28 March 2017


I recently stopped in at a small downtown shop of my cellular provider because I'd been having trouble with my iPhone 5 ever since the iOS upgrade in about September of last year. The upgrade ate up all the phone's memory. I still had nearly a year to go on the contract for the device, but the phone was rendered just about worthless after that upgrade.

I'd just made a house payment and was walking back to work when I passed by the little hole-in-the-wall shop. Initially, I walked right by. Then I turned and went back to find out if anything could be done to solve the phone problems I'd been having.

I used to be able to shoot anywhere from 200 to 300 photos on that cheap little refurbished phone I picked up for 50 cents. (Plus the two-year contract...) By last September, I couldn't shoot more than about 10 photos before the 8-gigabyte memory would be full. I began deleting apps right and left, finally deleting some I didn't want to, just to be able to access email.

I've often made jokes about keeping the phone only so I could run Cyclemeter, which records my cycling miles and routes, and so I take pictures when I didn't have a real camera with me (which happens rarely, especially after the phone could no longer take photos).

After I lost home email access at work more than a year ago, I had become more and more dependent upon the phone to be able to respond to email. By September, I was deleting emails in an effort to clear up some memory on the phone.

Then that September update came, and the phone was next to useless. I paid for my monthly service but was unable to use the phone for much of anything more than checking the current temperature.

I placed the phone on the counter of the cellular shop and asked the sales rep if anything could be done to expand the memory on my phone. I explained I'd bought an external memory expander and had to remove the Otter case to use it. After the first two times, the plug no longer worked. I was carrying around a phone that didn't work at all.

The sales rep plugged some of my info into his tablet then stared in seemingly horror at the stats.

"I can't believe you've been using an 8-gig phone all this time!" he exclaimed. "Yes, we can fix that!"

"I've still got six more months on my contact..." I thought he might choke and die after he digested that sentence.

"I can't believe you are still on a contract!" he gasped. "Yes, we can fix that! You don't have to be on a contract anymore!"

Wow, competition has really been good for the cell phone business!

I walked out of the shop with a BRAND NEW, not used, not refurbished, iPhone 5SE. Yes, I could have gone newer, but I didn't want to pay that much for a phone. After all, I use it mainly as a camera and to log my bicycling miles. Ha ha ha!

This is the first new iPhone I've ever owned. The camera alone makes it worth more than the price. But I've been walking on Cloud 9 ever since I left that little store.

I can access my email. I put all my apps back on the phone, and I even use them sometimes. Domino's tracker??? Got it! My little 7-year-old neighbor is so thrilled she can use My Talking Pet again. And I can take notes without carrying around a notepad and pen. I can read books on the phone again instead of carrying full-sized reading material in my crochet bag. (Although I still prefer page-turning to an electronic device.)

Happily, I can use Charity Miles and Cyclemeter again.

Mostly, I can take pictures again. I can edit and play with my photos on my phone again. That's a fun pastime when I can't get a seat on the commuter train.

Many of the photo editing apps have changed with time. I was looking through one of my old iPhone photo collections for a specific photo, and I came across a bunch of photos I had played with while my in-laws transported us to a Ride the Rockies starting line. (We had parked our car at the finish line the day before.)

Seeing the old photos brought back great memories, but also made me yearn for some of those old filters and frames. I still have my first iPhone, an iPhone 3, which I use in a Goal Zero stereo on my bike for ride-along music during long tours. The iPhone 3 still has the old versions of the photo editing apps. So one day I may upload some of my newer photos onto the old phone so I can play again, just like old times.

Funny how those old 4-gigabyte phones can hold so much more than the newer 8-gig phones!


  1. A new phone can be grand indeed. That sucks it would crap out so easily. Memory can be fickle with all the updates and the like. Good you got geared up and away you can go with a pic taking show.

  2. I love the bird photo. And are those more windflower seedheads? :D

    So glad you got something that works and is a better deal!


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