I had occasion to be on a conference call with two colleagues late last week and one of them was late to the call. When he finally arrived, he was pretty exasperated because his TREO had locked up on him sometime before he was due to get on the call and he was forced to remove the battery in order to get the phone to release whatever had frozen it. That of course is what caused him to be late, as he had no idea the phone was in trouble until he went to use it…and then it was too late.
I can emphasize with him totally as I have had similar problems with the new generation of phones myself. I think that we fail to realize or understand that these devices have become more than the cell phones of old. They have morphed into computers. As such, they have many of the same problems that are common with computers and some of the same techniques we use with computers can also be used with our phones to enhance the user experience.
Just as it is good practice to do the occasional reboot or shutdown of your computer, it also good practice to do the same with your phone. Turn it off every night when you go to bed, and turn it back on again in the morning. This will create a restart of the phone operating system, clear the memory (not 100% true with all phones) and let the phone reconnect with the nearest cell tower. Additionally, if it’s off, you won’t get a call in the middle of the night! And once you turn it off, why not hook it up to the charger so that you leave the house the next day with a fully charged battery? Yes, the battery will charge while the phone is off. In fact, it will charge faster than if it was on, and today’s new phones use Li-Ion technology that does not have memory effect. This means that it is not harmful to recharge a partially discharged battery.
You may also want to power your phone off completely and then power it back on just before you have to make that critically important call to a client. I often reboot my computer before starting to work on an important project, and I do the same with my phone about 15 minutes before a crucial call. That may be overkill, but I want to make sure that I can make and complete the call without any problems and this at least will give me a fighting chance!
As the cell phone “smart” technologies mature, these habits may no longer be necessary, but I doubt it. Look at how long we have had personal computers and they still are not as reliable as a good old television set!
On a personal note, those of you who know me personally and have seen me over the past 9 1/2 months have noticed that I have been steadily losing weight. On February 1st, 2008, I set a goal to lose 60 pounds by Christmas Day, 2008 (I weighed 255 pounds on February 1st, 2008). I am ever so happy to report that I have achieved that goal!!! This morning my scale reported 193 pounds! Many of you have asked me to tell you how I accomplished that task so I decided to chronicle the experience on a new blog at http://LiveThinBlog.com.
I hope that you will visit the new blog and subscribe to it. And thanks to all of you who have encouraged me along the way!