Friday, January 30, 2009

Rants - Verizon Wireless, You Suck

First off, let me state that I was a long time fan of Verizon Wireless. I have been with them since 1996, with the same cell phone number no less. Over the years I have literally recommended dozens of consumers, and hundreds of businesses users (I am a consultant by the way) over to Verizon Wireless. My main reason for staying and recommending their service was the stability and dependability of their network. Their prices where never good, but it was worth it because of the call reception you got.

I still cannot complain on pricing, since literally 95% of everyone I talk or text with is on the network, so the calls are free. However, this is probably the ONLY reason I am still with Verizon. I think it is time that I start recommending friends, family and business users over to another network.

I recently went into an AT&T Wireless store to help a friend out on selecting a new phone, and was surprised at the massive collection of available phones in the store. Don't get me wrong, I stay up to date on devices for every carrier, but walking in a AT&T store vs. a Verizon store is just a totally different experience. Besides having more phones, you even have more choices on things such as color of each device. Almost every device in the store had three color choices, why can’t Verizon even do something this trivial correctly?

Verizon, what the hell is the matter with you? Seriously, I understand the difference between GSM and CDMA and I understand why it is not compelling for device manufacturers to make devices for your network, but why do you have the MOST limited selection out of any carrier in the world?

Let’s see, Sprint, of all carriers, is getting an exclusive on the Palm Pre? Are you freaking kidding me? You mean to tell me that Palm did not come to you first on it? I doubt it. You probably did not get in bed with them because of your stupid infatuation with the BlackBerry Storm, and what a piece of crap that thing is. Come on, I want a device that works with my exchange server without installing bloatware and crap software that needs to be running 24x7 on a pc just for my phone to work. Not to mention, the lack of a physical keyboard, that believe it or not, some people still want!

Whatever happened to the HUGE announcement last year that Verizon will allow any device on their network? Nothing, and I mean NOTHING has come of this, and it has almost been a year. The announcement appears to be a bunch of fluff, just to make some headlines. Are you going to allow devices with a competitor’s esn on your network (like when the pre comes out) The answer of course is no, and I am sure there will be a million stupid reasons why not, none of them satisfactory.

And more importantly, why the hell do you cripple every device that is made for your network. I already know the answer, it is of course so that you can nickel and dime consumers for tiny add-on features. But I have news for you, I would never pay a penny for that stupid Verizon Nav service, yet you removed a gps chip from my smartphone (that every other carrier has in it) so that I would have to if I ever wanted to use the feature I would have to pay you.

And beyond that, who makes the horrible decisions that make no sense whatsoever. For example: Removing Ram from the new HTC Touch Pro device. So you finally get a phone that people want and other carriers have, and you cripple it. You put shitty software on it, and actually remove hardware. You even lock down the home page on pocket internet explorer to your dumb ass Verizon services. Come on, you asshats, who are these idiots making these decisions?

As I said, I am a long-time loyal Verizon wireless customer. I am also a Verizon shareholder. But, I think I have had it. I am tired of promises of a new and improved network or a new device that never materializes. I am tired of having to hack software on crippled phones just to get it back to a condition that the device was originally developed for. And I am tired of paying full-prices for devices that have components removed compared to their less-expensive GSM cousins.

And you can no longer claim that you have the best reception. This was true when analog towers were still around and your phones supported digital and analog. But nowadays everything is digital only. A recent trip to the Poconos had me with a non-functional phone, yet two friends on At&t and T-mobile both had full signal.

Unless I see something major, not just announced, but implemented by the time the Palm Pre comes out, I am gone. F U Verizon. I will take my service and dozens of business lines to ATT. Yes, I will likely have to get a larger minute plan on another network, but hey, their prices are better, so who cares.

Not that I have many followers on this blog, but don’t patronize me in the comments about how Verizon could give a shit about losing a few dozen or hundred customers, I know they don’t care. But there is yet another reason why I am likely to leave.

End Rant/>

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aspire One Netbook 1024 x 768 External Resolution

I needed to use an Aspire One netbook with a projector (external monitor) at a resolution higher than the default 1024 x 600 resolution with Windows XP.

At first, it looked like the graphic card on the Aspire One would not support anything higher in a conventional resolutions, but there is an easy fix.

To increase the resolution to a standard (such as 1024 x 768):
  1. Right click on a blank area of the desktop
  2. Click 'Properties'
  3. Click the "Settings Tab"
  4. Click "Advanced" button
  5. Click the "Monitor" tab
  6. Uncheck the "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display" checkbox
  7. Click "Okay" button
  8. Now you can adjust the slider for a higher screen resolution.

The display will look odd on the netbook (aspire one) monitor, but actually it implements scrolling, so if you move your mouse the desktop will scroll.

You can now use your Aspire One Netbook external monitor or projector at a higher resolution, such as 1024 x 768 with Windows XP

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.1 on Verizon SMT5800


Verizon finally got off their asses and released windows mobile 6.1 for the SMT5800 cell phone!

I installed it with no problems, it took about 12 minutes. Be careful, you lose EVERYTHING on the device (except what is on your memory card). So plan on spending the next half hour on reconfiguring everything including exchange settings, contacts, ringtones, etc. This update will also delete anything on the main system memory, so make sure you save any pictures/tones that you do not have on your memory card. After the Rom update, you will need to call Verizon to get the phone re-authenticated on the network, which takes less than 5 minutes. (after the update, just call #8899 and ask them to authenticate the phone).

I just got winmo 6.1 installed on the smt5800 so not much to report yet. I will build out a list when I discover stuff:
  1. It does have threaded SMS
  2. It does have a remote desktop client, I have not tested it yet.
  3. You can finally set the homepage in pocket internet Explorer.
  4. It supports VZNavigator -though I still do not know why anyone would pay for it.
  5. It supports Evdo Rev A. Using Skyfire with Evdo Rev. A is fantastic!
  6. So far, all of my old applications are running with no compatibility issues.
Direct Download Link for WinMo 6.1 on SMT5800
Here is the page with link and instructions

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Tags: Installing Windows Mobile 6.1 on Verizon SMT5800
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