Sunday, 21 December 2008

I'm stuck at home during this incredible and unusual snow storm. I quite literally cannot drive my four-wheel-drive truck out of my driveway due to the wet and icy layer under the two feet of snow that's accumulated, melted slightly, and then refrozen over the past week. Unfortunately, when the storm is at its worse, my iPhone has lost it's connection to AT&T's network. "No service" has become its full-time status. I've tried both enabling 3G (which we don't have out here) and restricting it to EDGE only, and it simply will not connect. Until recently I would at least get a signal if I set it down it in the right spot.

When the power goes out at the house, I need to be able to make at least one phone call (to the power department). In a storm out here, power outages are a fact of life. I've been unable to call the PUD this week because I had no cell service on the iPhone. And the power went out for 7 hours the other day.

Today I got fed up with the inability to place a call and waded through the sea of snow to my truck (which is stuck), rifled through my center console, and found my old Blackberry 8800 and the battery. It's been in there and unused for over a year. I popped the SIM card out of the iPhone and slid it into the Blackberry, then popped the battery in. Even after sitting for a year the battery had a half-full charge (wow) and the Blackberry powered up and within a few second acquired the AT&T network. Text messages started to flow in - success! Of course, the data connection was refused, but the GSM phone service works fine for text and voice service. It makes Snowmageddon a little more tolerable.

I've grown more and more frustrated with my iPhone's network performance over the past month. I plan to take it in and see if it's the individual phone, or a network change, or if it's more of a design thing, but I'm not holding my breath. Luckily the iPhone still works on WiFi without the SIM card (which actually makes it an "i" rather than an "iPhone" I suppose, heh), and that's good because I rely on it for a number of truly invaluable network-capable applications.

Anyone else done comparisons, or had network performance issues with their iPhone 3G after some time has passed? I've done complete restores of the phone to make sure the phone was clean software-wise, same issues. Any experience you have will be appreciated.



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Apple | Tech | Things that Suck
Sunday, 21 December 2008 19:13:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 13 December 2008

I know, it's not in any way tech-related but when it snows for the first time each year, I just have to write about it. It always snows and sticks where I live before it does in the city of Portland. We got a couple inches of snow overnight.

The snow started last night at around 8pm and that's what I woke up to. The power went out three times last night, but each time came right back on. It's been snowing off and on all day and the forecast is for more tonight and into tomorrow. This first snow is wet and heavy, so I kind of hope it melts off some before today is over, so my neighbors and I don't end up snowed in due to a frozen layer of slush under the next snowfall, like happened a few years ago.



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Random Stuff
Saturday, 13 December 2008 15:00:36 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 12 December 2008

Try explaining to someone that you're thinking of flying a route into the State of Washington from Oregon that will take you close to Rainier. It's not quite as simple as it sounds...


"Where are you?"

"I'm near Rainier."

"Ummmm..."



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Humor | Random Stuff
Friday, 12 December 2008 22:41:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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There are a few different options out there for running virtual machines on your desktop. One of those available options is Parallels, and an electronic-delivery special offer lets you get two copies of Parallels v4.0 for the price of one. That's $40 per copy, quite a deal. So, if you have a need to run Windows apps on your Mac, or you want to run any other PC-based operating system, you might consider grabbing a copy. You could give the other one away as a good, geeky Christmas gift.

Link: Parallels two-for-one offer



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Apple | Tech
Friday, 12 December 2008 10:36:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 03 December 2008

15 years ago Rwanda was the scene of massive genocide. Today the country is working to transform itself become an Internet hub of the African continent.

This is a good video by Internet Evolution, and shows that the Internet's not just about big companies and catch-phrase ideas like Web 2.0. You can't really see or know the extent of the Internet and it's impact without going places to see the impact for yourself. Since most of us can't do that on our own, Internet Evolution's Web Wide World videos take us there.



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Tech
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 08:56:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 30 November 2008

Just a quick note to mention that I've been posting a lot to my flight blog at http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/, which I started in order to document my lessons and experiences as I work to become a private pilot.

My latest flight, which I made to Salem, Oregon on Saturday, is documented both in text and as a podcast MP3 file. Let me know what you think. The entry can be found at this link.

I'm truly enjoying learning to fly. I'd say "I should have done this years ago," but in truth I'm enjoying having something new and challenging at this point in my life.



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Random Stuff
Sunday, 30 November 2008 01:28:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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