Upgrading the iPhone and the useless iTunes progress bars!

So it’s about time to upgrade to 2.0.2.  I ripped a DVD and put it on the iPhone (thanks to handbrake!) and it was suprizingly easy.  But it took a while to encode so I had plenty of time to do an upgrade.

First step was to download the update . . . over 200 MB!!!  That’s going to take a while  . . . .

Okay, now it has to backup the iPhone.  I get a progress bar from hell that just keeps scrolling by.  After that’s done, another useless progress bar saying it’s extracting the files or something.  Next another annoying progress bar to say that it’s “Prepping the iPhone for an upgrade”.  On and on and on.   Probably more than 5 different progress bars.

After all that it couldn’t install the software (my USB ports are flaky) so it was in “Restore mode” and I had to do the entire process all over again (well, at least I didn’t have to download the update).  Lucky that it backed up the iPhone because everything was wiped out after the restore.  But I did get back all the apps I downloaded as well as the addressbook.  But I did loose all the music and video so I had to sync all that back up.

Two hours later . . . finally done.


Categorized as Gadgets, Rant

iPhone 3G reception problems are real!!

It’s been a while.  I’ve been messing with CakePHP instead of writing . . . but I need to do both.  Anyway, an iPhone rant.

The iPhone 3G reception problem is bad news.  While we were in DC a few weeks ago I was trying to look up maps and stuff and the iPhone was sucky so I switched off 3G thinking DC just wasn’t a good coverage area.  When we got back, I never switched it back (it is Sarah’s phone after all).  Then on Monday (several weeks later) I read that “Tris” (the Tetris clone) was being pulled from the App Store on Wednesday.  I grabbed up the iPhone and downloaded it.  (It’s pretty sweet by the way.)   The download took a while and I remembered about how I switched off 3G weeks ago so I switched it back on and put the phone on the dryer (that’s where we put our phones and keys).  Later that night Sarah does some laundry and I notice the iPhone is pretty hot sitting on the dryer . . . so I put it on the washer.  Next day, all calls are dropped after less than a minute.  At first I thought it was the heat from the dryer . . . but then Sarah said “It’s that Tris you installed!” and then it dawned on me . . . it was because of 3G!!!  I switched off 3G and all is well . . . sorta, I mean, it’s not “twice as fast” and it certainly wasn’t “half the price”.

That said it’s still a cool phone and I wish I had one.  It just sucks that it is advertized as better . . . and it’s certainly one of the most expensive options when it comes to the TCO (total cost of ownership) for a phone.


Categorized as Gadgets

Apple raises the price of the iPhone

The big news about the new iPhone is “Twice as fast, half the price” but now we know the truth.  Sure, it only costs $199 but now the data plan and text messaging is the same as the ones you get with a Blackberry (see my earlier post) so essentially the new iPhone costs more than the old one over the two year contract.  Or, to look at it another way, the new iPhone has the same data plan as the Blackberry so now it’s easier to compare the total cost of an iPhone over the total cost of a Blackberry since there isn’t a special iPhone package from AT&T anymore.  I guess Apple is the one pulling something this time, not AT&T.


How does AT&T get away with this?

UPDATE:  Well, with the new iPhone comming out the link to the pricing plan below is invalid.  Thank goodness for the way back machine!!  At archive.org I found the text about the $20 “iPhone Data Plan” that includes 200 text messages, unlimited data and visual voice mail.

The new iPhone means a new post.  Stay tuned.

Okay, so, here is the deal. I get the Blackberry Pearl. Lost my Razr and for $50 (after getting a rebate card) I figure I need a change and the Blackberry charges with mini USB so I don’t need to invest in chargers. As you can tell it was a tough decision. It was!

The Blackberry is okay and it’s cool to have Google maps and GMail . . . comes in handy a lot more than you think. It does lock up and give me the spinning hourglass too much and without Google it would be worthless but it’s a few steps up from the Razr. Not sure if it’s worth the “data plan” fee but still, it is useful. I figure I’ll keep the data plan a few months to see if I use it enough and beside, I can’t let the mobile web pass me by.

Then I get the *second* bill. $40 more than I expect. Last time the “Blackberry unlimited” was charged at $25. This time it was $30. I guess it was prorated the first month and $30 is the normal fee. Okay, that’s kinda steep but that only accounts for $5 increase. Oh, and my wife made a few calls in Canada . . . there goes another $25. Still missing $10.

Going over the bill for the third time and IT’S THE TEXT MESSAGES!!!! No text messages are included with the $30 Blackberry plan . . . NONE . . . For that you gotta pay $5 more.

According to Apple you just pay another $20 per month as an existing customer to get 200 text messages and data. WHAT THE!?

So, to get what I would get with an iPhone (data and text messaging at least) on the Blackberry I need to pay $15 extra per month or $180 more per year! What am I missing?


My mouse hates me

Occasionally my mouse would lock up and the pointer speed would slow down and it would be hard to navigate so I would go to the control panel and change the pointer speed to accommodate. But then a few minutes later it would speed back up and be too fast so back to the control panel. I tried to close down Firefox (figuring that it was eating away too much memory or I had some webpage up that was hitting the CANVAS too hard) but even with Firefox closed my mouse was messing with me.

I looked for all kinds of things that I thought might be doing it. I stopped every process but the bare essentials. I searched and searched and searched. I decided I needed to reinstall but I still have work to do so I just kinda dealt with it for a few weeks (I settled on an “in-between” speed so that if it was slow or fast I could adjust my movements to accommodate . . . it was brain training!). Oh, and the same thing happened with a similar but different mouse.

Then one day I plug my new BlackBerry in (I wanted an iPhone but the Blackberry was $50 . . . and even free now! . . and I lost my other phone so I had to do something) to USB and I got a notice on the phone saying there wasn’t enough juice to charge the BlackBerry. That’s strange because I plugged into a powered USB hub. Anyway, I figured the BlackBerry had some special power requirements or wouldn’t charge with just mini USB.

So I decided that I should buy a new USB hub thinking maybe that was the problem. I have no idea why I came to that conclusion but my old hub was one of the first USB 2.0 hubs to come out. I get a new Belkin. I go to plug it in and notice that something else had come unplugged . . . that’s right, my USB Hub!!! I plugged it in and ever since the mouse has been working fine. WHY WOULD YOU NEED A POWERED USB HUB FOR A MOUSE?! That and the keyboard was all that was ever plugged in there.


Categorized as Gadgets