Monday, October 25, 2010

Hocus pocus and technological magic!

While I certainly don’t consider myself the most technologically savvy person in the world, I am also far from a Luddite. That being said, I got a new “cell phone” about a week ago, and I am completely blown away by the things that sucker can do. It seems like not that long ago that my parents had bag phones, and I feel like just yesterday I had an old-school flip phone that could barely send text messages and only received phone calls when I was standing at the top of a hill in a major metropolitan area under sunny skies.

I finally caved and got a “crackberry” during my last year working at The Consulting Firm That Shall Not Be Named (they weren’t willing to pay for one for a mere paralegal, but I was tired of having to drag my laptop all over creation, because they certainly expected me to be available via email outside of working hours). While my BlackBerry Storm was pretty cool for a while (I fell in love with having my email and calendar synced with my computer and being able to access Facebook while standing in cash register lines), it soon lost its novelty. Now, I could deal with a lack of novelty. What I couldn’t deal with was the outright revolt I started encountering over this summer. That 16-month-old blackberry apparently decided it was time for some teenage-style rebellion. It completely shut down when I asked it to do something for me. It decided that opening webpages was too taxing and wouldn’t respond to simple commands. It refused to recognize when it was plugged into a charger. Basically, it decided that it was grumpy with life, and I decided that I was grumpy with it. Since sending it upstairs to think about its bad behavior wasn’t really going to solve any of our problems, I decided instead to lock it in the closet until it grows up and replace it with a new child – er, phone.

Enter my new Samsung Fascinate (thank you, Verizon, for timing your buy-one-get-one-free android phone promotions at exactly the time that my mother and both were ready to throw our blackberries through a window). Although we had a moderately shaky start (for about an hour, since I refused to read the manual), I am now completely amazed by that thing. It loads full webpages in the blink of an eye. It has applications!!! It syncs my Darden emails and calendar (on an Enterprise platform) without requiring me to pay either $100 for a license or $10 a month to Verizon for the privilege of so doing. And, here is perhaps the coolest thing ever: I CAN PRINT DOCUMENTS AND WEBPAGES FROM MY PHONE TO MY HOME PRINTER. Without touching my computer. Oh, the power of wi-fi. I am completely shocked and awed.

Now, there are a couple blackberry features that I miss (e.g., enabling spell check before I send emails without having to look at the dumb “guess the word” screen all the time, auto punctuation of contractions, etc.), and none of the android phones currently have global phone capabilities, so if I travel internationally, I may need to un-ground the rebellious Storm. But in the mean time, I’m certainly glad that I’m finally the owner of a truly “smart,” well-behaved phone.