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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I’ve been an AT&T customer for a long time.  A looooong time.  Even back when I had the Telegraph Rollover plan.  I’ve been with them so long, I still have support for my two-cans-with-a-string phone.

Because of this, I’m very familiar with dropped calls.

I have enjoyed Verizon’s “There’s a Map for That” commercials showing the horrible, despicable and downright truthful discrepancies between the Verizon 3G network and the AT&T 3G network

Heh.  There’s even a lawsuit as reported by ZDNet.  The story Sam Diaz wrote is pretty funny and interesting.

Now, when it comes down to it, I really don’t care much about the Verizon map because 99.9% of the time, I’m in one of the dark blue AT&T parts.  Austin is pretty well saturated with 3G coverage, and it wasn’t long ago when I had a BlackBerry 8700C phone, and it only supported EDGE anyway.  Now that I’m on the iPhone 3GS, 3G coverage is more important to me, but in general I’m pretty happy with it.

Except in this one place.

This ONE, solitary intersection. 

This ONE AREA where I drive every day to and from work. 

THIS SPECIFIC DOT ON THE MAP WHERE I DROP MY CALL NO MATTER WHAT.

Yes, I’m sore about it.  A little.

I had heard that you can report to your cell provider dropped calls or problem areas, and if they have enough reports, they’ll investigate.  Who knows, they might actually DO something to fix it.

So I called in, waded through the options to figure out which one would help (hint: it’s zero, then zero again) and talked to the nice lady.  She did say that yes, I can report it and confirmed what I had heard.  So I reported it.  She let me know that she checked on the map and there was a transition point right there where calls would switch towers, and “sometimes calls drop when switching towers.”

Thanx for letting me know.

I also submitted the following email to their support team to hopefully hit home a little more.

This issue is not related to my specific phone, but I couldn’t find the option in the drop down. This issue involves dropped calls at a specific intersection. The intersection is Anderson Mill road and Millwright Parkway in Austin, TX, 78750. I’ve driven in this area for 20+ years, and ever since I’ve been with AT&T (8+ years), coverage at this intersection is spotty and usually results in dropped calls. It does this with my iPhone (3G), blackberry 8700C(edge), motorola RAZR, and the various phones I’ve had over the years. Since I drive this every day to and from work, I can count on a dropped call at that intersection.  It is very annoying. I’d love it if it could be tweaked to not drop calls every time.

YOUR MISSION, should you choose to accept it, is to also contact AT&T and let them know calls drop at this intersection all the time.  If you’re not in the Austin area, just say you were talking to Wayne and got dropped, and it annoyed you greatly.  If you’re not an AT&T customer, tell them you’d consider becoming a customer if they fixed that intersection.  You can contact them at http://www.att.com/wireless/contact-us/ or call 800-331-0500.

With our loud Internet voice, we can bring change!

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November
11
2008
10:20 am
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Yo, whassup?

Veteran’s Day

Thank you.  Period.

Blackberry Storm

Last week, our local Verizon rep sponsored a Blackberry Storm preview party at Waterloo Icehouse (mmm, great triple-decker quesadillas!).  What more could I ask for?  Free drinks, free food, and a chance to get my hands on the latest gadget that just might be my next one.

First off, it’s similar to the iPhone – no hardware qwerty keyboard, fully touch sensitive screen, and it has a sensor in it that can tell when you flip it portrait or landscape.  Also, like the iPhone, you swipe your finger left, right, up or down to navigate.  

The big difference on the screen, however, is that the entire screen is like a mouse button.  You use your finger to select and navigate things, but you PRESS IN on the screen to click.  This is a HUGE improvement in my opinion.  My biggest problem with the iPhone is the lack of a qwerty keyboard that I can feel.  With the Storm, you actually are clicking the letters, icons, or buttons on the screen as the screen floats above some magic void.  

Typing on the Storm actually feels more like real typing.

The video display was incredible – I watched a trailers for Max Payne and Speed Racer and the colors, detail and brightness were very impressive.

The phone doesn’t have Wifi, but does have bluetooth – and out of the box, the phone can tether to your PC over USB or bluetooth without any proprietary hassle.  Verizon’s CDMA network seemed fast enough browsing around to sites, but I’m no expert on the differences between AT&T’s 3G, EDGE, CDMA or Old McDonald’s EIEIO.  I just thought it was decent.  I did hear him (the RIM guy, not Old McDonald) say it was a quad-band phone so it must work everywhere including Mars.

The speakers were loud, too!  When you hold the Storm portrait-style and cup your right hand on the side, the sound goes directly to your head and you don’t miss a thing.

Let’s see… what else.

It has GPS, 16GB ram out of the box, and it has a removable battery (take THAT, iPhone!) as well as a micro SD slot to add more space.   It has a 3 megapixel camera and takes good photos and video, although I didn’t test it myself.

Oh, and copy and paste works. 

heh heh, had to put that in there for you iPhone addicts.  On the Storm, you can select, copy, paste text from just about anywhere in any app.  Oh that reminds me too – another big difference between the iPhone and the Blackberry is that multiple apps run on the BB at the same time.  With iPhone, only one app can run at a time.

I will say however, that as cool as everything is, it doesn’t feel as cool as an iPhone.  If you’re looking for a neat do-it-all gadget for personal use, the iPhone is still probably for you.  But if you need enterprise features with an iPhone feel, the Storm is probably it.

Verizon supposedly has a “App Store” kind of like Apple’s where people can download more programs, but I haven’t seen it myself.  They (RIM/Blackberry) also made their Software Development Kit (SDK) open and released to all, so people can write their own apps.  The phone runs Blackberry OS 4.7, which is new and probably will only run on this series of phones.

Another big upgrade for former blackberry users is that the Storm and it’s 4.7 OS, you have HTML email.  You can read and send HTML email, and that’s a pretty big thing for die-hard BB users.

There were some other things here and there, but if I were to sum it all down – this is the iPhone for the corporate user.  One reason IT departments don’t like the iPhone is that it’s not controllable from a central point.  The Storm however, is first and foremost a Blackberry, and that means a BES server can completely control it.

Now I just need to come up with something really cool and addictive that I can put out on the Internet that makes people pay me money so I can afford it.  Got any ideas?

Ok, got any LEGAL ones?

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