Sometimes it takes the strangest convegences to move you forward with technology. I bought an iPhone over the weekend, but may not have if not for a mysterious hardware failure, running over a garbage can and another college’s apparently inept sports information office.
Hardware failure: I flipped open my old cellphone on Friday and the display was dark with just a couple of pinpricks of light. This clearly was not good.
Garbage can: The women’s hockey coach and I split trash service, and the garbage guys throw the can into my driveway when done. On Wednesday, while dealing with a fresh snowfall, I thought I could cut an angle around the can. I couldn’t. It wedged under the vehicle, requiring some back and forth to get it out, and my car still smells of burning plastic.
Sports (lack of) information: The aforemetioned women’s hockey team, for which I’m a faculty mentor/big fan, would clinch a playoff spot on Friday night if Chatham lost at Neumann. In The Raven later that night, I borrowed the bro’s iPhone to keep checking collegehockeystats.net to see if the Lakers could seize the historic moment. Except that Neumann wasn’t getting the information online, so I waited and refreshed, over and over.
While waiting for the score (Chatham lost, Oswego made the playoffs), my brother gave an impressive sales pitch for the iPhone, since I needed a new phone anyway. Sure, the AT&T data package would be more expensive than the Sprint cell service, but the ability to access the Internet anywhere offers a huge upside. True, I own an iTouch, but that’s at the mercy of WiFi availability, and I don’t live in the most wireless-enabled area. The idea of converging so many useful functions into one device seemed quite compelling.
The garbage can comes into the equation because buying a replacement meant I had to drive to the Oswego Lowe’s (I’m still boycotting Wal-Mart) Saturday morning, and in the same plaza sits an AT&T store offering iPhones and related services. I was probably the guy’s easiest sale that day because I had done my homework … all I really needed to do was get in the door.
Paying the $299 for TheHip, as I call the new 16GB iPhone, wasn’t as much of a consideration as the data plan. The cheapest available is $69.99 per month, plus $5 for unlimited text … plus taxes and fees take it to the north side of $90/month. My initial rationalization is that I paid off my SUV early and don’t have that monthly payment, and could probably ditch the $19.99/month for my Dreamscape email/Web hosting … so many free options exist now.
While I like the apps (which I had with my iTouch), the coolest thing right now is the address book. I can put in friends’ cellphone numbers and email addresses and can choose to either make a call, text message or email all from one device. Consider me a sucker for convenience.
I have to say one moment Monday morning was cool too. Instead of putting a cellphone in one pocket and the iTouch in another, I just grabbed one device. Somehow things felt … simplified. Calming, even. However strange the path to the iPhone, that feeling of convergence seems priceless.