I’ve always considered myself a somewhat early adopter of new technologies, but not necessarily on the bleeding edge. That’s why I delayed until this week to finally switch to the iPhone. Now I wonder what took me so long!
I’ve been a devoted Applephile for 20 years since The Clarion was started on two Mac se ‘s in 1989. (That hot machine featured 4 megs of RAM and a 40 meg hard drive!) The Computer Age actually started for me a few years earlier with a pc, a Compaq 286 Deskpro that I bought in January of 1987 for over $6,000!
I was also an early enthusiast for the Internet and started building web sites for The Clarion and the Western New York Travel Guide long before computer penetration gave these ventures any economic reason for being. The jury is still out on that!
I think this mania for being first started with my Dad. We were the first family in the neighborhood to have a color television, a microwave oven and an Atari video game. Oh the hours wasted playing Pong!
If Dad couldn’t find it on the market, he would build it in his shop. Back then, a company called Heathkit would supply all the parts and instructions on how to build your own personal electronic devices. In the days before silicon, Dad taught us how use the vacuum tube tester.
I knew I was falling behind in the tech race, however, when my second child came home for Christmas with an iPhone. If I didn’t act soon, I risked being a minority in my own family! Great as the technology is, however, I still had concerns:
1. Coverage. When you strip away all the bells and whistles, the iPhone still has to be a reliable phone. The blogs are full of users complaining about the inferiority of ATT’s system to Verizon. As much as I wanted the portable e-mail and Internet service, I am not willing to carry (or pay for) two phones. I’m still leery of that, but so far coverage has not been a problem. I had good coverage at a farm auction yesterday in Hall, NY, although the phone didn’t seem to like the bitter air temperatures. If coverage problems do surface, I will update this post with a comment.
2. Hi tech burnout. I’m already pretty obsessive about checking my e-mail both at home and at the office. Do I really need to be checking it in the intervals in between? That is a concern, but I justified it by thinking that it would be a great service to the members of the tennis club. When spring play starts up I will be very busy arranging matches, finding subs and booking courts. Being able to do all that on the run will be easier on me and better for the members.
3. Penalties: I was still 6 months away from the end of my current Verizon contract, which means I will be hit with a $100 early termination penalty. That hurts, but ATT made it easier by giving both me and one of my daughters a $25 referral fee. That tipped the scales.
BTW If this article convinces you to take the plunge, please consider naming me as your referrer. I could use another $25!