Oct 6
Snubian Phone Home
icon4 Oct 6th, 2008 | icon2 Memories |

Was just down the Bi-Lo and stood behind a guy at the checkout who was wearing one of those nifty wireless earpiece thingies. Apart from thinking he looked like a bit of a wanker, it struck me how far mobile phones have come in the last twenty years or so, and how things just aren’t the same as in the good old days.

Look at this tosser:

Remember Gordon Gekko in Wall Street? None of yer Bluetooth bullshit for Gordon – when he gave an order into his monster cell phone people fucking listened.

I had a friend who owned a “mobile” phone like Gordon’s in about 1994. It rattled around in his briefcase like a house brick. He and I had a short-lived money-making scheme at that time which revolved around a system for betting on horse races. On Saturdays we would drive down to the TAB, go inside and wait for the right race to come up, then rush out to the car and call PhoneTAB on his mobile to place a bet. We’d then enter the winnings (or losings) into a spreadsheet on my laptop. In the back of my car! Let me tell you, sitting in a car outside a TAB in Newcastle in 1994 using a laptop and placing bets on a mobile phone, we thought we were fucking Gordon Gekko.

I bought my first mobile phone in 1995 – an Ericsson GH337, which cost a small fortune for the time (about $450 from memory) but is actually reasonably sized even by today’s standards. Here it is next to one of its descendants.

Of course, now you have iPhones and all that sort of thing, they just keep on getting bigger and better … or smaller and better. But check out this news report from 1983 on fledgling cellular phone technology. Imagine, at that time the mobile network permitted only 12 simultaneous conversations in an entire city!

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