[SMS message]
Very useful, this SMS thing

Last week I finally got my mobile phone fiddled with sufficiently to be able to send SMS messages. Actually, that would be better written as SMSs, since "SMS message" would stand for "short message service message", which while syntactically correct, does sound rather cumbersome.

While it’s possible that any naff technology is exciting while it’s new to you, I think this holds some promise. While I’ve been receiving text messages from people for a couple of years, this is the first time I’ve had the energy to get the phone configured for me to send replies back.

And it’s actually kind of nifty. If you have a short, sharp message to send, you can tap it out on the phone (or on a web site). Okay, so you only get 160 characters, but so far I’ve managed to be reasonably eloquent, and haven’t even resorted to those dreaded annoying "U R GR8" shortcuts and slang that phone messaging seems to have picked up from all those teenagers on the Internet.

Once you’ve got your message written, you can fire it off to anywhere in the world for 22 cents. At least, I hope it’s 22 cents. That’s what the Telstra web page claims, and it doesn’t have any small print whatsoever qualifying that it costs two hundred times that amount to send it anywhere outside their own network. I’ve sent a few interstate, and a few to England, so I’m certainly hoping it’s just 22 cents a pop. I’ll certainly be complaining noisily if my next bill says otherwise.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.