Thursday, June 9, 2011

Portable Phones



If you are young, you probably can not appreciate just how cool this first hand-held portable phone was. Prior to this phone, portable phones were carried around in a bag, and a small handset was connected to talk on. It was a huge big deal to get to the point that the entire phone could be held in your hand. This phone was expensive, and minutes were prohibitively expensive, and we will not even talk about roaming charges.

Billing is getting much simpler for most cell phone companies, but many people have on occasion not understood the rules and have gotten huge phone bills. A guy I worked with got his son a phone, and the company advertised "Free Games". The games were free, but the airtime to play was not free, and he got his first month's bill, and it was $2,700. Have you ever gotten a nasty surprise on a cell phone bill?

11 comments:

  1. Oh, one time I got a bill that arrived in a box. It was almost an inch thick and was as I recall around $7,000.

    It seems I had been on the phone to europe and the middle east nonstop around the clock for the entire previous month. And I was in New York City, unbeknownst to me.

    Fortunately the phone company cheerfully agreed this was a case of having my ESN pilfered and they wiped out all the fraudulent charges.

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  2. I remember those old "mobile phones". They were so big that they reminded me of the WW2 Handie-Talkie (SCR-536)aka Walkie-Talkie (erroneously).

    John

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  3. Well, I'm back.
    I had left my wireless adapter at home on my desk top and bought a new Belkin wireless adapter for my lap top. I could not get it to work. So with out it working I didn't have any addresses to connect to. So I was out of touch for 8 days.

    My first cell phone was rented, and it was the "brick". It sold me on the use of cell phones. I signed up and bought a big flip phone ( that was in the days before the day of free phones for signing up) It was about 1/4 the size of the "brick" but still big.
    They were very touchy to water or moisture. And you had to run the battery down before recharging or you made a memory on the battery and they would not charge up fully. And before long you had buy a new battery.

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  4. To heck with cell phones!!!
    IN my day we didn't even have a phone and if you needed someone you yelled out the window or sent a telegram.
    What is it with these little kids carrying phones too???
    When my ones were small they weren't even allowed to use the phone we finally bought!!
    It seems nowadays kids rule the parents, but in this liberal PC world why should I be surprised!!?!!

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  5. Anyone else find it an interesting coincidence that Roger and Mean old Man reappear on the same day? Welcome back to you... both.

    John

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  6. John, twenty lashes with a wet noodle for even thinking of comparing me to Mean Old Man.
    I don't know how old he is, (I'm 68)or where he was raised, but we had phones when I was a little guy. They were primative and a long distance call went through an operator. But I was raised in a small town. I do know that some of the country folks didn't have phones or if they did have one, they were on a party lines.
    And I love kids, LOL, at least I don't hate them

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  7. Portable is a relative term ,no doubt .Haa-haa . I am glad things have progressed in the size department .

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  8. Wow. Now the phones are so much smaller. And so are the users.

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  9. and imagine the phones right now...almost free...

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  10. The picture today is Martin Cooper, who is usually portrayed as the "inventor" of the cell phone. I think that picture is from a couple years ago -- possibly 2008 -- based upon the C/Net sign in the background. If it is 2008, I suspect Martin is holding a replica of the 1973-era test phoneset. You can tell that it is one of the 1973-1980-ish phones because the buttons are arranged in two collumns instead of the more familiar 3x4 grid we have today.

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  11. My first cell phone, purchased in 1998, was the least expensive thing I could find. It cost me $10 a month to carry it around, plus so much for each minute I used. Even now, my normal calls are "There's an accident, so I'll be late, but I'm OK", or "Do we need anything at the store". Anyway, I was to meet my husband to join him for his retirement lunch, and called him to say I was a few blocks away so he could come down to the street. When we got back to his office, there was a message on his answering machine. Somehow, my purse had hit redial, and there was a TWO HOUR replay of the background noise in the restaurant. Fortunately, the phone company wiped out the charges, or he'd sill be working to pay off the bill!

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