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Brad Fitzpatrick

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t-mobile, iphone, etc [Aug. 6th, 2007|09:05 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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T-Mobile has one again somehow decided that my phone (Blackberry Pearl) can't receive MMSes, instead sending me a text message to go to a website and login with a username and password to get my pictures.

Except the MMSes I'm getting now (from lisa) aren't even pictures... just plain text (she's sending an MMS instead of SMS?), so I'm getting a text notification to go log in to a website to get a text notification. This feels like MySpace/Friendister/Facebook/Pownce/Vox, etc. "HERE IS A MESSAGE THAT YOU HAVE A MESSAGE! GO LOOK AT OUR ADS!" I hate you so, so much T-Mobile. I paid how much for this phone? Doesn't it advertise itself to your network? I know you know ... when I log in to your website, you show me it as my profile icon.

If I didn't want picture messages (and I don't care much, really, except when they're broken), I'd just get an iPhone. My biggest qualm was lack of Bluetooth modem support, but I guess you can just do an ad-hoc Wifi bridge and SOCKS proxy on the iPhone, and that works?


Cancel T-Mobile? Number portability doesn't work across state lines, unless I change my billing address and credit card info to my parents' info for awhile, then port number, then switch back. No way.

Maybe change down to $5-$10/month plan, just for call forwarding to new Cingular plan? Does Cingular suck in San Francisco? (I mean, worse than everything else?)

Then I could just keep my Java-illegal-argument-exception Blackberry (it crashes if I type too fast?) and only use it while traveling abroad?

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[User Picture]From: ydna
2007-08-07 04:31 am (UTC)
I suppose this is more bragging than helpful information. I paid close to $900 for the privilege of moving to the iPhone and cutting my ties to T-mobile. The lack of a the bluetooth bridge (to EDGE) is a very minor loss for me. It seems I can plug in or hop on a wireless network just about anywhere I go with my laptop. I just frickin' love this iPhone. It's a stand alone complex. I think traveling abroad with the iPhone will sucketh for a while.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-08-07 04:47 am (UTC)
I just need to comment on the backwardness of this comment:

It seems I can plug in or hop on a wireless network just about anywhere I go with my laptop.

If I could get on WiFi, I wouldn't be complaining about lack of Bluetooth modem, would I?

I use it surprisingly often. EDGE is fast enough to do an "svn up" or download my new mail.
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[User Picture]From: agnoster
2007-08-07 04:31 am (UTC)
Haven't tried the iPhone SOCKS proxy over WiFi yet, though I'm planning on doing it. FWIW, I've been told by someone who *would* know in a veiled and suggestive way that they are working on a proper solution for that - either by supporting Bluetooth tethering or making something like the WiFi bridge a built-in option. (I could see Apple wanting to do something different just for the sake of being different, and in some ways the WiFi solution actually seems more elegant to me.) Of course, even if you can share the connection with your lappy, you have to deal with EDGE. Yech.

Of course, there's always a flip side to the fact that Apple can roll out software updates easily - you never know if third-party stuff is going to break. Sure, they might release an open SDK - but they could also go the Sony-brand Idiot route of breaking third-party app support. So far they haven't, but it's a moving target in hostile territory. *sigh*

For some reason I thought you had an OpenMoko test unit - does that do something like what you want?

Maybe I'll finally get around to setting up my iPhone with SOCKS and SSH... if/when I do, I'll let you know. Oh, and as far as AT&T/Cingular goes in SF - I've had very good results, both with reception and dealing with them in general. They're still heartless, venal psychopaths who would shoot a puppy in the face for a buck, but other than that, I've *personally* only had good experiences.
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[User Picture]From: agnoster
2007-08-09 05:08 am (UTC)
Just thought I'd follow up - it's certainly non-trivial to get the iPhone running third-party code, but it is a whole lot of fun. Got sshd, ssh, srelay, and even a GUI terminal app now. There's something odd with some sites I haven't quite figured out yet, but LJ at least works like a charm :-)
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[User Picture]From: supersat
2007-08-07 04:41 am (UTC)
IIRC, forwarded calls count against your minutes.
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[User Picture]From: henry
2007-08-07 04:42 am (UTC)
Lisa switched to Cingular from T-Mobile and the difference in voice quality and coverage was night-and-day. I dunno about data though.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-08-17 06:29 pm (UTC)
night and day good, or night and day bad?
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[User Picture]From: jwz
2007-08-07 04:50 am (UTC)
Hah, I posted my MMS flame before I read this! I am not blogstalking you.
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-08-07 05:06 am (UTC)
I've been on Cingular / AT&T for three years now, first GPRS/EDGE and 3G for the past year, and haven't had any major reception problems at all...
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[User Picture]From: whitaker
2007-08-07 05:35 am (UTC)
I actually got the same message from Lisa last week (Cingular/AT&T). But when I went to login I couldn't even find the content. Then Lisa claimed she hadn't sent an MMS, so I was confused.
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[User Picture]From: robflynn
2007-08-07 05:48 am (UTC)
Odd...so far I have received MMS messages fine on cing./att but no luck sending them...
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[User Picture]From: jesse
2007-08-07 05:46 am (UTC)
AT&T finally flipped the switch on their huge 3G network expansion in Los Angeles about 2 days ago. About darn time, but awesome now that it is up. ~800kbps. Couldn't bring myself to the iPhone without 3G. Went with AT&T 8525. Solid.
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-08-07 05:54 am (UTC)
Yeah I was in Sherman Oaks, of all places, about 10 days ago - I was shocked to clock my internet connection (through Opera) at ~1100k/s (8525 as well). I'm "only" getting around 800-900 in SF, on average. LA area = faster than Tech Central... Ha !
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2007-08-07 06:00 am (UTC)
Hilariously this post is directly under jwz's very similar post on my flist.

My AT&T phone does everything! Except all to often it says "unable to send text message," horks bizarrely for a few minutes, and then delivers a diarrheic load of new messages. Apparently sending tiny bits of information to and from a telephone is hard.

Every time the telecoms talk about convergence and how great it will be to get all services from one provider, a telecom, I get all shivery.
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[User Picture]From: decklin
2007-08-07 06:07 am (UTC)
i was going to suggest trying to reset things with the configurator but for some absurd reason you can't choose any blackberries on it. maybe you're right. :-P i guess you can pretend you have some other phone.

i doubt it is a settings problem, but making the message center send you an over-the-air config might convince it to clear your state. (yes, i am totally stabbing in the dark here.)
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[User Picture]From: vespa59
2007-08-07 06:22 am (UTC)
Cingular in San Francisco is great! Awesome coverage and 3G pretty much everywhere I've gone in the Bay Area. With AT&T acquiring them, it's only better.

I roll a Nokia N75 which, while lacking a QWERTY, is awesome. 3G is better than I expected. I've been able to tether my laptop (which doesn't have Bluetooth) and put it on the network and get good enough speed to jump on the company VPN and work on QA servers and stuff.

I don't know what's up with Lisa sending MMS's, but I'm getting them from her too. I just figured she was wasted.
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[User Picture]From: wyntermoonwolf
2007-08-07 07:08 am (UTC)
My work voicemail used to call my cell and leave a voicemail that I have voicemail.
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[User Picture]From: jahiel
2007-08-07 07:14 am (UTC)
Relevant brain-dump:

* My thoughts on the Treo 650 were pretty similar to yours. If I weren't an environmentalist, mine would be sitting at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay. Instead, I gave it to my grandma.

* I had the Cingular/ATT/HTC 8525 for about 6 weeks until I dropped it in downtown Santa Cruz and didn't realize until 2 hours later. I found that the battery life was pretty bad, the call quality was awful, the phone was super buggy, and it was physically huge and awkward. Otherwise it rocked.

* After I lost the 8525 and realized that yes, I really do need a cellphone, I picked up a Samsung Blackjack. (Still with ATT/NSA.) Amazingly enough, I'm actually really happy with it! The call quality is by far the best of any mobile phone I've used since my Nokia 2160 circa ~1997. The battery life is excellent if you use the "bandsel.exe" program to manually select the GSM 850 (~128Kbps) protocol and only use 3G when you really need it. Bluetooth tethering (using the "internet sharing" program) to my MacBook Pro took 10 minutes max from "Hey, I wonder if..." to "Flippin' sweet! It works!" The phone came with two batteries - a thicker higher-capacity one and a thinner look-at-me-I'm-so-sleek one, which means that I rarely have an oh-shit-I-forgot-to-charge-last-night moment. It's vendor-locked and a bit buggier than it should be (it's Windows, so that's a given), but it can almost keep up with my typing and generally works pretty damn well for a phone that only cost $100 plus a 1-year contract extension.

With regard to ATT/NSA vs. T-Mobile, I dunno. I've never used T-Mobile. I can't say I'm happy with ATT/NSA, but the coverage and service has been better than with Verizon. Coverage within SF has been great. It depends a lot on the phone, though.

I've used this combo (ATT/NSA and Samsung Blackjack) with great success in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento area, Portland Oregon, up I-N from Portland to British Columbia, and in various parts of urban/suburban British Columbia. Usage gets pricey across the Canadian border, but that's the state of things right now.

I'd only keep your Pearl if it's unlocked. If so, then yeah, just use it with local prepaid SIMs when you travel. Either way, personally I'd do whatever song and dance is necessary to get your number ported to a Blackjack on ATT. I'd also wait for a 2nd-gen iPhone before making that leap,
but that's just me.

I assume the Openmoko (GTA01? or 02?) is too immature to consider for day-to-day usage? I'm looking forward to seeing how that matures.

FWIW, I don't think call forwarding will also forward your SMS/MMS messages. Not sure, though.

BTW, if you want to take this opportunity to get fancy with your phones, I'd definitely recommend playing with Asterisk. AskoziaPBX on a Soekris net5501 was my point of entry into Asterisk - Askozia is still pre-1.0, but damn does it flatten the Asterisk learning curve in a hurry! The lead developer is great, too.

Good luck!
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