I began my obsession with mobile gadgets when I was in high school. I remember my very first mobile phone like it was yesterday. Pagers were all the rage at the time, but I skipped the beeper stage and went straight to cell phone.
Back then, I was somewhat of a kleptomaniac. My first phone I stole from Costco by stepping into one of the huge refrigerators, hiding behind the eggs, and opening the phone’s packaging. I knew nothing about phones. When I got home, the joke was on me. Being young and naive, I thought I’d be able to magically make as many phone calls I want to anywhere in the world. However, I discovered that I had to call Cingular to activate it. So my “free” Nokia phone ended up becoming my first recurring monthly bill instead.
That was a good phone. I wish I could remember the model number of it. It was the monochrome screened Nokia one that everyone I knew ended up starting with. That was a time when phones were just phones and not also a camera, gps, music player, etc.
After getting tired of going over on my minutes with Cingular, I switched to MetroPCS and their unlimited flat rate plan. My MetroPCS phone was my first camera phone, and it took shitty photos. My line of work required me to travel all over the Bay Area, and I soon tired of MetroPCS because it didn’t have any coverage in places like rural wineries.
So I went back to Cingular which then became AT&T. With AT&T, I had the Palm Treo 650 which was my very first PDA. I paired it with a TomTom bluetooth GPS and the Treo also acted as my first GPS. I spent a good while with AT&T, but they were late to the 3G party.
Sprint on the other hand was rolling out EVDO. When I discovered the great SERO plan, the deal was too good to pass up, and I impulsively signed up with the PPC-6700. The PPC-6700 was my first Windows Mobile phone, my first touchscreen device, and the first phone I had that I was able to tether to my laptop.
So now I had two phones. When i went to cancel the AT&T phone, they informed me that they would be launching their 3G service the next month. I waited for AT&T’s 3G launch and got a Blackjack. I decided to use the AT&T BlackJack as my main phone since it allowed me to talk on the phone and tether data with my laptop at the same time.
I soon learned to hate 2 year contracts and monthly billing. I was one of the few lucky enough to get a GrandCentral account and hooked that up to a SkypeIn number which doesn’t require a contract. When I got a Nokia N810, I started looking for Skpe alternatives since Skype doesn’t use open standards. I discovered the Gizmo CallIn number instead to use my Nokia N810 as a phone.
Then I found out I can get a free incoming SIP number at freedigits.com which I can use with SIP Communicator on a computer or Talkonaut on a phone which brings me up to today. Now, I am using an unlocked Nokia N85 which is my first S60 device. Most of my days are spent near a wifi connection, so I’ve been using free VOIP more often than using a cellular network. For the times I’m not near a wifi connection, I’m using T-mobile prepaid.
After a long history with with several different devices, I can honestly say the N85 is the best mobile gadget I’ve ever used. I just got the N85 and am still playing around with it, so expect to see some Nokia N85 tutorials on this blog soon.