From a WSO discussion thread:

Hey guys,

I’m looking to buy the iphone, but I’m concerned that some of the apps won’t work due to the lack of “3g service” in the area. How necessary is this for the iphone’s function? Also, if you have the iphone could you tell me about your experience with it in Williamstown? How’s the Internet connectivity, reception, access to apps, etc?

btw…i know at the moment all the service is screwed due to the towers, but i’m asking in general, thanks!

As a confirmed Crackberry addict, my first response to this is to say: you’re in Williamstown! What do you need apps for? Come on! You’ll have plenty of time to commune with your smartphone when you have a job and a commute. Don’t waste your youth (not to mention your money).

I’d also just like to take this opportunity to link to and quote from this 2002 Record editorial (thanks to Mike for pointing it out in this thread):

May we, then, beg a question of the student body, particularly the freshman class, whose members have yet to fully learn the ways of Williams?

Could you please turn your cell phones off?

We will not for a minute pretend to be sappy nature-loving environmentalists yearning for a return to yesteryear and an end to global warming and the ills of the industrialized world. But please, to preserve our college’s tranquility, could you at least put it on vibrate?

Whether in the Snack Bar, in class, or walking around campus, an undeniable fact exists: cell phones have invaded Williams and, outside of the dorm room, they are miserable objects.

We realize that communication in Williamstown is difficult; indeed, Billsville boasts a bustling Main Street, and Water Street is arguably an urban thoroughfare as well. The nearest e-mail stations are far away – at least a five-minute walk from any location in town.

There are also handy blue-light campus phones, which can be located by turning 360 degrees from any location on campus. Unlike cell phones, these phones provide free weekday, weekend and night service. Thus, it seems that most students on campus could survive without tormenting their fellow classmates with Britney’s latest on their ringer.

Undeniably, there are practical reasons for owning a cell phone. The long distance rates are cheaper than College rates and if students own cars, cell phones may be used to contact people in case of an emergency.

But cell phones can also be the bane of a professor’s existence. There is nothing more embarrassing for all students, and particularly the student who owns the phone, when a cell phone starts ringing in the middle of class. Or even, worse, when the student answers the phone, as has happened in some classes. And, goodness, how can a professor compete with a classic such as Beethoven’s Seventh blasting at maximum volume as you try to find the phone and dig it out of your bag to turn it off?

I don’t think the Record editors saw the iPhone coming. Ringtones were bad enough, but now you can tweet and Facebook (is that a verb?) from the palm of your hand. No way will professors be able to compete with that.

PS: Not that I mean to turn this into Craigslist’s Casual Encounters Missed Connections section, but to the young woman wearing a Williams t-shirt and Williams jogging shorts in midtown this morning: please don’t run through busy intersections in Manhattan with your iPhone earbuds in your ears while staring down at your iPhone. It is extremely dangerous. Unlike the courteous drivers you may be used to in Billsville, you might actually get run over here. Also, when weird alumni shout “Hey!! You went to Williams?!” across Sixth Avenue at you, the earbuds might prevent you from hearing me/them.

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