Editor's Blog: Why Roman Wants an iPhone

Editor's Blog: Why Roman Wants an iPhone


I plan to buy an iPhone when it's available. Thre are a myriad of reasons why I want it, from the Internet connectivity and Mac compatibility to the oversized-screen iPod features. (I've had about the 10 minutes of hands-on with the iPhone - no, I'm not as important as other media members who got more time with the iPhone.)


But the main reason why I want an iPhone: My current mobile phone is a piece of crap. Here it is.


Buh-bye T68i. Hello, iPhone.


It's a Sony Ericsson T68i. It's over five years old, which is about 143 in mobile phone years. People have laughed at the vintage of my phone - I might as well be using a DynaTac. It actually isn't a bad phone. I just haven't taken good care of it. (I also used to carry around a Palm V PDA, but after a couple of years, it mysteriously stopped working.)


My phone has certainly had a tough five years. As you can see, the buttons are worn out. The volume switch snapped off three years ago. There's a good amount of dust inside the LCD (how the dust got in there, I don't know). A couple of years ago, my son (then two years old) got a hold of my phone, and it suddenly had “A 11” posted in the middle of the screen. I have no idea what this means, and I’ve never been able to deactivate it (I lost the manual a while ago).


To top it off, the "0" button is broken - if you keep pressing the "0" button, you eventually get it to register. During Mac Expo, I had to call a PR person whose phone number was something like 415-000-0000. I got a blister on my thumb from dialing that number.


Why have I held on to this phone for so long? I like to run things into the ground before it needs to be replaced. For example, I drive a 1994 Ford Explorer with over 170,000 miles on it. Only recently have I started to have age-related problems with it; otherwise, it's been very reliable. Another example: My household still uses a seven-year-old Sawtooth Power Macintosh G4. For basic word processing, Web, and email, it works just fine, especially with its Radius PrecisionView 17SR CRT display.


It’s time to let go of my phone (and I promise to take better care of my new one). It’s tempting to wait for iPhone 2.0, which will probably have 3G support - but isn’t there always something better around the corner? It’s the nature of technology, and you can get caught up in the perpetual cycle of waiting for the next best thing and never ever get anything.


I’d like to hear your stories of using old products in this day and age of disposable goods and constant upgrades. Is there something you got years ago that you continue to use, despite it being outdated and the better products on the market? And how do you decide when it's time to upgrade? Post it in the comments below.




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Comrade Rutherford

Until this year I've been using the same Nokia 6160, on it's still-good original battery. I got it new in NYC as a AT&T customer back in 1998 and successfuly switched it over to Unicel when my wife and moved to Vermont to breed.

One line of pixels in the display doesn't light, but so what? It still works and works great. I never lost it or dropped it because I tied a lanyard to the case and kept it clipped to my belt. The lanyard is just long enough to keep it from hitting the ground if I let it go while standing up.

So why did I change this year? Unicel really wanted me to switch from TDMA to GSM, so they gave me a new MotoRAZRV3 (well, not gave, i think I paid $30 for it). Ooooh, lookit duh priddy colrz....

Favorite feature of new phone: any MP3 is a ringtone! I've got the Ramones singing Happy Birthday to Mr. Burns when my family calls, the theme song from Gerry Anderson's Fireball XL-5 for business contacts and Senior Coconut singing Kraftwerks Show Room Dummies for every one else! Awsuma powah!



I think the A11 is a note, you can change that somewhere in tools to get rid of it, if you care.


tim in florida

i still use my Newton message Pad 2000



Up until one month ago, I was still using my Sony Ericsson T226 model, which is about five years old. I actually destroyed my first "copy" one year in, and in 2004 I got a replacement T226. It's an AT&T Wireless phone that somehow managed to work with Cingular this entire time, but with limited coverage and reception. It worked well and was reliable, but after many reception-related problems we switched to a fully Cingular-supported phone, the LG CU400. Very nice model. We'll see how long these last us.


Ryan Thomson

I've gone out and bought several used spare G4s which run both classic and OSX, so that I'll have spare Macs to continue using vintage programs until I can find suitable replacements. I am making a little progress in that direction as I've outlined below.

Up until last week the most used program on my mac was Quickfile version 0.5 by Bill Atkinson. I have over 2500 rolodex type records in it. It runs great from system 3 to Classic, sits open on my desktop all day long, searches are instantaneous, and the total application size is 12k, yes, twelve K. I finally moved all of my data from it into the combination of SOHO Organizer and OSX Address Book, in anticipation of my total migration to OSX. Sure those programs do lots of nice tricks, but they're slower, and I really miss my little square box Quickfile database in the monitor corner that opens and closes instantly when needed.

I too use Quark 4.1.1 for all sorts of serious typesetting and page layout from instruction books to CD covers. I don't want to have to relearn a new program like Indesign. I already have hundreds of Quark files which I need to reuse from time to time. I keep reading about problems with the latest versions of Quark, so I'm a little nervous about merely upgrading to 7.0. But Quark is so natural to use. My version never crashes. Its quick and easy.

But my second most used program is Record Holder Plus, from 1988-89. It runs great from system 6 through Classic. I'm currently using version 3.1 from 1990. I have several data bases with it, including one with 4500 customer records. The application size is 192k, yes, one hundred ninety two K. Sadly enough, I can discover nothing remotely like it available in OSX. Its perfect for my business needs, tiny, fast, customizable, prints invoices, mailing labels, calculates anything between field variables, etc. Modern data bases like Panorama, Filemaker, etc, are tremendously larger and more complex than I want to deal with at present.

In the last two weeks I've done tons of research to find a replacement for Pagemill 3.0. It does a perfect job for my simple needs. I''ve got a website with well over 200 pages which I need to migrate to an OSX program. I've examined half a dozen of the less well known programs with WYSIWYG (I don't have time to bother much with HTML) None of these seem to have an easy way to import my pages intact, or else they have a steep learning curve. I keep coming back to Dreamweaver as a possible solution, but I'm still not satisfied with it because of all the bells and whistles I don't need, and its cost. Well, I figure I can use Pagemill for several more years anyway with my collection of spare Macs.

My main business computer is a G3 tower still at OS 8.6 that runs the above programs. I love my Vista S6E scanner, which seems to have trouble at anything higher than 8.6, and my laserwriter select 360 just chugs away all day long with no problems. I do have a late model Epson printer for some tasks, but my main inkjet printer is an Epson Stylus Color 900. Ink is inexpensive for it on ebay, or at office supply store sales because there is little demand for it. It may be a little slow but it prints beautifully. And best of all, I can scan a color image from my Vista Scanner, and it looks the same on my CRT NEC monitor, and again looks the same after it is printed on my Color 900.

Just so that you don't think I have an aversion to modern computing, I do have one late model Mac at 10.4.8 with all of the latest updates to run video editing programs and other high tech stuff.



I like to keep my main machine reasonably current (1.25GHz G4 Al Powerbook, soon to become a hand-me-down), but there's an iMacDV still doing sterling service at home. Actually there's still a Performa 5200CD at home, but that's mainly because I'm not good at throwing stuff out :-/

My stereo system (Pioneer) is vintage '86, and the 5-disc CD changer is a Sony carousel model from '87 that just keeps on keeping on. And my daily driver is a 1957 model FE Holden (GM Australia, looks very much like a shrunk '55 Chev). That thing is testimony to the abuse a car can withstand. 50 years and still going strong. They don't make 'em like they used to...




My phone is a Sanyo SCP-4700 from 2003. It packs a vintage teal electroluminescent lcd display, backlit buttons, a handy red led indicator (see pic) to warn me of voice mail. It has more than a dozen built-in ring tones (including hits like Pachelbel's Canon), speaker phone, etc. The features go on and on, really. The size is handy too. It's far more solid than your RAZR! It's pretty amazing to consider all this was free after I signed on with Sprint PCS.

My iPod is a 3G 10GB from 2003. Received as a graduation present, it's still going strong.
My wife and I have two computers. A 12" iBook G4 800 Mhz/640 purchased new in the fall of 2003. We also have a 15" G4 iMac purchased used off of eBay in the fall of 2005.
Still rockin' an Aiwa 3 disc, dual cassette shelf system. (For the kids out there, the dual cassette decks were for dubbing tapes...sort of like copying MP3 files) We've got a Cyberhome DVD player/burner and a 20" Panasonic CRT standard definition TV. No TiVo or DVR.


Poochy Dawg

Sometimes older = best. In the tech zone, I have several latest/greatest gadgets (15" MB Pro, iMac 20" Core Duo, 80gb video iPod, Wii (yah!), etc.). But for other needs, an 80-year old letterpress printing press is irreplaceable. The set of 70+ year-old hand tools inhereted from my grandfather not only still work beautifully, but couldn't be replaced today for any amount of money. Our 200+ year-old home contains architectural details and construction methods that will likely never again be used, except in the most custom and expensive of dwellings. You use what works and keep using it until it doesn't help you any longer. BTW, my oldest piece of _active_ tech is a 7-year old PowerBook that still runs beautifully and I use regularly. Brings to mind the "you get what you pay for" aphorism...



ah.i dont feel that bad anymore!! i have a TiBook 550 that i have owned since it came out. that makes i think 6 years old now? im not good at math. anyways, it still has the original install in it, the OS itself has not crashed, many apps have of course over time crashed. wait, for a while there, it wouldnt boot, and i heard the HD click as it tried to re-boot, i assumed right away, bad HD. but like a month later, sister came over turned it on, and its been working again for about 9 months, who knows. anyways great machine, and while i would love a new macbook pro or just macbook i keep reading problems about overheating, shutting down, random restarts etc.i also have a B&W G3 that i let a friend of mine borrow as her primary computer (just web, aim, email) that thing has to be close to 8 years old, still rocking Tiger just fine. i guess ill buy a new mac sometime...



I too have a first gen. G4...I kept it with OS 9.0, Quark 4, PageMaker, etc. :-) I love it and it's still my baby and when I need to work on "old files" that's the mac I go to. I couldn't let her go. However on top of not letting her go I had to get another mac for the rest of the family because they run through macs like they're going out of style. So my husband and daughter use a dated pre intel 20" iMac. It works fine and I also jump on it too. I've got a MacBook duo intel as well.

I'm totally lusting for the new iPhone but knowing that the v.2.0 will come out soon after I think I'll wait awhile before picking one up. For now my pink SLVR and video iPod will do just fine!



I use two Newton eMates for writing (great word processor, 24 hours of battery life, cool form factor). After many failed attempts to connect it to my iMac, I found that the cheapest solution was to pick up an old Powerbook 1400cs ($60), connect the eMate using Appletalk (I still had the old hardware filed away), and transfer files from the Powerbook to the iMac using a 3.5" floppy and Sneakernet.



how do u work for maclife and own a phone like that... my grandma owns a better phone then you and she works at an old age home.

Good luck on the iPhone thing


Darnpenguin the Barbarian

...I still use the keyboard from my old iMac DV, bless its circuits.



About two years ago, I finally retired a PowerMac 6100/66 DOS Compatible. To as to turn in on, I would have to open the case and use my finger to hit the power button directly on the power supply. For whatever reason the power button on the front wouldn't push the button on the supply in enough. That's how I knew it was time to go.



I still have an Apple IIgs, which is my secondary gaming unit.



and by gaming you mean..?



Oregon Trail! Whoo-hoo!


Kendall Tawes

I'm in the same boat as I have old gadgets still very much in use. I have three primary computers and one is a G4 yikes! (not as good as that sawtooth but easier to overclock). I have two stereos one is from '85 and the other is over ten years old. My G5 has a 1997 monitor that while is old was an very good monitor back in '97 and still allows for a resolution of 1280*960 at 85 hertz. To top it all I drive a 1986 Buick SkyHawk but it runs great has a working A/C and gets 36-41 mpg (with the A/C off).

So I too hold on to old things but unlike you I will not be getting an iPhone. While I do pine for one desperately I have a mobile that's only a few months old. I knew the iPhone was coming but my old phone had it's battery malfunction not only ruining the battery but also killing the phone too. I had to buy another phone and was very disappointed that I couldn't hold out for the iPhone but I was in too sticky a spot. However if they do come out with a post-EDGE model using 3G (or better by then) I will do an uncharacteristic change and stop using my fully working phone and go out for the iPhone as that speed boost would make it too desirable and even a guy driving a car that was made at the same time as my Macintosh 512k would have to buy one.



I still use a Mac 9600 with Quark 4.0, Illustrator 3.0, Photoshop 5.0 and realted old crap. I make plenty of extra freelance income with it. It was great when I bought it and I stopped upgrading it due to conflicts in OS, software, etc. If everyone would just stop creating more software and more buzz we could all master what we have and be more effective. at my full time job I have the lasest and greatest of everything. It is blazing fast and does everything we need, so why not just stop now! I am not looking forward to spending more and more to the same things I do now.

After all why would I want a faster machine.... we estimate and bill by the hour! Hello... we should go slower.

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