Tech Talk

Ian Kralt

Welcome to the first edition of “Tech Talk, a column devoted to an ongoing discussion of wireless technology. Each week we will discuss some aspect of wireless tech, be it devices, wireless issues or a discussion of the phones of the – very near – future. Development occurs at a breakneck pace; you and I shall do our best to keep up with it.

This industry moves so quickly that my employees spend a significant amount of time each week trying to get a handle on the latest and greatest. Sometimes its software advancement; often it is figuring out all the features on the newest phone to hit the market. The pace is crazy; it is nearly impossible to wrap your brain around all of it. But fear not!! Your only task today is to settle back in your chair, take a healthy sip of coffee and read. I’ll talk.

I remember the first cell phone that I ever owned. It was a Nokia; I have no idea what the model was. I do remember it was the size of a $5.99 block of cheese, about as heavy and permitted talk and T9 texting. Yes, T9 texting, where you hit the number “2” button three times to get the letter “c”….

That was all it did back in those days; there were no extras. No internet, no apps, widgets or watching YouTube videos while simultaneously sending a voice to text to my boss and downloading the latest update to Angry Birds. A processor was a device that converted carrots into juice; 64 gigs of memory required a PC the size of an outhouse. Color choices for your screen background were green. Or green. Or green.

Today, as I write this there are perhaps fifteen devices—that we carry—that you could choose from if you want a new phone. There are many more brands that we don’t carry and each one of them has a bewildering array of options, functions and features. Iphone is king in the marketplace, but Apple has serious competition from Samsung and the revitalized Blackberry, which recently sold its millionth unit in the States.

Even more bewildering is what these phones DO. Email, Internet, IM, weather updates, Google Maps, Siri (for those of you with a 4s or better), voice to text, apps, widgets, games, Facebook … need I go on? Oh yes, you can even CALL people ….

You as a consumer really have two routes to follow when you go phone shopping. Google every device and learn about all of them, hoping to find the one that suits you. Very educational; be prepared to invest your whole weekend in this effort. Or find someone who has already done all that research, build a friendly relationship with them and let them help you choose the best device. Just a thought.

Next week we will tackle a topic that I am sure is of interest to every resident of Tumbler Ridge. Our community has a wonderful piece of technology: fibre optic. We all know what fibre optic potentially offers, what is being offered to Tumbler Ridge? Next week we will look at what Telus has to say, what is available to you and the prospects for the future. Don’t hold your breath, I will be here.

Ian Kralt is the Regional Cellular Manager for Petron Communications.