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April 24, 2008

Interesting Question

An interesting question arose in the comments section, and I got curious about it (mostly because my memory isn't all that good when extending that far back).

When did you first purchase a cell phone?

The blog princess doesn't mind admitting she was a late adopter. She had one for work somewhere around 2002 but almost never used it. She can't even remember when she and the Unit first got cell phones. All she knows is that she didn't give the number out to anyone and she only bought them to use in case of emergency (a roadside breakdown, or some other urgent situation).

It wasn't until last year that she actually began using her cell phone as a phone, and even now she doesn't talk much on it. Only a few people have the number and there aren't many people in her address book.

But she just purchased her first smart phone and she's terribly excited about it. Welcome to the dark side.

Posted by Cassandra at April 24, 2008 08:21 AM

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I didn't get a cell phone until 2003, as I recall... and in 2005, when the initial two-year contract expired, I got rid of it and haven't had another. I hated being on call for everyone, and while people occasionally seem shocked when I say, "I have no cell phone," there's really nothing they can do about it. So, they have to accept that they'll just have to leave a message and wait for me to get back to them.

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 09:32 AM

I got one first about five years ago, but I didn't keep it after the years' contract lapsed.

I just got another one a couple of months ago, so I guess that makes me a really late adopter.

Posted by: Jimmie at April 24, 2008 09:58 AM

Cecause of mrs. rdr's overwhelming desire to speak with her daughters every 10 minutes, a cell phone showed up in my possession sometime in the late '90s. I almost learned to use it by 2003 when a different cellphone appeared. It was lost for sometime before being replaced by another cell phone that I never could find either. Finally, the Blackberry appeared and made my whole life a complete shambles. In fact my wife is so jealous of the attention I afford my litle ebony girlfriend that she has threaten to sue RIM for alienation of affection. Fine. Take the house, take the kids, take the dog! Just leave me and my Blackberry alone to make beautiful emails togather!

Posted by: spd rdr at April 24, 2008 10:00 AM

Ha!

My husband was issued a Blackberry for work. I offered to get him a smart phone for home and he said, "Not just no but 'Hell, no'!"

I make fun of him all the time for 'berrying :p I haven't hooked up the email portion of my new phone yet. There is something in me that rebels at the thought of being connected to email when I'm not home. However, I do very much like being able to connect to the 'Net, though I purposely didn't get an unlimited data plan to discourage me from using it unless I needed to.

It's a fun toy. But honestly, I got it for when I travel and those days when I go into the office, so I won't be disconnected from email. I still resist the notion that I have to be connected 24/7.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 10:16 AM

Cell phone? You mean that little dialup two-way radio that rivals a neutron star in its money-sucking capabilities?

Posted by: BillT at April 24, 2008 10:48 AM

My son got an iPhone.

I wouldn't get one for business, but it's pretty neat if you don't talk on the phone a whole lot (i.e., for a guy). It's loaded with gadgetry and fun stuff - when I phone-shopped, I was prepared to dislike it, but it ended up on my short list. It just didn't have some of the features I needed to be practical so I ruled it out. Fun, though.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 10:48 AM

My wife got an analog cell-phone in 1997. It's in a museum now or something. It was really cool, but a five minute call from the front lawn of Silver Lake lodge in the Black Hills cost about $14 back in 1998. Enough of that.

We've gone through about 4 or 5 permutations along the way, with Verizon. My oldest son lusts after "my" cell phone, that usually sits on the kitchen counter, because frankly, I hate cell phones. It's a picture phone and has a raft full of pictures of the dog and the neighbor's old Ford GT40.
I can't believe I pay for all this stuff.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 24, 2008 10:58 AM

I never wanted a fancy phone until I was out with my Ukranian friend at this belly dancing emporium and she was showing me all the neat things it did.

I was bitten.

She took the greatest photos of us with it, and I thought of all the times I've wished I had my camera, and didn't. My new phone takes great photos and even plays music. So weird. And I love the touchscreen. I am an interface geek, so that was huge when I was comparing phones.

Last year when I was traveling a lot on weekends, it just seemed neat to always have a good quality camera handy, and also be able to look up local events. I'm amazed at how many hotels still charge for Internet access. So annoying in this day and age.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 11:03 AM

Cell tower hand-of first surfaced in 1983 by Motorola's first generation of cell phone. As I recall it was mostly for the military and law enforcement but was available to those who could afford it and needed it. That was when transmission went from microwave to radio.

Posted by: vet66 at April 24, 2008 11:05 AM

My work required pagers almost 30 years ago, and cell phones were encouraged with discounts through corporate vendor deals and expense account write offs, sheesh... 10, maybe 15 years ago.

I have a bag of 'em from old and big as a brick moto's, through cdma nokia's, to varying models of the GSM variant and a family plan with silly quantities of minutes for the yakaholics among us. Walkin' Boss and my youngest(who's still on the plan even though she's out of the house) use 99% of the plan minutes.

As for me, after being on call almost non-stop for 30 years, I'm with Grim. I have little use for em, other than to let Walkin' Boss know that I'm shakin' the bush, when she calls to check.

Posted by: bthun at April 24, 2008 11:22 AM

My 2¢ worth:

When did I first get a cellphone? 2004, as a method of emergency communication should I be stranded roadside on a lonely stretch of interstate. I then found it was a convenient second phone line (I was still on dial-up in those days). Had one ever since. It's my emergency comm-unit when I'm not home but I might need to call somebody for some reason.

But that's all it is. I don't use it as a camera, a browser, an email client, a calculator, a PDA, or anything else. It's a PHONE. Period. Nor do I let it become a tyrant. If it's not actively in use, it's turned off. I turn it on once or twice a day to check for messages.

Posted by: wolfwalker at April 24, 2008 11:34 AM

Yeah, for the same space in my pocket, I can carry a really good camera. :)

I do have an emergency backup plan for being stranded on a lonely stretch of highway, though. I call it "boots."

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 11:37 AM

Well, for whatever it may be worth, my cell phone has been turned off for 4 or 5 days now :p

And it is smaller than my digital camera. I'd prefer not to have to carry two pieces of equipment. And unlike Grim, walking down a deserted stretch of highway has limited attractions for a woman alone.

I used not to worry about that sort of thing. Just before the Unit deployed though, I was driving home from work in the late afternoon and ran into a freak snowstorm. I ended up, after a very hairy 2 mile drive through snow so thick I couldn't see except (barely) by rolling the window down and sticking my head outside, having to abandon my car at the nearest safe point where it wouldn't get rear ended by one of the morons behind me and hoofing it in the dark, in spike heeled boots about 3/4 of a mile to the liquor store to call my husband....

...on someone else's cell phone.

Yeah. Technology has its uses.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 11:44 AM

"... there aren't many people in her address book."
I seem to recall an admission that *someone* couldn't figure out how to add people.

"But she just purchased her first smart phone and she's terribly excited about it."
Enough to learn how to add people to your address book?

"Welcome to the dark side."
Hey! That's my line.
0>:~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 24, 2008 11:47 AM

Ppppphhhhhtttthhhh.

I put you in there a long time ago, smarty pants.

It's already caused me massive problems since *someone* has the same first name as a close family member and I keep getting them confused :p

How am I expected to drive, dial the phone, and put make up on at the same time when I have similar-looking entries in my address book? EH????

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 11:56 AM

You left out "drive like a bat outta hell, dial the phone, put on makeup, and scare the crap out of friend you are calling all at the same time."

Don't get me started on crackberrys either..
Husband has one and I HATE IT!!!!

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 24, 2008 12:08 PM

"...I keep getting them confused :p"
You make that sound like something unusual, or at the very least, difficult to accomplish.

"How am I expected to drive, dial the phone, and put make up on at the same time when I have similar-looking entries in my address book?"
Again, you make this sound like a difficult thing to do....I guess *some* people just aren't as "gifted" as others. (Granted, I'd have to replace the "putting on make-up" part with eating, listening to SWHNOB and safely navigating Coliformico traffic.)

Posted by: DL Sly at April 24, 2008 12:13 PM

I got mine in mid-2004. Usually have it shut off because it's mainly for me to call out when I'm not home, not for people to reach me when I'm not home.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at April 24, 2008 12:19 PM

"...and scare the crap out of friend you are calling all at the same time."

Smoochies :) Admit it. You still like me.

Heh. Actually I have an excellent driving record :p I'm a polite driver, too. My insurance company loves me.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 12:23 PM

"...about 3/4 of a mile..."

Bah! It was further than that to the DFAC. :)

"...walking down a deserted stretch of highway has limited attractions for a woman alone."

There's another piece of technology meant to address that problem. Even if you don't mean to go hiking, it supplements the cell phone in keeping you safe while you're waiting at the car.

Oh, right. Maryland. We'll just wish you the best of good luck, then.

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 12:29 PM

"Smoochies :)"
Oh ick! Mom!! She's touching me!

"Admit it. You still like me."
Hey, I wrote a poem for you. What more do you want?

I have an excellent driving record, too, btw. And I'm polite. I've got a *grin* on my face when I flip people off.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 24, 2008 12:31 PM

Bah! It was further than that to the DFAC. :)

Grim darlin'

When you've walked 3/4 of a mile in my spike-heeled boots, we'll talk :p

I love a pretty shoe (or boot). But *dang*. Why do they have to be so uncomfortable!

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 12:37 PM

First cellphone: '98, or so. Big old thing that came in a bag and took up half the passenger seat in the car...
Now my little-palm-centro-smartphone is my *only* phone (since I dropped the landline last year)and I refer to it as "my brain".

Posted by: laurie at April 24, 2008 12:43 PM

"I've got a *grin* on my face when I flip people off."
Heheh...

Hmmm wait one second... DL Sly, remember the road rage lunatic who was in the news the other day? That was not you who provoked the maroon to the point of shooting himself in the stomach was it? If it was, I owe you more beer!

And the marksman gets an honorable mention in the quarterly Darwin Awards listings, with a Frothing Buffoon Meritorious badge to super glue onto the abdominal scar. =8^}

Posted by: bt_don't-leave-home-without-it...a .357 that is-hun at April 24, 2008 12:47 PM

My new phone takes great photos and even plays music.

*sigh*

A perfectly good straight line, tubed. But I promised you a couple of snark-free months...

Posted by: BillT at April 24, 2008 12:47 PM

I play little counting games on the drive to work. I've been driving the same stretch of highway for about 17 years now, so any little diversion that prevents insanity is good.

Number 1: More women than men talk on cell phones and drive. They also might be talking and putting on make-up, too. Last week I passed three cars in a row with a woman talking on the cell phone. Yikes. :D

Number 2: More people (usually those women people, too) are on their cell phones on the afternoon drive than on the morning drive.

Ya know, if big cities have those "HOV" lanes, they should also have a "cell phone" lane, so all those people on their cells can have accidents together. :)

I usually drive about 75-85 mph on the commute to work (the highway part, not in the school zone), and those cell phone-driving people really irritate me when they make me slow down.

Other observations:
Salesmen love cell phones.
European salesmen really love cell phones.
Internet capable cell phones can become useless if you get too much spam.
Cell phones are more popular in Europe because it so hard to drill holes for land lines in 150 year old buildings. My neighbor who works for Sprint told me that.
Cell phones are REALLY popular in China because the land lines are so bad (relatively speaking).

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 24, 2008 12:47 PM

"That was not you who provoked the maroon to the point of shooting himself in the stomach was it?"
I plead a fifth....err, the fifth. Yeah,yeah, that's what I meant to say.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 24, 2008 12:58 PM

"When you've walked 3/4 of a mile in my spike-heeled boots, we'll talk :p"

I've walked further in high-heeled cowboy boots, following bad behavior by a certain gelding I could name. :)

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 01:10 PM

I know that I'm showing my age here, but for the longest time I wore a *gasp* beeper. You remeber beepers, don't you? Those annoying little things about the size of a pack of cigarettes that went "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP" every few minutes to let you know that somebody somewhere desparately needed to speak with you about some terribly important matter, such as "Do you know where I put my keys?" I even remember being issued my first beeper. I had just been promoted to the very important position of "fly your sorry ass all over the country every day and bring back money" which required that I be in constant communication with key accounts who had lost their keys. My first response when my new boss slid the beeper over the desk was to drop it into the glass of ice tea that I'd just been served. Thataway spd! Be bold! Show 'em that you're nobody's lackey! Without batting an eye, the boss reached down into his desk and produced another one. "The next one comes out of your paycheck," he said. I clipped the little bastard onto my belt and slunk off to the airport a beaten man. Turns out that I wasn't the first guy to be served ice tea, or to drown a beeper in it, either.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 24, 2008 01:20 PM

My daddy had a cell phone when he worked for the Gas Company back in the mid-to-late 80s. I got my first one when MacGyver went to Basic in '98. We no longer have a land line. I see no point.

Currently I have a Katana (Sprint's version of the Razor) and I love it. Can't say I'd want a Crackberry. Friend of ours at church has one and he's attached to that thing 24/7. I'm attached to this damn computer too much as it is.

Posted by: Devil in search of trouble at April 24, 2008 01:28 PM

"... following bad behavior by a certain gelding I could name."
Yeah, they tend to get a little persnickety when their impromptu La-A-Boy ups and walks away on them.

0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 24, 2008 01:30 PM

"...I know that I'm showing my age here, but for the longest time I wore a *gasp* beeper..."

I had one of those when I worked for the detective agency. I'm glad to see the back of that concept, too.

"...and walks away on them."

Not this one. It was my fault, though: I trusted him. I told him he could graze while I did some brush clearing. We'd worked together for quite a while, and I knew he was a lazy beast, so I thought it would work out just fine.

Heh.

About ten seconds after I started off, he realized he wasn't tied, and nearly ran me down on his way back to the barn.

Lesson learned: Horses can't be trusted.

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 01:39 PM

I've had a cell phone, in a variety of flavors, since 1995. I avoid it like the plague when I can.

A cool piece of tech I use when I'm riding the backcountry, is SPOT. You hit the OK button and it ties into the GPS network and sends a pre-programmed e-mail with co-ordinates to your friends. You can also use it in 911 mode.

Grim, you ever trusted them? I always assume mine are actively plotting against me.

Posted by: Allen at April 24, 2008 01:49 PM

"Grim, you ever trusted them? I always assume mine are actively plotting against me."

It was a flaw in myself that came from having grown up with dogs, but come late to horses.

Dogs go with steel in my list of things that, as Conan's father put it: "This, you can trust."

Horses... well, I had thought so at first. :)

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 02:13 PM

I never had a beeper.

I did refuse to get a cell phone the first few times, though.

My favorite thing about the Unit's crackberry is when he has it set on 'vibrate'. He makes the best face when I tell him his Vibrator is calling :p

You men don't have a very good sense of humor at all.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 02:35 PM

I would never trust something that kept sitting on me.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 02:35 PM

I would never trust something that kept sitting on me.

That would make a pretty good campaign slogan.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 24, 2008 02:39 PM

I don't know, Spd: I think McCain already has a good slogan.

Posted by: Grim at April 24, 2008 02:44 PM

Especially if you added an *h* in there....

Posted by: DL Sly at April 24, 2008 02:44 PM

I hear there is a U-Pick-It Blackberry Patch at the White House...

Didn't get my first cell until ten years ago. I have had one for the past six years.

Posted by: Cricket at April 24, 2008 03:11 PM

A crackberry, eh.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 24, 2008 04:21 PM

Having had a "beeper" (pager) for almost 30 years you really love turning the thing off - and - it ALWAYS went off just when you had gotten on the freeway or were far away from a phone. So.. you get a cellphone (motorola Brick) and later you add a Palm to keep your patient list etc. Finally you get a (not-so)smart phone and cut the crap down to one. Still the best part is turning the d... thing OFF whenever you can get away with it.

So, cellphone since late 80ies, pager since 1972, Palm since early nineties and Treo for 2 years. Never use it while driving, rarely for non-business and I have never used my plans allotted minutes.

I will get an iPhone as soon as a couple of programs I need are available and I am looking forward to slip the surly bond sometime. Hell is a place where you have a device glued to you and always on. Heaven is no phone, a good library, enough single malt and no hangovers.

peace

Hejde

Posted by: Hejde at April 24, 2008 05:25 PM

That's what I just bought: a Treo.

I tried everything else and the Treo just won hands down. The only other one I liked was the iPhone, but that didn't have half the functionality of the Treo.

I found the Blackberry very nonintuitive. Didn't like the OS at all. The Treo I picked up in the store, and it was easy to use from the get-go. I kept reading reviews, and the biggest hit on it was the size, but the 755p isn't really much bigger than the Blackberry. For someone like me who is going to be putting it in a purse vs a pants pocket, size wasn't an issue anyway.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 24, 2008 05:47 PM

For someone like me ... size wasn't an issue anyway.

*suffering severe snark withdrawal in grim silence*

Posted by: BillT at April 25, 2008 09:19 AM

For someone like me ... size wasn't an issue anyway.

*suffering severe snark withdrawal in grim silence*
"

And not a single hope dawns in deepest, darkest, tiniest Congo remark, yet... =8^}

Posted by: bthun at April 25, 2008 10:29 AM

I got my first cellphone about 5 years ago, when I came home from an evening out to find six messages from my daughter on the answering machine, each more frantic than the prior one, until the last one, which was, "It's okay; Mom came home."

The next weekend I had her, I went out and got one of those "two-for-one" cellphone deals. She had hers programmed with custom ringtones and the like, and was texting like mad before we got home.

Until she went onto her own contract last year, she was the only reason I ever reached my plan minutes. I'm considering going cell-only and getting rid of my landline now, though.

Posted by: wheels at April 27, 2008 03:18 PM

I don't have a cell phone. Where would I carry it?

Posted by: Man Riding Unicycle Naked at April 28, 2008 12:50 PM

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