Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Otter Box arrived
Again, I love the no hassle warranty on these. Clearly the original investment was worth it since it has spared my phone from damage after (more than) a few accidental drops. While it's a bulkier case than most, it does the job and it does it well. I don't think I could use any other case.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Otterbox, take 2
Today, I noticed that the replacement case is now cracked. :(
They claim it can withstand bumps and drops. I've dropped my phone a few times on carpet at work, or the laminate floor at home. I guess that's how it happened.
I'm not sure if they'll replace this one, so I went to their web site and filled out the form, also asking if the replacement comes with the same warranty (which I believe is 1 year)
I received the familiar automated reply asking for a photo. This time it asked for 3 photos: one of the front, the back, and one indicating the damage.
For all of the photos, they ask that you take the photo with a piece of paper showing your name and date.
I really like their cases, so I hope they'll send another replacement.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Slackin' and updatin'
Yup, it's been a while. Way too long. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and all that crap. :)
So, to update... my iPhone was replaced and is fully functional. (knock on wood that it stays that way) Restoring the data from the backup was relatively painless, although I have to admit that I held my breath a few times as the phone updated.
Once I was back online, I got some strange error that seemed to be related to the Telus network, for which nobody had a solution for. It cleared itself up after a couple of days. I suspect it had to do with transferring the SIM card and auto-registering the replacement phone with Telus. I have no clue, but since it doesn't happen anymore I don't really care.
My shoulder and neck issues still exist. Some days are good, some not so good. I've been to physio twice since the last update. I always feels great when leaving there. I really have to get an appointment with my family doctor so he can give me a referral for massage therapy, which my physiotherapist recommended for my shoulder.
Again on the health front, I think I have Olecranon bursitis (aka water on the elbow) My elbow doesn't look different, but man does it hurt when I lean on it a certain way. It started off as a small area of pain that was difficult to find and increased to a larger area capable of causing a nasty burning pain when leaned on. And there's really nothing I can do for it, other than try to avoid leaning on it.
In other news, I have decided to get off my ass again and resume workouts. My weight hasn't been very stable lately as a result of too much holiday indulgances and my recent hobby of trying new beers. In fact, it's on the increase and since I don't want to stop enjoying my new hobby, I have to start paying the "beer tax".
I first went back to the Your Shape Fitness Evolved game. While it worked for me the last time, it's now way out of date. I considered getting their 2012 version but the bugginess and lack of support from Ubisoft for well-known issues left a bad taste in my mouth. After reading their forums, it would appear that some of those issues still exist with the new version. I also found out that they're not making a 2013 version for the Xbox, only for the Wii U.
So, I decided to give the Nike+ Kinect Training game a go. I've only completed the fitness evaluation and one workout session so far, but it's pretty intense and I'm still aching after yesterday. My workout days (for now) are Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
On a different note, I'm thinking about maybe ditching the blog on Posterous and only having it on Blogger.com. I currently write it out and publish it on Posterous, and then autopost it to Blogger, but I think most of the traffic is heading to the Blogger location. In fact, it's rare that I get any comments here, but I get them on Blogger. If I can figure out how to get the domain to redirect, any changes should be transparent to anyone who happens to read this.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
I got home from work on Friday and checked in on FourSquare on my iPhone (ya, I added my home) :) I noticed that I wasn't connected to my home Wi-Fi. It happens sometimes. I launched the Wi-Fi configuration and it didn't show any Wi-Fi networks in my neighbourhood. There are usually at least 5 or 6 of them.
I toggled the Wi-Fi off and back on again. Nothing changed. I toggled Airplane mode on and off. Still nothing. I turned the phone off and back on again. Nada.
This is where things got really ugly. When I went back into the Wi-Fi settings I found... oh wait... I couldn't get back into the Wi-Fi settings. It was disabled.
a fairly common problem. For most people, it seems it happened right after updating to iOS 6.0.1, and it only happens with the 4S and iPad 3. Some say it can happen after dropping your phone. There are many different suggestions (including something called "the freezer trick?)
I tried some of the more sane suggestions, like resetting network settings. Resetting all settings. Nothing.
This is the point where I began to hate technology. I used to thrive on technical problems. I found them a challenge. That's why I once had a job in technical support. Those days are long gone. My years in technical support wore me down.
Back to my phone. I did more searching and found that I may have to do a restore to factory defaults. I did not want it to get to that, but what other choice did I have?
I first made sure I had a backup in iTunes and then started the process. It downloaded the latest firmware (6.0.1), which I had already installed and it proceeded to install it.
Once it was done, the phone setup started and it asked me to connect to my Wi-Fi. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was as happy as I should have been. If this happened once, what are the chances it would happen again? I went through the setup and chose the option to restore all of my data from the backup. I started that and set the phone down to do its thing.
At some point during the restore I noticed that it was no longer connected to my Wi-Fi again. I went back into the Wi-Fi sett... disabled, again.
By now I'm on my 2nd or 3rd beer.
I decided to once again restore it to the factory defaults, but I was prepared to not restore my data. I was secretly hoping that it wouldn't work because I didn't want to lose my data.
It didn't work. Wi-Fi was still disabled.
I recalled that when we bought our iPhones, the Telus rep told us that for support we'd have to deal directly with Apple. But the Telus trouble-shooting web site said to call Telus, or visit one of their stores. So I called them.
I explained the situation and the tech had me check a few things and told me that I'd have to contact Apple. I questioned why the web site said I can go to their store and she said that was if I wanted them to send my phone back to Apple for me and/or if I wanted a loaner until I get the replacement. Seriously... what's the point?
Anyway, she transferred me directly into Apple's phone queue. After about 5 minutes listening to hold music, the tech came on. Once again, I explained my predicament. She walked me through checking a few things (or trying to) I mentioned that it appeared to be a common problem that was hardware related. She agreed that she did find the same article on the web and asked if she could put me on hold while she consulted with her supervisor.
A few minutes later she returned to say that her supervisor confirmed that they have seen the issue and the only solution is to replace the phone, which she said she could arrange to do since it was still under warranty.
So now I await the replacement, which will have a box and information to send the old one back to them. She said it would take 3-5 days.
I suppose I could have called up an Apple store and made an appointment to see someone there and maybe get it swapped out.
I didn't bother restoring all of my data back onto my semi-functional phone. It's going to suck the life out of my provider data plan if I keep using it without Wi-Fi.
It's a little disconcerting to know that there's a chance it could happen again, or even to my wife's phone, and there is no other official solution (yet?) other than swap the phone. I wonder what would happen if it was out of warranty? I mean, this doesn't sound like something that occurs with age, it could happen at any time.
Here are some articles about the problem:
And the long thread in Apple's community forum:
Friday, July 13, 2012
This was at around 11:30pm. I filled out the online form with the required info. After submitting it, I received an email asking for a photo of the case, showing the damage, along with a piece of paper in the photo with my name and date written on it. I replied with the photo.
The next day, I received a confirmation that they were sending me a new case. The day after that, I recieved an email invoice (for $0.00) for the new case.
Today, I recieved the new case.
4 days to send me a new case is amazing customer service. It's probably more like 3 days, when you consider that I submitted the claim after business hours on Monday.
Thank you Otterbox!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Same 'ol same 'ol
One of the so-called rules of blogging is to never aplogize for the lack of updates, therefore there will be no apologies forthcoming.
Hasn't been much new & exciting happening lately, so I'll post a few little odds'n ends.
iPhone. Still diggin' it. Got way too much crap installed on it and have been slowly thinning it out.
Rocksmith. Haven't played it much lately. I have been picking away "unplugged" though to keep up the calouses. They just released an update to fix bugs and make the game a little more user-friendly, so I'm anxious to try it out.
Photography. Aside from the odd photo taken with Instagram on my phone, I haven't done much at all in over a month. Got no inspiration. The cold and crappy weather certainly doesn't help either. One thing I did do was pick up a pretty cool app called Portrait Professional. This is one slick app. I'm all for keeping a more natural look with portraits, but when used minimally, you can fix up the small imperfections without making it appear overdone. Now all I need is people to take photos of.
Computers. I picked up a D-Link DNS325 a couple of weeks ago. I was long overdue for getting a home NAS, and after my wife and daughter lost data with a recent laptop hard drive crash it was time. I wish I had done something sooner. Right now I have an old 500GB drive that I hacked out of an external USB hard drive, and an 80GB. Once hard drives come back to a more reasonable price, I'll be picking up a couple of 1TB drives to replace them.
Music. Look for something new(ish)? Check out Ravenscode. They're also Canadian, eh? :)
Thursday, December 29, 2011
iCaved for an iPhone
My cell phone contract was due for renewal in January. My wife's has been expired for a year or two, but she had been waiting for mine to expire in case we could get some kind of deal.
She had been wanting a smart phone for a while. I had one for 3 years, and HTC Touch Diamond, that I've been cursing at for 2 years. I swore I'd never get another touch-screen phone. They're fun for anything but using as a phone. As a phone, they're slow and awkward. Or at least mine was. Probably because it was using an older Windows Mobile as the operating system.
I looked around at some Android options. The touch-screen/keypad combos. I was leaning heavily to those that were free with a contract. Nothing really stood out with my carrier, Telus.
I've always thought that Apple products were overpriced, so the iPhone wasn't even a consideration. At first. But I have an iPod Nano that I won years ago, and I use iTunes to sync my music. If I had an iPhone, I could use it for my music, and as a phone, and to run some apps that I couldn't find on the Android. But it was a touch-screen only phone. And it was by Apple. And it wasn't free.
The upgrade price for a 16GB iPhone 4S was $160, and if I got one, I'd have to get my wife the same. It only made sense to not have to learn two phones to do stuff. I could go for the 4 or the 3GS which were cheaper and also free, but considering the phone would have to last at least 3 years for us, it didn't make sense to get the older technology. I suppose the 4S will be at least two versions old by the end of a 3 year contract.
I Tweeted questions out on the net to see what owners of iPhones had to say about their phone. What they liked and disliked about it. What the battery life was like. Everyone liked their phone and didn't really have anything negative to say about them.
After a little debate with my wife over pros and cons, we decided that we'd get the iPhone 4S. It wasn't free, but it did do everything we wanted it to do and that's imporant when you're "stuck" with it for 3 years. She has always leaned toward a Blackberry because many of her friends have or had one, but I don't think it mattered too much since I was paying for them. :)
I did a little web researching and found that the 3 big carriers, Telus, Rogers, and Bell all offer pretty much the same things at the same prices. Whatever happened to competition?
My wife called up Telus last Friday to see what kind of deal we could get to stay with them, over switching to the competition. We've been with Telus since they were ClearNet (14-15 years?) and we've never really had much trouble with them.
As soon as she explained to the rep why she was calling, she was transferred to someone who could make it happen. Without any trouble at all, she got them to throw in Call Display, Free Evenings and Weekends (after 6pm instead of 9pm), and waive the $25 activation fee. Plus, without any hassle, she got them to add that to my account as well to save me a call. She then called the Telus store at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre to make sure they had a white and a black iPhone 4S in stock. They did, and they put them aside for us.
We stopped by there later that evening and I have to say it was a very pleasant experience.
We were greeted almost immediately when we arrived. My wife explained why we were there and the rep went to find the person my wife spoke with on the phone, Mohamed. Minutes later, he came out from the back with both phones on-hand and escorted us to a quieter area at the back of the store to assist us.
While we were talking with him, my wife asked about the $50 accessory credit that the store offered for new phone purchases. He explained that it was only for new customers, but suggested that we could always call Telus and see if they'd offer us a similar credit. While he processed the paper work, my wife called them on her cell phone. Oddly enough, she spent more time on hold with this particular call than she did when she called from home.
While she was on hold, Mohamed explained the AppleCare Protection Plan. It was around $80, per phone, but gave us coverage for 2 years and a one-time replacement if the screen got broken. That was my biggest fear with the iPhone. I had dropped my old HTC two or three times in the past, and it survived, but the iPhone is glass. We agreed to buy the two plans and after the fact, Mohamed said he'd knock 20% off each one of those as well. Who discounts something after you agree to buy it? :)
My wife finally got through to someone on the phone and Telus said they couldn't give us an additional credit for the "accessories" since we already got credited for some things. Not a huge deal because Mohamed had already said he'd discount accessories 20% for us which was better than nothing.
In the end, we got the two phones, two AppleCare plans and two Otterbox cases. And he also put two additional reusable Telus shopping bags into our bag for fun. All in all, a very enjoyable experience. Mohamed wasn't pushy. It never once felt like he was trying to sell us something we didn't want. He was friendly and joked with our daughter while we waited. Above all, he was patient with us, answering every question we had, and didn't seem to mind waiting while my wife was on the phone with Telus to try and get us the accessory credit. He even spent time showing us the basics of using our new phones.
Yeh, we spent way more than we had originally planned, and it is touch-screen only, which I swore I'd never buy, but after a few days of playing with this phone and the 57 apps I've installed on it :) I'd have to say that it is worth it. The touch-screen does take a little getting used to, but it works way better than my old HTC Touch Diamond.
Kudos to Telus and their store reps, in particular Mohamed.