Friday 5 November 1999

Mobile phone

Pic of the day: The good old Motorola d460 is plenty enough for me.


The free webpage server,, was up and running a while at their new headquarters. (It's down again as of this writing.) This is where I store my old archives (more than a couple months old), and so I went back and looked at my entries one year ago. I was apalled. Worse, I was apalled by my current entries.

I knew my entries had grown longer over time, but the contrast over a year was just striking. Especially when they've been unfocused and rambling, like recently. (Of course, this is hardly going to improve by me writing long, rambling rants on how long my entries are.)


Today I whiled away half an hour of a street seller's precious time. Here's how. The young and slightly perforated man (as in pierced) eagerly stopped me in the street, waving a mobile phone. Wasn't it nice? Didn't I want to hold it? It only cost kr 185 (ca $24). And I need not pay for it until two months hence.

It was indeed a marvel of a mobile phone, even though it was from Motorola and not from Nokia, the world leaders in mobile phones. (Ericsson aren't all bad, either.) Compared to my old one, this was highly impressive. Small, lightweight, with a high resolution display that could show several lines of crisp text. My old one can only show one line of text, and a short one at that. And the marvel has infrared communications, and its batteries have 150 hrs standby time. And it vibrates. He told me this repeatedly during our conversation. He even placed a call and made it vibrate. Huh. Do I really look like the target group for oblong, vibrating objects?

The young man obviously gets commissions for each phone sold. So it is understandable if he economizes a bit with the truth. After a while I wanted to see the contract. It's true that the phone only costs kr 185. Per month, for 24 months. Oh, and you are also supposed to buy a NetCom mobile phone account, which means another monthly bill (whether or not you call, which I rarely do). Since I already have such an account, and a mobile phone, it did not seem such a good idea after all. I asked them about downloading e-mail from the phone. It cost kr 0.88 (ca 12 cent) per mail. Not a bright idea either, when you subscribe to mailing lists with a couple hundred messages a day. So after wasting nearly half an hour of his time, I bid him farewell and returned to my office.


Speaking of mobile phones, the other day I found out that I could receive text messages on my old one. I logged onto NetCom's homepage and there, on the left column, was a place where I could type my mobile phone number (92800445) and under that, a short message. Some seconds later my phone started beeping, and there it was!

I did this in order to test if I could receive text messages. The procedure for installing NetCom Internet involved them sending a password to my mobile phone. (NetCom Internet is only for customers of NetCom, though you access it from a wired phone.) Well, it worked, and I also received the text from NetCom. So now I know.

Text messages between mobile phones are extremely common especially among the young here, I see them sitting and pressing their colorful phones quite a bit. But it costs kr 1.50 per message (nearly 20 cent) and if you do this a few hundred times a year somebody's gotta pay. However, sending from NetCom's homepage was free. I would not be surprised if this is one of the most heavily trafficked pages in our country.

Incidentally, our friends abroad could certainly also send us text messages this way, still for free. If they could understand Norwegian, which is the language the page is written in. They probably have similar sites in their countries, but I don't know if they could send to Norway from there even if they included the international prefix. (Norway is +47.) And anyway, it would probably be in the middle of the night here. And the same there, if I tried to message them. And e-mail is so much more convenient! :)


Today I am a little bit sick. I do not know what, or where, or why. I do have some problems with "hyperactive" digestion, but that may be unrelated. I have just the sightest of fevers, but enough so I can sense my skin feeling hot while my bones feel slightly chilled. Add a light headache and slightly swollen tonsils, and it is obvious that my immune system is on the hunt again. Funny, the infection in my bronchies seemed to be retreating orderly by itself (so I haven't started taking the doxycyclin, though I did buy it). My muscles are slightly stiff too. Let us see what way it goes ... sometimes an infection is thrown back early on. And if it's a virus, antibiotics won't help anyway.

I'm not in the mood to complain tragically. Some of my fellow journallers are younger than I and suffer from incurable and ultimately fatal diseases. Others are in physical pain or mental anguish from chronic diseases. I can hardly expect forever to live in a bubble of health, the way I largely did for most of my adult life. Still, I am baffled by how this follows within a few days of my Declaration of Happiness. I have mentioned this pattern in the past, and now it strikes again. I wonder if I stubbornly remain happy, will it grow worse? Let's say neutral for now, OK? :)

Adrift in time?
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