Of course, knowing little about such things, it never entered my head that signal strength deep in the Highlands of Scotland might be a few bars short of an open prison.
No bars in the Highlands ? Surely not !!
Anyway my mobile was as basic a phone as you could get....a Nokia 1100 on a PAYG plan.
Yes it's a beauty, isn't it ? With phone in hand, I could....ah.....ermm.......make a phone call. Oh and it had a light on the top so it could be used as a torch. Very useful at night when you needed to use it to find a proper phone.
But it was fine for me. I only wanted it for car emergencies or if I had need of a dog whisperer when out walking near the local RSPCA shelter. I put £5 on it when I bought it a few years ago and when I bought a new phone recently, there was still some credit to carry across !
Let's just say I didn't use it much.
Fast forward to the 21st century and a few weeks ago I went from one extreme to another and got a HTC Desire, which many reviews said was better than the iphone.
I blogged about it at the time but now that I've got to 'know it' a bit better, well to call it a phone, even a Smartphone, is doing it a huge disservice.
I may be lucky to have entered this market at a time when these things can do everything except cook me a full English, but the Desire's capability as a phone is its least impressive feature.
It has GPS so although there will probably still not be a signal if my car gets a flat tyre in the Highlands of Scotland. at least I'll know exactly where I am - just next to shit creek according to the detailed and colourful GPS map.
It has a voice activated search application so that I can find the nearest AA centre in the event that my arms have been tied behind my back by woad painted clansmen on a day trip from the city.
It can play mp3s and pick up radio and tv stations so I won't get bored waiting for that little yellow van to appear.
It has a photo scanner application so I can point the phone at any object and it'll give me all the info I need about it. So I can point it at the flat tyre, have the image scanned and it'll tell me.....that it's buggered.
It has a tracking application so anyone following my route live on their computers will see that my car hasn't moved for 10 hrs and they'll know I've broken down....or that my phone has been stolen by a Highland tortoise and it's rushing off to phone a friend.
It has a voice diary application so as the days go by without a sign of the AA van, I can record my dying thoughts and thus inform whoever finds my rotting corpse that I'll be due a refund from Orange for the rest of my calling plan.
It has a 'places directory' application so I can locate the nearest chippy doing a haggis and Scotch egg takeaway service so that I can have a snack while waiting for that bloody AA van.
And according to the user guide, which of course I have to access online, it also works as a phone. How awesome is that ? Hard to believe but by pressing a series of numbers, I can actually talk with someone who also has a phone. I mean I could just PHONE the AA but why do that when I have all those applications at my disposal ??
Oh yes, does it have a torch application ? Well I donno but if nothing else, I could walk along taking flash photos to light my way because, oh yes, it's a freakin' camera too !!
I know. Unbelievable, isn't it ?
I'm still learning stuff and I'm still pretty much a mobile phone novice so I'm going to look through the user manual once again as I'm sure if it can give me a live feed from my friends travelling down I-75 in Michigan, then it can rustle up a decent English for me.
On today of all days, it should 'do it for your daddy' !!!