Skip to main content

i'm iPhone conflicted

No, I didn't buy an iPhone, but it's not because I don't want to. Oh, how I so want to. The reason I won't buy an iPhone is that T-Mobile is my provider, not AT&T, and T-Mobile doesn't sell the iPhone, at least not in America. And I'm so very happy T-Mobile is my provider.

I was once an AT&T Wireless customer - back in 1996. Back when every minute was charged, and roaming fees would eat you up alive. And service was absolutely abominable (and it looks like it still is). After a year of very costly and very bad service (in which one monthly bill ran over $300 in 1996 dollars), I ended my contract with AT&T in 1997. It was the start of a nine-year fight to get away from them completely.

AT&T decided I owed them another $127 because I ended my 12-month contract after 12 months. I wrote them a letter saying I did not, and why. Nothing came of it, and I thought it was at an end. I was wrong. AT&T never forgot, even though through the years I had a plan with BellSouth, then VoiceStream, and then finally T-Mobile (when VoiceStream was purchased by T-Mobile).

Over the next nine years (1997 to 2005) I would get a slow but steady stream of letters and phone calls from bill collectors for my final 'unpaid' AT&T charge. At first I would ignore them, but then I finally got mad enough to either call them or write them a letter, explaining that I did not owe AT&T. Somebody would pay attention at the collection agencies, because I wouldn't hear from them again. But 12-24 months later, I'd get another agency dunning me, and I'd have to go through the whole process yet again.

In all that time the agencies wanted me to pay my bill to AT&T Wireless. Even after AT&T Wireless had been spun out. I have no idea who at AT&T kept it up, but every time I got another mailing or phone call from a collection agency I was reminded yet again why I hated AT&T so much, and how I would never ever do business with them directly. I have kept that promise all these years, to the point where when I read that The New AT&T was buying BellSouth, my land-line provider, I switched my house phone from BellSouth to Brighthouse Networks (a.k.a. Time Warner). TimeWarner/Brighthouse has always been good (at least in my neighborhood). I even got to keep my old phone number when I switched.

I believe in the iPhone and the positive effects it will have on the current horrible handset market. I have no problems spending the money on such a device; after all, I was idiot enough to drop nearly $400 on the Nokia 770 when it first came out (much to my later regret). I am waiting for the rest of the market to catch up with the iPhone, and possible even surpass it. I'm also waiting for AT&T to thoroughly fsck up the iPhone. AT&T's historically monumental cluelessness with regards to high technology spans decades, from personal computers to wireless to abusing its technology base in helping the Bush administration conduct domestic spying.

I'm hoping that the iPhone will flourish. The entire cellular market needs Apple to really kick their fannies. I just hope it can flourish in spite of AT&T, and in the end that it (or something very much like it) comes to T-Mobile America.


Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…