Results tagged “Phones” from Kazza the Blank One

iBrick

| | Comments (1)

So I bricked my phone last week.  

For some months my phone battery has been having *issues*.  Mostly turning off when it still had reported charge left on the battery.  You'd connect it to power and it would instantly come back with like 30% or 40% or even the nearly 100% one time.  Alternatively it would drop right down to 1% and then stay there for hours.

So last week it had been at 1% for hours then finally died.  But when I plugged it in, it didn't come good.  It just sat there saying the battery was flat.

iPhone flat battery

I left it charging overnight, but sadly in the morning it was doing just that, and wouldn't turn on.

Uh oh.

So I thought I'd bite the bullet and get a new battery for it that day.  Except I needed the phone in the morning for work.  So I tried doing what I'd seen suggested in various places on the internet - warm the battery up.  I stuck the phone behind a storage unit power supply and left it warming up for five minutes.  Plugged it in and it worked!  Turned on with 82% battery.  Go fricken figure.  

It did the same thing twice more last week and I was able to resurrect it, but it's clearly time to either 1) get a new battery or 2) get a new phone.

Getting a new battery is certainly cheaper - @CLBradley recently got a new one for his daughter's phone for $55 and it's been fine ever since.  But I have been struggling for a while with this phone.  It's been *full* in forever, and I have constantly delete photos to clear space.  I certainly don't have room for music.  Also it's struggled ever since going from IOS 6 to IOS 9.  It's just laggy and annoying and a better processor would be a plus.  There's also the dilemma of whether to buy it outright or get locked into a contract.  I've been complaining about Optus' crappy service for years, but at least it only costs me $30/month for 1.5GB data (which I only use about half of that a month) *and* I get a second sim (actually you can have up to 5 sims on one plan) for nothing.

So in the end I decided a new phone would be in order.  The old one is nearly four years old after all.

But now for the next dilemma.  What to get.

For ages I was never interested in the 6 because they were so much bigger.  Being a girl I get jeans with completely useless girly pockets which are barely big enough to hold the current phone.  Anything bigger just wouldn't fit in my pockets.  Then Apple brought out the 6 SE which was the same size as my current phone.  So if I was going to get a new phone, that was likely what I'd get.  Even with the battery issues of cramming all that stuff into a smaller space with a smaller battery (so I heard).

Except.

The iPhone 7 is due out in the not too distant future.  I could try and hold out long enough for that.

But.

I could wait all that time and find they don't have a small version anyway.  So I'd have waited all that time and then not been able to get what I wanted.

Although it could mean getting a 6 SE a bit cheaper..

It's all too hard, so I'll probably end up doing nothing except complaining about my phone dying all the time.

APN

| | Comments (0)

Did you know phones have a thing on them called "APN", which stands for Access Point Name, and is a configuration set to make mobile data and MMS work?

I didn't.

Until it didn't work.

Backtracking a little.

On Monday night while watching Cities of the Underworld, I saw an ad for Optus that lets you get additional sims for $5 each that you can use on other devices using your main data plan.  And I thought *brilliant* !! With that I could play Ingress on Stu's old phone without having to setup a wifi hotspot on my iPhone (which has been destroying my battery).  (As a side note, as soon as I saw that ad and told Stu how cool it would be, he said, oh, Ingress for iPhone came out today.  I decided I'd rather destroy the old phone battery not mine).

So yesterday I went into Optus to get one.  I figured for $5 there'd be no service, they'd just give you a sim and tell you to go online to set it up.  But no, you actually sit down with them while they set it all up.  That must cost them a lot more than $5!  Whatevs.  Turns out you also need one of their new data plans, so had to switch over to that.  Anyway ten minutes later it was all going.

Except Stu's phone was still locked to Vodafone.

So popped up to the Vodafone store and asked what's the process for unlocking it, and they said you just go online, put in the IMEI, and get a code to unlock.  Simple.

Unlike doing it on an iPhone.

So did that when I got back to work and that worked fine.

The phone could now connect to Optus, except the mobile data wouldn't work.  I looked in the settings and found this:

"Connection failed due to incorrect APN setting"

I googled it and found plenty of other people having similar problems.  But none of the APN settings worked for me.  I got super frustrated with the whole thing, and was facing having to go back to Optus today to get it sorted out.

Then I was talking to @StuartCRyan and he's like "have you tried "connectme"?"

!!!

It actually connected!!

So here's my APN settings for Optus on a HTC One X:

Name: Doesn't matter, but I called mine Connect Me
APN: connectme
Authentication Type: Not set
APN type: default

Everything else was defaults or not set.

Thanks Stuart, you made my night!

Well the first step in the drama that is Apple was moving my 3GS to another computer.  I wasn't interested in any music or playlists, just my apps and settings.  So did a final backup on the old computer, made a file system backup of the backup, and then hooked it up to the other computer.  It actually went ok, showing up and doing a backup.  I then told it to "transfer purchases" which downloaded all the apps off the phone and saved them to the new computer.  So yeah the first step went ok.  Although I'm not entirely sure that the new computer thinks it's the "true" owner of the phone, but more on that later.

Tuesday night I thought I'd upgrade my 3GS to IOS 6.  First step was another full backup.  Followed by backup of the backup files on the file system.  

Starting the update, I got this message.  To which I'm like "but I just *did* a backup!".  So I did another backup, and another transfer of purchases.
iTunes sux
"There are purchased items on the iPhone "Kazza the Blank One" that have not been transferred to your iTunes library.  You should transfer these items to your iTunes library before updating this iPhone.  Are you sure you want to continue?"

I also got this message.  Which in retrospect suggested that the new iTunes/computer wasn't the "owner" of the phone.  But I thought it would be ok.  I had backups after all.
iTunes sux
"Updating to iOS 6.0 will delete all the apps and media, including iTunes Store purchases on your iPhone.  To preserve your content, apply this update on the computer where you sync apps, music, videos and photos.  Updating on this computer will only preserve contacts, calendars, text messages and other settings.  Please do not interrupt the update, which may take an hour or more to complete."


The next battle was with our router, which keeps dropping off the internet, and so it took me three goes to download the 900mb update.  Eventually it came down.  

During the update I go this message.  Again, I had backups, so I wasn't *too* concerned.

iTunes sux
"An error occurred while backing up this iPhone (-50).  Would you like to continue to update this iPhone?  Continuing will result in the loss of all contents on this iPhone."


This is where things started to get messy.  The phone updated and rebooted.  It came up blank and wanted to be restored.  At one point it came up in the "activation mode" - where nothing actually works until you go into iTunes and activate it.  Another restore.  This time a blank phone with no apps (although seemingly all the settings for the default apps).  Another restore.  This time the phone kept rebooting and not staying up.  This was after midnight now and I thought I'd bricked the phone.  So went to bed but couldn't sleep.  Eventually got up again to check on it and the phone had come back up.  But still in a default state with no apps.

The next morning I got up thinking I'd lost all my apps/data.  But I thought I'd try synching a few of the apps to the phone anyway.  And miracle of miracles!  All my app data was there!!  I was so happy!

So happy that that afternoon I went out and bought an iPhone 5.

I couldn't use it straight away, as I was going to Chris B's for a halloween party.  But I was able to use it on wifi there. 

Came home and plugged it into iTunes.  Also got it going on wifi.  Or so I thought.  It dropped out twice.  A turn off/on of wifi in settings seemed to help.  Activated the sim, and was all up and running late that evening.  Synched a small set of apps to the phone, and they had all their app data.  So I thought I was set.


Not so much.


As it turns out, the wifi problems were actually a lot more major than I thought.  What I thought was the wifi dropping out completely doesn't seem to be the case.  And it seemed to be intermittent too.

Friday night I installed 6.01, which was *supposed* to fix the reported problems with wifi and wpa2.  Yeah no.  Not at all.  In fact if anything it's worse than it was before.

So this is the latest.  I know that wifi connects.  In fact I can use a ping app to prove it - 

Ping
And actually, when I turned wifi off/on it seems that when things worked initially before dropping out, it was simply because it was still using 3G before the wifi kicked in.  The ping times are quite high on 3G before it switches to wifi.

So then I thought maybe it was DNS.  But my DNS utility continues to work while other apps don't - 

DNS ok So it's got me stumped.  Why would ping and DNS apps work, but not regular applications?  It's just not logical.

And the other weird thing is that push notifications continue to work.  For example, I was on Echofon (Twitter) this morning.  I'd get the push notifications to my phone even before my computer showed them in the Twitter timeline. But I couldn't use Echofon to load the timeline.  Same thing with DrawSomething.  I'd get the notifications that it was my turn, but couldn't actually load a game!  How the hell does that work?  

So after a week of drama with Apple/iTunes, I'm this >< close to chucking it all in and getting an Android.  I don't know if there's any point asking for a new phone - because it's likely to have exactly the same problems right?  I feel like I should do some more testing.  Try it out a few people's places to see if it has the same problems there.  Maybe it's just the interaction with our wifi access point?  I don't think there's anything physically wrong with the phone.  In fact last night it seemed to work for a couple of hours.  So replacing it is not likely to help anyway.  The whole thing has made me super depressed.  Coupled with lack of sleep all week (even after late nights my body refuses to sleep in past 7am) and I'm just over everything.

Update:
Have done some more testing with DNS.  In safari I can access websites by ip address, but as soon as I try their FQDN, things don't work.  I've tried static and DHCP for IP address settings.  Maybe I should try another DNS server?  Maybe IPV6 is confusing things??

Update:
Tried static entries, and tried Google's DNS servers.  No luck :(

Update:
*some* sites work ok just as IP addresses - others still don't work

Felt like I spent the day fighting with crappy systems and unending problems.

To get home and fight more crappy systems - the epic fail that is iTunes, and the epic fail that is our Cisco router which drops off the internet at random intervals - although most often when you load a page that has a lot of stuff on it, or several tabs at a time.

Somehow don't think I'll ever get this update downloaded, and if I do I can pretty much guarantee that iTunes will screw *something* up on my phone.

The Dark Side

| | Comments (3)

Well I did it today. I turned to the Dark Side. Still getting the hang of it and a bit frustrated with the iTunes store connectivity. Or maybe it was just our wireless being flaky.. Who knows. Anyway I have my Flight Control fix now so it's all good :)

Work was much better today too. Made progress with testing and think we found the limits of what the product will do (which isn't much). So came home not completely stressed/depressed for a change.

And for the first time since I upgraded Movable Type I can blog from my phone!

It's time

| | Comments (5)
My current mobile phone contract is up, so I'm in the market for a new phone (why keep paying my current monthly bill when I've paid off the handset? - may as well get a new one).  Which leaves me with a dilemma - what sort of phone should I get?

I currently use a Blackberry 8707 - it's old and slow and doesn't have a camera.  My requirements for a new phone include a camera, and GPS would be nice but not essential.  I would also like a qwerty keyboard, as I've gotten quite attached to that over the past four and a half years.  And it needs to be able to use my current email address (not a telco address) and be able to backup any mail I send on it (the Optus BIS service will let you forward all outbound emails to a nominated address).

So what to get?

I originally would have thought there'd be no other choice than another Blackberry.  It's got the keyboard and interface I like, but the new ones don't have a scroll wheel (I find the ball annoying).  And the web browser sucks donkey balls. Or at least current versions do, I haven't seen the lastest version.

Now something I hadn't considered really until today was an iPhone.  Now I generally am anti any i-anything, for no logical reason other than the i-bandwagon that everyone was jumping on (much of the reason why I refuse to use things like MySpace and Facebook, but I suppose that could go against me since I do use Twitter).  

So I am prepared to be convinced.  Sell it to me :)  Can an iPhone do what I want?  Any pitfalls or gotchas?  If there's convincing enough arguments I'll seriously consider it.

(and if there's any Blackberry users out there, same goes for you :) )

Android

| | Comments (0)
This might be my next phone....

The contract on my blackberry isn't up for another year, but after then it'll be a tough decision what to do.. :)
Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

Kazza the Blank One home