I'm the guy who wrote the "Liveaboard Simulator" for people thinking of
moving their families aboard a sailboat to live. Google it and you'll find
it in a lot of places. I never dreamed it would still be there years
In that same "simulator" idea, when someone asks me what I think of these
big PDA phones or WebTV appliances like iPhone or Voyager, I tell them
before they buy they need to try my "WebTV Phone Simulator" before making
such a mistake and being stuck with it, besides being laughed at in public
which is embarrassing.
So, Here is:
The Pocket WebTV SELLphone Simulator
Before making a mistake and buying that big-screened WebTV appliance
they've all been hyping on TV, internet and in the Bigboy Toy Stores, pick
out the one you think you want to buy and go to its specification webpage
search Google for "iPhone clones" to find the others...
Now, note the physical dimensions and weight of your choice:
Size and weight
* Height: 4.5 inches (115 mm)
* Width: 2.4 inches (61 mm)
* Depth: 0.46 inch (11.6 mm)
* Weight: 4.8 ounces (135 grams)
Weight - 4.69oz
Dimensions - 4.64 x 2.12 x 0.71"
(You hunt for your particular choices physics.)
Now, find a little clear plastic box as near to those dimensions as you
can. If you beg a little at a jewelry store, they'll probably give you one
just to get rid of you fast, if you promise to never come back in those
If you don't have a letter scale, take the box and some coins or washers to
the post office where they have really calibrated small scales right out
where you can use them. Put the box on the scale and keep adding coins or
washers until you come up to the new phone's weight. A little superglue
setting up overnight on the coins EVENLY DISTRIBUTED inside the plastic box
will provide the simulated weight.
Now that we have a faux fone for "testing", and the washers inside aren't
rattling around attracting attention, clean off the "front" of your new
fauxfone 5000 really good because that is going to be part of the
test....keeping the screen clean while using it as a phone up against your
sweaty cheeks. More on that later. We're ready to start the simulator to
see how we like it.
We'll start by carrying around the fauxfone every place you carry around
your current SELLphone, in the pocket you always carry the SELLphone in.
Move the real SELLphone to another pocket during the simulation, so you can
see how the new WebTVfone is going to feel and fit in your favorite pocket.
If you currently wear your tiny SELLphone on a hip carrier on or in a nice
carrying case on your belt, you can put that out of your mind and leave the
SELLphone in its carrier. You won't be carrying an iPhone, with its large-
target, fragile touchscreen, banging into the desks/copier/file
cabinets/steering wheel/door frames/seat belt buckles/etc. for long before
it's destroyed. These gadgets cannot take that kind of daily punishment.
If you doubt this, superglue an old belt clip onto the back of the
simulator box and carry it on your hip, putting the SELLphone in a pocket
all week. See if the "screen" on the plastic box gets "scratched" or
gouged while in simulation. This will also discourage you when you "feel"
this huge box every time you jam it into your ribs upon entering your car
or dropping into your favorite easy chair. The corners of an iPhone are
more rounded than the simulator box...but not THAT much more.
Simple rules for simulation....
Every time you phone rings, answer it as you always do. Estimate how long
you held it to your ear while being bitched out for your current
infractions by "her" (in attack mode, which differs from simulator mode).
When you hang up the little SELLphone and put it away, fish out the
simulator box and put it to your ear, screen against your cheek, for
approximately the same time as the real phone call. (You may, of course,
delay doing this when the simulation might get you fired or divorced or
sent to the drunk tank, but make the simulated "call" as soon as practical,
once you're not standing in front of your boss' desk or "her" punishment
area. If more calls come in too quick to use the simulator box, ADD the
TOTAL TIME and simulate as soon as you can, even if it inconveniences you.
(Noone can see you holding a stupid plastic box to your ear in a bathroom
stall. You're stuck in there for some time, make good use of it dropping
the stacked up simulator time slots.)
Every time you need to make a call, look closely at the simulator "screen"
you'll be dialing on or at least looking at to see what you're dialing. At
some point, even the most sedate of us is gonna grease up that "screen" to
the point it needs more cleaning. It's inevitable! Clean it when it needs
it, noting how this changes your day. Hold the box to your face and make
the call right after you get off the phone, just like you did receiving
Again, it's a good idea to be in discrete in simulation and not let
important people see you "testing"....unless, of course, you notice OTHERS
in simulation mode carrying around plastic boxes with washers glued into
them! If you find other simulatees, you both should compare notes and
share simulator stories, including simulator construction plans which lend
themselves to field improvements for more realism.
OK, Day 1 is over and you're home. As you put your SELLphone down on the
computer desk, lay down the simulator next to it with ONE LITTLE
EXCEPTION.... WebTVfones being played with EAT BATTERIES during the day
and MUST be recharged or we're not going to have SELLphone service tomorrow
afternoon. Dig out an old AC power brick you used to charge the old flip
phone with and lay it near an outlet by your desk. (No need to plug it in
as simulators are "self-recharging" and last forever.) Lay the simulator
on top of the phone end of its cable to simulate PLUGGING THIS BATTERY HOG
INTO THE GRID EVERY NIGHT.
Ok, we'll let you run in simulator for a couple of weeks until the next big
price retraction and inevitable rebate scheme on the one you want. If you
still want it and save a hundred bucks because of my simulator holding you
back a couple of weeks, you'll think of me every time you power up the
accessory you bought with the extra hundred bucks to go with it.
Two Week Review.....
OK, two weeks have passed....
Question: Do you want to carry around the plastic box every place you need
a SELLphone for the next TWO years of your contract?
Question: Do you think the plastic box would last 2 years, looking at all
the gouges and scratches on the plastic box's simulated screen after only
Question: Did you stomp and dump the plastic box in the trash any time
during the last two weeks when it pissed you off sticking you in the gut or
gouging the end of your nipples?
Question: Did anyone poke fun at you, directly, or seem to point and laugh
in a public place just because you had an iPhone-sized plastic box to your
face walking down the ramp?
These questions should help you make your own decision about the neat new
WebTVfone you had in mind.....no matter who made it.
WAIT! Before rushing out waving that credit card, spend WEEK 3 carrying
around JUST your trusty old flip or candy bar in that favorite pocket.
Make the decision ONE WEEK AFTER passing on this simulator and your
simulator box, if it survives, to the NEXT googly-eyed buyer you know.
NO IMPULSE BUYING YOU'LL REGRET FOR TWO YEARS!