Lo-Tech Tech

I think I have sufficiently covered the fact that I think personal digital electronics peaked in 2004. That was the year I loved my Palm Pilot, my cell phone, and my computer operating system. Everything since then has been downhill.


Last fall, my beloved Palm Pilot Tungsten C finally convinced me that it needed to be retired before it failed me entirely. Thus began the long, arduous, frustrating-as-all-getout quest for the perfect replacement device.


The resounding advice from friends, colleagues, clients, and random passers-by was that I needed to "suck it up" and get an iPhone ... or any number of "smart" phone alternatives.


I stood my ground, feet planted firmly, and held up my hand and said "No."


For starters, I had no inclination to have my phone and my appointment book be the same device. Bluetooth headsets aside, I don't want to find myself putting the phone on speaker so that I can look at my calendar while setting up appointments. And yes, if I try to look at the calendar and then put the phone back to my ear, I will have forgotten what's available by the time I get the phone back to my ear.


Eventually I found myself the owner of a new iPod Touch, and a brief expert on smart phones and their corresponding carriers and plans.


Since 2004, I had been a happy — and contract-free — T-Mobile pay-as-you-go customer for my cell phone purposes. My cell phone usage averaged about $30 a month. I could not justify — "JUSTIFY?!" I couldn't FATHOM, could not wrap my brain around, the concept of tripling or quadrupling my monthly cell phone bill just for the purpose of having a digital calendar! I don't need to carry my appointment book home with me at all that badly! I'll go back to paper first!


Well, six short months later, I find myself with a fancy new Android "smart" phone. (No. I did NOT upgrade my plan.) And — good grief — but this first week with it has been a challenge.


I have no idea how you gadget-loving techies embrace all these "advances" in modern technology. It took me four hours just to figure out how to make and receive calls and text messages.


Well. It's been a week. I have managed to pair my Bluetooth headset to the phone, download Words with Friends, and figure out how to turn off the Swype texting feature so most of my text messages are legible again, while still managing a full day of life from the battery.


Thanks to all the Facebook friends who helped — or at least tried to help.


Yes. I can now access my calendar via the phone. And yes, I still carry the iPod for that purpose anyway. For such a lo-tech nail tech, I sure do have a lot of electronic gadgets to keep charged.



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