The new (digital) campfire

February 8, 2006

So, I bought my reason-for-living a new mobile phone. Her previous phone had, well, issues, and we had replaced the phone on Verizon’s dime three or four times. It wasn’t the best experience for either side, I’m sure.

Having gone the route with Verizon where they will replace the faulty phone with the design that leads to failure with THE EXACT SAME PHONE, I was looking for a different way to buy a phone with some confidence that the vendor would provide some value. Being a very long time patron of our local Costco (I’ve been going there since 1982 and had a card of my own since 1984) I stopped by the in-store kiosk to ask some questions.

Sweet. Costco offers to refund the cost of the phone, even if I don’t like it anymore, for the life of the phone. Far better than the 15 days offered by Verizon. Even better, Costco only sells phones with a low return rate… so, I splurged. I got her the LG VX 8100 phone, which satisfies the geek in me and it feels good and you can set an alarm which satisfies most of her concerns.

Fast forward a week or so and I’ve just got a MiniSD card, since the phone has a MiniSD card slot. A bit of experimentation with some free software called SUPER (Simplified Universal Player Encoder and Renderer at and I had a couple of episodes of The Muppet Show and an album of MP3s on her phone.

So where does the digital campfire come in?

I’m trying to get the boy ready for bed, but he is … reluctant. So, I pull out the missus’ phone and show him the Danny Kaye episode of The Muppet Show and he is hooked. I curl around so I can watch over his shoulder and we veg out to Miss Piggy and Kermie. After a few minutes, I realize that the missus is behind me also watching. So, we all are watching a TV show that we could have watched on the TV across the room but instead are watching on a little, tiny screen at a horrible resolution.

And we loved it.


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