Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Gadget shopped

Even though I work in a “technical” field (and I love new technologies) I am usually quite slow on the uptake when it comes to gadgets. I knew all about the iPod and MP3 players well before I ever got my first one. It took me years to get Sky and I still have yet to install Vista on my home PC. I also tend to hang on to my old mobile phones for far too long.

For a couple of months now I’ve been meaning to pop into my mobile provider’s shop to review my tariff because I haven’t done it in at least a year (and probably longer) and these things move all over the place. I needed to make sure that I couldn’t be on a better tariff, as I’m such a low user anyway. Well, I had to wait for that visit because the shopping center was of course mental with Christmas shoppers.

Finally yesterday, when it was all very quiet (probably because it was New Year’s Day and everyone else was still in bed, hung-over) I noticed the shop was empty and I popped in. I quickly established that I was still on the best tariff but it was high time I upgraded my phone. I could do it for free so I thought: why not?

A very friendly shop assistant showed me the options. Now, I always have had Nokia phones so I’m kind of biased and of course saw those first. In all honesty none of the phones she showed me looked that exciting until… she showed me a weird white one: the O2 cocoon.

A mobile for me can be quite basic and still be good – I don’t need much. In fact, sometimes phones can be a bit overcomplicated and I certainly didn’t want that. But this one looked fun, funky and different. Plus I could have it for free! So before I knew it, I was the proud owner of a funky new phone that can take pictures, carry music and of course make and receive calls and texts. It also has a very, very cool external LCD screen that is extremely hard to explain but quite funky to look at!

I took it home and other than charging it up, I haven’t really used it much. It does come with a CD that I’m supposed to install in my PC but haven’t done it yet – shame as that also has the manual on PDF! There is a booklet included with the phone but it’s more of a sales brochure (why? I’ve already got the phone at this point!) than an instruction manual. The phone in general seems fairly easy and while some things are definitely stumping me (where the £$%& do I change the ringer volume? Why can’t my contacts on the SIM card be read by default?) in general I’ve managed to get by without instructions.

So I’ve got a new phone now. I also recently got a new MP3 player to upgrade my old RIO – which I love. I’ve also inherited an old Samsung MP3 player and of course I have my camera… how did I come to own so many bits of kit? I thought that someday "in the future" we would all just need one piece of kit to do different jobs!

I’ve got to go now and try to work out how to get this new phone to ring a bit louder otherwise I’ll never hear it in my hanbag!

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