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This seems to be turning into a weekly thing

This seems to be turning into a weekly thing…

3 July 2000

First things first: an update on the whole car thing.

On Sunday afternoon I had been playing with the idea of hopping on a plane
and delivering the winning ticket by hand, but by Monday morning this seemed a
bit over the top. So I called Fuji, and asked them what we should do with it.
The ticket itself said that we should take a photocopy and then send the original
to Fuji by recorded delivery, but I wanted to hear it from a real person. When I
spoke to them, this exactly what they said, but somehow that reassured me.

Of course, as soon as the envelope left my hand at the post office counter,
I immediately had second thoughts. The probability of the envelope getting lost
in the mail was surely about the same as of us winning the car in the first place.
Why hadn’t I splashed out on a courier instead? What if the person I’d spoken to
at Fuji wasn’t a real representative of their marketing department, but an impostor
who was going to intercept the ticket and use it for himself?

After an anxious afternoon and night, I called them again the next morning,
just to confirm that it had arrived. It had. (A victory for common sense, or
a lucky escape? Who knows…) They said they would be back in touch towards
the end of the week once they had verified the claim, and sorted out things with
Toyota. Unfortunately, when they did call
on Friday, it was to say that the only
person authorized to release a car is off on holiday, and won’t be back until
Monday 10th July. I’m sure we can wait, though.

Mobile Phonery

I thought the day would never happen. Neither did Abi. Even at the best of
times, I hate getting phone calls. Using an answering machine isn’t much better,
because I don’t like making phone calls either, and when someone leaves you a message,
they generally expect you to call them back. So why would I conceivably want a
mobile phone, so that I could be reachable all the time? The very
notion is absurd.

…But somehow, while I had the loan of my mum’s mobile phone while they were
away on holiday, I sort of got used to having it around. While I still worked
for the bank I used to have a pager, and although it had the same problem as an
answerphone (i.e., you have to call back), it was kind of useful (sometimes)
for keeping in contact with Abi. For meeting up after work, for example.

So, thanks to the friendly people at the
Carphone Warehouse
, I now have a
state-of-the art WAP-enabled Nokia 7110
with a spring-loaded front cover (like
in The Matrix).
In the past I’ve been quite disparaging about WAP, mainly
because it’s being marketed as mobile internet (you know who you are, BT).
While this claim is true-ish technically, the
shortcomings of the WAP protocol itself
and the size of the screens involved make it a thoroughly silly idea. Mini-services are the
way to go, but nowhere but Japan (with the
i-mode)
seems to have got a proper clue yet. And anyone
who seriously thinks that composing an email or text message on a phone’s keypad
is somehow clever, or a productive use of their time needs to spend some quality
time in a padded room far from the rest of humanity.

Will I use the WAP features? Probably not. I bought the phone because it
makes me look cool. Anything else is just a bonus.

And Finally…

…I’ve been playing way too much Diablo II. Not the most sophisticated game
in terms of graphics, nor does it have a hugely compelling storyline. But what
it lacks in innovation, it makes up in sheer playability. It’s easy to pick up,
but hard to put down. Check out
Gamecenter for their
initial thoughts on the game.

-Martin.