Saturday, which was a perfectly lovely and sunny day, I had to run out to the Alltel store on Alpine Avenue to buy us two new phones. No, the pair of Motorola V60i cell phones we bought in January 2003 still work fine, thank you very much. But back in November we got a letter from Alltel informing us that our phones would have to be replaced by 31 March 2008. Seems the FCC is taking back some frequencies from the cell phone providers, bands used for analog service and the V60i's handle both digital and analog. Can't have them roaming and broadcasting on radio frequencies no longer assigned to them. Alltel's been our case for over a year to get new cell phones anyway, because the V60i doesn't have built-in GPS which now that we have Enhanced 9-1-1, is actually useful to the emergency services people.
Net result, the V60i's are over five years old, maybe it's time to replace them. Then again, my first Motorola MicroTAC lasted around eight years or so until I was unable to find a decent battery for it. (grin) The Alltel guys have such fun trying to figure out our ancient rate plans.
In With The New
Really, all we need are cellphones. We don't need a helluva lot of other beeps and whistles. The built-in camera, okay, that can be handy. But we are not going to be downloading ring tones, games, etc. to our phones.
Then why a RAZR? It's thinner, wider and longer than the V60i -- which actually makes it easier to hold. Color screen is a lot brighter. And it holds some 500 phone numbers, not 99. Indeed, I have, er had, nearly 99 numbers in my old V60i, and they had a lovely nest of wires hooked up to a PC which allowed them to dump everything from V60i to RAZR V3a.
Er, Not Quite
While it is true I did not have to rekey every single entry, I did find that "standards" have apparently changed. On my MicroTAC, Speed Dial #1 was hardwired for 9-1-1. On my V60i, I had to set Speed Dial #1 to 9-1-1, it wanted to make it Voicemail. And on the RAZR, because Speed Dial #1 was set to Voicemail, then (a) every entry in my V60i's contact list got the wrong Speed Dial number and (b) when it copied the contract list, it just copied the list, not the Speed Dial numbers, so there were no gaps in the list.
I had to sit there with V60i in my left hand and RAZR in my right and thumb through a lot of menus to manually synchronize the Speed Dial numbers, so that when I called my parents this afternoon, I actually got them instead of some emergency number at Western Michigan University.
I hate it when "easy to use" and "easy to upgrade" technology clearly isn't. It's just sloppy programming and sloppy attention to details.
Because we were required to get new phones, we got nice new ones without any change in our current rate plan, which is actually a saving over we'd probably get set up with if we were starting from scratch. Since we haven't banged our heads on our current minutes allotments, I think we're good. (grin)
UPDATE: Dead photos updated 1-10-2015.