22 February 2010

Gadgetty Girl

I got a new phone. I didn't really need a new phone, but I really wanted one. I tend hoard birthday and Chanukah presents. Maybe "hoard" isn't the right word -- more like delay the gratification. I'll say to TheHusband that I don't want a present for a birthday or two, but then cash in on a bigger present -- quality over quantity, I guess. I didn't get a birthday or Chanukah present knowing that I wanted a phone with internet capability. I don't need a phone that can check the internet, I just really want one, and I've wanted one for about 3 years.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I got one. I've played people's iPhones and had phone envy, so I seriously considered getting an iPhone. But I didn't want to switch to AT&T. Their network in the DC area is okay at best, and I've been generally happy with Verizon. In fact, I've had a Verizon wireless account since 1996. I have had various Palm OS-based products for over 10 years now. One of the most valuable products for me is Epocrates -- a program that provides basic information on drugs (a la the PDR), but it has an excellent drug-drug interaction database that I consult frequently. I used to carry a PDA and a cheap cell phone, but about 5 years ago I got a Treo 650 (bought used on eBay), but I never had the data plan ($45/month was too rich for my blood). When that one died of a terminal interaction with a parking lot, I got the Treo 755P but still no data plan.

But I really wanted to be able to check the internet anywhere in my house, so when my "new" Treo started dropping calls, freezing, and generally being annoying, I decided to "use" my delayed presents and get a new smartphone (apparently they aren't called PDA phones anymore) with a data plan. TheHusband was amenable to this so I immediately started my research. One of my coworkers got the Palm Pre (Sprint) last summer, and I liked what I saw. I played with a friend's iPhone and liked that too. I immediately dismissed any Window-based smartphones (look, I'm a Mac-head, Palm-user at heart). Serendipitously, Palm launched the Palm Pre Plus -- a new Palm-based smartphone for Verizon. I decided on that one, especially because I wanted to stick with Verizon wireless.

Then TheHusband expressed interest in getting a smartphone for himself. After I picked myself up from my faint, I dragged him right off to the Verizon store. The visit to the Verizon store just cemented my desire for the Palm Pre Plus, but TheHusband was undecided. Since we could get the rebate automatically if we bought it online, I thanked the guy behind the counter and we left. I felt bad that he didn't get credit for the sale, but I am so bad about sending in rebate paperwork that buying on line made sense. After much cogitation and decision-making, TheHusband decided on the Samsung Rogue for himself. He didn't care so much about the internet, but he wanted something with a keyboard so texting me back wouldn't be so annoying. He wanted to be able to put in his own ringtones, which his old brick-like phone (dated 2000) wouldn't let him do. He wanted to be able to input contacts. He didn't care so much about Wi-Fi, which was a deal-breaker for me.

I love my new phone. It does everything I want. It's cute. I can surf the web in before I go to bed. I have some objections to it -- I do not want to store my contacts and appointments in the "cloud". Neither Google nor Palm needs to know that much about me. I am a casual user -- I don't use the phone for business purposes. I can't check my work email with it, which is fine by me. I found a program that allows me to sync my phone to the old Palm desktop program that I've been using for years. I miss a couple of the PalmOS games that aren't available (yet?) on WebOS. I used an encrypted software program to store passwords and other importnat information. I loved that program. It does exist in a WebOS version, but instead of syncing to my own computer, apparently it syncs to the comapny's central server instead. Ummm, no, I am not putting my passwords and other important information on some random server. Nope, no way, no how. I will wait for a time to see if that company comes to its senses and comes out with a PC desktop for syncing, otherwise I'll find another encrypted program.

TheHusband doesn't love his. he likes the phone except for the volume. He has incredibly acute hearing, but the speaker on his phone sucks. SUCKS. If he can't hear it, then it is just too soft. He even has trouble hearing the damn thing ring. So he will be heading to the Verizon store tomorrow to see if the phone has a bad speaker or if that is what you get with the Rogue. We are still within the 30 day trial period, so exchanging it for something else won't be a big deal. I won't be sorry if he trades it in, to be honest. He decided to call the phone "Sarah" after Sarah Palin, because she's such a rogue. I have been tempted to stomp on the phone simply because of that.

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