Friday, July 4, 2014

Cell Phone Sanity

I love technology, but the present Cell Phone regime in this country is a little disturbing with its seemingly mercenary approach to milking us all dry. My work phone comes packaged with several annoyances. Firstly, it's a Blackberry (need I say more?). Secondly, it's on the Rogers network (need I say more?). Thirdly, it's paid for by you the taxpayer, so overly personal use comes with associated tinges of guilt. Finally, it's dying a slow death and the bureaucratic hoops associated with getting a new one are too much for even me to hurdle. My chosen if not clandestine solution had to meet the following requirements:

  1. Unlocked, i.e. not tied to any particular Service-Monger.
  2. Android, just because.
  3. 2 SIM card slots.
  4. Not too expensive.

 I found a solution on Amazon and took the gamble, $139 or so for a BLU Dash 4.5
It arrived in a few days and I sneakily inserted the SIM card from my Blackberry...and it worked ! Well, not 100% but I could live with it. Then I trundled off to the Bell Store to get a "personal" SIM card. That's where the fun started. First off, the Sales guy told me the phone would not work with Bell. This began my indoctrination into the bizarre world of 2G 3G 4G HPSA+ LTE etc. and the associated protocol Hell !!
I'll skip the details, but after some gnashing of teeth, I now have a single device with 2 phone numbers, and I love it. The phone is not perfect, but I give it a 9 out of 10 and the things I learned will help me greatly down the road. The service from Amazon was impressive. At one point I thought it was not going to meet my needs; clicking on "Returns" on their site provided me with a Shipping Label and return authorization in just seconds. Stubbornness and perseverance meant that I didn't need it. A shout-out to my friend Simba since without his help, I would not have gotten data to work properly...

From the details above, you can see that it's not exactly the latest greatest, and Android snobs will scoff at the paltry 512mb spec. For me, however, the dual personality trumps everything. I now have a single device that rings when someone calls my work number, and rings when someone calls my personal number. Texting is similarly divided into two categories, as is everything else. It's wicked i tell ya !!  :)

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