T9… my old friend

Jacob David C. Cunningham
4 min readSep 2, 2023

This is a rambling, life check-in post.

So… about a month ago I was dumb, was drinking too much and destroyed my phone. This phone, a Moto G Stylus 2020 ($300 in 2021) is decent; I had it since 2021. It has 4GB of RAM and a 1080P screen.

And today I fixed it…

Upon closer inspection you can see that the sides are covered in hot glue lol… it keeps the display attached to the main phone body.

I did sand this down so it’s smoother/flush but it’s still nasty that it’s grippy hot glue


There’s nothing super deep I’ll get into… it’s not like a life-changing or profound experience. It’s just funny how much of your life is ran by these devices. When I broke the phone above, I couldn’t get home because I couldn’t get an Uber. I couldn’t use the phone as a phone because I can’t see anything… made me think of some vibration interface with audio feedback… not worth the effort. Further all my apps eg. banking were inaccesible via finger print login (PITA) and gym checkin (PF) I had to move that to another phone (although I heard you can print QR codes). No more podcasts during cooking. Funny enough my flip phone has a browser… so I could search some stuff.

I was slower to respond to people… less notifications eg. no email, no discord, no YouTube, no other app notifications… none. I could type entire paragraphs on a phone with a big screen. Punctuation was gone, took me a bit to figure out where the period was or apostrophe. That flip phone was $99 lol, I thought it would be cheaper.

Anyway… at the time I had my mind set on getting another phone… something similar in terms of price/spec range. This time it would have been a Samsung… but I realized… I’m poor lol… so I got my phone back for like $60 ($30 in parts, $30 in heat gun/repair tools). The hot glue is because this replacement screen did not have the bevel/flush mount frame thing around it… which I didn’t realize till I received it…

You need a heat gun to soften the glue around the edges to take the phone apart. It’s hard to pry the battery from the tape under it. The display cable is unfortunately under the battery.

I watched a YouTube video for a heads up. Also while I was looking for a replacement screen, I did entertain the possibility of a “hardware in the middle” attack (not my own term). Which is possible but unlikely.

It was just funny to me how I was dumbfounded like “oh crap I can fix it…” which became $60 vs. $400 but yeah. That’s the thing I did my finances and I am poor… like my income isn’t enough to pay down my monthly bills lol and it’s all debt… so yeah, I’m working on that.

Oh yeah and the photos taken by the flip phone were garbage obviously. Couldn’t take any nice photos of the skyline on my work walks.

Oh right… the reason I needed a phone (even a flip phone) so badly was the 2FA… like if I wanted to move money I couldn’t because the 2FA phone lol.

So yeah… it was an interesting time. I’ll use this hot-glue phone for a while… I can’t even buy like a graphics card for my computer lol or a used MS SB3 or a lens for my camera… I’ve been working a lot lately anyway so no need like for the camera lens anymore or at least get it later.

I’m still working on getting the energy to work on my own stuff after work. I usually come home and I’m spent… I spend about 11 hours for my day job from getting up, driving, working, driving home… eg. 7:40 AM to 6:40 PM I’m at my desk again at home.

I’m also still fat… like I haven’t dropped the weight, I still have 30 more lbs to lose.

All work in progress.


Just writing this real quick. When I wake up now (with smart phone) I am immediately bombarded with random context (notifications). It can be good to know but yeah… I wasn’t doing that too much with my flip phone and temporary old smart phone (didn’t have all my emails and apps setup). I still keep my phone on silent except the alarm, so I’m not pulled into it like a pavlovian dog but I still take advantage of that with my self-text reminders.