For Tim and Jeremy

First Tim wrote this and then Jeremy wrote this, both asking, more or less, where they can find a mobile phone that doesn't do anything except make phone calls and connect their PCs to the internet since they're computer geeks anyways and don't neeed their handset to do much more than that. Both asked me personally on their blogs to recommend a phone to them. So of course, I'll respond here...


I've met you both personally, and I think you're both super great people, but haven't you been reading a word of what I've been writing here? Didn't you hear me talk at length about this stuff in person? I'm ASTOUNDED. Seriously, this sort of myopia is astounding. And from two leaders in your respective fields, no less. I mean, come on! Are you guys done with technology? That's it, no more? What you know now is really all you need to know and all this new fangled mobile stuff is just so much hype and buzz?

Hell! Who needs a mouse right? The keyboard does everything you need. And a GUI? Bah! Green screens rule! Relational tables? Come on, flat tables are fine. And really, an open source database? Please! Only big companies like Oracle can make scalable databases. The World Wide Web? Are you joking - look at how ugly it is. XML? No way! You can just put all that data in comma delimited format - all those tags are just bulky and extra. Using my mobile phone to access data? Come on, be real! The screen is so small! Text messages? Why? I've got email! And keypads suck - no one can use them to type words! A camera on my phone? Bleh. MP3s? Video? Nonono, not for me thanks. I'd rather carry around four or five devices with me at all times. I just need a mobile phone to make phone calls!


Here's a *fact*. In just a couple of years, every single person who works in technology is going to be doing something related to mobile phones. Every single programmer, DBA, manager and tester is going to be dealing mobile data services in one form or another. You can sit back and resist change and come up with excuses on why you don't want to accept and learn about the new world of mobility or you can get on the bandwagon as we head off into the future. It's your choice. But you can't just sit on your hands and wait for mobile technology to come around and look like stuff you already know, because it's not going to happen.

Mobile phones are profoundly new devices which are going to affect the lives of *billions* of people around the world - starting *yesterday*. People who've never seen a computer, watched TV or even owned a telephone will have a mobile phone of their own, connected to the rest of the world for the first time. Those of us already knee deep in the information age will be able to better manage the information around us and be better connected with our friends and our family. We'll never be without information when we need it or entertainment when we want it. We'll never get lost again. We'll never be disconnected (in a good way - every phone has an "off" button).

Mobility is going to change life as we know it - in some places it has already shaped world events and changed history. The ubiquity of the technology is the key to all of this and the lowly mobile phone is the shape of the box in which all of this possibility is kept in. It's not the computer or the laptop or the PDA, and it's not WiFi or WiMax, it's the modern mobile phone. That's just the way it is. We need people like you, Tim and Jeremy, and the rest of the people within the range of this blog on board with this. Really! We need the thinkers and the doers not to be fighting this stuff, but helping trailblaze instead.

I'll get down off the high horse now, but I think I've been clear about how I feel about this topic. Go out and get the most expensive phone you can, and the most expensive data services offered to you. Hit and buy every book with the word "cellular" in the title and start getting up to speed because this stuff is coming, and coming fast. Even here to the U.S., and we need smart people doing their best to push this technology forward.


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