Gadget Disease

Thanks in part to this year’s annual CES and all the Apple iPhone hype, I’ve got the phone bug. I must I must get a new mobile phone and if I don’t get one now I’m going to suffocate. How can I keep functioning with my $500 Treo 700w? I simply cannot. I’m stuck in the dark ages. And with all the damn hype around this silly iPhone (pending Apple’s arrogant but unsurprising Cisco trademark infringement matters), and with the problems I’m having with my Treo, I simply must have a Blackberry Pearl. Problem is, Verizon doesn’t offer the Pearl yet and I’m not willing to switch providers.

So what’s going on here you ask? Aside from my neurotic must-have-new-gadget syndrome? Nothing. I’m simply neurotic and I must have a new gadget. I could just as easily be in the market for a new Luxury PC or this flat screen monitor, or an Infinity M. But at this very moment in time, I’m totally and utterly fed up with my Treo.

Ok, I’ll get totally real for a moment – it’s not that I hate my Treo, it’s just that I really dislike it. Ultimately, I’m really sick and tired of Microsoft’s mobile software. I first experienced Microsoft on a mobile device back in like 1997 when I had my first iPaq. At the time it was a really great calculator on steroids and it displayed Word documents, Excel spreadsheets on a really tiny screen which was like, so cool. But then I said to myself, holy moly – this will be integrated with a phone some day! Well, cell phones were still the size of tug boats then, but sure enough I soon had a … a SMARTPHONE. And WOW was it cool. Yes, I could finally make calls AND sync my calendar and Outlook contacts. But then I said, wait, I want to surf the web too. Oh, Verizon offers that? Oh I gotta have that. So $40/month later and I had my smartphone browser surfing Verizon’s limited selection of websites (cuz others would not work on this device – but at least I could check Sox scores in the middle of a wedding). Money very well spent of course. Well, as time went on, and EVDO came to Boston, and smartphones kept coming, and Microsoft kept updating their UI, I kept upgrading. I last had a Samsung i730 – I hated it with a passion. What a clunky piece of hardware. Who needs a phone that has a processor that rivals some small laptops, with an expanding keyboard that’s more like a kitchen drawer in your pocket? You look like you have a brick in your pocket with this ridiculous monster! So, 6 months later I had the Treo. My first Palm in several years, and I loved it – but it runs Windows Mobile. Like all my other Windows Mobile devices, it freezes at least once per day, and right when I need it most – like when I need to answer a call. Or like, when I need to make a call. Or when I’m driving and need to read an email. There’s nothing like having to pull the back cover off this sexy looking, but poor performing, device, pull out it’s, eh hem, stylus, and insert it into the, um, reset button. Yes, a hard reset is what it needs, often in fact. Oh but I can write Word documents on it! I can take pictures! Review Excel files! Watch videos! I can surf the web – wait no, that freezes my phone too. I sound like this device is evil, it’s not. It’s much much better than the Samsung, but still – what’s with all these bugs man? I mean come on! Every single time I have to reset this baby I curse Microsoft. Finally – I’ve had it. I’m done with it. I WANT THE PEARL AND I WANT IT NOW! Because I can do all those things without the stress – right? I will be able to do all those things without the stress right? And it’s a cool device, right? (cool people should not answer that)

Ah, but alas, I will have to wait. Apparently Verizon is not talking about the Pearl, but rumors say it’ll be just a little while longer (sorry, no link – took me an hour just find something online that gave me hope). And when that happens, I’ll find something else to fall in love with. But if the Pearl was available today in CDMA, I’d buy it right this second. I would not even be here typing – I’d be on my couch reading every word of fine print in the various documents and wondering why it took me so long to become enlightened and becoming amazed by the backlight settings that are some how better than any other backlight I’ve ever seen. Then I’d be customizing my theme, and wallpaper, and then I’d be looking for new ways to enhance the device like buying software I don’t need and will never really use, and installing blackjack or tetris, and then I’ll screw the device up and have to reset it and start all over. Ah, you see – but now I’ve learned it’s weaknesses. AH HAH! It was strategy! I learned, now I start anew and better – and soon I will be in control of my life again.

But, now I must wait, in frustration and sadness, while Verizon takes it’s time figuring out how best to release the Pearl – and surely with some limitations that will leave me salivating for the next new phone that can tell me when my milk is expiring (cuz my fridge can’t yet). Hey, it’s nice having a new toy to look forward to.

Lastly, mark my words right now friends and observers: I will never – NEVER – buy the iPhone. I won’t, I simply won’t. Why? So I can experience the proprietary purgatory that is Apple, Inc.? (watch, they’ll probably sue me now for saying disparaging things about them. But hey, it’s not like I’m creating an iPhone theme for my Treo or something! I mean sheesh!)

Ok, I’m done. Maybe I can find some cool accessories while I wait for Verizon.