Monday, December 03, 2012


It is twenty years since the first text message was over the mobile phone network. I suppose it was about 1996 when I received my first text message. It came to my first mobile phone. A younger friend who was already into email and the internet sent the message. He was the one who urged me to get a computer and the internet. 'It will change your life'. And it did.

I stared at the screen of my Ericsson 218 with surprise. How does this work then?

Later I enquired of my friend. He sent the text message from a computer. He did not have a mobile phone then. I sold him my 218 for $100 when I bought my next phone. I don't believe the 218 was capable of sending text messages, but maybe it was. I sent my first text message from my next phone, and the rest is now history.

I was the first person I knew to have a mobile phone, car phones excepted. Two friends I clearly recall rejected mobile phones for a long time, yet they went on to embrace them and both now live and die by their mobile phones. Mine is an occasional convenience, used mostly to alert R I am nearly home and to go down stairs and move his car if he needs to leave the next morning before I do. A couple of rings is enough, and he calls back with a couple of rings so that I know he is coming down to move his car.  My phone is mostly a toy to play with.


  1. I don't have any recollection of my 'first time'. I imagine it was a fumbling quickie.

  2. I am sure it was Victor.

  3. I love my phone, but I'm not so attached to it that I spend every minute phoning, texting, answering, playing games on it, like I see so many people do. I often wonder what they did before mobile phones and what would they do if they were not allowed to use them for a couple of days. Would they sit rocking in corners? Unable to stop their thumbs from making the moves? I'm kidding of course, I'm sure they'd manage just fine.

  4. River, many would be reading, when on public transport. Maybe it is almost a good thing that they are socially interacting with people on their phones, rather than reading? I don't know.

  5. Two lovely brick terraces in Carlton, brass nameplates reading Aspect and Prospect. The other side of a cobblestone laneway, a tatty little weatherboard worker's cottage. A nameplate at the front door has been created with texta: It reads "Suspect".

    The resident of Aspect goes out to his late model imported German luxury car and, as he drives off, picks up the handset of his newly installed in-car phone to make a call.

    As he drives off, he passes the resident of Suspect, riding his reliable pushbike; the handset of a $2 shop toy car-phone to his ear.
    My mother was in the Shepparton hospital, more than an hour each way on back roads. For 2 months I carted back and forth the NOKIA my brother had bought her as a security alarm in case she fell.
    When she came home I discovered it was locked the whole time and needed a code before it could be turned on. No matter, I still wouldn't have had a clue. The important thing is I felt safe on those back roads at night.

  6. Wesley school boys spot a man using his wired in to the car brick phone. He really wished he had not made a call in front of the school boys.

    Yes, they are great for security, especially in the country, if you can get a signal.

  7. ohhh I used to have that exact phone! Wow. Wayback machine!

    1. Fen, remember how you had to remove the large battery pack and put in it the charger? Did you avail yourself of the offer of a new longer aerial if you took your phone in to have it upgraded so that it would call 000? I took mine on the trains to somewhere near Laburnum Station.

  8. Yes!Hah, I'd forgotten that