October 17th, 2003

Enterprise Bridge

Ooooh, shiny!

I finally broke down and replaced my cellphone.

My two-year old QCP-3035 wasn't as trusty as I'd wanted to believe. The RF performance was pretty weak... I had poor or no service on much of the Poway High campus, and the first floor of my house. I've had two of these units now, and both exhibited the same behavior, so it's not a bum unit. I'd had Verizon swap my original out for a failing navigation key, and the second one's navkey is now dying too. So it was time...

Verizon slapped their "New Every Two" $100 discount on everybody's accounts that had picked up a 2-year contract, so the Motorola T730 is essentially free after the $50 rebate Moto's offering. I know a lot of people carrying T720s, and they've had service in places where I haven't, so it was a logical choice. I like the menu layout a lot better than the inconsistent thing my ex-cow-orkers developed for the 6GP and later phones. Polyphonic MIDI ringers are nice, and this one does sampled SMAF ringers as well.

The only trick is, working around Verizon's "Get It Now" mechanism to insert new graphics and sounds. That'll require fucking around on my Windows box, but it looks doable. Still, I had to see what was offered for-pay, and sho'nuff, I found "Clubbed To Death" as a MIDI. That was worth a buck and a half. I'm going to mess around a bit to see if I can get a sampled mechanical bell effect and the AT&T Merlin desk set ringer (used in "Homicide") onto it, for grins...

Verizon sells the USB data cable in their stores, which works out-of-the-box with OS X. (It's a USB-serial converter.) iSync 1.2.1 can talk to the Moto phones, so I didn't have to re-enter all my phonebook entries, it just synced against what my Pilot has. They, and Motorola, don't sell a Palm V interface cable, but Gomadic does, and a nice one at that. Their "extended" length cable lets you keep the phone on your belt while using the Pilot, which is far less cumbersome than holding them both as my old Kyocera cable required.

The MacCellphone Yahoo! group has the right modem scripts for OS X.

Verizon got cute with their America's Choice calling plans... roaming long-distance service is no longer free. So if you go out of town, calling home and all incoming calls now incur $0.20/minute LD charges. Fortunately, they allowed me to simply renew the old plan I was on, so I won't have that problem.