More Technology Woes

All I want is to listen to my iPod over the car stereo. But alas, the Honda-installed stereo doesn’t have an auxiliary input jack. So no dice. I’ve got a little FM transmitter, but its performance is spotty at best, particularly since we’ve got stations already broadcasting on all the available frequencies. I could have a cassette deck installed — for $225 — which would allow me to use a cassette adapter, but that’s the only reason I’d be getting the deck installed; kind of a waste of money, don’t you think? Or I could pick up an adapter which would create an auxiliary input for my existing CD player, but at $80 — not to mention installation — that too seems a little steep, particularly when I could get a whole new stereo — with an auxiliary input jack — for not much more (and I don’t need anything fancy).

I’m also running into trouble with my cell phone. One, it’s way past time we combined Pam’s and my phones into a single account (“Make sure you leave your cell phone; I need to call my brother and I don’t have the free long-distance.” “Wait a minute, I thought I paid the cell phone bill, so what’s this one?“). And two, my existing phone is on its last legs; I have really got to replace it. I can’t even get into my office voice mail anymore, because the system won’t recognize the feeble squeaks my phone tries to pass off as touch tones. I even know which phone I want to get. But, of course, it only works on the new “GSM” network, while our old phones still use the soon-to-be-obsolete “TDMA” network. Doesn’t seem like much of problem, but there’s a wrinkle I hadn’t counted on: If we stick with the shared-account model (which I think we need to), and I upgrade my phone, I have to upgrade Pam’s as well. My choice was easy — AT&T Wireless only has three Bluetooth-compatible phones, one of which is a high-end phone/PDA combo (which, since I’ve got the Tungsten-T, I don’t need). Pam doesn’t care about Bluetooth (or any other bells and whistles, for that matter), and would be happy with just a decent phone that works well. Alas, there’s a whole slew of phones like that out there, and I haven’t been able to find any decent comparison evaluations. I’ll probably just end up picking whichever one looks (and works) closest to the one she’s got now; the fewer waves I make, the better.


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