Monday, November 5, 2007
I find all sorts of interesting stuff when I try to use my gear in unusual ways. This weekend I was running around in the woods trying to not get shot by 40 marines (okay, everyone just had blanks). Radios kept failing, so I spent a lot of time trying to use my phone as a cheater comm. Ran into a few annoyances: I wanted to keep the phone with me for 3 days straight with no chance to charge it. Ideally, I'd simply power off, but since AT&T finds it necessary to have max-volume "3G" meteors fly around at power on, I can't really do that. And... no "airplane mode" that I can find. So, I just silenced it and it died after 2 days. Lots of network failures. Really poor signal, but I could mostly make voice calls, and the signalling channel (to get MWI) worked even with NO indicated signal. Unlike every other phone on the planet, I could not send a text message to save my life, though. It seems like it was insisting on some special 3G data network, so failed even when voice was barely there. After the time in the woods, I had to ride in a car a few hours to get back home. Lots of email reading and responding, but I realized this weekend how much of my emailing is not just my random thoughts, but links to useful information. There is no clipboard on the N75 in general, or in any of the browsers I have. So, I had to leave a bunch of stuff unread until I could get home. And, to add another item, just now when I was looking around in my phone for interesting artifacts of these experiences to take a screenshot of, it locked up. I explored this a bit, and it seems to be a UI failure; when a call came in it went back to the normal mode and worked. But the dead app (Messaging) was still locked, and there's no way to force quit it (without a battery-off power cycle). No software can be 100% flawless, so I hope smartphones provide ways around this better than they are now.