Thursday, May 05, 2005


That Woodsmall would know that acroynm.

I read a review of Revenge of the Sith by Steven Speilberg. He gave it a thumbs up and told us we'd cry at the end of it. I wonder what the cause of our crying will be ...

I meant to blog about my latest cell phone experience but it slipped my mind. And now I've been trying to find something for Matt to do during the day while I'm at work.

Well the ok button on my Motorola v66 went west and I couldn't look at any of the entries in my address book. But I could still use it to make and receive calls. However last weekend it turned off for some reason and I had turned on the security lockout feature. So Monday it required a login to activate. And since the ok button was broken I couldn't use it. And I tried before and you have to log in before you can even answer a call. So for the most part the phone was gone.

So I considered what to do. I hadn't been favorably impressed with T-Mobile. The salesman hadn't told me there was going to be an activation fee and so when I complained about it, T-Mobile removed it from my bill way back when. Point in their favor. However the last six or seven months my bills have been messed up pretty much always. Point against. So they're even and I have no reason to stay with them, unlike Sprint, whom I detest.

I find out that the University has a contract with Sprint, Cingular and US Cellular and one of the features of those contracts is discounts for faculty and staff members. Sweet. I go look up the page and it's 13% on monthly charges, no contract, a 20% discount on accessories and no activation fee. Nice.

So I head to the Cingular store and get a Motorola v180 with a $30 a month plan. The guy (who seemed nice and had been in the Missouri National Guard also) had me sign a contract and told me about the activation fee. He did give me 25% off on the belt clip I bought. I leave all happy to have a cool new phone.

I spend some of that evening (this was on Monday) playing around with it putting phone numbers in (we couldn't get the numbers off my other phone since I couldn't unlock it) and learning the menus. I found the place where you could deactivate the web services (since I figured I'd be charged for those I wanted to have a safeguard so I wouldn't accidentally start something I'd have to pay for) and some other things. In the process of this I got my "SIM Blocked" accidentally. Playing around more and reading all the documentation (including Cingular's website), I couldn't get it "unblocked" (the documentation talked about an unlock code and a security code but had nothing about being "blocked").

So Tuesday morning I take it by the store on the way to work. They put in what I find out is a PUK and get it unlocked. Great, all happy again. When I get to work I find out that I've set it to prevent all outgoing calls. Not so good. In the process of trying to get that fixed I manage to block my SIM again. "Okay, I know I need the PUK for that" I think. Having seen the phrase ("PUK") on their FAQ, I go back to Cingular's site. Turns out it says "call us" for the PUK. I do this a bit later and have a long talk with thier tech about security on the phone. I find out that if you enter the code wrong three times it burns out your SIM and it costs you $25 to get a new one. Not so great. He gets me unblocked however so I'm good again.

Now I'm afraid to do anything with it and kinda unhappy about the whole burning out the SIM thing. But in the process of trying to find the unlock and security codes and get them set I manage to block is again. So I head to the store again at lunch time. This time the guy gets it unblock and gives me the two PUKs the phone has so I can unblock it myself next time. He doesn't know how many times you have to enter the wrong code before the SIM is burned but it's the PUK, he tells me, that triggers this. I get security on the phone fixed (I hope) and can use it but I'm fearful of playing around with it very much now. I also find out that it's not really Cingular whose fault this whole thing is, it's Motorola since it's their phone. Nice, thanks much Motorola.

So I put a reminder on my calendar in two weeks to decide if I want to stay with this phone and Cingular. I also notice that the webpage telling us about the discount says "13% off selected monthly recurring charges". What's "selected" mean? Got to find the person who knows the contract and ask that question.


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