November 25, 2009

Cell phone is dying

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My cell phone is dying a long, slow, painful death of the abused electronics kind. The phone has been to the barn, through dust and cat hair, riding in the rain, and all manner of abuse. It’s lasted almost three years — pretty good for a little touch phone with a battery back that comes off if you look at it wrong. It’s a good little cell phone: Motorola Ming A1200 running Monta Vista linux.

Over this summer, the phone started randomly shutting off, rebooting (and then not coming back up unless the battery was removed), and dropping calls. Nope, it’s not the signal, it’s the poor abused phone. It just wasn’t meant to take the kind of abuse I put cell phones through.

I’m looking at getting a Nokia N900, running Maemo (linux OS for cell phones). It’s an unlocked phone. Pretty, pretty phone: based upon Nokia’s line of internet tablets, so this phone has some power behind it. Multiple desktops, 32GB storage built in (plus a memory card slot), and a 5 MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Nice keyboard, good screen, and real email/browser capabilities. Pretty.

No carrier subsidy so it’s going to cost me more than a regular phone on a cell phone plan. However, I like having access to a phone’s full capabilities without having features locked down by a cell phone company. I have waited months to see if T-Mobile is going to offer this phone on one of their contracts. The N900 carries T-Mobile’s 3G broadband frequency, so you’d think T-Mobile would carry the phone.

The N900, of course, costs just under as much as the used saddle I bought for Isis last week. It will be another month before I can afford anything. I just hope the Ming makes it through another month or two. (Unlikely considering this past week the phone quit recognizing the memory card.)

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4 Comments

  • What is it with old motorolas and lockups. I was pushing my luck with mine and ended up losing EVERY contact I had. I feel disoriented. Did not realize how dependent I had become on certain phone numbers being in my phone. I ended up with an LG CF360 and am really displeased with it at the moment. I have until Dec 15th to trade it on a different phone. I’m considering the iPhone.

    What wonderful plugin are you using on your log in screen that connects with fb and others?

    • I’m not sure what it is with Motorolas… I’ve loved my Ming. It looks like a little Star Trek Communicator: flip open touch phone, smokey glass cover… really snazzy. BUT… like your phone it’s now giving bizarre malfunctions. I’m going to save off my contacts tonight (since the backup on the memory card is no longer accessible).

      Do you still have my contact info or should I resend it?

      I had an LG VX9800 for a little while when I was on Verizon. Couldn’t stand Verizon’s policy of charging you for every stupid little application, like email program “subscription” at $2/month. Every other phone I had before that included an email application. I started using only unlocked phones after that.

      You should check out the N900. Sweet phone… Dell is having a sale on themr right now: $100 off, plus another 20% off if you go through Bing. Brings the price of the phone down to about $350 (including Nokia’s mail-in rebate).

      Unfortunately, Dell seems to think the ship date will be 6+ weeks out. THAT sucks. I ordered my phone yesterday. Ship date is in February (!!). People on the Maemo and T-Mobile forums have said that they ordered from Dell and have gotten shipping notifications even though their delivery date wasn’t supposed to be until some time next year.

      Oh, the plugin I’m using is called Gigya Socialize: http://gigya.com/. It lets you allow people to access your site using their Facebook, Google, etc., accounts.

  • Gigya looks great! And yes, I’m rebuilding all my contacts because I’d fallen into the habit of keeping everything in the phone and not being a smart phone I had not backup. I’d periodically replace my phone and just have customer service move the contact info. Not practicing what I preach with regards to protecting data.

  • If you use Gigya, I’d like to hear what you think about it.

    I’ll send you my contact info then. I have to back up my contacts, too.

    I cancelled my Dell order and went with Nokia instead. Slightly more expensive, but the phone will be here on Tuesday. 🙂

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