Phones, Phones, Phones Part Deux

This is getting so frustrating. First, there are some decent phones out there. Second, there aren’t very many decent phones out there. Third, there are a lot of totally crappy phones out there.

Right now I’m down to three phones that seem reasonable, the Apple IPhone, the Blackberry Storm, and the Palm Pre. While Android is a fascinating idea, the only Android phones available in Ontario Canada are total and utter crap. It doesn’t matter how do the Operating System is, if the hardware is junk.

So let’s look at the problems with those three phones:

1) Palm Pre – 5 minute boot time. Keyboard (it has one).
2) Blackberry Storm – It’s an IPhone imitation.
3) Apple IPhone – The only carrier that has it is Rogers, and they overcharge.

So what do you do? Me, I think that I’m just going to get a cheap dumb phone, and use it for the next two years. Hopefully the smart phones and the plans available will be better than. But I doubt it. This is Canada, and it appears that the phone companies have the government under their total control.

Phone and Computer shopping

OK, so since I’m working for myself in effect, I need a good, reliable, laptop. Note the word reliable. Anything that comes with Windowz is out.

And I need a phone. But what type of phone? Basic dumb phone, smart phone, or something in between? And worst of all, I have to decide which wireless provider to use, and since in Canada the choices are dumb, dumber, and dumbest, it makes things hard.

Decisions, decisions. Suggestions are welcome.

Phones, Phones, Phones

Yep, still chasing a phone. I’ve seen the Palm Pre, the Blackberry Storm, and the Apple Iphone in the last week.

Palm Pre – works fine. Takes close to 5 minutes to start up though, which makes me wonder what else they screwed up. A 5 minute start up is unacceptable.

Blackberry Storm – it’s so much like an IPhone that you’d swear Rim just cloned it. Which is what they did of course. It works fine. But it doesn’t have the range of software available that the IPhone does.

Apple IPhone – the killer phone. Very nice, works great, lots of apps. Rogers/Fido pricing plans are totally insane. In fact Rogers should fly the Jolly Roger over their building. Truth in Advertising you know.

The Phone Hunt

In a lot of ways, the computer part of this is going to be easy. The Phone, it could be a nightmare. Let’s consider a trip I took last year:

Cell Phone
Palm Pilot
IPod

Now really, this is a bit ridiculous. I’m carrying three pieces of hardware, it would make sense to consolidate. Of course to do that, I’m going to have to spend some money, but let’s take a look at what I’ve already spent:

Palm Pilot – $400.00
IPod 30GB – $350.00
Motorola Razr – $50.00

So I’m carrying $800.00 worth of equipment around with me, each of which has a level of computing power that wasn’t available to large corporations until 10 years ago… This really doesn’t make sense.

The next consideration is data. My Palm Pilot is old enough that it doesn’t have Wifi, but my wife’s does, and it’s very useful. My son’s IPod Touch has Wifi. A phone with Wifi so that I don’t use up all my data limit on the first day sounds like a good thing. Unfortunately GREED is a factor in the cell phone game. This means that phones from certain providers don’t come with Wifi, even though the identical phone from another provider does.

Telus – let me say this straight out – your service is a huge rip off. No Wifi on your phones. You aren’t getting my business.

And then there’s the LG Dare. I’m a geek. I want to know what the operating system is on any phone I purchase. Wikipedia couldn’t tell me. LG Mobile didn’t list it. It took a lot of searching to find out that it uses a proprietary operating system and that it really isn’t a smart phone. OK, that one’s a dud.

So far I’m getting no where. To many of the phones I’ve seen are designed for texting, which would be great if I wanted to text, which I don’t. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Buying a new Phone and Computer – the Adventure Begins

FYI – I will be cross posting this in several places, in part because I’m looking for feedback, in part because I’m going to say some nasty things, and I want a lot of people to see them.

OK. So I’m making the big step. I’m leaving my job for a new opportunity, in which I will be operating independently, and I can make all of my own choices for computer and phone. Here are my requirements (at least those I’ve thought of so far):

Computer Requirements
01) The computer has to be portable
02) It has to have good battery life
03) I need CAD software that supports IGES and other standard formats
04) It has to be reasonably light (for travel)
05) It has to be durable (both for travel, and also because I would like it to last for 4 years)
06) The operating system has to be 100% reliable (no crashes)
07) It has to be virus proof (and proof against other types of malware)
08) The OS has to be maintenance free
09) Other software required is Mail
10) Other software required is Office
11) Other software required is Contact Management
12) Other software required is Accounting
13) Other software required is PDF Conversion
14) Other software required is Basic Graphic Editing
15) Other software required is Basic Video Editing
16) Other software required is Basic Sound Editing
17) It has to have a built in camera and sound recording for video conferencing

Phone Requirements
01) It has to be a smart phone (mail, web surfing, notes, and appointments)
02) It has to have good battery life
03) It has to be able to use 802.11 wireless when available
04) It has to be reasonably light (for travel)
05) It has to be durable (both for travel, and also because I would like it to last for 4 years)
06) The operating system has to be 100% reliable (no crashes)
07) It has to be virus proof (and proof against other types of malware)
08) The OS has to be maintenance free
09) It has to be able to sync with the computer

Now this is my list to this point – I’d appreciate suggestions as to what computers and phones would be good. I’d also appreciate suggestions as to what ones would be horrible!

I live in Canada, and have to put up with the pack of idiots that we have for wireless carriers, again, any suggestions as to which ones are less stupid and/or venal would be appreciated.