one of our house phones is kris’ grandparent’s phone from rock, michigan in the upper peninsula. i believe it’s a westinghouse model 500 from the 1950s.
when the phone rings, it delivers a satisfyingly old school BBBBBBRRIIIIINNNNGGG! BBBBBRRRRIIIIIIINNNNGGGG!
the only problem is you can’t dial out because our phone company upgraded the phone tubes and no longer supports “pulse” dialing, so i need to get one of those pulse to tone converters.
we have a similar model from my grandparents home in maine, but it doesn’t ring so it needs some restoration work.
scott knaster, now at google wrote a nice post about working at danger in the early days where he notes, “The Hiptop (in product form as the TMobile Sidekick) was my first indication that people would soon be getting lost in their phones.”
in fact, the sidekick was the first time i saw the future that would take a long time to become fully realized. i remember the thrill of ssh’ing into a server and instant messaging with friends in january 2004. FROM A PHONE! and a little later, the sense of what the world would soon be like after posting to the blog. FROM A PHONE!
but the real thrill and sense of the future would hold came while sitting in the neonatal intensive care unit with odin and kris, looking at pictures i had taken on the sidekick and socialize with folks following odin’s adventures on flickr. bringing together mobile and social and photography was going to mean lots of people would be getting lost in their phones. but it wouldn’t really become a seamless thing until the cameras on phones could begin to become “good enough”. working in motorola r&d labs in new business development and strategy we all could see the hardware maps and knew it would happen around 2007. the year the iphone was born ( danger was co-founded by andy rubin who went on to start android which it now owns along with motorola mobility ).
in a funny bit of timing, i just realized i wrote this a day after the iphone was first announced in 2007 and i suppose i should say i didn’t have anything to do with the infamous motorola rokr E1.