This phone will not run PDRater calculators, but yours might!
This phone will not run PDRater calculators, but yours might!

I recently discovered that installing the Opera Mini web browser on my “smartphone” has allowed me to run this website’s workers’ compensation calculators from my phone.1

Since launching this website I’ve given a lot of thought to support for cell phones.  There just are not many phones that can run these calculators.2 The glaring and notable exception is the iPhone.

Amusingly, one of this website’s users has asked for an “iPhone app” version of this site.  Seriously, you’ve got one of the few phones that can use this site and that’s not good enough for you?  (Thanks Chris!)

This is huge.  It means:

  • I can blog from the Board3
  • More importantly, no more bulky money charts or rating manuals at the Board!
  1. Photo courtesy of storm gal []
  2. It would be more correct to say there are not many phones that support javascript and AJAX well enough to interact with this website in a meaningful fashion. []
  3. Probably a lot more interesting for me than it is for you… []

Mario Puzo, the famed author of The Godfather, The Sicilian, and The Last Don, also wrote a slightly lesser known book by the name of “Fools Die.” 1 Fools Die was a very cynical look at the gambling, literary, and film industries. Some of the best parts were the casino owners talking about gambling:

Percentages never lie. We built all these hotels on percentages. We stay rich on the percentage. You can lose faith in everything, religion and God, women and love, good and evil, war and peace. You name it. But the percentage will always stand fast.

Throughout the book characters say, “no percentage,” or “bad percentage,” or “I have the percentage.” This phrase refers to a (slight) mathematical advantage or disadvantage which, with the inevitability of a glacier, will guarantee a net win or loss over time.

I’ve given a little more thought to the idea of offering website calculators that can be used from a cell phone. Right now, there are precious few cell phones and cell phone web browsers that are capable of using the basic internet protocols necessary to use these workers’ compensation benefits calculators.

At this point I could redevelop the calculators to work with more phones. No one is clamoring for cell phone based permanent disability and permanent impairment calculators. Though I have a feeling that day is not far off, right now there is no percentage in that game.

However, do not despair – I’m thinking of offering something of a consolation prize. More on this later.

  1. Did you know Puzo also wrote the screenplays for Superman and Superman II? []

As the man said, “you can’t always get what you want.” Here’s what I need from a cell phone:

  • Multiple numbers per contact
  • Multiple alarms
  • Scheduling events
  • Text messaging
  • Ability to jot down notes
  • A battery with 4 hours of talk time and a few days of standby time

My current phone can do all that. The battery life is failing, reception is spotty, and its been dropped more times than I was as a baby. Here’s what I want out of a new phone:

  1. Contacts and calendar that can synch with my laptop
  2. Bluetooth support and file access (to transfer files wirelessly)
  3. A web browser that works as well as IE7 or FF2 (Namely: proper HTML rendering, CSS rendering, cookies, and javascript support)

I know the LG Dare can handle #1 and #2, but I’m dubious about its support for #3.

I know the iPhone can handle #3 fairly well, but am dubious about its support for #1 and #2.

So, it looks like the only phone thus far that can use these calculators is… the iPhone. Don’t blame me – blame every other cell phone maker out there. I played with an LG Dare again a few days ago and was disappointed with its web browser this time.

I’m sure its a great phone. But, let’s be real, that’s not good enough any more.


  • Touch screen
  • Virtual QWERTY keyboard
  • A screen that rotates when you tilt the camera
  • MP3 player
  • Digital camera, video camera
  • Removable memory chip
  • 500 contact with up to 5 phone numbers each
  • A web browser that will support AJAX and XMLHttpRequest
  • Decent support of cascading stylesheets


  • Imperfect support of javascript
  • No support of cookies/sessions

What does this mean for you? You can go to my site, but you can’t log in. If you can’t log in, you can’t use the calculators. :/

As a side note, just about every Verizon rep I’ve talked to pushes this phone’s 500 person contact list. My question, “How much memory does the phone have?” Their response: “It has 5 phone numbers per contact? Wow. That’s a lot. I didn’t know that.” Riiight – you didn’t know? Why have I heard that exact line from three separate reps? I don’t have 500 contacts. I don’t even know 500 people.

Verdict: It may be a good phone, but you won’t be able to use my calculators from it.

This jet
This jet

Mostly because its so flipping cool.

I’m one of those kinds of people who likes to customize their things to suit them better. My junky cell phone has a custom ringtone I created, custom welcome/power-on message, my e-mail and word processing programs have tons of little shortcuts to make my life a little easier in a multitude of ways. My dictaphone has a sticker on it.1

The great thing about WordPress is that the entire program is SO customizable. You can change how it looks with “Themes” and how it acts with “Plugins.” I’ve been using it since March or so, even though it wasn’t publicly launched until July. I’m still finding all of these cool little features.

My current favorite feature: The ability to schedule a post. I can draft a quick post and then schedule it to appear on a particular day or time. Brilliant!

Its the little things in life, you know?

  1. A sticker of a jet. []