Blessed is thee Ketai Machine

Recently, I was reminded of how amazing my Japanese mobile phone,
really is.

On Sunday, the weather was nice (and I want to lose weight), so I
decided to go for a run. I generally like to listen to music while I
run. Okay, I could take my CD player, just as I would have done in
But I was also expecting a call. Hmmm.. No problem, I
have quite a few songs on my phone!
(Much more than can fit on a
CD, actually….) Plus, the songs are in solid state memory (no
skipping) and the phone is much smaller than my CD player! Cool. So I
had my music and there was no way I was going to miss a call.

As it turned out, I ended up totally abusing the functionality of my
phone! While on the way back, slightly exhausted, I thought I would sit
beside the river and reply to a couple email. (Somehow, I always manage
to let them build up.) I even took a picture (with the built-in camera)
and attached it to one of the emails. Eventually, I received the call I
was expecting, as well.

Wow! Talk about convenience!

Every morning, my ketai wakes me up and ensures I don’t miss work. I
can set 5 different alarms with varying sounds and lengths and times. I
use two of them for work days. If I think I’m going to be a little
late, then I email the people I usually walk to work with. Prior to
purchasing a PDA, I actually used the calendar functionality
extensively, as well. Often, I find myself needing a light. Where do I
turn? With two quick clicks of a button on my ketai, I get an extremely
bright light that makes my 100yen flashlight furious with envy. When
doing simple calculations, I use the built-in calculator. If only
it could display HEX…. But then, that could be done with a Java

Some random observations of my phone (yes, I’m bored):

(+) LOTS of functionality in
one compact, sleek device.

(-) If
you want to do anything serious, you’re going to need a new,
specialized device.
  A camera, for example.

(-) Any
extended functionality will have to conform its interface
the primary interface: the phone.

Able to store lots of music (and pictures, and recordings, and java
applications, and…) on removable SD media.

(-) Java
applications do not have proper access to SD memory.
has positive security aspects, but prevents people from making a a
“real” mp3 player in Java.  I looked into this.  🙁
(-) Storage formats are proprietary,
and make the user’s life a real
pain if they want to do anything with the data. Oh wait, that’s the
point of proprietary formats….

I wish I could plug my phone into my laptop as a USB mass
storage device, or something… and I could drag’n’drop mp3s into my
phone. Instead, I have to play music and record it on my phone in
real-time, which digitally encrypts it. Once encrypted, I cannot play
on anything other than the phone. Chotto lame….

Hello.  My name is Steven, and I’m a ketai whore.

Note: I really don’t use my ketai that much (for
outgoing calls).  I
have a “value pack” year-long plan, and I never go over my 4000yen
monthly bill.  I’m just really impressed by it.

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