azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2016-08-25 01:07 am

The Ballad of Purple's Cell Signal

Purple has a flip-phone that's about ... 5? 6? years old now. It charges off MiniUSB (not MicroUSB). Every now and then someone calls him "Captain Kirk" for using it. This tends to result in some parking lot improv.

Every now and then someone suggests to Purple that because he is a software engineer in the tech industry, perhaps he should be getting with a smartphone. Purple has a standard rant prepared for this occasion. The gist of it is:

Purple has a home phone. Purple has a work phone. When you find a smartphone plan that costs $100 a year, come tell him about it. Meanwhile, Purple is over here with his prepaid flip phone, which works perfectly well at getting him calls and texts while he is out and about; while he is out and about he is also not likely to need to be emailed, because he's generally driving or at dinner or in some other situation where really, you should not need email. (Also, in recent years he has added an iPad to his set of gear, and you often don't need a second portable computing machine at that point.)

Now, that's been the situation for nearly as long as I've known Purple. It's something that I've come to accept and even like about him.

Over the past months and weeks, Purple has noticed that his signal has become patchy. His noble little cellphone (which often does fun tricks like leaving the screen light on, which chews through battery, or failing to charge for some reason, or occasionally even pocket-dialing) has been getting signal in fewer places. First he noticed he wasn't getting it reliably inside his office anymore. (That chewed up battery.) Then there were other spots of spotty service. At some point, his prepaid cell outfit gently pointed out that his little old phone was 2G only, and the 2G network around these parts is going away. Soon. Now. And maybe you should get a new phone, bro.

I would describe myself as a procrastinator.
I would describe Purple as the kind of procrastinator who will cheerfully spend 15 minutes every week and a half to twice a week (depending on temperature) using a cigarette lighter plug portable air compressor to refill his slow-leaking tire, for over a year, rather than making the appointment to get the tire fixed or replaced. (I cannot throw too many stones. He knows where a lot of my stuff is hidden, too.)

Purple has allowed as how he will probably need to get himself a new prepaid flip phone that uses a slightly more modern cell network, and maybe takes a charger that more people are likely to have on them. He allows as how he may continue to put this off.

Last Friday at the ex-co-worker-crowd dinner, Purple invited his old friend GG (and her husband) as well as Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly and me. I texted Purple to let him know that I was running about 10 minutes late. I arrived to find that he hadn't got my text, as he'd no signal in the restaurant. Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly arrived somewhat after me. She'd become delayed in some event-related fuckery on 101. She'd tried to call Purple!

GG proceeded to give Purple a hard time about his Luddite refusal to have a smartphone, pointing out that Purple is a well-paid engineer who can afford a fucking smartphone and a data plan. GG does this sort of thing, it turns out -- gives Purple a hard time about things. And Purple continues to be his cheerfully procrastinatory and stubborn self.

I learned long ago that when Purple took a hard stance about something, that I was wasting everyone's time if I kept arguing about it, and the way to get around it was to accept his viewpoint and let him get around to it in his own time. Possibly by setting a good example by way of my own anti-procrastination efforts. Occasionally by saying "Eh, maybe you should get on that thing?" but not when he'd just been ranting about it.

Tonight I was halfway to dinner when I realized that I hadn't let Purple know that after we'd agreed on a time and place, I'd poked our mutual friend phone (whose favorite lunch spot it was) to let him know that we were convening for dinner and he'd be welcome. I thought about texting (hands-free, wheeee!) but realized: Purple wouldn't get that text. Anyway, I wasn't sure whether phone would be able to make it. So, we might as well see if he showed up...

I eventually remembered to text phone to let him know where we were sitting. He and his boyfriend showed up quite promptly thereafter, and we took a bit bigger table, and had a lovely time.

I may inquire gently with Purple, tomorrow, when he thinks he's going to actually get that new flip phone. 💜💜💜☎️🙄😘
wibbble: A manipulated picture of my eye, with a blue swirling background. (Default)

[personal profile] wibbble 2016-08-25 10:29 am (UTC)(link)
He could always get himself a phone that does both:
srukle: (Default)

[personal profile] srukle 2016-08-25 12:28 pm (UTC)(link)
My partner had used the same cell phone for 10+. It's possible. :)
srukle: (Default)

[personal profile] srukle 2016-08-25 08:24 pm (UTC)(link)
((Perhaps time to replace it.)) ;) ;)
woggy: (Laughing Frog)

[personal profile] woggy 2016-08-25 01:03 pm (UTC)(link)
i agree with Purple's rant and stance, in all particulars.

(the only reason i have a smartphone is because i wanted to keep my personal chatstuff off the work computer. and despite verizon being a tremendous bag of cocks, i have not yet actually managed to either change phones or providers. because that is work.)

or, to quote someone elsenet: "Yes, it doesn't work, but in a very familiar way!"
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

[personal profile] silveradept 2016-08-25 02:02 pm (UTC)(link)
That sounds like a person determined to get every scrap of value possible from the things they have. I can certainly applaud Purple's determination.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

Re: Purple brings the classy.

[personal profile] silveradept 2016-08-26 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
Classy person, indeed. Although I have seen plenty of people pull smartphones, wallets, and otherwise from their pockets, regardless of the size of the support being given.
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)

Re: Purple brings the classy.

[personal profile] wohali 2016-08-26 08:30 am (UTC)(link)
HAH! I concur, I find it really hard to pocket this Samsung I recently's always falling out of my clothing and barely fits in my purse. I admire everything about his decisions to date, but agree that if 2G is being switched off...time to at least upgrade to a non-smartphone modern phone.

There's gotta be compatible 3G non-smartphone devices at least, I bet he could get a $5 one from eBay if he looked.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2016-08-25 03:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I had the same stance as Purple, and now I have a Tracfone smartphone that I am about (in the next two weeks or so) to load another year's worth of service onto. (400 min, 400 texts, 400 MB data, for $100 altogether; I will be interested to discover if my triple-those-figures promotion that came with my first Tracfone phone has survived the transition to this second phone.)

This may not be the right solution for Purple, obviously! But it does answer his stated objection to smartphones.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2016-08-25 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)

Oh, huh. Okay then.

alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2016-08-25 08:22 pm (UTC)(link)

Don't forget it's possible to bring a different phone to Tracfone service!

Only not the BLU Advance 5.0. It will work, that's what I have now, but it's apparently designed for a less memory hog Android. Rant to follow if desired.

alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2016-08-26 03:04 am (UTC)(link)

I started the year with 1200mb in mid-Sept and have 500-odd mb still. I think I used most of that difference during two weekends because there is no WiFi in the theater green room. (I did chat with whoever else was offstage at whatever point. But you know.)

alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2016-08-26 03:23 am (UTC)(link)


mathemagicalschema: A blonde-haired boy asleep on an asteroid next to a flower. (Default)

[personal profile] mathemagicalschema 2016-08-25 08:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Would Purple have any possible interest in a 1st-gen Moto G locked to Republic Wireless? It can get unlimited calls+texts for $10/mo. I'm looking to get rid of my old phone; if he's interested I'd send it his way for cheap.

[personal profile] sithjawa 2016-08-25 08:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I have heard there are new-gen dumbphones for people who miss the dumbphone days. Being a diehard iPhone user, I have not enquired further of the universe.
andrewducker: (Default)

[personal profile] andrewducker 2016-08-25 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes. Important detail is that you can get messages to him.

Hopefully he'll eventually realise this is important to him too.
wibbble: A manipulated picture of my eye, with a blue swirling background. (Default)

[personal profile] wibbble 2016-08-26 10:13 am (UTC)(link)
If their website is truly terrible, you might pass on this one:

That plus any place you can pick up cheap/odd handsets (,, are both good for some weird shit) should give him any number of options, including tiny ones that sit in your ear and phones the size of a small stack of credit cards.

Or just small 'feature phones' and Android handsets with 3.5/4" screens, which are definitely pocketable.
jesse_the_k: Elderly smiling white woman captioned "When I was your age I had to walk ten miles in the snow to get stoned & have sex" (old fogey)

[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2016-08-25 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I sit with purple n change-resisting.

Two days ago I received the 3G replacement for my dying 2G phone. It's half-step up from smartphone (pretends to be an icon-driven, but actually isn't.)

Happy to provide live commentary & opinions if desired.
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)

[personal profile] wohali 2016-08-26 08:31 am (UTC)(link)
Perhaps we need to start him on estrogen treatments? :D
siderea: (Default)

[personal profile] siderea 2016-08-27 07:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I am right there with him. Not just as a dedicated flip-phone user[*], but also as a prepaid phone user who was just pushed to upgrade because of the G2 system retirement by my cell company which has a tremendously awful web interface.

I found there were no flip phones available through them. No physical keypad phones, either.

I got shipped an allegedly smart phone running Android, but I haven't activated it yet. Wee.

[* Was just reading about a nasty set of three zero-day exploits on the iPhone, and in the comments, someone rebuked another commenter for saying they were giving up on the iPhone, pointing out that the only real alternative was the even more security-problematic Android phones. "Unless you're using something like a Motorola RAZR." Which.
Edited 2016-08-27 19:33 (UTC)
siderea: (Default)

[personal profile] siderea 2016-08-27 09:41 pm (UTC)(link)
You use that for texting?
siderea: (Default)

[personal profile] siderea 2016-08-27 10:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, this is a bit of a non-sequitur wrt phones with hardware keypads.
kk1raven: (Default)

[personal profile] kk1raven 2016-09-01 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
A 3G dumb phone shouldn't be hard to get. I'm with Purple in seeing no need for a smartphone. I have plenty of other computing devices with bigger screens that are more pleasant for me to use. I want my phone to make and receive phone calls. That's it. If he uses a provider whose phones are compatible with AT&T's phones, both Best Buy and Walmart stock appropriate phones that are inexpensive. The new ZTE phone that I bought several months ago after finding that my old phone no longer worked at my sister's house cost all of $7.50.
kk1raven: (Default)

[personal profile] kk1raven 2016-09-01 07:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Making time to do that kind of thing is often the biggest obstacle. I know it took me a couple of months to get around to figuring out what phone to get and where to buy it. There were too many things that seemed more important. My old phone still worked fine around where I live though, so the incentive to do something wasn't as big as it could have been.