Tune out now if you don’t want to hear me go off on a few of life’s irritations:
1. A little over 2 years ago I jumped to Sprint to get the then-new Treo 650. I’ve loved the Treo, with the ability to add apps to have it make me smarter, and have been happy with Sprint’s coverage, call quality, etc. They had a reasonable data package, and I could even use it to do DialUp Networking (DUN), letting my laptop dial into the internet in the few times I wasn’t connected in other ways (e.g. hanging out in an airport awaiting a flight). Had to replace Treo and my laptop at the same time for different reasons, and suddenly the DUN (DialUp Networking) doesn’t work (after 1.5 years). I seldom enough use it, but I finally took some time to try and debug the problem.
No, it’s not a miscommunication between the two new systems, instead: “oh, we disabled that to make you sign up for an actual DUN package” at $30/mo extra. That’s not what they said, but that’s what they meant.
Well, I’m a few months past my 2 year lock-in, and they’ll give me a deal, but now I’ll wait to decide whether I’ll spring for GSM (traveling overseas more of late), or maybe go back to Sprint. But the ClueTrain means that the happy relationship I’ve had with Sprint has been sullied. Any opinions on Cingular or Treo on T-Mobile?
2. Speaking of my Treo, I happily updated it to handle the stupid change in daylight savings time (stupid because the case that it saves energy has been pretty much debunked, though it made my conf calls with Norway better for me), and our Macs handled it just fine. But after following the system-prescribed steps for our pathetic Compaq PC (came with a use-preventing flaw, and after sending it away to get it fixed it came back with the front USB ports not working), it won’t successfully boot even after following the prescribed rescue methods. American business has to cope not only with spiraling costs of healthcare, but broken software, no wonder we’re having trouble being competitive.
3. I’ve got 3 different programs open to handle IM, with windows for each I’ve got to find space for. I’ve Adium to handle both MSN and Yahoo, with clients on each. Then I have iChat for AOL IM; Adium could handle it, but I gave my Mom my old iSight when I upgraded the house computers and now we can video chat (with my Dad gone and us hundreds of miles away, it’s better than a phone call). Finally, I have Skype for calls and chats with folks I want to keep in touch with who’re on that protocol (and for overseas calls). I’d have Gizmo as well, as it’s supposed to be better than Skype, but 3 is already too many!
Many times I use IM just to see if someone’s open to a call (I can type fast, but while I’m really a phoneophobe, sometimes speaking is more effective for negotiating understanding), but with people on different protocols everywhere it’s a real pain. Many biz folks don’t have the problem, as their org’s standardized, but others of us have to be available through many channels. As someone once said: “the nice things about standards is that there are so many of them”. Ahem.