Well Golly - it looks like TDMA won't be the only thing to have its lights turned off next year - the Analog Cellular network is going too. I don't know which is crazier - the fact that folks are still using analog cell phones or the fact that this somewhat comforting fall-back technology is going away. AP suggests checking your grandma's emergency 911 cell phone (it might be analog), but that there's a very slim chance - 1% to be precise - that this will affect you or yours. That number is much higher if you have GM's OnStar in your vehicle - older OnStar-equipped cars use analog too.

Analog has long-been the more reliable option for rural areas and that may not change as quickly -- Alltel will take a bit longer to drop analog and some smaller carriers will keep it. Still and all - my first “cell” was analog and I still have a soft spot for the Ericsson.

Meanwhile, it reminds me of the first digital phone I got - I was told my multiple people that this “digital thing” was a phase. People want to hear your real voice, not some digitally de- and re-constructed facsimile. I, on the other hand, have always welcomed our digital overlords.

Read: chicagotribune.com