spring country uprising /rioting, all reported on Iphone. Journalists are not allowed in, so all that footage can’t be verified, the newsreader solemnly declares. As if Mr. Murdoch’s journalists are any more trustworthy of news than the rioting Arab holders of Iphone. It seems strange that when the news is told by the people who make the news, somehow, it can’t be verified.

When I have finished verifying all the misery on the lap-top, coffee has generally percolated and the day starts in earnest. I quickly scan my old Nokia for any missed calls and then generally waste an hour or so just pacing between the bedroom and kitchen, moving a fork here or teaspoon there, rinse a plate and try and work up enough courage and chutzpah to finally get going.

The day of the near drowning of the Nokia was the same as any other day. Nothing was there to indicate anything abnormal or different from thousands of other mornings. The ABC news ‘Just In’ had yet again given the usual diet of hundreds dying of war and riot, the weather forecast was for more rain and a Liberal Party minister had visited  another factory in Queensland somewhere and  was shown wearing a miner’s helmet with the usual awkward confidence of a cow before the stun gun.

My morning coat that had survived so much bad news now needed a good solid wash with both water and temperature on the washing machines set at ‘high’. I nonchalantly chucked in the garment together with other light coloured items. I had totally forgotten that my faithful old Nokia was in its top pocket. The poor old sod went through the complete program including a ferocious mad spinning cycle.  And this, dear readers is how my mobile came (almost) to such a sad end.

I now have an Iphone. Soon I too will be crossing a road and will text like mad, even tweet.

Why do those things happen?

Ps. The old Nokia did a complete Lazarus and after drying it on a warm electric blanket for a few days, somersaulted back into life, even its memory of old phone numbers.