Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone - First day happenings: According to Apples' web site indication of iPhone availability, not a single Apple store sold out the first day. Despite a number of sales that Apple was prepared for, AT&T couldn't handle it. A unique procedure was set up for activation. You'd use the new iTunes 7.3 (a free download) plug your iPhone into its dock, which would be plugged into your computer, and with a Broadband connection they'd step you through some questions, pass you off to AT&Ts' computers and you'd get an email, which would have a link a finish the activation and get your phone live. Many folks didn't get their email after 10+ hours of waiting. Apparently AT&Ts ' computers got swamped. Postings here, here, here and here

Monday, June 25, 2007

MS Windows Vista Grief : Even computer experts have problems installing Vista. Read stories here and here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dell sees the light on decrapification? : February 3, 2007 we wrote about all the Bloatware new Dell computers come loaded with, and how someone even wrote a freeware program to allow removal of all that junk that only slows down ones' computer. First it was Dell only, and then a generic version to clean any new PC of unwanted crap software. Now according to news reports, many new Dell computers will come preloaded with software to perform such decrapification, only it's called "preinstalled software" by Dell.
The real decrapifier will do a better job of removing the Bloat, not leaving behind the "Google Toolbar" !!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

To heck with Norton Internet Security: I had upgraded my Intel based MacPro's Window's XP Hard Disk to Norton Internet Security 2007 from Symantec (which I had bought for "Free" after Rebate) from Frys. It was not pretty. Three hours to Install, and multiple reboots with all the updates it required before it decided it was fully installed and updated. Even after all that it was unstable, at random time it would announce it had an Error and wouldn't "AutoProtect", it also refused to allow Microsoft Messenger to run. And following Symantecs' instructions and running a "Check" program failed to help, only a system reboot would get it going again. Finally after I read some reviews, I uninstalled Norton (requiring a special download of a special Symantec uninstaller). And I bought and installed Kaspersky AntiVirus v. 6. It seems far more stable, allows MS Messenger to run, and a virus scan found 11 (thankfully old, archived and unused) items Norton had missed. According to one review test and another test Kaspersky is better than Norton and even scans significantly faster than Norton.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Buying a new computer: Many's the time I've been asked, and have volunteering to help a friend or colleague buy a new computer. Sometimes I talk them out of a laptop due to their fragility, sometimes I have them order extra memory, every case is unique. Now I see posted, many useful tips from a former Dell employee. Read it here:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Best speed improvment for Internet Access since Broadband ! : A broadband hookup (I love my dsl. I wish AT&T would get fiber to my door so they could match Verizon's 30 Mbps) speeds up Internet surfing. The weak link now commonly is your ISP's DNS (Domain name Server), they have zero incentive to make it as fast as possible, and often (as in AT&T'/Yahoo's case) it's much slower than it should be. A DNS translates a http address into an IP number so your browser can connect you.
There is now a solution to this issue. Don't use AT&T's DNS, replace it with those of , who work hard at having the fastest possible DNS.
If you are in a hurry for your speed up, just change your network settings to manually selected DNS, with the addresses of:

and watch your internet surfing speed up. More cautious, just go to the Opendns website.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Most of the rest you wanted to know about the iPhone : AT&T Sales Training Workbook for the iPhone is out on the web, with lots of information. Read it here. It could be not on the web soon.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Manhattanhenge : Learn something new every day. I spent the first 21 years of my life in New York City, saw a beautiful eclipse of the Sun on sunrise June 30, 1954, but never knew about Manhattanhenge, named after Stonehenge. Twice a year the rise and setting of the sun aligns with the grid of New York City. One pcture of the phenomena is here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A pox on all them Presidential candidates. Some dirt on each of your favorites can be found here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

iPhone lacks fastest Internet connectivity. "3G" is the fastest service AT&T has, but the iPhone lacks that capability. It will use EDGE, AT&T's last years' best thing. Latest word is that AT&T is allowing EDGE more bandwidth that had been restricted to voice by adding more capacity to towers. Story here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

AT&T CRAMS my bill: In the High Speed Internet section there's an incorrect, bogus charge for "Sales Tax", obviously fraudulent, as when taxes are totaled at the bottom, they total $0.00; a phone call to their billing department (with 14 minutes on hold) confirms the incorrectness of the charge, and their instant willingness to credit back the charge means they know is wrong, so why wait for customers to complain? Just a scam to make millions extra with a WHOOPS charge? Email to AT&T corporate HQ are ignored. Time to go public?

Click here for what I think of AT&T.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I like DirecTv, but.. For me DirecTv has proven to be far, far better than Warner Cable, but I'm glad their screwup of June 2 didn't happen to me: Reported on USENET:

Was anyone else watching the History Channel on the evening of June 2
when, about 90 minutes into a two hour program, the screen suddenly went
blank and the receiver demanded payment of $34.95 to watch this "pay per
view" program?

This wasn't a receiver problem, as all my receivers were doing it. I also
tried resetting the receiver.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Thanks for your loyalty: That's included in BOT email answers from AT&T which provided no reason for loyalty Friday. My phone line goes dead. I use my cell to call their 800 "Repair" number, and immediately told "There's a long delay due to heavy call volume", that's there whenever one calls. Then I'm told it'll be quicker to report an outage online. Duh, if my phone line is dead my dsl is dead. Finally they indicate my line should be fixed by 5 PM Sunday; makes me think I'm working with the Bulgarian National Central Services.
To add insult to injury, my first bill for "Dsl Elite" (6.0 mb/s) over charges me, and I get to email my favorite lady in their Executive Offices who after checking all day confesses I'm right, they're wrong and she'll give me credits. Of course she doesn't say when these credits will appear on my account, which translate into "maybe on your next bill", There's a new invention out that would allow AT&T to apply credits in Real Time. It's called a "computer".
This sort of poor service they expect loyalty for?