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Back in 1992, I had an alphanumeric beeper that could receive 160-character text messages.
160 characters. 1992.
Come on, Twitter!
Fun Fact: A tweet is actually 160 characters, but the first 20 are automatically reserved for an internally-used user ID.
That should also give you the privilege to switch it off and be out of reach when you're not at work/outside office hours. You could even leave it at your work site when you leave for the day. (If you do have a "site", that is; I don't know what kind of work you do. Since you have a work cell phone you may be in the field, I guess.)
With the added bonus they can claim your phone anytime to check your records. well done.
A doctor, a lawyer and a mathematician were discussing the relative meritsof having a wife or a mistress.
The lawyer says: "For sure a mistress is better. If you have a wife andwant a divorce, it causes all sorts of legal problems.
The doctor says: "It's better to have a wife because the sense of securitylowers your stress and is good for your health.
The mathematician says: " You're both wrong. It's best to have both so thatwhen the wife thinks you're with the mistress and the mistress thinks you'rewith your wife --- you can do some mathematics.
That's not fun.
Originally one of the best ways to update your twitter status was via SMS. It was awesome back when data plans were for millionaires,
That's not true:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJJW7EF5aVk [youtube.com]
Or people with on call jobs.
I worked in the oil patch as a field engineer, starting in 1979. I carried a beeper until I got out of the field in 1990. I got my first cell phone in 1988, but it was bolted to my car (in the trunk, only the head was in the front.) I still had to carry the beeper, since it was extremely difficult to get the car in my pocket when I was at a restaurant or similar.
I'm with you. I'm 42. The first cell phone I used was when I was probably 24 and it was one of those huge old Motorola bricks. The first one I actually owned was probably 1999 or so (I was 29).
Maybe a more relevant answer would be my son. We got him his first cell phone when he was ~12 and more or less just so we could coordinate rides to and from various events. He's a weird kid, though. He has to be the only teenager (he's almost 14 now) who pretty much NEVER uses his cell phone. He's very technologically literate (he's my kid after all :) but he has to be reminded to charge and bring his cell phone if we have to pick him up somewhere later. I told him he's going to have to watch that when he gets a girlfriend. If he has a girlfriend who is texting him he's gonna have to text back... Of course that will probably solve itself. :p
Well, it is possible, since cell phone networks were first set up in 1978, and my wife still has her (deceased) mom's 1979 cell phone - it requires a cigarette lighter plug (no battery) and is meant to be used in a car. The thing is enormous and heavy and I'm not sure why she keeps it other than sentimental value, as I'm sure it is useless now, but is kind of a cool conversation piece. That said, I was also in my late 20s before I got one, but my brother has had one since he was 20 (his college internship business paid for it) and he is also 42.
in the us, the old 'a' and 'b' side cell carriers were required to keep analog service going until feb 2008. once the regulatory obligations ended, the carriers affected wasted very little time shutting down the analog networks. for instance, verizon shut theirs down the very first day they were allowed to, while alltel (pre-buyout days) kept theirs going for many months after (it was their extensive analog coverage that helped make true their claim of having "america's largest network"). analog amps service is done for. if there were dialtones on cellular, you wouldn't even get that.
Carried around a Motorola brick ca 1994 when I was doing news radio. Fucker was heavy, too.
Got my first modern mobile (a Samsung clamshell) in 2005. I was 40-something then. Ah, to be young again...
I'm 23, some/most my friends got their phones when they where 12-ish, and as far as I could tell they mainly used them to harass/bully each other and play pranks. When I got my phone (around 14 I think) I hardly used it either, and to this date it is still more of a communication device as opposed to a social device to me.
What I am trying to say is that it hardly makes your son weird that he doesn't use his phone much, it probably mainly means that he isn't a bully himself, and if he is bullied, it's on facebook or in person.
I was thinking about it, and part of it may be that the way teenagers are communicating is evolving past phones and text messages. As I said he IS technologically literate so he would probably be on the cutting edge of any such trends, whether I realize it or not. I will say he Skypes a lot. Mainly with a couple friends he plays Minecraft with, but I looked over his friends list the other day in Skype and it's pretty big. He doesn't have a video camera for his computer (and thankfully hasn't asked for one) so it's all audio. But there's a lot of it.
I guess if that's the case that would make his opinion valuable to tech companies. And I guess he did participate in one paid research study sponsored by Mozilla about how, when, where and why he uses Firefox. So maybe tech companies have recognized all of this before me. But that's not surprising. For being smart, I'm notoriously bad at noticing obvious things.
Marginally more on-topic: I still don't have a "smart phone". I have a shitty Samsung feature phone (which I hate; I want my old Razr back, but I digress). I'm almost always in front of a desktop with a net connection, I commute all of 5 miles to work, don't travel, and mostly shop online. Why would I need a smart phone?
Hrm. Maybe a better question to ask is "In what year did you first get a cell phone?" I still remember my father's car phone, and his bag phone.
I didn't have a cell phone until I was in my 30s. It was a combination of them not being available when I was a kid, and not wanting to have one of the damn things. I hate talking on the phone (and a can-you-hear-me-now cell phone even more so), so I had Zero incentive to carry one around with me. The only reason I relented and bought one (a prepaid dumbphone) was because I was on unemployment, and needed a way to call in for my weekly check-in appointment without being stuck at home or finding a payphone. Of course today (I'm... no longer in my 30s) my phone and I are almost inseparable, but that's only because my phone is now a computer with my calendar, notes, mail, web access, etc. You could remove the Phone app from it, and I'd be just as happy with it. Probably more.
But most were pretty big, including the briefcase models. To get anywhere near a standard phone size cost a few thousand dollars. And they were all analog.
Never saw a briefcase model, but I do remember the old DynaTACs that I think were about $4000 (probably 10k it today's dollars). My mom had the successor to that (miniTAC iirc), which was one of the first non-car cell phones I personally saw, but that was more like 1990.
My dad had one of the big briefcase models in the early 80s. He worked for the phone company as a field engineer, and had it in case of emergencies far out on remote sites. He had strict instructions never to use it because the calls were stupid-expensive even to the phone company.
Phones were still Gordon Gecko-only bricks for the well-to-do while I was finishing high school. Maybe a better question would've been, "What would've been the right age for you to get a cellphone?"
If /. really wanted to have some fun and expose us as old, they could ask some better geriatric-exposing tech questions like:
* Which joystick was the best?>>> Cant remember the name, had a metal shaft and a plastic ball at the end with a really short throw, was great for those olympics games where you'd have to go side to side to run. Think it was a tac something.
One of these [wikipedia.org]?
I never got one of those, but I did have one (by the same company) that was similar... the Slik Stik. It only had one button, but it still used the metal-ball-on-contact method. Very nice digital joystick! Loved that on my C-64
I preferred the Competition pro: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_Pro#Competition_Pro [wikipedia.org] - very reliable, used those during my C64/Amiga days.
YES! I just spent the last 5 minutes searching for the exact joystick I had for my C64 when all I had to do was look further down the thread. That's *exactly* the joystick I had. Oddly there are many that look very similar, but the name even rings a bell with me.
On a side note, my absolute largest regret in life is I let my wife garage sale my C64. I had a tape drive, two 1541s, an MPS801 printer (no true descenders FTW!), 1702 monitor, and about 3 shoe boxes full of 5 1/4" floppies. Can't believe what an idiot I was for agreeing to that. My step daughter and son are still pissed at her for doing it and me for agreeing to it (even though they were very young/not born yet at the time).
You *are* old. Well, older than I am. ;-)I turned 21 in 1987, four years after the first commercially available cell phone.I didn't get one until after I was married in 1998, so older than 33.
Are we talking about when we first legally obtained a cellphone?
I was 22 in 1992. You had the Nokia 1011 [grignani.org] then. Far too expensive for a mere student. I got my first mobile in 1998; an Alcatel that could run on three normal batteries. [blogspot.com]
Early '90s, I got myself something like that at Radio Shack
Hey, Slashdot's been around for a long time. If you see someone with a five digit ID or smaller, you have to figure that that's no spring chicken! :)
Of course not. You'd have to cross my lawn to do so, and I have strict rules about that! :)
Mid 90's so between 35 and 40.
How do you get reception in the basement?
Irrelevant. Go upstairs to order Dominos, and it isn't like there are incoming calls to worry about.
I held out until 35, when my wife was pregnant with our first child.
A baby monitor would've been much more useful - infants have a lot of trouble dialing.
I wanted to provide my daughter something expensive and vulnerable to bodily fluids for use as a teething toy.
At about 6 months old she got a hold of my ~$600 Nexus One and was sucking/chewing on the bottom end where the USB connector and trackball are. It still works fine, but the trackball has been constantly lit in various colors ever since.
I'm confused. Are you asking about the phone or the child or the wife? Only 2 out of 3 frequently wake me up.
This poll is more useless than most because cell phones haven't been available to the public long enough. In order to make any sense out of the results of this poll, age data would need to be provided in order to categorize responses based on technological practicality. All the results for this poll tell me is what I already knew: the majority of people on this site are older than the internet.
"the majority of people on this site are older than the internet."
Um... no. I'm older than the internet, but that's only because I was born in the 1960s.
Technically you are correct that ARPAnet was the birth of the Internet in 1969.
The best _kind_ of correct.
Better to have a "what year did you first own a cellphone"?
was working as a cab driver at the time. It was the kind with the main body of the phone in a bag, and an antenna your ran from the bag out the window to the roof...
I was watching the 1976 movie Car Wash not too long ago and it wasn't until after the scene where the woman was talking on a car phone that it dawned on my what I'd seen. So I looked it up and found [checking again] the first handheld cell phone was demonstrated in 1973 and first commercially available in 1983. The first mobile calls from cars were made in 1946, and the networks they built in the following years were in use into the 80's.
Banacek had one in his car, which always seemed uber cool and apropos for that suave dude.. In any case that show ran '72-'74.It was when the phones were not tethered to a vehicle battery and large antenna that sealed the mobile deal. Still i was about 32 (1990) when i got my first cell phone and only becasue i moved form a small town to a large metropolis and you pretty much had to have one there.
Although cellphones were available in 1980s, they were big and expensive but much easier to get than a IMTS (take a look at http://www.wb6nvh.com/Carphone.htm [wb6nvh.com]). Pre cellular car phones used dedicated frequencies (meaning very few subscribers) and only the top stinking rich can get these. But then if you had a cellphone in 1980s (or early 1990s) you were The Man.
I have a 1970s IMTS control head I got at a flea market 10 years ago (Bell System Property, Not For Sale), it's big and scary (god only knows what the trunk unit was like), it has a Model 500 handset, rotary dial, and a real bell (ding, ding, ding). I don't know when or ever I will have time to make it operational with a cellphone module interfaced with a pulse counter and other circuitry to interface and use it like a carphone. However, no room to put it in today's cars that have big divider down the center. But it would be uber cool just like Banacek and Cannon.
I got my first cellphone when I was a somewhat less old geezer of 42. I don't think they even HAD cellphones when I was 22.
Modded to handle 5 ESN/MIN pairs from the keypad without needing the CTEK dongle.
I also had a whole slew of Motorola G1-G3 brick and flip phones at that point, but the Oki was the prized possession by far.
my mother insisted I carry a pay-go phone in case of emergencies, because I had a ratty old car and commuted daily.
After a couple years of this, my then-fiancee added me to her cell plan (over my initial protests) and I've had one since.
... But I do borrow one. I rarely use the phone due to my disabilities and rarely go outside. :( I prefer the Internet even if it is a slow dial-up on copper landlines!
So I scan the poll for my answer and find it in the bucket that starts at 22, which is nowhere near my real age. 22 considered old???
I must be pretty old. Hell, I was a good bit older than 22 when /. started....
I got one of those great Bag Phones, the things which could talk to a cell tower a couple counties away. I relized right away I could not drive and dial at the same time, so gave that up in the first days I had it. It was a hoot being on a ramp off the highway, making restaurant reservations for Pizzapapalis Taverna in Greektown, Detroit. "Where are you calling from?" "Off ramp along I-75 near Birch Run." "Wow! You've got one of those new car phones?!?" Yeah, it was a trip. Now everyone has one. Even little kids. :p
At what age you do you let your kids have or give your kids a cell phone?
For me, it was last year at age 12 or 13 (can't remember if before or after his birthday).He almost never uses it as a phone though.He does text occasionally.
So that takes me back to about 1990. At this point I gotta say that I use the cel about 5% for phoning, 5% for texting, and 90% for internet, e-mail and related tasks.
My first phone was the Nokia 7110 [wikipedia.org]. Got it in 1999, so I would have been 16 or 17. I was a bit of a latecomer - most of my school friends had phones a year or two earlier. SMS was really starting to take off as the method of communication back then.
I know the 7110 wasn't actually the exact model used in the Matrix (it was actually the similarly-designed 8110 which is a bit older), but it came out around the time the movie did so a lot of people thought it was 'the Matrix phone'...
These days I'm on an iPhone (yeah yeah, Apple is evil blah blah, but it works for me).
I know that I'm not an early adopter in the truest sense of the word, as they were technically around before I was born. However, I did have one before most average people. My buddy and I worked at Best Buy, so we got good deals on them. I had an Ericsson CH668 (or something close to that) on Omnipoint (before they became Voicestream and T-Mobile) in the late '90s.
I started out with the cheap (I thought it was free, but maybe it was just really cheap) Mt. Dew numeric pager promo. My friends and I all got them, and got used to being able to contact each other all the time. I also had a Motorola Advisor Elite alphanumeric pager, and eventually set up a webform so people could page me from the internet.
I've just happened to work for several places which allowed me to get cheap access to pagers and phones before they were ubiquitous. For the most part, they were simply more geek toys for me to play with, rather than something I had a real need or desire for.
...23 or 24 I think. Got a Motorola SC3160 with Airtouch.
I was always an early tech adopter in the 90's, but the rise of the cellphone has given me pause. I understand the benefits of communication in emergency situations but have seen this excuse devolve quickly into cyberspace zombie behavior in public and then private situations. The TV was the first 'hypnotically' attractive communication device but the so called smartphone is orders of magnitude more addictive. Instantaneous access to your person by anyone at any time might not be the greatest of innovations. I do have an iPad and that seems to grant me mobile access to the net and yet some distance from the groundswell of scattershot diversions from inane chatterboxes. - signed Grumpy Old Man - "Get off of my lawn!" ;)
Agreed. At first, I did not get one because of the risk of the radiation being dangerous to my health, but I am seeing what you are seeing and am getting even more convinced that I did the right thing.
I have a simple cell phone, which I had got as a gift. I have it only for medical reasons, in case I need to get in touch with a doctor, or my doctor needs to get in touch with me, but most of the time, I keep it switched off. The hospital practically forced me to get one, and a relative had a spare.
Let's see. 22 or older and I've had a personal cell phone for at least 16 years and no land line for 14 years. Oh, and my first cell phone was the Sony CM-Z100 with service from GTE. They gave me a basketball for signing up. That phone was awesome. Everyone else was lugging around those big flip phones on belt holsters and I had this little thing smaller than a pack of smokes that slipped in a pocket. And it went 24 hours on a charge with the stock battery (which was LiPo if I remember right). Most people had 4-6 hours of NiCD standby and had to carefully manage their charge cycles to avoid cutting that even shorter.
In 1997. I bought a used GSM phone, think it was an Alcatel HC 400, and a pre-paid SIM for it. It was OK but there were some issues with it, such as the battery not having a perfect fit so the phone would occasionally switch off when having it in the pocket. I fairly quickly went on to other phones.
The most annoying phone I've had was a Philips Diga, circa 1998. There were many usability issues including that it was way too easy to accidentally call the emergency number.
The phone longest in use I've had was an Ericsson T65. I bought it in 2002 and used it until around 2008. Durable and good-enough feature set.
Here in Sweden cellphones became "wildly popular" in the 1990s. I got my first one in my early teens, my dad's old NMT Motorola MicroTAC (one of the earlier models before they made the "lid" on it thin).
So, I answered 13-15 but I was a fairly early adopter (my dad had a cellphone because he traveled from work site to work site and had to be available while working and a cellphone was a much better solution than a com radio considering the distances involved).
Years most likely has to do with the technology available ...
The first big shift was from the installed in cars / suitcase sized phones (my mom had one of those in the early 1990s), to when they finally could fit them into a single handset ... then they managed to shrink them down to fit in your pocket.
But they all sucked on call clarity for the most part. It wasn't until the digital phones started coming out in the late 1990s when you could have your multiple days of battery life on a tiny phone. By 2001 text messaging had started to take off in the US, and the analog phones were gone for the most part.
Of course ... in Europe, text messaging took off much earlier, as did having phones in general (as wired access was must more expensive in some regions).
Personally ... I got a cell phone when they raised the pay phone rates. I think it went from $0.25 to $0.35 or something like that.
Cell phones became wildly popular in 2001-2003.
That depends on where you were. In the US this might be true, but in several European countries, mobile phones were pretty ubiquitous long before the turn of the century.TXTing started in 1993, and within a year or two, most YAPs had a bone.I remember how amazed I was in 1999 when I moved to the US, and found out how few people had mobile phones or a permanent internet connection - that the vast majority still used beepers and dial-up.
I believe part of the more rapid deployment of mobile phones in Europe was legislation - to be allowed frequencies, you had to provide certain standards that ensured interoperability between providers, and provide a near full geographical coverage.Another reason was that in Europe, you don't pay to receive calls or txts, only to place them, making it much easier to afford if you aren't going to call much.
Nowadays, most people get their first phone when they start secondary school.
I'd bet on a shift to younger and younger. This is still showing that a cell phone is still relativistically a new invention.
I doubt it can get much younger.
I sort-of got a phone when I was about 13 (1999), this one: http://www.gsmarena.com/philips_savvy-146.php [gsmarena.com] There was some kind of promotion, and it was the first mobile phone that was really cheap -- £20 or something like that.
I didn't carry it around with me all the time until a year or two later though.
Phones aren't allowed in the cell blocks. They're only available to inmates during certain hours.
You can get around this restriction if you own a cat [cnn.com].
you are so lucky to have had rocks and an atmosphere to carry sound. I'm so fucking old the crust of the earth hadn't solidified yet and there was not enough volcanic outgassing to make the primordal atmosphere. And the nights were much shorter because the earth rotated faster, so we were always tired.
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man --
who has no gills.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man --
who has no gills.
-- Ambrose Bierce