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One more feature for my phone - Denese Rodgers

For anyone who enjoys the use of a Blackberry, you understand how totally dependent you can become on the thing.

I have nicknamed mine, "My Addiction." I keep up with addresses, phone, e-mail and a myriad of information that would otherwise float in and out of RAM (random access memory) in half-recollected chunks.

I've got stats on high school kids, child abuse, available meeting space, and Katrina relief notes. At the recent United Way Volunteer Recognition Banquet, I pulled some U.S. Volunteer statistics off the world-wide web feature just ten minutes before I was supposed to get up and speak.

In the computer geek world, there is a phrase called, GIGO. It means "garbage in, garbage out." The phrase was originally designed to explain poor computing results, i.e., not putting the correct information in a system in order to achieve the results you were seeking.

In using the Blackberry, I think I've found another one: NINO. "Nothing in, nothing out." If I don't stop as soon as I make an arrangement and put it into "my addiction," I will never remember to do it later. It is almost like I have short-term memory loss. I don't know if I'm suffering pre-senility, or if there is just too much stuff in my head.

Maybe I should put some sort of reminder feature that dings me (with my choice of reminder tone) at the end of each day, and says, "Is there anything you've forgotten to give to me today?"

Now, that having been said, I have probably somewhere close to a thousand records of some varying degree of value. I have discovered that in order to restore information to the front half of my consciousness, I have to periodically review the stuff that I've stored in my phone. The way mine is set up, I can do a print of the entire address book. It syncs itself with my computer address book, so it stays relatively current.

This is pretty cool, because I can use it as a back-up in the awful, horrible, catastrophic case that my phone dies or is stolen. On a side note: The person who steals my cellphone will suffer every bad thing I can think of - voo-doo, in-grown toenails, gingivitis, halitosis - you name it.

Back to the phone thing ... Printing your whole address book is also great for when the phone freaks out, which mine does when it is in a room of techno-toys. I also have a copy that I keep for disaster recovery, since paper can usually go where technology may be prohibited.

I thought I was going to have to actually (gulp) use it to rebuild my phone last Christmas. I had been working at the warehouse and when I got ready to leave, I put the phone on top of my car to unlock the door. You know the rest of the story. I took off and the phone went flying.

Fortunately, a very nice man from Sable Chase Apartments found my phone and called the first person in my call log - and he simply returned my phone as a nice gesture (albeit with the snot beat out of it where it had gotten a good case of road rash). What a nice guy.

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-service, networking, community organization in Henry County.