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Sunday, January 25, 2009

When the phone battery dies...

(I had wanted to write a product review, but that will have to wait while I deal with this little "crisis".)

Just last night, I had one of those moments when I realised I was truly a citizen of the mobile phone world. When the phone suddenly stopped charging and the device itself refused to start up, I had a real moment of panic. Not because the phone (or, most likely, its battery) was possibly dead, but because all of the data that was stored in it couldn't be accessed.

And I needed to access that data NOW!

The mobile phone has become a really indispensible device and it's due to its convenience. SMS makes sending and receiving short messages relatively painless. New numbers can be saved to the phone with a few keystrokes. And with phones doubling up as cameras and music players, lots of favourite pictures and tunes are stored in phone memory and/or memory cards.

And all of these can be lost when the power dies. Almost all phones require a working battery to operate. Even if a battery-less phone is connected to a wall outlet, it usually will not work. And that means that the data stored in the phone is effectively locked up. Without a working power source, my phone essentially became a data-filled brick, useless and useful at the same time.

Of course, I could easily buy a new battery, pray that nothing else in the phone's circuitry had given up the ghost, and stop ranting on my blog. But this was in the middle of the night, when the shops were closed, and I needed to find a contact number urgently. And though I sync my contacts with my computer regularly, this particular number had been saved to my phone after my most recent sync.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has faced this problem of a powerless, inaccessible mobile device. As the mobile phone becomes more and more ubiquitous, I think there has to be a better alternative to retrieve its data without needing a working battery inside it.

While I take a moment to find a new phone battery, I'd like to hear what you have to say. Have you encountered this issue (powerless mobile phone with inaccessible data) before? How did you overcome it, short of getting a new battery?

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