Last man standing

sonyUNTIL THIS week, I was the last man in the modern world without a Smartphone. But I have folded.

Sure, I had a cell phone, had one for years. It would do calls, messages and, well, that’s it. I was a Luddite in the phone department. The Hacienda has no landline.

I had never bought a Smartphone because I already spend too much time online, plus the phone keyboards are too freaking tiny for my manly paws. It’s annoying.

The primary reason I upgraded was that the old phone’s sound was lame. I frequently had trouble understanding what was being said* through that antique gizmo.

My new phone is a Sony Xperia C1904 that came onto the market in 2013. I bought mine used for 1,200 pesos, about 65 U.S. bucks, on Mercado Libre, which I’ve been wanting to try for years. A reseller in Mérida shipped it to me via DHL.

It’s not one of the huge ones. It measures 2.5 inches by 5 inches. I bought a nice case to carry it on my belt. I look very hip.

I have no contract. I just pay for the time I use, which is how I want it. I don’t need a contract because I don’t communicate with lots of folks. My personality remains the same.

My phone number did not change.

* * * *

* Say what?

32 thoughts on “Last man standing

  1. Felipe,

    I am still in that club. Flip phone, can’t even text. I’ve been in S.C. for three weeks, and it’s in a drawer, turned off. I suppose I should keep it in the car in case I need it.

    1. Kris: So I was not the last man standing. Appears that you are. Flip phone that doesn’t even text? Jeez, man. Do you hunt your meat with a club and cook it over an open fire?

      As for not keeping it in your car, one day you will regret that mightily when you’re out on the highway with a car that refuses to budge.

      1. I have put it in the car, but I refuse to become a slave to it. Seeing people walking through stores discussing what they’re looking at seems silly.

      1. You can text with it, two touches for N, three for T etc., but I don’t know how to make a space and it takes forever. I limit myself to ‘OK’ and ‘phoneme’. Usually, if someone texts me, I just phone them back.

        1. Kris: I understand your stance completely. But these things are pretty sweet. When you cease to be the real last man standing one day, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

          1. I use a tablet, have two laptops, and was using computers way back in the early ’80s, took programming courses and wrote my own programs for basic stuff, but it irks me when I’m talking to someone, and they pull out a phone and read a text. I have been known to just walk away.

            1. Kris: I also studied programming in the early ’80s, and I wrote code in Basic, Fortran and Cobol. I couldn’t write myself out of a paper bag these days, however. Came within one course of earning an Associate Degree in computer science.

              Now I have a Samsung Galaxy tablet that my wife uses 99.9 percent of the time for Facebook and recipes. I never use it at home. We use it to watch Netflix when we’re in Mexico City.

              Got nary a laptop. Just this nice H-P All-in-One that I’m quite fond of. It sits on my desk beneath windows that provide a view to the mountains. Sweet.

  2. Welcome to the modern world, Felipe! If you let yourself, you’ll find that phone becomes handier and handier once you equip it with maps, weather applications, WhatsApp (the single best way to message people in Mexico), email, whatever. You’ll start to find that it’s a chore waiting for your computer to boot up when you just want to check email, or the weather.

    I’d recommend you download “SwiftKeys,” an artificial-intelligence keyboard that guesses what you’re about to type, either while you are typing it, or one word ahead. So, for example, if you write, espero que estés it will almost certainly guess “bien” as the next word, and you won’t need to type it; just touch the word when it pops up.

    Also, amazingly enough, it manages to handle both English and Spanish without having to tell it which language you are typing. Truly amazing.

    Welcome to the twenty first century.


    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where we’d be lost without our smartphone, sometimes quite literally.

    1. Kim: In just a few days I’ve become quite fond of it. It’s not the hassle I anticipated. About three years ago, I bought a spanking new Samsung Smartphone on a lark, and got so annoyed at it that I sold it at a considerable loss within a week. I got this Sony Xperia after my wife bought the same thing about two months ago. If she could handle it, I knew I could. She’s about as low-tech an individual as you can imagine. I figured she could explain it to me, and she has to a great degree.

      I installed WhatsApp already on her advice.

      As far as the swift keys thing goes, I had it available on my antique phone. Don’t like it. Disabled it. My texts are always very brief anyway.

      All told, I’m trying to keep it to a low roar.

      By the way, I have noticed that your cell number, according to my contact list, has a lada code of my town. Is that correct? Did you buy it while you were here?

      1. Hola Felipe! I don’t think you have my Mexican cell phone number. And in any case, it’s a Mexico City number beginning with “55.” You may have my US cell phone number being displayed as a Mexican number. US # starts with a “44.”

      2. P.S. I initially had the same reaction as you to SwiftKeys. I installed it, then disliked it and deactivated it, then decided to give it another try. The second time ’round it has charmed me, so I’m now an active user and advocate. Saludos.

    2. KimG wrote:

      “I’d recommend you download “SwiftKeys,” an artificial-intelligence keyboard that guesses what you’re about to type, either while you are typing it, or one word ahead. So, for example, if you write, espero que estés it will almost certainly guess “bien” as the next word, and you won’t need to type it; just touch the word when it pops up.”

      Geez, Kim! I would {hate} that feature. I have turned off spell check and auto-correct on all my electronic devices, when I can.

      And I HATE HATE HATE those annoying, distracting “notifications”. My iPad, now with IOS 9 something, and my MacBook Pro do that. It’s a struggle to vanquish them. They are like a cloud of buzzing flies. But I’m winning. Remember, I’m retired, and out of the fast lane, and I don’t need that plague of notifications.

      And while I’m ranting, AVOID the Google Photo Auto Backup. Once activated, I never saw it again, yet it would upload *every* frickin’ photo to my Google Photos web page, and THEN (get *this*): it then proceeds to create “movies” and themes of my photos, without my involvement. I had to download a third party app just to delete it from my hard drive. It’s like a cancer. Evil, purely evil.

      Don Cuevas

      1. Don Cuevas: We are of one mind on swift keys. And the Google photo backup is a real jammer-upper. I did not fall for that on my new phone. I know how it works from problems in the past. Google can be a real headache in many areas.

      2. Don Cuevas: Hahaha!! I agree with everything you said except for the bit about SwiftKeys and autocorrect. The only time I’m annoyed with the autocorrect is if it’s trying to autocorrect Spanish into English or vice-versa. Then it becomes a cloud of mosquitoes. Otherwise, it’s annoying. I also try to limit my involvement with Google as much as possible as I believe that they are the public face of the NSA. Saludos!

  3. I’m being dragged into the New Age myself. I like my flip phone, never text, but apparently, according to people, I’m an antique, and need to get with modern times. My son-in-law has a new one waiting for me as soon as I get home. Some kinda I-thing. I thought antiques were treasured, apparently not.

    1. Bob: The flip phone again. I think that was a stage I completed leaped over. Got no idea how they work. I’ve seen them on TV, older shows.

      We are both antiques, and I’m sure people of people treasure you, from what I have discerned. My wife treasures me, but that’s about it.

      An I-thing, of course, is an Apple phone. Apple is the demon spawn of high technology. At least, that’s my take on it.

      1. There’s the Old Apple, which made Macs, ” The computer for the rest of us.” Now there’s the New Apple, which has iTunes, a hodge-podge Swiss Army Knife program which is debatably more dysfunctional than incomprehensibe, and “iCloud” whose principal task is to ask for your password, over and over again.

        1. Don Cuevas: iTunes destroyed every song I had collected on my hard drive years ago. There was no way to reverse the damage. I’ve been a die-hard Apple foe since then.

      1. Don Cuevas: I assume it’s one of those older cell phones that I see on TV and movies from some years back. There are two parts, the upper and the lower, separated by a hinge. When not in use, the two sides are folded together, making it smaller and protecting the keyboard. To use it, you flip the top up to expose the keyboard. The top has the part you put your ear to.

        I think that’s it. I haven’t seen anyone use one in person in a long time.

  4. I doubt I will ever have a smart phone. It’s too “smart” for me. I’m on a computer a lot of hours, so when I leave the house, I want to leave the web home too. I keep note paper & a pen in my bag or pocket. Imagine that! I have the least expensive phone you can buy here. Hardly ever used. SO (significant other) is 1500 miles away, what else would I need it for?! Ok, I take it on road trips ICOE. Another “Last Man…”

    1. Perry: I also had the cheapest cell phone available here. I also did — and still do — keep a notepad and pen in my pocket, a decades-long habit. I also thought my computer time at home was more than enough.

      But now I do love this new thing.

  5. Well, Felipe, I’m a flip phone user myself but since you made the move to a smartie, maybe I’ll consider upgrading too. Since I’m hard of hearing, the phone feature is basically useless to me. I have texting abilities now on my flip phone, but I’m not a texter. My interest would be in having GPS capabilities. Do you have to have an internet connection to utilize the GPS feature or not?

    1. Jeff: Mine has a GPS. I imagine all do. It has lots of stuff I will never use. I just ignore them. It has connection to the regular TelCel beams like my old phone, and it also connects to wifi, which you can turn off and on easily. (Yes, it’s a TelCel item. Other companies are available, of course, but I stick with Carlos Slim.) I imagine you need wifi to get the GPS to work. I haven’t tried GPS yet. Really doesn’t interest me. I have an excellent, built-in sense of direction, and if I’m wandering far afield, the Goddess has invented paper road maps, which I like. I don’t even like Google Maps. I find it annoying.

      But you might want to get one. I recommend Mercado Libre. Great price that included delivery to my door.

      1. ” I have an excellent, built-in sense of direction, and if I’m wandering far afield, the Goddess has invented paper road maps, which I like. I don’t even like Google Maps. I find it annoying.”

        I also have very keen navigational skills. I can even navigate the dense rabbit warren of streets of our state capital city. But I love Google Maps, other than it’s wrong too often. On the plus side, Google Maps don’t break along the fold lines as do paper maps, or make crinkling sounds.

        Using paper maps is like hunting for your meat with a club, then cooking it over a campfire. (Where did I read that?)


        1. Don Cuevas: Your love of Google Maps is well-known, and your blog is cluttered with them. To each his own, I say.

          As for senses of direction, you should see my wife. If she walks to the first corner, turns left (or right), well, then she’s absolutely lost. This is an exaggeration, of course, but not by much.

    2. Thanks for the info. I think I’ll remain in the “Last Man” category though. My wife and I put the required 50 pesos a month on our flip phones and don’t come close to using it.

      Also, we use Google and paper maps just fine so no real incentive to upgrade from where I sit.

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