The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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iPhone - R.I.P.

Rich Galen

Monday April 7, 2014


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  • Everyone has heard stories of someone who fell into a lake with their cell phone in their pocket; who left their cell phone on the picnic table while running for cover in a thunderstorm or who dropped it into a - how to put this delicately - receptacle, while using their cell phone in an inappropriate place.

  • Every one of those people (with the possible exception of the third example, especially if his clumsiness had been witnessed by others) has gone into CELL PHONE RECOVERY MODE.

  • That includes turning off the device immediately, removing the battery as quickly as possible, wiping all the external water off (except for � that guy), and then letting the device sit in rice for 24 hours to let the rice absorb the water inside the device.

  • If you Google "iPhone water rice" you will come up with a significant number of hits that describe in great detail how to (a) turn off your device, (b) remove the battery, (c) wipe off any external water and, (d) plunge it into rice (uncooked, I found out) and (e) leave it alone for 24 hours.

  • In most postings the writer celebrated resurrection of his cell phone happily returning to long years of post-immersion service.

  • Here's what I did.

  • As it was Friday, I was wearing jeans. In the office I work out of, Fridays are casual days and my choice of casual clothing was jeans, sneakers, and a standard button-down shirt.


    Years and years ago I worked for a company named Electronic Data Systems - EDS. It was the organization that had been begun by Ross Perot although by the time I got there it was owned by General Motors.

    Perot had come from IBM which had a well-known dress code for men: White shirt and tie, suit, black shoes with laces (not slip-ons because they are known as "loafers").

    It came to pass in the mid-nineties that the authorities at EDS decided that casual Friday was the order of the day and so instituted that policy.

    While the white shirt rule and the lace-up shoe rules had long since been abandoned, the suit-and-tie rule was well in force so during the week there were wide varieties of suits, shirts, ties, and shoes on display in the hallways and cafeterias.

    Except for Fridays.

    On casual Fridays almost every male employee of EDS wore khakis, a button-down shirt a V-neck sweater, and loafers.

    Thus, the casual clothing on Fridays was more of a uniform than that worn during the other four days of the week.



  • After dinner on Friday night I decided to drop my jeans in the washing machine on my way to my bedroom. I had worn that particular pair of jeans on a terrific trip to T. Boone Pickens' ranch earlier in the week, so even though no horses, guns, fishing poles, nor bales of hay were on my personal program I decided they could use laundering.

  • I started the machine, added liquid detergent, and trundled off to bed happy in the knowledge that my jeans would be Springtime fresh by morning.

  • In the morning I realized my iPhone was nowhere to be found. This is not a particularly uncommon occurrence. I leave things everywhere, to the point that in my family the concept is known as "Rich Droppings."

  • Apple has provided a very useful app called "Find my iPhone" that uses the GPS system to show, on a map, the phone's location. Sometimes it's in my car. Sometimes it's in the den. Sometimes it's at my favorite restaurant, Landini's.

  • This time, when I fired up the Find my iPhone app on my iPad it said my iPhone was "offline."

  • Drat. Foiled again.

  • I retraced my steps from the night before - including dropping by Landini's - but my phone was nowhere to be found.

  • I � wondered.

  • I went to the laundry room, pretending to myself I was going there to move my jeans from the washer to the dryer, only to find my iPhone sitting at the bottom of the tub.

  • I didn't have to turn it off, because it was already off.

  • I didn't take out the battery because iPhone batteries are not easily reachable by consumers.

  • I didn't wipe off the excess water because it had been through the spin cycle.

  • I did pour rice into a baggy, dumped the phone in, and let it sit for about 24 hours.

  • I plugged it in, waited for about an hour, then pressed the power button.

  • Nothing. Nada. Bupkis.

  • I now have an iPhone that is d.e.a.d, but very clean.

  • I'm blaming it on Obamacare.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A Mullfoto of my transport from Dallas to Mr. Pickens' ranch.

    -- END --

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