Friday, April 06, 2007

The $3000 Cell Phone Charger

I'll admit it. I have had an email addiction since I was 18. During my first week at Georgia Tech, I was assigned a seven digit alphanumeric code that would be my login, my email address and a fixture of my self expression. For the following four years, I would answer to "gt1912a" almost more often than I would answer to "Dana".

In the days before laptops and pdas, gt1912a would walk from Unix terminal to Unix terminal around campus on her way to class, lunch and swim practice and compulsively check her email and read the gt.discussion groups. We came up with elaborate telnet schemes so that we could login to the school servers over holidays and when off campus. (Can you imagine life before webmail? God, it was awful.)

As gt1912a grew up a little more, she became dlbreig@, then soon became dbprobert@, but she never lost that addiction to email. Hotmail made things easier, then exchange servers with web interfaces, then laptops with wireless... but not until this November when I obtained my first pocketpc/cell phone did I truly know what life could be.

I used to run into the house and turn on my computer before anything else. Still wrapped up in winter clothes or muddy boots or after six hours in the car with 3 cups of coffee and no rest stops, I would press send/receive just to see what I missed.

Now, I never miss a message.

The thing about the Brick is that the battery doesn't last too long, so if I forget to plug it in when I get home, it isn't ready for me next time I want to leave. So I am pretty diligent about plugging it in.

Well, the other night, I must have unplugged it. When I went to leave in the morning, the battery was hopelessly dead. To quote one of my favorite children's books "Oh doom and disaster what absense of mind...!"

Desparate for a solution, I dug into the tech bucket of stuff only to find no compatible car chargers. Our only AC outlet type inverter was in Mr. Probert's truck fueling his laptop, minifridge and electric razor so that wasn't possible....

Then a brilliant idea. I have an inverter that came with my laptop.... and a USB cord for the Brick... So I took this pile of wires and equipment out to the car. I plugged the laptop into the lighter and the Brick into the laptop. And I exhaled slowly with intense relief knowing that I wouldn't miss TenLinks that day.


Unknown said...

So you were like an O.G. with your gt* number. I was a lowly gte767n. Us gte's were the fresh faced newbies.

That's one thing I liked about Tech. You never needed your name. If you knew your gt# and had your Buzz card, you could pretty much accomplish anything. "Write your gt# and have your Buzz card before you turn in your test."

Your post brings back such horrible, horrible memories. But now I can say I've experienced PTSD.

Anonymous said...

you need help debra....