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User Journal

Journal Journal: Last Journal entry was "One Month on iPhone" - might as well do "One Week Back"

And I mean it. I have now been using an original iPhone (aka "iPhone 2G") for a week as my primary personal cell phone.

I got a work phone that satisfied 99% of my usage, but I've had my personal cell phone number since 1997, having ported it between carriers numerous times. I passed my personal phone down to my daughter (who had an old iPhone 3G that she basically used as an out-of-date iPod touch that we activated for her 9th birthday as "emergency cell phone".) She was ecstatic about the upgrade.

But there was one problem: my plan had been to port my long-owned personal number to Google Voice, and just have it ring my work cell (and use the Google apps for text messaging on it.) But for some reason, Google Voice says my number can't be ported. (Maybe I've ported it too many times? It's on T-Mobile right now, which is the carrier I started on (when it was VoiceStream Wireless.) Well, with the port-to-Google shot down, I realized I would still need SOMETHING to send/receive text messages to people who have that as my primary number. (I forwarded my voice calls to my work phone.) So, what better than a little nostalgia? Dug out the old original iPhone - purchased launch day 2007 on a lark. I wasn't planning on getting one, I was just visiting my crazy friend who had waited in line over night right before the store opened - and he offered to let me "take his second". (Apple Stores were allowing you to buy up to two phones. He only wanted one, and he didn't want to be accused of letting me cut in line, so he just bought it and immediately sold it to me.)

I had the battery replaced a few years ago, when my daughter was using IT as an "obsolete iPod touch", but then nearly immediately put it in to storage as she got upgraded to the retired-from-my-use iPhone 3G. It is in nearly flawless physical condition (a slight ding in the Aluminum case on the side directly opposite the mute slider is all.) I loaded up Whited00r, a Jailbroken custom firmware that visually and functionally emulates iOS 7. That gave me a modern look and feel, plus most of the under-the-covers useful features (MMS, which Apple never officially supported on the original iPhone, etc.) Loaded up Twitter and Facebook, for LOLs. They still work just fine.

Yes, EDGE is slow, but it's passable for MMS, Facebook, and Twitter. All in all, it works reasonably well, even 7 years on.

I also dug out my official Apple Bluetooth Headset, but the battery has long since had its day - it lasts about 3 hours of STANDBY time, which means I only turn it on for my morning and evening commutes. (And really, since my phone number is forwarded to my work phone, and my work phone pairs to my speakerphone, it's only for making outbound calls to people who wouldn't recognize, or I don't want to have, my work number.)

It's kind of funny, because when I got my first smartphone (a Symbian S60 device,) I thought "wow, I might do more 'not talking on it as a phone' on this than using it as a phone!" Yet going back to the iPhone, I find I'm using it more for talking and texting than anything else. Although there have been a couple times that I have used IT for web browsing, Facebook, or Twitter over my work phone - just because I could.

User Journal

Journal Journal: One Month on iPhone.

Well, it's been a full month since the iPhone's release, and here is as good a place as any to post my impressions...

Yes, I had activation issues. Took 12-ish hours to activate. No instant gratification for me. Since then, the only major network issue was the EDGE network going down on the first weekday after the iPhone launch (I have another entry on that.)

For ease of use, it's excellent. Better than a Palm, better than a Windows Mobile, way better than a Symbian S60 smartphone (which I swore by before this.) I have no ease of use complaints at all.

For underlying usability, lack of Flash and Java is annoying, but not a deal breaker. I haven't had a single website that I've wanted to go to that just wouldn't work. One complaint is the fact that .mp3 and .wav files aren't supported either in email or web. I get my home and work voicemails emailed to me in these two formats, and I can't listen to them on the iPhone. Google Maps could *REALLY* use the ability to easily change a start, middle, or end point by dragging (the way you can on the web version,) for easier re-routing. Especially with traffic. Yesterday I mapped a route that had me going on 15 miles of red freeways, and I had no way to reroute. I had to just play it by ear and figure out a new route on my own, entering an intersection as a 'start' point while stopped at a red light on my newly chosen route. One goofy aspect is that you can turn the iPhone on its side either direction while web browsing, even while playing videos on the web, but you HAVE to rotate it counterclockwise for YouTube or iPod videos. It would be nice to have the choice.

Stability is a well-documented problem. Safari crashes once or twice a day for me, in about 2-4 hours of Safari use per day. And early on, I discovered that if you leave the iPhone 'on' for too long, it starts to become unresponsive. (After about a week of not turning it off, I had an issue where after I slid the 'unlock slider', then typed in my code, I would need to hit the Home button for it to actually get beyond the code entry screen.)

Of course, there are some other features lacking, that are rumored to be coming soon in a software update. I figure I'll give it until Leopard comes out on the desktop to complain about the lack of those features (Notes don't sync to anything on the desktop, no MMS or AIM, etc.)

Overall, it's been great, with just a few minor nitpicks.


Journal Journal: EDGE network down nationwide. iPhone to blame.

Ah... AT&T apparently didn't know what they were getting in to. Not only are the activation issues still going strong, but now (the first weekday since iPhone's release,) but now there are nationwide issues with their EDGE network. I am one of those experiencing the problem, and have been since 9:00 AM (Pacific) this morning. My iPhone says it has an EDGE connection (the little blue 'E',) but I get no data flowing. I called AT&T support, and was told it is down nationwide, with no estimated time to be back up. The agent basically blamed all their problems on the iPhone. That they hadn't prepared properly for all the demand of both activation, and data network use, that the iPhone would introduce.

Ah, you'd think AT&T would have had plenty of time to prepare. I mean, with all the hype, how could they *NOT* have anticipated this much demand? They should have prepared for every single iPhone that has been manufactured to be activated and actively on EDGE at 7:00 PM Hawaiian time on Friday. (i.e. A total sellout nationwide, with everyone activating within one hour of purchase.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Who are you, and what are you doing?

Alright, well... I seem to have been generating a lot of flames recently, so I might as well try to explain myself.

I'm a geek. No, really, it's on my business card. I've been 'playing' with computers since 1984; both PC and Mac. I'm a fan of technology in general, and like the Macintosh because of it's well-executed implementations of various technologies. I am not a Microsoft-hater. I admire Linux, and know my way around a command line well enough to not get into serious trouble. (Or at least fix it when I do.)

I own a Prius. Not because it's 'hip', not because I think it will save me money, but because I like the underlying idea. That a car doesn't have to compromise to be environmentally friendly. And I like to support companies that do "the right thing."

I'm a 'Liberal Republican'. No, it's really not an oxymoron. I support low taxes, little government interference, and a balanced budget. I do *NOT* support the infringement of individual liberties, or government-sponsored religion. I am pro-death (death penalty, abortion, assisted suicide.) I am for 'gay marriage'. (Although I would prefer to see the government get out of 'marriage' altogether, and make ALL government-sanctioned unions simply 'civil unions', and let churches be the only organizations to use the word marriage.) Keep your morals out of my bedroom, and keep the government out of my business.

Any questions?

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