Life After HTC’s Hero: A Review

Going Off the Grid

Now that I have used my HTC Hero I realize that I am more plugged in than I have ever been. Not only is data being collected on me from phone, email, and Internet use, but I am freely giving up more information on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. But I wasn’t satisfied with the amount of data being collected so started collecting more data using Endomondo and Facebook apps on my GPS-enabled phone, the HTC Hero for Sprint. Every since I got this phone with unlimited Internet access, I have been more plugged in than ever before. The New York Times has a great article on this called The Data-Driven Life. My friends have started to comment on the uptick in wall posts on Facebook and I’ve started to get caught back up on email, but I’ve also increased my risk.

Physical Risk

Now, more than ever I use my phone while driving. If texting makes you 8 times more likely to get on an accident, what is the odds for someone filming and posting videos to YouTube from the road? There is also the minor strain on the wrists from using the mobile device more and in more situations.

Financial Risk

Because my phone has always-on Internet access and unlimited text messaging there is nothing to stop me from using the phone at work. Checking Facebook is an issue that I have found that I have and texting with my wife can happen a lot depending on what she is doing that day. The bible says to be a slave to your master; serve your employer well while you are at your job. Being a good steward of your time is part of that.


So now that I’m in, am I wishing I was out? I do like the new features of the phone like weather information, Facebook access, and the qwerty touchscreen, but its just another thing in my life I have to maintain and manage. Like this site, I need to learn to better manage my actions while driving and while at work so I don’t get forced off the grid.

From AT&T and the iPhone to Sprint and the HTC Hero: The Journey Begins

As I write this my wife is in the process of switching mobile cell phone carriers from AT&T, who we have both been with since 2001, to Sprint. My wife is switching from Apple’s iPhone 3GS and I am switching from an LG Shine slider. We are both getting the HTC Hero which has wifi, visual voicemail, video, a 5 megapixel camera, GPS, tethering via USB, a touchscreen, and it runs Android. It’s not an iPhone. It’s more than an iPhone. And it’s not AT&T.

Plan Pricing

Sprint offered us 2 lines with unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes (regardless of carrier), unlimited data, and unlimited texts for $130 a month. For both of us to get an iPhone on AT&T’s network it would cost us around $170 a month for the same plan. Sprint’s plan also comes with 1500 landline minutes. Sprint coverage is so much better than AT&T in our area that it was a no brainer.


We weren’t without our reservations. Sprint, unlike Verizon and AT&T, still charges for roaming, but we wouldn’t have signed up if we didn’t live in an area with plenty of coverage. And my wife and I are avid iPhone users and fans. In fact I’m typing this article on a first generation iPhone I’m using as an iTouch (it has no phone plan). I was a little worried that my wife would hesitate to give up her iPhone, but once she found out that the HTC Hero had similar features and more she was hooked. I’ll have to post a review of the HTC Hero in the near future to let you know what I think, but because it has 3G, direct to Youtube, and WordPress app functionality, this Internet marketing business analyst entrepreneur is happy. Thank you, wife!

Attitude…How You Lean

In light of the US Airways flight that safely crash landed into the Hudson River yesterday, my mind raced through what I might do in such a situation, both as a passenger, and as the  pilot.

As a passenger, I would probably break the “no cell phones during flight” rule and call my children, if there was even time for that.  I would assume that death was at hand and prepare to meet my maker.  Maybe my mind would flash back to scenes from the movie Castaway and how Tom Hanks’ character actually did survive a water landing.  The nearby island might be a little bit more inhabitable than his, but I digress.

More than likely, I would assume the worst, until the plane stopped its free fall and I found myself still breathing and able to move.  Really, what can you do when you are trapped and strapped inside of something that heavy going against the force of gravity?

Now, as the pilot, my brain starts spinning things in a more heroic direction.  Even though the plane is fighting a losing battle with gravity, I still feel some sense of power, since I can control the wings.  Perhaps I can see the terrain below and choose an ideal crash site, like a river.  Not only do I want to save my own life for myself and my family, but I have so many others who will benefit from my opportunity to steer us closer to safety and away from a more clear danger.  The goal would be to save lives and just plain (no pun intended) do my job.  But, as was the case with the pilot, C.B. Sullenberger, I might become a hero overnight.  Just responding the way that I knew I needed to respond would bring great appreciation and accolade.


One thing that C.B. Sullenberger had going for him (and everyone else on the plane, for that matter), was that he was passionate for safety procedures.  Even though this was his first jet-airliner crash, it didn’t seem “new” to him, because he had rehearsed it in his mind so many times before.  He was aware of the risks of flight, and didn’t fly airplanes hoping that such a situation would never happen.  He was prepared for any possible situation and took the “responsibility” aspect of being a pilot as fully as the “fun” side.  Because he had practiced the crash landing mentally, his body knew how to respond, even though the stakes were much higher.  You can probably see where I am going with this, but it is absolutely true that practice and repetition will serve you better than just “showing up” for game time, whatever your game might be.


The biggest difference between my response as a passenger and my response as a pilot is control, or at least, and understanding of control.  Is control an illusion?  Maybe.  But it is absolutely true that we can alter the course of our lives, every day.  Even in situations where we feel like we have no control, most often WE put ourselves in that situation.  WE chose to get on that airplane.  Yes, the odds are small that it could crash, but the odds are still there.  That was our choice.  We controlled that choice.  Just like we control where we work.  What town we live in.  What type of society we live in.  The value of money.  When we have freedom, we have control.  With freedom, there should be less fear.


Finally, our attitude strongly impacts our outcomes in life.  We all know what the word “altitude” means.  It is the relation between the airplane and sea level.  In the flight world, a plane’s “attitude” refers to whether it is leaning left or right.  With our choices in life, we can either lean in a positive direction, or a negative direction.  Think about magnets, and how a negatively charged magnet repels objects, while a positively charged magnet attracts things.  When you are charged negatively, you are pushing things and people away, saying “I don’t want to be a part of this.  I can’t help myself, so how can I help you.  Woe is me!”  When you are charged positively, you are drawing people and things to you, saying “I am in control.  Trust me.  We can do it!”

I think that it is clear how we all want to lean in terms of our attitude.  There is something very attractive about a positive attitude.  Magnetic even.  Maybe that’s why I relate so much to this guy.

This is a guest post by Zac Parsons.