Toys Will Be Toys

Friday must have been the second anniversary of Helaine and Steffie getting their phones. I know that, because Friday is listed on the Cingular website as their day for new phones.

You’ll notice I didn’t say it was my day for a new phone. That came over a month ago. My new phone allowance went to Steffie, whose phone had been beaten within an inch of its life over the last few years.

I’d looked around and considered lots of phones. Maybe I’d get a PDA type, like the Treo or BlackBerry?

I get email all the time from my friend Farrell’s phone. Each message is tagged:

A BlackBerry Wireless Handheld Message.

Then I thought about the size of those phones. That was the stopper. Too big.

Believe me, the thought of 24/7 connectivity is very appealing. I know a lot of people feel otherwise. Simply, they’re wrong.

I didn’t succumb. Size does matter.

I ended up with a Motorola RAZR V3. It is probably the slickest looking phone you can buy today. It’s very slim, though the form factor is actually larger in length and width than the LG I’m retiring.

When I told my boss I was getting the Motorola he looked at me slyly and asked if I knew there was a community of RAZR hackers? Yikes! No!

I started to read. Most of what they’ve accomplished is wasted on me. Remove the Cingular logo – big deal. Same thing with taking away the clock. I want the clock.

It would be nice if someone’s written utilities to better read signal strength or tell me which tower I’m on.

They have done one thing that’s very enticing. They’ve taken the camera on the phone and enabled it to take video! I have no idea how that’s even possible.

The video is small and very poor quality, but it’s video.

Unfortunately, in order to enable this, you have to hack into the programs that make the phone work. I’ll probably do it, but I’ll think long and hard before I do.

The integrated camera is way below state of the art. It is only 640×480 pixels with a really tiny lens. I intend on using the camera a lot on the blog. The pictures I mount here are even smaller!

On the left a sample, featuring the night crew at the Greek Olive in New Haven.

When Steffie got her phone, I went on eBay and found a cable and software to manipulate photos, video and sound. The cable came a few days after she left. Right now, it’s being used on my phone.

First to be changed was the stock wallpaper. I found a nice shot of Helaine, Steffie and me and pushed it across the cable to the phone.

Then I replaced the ring sound. Most of the time my phone vibrates when a call comes in. A ringing phone in the studio isn’t appreciated. But, for those times when sound is called for, I found the old “ABC Contemporary Network” radio news sounder.

I am still on the prowl for the recently retired CBS Radio News on the Hour sounder. Write if you have it.

I’m still playing with putting video on the computer. I’ve made a few attempts but the audio and video are way out of sync.

Helaine has already accused me of buying a toy. Is she looking? Sure it is. I love my toys.

Still on order, a Bluetooth headset&#185, which was mailed from Taunton, MA on Friday and a Bluetooth USB adapter for this computer which ships directly from Hong Kong.

When I look at the phone, it’s tough to believe how far the technology has come in such a short period of time. Imagine where we’ll be ten years from now!

&#185 – Bluetooth is a very strange name for a short range wireless technology.