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Joining the modern world of communication.

After resisting as long as I could, I finally FINALLY made the move to a smartphone. Like the rest of the people I know, I can now communicate without ever having to call or receive calls. (Took me hours just to figure out how to answer a call, in fact.) Heck, my new phone even comes with a voice-to-text feature, which is hilarious but interesting. Leave me a voice message and I'll see a text version of it that bears at least some relation to the words you spoke....

Here it is, a Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G, through CREDO long distance:

I kinda like the recursive nature of this shot: The phone is in the login screen, which uses face recognition (failed here because of the camera in front of my face), against a poster of a Saturn V rocket booster diagram. This replaces my Sanyo Katana phone, which hasn't rung consistently for months:

That was the hot thing in 2005 when I got it. I have an unhealthy relationship with that thing, what with its having survived two trips through the washer, one through the dryer, a night frozen in a parking-lot puddle, another night in muck that shall go unspoken beneath a bar's porch, countless drops - including a couple from my pocket at scooter speed, and so on. The vibrate function still works (mostly), and I can still call out just fine, but texting was a giant PITA (can you say tap three times and wait two seconds before entering the next letter? I can, and will not again), and it seldom let me know someone was calling.

End of an era. I'm sad about this, really. I mean, the poor little thing just kept going, despite all the abuse it survived. Notice how the photo, above, was taken atop my heavy bag? Fitting. And that was from a year ago; you should see it now, with part of a flamed Hot Rodding Magazine sticker holding the battery-cover in place.

Goodbye, sweet Katana, you have served me well. *sigh*

Anyhow, now you may feel free to text me without worrying about wearing out my fingertips. Or even call, now that I figured out how to answer ;-)



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 29th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
w00t, texting! Welcome to the 21st century - I think you're going to like it here.
Aug. 29th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
I've been texting whenever I had to for a while now on the old Katana, but having a phone made for it is bliss. Also, having the internet in the palm of my hand is awesome. Using phone wireless to to internet is tedious, but it also has wireless, so it's almost as functional (though much tinier) as my tablet.
Aug. 29th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but I knew you didn't like texting on your old phone. Now I can text you without the customary twinge of guilt!

Smartphones are great! I was a skeptic for a while, but I'm a full-blown convert now.
Aug. 29th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Very kind of you!
Aug. 29th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
I recommend Go Powermaster to boost battery performance. I have one, and I have some problems with the battery life. Out of the box, the phone with all the bells and whistles running, is good for about 8 hours. The plug and mini-usb rapidly becomes something you carry in your pocket. I am constantly looking for power sources and it's tethered to my computer all day at work.

With the max power savings from the Powermaster, I get maybe 52 hours.

Aug. 29th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
Is that an application?
Aug. 31st, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
It was free, but they give you opportunities to buy other stuff from them. They also have a desktop replacement that allows you to put all sorts of things into folders on the desktop. I have one folder that holds my Fire/EMT programs [placard translation, protocols, meds interaction software], and folders where I can put direct dials to phone numbers. Just push the button and the phone dials to that number. Better than speed dial.

They also have an alternative keyboard that works OK, too.

Aug. 29th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
This replaces my Sanyo Katana phone, which hasn't rung consistently for months well over a year.

Fixed that for you.
Aug. 29th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
Hm, that long? *yikes*

I'm a little afraid of what this means for how much more available I'm about to become....

(He says, cleverly having left the phone at home so as not to be distracted at work.)
Aug. 29th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
You can always, you know, not answer when it rings.
Aug. 29th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
My long-lived (five years? six years?) Samsung FlipShot finally flipped itself into two pieces a few weeks ago, but i couldn't make the leap like you did. I just replaced it with another new-in-box FlipShot off of ebay. I'm much faster, actually, (after this many years) txting (which is pretty much my primary communication method) on the regular phone numerical pad than I am on, say, the on screen keyboard on Jet or Jim's cell phone. Too big and gangly for me - it's all about speedy thumb! :) (and you don't have to wait the two seconds to use the same number for an additional letter if you just arrow to the right!).

The only reason i considered switching to a smartphone was for the better camera which is what I actually use my phone for the most. My FlipShot was teh shit as far as camera when it came out, but nowadays its little 3mp v. the 8mp on most smartphones is sad. But I can't make the switch to a phone too big to put down my boot! Maybe when the next droid razr comes out (which will probably be soon since it just cleared fcc), because it will have an even better camera.

Edited at 2012-08-29 09:00 pm (UTC)
Aug. 29th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my old phone took photos, but I have no idea how to get them off that phone. The new one? Data plan! Only $30/month more. Also has wireless internet access, which is WAY faster for sending stuff like that, so I expect I'll be taking lots more photos with my phone now.

Speaking of photos, smartphones have tons of applications to download that enhance photography, and I fully intend to try these out. At the Venus transit viewing last spring, a guy took a 360-degree panorama of my telescope and the field around by simply shooting all the way around and then using an app to stitch them into a single shot. COOL BEANZ.
Aug. 29th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my phone already does panorama shots as one of its features/selectable shot styles - no extra app needed! :P Sending/uploading pictures via SMS does not seem to me any slower than via wireless internet. Mobile uploads of photos are pretty much my main communication method on social media.

I suppose I'd lean more toward a smart phone if i didn't have a netbook. But, I'm not one of those people who has to be online all the time or even most of the time for fun (to differentiate from 'for work') so I'm fine with the netbook and just bring that with me if i'm going to be somewhere i know I'll want internet for an extended time. So, I'd probably never be without that again, if I could help it (be without the ability to mobile internet). But for my phone ... I'm not willing to give up tiny size in order to check facebook, or my email, or whatever. (and like you mentioned above, my phone also has limited internet capabilities already so I could check a movie time or whatever, if I had to.) When they make a smartphone the size of my flip phone that I can slip into my boot and not have to carry, I'm in*! :)

**or, as i said, when the RAZR HD comes out, because I might be swayed big time by the 13 megapixel camera...
Aug. 29th, 2012 11:47 pm (UTC)
but I have no idea how to get them off that phone

Yeah, mine is set up to save photos straight to the memory card so if I want them off off (other than txting them somewhere, like off for archiving and/or printing and/or editing and/or etc.) then I just pop the card out, pop it in the card reader and bam!
Aug. 29th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Caveat.. the screens are fragile compared to shoving the phone into your pocket. I highly suggest an Otterbox.. pricey, but cheaper than a broken screen.
Jbird broke his screen two days after he got his phone, and is now on a temp go-phone until it comes back; estimated time of delivery, 3-4 weeks. :(
Apps! Apps rule! Once you get used to it, Swype is da shiznitz for texting.. and you can now have a fancy lil voice assistant, too. I'm testing them out on mine right now.. Assistant was first, now Skyvi is on.
Aug. 29th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
I tried the Swype tool, but so far it introduces way too many errors. The standard predictive typing is easy to train on the Samsung Keyboard tool, and it's learning the words I frequently use.

The first app I downloaded was the Google Sky Map, of course! Super-useful and cool; I've considered making a mount to put the phone (or tablet) onto my telescope to help point at astro-objects!

DEFINITELY going to get a protective cover and screen guard, as I got for my tablet. That one's just rubber, but protects the device if dropped without making it too much thicker.
Aug. 30th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
I love Sky Map!
Swype gets smarter the more you use it, plus there are a few tips and setting changes that help.
Have you checked out a forum on it yet? I've found lots of interesting stuff that the manual doesn't mention on them.
Aug. 30th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links!
Aug. 30th, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. I'm glad you got such a super phone for your foray into smartphone life.

Oh! and BitPim can get your photos off your old phone with a USB cord.

Edited at 2012-08-30 06:01 pm (UTC)
Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:29 am (UTC)
I know. My poor, loyal phone lasted four years, but then the buttons stick and I upgrade. Plus, bought a Kindle (and love it). Guilt, guilt, guilt.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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