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Moore’s Law Bites Again

Filed under: All Things Tech - BookRenter Team
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In which Keith goes through 6 cell phones in less than a year – and lives to tell about it.

by Guest Blogger Keith Kaplan I ALBION COLLEGE: Brains (double-major honors student, Mortar Board, College Fellow) and brawn (swim team captain and an avid outdoorsman who most days can be seen paddling on the river that runs through his campus). Regular blogger. Co-founder of the eponymous DK Cookies (on Facebook!).

So you know that feeling you get when you buy something and a week later a new and better model is released? That’s how it is with me and cell phones, which seem to be released every month, boasting features and capabilities that make my previous cell phone(s) immediately obsolete.

The phenomenon is described by Moore’s Law, which says that the capabilities of digital electronics increase at an exponential rate each year. This is why we now have phones like the iPhone when four years ago we had the Motorola Razr. But in my own typical theory-busting way, instead of having a more advanced phone every year (as described by Moore’s Law), I’ve had six phones in the past year, all with more or less the same capabilities. Kind of crazy, right?

All the phones that Keith has owned in his life

The first phone I owned was a Motorola flip phone. Then I upgraded to the second phone from the right, which looked as if it were going to have a long, successful run, right up until the time it got fried when I was dancing at a party one night. (Of course, that’s not the entire truth. Leave a comment if you want to know the real story, and I might tell you.)

A one-time mistake forced me out of a phone for two months. When I went back home for winter break, I used my dad’s old Motorola Razr with a cracked screen. This phone only lasted for a month before the screen died. My mom also had an old Razr, so I borrowed it for three or four months. By that time, the phone couldn’t even hold a charge.

So now I was seriously fed up with poor-quality cell phones. It was time for a smartphone. It’s still time for a smartphone, but I haven’t bought one yet. Convincing my parents that I needed a smartphone in the first place took a lot of time. About four weeks ago, though, my parents were finally convinced. Soon enough, we were at the Verizon store looking into family plans.

Now we went from AT&T to Verizon because we wanted the option of an unlimited data plan, which AT&T didn’t give us. This all had to be done by July 7 because that’s when Verizon switched to a tiered data plan.

Here’s the best part: instead of buying a two-year contract, I’m on a monthly plan, and when the Galaxy S2 is released (hopefully within the next month!), I’ll buy the phone at the two-year contract price and happily indulge myself with unlimited data.

You’re probably asking yourself where the other three phones came in. Well, since I wanted to wait for the Galaxy S2 to come out, I had to get a temporary phone, which turned into three temporary phones. I contacted a friend, who came to the rescue with an old Verizon flip phone. Since the phone had no charger, it died after a week, so my buddy gave me an even older phone. How old? You had to pull out an antenna to use it. This phone held a charge – as long as it was plugged in. I went through these phones in no more than two weeks. Finally, another friend, taking pity on me, gave me her old Blackberry Storm.

So with all this experience under my belt, I have a few suggestions:

  • If you go without a phone for two months, be prepared for a lifestyle change. You might find yourself not talking to as many people.
  • Before you go and buy a new phone, make sure you’re up to date with the latest information about phones. Pay attention to blogs, forums, and any and all buzz about cell phones.
  • Don’t throw your old phone(s) away. Either recycle or save them. You never know when you might need one of them.

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