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Smartphone-less: Day 1

My first smartphone was a Palm Treo 600.  That was circa 2004.  Since then, I've never looked at a normal cell phone ever again!  From there, I went to a Treo 650, then a Centro.  I was a huge Palm fan, and even before the smartphone craze, I had a Palm IIxe PDA.  My first break from Palm was an HTC Touch Pro.  Yes, it was a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone.  I hated it.

Then, a few years ago, my brother bought me a just-released 2nd gen Apple iPod Touch 32GB for my birthday.  I was wondering what to do with it.  I had (actually still have) an iRiver H320 20GB hard drive-based MP3 player that allowed for direct drag-and-drop playback of audio and video.  It's primitive by today's standard, but it worked and sounded great!

I used it mostly for podcasts, and have been using FireFox's RSS feed feature to download a handful of podcasts I listened to.  I quickly found a good use for the iPod Touch!  iTunes made it easy to automatically get the newest episodes and allowed me to transfer them quickly to my iPod Touch by just connecting the sync cable.  It was almost like getting the daily newspaper in audio form!

As I added more podcast feeds, I also wanted more convenience.  I wanted web access everywhere!  At the time, I was using a Palm Centro, and then the HTC Touch Pro.  The web experience wasn't so great.  However, using the iPod Touch at home with WiFi gave me a taste of what it would be like if I had that access outside the confines of WiFi.  The iPod Touch was a gateway drug to the iPhone.

And so I did the hardest thing: I dropped my awesome Sprint $30 SERO plan that included voice, text, and data for AT&T's similar plan that costs almost 3x as much, just so I can jump on the Apple iPhone 3GS bandwagon.  It was just released, and I decided it was a good time to jump over.

Eight months later, a handful of podcasts became a boatload, and it seems that iTunes just couldn't keep up any longer.  iTunes would just get stuck syncing my iPhone.  In fact, a friend of mine posted this appropriate picture to my Facebook in response to my status update:


Har, har.

Despite Horatio and other people advices around various forums, I just couldn't get it to work correctly 100%.  After blowing away iTunes and the iTunes Library folder (to start over from scratch), I had some success.  However, I would still get stuck syncing every once in a while.

I'm sick of it, and decided to just sell my iPhone on eBay.  It's still up on eBay as of this writing, and should be up for another 7 days.  Of course, before I did, I jailbroken it with the latest firmware, as it seems iPhones are worth more jailbroken.

I bought myself a Samsug A177 feature-phone for the time being.  It's an AT&T pay-as-you-go phone, but works just fine with an AT&T SIM card that uses a monthly plan.  It looks remarkably like a Blackberry.  It's got a full QWERTY keyboard!  Sadly, web browsing is worst than the Palm and Blackberry, so I'd rather not even use it.  Because of that, I was able to get rid of the data, but keep the voice and texting, saving myself $30 a month.  I still have another year left with AT&T, but may break contract to jump back to Sprint's arms.  The HTC EVO 4G is coming, and I was always intrigued by the Google Android platform.  Plus, the plans are the cheapest out of all of the major carriers.

When the EVO 4G comes out, I'll try it out with a temporary number.  Since Sprint is advertising a 30 day money back guarantee, I guess I'll check it out to see how I'd like it before paying AT&T an early termination fee.

Until then, I'll be rocking a Samsung A177 and relying on my trusty laptop and WIFI for internet access.  How long will I last without a smartphone?  Subscribe to my RSS feed and find out!


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