Monday, December 18, 2006

The Brewster's Enter the 21st Century.

Amy has recently taken a teaching position at DePauw University in beautiful Greencastle Indiana. Unfortunately her pay grade is not nearly enough for us to afford a move to beautiful Greencastle Indiana which means my wonderful wife will have to commute. It is about an hours drive and as such we have decided to join the 21st century and get a mobile phone.

That's right, the Brewsters are getting a cell phone.

I despise the idea, but I despise the though of my wife being stranded on Indiana highway even more.

The thing is, we know absolutely nothing about mobile phones. We're pretty much tried to ignore there obnoxious existence until now. So, I'm calling on you, my cellular friends to give me some run downs. The main things I'm curious about are:

Brands: Any opinions on which services are better? Cingular? Sprint? T-Mobile?
Types: Flip phones? The chocolate thingy?
Plans: What plans have you found the best?

We shouldn't need too many minutes as we don't really use the phone all that much. My understanding is pretty much all plans now have the free long distance nation wide, but that's more of a guess than actual knowledge. But if this is not true, then we'd definitely want a plan that included free nation wide calling. Actually we'd want cheap international calls too.

We don't really need all the fancy doohickeys, but I'm totally for camera phones and .mp3 players. But I'm guessing that all has to do with the actual phone and not so much the plans.

Texting I can live without, but I'd definitely like some kind of internet options.

I'm probably sounding like such a doofus with this information as it is probably all self-explanatory, but again I've completely ignored all cell info to this point. All info is absolutely asked for.


Jamison said...

I didn’t get a cell till my wife had to drive to Nashville after we first got married... it didn’t take me long to get the phone... But that was ages ago…

I have been with Alltel (twice), Sprint, Nextel and Verizon. I used to work for Bellsouth (Before it was called Cingular) and Alltel. I can tell you I have never been so pleased with a company of ANY kind as much as I am with Verizon. I remember Ryan calling me on his new Verizon phone. I thought he was calling me from his house until 6 minutes into the conversation he asked "How does my new cell service sound?" Crystal clear.

I don’t live in the city, have driven from Alabama to North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee… yet have never had a call dropped on verizon. I repeat; NEVER.

I pay alot of bills online and the verizon online experience (viewing bill, seeing remaining minutes, paying online) is so easy and helpful.

Calling Verizon customer support is actually the most PLEASE experience ive had in regaurds to calling service. They are helpful and knowledgeable about your specific phone and its features. Alltel customer service was weak, but Sprint was almost non-existent.

I wanted to move my wife off Sprint and onto my plan so we share minutes and have one bill. Easy as pie. Never set one foot in a store (which I loved). I recommend you call verizon and connect with the sales dept. If you don’t make a deal the day you call, give your sales rep the courtesy of getting their phone and extension number and call them back when you decide. They hooked my wife up with a no frills flip phone (No frills includes camera capabilities, calendar, etc ) for $20. I had to pay that via phone via credit card. Phone was mailed to me with easy programming instructions (Call a number and press like 3 buttons).

Type on phone, I have a PDA phoen that has a hidden keyboard that slides out from underneath (xv6700). More than you need. Larissa has a little samsung flip phoen (light as a feather but still feels unbreakable). I like flips becasue you can put them in your pocket and not worry about pressing buttons or worrying about locking your keypad.

As far as plans and prices, youll find nothing under $40 a month. If you find that even, take it! 300 minutes anytime, unlimited nights and weekends are standard.

I text alot, thats 10 bucks extra each month for unlimited IN texted (other verizon members) and 500 free any network texting. Otherwise the standard rate is .10 a text (it adds up fast). FYI, ANY phone has texting abilities… but a phone like mine just makes it easier since it has a keyboard built in. But honestly, I miss a small, easy to use flip phone.

I highly DISCOURAGE Sprint. Sucks all around. Cingular friends complain of dropped calls (despite their motto). Alltel was great to me, but Verizon wins hands down. (this sounds like a Brewster Millions review...)

Oh, last thing... on Verizon, ANY call from me to another Verizon customer is free... doesn't even come off your minutes.

Jamison said...

Oh, congrats on your wife's new job dude! Now its your turn!

As for MP3 playability, I dont know. My phone (like i said) is also a PDA, so I bought a few miniSD cards (2 gig in size) and slapped my MP3s on them (plus, i found a program that makes movies smaller in size, so I have 7 movies on one of them and all of my "the office" dvd episodes on another. They play in Windows mobile media player. No need to buy a ipod video now!)

youll pay extra for a phone that can act as an MP3 player, and to be honest, some providers may requre that you DL the songs from them... no doubt there will be hacks on the net to bypass this though.

mmullinz8 said...

First, congrats to the wife. I’m sure she was glad to leave the bath store.

On the phone front, Jamison is the guy to listen to. I have Cingular through a family account and almost never have unexplained dropped calls. That’s to say I live in a geographically challenging region for line of sight communications devices. Still, I don’t worry about it too much and in Indiana I don’t think it’ll be much of a concern.

Jules just got a Virgin pay by the minute phone and plan and she likes it pretty well. It’s a simple flip phone without many extras, no keyboard and MP3’s for sure. Mine is as simple as it gets and isn’t a flip phone. I have a keypad lock that keeps me from dialing Bangladesh too often.

Jules phone has no contract and no strings attached until she’s out of minutes when she will have to buy some more to talk.

We both have free nights and weekends and about $40 to $50 is going to be average for anything you get.

BTW, Jamison does have a cool phone.

Brew, I can’t get to the CafĂ© discussions posting page because I have two other sites my Id is connected to.

Brewster said...

You guys act like I never mentioned amy's job before, and I'm sure I did.

The mp3 thing is totally unnecessary but I think its kind of cool.

I don't know what to tell you about your access mulls. You might try deleting your internet history and cookies.

Jamison said...

consider trac phone too.. no contract. basic plans.

mmullinz8 said...

There are two pages for the blogger site. One is where we all read and reply to various topics, the other, which is the only one I’ve been able to use to post new content, is a very plane page with nothing to really look at except a long title list of our postings. I can’t find that page.

I’ve never posted new stuff, if there is a way, from page with pictures and such so I don’t know where that hot button is. Someone tell me where to find the plane page so that I can post something…

Brewster said...

The actual blog, which is what you simply read and comment on is

to actually post new things you have to log in here:

At scripps you may have had it set to store your user name and password so that you didn't have to do much logging in. But on the new computer you will have to remember your user name and password. I'm sure your user name is mmullinz8, but I don't know you password. But I believe you can tell blogger to send it to you (although it may then be sent to your scripps e-mail)

If you can't remeber or are still having problem let me know and I'll send you you out a new invite.

Brewster said...

Blogger has also been updating to a new beta blogger with "improved features" Every time I log in I get a note saying it is ready to upgrade us. But when I click on it to upgrade I get an error and it says we're not ready.

Maybe this has something to do with your problem

Anyone else being told we can upgrade?

Jamison said...

hey, Merry Christmas everyone!

kellieja said...

I love Verizon! It is the way to go and I think they just released a new MP3 phone that should be amazing.

bigsip said...

If it's just for emergencies, get a Tracphone. We used one all the time Rachel was going to school and it worked fine.

If you want something you'll use a lot, go with one of the plans out there. But, be forewarned, they ain't cheap by any stretch of the imagination. We have been very lucky to get on a family plan through Cingular where we pay under $13 per month. The service is good and reliable, but we only use the phone for emergencies and occasions where we really need to talk to someone else about something.

We also have unlimited minutes to other Cinguar users, including my Mom and brother/sil.

Just explore your options, ask family about plans they might be able to include you on. Ask friends, too...all the phones on our plan are used up, though.

You wrote a whole blog about Amy's new job. I may have been the only person who noticed and said congrats...not sure. But, congrats again! What an adventure!

Brewster said...

Welcome back Kellie.

We've talked about one of those emergency only type deals and it would probably be best. I just have this sneaky feeling that once we get a mobile, we'll wind up using it a lot.

My folks are looking to see if they can fit us into their family plan.

bigsip said...

A short note on my job hunt:

I had received an email from a man the other day concerning a position with the same company I was just laid off from. Here's what he said:


I am the task lead for the Air Force Network Operations Control Center here on Gunter and am looking for a lot of help next year. Our task is growing from 42 people to over 100 and I will need a trainer/tech writer. Will you be available to talk with me next week about a opportunity here in the AFNOC?

I emailed him back and said I'd love to meet with him. He called me today and asked me to an interview tomorrow afternoon!

He said my education and experience leave me open for several jobs he has available on the new contract. So, I'd just have a new boss and be working on a new contract for the same company. Plus, it would be in training, writing, and education. So, I'd be returning to the side of things I have always liked. BTW, the new contract is for 5 years with an option to renew! You can't get any more stable than that in contracting.

Thanks for the prayers. Keep them up. This looks like the answer, but we shall soon see.

I'll let y'all know how it turns out!

bigsip said...

Just got off the phone with Jamison. He and Larissa had a Merry Xmas and are still having a lovely time in the snowy wilderness of West Virginia.

He asked me to tell you all "Hi and they love you." and "Merry Christmas!"

They'll be back Friday evening. Keep them in your prayers on their trip.

Jamison said...

Another cafe prayer answered for we are back home, safe and sound, albeit exhausted. Got to snow ski for a bit, got some snow, lots of pictures, and lots of fresh, west virginia mountain air, but am glad to be back home.

Ill second Brews comment on being glad to see Kellie back in the virtual world. It has been quiet on the blog and myspace without you around!

kellieja said...

Just here for the moment so you guys get to blogging!