Saturday, January 05, 2008

Insert SmartChip

That's the message displayed on my dad's phone this morning when I came in from the deer stand on this the final weekend of the 2007-08 deer season.

A little history, 12 years ago coming to the deer camp without a phone wouldn't have been an issue. Cellular service was spotty at best. So if you had a phone and it quit working you would get it fixed on Monday or whenever you got back. Heck 12 years we didn't have hot water for showers and water pressure was created by a little pump someone had to turn on when your were ready to jump under the cold water shower fed by our water tank. Brrrr, it seemed cold. Over time we've gotten smarter and more comfortable. A LP gas water heater was brought up. The water pressure pump motor was fixed so we have pressure throughout the cabin. A full size refrigerator was brought up. And cellular companies added more towers in the area. Today you can talk on the phone from any where on the property.

So back to my dad's phone. Earlier this season he was introduced to texting. This weekend he was trying to learn more about it so he could use it better. Last night while trying to send a message to mom, it was discovered that his contactbook doesn't have her number stored as 10 digits. When he tried sending a message from his contactbook it failed. Send a message with 10 digits and works. Simple, correct the entry in the contactbook.

Well this morning while on the deer stand he's trying to text mom and realizes he hasn't fixed the 10 digit number issue so he goes in there to fix her number. Somewhere along the way he stumbles on the My Number screen and sees his number starting with 1-. Thinking he should try to fix it, he tries to change the number. The phone won't let him. However it let him enter his number sans 1- in the second entry. Upon saving it he's prompted with a message talking about programing the phone. He chooses cancel. Boom, no more phone, just "Insert SmartChip".

So when I see the message I check the chip of course. It's there so next I fire up my Nokia N800 and Google for possible solutions using my phone's bluetooth tethering Internet feature. No luck.. A quick check at shows the nearest store is in Lufkin about 30 minutes away. A call to the store confirms that they can fix/replace the sim card as needed. I get the address from the web site and grab my gps from the jeep. The GPS, another new experience for my dad. We arrive at the store and a few minutes later we are walking out with a new sim chip and he bought a shiny new phone cover too.

By the time we eat lunch and drive back it's 1:30 and too late for a nap. So we take care of a few end of season things and then I head back to the stand. Where of course I'm making this entry using my trusty N800 and cellular internet service. Hmmm, I wonder how technology is going to affect my hunting in another 12 years? One thing is for certain, as things get more high tech and comfy up here I seem to be missing out on more naps.

Better get back to hunting now.

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