Monday, November 30, 2009

How amazing is my new Blackberry?

Today, I got my first Blackberry. It's an 8530 with the unlimited data plan. Though I understand how young people are basically growing up with these mobile do-everything phones, what they may consider commonplace technology is absolutely incredible to me.

For the first 20 minutes, I had a difficult time figuring out how to navigate the applications, set up contacts, and save my email settings. After that, I settled in. For the past three hours, I have been surfing the Web, reading and sending email, calling people, checking out the camera with video capability, personalizing the wallpaper, and accessing only a few of the many data apps. I can't believe how easy it is to do all this from a single device right in the palm of my hand.

Many years ago, I worked for a mobile communications company selling two-way radios, pagers, answering services and yes - cell phones. I remember Cellular One being of the three most competitive service providers. I also remember the Fujitsu - it was the smallest cell phone at the time with a flip cover. It cost $795 to own, and then of course there were the airtime plans: $24.95 per month with 20 free minutes and then 45 cents per minute, $34.95 per month at 30 cents per minute, and I believe it was $59.95 for 200 free minutes and 10 cents per minute thereafter. In any case, unlimited airtime plans were unheard of. Many regions did not have service so there would be frequent service outages whenever you traveled.

My mother's cell phone installed in her car was considered top technology. I was slightly more fortunate. Since I was after all a cell phone salesman, I won a phone in a sales contest. The phone was a Motorola. It was long, narrow, and thick with a flat number pad and a foldout plastic antenna. Honestly, it was like holding a brick sideways up to your ear. And trust me, I had the envy of the sales force for winning second place in sales that month. I left the cell phone industry in 1994. How times have changed!

As they say, today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today is no exception for me. Knowing now what a Blackberry can do, I can't imagine living a single day without one.

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