Dumping My Blackberry Curve For New Google Nexus One Phone

Filed Under (Tech Stuff) by admin on 20-01-2010

I have decided to get rid of my Blackberry Curve and purchase the Google Nexus One phone.  It’s possible it may arrive on Friday.  I got to a point where I was tired of the horrible web browsing on the blackberry and I really disliked the quality of the camera.  Even taking a picture was dog slow.  The new Nexus One phone will boast a far superior 5 Megapixel camera.

If I happen to be listed on your Contacts within Blackberry Messenger I will soon disappear.  The only thing that was annoying about the process was that at the time of this post you can only purchase the phone with a 500 minute talk plan.  I spoke to Tmobile and they said that I will just need to call them back in order to increase the plan to an unlimited talk time plan.

Want Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for only $54.99 ?

Filed Under (Tech Stuff) by admin on 12-11-2009

UPDATE 11/14/2009 – Still haven’t received the game yet.  They ship it via their “egg saver” method which is DHL to a local USPS distribution.  DHL is the slowest carrier next to physically walking the package from point a to point b.  This morning it finally arrived at a USPS facility in Rocklidge, Maryland which is past Baltimore!!!!  WTF!  That is even farther than where it started out right in Jersey to my shipping location in Wayne, PA. 

NewEgg.com has a promotion that by entering a coupon code, you can get $5 off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  With free shipping and no tax as in my case it’s quite a nice discount.  This deal is only available until November 16, 2009.  I purchased the Xbox 360 version of the game.  The game is going for about $60 almost everywhere.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16874117090&Tpk=74-117-090

Major Tmobile Nationwide Outage 11-3-2009

Filed Under (Tech Stuff) by admin on 03-11-2009

It appears Tmobile is suffering from nationwide outages of cellular (voice + data) service.  From what I can tell the service outages began late in the afternoon today (roughly 5pm) where attempts to make calls from a tmobile phone didn’t go through.  Phones did show full service bars indicating that communications with the local tower were active.  Additionally, data service also appeared to be on the fritz for hours as I noticed no emails or text messages arrived to my blackberry device.  At first I thought my phone was going crazy but after three pulled batteries and countless attempts to dial a number I gave up.  Around 8pm voice service appeared to come back on but text messages didn’t begin flowing in until around 9:30pm.  If anybody was attempting to get a hold of you during this time they more than likely received a message saying that ‘all circuits were busy’ or ‘the number you are calling is not in service’.  Postings all over Facebook from other Tmobile customers again confirmed I wasn’t the only one experiencing the outage.  Some of the posts indicated that customer service representatives were offering highly discounted phones as a form of apology for the ongoing technical troubles.  I am just happy I wasn’t in an emergency situation when my phone service went BARF.

My latest attempts to send a text message right now are also failing with a big red X indicating Tmobile is still having issues.  This outage comes close on the heels of their other black eye technical problem involving the mobile Sidekick device.  The sidekick which is designed by a Microsoft subsidary called Danger experienced a massive server failure resulting in the loss of photos, calendar items, contacts and more.  The failure was one thing but the fact that there were no backups of any customer data was pretty embarrasing for them.  This should go to show you that just because a company is large and accrues a massive infrastructure doesn’t mean failures won’t ever happen or that your only picture of Sparky the dog before he got nailed by a car dead will be safe because “they” backup your data.

Feel free to add comments to this post if you are a customer and continue to experience technical problems with your service.

Is It Magic That My Covad DSL Is Faster?

Filed Under (Tech Stuff) by admin on 09-10-2009

This afternoon I ran some additional tests of my DSL circuit and to my amazement I started receiving over 2Mbps down and 600+kbps up.  Hmmm so the day after I post the displeasure I have been experiencing for at least a week with the circuit they miraculously resolve themselves.  I contacted Covad and cancelled the need to have a  tech, telling the rep that they must have done something to fix the speed issues because I can now actually use the circuit.  The Line Attenuation according to the Zoom modem still hovers around 47.3db so nothing has seemed to change with relation to the signal strength.  Just have to keep an eye on things.

Covad DSL Circuit Has Gone From Suck To Blow

Filed Under (Tech Stuff) by admin on 08-10-2009

I have been having a lot of trouble with the Covad DSL circuit where the main parts of Vazoom are (other equipment resides on Verizon FiOS circuits).  The circuit has even gotten to the point of being so slow that I cannot even watch a youtube video.  Typical download rates are about 300kbps down and 600kbps up.  My connection is currently provisioned for 3Mbps down / 768kbps up.   I have troubleshooted everything and believe the line is at fault.  With nothing even plugged into the line and the modem plugged right to the NID I receive nearly 50db line attenuation on the downstream link which is a measurement of how weak the signal has become from the DSLAM at the central office to when it finally arrives to the modem.  The roughly 50db measurement I am receiving is not good at all especially given the fact that the central office is within a 10 minute walking distance.  I have even tried a couple different modems and changed out cables etc…  A Covad technician is supposed to be here Monday although I am sure they will just have to pass the buck to Verizon who can actually do the work on the line with regards to health checks.  If they cannot resolve it I am going to be forced to drop Covad. 

Below is a screen capture of the stats from the adsl modem along with the results of a speed test.  Yuck!  (Click for larger versions)

My New Toy. An Acer Aspire One Netbook D150

Filed Under (Tech Stuff) by admin on 25-09-2009

I recently purchased a new toy referred to in the technological world as a netbook (tiny ass laptop).  I got it for $295 from NewEgg.com.  It measures in with a 10.1″ screen and weighs a little over two pounds.  I purchased the red Acer Aspire One D150-1920 which comes with a 1.6Ghz Intel Atom processor and 1GB memory (expandable to 2GB max) with a 160GB hard drive and 6 cell battery they claim is good for about 6.5hrs of life.  Almost all netbooks at the time of this writing ship with Windows XP.  In my case it came with Windows XP Home which is fine for now.   

So far I really like its size and haven’t had any real trouble with typing on the miniaturized keyboard.  It has a really nice LED screen and the speaker volume is perfectly capable of putting out a lhigh enough level of sound to watch movies or listen to music without straining to hear it…like those stupid Apple Macbooks (Yes I have one and the volume level is pathetic).   Compared with a standard laptop you can see the sizable difference in footprint these netbooks have.  The only downside to a netbook is the lack of any DVD/CDRom drive but there are plenty of alternative methods in today’s environment to move data in or out of the machine.  Heck you can even just buy a fairly inexpensive USB optical reader. 

I would definitely recommend this little guy to any person looking for an ultra compact laptop for things like vacations or business trips.  If you hate heavy laptops this is what you need….and it looks pretty nice too.