Hello? Hello? Is this you, Mabel?

... a quick study in the technical aspects of cellphones

by Don Norris

What does it take to operate one of these new-fangled cellphones today -- an acute mind, two lightning-fast thumbs, passible hearing, and a passion for gab. Some dozen seniors took the hook when AT&T issued an open invitation to attend a loose seminar -- on that very subject. From the left are Lucille Haddock, Esther Snow and Lorry Norris.

The event happened in the new lounge at the Milano Senior Center. The program, put on by Dan Cronin and Kimheng Ou of AT&T, was informal, more of a question and answer, what's your problem sort of thing. Informal, amusing, certainly informative. At the left, Janet Murphy gets a one-on-one lesson from AT&T's Dan Cronin. At the right, Lucille discusses a vital point with Kim, the expert.

The folks at the left, Charles Kunsman and Peg Murray, came all the way from Arlington, two towns away, to take part in the program. At the right is Kim Ou, clearing up a point with the SilverStringers' own Joan Alcala.

There was some deep discussion about various buttons ("What's this funny little sign for?"), other functions these marvelous little communicators could perform -- such as an alarm clock that goes off every morning at 6:45, but not on weekends. The tricks were numerous, sometime confounding. But, having taken part that morning, I can say I came away a lot more savvy about using cellphones -- I think.

AT&T has adopted and fostered this informal class on the use of cellphones, running it regularly in communities surrounding Boston. It's free, no cost, and I suppose you can even buy a new AT&T cellphone and contract, if you ask nicely. Dan Cronin said they'll be back in Melrose a few months down the road.

April 3, 2009

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