My mobile phone’s N-th revival

My mobile phone died yesterday. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it’s a Nokia 6210 from 2000. It was a pretty slick phone at the time, and when I got it as a perk from the Large Foreign-owned Telecom I was working for at the time, I was pretty happy.

When I was stressed out at work, I’d play a game of Opposite to get my head cleared. When I needed to settle a bet on, say, the other works of Joyce DeWitt, I’d use Google via WAP. I used the train schedules and the calendar, and for a while even synced my calendar with Outlook. (Again, this was back in the days before seeing The Light and moving to Linux).

The phone worked great for me all over the world: South Africa, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Russia. It was in Domododevo Airport that it got a cracked display: they use a pretty high-powered body scanner that involves stepping on a sliding platform that takes you through the scanning tunnel. I had the phone in my pocket, and when I stepped out of scanner, I noticed the display had cracked.

I dropped the phone in the bath. Twice. Both times it came back. My tip: Take off the batter, set it on a heater and let it sit for a day or so.

The microphone stopped working. So I remembered that I had an old-school hands-free earpiece, and it continued on.

The charger stopped working. But I figured out that if you held just enough force on the charger tip, it would charge.

Until yesterday.

When I went to check it in the morning, the display was dead and wouldn’t come up. I tried repeatedly to get it to work, but it wouldn’t. So I finally gave it up for dead.

I checked Alzasoft for the new Nokia N93, which I swooned over for a while. But CZK 20K for a phone is a bit much, unless it’s a gift from someone ;-).
I walked around the neighborhood to a couple of mobile phone ‘bazar’/pawnshops where second-hand phones are sold alongside strange switchblades, obviously-legitimately-obtained TVs, bicycles and VCRs, as well as your typical offering of military surplus items. Under the glass counter, I even noticed a Swiss Army knife that included a full-size hammer head; “Please Hammer don’t hurt ’em” was all I could think. A sketchy-looking Czech guy who smelled bad and spoke worse Czech than even I do tried to sell me a 6310. But like the scene in Star Wars where the first droid Luke Skywalker picks blows up, the guy couldn’t get the phone to power up. So I left.

Last night I decided to give my phone one more try. And of course it started up.

5 thoughts on “My mobile phone’s N-th revival

  1. The Russian shop, Arbat, just down the street from you seems to have reasonable prices on their selection of phones. When and if your 6210 goes…. I bought one there last Christmas.

  2. You could be a Nokia commercial!- hey, maybe Nokia would give you a free (or discounted) new phone in exchange for your story?

  3. Thanks, Steve! That’s a great tip. I’ve gone there a couple of times to change money – they have one of the best rates around – but I hadn’t thought to check out their phones.

    I guess I’m just hoping for one of these N93s to drop from the sky.

  4. when u dropped ur phone in the bath did it switch on again straight away after or did u have to wait a day or so? i dropped mine in the bath just now and it wont switch on.. its now on my radiator and my fingers are crossed!

  5. I had to let it sit and dry a day or so. But it also really depends on the model, I’ve heard. Some phones just come back because they’re built tough. But others are a lot cheaper, so it’ll be hard to get them to revive. Good luck!

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