Dumbass phones

A year ago I got a Sony Ericsson T610 (what, you want a link? Go and search Google for yourselves, I’m too busy ranting) to replace a Siemens C35i which I had owned for years. I was pretty happy with it. I didn’t have any problems learning to use it, and initially my only gripe was that it was damn slow compared to the old phone. I didn’t let this bother me too much as I knew that it was not a problem with that particular model of phone, but just the expected consequence of cramming more and more bells, whistles and gongs onto what was once a really basic concept, namely “the telephone”.

Then I went and spent £30 on a USB cable and some software to jack it into the PC, downloaded all the photographs that I’d taken, and realised that they actually looked quite crummy. After a little experimentation I established that it was partly due to a poor resolution of about 350×280 pixels, and partly due to a very small and weak lens.

As my contract approached 12 months of age, I phoned my provider and put the squeeze on them to give me a free upgrade. They offered me the Sharp GX15. I did a little quick research, discovered that it seemed to be exactly the same phone, but with camera resolution up to 640×480. Worth a try, I thought.

So, where are we so far? I’m upgrading my phone purely on the basis that the new one may have a better camera. We’re nearly there, people.

So the new phone arrives, and I put my SIM card in it, and I charge the battery, and I realise that I forgot to copy my phone numbers from the old phone to the SIM card, so I swap the SIM back, do the copy, swap the SIM again, and copy the numbers to the new phone.

And then I put it into camera mode and press the button to take a snap.

The phone emitted a deafening synth-shutter sound, causing birds to take flight outside the window.

So I went into the menus to find out how to turn down the volume of the synth-shutter sound to a level which was less likely to result in structural damage to my office. Ideally, the same level as the subtle, though still naff, synth-shutter sound which the T610 used to use.

I can’t find this option. I can only assume that Sharp have gone all vigilante and decided to do something about the problem of people taking camera phones into showers and brothels and taking photos of those in attendance without their permission.

Management: *So, this whole shower and brothel thing then. What can we do about it?*

Tech: *Well, the phone could make a noise that can’t be turned off by the user.*

Management: *Good, good. What sort of range does the camera have?*

Tech: *I guess you could make out a nipple at twenty metres.*

Management: *Right, so people who are twenty metres away have to be able to hear it too. Could the user possibly cover the speaker?*

Tech: *I guess they could…*

Management: *Right, so the sound has to be loud enough to penetrate a centimetre of bone and flesh, yet still be audible twenty metres away.*

Tech: *But sir, that would mean that the sound would be deafening to someone stood twelve inches away if the speaker **wasn’t** covered.*

Management: *What are you, some kinda wooly minded liberal?*

Tech: *No, sir. Long live Maggie Thatcher.*

Management: *That’s more like it.*

Reader: *Does Pete have a point?*

Pete: *Yes, I do. I mean…*

Yes, I do. I didn’t take many photos with the old camera, because the quality was crap. Now that I have a phone with a better camera, I’m still not going to take many photos, because I can’t do it if anyone is in the same room for fear of them thinking that I’m one of those people who thinks it is still the mid-80s and keeps their phone (and their voice) on maximum volume, to ensure that everyone else in the vicinity knows that they have one of these fantastical new-fangled mobile cellular telephone gadgets.

That’s just not the way that I work. I’ve always been very conscious of the noise pollution caused by mobile phones and the use of them, and have always practised the utmost discretion.

Which, in this case, means not taking photos.

As a closing request, if anyone out there has a GX15 or similar Sharp model and knows how to turn down the volume of the shutter sound, obviously I’d appreciate your feedback. Comment below or click the fantastical magical “contact” link at the top of the page to email me directly. Ta.

*Originally posted here*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *