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Film & Animation
Huntington NY

Cellular Alzheimers

Adam Richlin on Monday, 25 June 2007. Posted in Student Life

My cell phone has Alzheimers.


I swear.


In the winter of last year, I lost my phone and asked my dad for a replacement. He took a Treo 600 he had from work that a salesman didn't want and gave it to me. Right from the start, it was haunted (which was the salesman's problem with it as well). When I left it alone on a table, it would input random numbers and start dialing all sorts of wierd places. There were a number of times I stared in confusion at my outgoing call log. Scary, yes.


I finally figured out that it was a little glitch in the edge of the touchscreen matrix that was making it feel phantom fingerpresses. I fixed the problem in february, and it worked fine for a while.


Then two weeks ago, more odd traits started showing up. The battery would drain in a day, and it would perpetually drop calls. I tried charging it, resetting the home location*, etc... nothing worked. After a couple battery-dying days, the little reserve battery in the phone died and it lost all my contacts. From then on, battery life dwindled and it kept losing all of my contacts routinely. 


See? My cell phone has the major traits of human Alzheimers.

I think its amusing now, but it was a royal (*@#% when I had it. At one point I had left my office in NYC and taken a taxi to a nearby company a couple miles away. I needed call home to the office, but my cell phone had lost the number. Infuriation.


On saturday I finally got a chance to go out and get a new one. I scrounged up some cash and took a trip to Verizon. (I like Verizon because they have towers in the center of campus. I can get a signal everywhere, including the elevators) I found this one that I liked: 



And I got away with it for only $100. The price had dropped a lot because the phone is a year and a half old, but thats fine with me. Its wonderfully intuitive and has a slide-out keyboard that amuses me endlessly. The only thing that bothers me is that it's so slow to load and refresh the screen. Yet the plusses still outweigh the minuses.


I found out it has wifi, so I can just connect to whatever wireless access points are around without having to pay for the data service. Wahoo!


I was hanging out with a friend of mine, Zach, who is much more tech savy than I. He showed me how I can control his playlist on his desktop through my cell phone's wifi. I was astounded!

Apparently he has a linux program "mpd" running that offers a web interface for the media player that I can then access and control in real time. It has a password, but thankfully he saved his in my phone. 


I can harass him any time I want! 


So thats Adam's life at the moment. Tune in again next week!



* For those that dont know, with Verizon you can call *228 (then 2 on the menu) to have it recenter your cell usage to the area you are in so you get stronger signals. Wherever you are using your phone most- work, home, etc. call *228 and it will tell the towers to be more receptive to your signal when you are in there area. It works, trust me!