Tag Archives: cellular

Sending SMS Messages via the web

I don’t always feel like reading for my cell phone every time I want to send a text message.  I have a bunch of these links bookmarked but I decided to post them here in case you didn’t know you could send a txt message via a computer. (Note: the recipient might get charged, of course, depending on their specific plan)

E-mail to text

There are some e-mail to text services, but the recipient usually has to have signed up and paid for this service, unlike the web forms above that are free:

[10digitnumber]@txt.bell.ca (Bell and Solo)
[10digitnumber]@pcs.rogers.com
[10digitnumber]@fido.ca
[10digitnumber]@msg.telus.com
[10digitnumber]@vmobile.ca (Virgin Mobile)
[10digitnumber]@mobiletxt.ca (PC Mobile)
[10digitnumber]@msg.koodomobile.com
[10digitnumber]@sms.sasktel.com and [10digitnumber]@pcs.sasktelmobility.com
[10digitnumber]@text.mts.net (MTS Allstream Inc./ Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.)

Note some providers (such as Fido) are forcing the recipient to pay an extra monthly fee in order to receive e-mail to text messages.

Rewired for the digital age (and that’s not necessarily a good thing)

From the New York Times

Sam Crocker, Vishal’s closest friend, who has straight A’s but lower SAT scores than he would like, blames the Internet’s distractions for his inability to finish either of his two summer reading books.

“I know I can read a book, but then I’m up and checking Facebook,” he says, adding: “Facebook is amazing because it feels like you’re doing something and you’re not doing anything. It’s the absence of doing something, but you feel gratified anyway.”

He concludes: “My attention span is getting worse.”

The entire article is a must read I am amazed at how passive families and parents are about their kids school work.  I was a noted slacker when I was a teenager about homework but my mother rode me to get it done.  While one student points out that there was distractions out there, there has always been distractions.

But Vishal and his family say two things changed around the seventh grade: his mother went back to work, and he got a computer. He became increasingly engrossed in games and surfing the Internet, finding an easy outlet for what he describes as an inclination to procrastinate.

“I realized there were choices,” Vishal recalls. “Homework wasn’t the only option.”

This isn’t new.  I was grounded from early in grade seven (other than church and hockey) until sometime in grade 8 without a break.  Even over the summer months.  It wasn’t one big grounding but a series of smaller ones that kept being added on.  Eventually my mother took away television, then my radio in my room, my toys and I still found new ways not to do homework but eventually you realize that this world demands something of you and you have to focus.

Students say that their parents, worried about the distractions, try to police computer time, but that monitoring the use of cellphones is difficult. Parents may also want to be able to call their children at any time, so taking the phone away is not always an option.

Other parents wholly embrace computer use, even when it has no obvious educational benefit.

“If you’re not on top of technology, you’re not going to be on top of the world,” said John McMullen, 56, a retired criminal investigator whose son, Sean, is one of five friends in the group Vishal joins for lunch each day.

Well first of all, why does a kid need a smartphone.  One student sent 27,000 text messages last month.  That can be controlled by downgrading her phone, limiting her outgoing messages to a more manageable number, and then demanding that she has to have cell phone minutes and and available text messages if she wants to go out.  Since when is “unlimited texting” and unlimited web access a human right?  The Nokia 1100 is the world’s most popular phone and really does someone going to school needs more than that?  250,000,000 users have gotten by with it but in North America, Rogers, Bell, and AT&T have got us convinced that a $600 smartphone is our only option.

“I’m doing Facebook, YouTube, having a conversation or two with a friend, listening to music at the same time. I’m doing a million things at once, like a lot of people my age,” he says. “Sometimes I’ll say: I need to stop this and do my schoolwork, but I can’t.”

That is why kids need parents.  They can’t always draw boundaries themselves.  Sadly it seems like all of us are having a harder and harder time drawing those boundaries.

The World’s Most Popular Phone

Gizmodo has a fascinating article on the world’s most popular phone.

Nokia 1100It has been said that more of the world’s population has access to a cellphone than to a sanitary toilet. But of the planet’s estimated 5 billion cellphone users, a privileged minority have smartphones; a paltry few, iPhones.

If you spend hours thumbing through pages of apps, scoffing at less-than-perfect software upgrades and grousing about screen resolution and pixel density, it’s easy to forget that the very concept of a mobile phone is a miracle. It’s a device that shrinks your day to day world into a single point, making you simultaneously accessible to and able to access nearly everyone you know, instantly and everywhere.

One summer in 2005, a man in Nigeria wanted in. He found a shop, put his money down on the counter, and left with a cellphone: a Nokia 1100, nearly identical to the model discontinued by AT&T that same year. Statistically, this was likely his first handset. He’d probably used a similar one through family or friends. Personal milestone or not, the tiny Clarkian miracle of that day represented a cold milestone for Nokia. It was their billionth phone sold.

In buying that phone, this man was joining a slightly smaller club. He became a Nokia 1100 user. Along with a staggering 250,000,000 others, he had traded up in the communications world, from little or no phone access at all to this little brick of a phone.

New cell phone

Samsung r610 I generally upgrade my cell phones about every five years or so.  To say I am a late adapter in this area would be an understatement.  Not only that but Wendy’s cell phone is almost 8 years old so she was due for a new one as well. 

After looking around for months, I decided to get a Samsung r610 and make the move to Virgin Mobile.  Believe it or not, it is also my first phone with a camera in it.

Everyone seemed shocked that I didn’t get a iPhone or a Blackberry but I have my iPhone touch which handles my e-mail, schedule, and has a enough games on it to keep Mark happy when he has to wait on me so I don’t really need a smart phone.

What I liked about Virgin was their rates and the fact that it used the SaskTel network in province.  While Fido and Rogers work okay in the cities, I need to leave the major highways once in a while and with Virgin I don’t have to sacrifice any coverage.  Now I just need to figure out how to send a photo via e-mail that I take.  So far, no success.  I hate to think that I need to crack a manual.

Best Pay As You Go Network?

I have been a long time SaskTel customer since Motorola came out with those massive flip phones back in the mid 90s.  I used SaskTel because of the coverage between here and Spiritwood which when you are driving that road 100 times a year you want good coverage.

After I quit Spiritwood, I didn’t have the need for a cell phone nearly as much as I used to and eventually I realized I was paying for a cell phone that I went months without using.  Finally we went to pay as you go cell phones.  A $25 top up would out last the three months it was good for.  In the end I was using about $7 of cell phone a month.

I am too old to text message, I don’t watch video on my phone, and I don’t need a smart phone.

We haven’t done that much traveling out of province the last couple of years by car and since we plan to travel to Edmonton over Easter break and then Calgary later this summer, I started to wonder if I need a cell phone that will work out of province.  I would prefer to stay prepaid if I could but if you have any thoughts on Rogers vs. Fido vs. Virgin vs. Bell, let me know in the comments.