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Phone Phun

June 20, 2006

Why on earth would anyone pay for ring-tones?

I don’t own a camera phone yet, but I do own a nice enough cheap phone, a Motorola v.188. It folds (because I destroy things in my pockets — the exterior display is cracked twice), and it runs for a long time on a charge, and it plays MP3 ringtones and displays 128×128 JPEG and PNG. It has a nice standard USB miniplug, and it does GPRS and lots of GSM bands. In theory I could use it in most parts of the world, and in theory my provider (T-Mobile) would let me, and only charge me a few joints off my fingers, instead of an arm and a leg.

The new fun thing is that I found an application, GSM Remote , that I can pay for just once, that lets me load whatever music and pictures I want to onto the phone. Before this, I had to upload to a web site, then download onto a phone, and the phone had to have the web-browsing service turned on. GSM Remote’s worst bug was that it failed to advertise that it was willing to drag and drop files from my (Mac) desktop to the phone folder window (I think this will get fixed, because I reported my confusion to the author and he very helpfully straightened me out and seemed to indicate that he would fiddle the UI). So big fun, no need to pay for ringtones, no need to pay for web access, just prepare in Audacity , convert to MP3 , and upload to phone. (I assume something similar is available on the PC, but I have no idea what it would be).

Here’s some noises that I own, that I am happy to share:

A horse conch, blown, and kicked up an octave or so in Audacity. This was recorded on a laptop.

A red-shouldered hawk, “Junior”, at my parent’s house in Florida. The funny effect you hear is his echo off their house. This is a little irritating as a ring-tone, but sometimes irritating is what you want. This was recorded on a camera.

Junior, pitched down an octave. Sounds somewhat human.

Junior, pitched down two octaves. Sounds somewhat human, dopplering out of a high window.

My son, playing some doubled notes on a viola.


This sheet was prepared for an April Fool’s joke, and now decorates an office at Sun Microsystems in Burlington.

A banana, with flowers.

An offering left at a crater of Kilauea

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