Internet access at the Painted Pony Resort is handled through a number of routers, repeaters, and transmitters ranging up to 0.5 miles on the estate. But cell service, until recently, was problematic. Cell service in the main house at PPR was handled through a Wilson repeater which was able to capture Verizon cell signal from Lordsburg NM and re-amplify it within the main house then beam it back toward Lordsburg. Not a very elegant solution but it worked. But Verizon finally came through and placed a repeater in Antelope Pass allowing cell signal around Portal and Rodeo which until that time relied on individual femtocells to provide cellular access at specific businesses. Although Verizon is the only service available in the valley it was enough to convince me to join the 21st century and buy a smart phone, specifically an Apple iPhone SE. While many may find the idea of just now purchasing a smart phone somewhat amusing, until constant reliable cell service was established it just was not worth the effort or expense. But now I've joined the rest of planet with a new phone.
I chose for a first smartphone the iPhone SE, a new offering from Apple. I've always been a Windows user and this is my first Apple product, but as soon as it arrived even the packaging was impressive, well designed with attention to detail. Upon opening I was presented with a very solid product that fit in one hand, again impressive. While setting up the phone I immediately noticed the difference in using Apple's operating system. While Windows operating systems seemed a little loose, meaning there multiple ways of accomplishing a goal, it seems iOS is based on the Henry Ford model of "you can have any color you want as long as it's black". This structured way of accomplishing a task is not inherently bad but just requires some adaptation on my part and isn't life all about adapting to different circumstances?
The decision to purchase a smartphone and specifically an Apple product was the result of several factors:
1. Consistent cell service. The availability of consistent Verizon service was a deciding factor. I spend a lot of time on the square mile of estate and most of the time I'm by my self working. I've had several accidents working out on the landscape and the ability to now call for help in an emergency is a plus. "Find my phone" may come in handy when I'm out on the landscape all alone and have a serious problem. Of course this idea relies on a highly trusted emergency contact.
2. A smartphone is a small tool with which I can easily check internet problems around the estate and for guests without dragging a laptop around with me.
3. The smaller form factor was also an important consideration. Since this is a working tool bigger phones are not better phones.
4. Having computer access on my hip when I'm working and need some information is also a big plus.
5. A built in quality camera. I photograph a lot, the landscape, my work (for the owner) and instead of always going back to get the camera or forgetting the charge the batteries it is a nice option to always have the camera handy and ready to go.
6. I need some place to keep stuff i.e. important personal information. The security and encryption system on the iPhone impressed me. Not to mention the inability of the FBI to break into a specific earlier model iPhone was a big plus in my mind. While no hardware/software encryption system is perfect, Apple appears to be ahead of the game. As a brain tumor survivor with seizures and lost mental skills (memory for example) who lives a couple of miles from the nearest neighbor, a secure device with important stuff would help keep me organized and keep everything in one place a big plus that adds to my peace of mind. No more little scrapes of paper with things written down which are constantly lost. For me it's a safety thing on multiple levels. The goal is to create an adjunct to my mind and electronically replace the bits I lost and bits I continue to lose. I used an old Palm Pilot (remember those) for this function for many years but the iPhone and associated technology made that tool obsolete.
7. Finally, the ability to coordinate multiple tasks from a single device. Instead of heading back to the desk top or one of the other larger computers everything can be done with one hand and a few thumb swipes from the phone on my hip.
|iPhone SE with a rugged OtterBox case and belt clip for outdoor work.|
|The second photograph taken with and edited on the iPhone|