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Remember 1973? Richard Nixon was president. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree” and “All in the Family” were No. 1 on the music and television charts. Linda Blair spun her head 360 degrees in “The Exorcist.” And the mobile phone was invented. As the saying does, it’s come a long way, baby. Whereas mobile phones were once only for the rich and powerful because they were heavy, unwieldy and expensive, cellular phones have evolved to become one of a lawyer’s essential tools. With a cell phone, PDA and laptop, who needs an office? The 30th anniversary provides a perfect time to see what’s new in cell phones. Prices vary, depending on the manufacturer, service provider and service contract. It weighs 32 pounds. It’s basically a desk phone mounted in a suitcase, next to a metal-encased box full of wires. And, in an almost spooky way, it resembles the “football,” the president’s brief case containing nuclear weapon launch codes. What is it? One of the first mobile phones. Provided by Cingular, the “briefcase” phone dates back to 1984 and cost about $3,000 at the time. Motorola V70 stands out for its one-of-a-kind design, including the rotating cover and circular display. Other unique features include a blue electro-luminescent keypad (termed MotoGlo); changeable circular display bezels; SMS text-messaging capabilities; external caller ID; GPRS Internet connection; and True Sync software capabilities. Web site: www.motorola.com. Price: MSRP $400. The Sanyo 5300, exclusively from Sprint, is a point, shoot, click and call phone. It offers a digital camera with digital zoom; an internal color screen that supports 65,536 colors; external caller ID screen allows users to identify incoming calls by number or picture-caller ID; and offers Web downloads, icons and full-color graphic versions of popular Internet sites, as well as desktop-like wireless messaging and chat. Web site: www.sprintpcs.com. Price: $399.99. Sony Ericsson T62u from Cingular is a “multi-network” phone and works across TDMA, GSM and analog. The T62u is equipped with all the voice-activated dialing and answering functions. Web site: www.cingular.com. Price: Handset is free through May 31 with a $20 donation to Special Olympics and a two-year contract. Motorola’s i95cl from Nextel has 256-color screen and a range of imaging features to personalize the phone. Loaded with latest Java applications (so you can run pre-loaded business applications and games), it operates on Nextel’s all-digital network and includes Direct Connect, the long-range digital walkie-talkie feature. Other features include a 250-entry phonebook; 250-entry date book; speakerphone; and voice recorder (to record and play back memos or phone calls). Web site: www.nextel.com. Price: $299.99. Nokia 3650 from AT&T Wireless has a camera that takes photos at a resolution of up to 640 by 480 pixels with a pallet of up to 16 million colors. It’s a Java phone and runs version 1.0 of the MIDP Java profile as well as the latest extensions. It provides e-mail via SMTP, IMAP4 and POP3. It also supports multimedia messaging services, a calendar and “to-do” functionality among other ready-to-run applications. With a 4 MB memory, the imaging phone supports removable memory cards. Web site: www.attws.com.
CELLULAR SOUP SMS = Short Message Service. Phone can be used as a two-way pager if the person you are trying to contact has a mobile phone. GPRS = General Packet Radio Service. Merges cellular telephone radio transmission technology and the Internet. TrueSync = Cable and software combination allows you, among other things, to connect your phone to your laptop, allowing you to surf the Web, send e-mail and send or receive faxes. TDMA = Time Division Multiple Access. Transmits signals at certain intervals, which allows several phones to use the same frequency simultaneously. GSM = Global System for Mobile Communications. Similar to TDMA and is the standard format used in most of the world. SMTP = Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Allows you to send and receive e-mail. POP3 = Post Office Protocol. Used to retrieve mail from a server. IMAP4 = Internet Message Access Protocol. Similar to POP3, but has extra features. For example, you can search e-mail messages by keywords while the messages are in the mail server.

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