Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh, you stupid phone!

In August I retired my Dell PDA and bought an Archos minitablet from eBay. Nice little device except for one glaring flaw -- no speakers, only a headphone jack. I have used my PDA for doing calendar reminders for years. This was a rather disappointing "upgrade."

Around that same time, I realized I was eligible for a cell phone upgrade and got an itch to do it. I looked around and found a Samsung Brightside phone -- not a smart phone, but pretty smart for a dumb phone. It has nice calendar and alarm features.

One of the reminders I need is to do an injection every other evening (for the MS that has been keeping very quiet since an attack in summer 2011). It's simple -- every 2 days do a reminder alarm at 9:00 p.m. Not a big deal.

I set up the alert. It worked once -- embarrassing me by playing its little ditty while I was sitting in a meeting, which obviously was running a little long. It has not worked since. I have deleted it, reprogrammed it, found an alarm that works and modified it, changed the ring tone, and everything else I can think of. Every Sunday morning at 10:15 my phone faithfully reminds me it's time to head to the church sanctuary for worship. Every night at 9:00 it sits there and does nothing.

Tonight I decided to do a search to see if anyone else has had similar problems with this phone. It turns out there are a bunch of very angry Samsung Brightside users hanging around the Verizon forums! (Where were all these people when I did a search for reviews before buying the phone?)  People who used to depend on their phone to wake them up for work or, like me, remind them about medication schedules until they bought this model. Lots of complaints about alarms that work once or twice or longer and then quit or never work at all, a few "this might work" suggestions, but no fix coming from the manufacturer. I tried one of the suggestions -- turning the phone volume to "alarm only." Then I realized I wasn't really using the alarm function, that I had a calendar alert. Is that the same? And anyway, I really didn't want to turn off my phone ringer. So I turned it back up.

At 8:45 my phone alerted me that it's an injection night, for the first time since that September meeting.

Really?? That's the key? Turn the volume down to "alarm only" and then turn it back up? Or does it have more to do with having the phone close to a computer screen full of suggestions that it is the worst phone ever marketed and should be trashed?

Once again, I'm thinking that demon possession is really the only reasonable explanation for the quirks of office machines and computing devices.