4/14/12

The Dead Phone Chronicles: Part 3

[Previously, on The Dead Phone Chronicles]

Last week while we were at Downtown Disney I had my laptop stowed away for most of the time. Without a phone, it was odd not getting a constant stream of information. But at the same time, I was having fun and hanging out with two of the best friends I have. I sometimes think about the "old days" when phones were tethered to a line and associated with a single location. They were sometimes used as a means to signal friends to meet up at another place to talk and hang out there. Now more than ever, however, phones are used as the method of hang-out. As I'm sure Google is all-too-aware.

This week we got a new interface for Google+. The features in this interface were nothing new, but the "prettification" that came around this week goes a long way toward drawing new users and holding on to old ones. Even the Hangouts feature got a face-lift and added effects such as a pirate hat, various mustaches and more. But what I've always found impressive with Hangouts is the fact that it works seamlessly with the Google+ app for Android. Back when I had an iPhone, I never understood why Facetime only worked phone-to-phone and wasn't at least paired up with Apple's own iChat. Google must have thought the same thing, because it wasn't long after Google+ came out that they decided to connect computer users to phone users using Hangouts. In my mind, this is just one of the many things that puts Google out in front of Apple.
Can't we all just get along?
Through the rest of the week I found that I actually spent a lot more time outside the house than I thought I did. And on top of that, I didn't have Zack's phone to share Internet with. See, his Nokia Lumia caught a bug (along with all the Lumias in that line) where the data connection shut down and never got back up. If he wanted to use the Internet he was stuck with wi-fi. Which I have also been all along. I haven't dropped the money to get a month of data for my Chromebook yet. I want to hold off on that as much as possible so I can save as much money as possible for my new phone. So I've been trying to stick to the hot-spots: the Starbucks, Panera Breads, McDonald's etc. Just yesterday I went to meet one of Zack's friends at Tampa Ale House and was pleased to discover they had free wi-fi.

So it all comes back full circle to the old days when a phone connection was tied to a particular location. I guess that's where I'm at now. I can't very easily pull my laptop out while on the road. I have to wait until I'm sitting down at a place that will cater to my data needs. It could be worse. I could have to access Twitter through a land-line, voice-synthesized system.
Or I could have this abomination.
This week I stowed away another $50 for my phone. I was expecting my tax return to come in this week, but the government has failed me! Meh. It'll come in soon enough. Until then... I wait...

Saved so far: $100; 33.33% of $300 goal.

[Read part 4]