… the incessant ramblings of a voluble gal

Posts Tagged ‘dash

I don’t know about everyone in the world, its not my job. But I do know there are people like me who travel frequently and sometimes they can’t bring their phone with them into their workspace or have to have it off during the day. That can be a pain when you are “expecting a call or important text”.

Fortunately technology is starting to catch up with the demands of the likes of us. We can participate in massive social messaging with sites like twitter, pownce, ping.fm, friendfeed and so on. And by using these services we can see our messages online. OK cool. Then there is something called Grand Central.

Grand Central is cool, as its in beta, I can choose my own phone number from anywhere in the country and use this as my “semi-anonomous phone number”. I use this in a few ways. Its the number in my email signature I give out via business email communications and eventually will be on my new business cards (along with my twitter name: immunity). But I can also use it to screen calls and forward calls to multiple lines at the same time. And where I can also check the voicemail online as it comes via email. Very nice huh?

But all that takes a little work to set up and dissiminating those numbers and practices to your business contacts and tech savvy friends.

What happens if its your family and close friends, who might not be as techie as you. In fact, they are the ones that call YOU for IT support when their computer is b0rked.

This is where a service like Dashwire might come in handy. I recently stumbled upon the site, from a curious question posted by a fellow smartphone user on my twitter contacts. After reading some reviews on a zdnet blog and checking out the site, I decided to give it a trial run.

Dashwire essentially syncs up my smartphone (T-Mobile Dash) to a personal site for me so I can see all my calls, texts, pictures, and contacts. This is something T-mobile can do normally if I was using a sidekick, except for the text messaging. So this is why I like it. I can see the texts I am missing.

It’s able to make this work by sending text messages to the dashwire service, as a forward, so an unlimited text messaging plan is essential if you want to try this out. Additionally, beforewarned, this is a resource and battery drain, especially while synching. So while it maybe cool, consider this downside, especially if you are not able to charge your phone (charging in your car maybe a necessity).

Also to note, they didn’t have an exact match of the HTC phone for my dash, so I picked the closest model and it still works.

I started using this about 2 weeks ago and think I will give it at least one month more before I make my final call, but for this trial run (self-imposed trial, the service is free), its been very helpful.

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As much as I love and preach the rapid growing technologies that are making life and work easier and more effective in less time, the more I hate technology as well.Thanks to Live Digitally for the photo, aka Jeremy Toeman

I am so addicted to all things mobile and how it connects me to the world. I can remember the shortcode for Twitter (40404), but I can’t remember my best friend’s phone number. In fact, I can’t remember anyone’s phone number post 2002, when my father finally bought my very own cell phone. I was late to the cell phone game as most of my friends had been using cell phones for a few years by then, but even 4 years out of the Army I was still clamming for a hard line. Now even my alarm system in wireless and I haven’t had a home phone in three years.

So since 2002 I have been becoming dumber. And I blame it on the cell phone. I mean think about it, before you owned a cell phone, you probably knew all your friends numbers that you called from your private line in your parents house and you could dial those numbers fast as lightening. But now, every time you lose your phone, reset it, or upgrade, you send a message out to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or whatever ever social network to ask for everyone to send you their numbers again. Even those whom you have weak ties.

Why bother remember 10 little digits when your SIM card can do it for you?

So what happens when we rely on that technology so much, it fails us in life? We can end up looking like real assholes.

Don, Steve, Sean, Andrea at HBS, 7 April 2008This was the case for me back in April this year for instance. I was flying up to spend some time with my best friend in New Hampshire before heading to Boston to meet with Andrew McAfee, of HBS and to sit in on one of his classes. As the plane landed in Manchester Airport, I turned my T-mobile Dash HTC Excaliber smartphone back on so I could text him that I was on the ground. I was able to see that he had txt’d me he was waiting just as my phone froze. I restarted again and my phone started going into what I call the loop of death. This had happened once before so I knew my only recourse was to hard reset the phone. This meant 30 minutes of unavailability to do anything with it, even make a simple call.

So without a phone, I had no number to let him know I was there and I would be waiting for him. Luckily after 30 minutes and just as my phone was normalizing as I was sitting on a bench outside, he walks up, furious. Why didn’t call blah, blah, blah. He said a true friend would have the number written down elsewhere and couldn’t believe I didn’t have it memorize. To which, if I had, asked someone in the airport to borrow a cell phone for a local call or go to a pay phone.

This was not the first or the last time we had issues getting in touch because of not knowing each other’s numbers. I thought we had rectified this because we had exchanged business cards and (we are best friends mind you) that maybe by now we would have remembered or at least keep the numbers in our wallets.

Um no. It happened again. He lost his phone. His billfold is in storage where he thinks my business card might be. He had no access to get online (the Internet seems to be a novelty for laid back New Englanders) and thus excuses, excuses, blah, blah, blah.

OK so this is a long story to make a point. But as I sit here, many paragraphs later I can only remember the first three digits of his number (603). I still cannot muster up the remaining 7 with absolute certainty and it kills me. I mean I learned Arabic to fluency (which I have also mostly forgotten now), but I cannot remember 10 numbers.

My cell phone does all my day to day brain work for me, besides store numbers. It also emails me my daily calendar from google, I get my news, weather and traffic (see @thebeltway on twitter) via FriendFeed, twitter, and text messaging. I even read interesting feeds while getting iontophoresis during physical therapy in the mornings. I even email myself quick directions for meetings from google maps and in bad traffic on 95 I used Windows Live Search for finding alternate routes home.

Essentially its like my brain saying, try as I might, since some device that fits in the palm of my hand can remember all that information for me, why should I retain it in my head? I mean I don’t know how many times I have gone to t-mobile.com to look up the number of someone whom you would think I would have the number engraved on my knuckles.

Next up … getting my text messages online ? Say it ain’t so.


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