Techno wiz

The humble mobile phone. As far was I was concerned, it was to be reserved for making phone calls, sending the occasional text message and setting the alarm to wake me up in the morning; nothing more. But with the barrage of new technologies now available (think G3, Internet, games, polyphonic ring tones, instant messages, MP3, photos, MMS, videos and all the rest), I?m starting to think there must be a bit more to this phone caper that I?m missing out on. So, armed with my brand new colour phone, I planned to investigate the big bad world of mobile technology.

My device of exploration is the Sony Ericsson Walkman W800i phone. This phone is one of the most recent additions to the market and its main feature is its ability to store up to 125 MP3 tracks on the supplied 512MB memory stick. Translation to the layman: you can download songs and listen to them from your mobile phone. It?s crazily simple to do. The phone comes complete with a CD to be installed into your computer. Plug your phone to the supplied USB cable (don?t worry, the instructions come with the phone) and from there you can simply drag and drop and any songs you have on your computer directly into the mobile. So now, my ring tone is Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen and no matter where I am I can listen to my favourite albums.

The most confusing part of mobile phones I?ve found is the internet. How will I be able to seen my entire internet page on that itty bitty little mobile phone screen? Well it?s quite simple really, when you get it all set up. The best advice I could give is to check out your service provider?s website or give them a call and find out how to access it all on your phone. For Telstra call 125 111 – you need to ask them to set up ?Telstra.internet?; for Optus call 1300 720 216 ? ask them to set up ?YesInfoWirelessInternet?; for Vodafone call 1300 301 030 ? ask them to set-up ?VF AU Internet. Once I had contacted Optus and figured out how to access the internet, it was all much simpler to understand. I found the best way to learn about the internet on mobiles was to simply experiment. From ten minutes, I learnt my horoscope (Us Capricorns are wiser than we think today. Listen up people!), I learnt an insult of the day (?You?re so grumpy you look like you were weaned on a pickle?) and I checked out the headlines all around the world. Obviously there?s not as much content as a computer but if you need info pronto, it?s the best way to find it.

Another natty device is an application I downloaded called Blue Pulse. The concept of this application is to have all the relevant information you want, in the same place. It offers unlimited access to TV & Cinema guides, national club and gig guides, reviews from over 3000 restaurant & bars and loads of other ?Lifestyle? information, all for the same low price. It?s so simple to install, you need to make sure you have GPRS internet settings enabled on your phone (see internet info above) then sms the word ?shesaid? to 1999 7768. After that, you?ll get an sms back explaining exactly how to set up Bluepulse on your phone. Don?t worried if you?re a bit confused or can?t do it, check out frequently asked questions. So now I have this application thingy? but what can I get? Well for absolutely no cost, you get the Buddies program, which means you can chat to your friends on ICQ, Yahoo Buddies and MSN Messenger. Then if you sign up for the ?lifestyle? pack, which is only 8 cents a day and includes gig guides including ?In the Mix? and ?Faster Louder?, info from Broadway Shopping Centre, HMV, Hoyts, Best Flights, your favourite online women?s magazine she said, and TV, restaurant and movie reviews and guides. All that for 8c a day! For more info, click here.

So I?m feeling pretty cool as I travel home of an afternoon these days. I can listen to my favourite album while figuring what?s on at the movies that night and what the weather will be like tomorrow, all on my handy little mobile. You know, occasionally I even use my phone to call people!