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HTC Touch Pro… So far so good. Could there finally be competition for the iPhone??? November 14, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.
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If you are familiar with PTI, you know that Fast Follower and I started this with an intense smartphone debate.  Both of us have been chasing the perfect smartphone since we both purchased our Treo 300s!  If you read my recent post (https://pardontheinteraction.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/ptiers-time-for-a-new-smartphone-mogul-or-800w-i-need-your-help/, I was struggling with a decision between the new Treo 800w and the HTC Mogul.  iPhone was never an option.  Just wasn’t convinced that the touchscreen keyboard would fulfill my high business use demand.  I tried and tried, but my fingers must be too big.

During my investigation, I stumbled across information about the new HTC Touch PRO.  PRO is the objective word here. The HTC Touch PRO not only features a great touch screen experience for casual/recreational use, it also packs a slide out keyboard (just like my old HTC 6700) for times when I have to grind out accurate quick text.   This thing packs everything… wifi, touch screen, keyboard, gps, camera, and a lot of other cool features.  Also, Windows Mobile 6.1 seems to be a LOT more stable than previous versions. After two weeks of use, I don’t recall any lockups or mysterious reboots which were so prevalent in prevous versions.

A simple search will result in several debates that tout the Touch Pro as a legit iPhone competitor.  I happen to agree. I would like to hear what you fellow PTIers think.  Chime in and let the debate begin!!!

Is Comcast Going to Data Plans? Stand up PTIers and Revolt Now! September 21, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.
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Today, I received the following email from Comcast.   Before I comment, take a look at the verbiage….

Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Customer,

We appreciate your business and strive to provide you with the best online experience possible. One of the ways we do this is through our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP outlines acceptable use of our service as well as steps we take to protect our customers from things that can negatively impact their experience online. This policy has been in place for many years and we update it periodically to keep it current with our customers’ use of our service.

On October 1, 2008, we will post an updated AUP that will go into effect at that time.

In the updated AUP, we clarify that monthly data (or bandwidth) usage of more than 250 Gigabytes (GB) is the specific threshold that defines excessive use of our service. We have an excessive use policy because a fraction of one percent of our customers use such a disproportionate amount of bandwidth every month that they may degrade the online experience of other customers.

250 GB/month is an extremely large amount of bandwidth and it’s very likely that your monthly data usage doesn’t even come close to that amount. In fact, the threshold is approximately 100 times greater than the typical or median residential customer usage, which is 2 to 3 GB/month. To put it in perspective, to reach 250 GB of data usage in one month a customer would have to do any one of the following:

* Send more than 50 million plain text emails (at 5 KB/email);
* Download 62,500 songs (at 4 MB/song); or
* Download 125 standard definition movies (at 2 GB/movie).

And online gamers should know that even the heaviest multi- or single-player gaming activity would not typically come close to this threshold over the course of a month.

In addition to modifying the excessive use policy, the updated AUP contains other clarifications of terms concerning reporting violations, newsgroups, and network management. To read some helpful FAQs, please visit http://help.comcast.net/content/faq/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-Excessive-Use.

Thank you again for choosing Comcast as your high-speed Internet provider.

 I especially like the phrase…”In addition to modifying the excessive use policy, the updated AUP contains other clarifications….”

Now… I ain’t a Broadband expert.  And I never heard about these AUPs, but I don’t like the tone of this note!  I can smell this one from a mile away!!  How dumb do they think we are??? I can see through this like a picture window!! 

PTIers, where there is smoke there is fire.  All of a sudden Comcast wants to start monitoring your individual broadband usage, then there will be a charge for going over the limit, then there will be a “new” plan that will offer to save the “light” users money, and then BANG!!! … average users will be thrown into the high category, and we will all be paying by the GB!!  Where there is smoke there is fire, call me the smoke alarm PTIers….  Just like the robot on Lost in Space (younger PTIers won’t know what I am talking about), but WARNING, WARNING, WARNING, DANGER, DANGER…

Help PTIers,  we need to stop this train before it gets to the station.  We need to squash this before its too late. 

Tell it like it is!!!  Quick, let’s get a plan of action!!!

PTIers, Time for a new Smartphone …. Mogul or 800w? I need your help!!! September 10, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.
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OK, PTIers, before you go asking why I am down to these two options, and not looking outside of Sprint, I have too many phones on my family plan and the cancellation and reactivation fees would almost render me homeless!!!  We have several posts about this unethical situation.

The fact of the matter is that my PPC 6800 has and is still delivering on every aspect of functionality that I expected no complaints.  However, its time.   Its time for a new smartphone.   I like physical keyboards, so any “touch” version is out. I need bluetooth, I want GPS enabled this time, I want a touch screen, and its got to be wifi.  

With these requirements, I am left with two choices from Sprint.  The HTC Mogul which is the successor to my PPC 6700, and the Treo 800w. 

Come on PTIers share some of the unwritten pros and cons with me.   You long term PTIers remember my issues with the 700w that pointed me to the PPC 6800, in the first place.  Should I go with the next version of what I have? or should I try the new 800w and jump on the Treo bandwagon again?  Tell it like it is and tell me what you think.

Does Google Chrome have the BLING???? Chrome vs. Explorer vs. Firefox September 7, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.
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I have to admit, my philosophy has always been, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.  This has especially been my opinion about web browsers. PTIers have helped me make a lot of decisions in my tech life, so I thought I would ask you all if it is time to change browsers.  Instead of searching features and such, I thought I would ask you all what you think of the comparison.  Is it time to take advise from the Man in the Mirror and make that change? Is it too early to tell.  Let me hear from the PTIers to see what you think.  Share some of the hidden features and advantages that you see, and let’s see if Chrome really has the bling. 

I will admit upfront that I am not an easy sell when it comes to change. 

Tell it Like it Is!!!!

The iPhone 3G July 16, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPhone.
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I’ve got it.  I’ve only had it since Saturday, July13.  And I’m here to tell you without any doubt.  The 3G iPhone is the best mobile device ever made – and it’s not even a close race.

You already know most of the story from the previous gen iPhone.  What puts this new device way over the top, is the app store.  Now there are many 3rd party apps (and growing) that make the iPhone so much more useful.  As I write this post, I’m listening to an AOL Radio station on the iPhone (using 3G, not wifi) that’s actually a local smooth jazz station in my area.  I just downloaded the new iPhone eReader app.  Now I can read my books like I used to do on my old Palm device.  Except with the iPhone, I downloaded some of the books to the device using 3G, not with a hard connection to my PC.  Earlier today I was using the Truveo app to watch a video replay from yesterday on an MSNBC news program that I missed at home (no commercials by the way…and using 3G, not wifi).  If you’re a Facebook user, there’s an app for you.  If you’re a MySpace user, there’s an app for you.  Heck, I’m a SmugMug photo user, and there’s even an app for me.  Hopefully Mobile Slingbox won’t be far behind by the way.

By the way PTIers, I have a feeling that TI still won’t understand.

Netflix or Blockbuster Online…Let me hear from you PTIers!! June 5, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.
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Now that I have my own home theatre, I found myself renting more movies.  I quickly learned the meaning of “late fee”.  Just seemed I couldn’t get the discs back in time.   So, I started looking into these no late fee mail services.  I was trying to determine (from personal PTIer experiences) which is better and why.  What are the catches?  What are the unwritten pros and cons of each service?  Let me hear from you PTIers.  I will tell you, I think I would like the online download that Netflix offers!  Isn’t this the advantage?

Tell it like it is, PTIers.

Universal Remote Control MX-3000…. How do you update this thing??? I Don’t have a programming degree!!!! May 31, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized.
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It has been a while since I have personally had a tech challenge, but I have one that really has me stumped.  I just moved into a new home with a really cool home theatre.  The previous owner left most of his equipment as part of the sale.   Things were going good until I chanaged a component in the setup.  I have a really cool RF remote control.  This thing has a color touch screen, tabs, and lighted buttons.  The model is MX-3000 and I think the company name is Universal Remote Control (not sure though).

The remote worked flawlessly with the old TIVO box, but when I changed to a Directv HD DVR the remote no longer works…wouldn’t expect it to.   Now I have to use two remotes, one for the dvr and one for everything else.   Not sure who to call, but there seems to be a way to download information on this thing.

Is anyone familiar with what I am going through.  Is there a PTIer out there that can explain to me what I have to do???  PTIers to the rescue…HELP!!!!!!

Slingbox Stopped Working April 21, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Slingbox.

All of a sudden Slingbox quit working.  I cannot figure out why.  It’s practically driving me crazy.  I can’t sling on the network in my house.  And I can’t mobile sling.  Any suggestions?

Why Somebody Hates the iPhone April 14, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPhone, iTouch.

Not me. I don’t even own one. This guy Peter over on O’Reilly Digital Media writes about why he hates it. I CAN tell you this, however. If the iPhone keyboard functions anything like the iTouch keyboard that I DO own, an iPhone will never be a replacement for my Blackberry.

The Instinct from Sprint and Samsung April 3, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPhone, Sprint, The Instinct.
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Will this be the first phone to give the iPhone a run for it’s money?  We’ll see, ’cause it’s coming later this year.  Check it out.

SWM Switch…Directv’s Best Kept Secret!!! Learn to Swim and quit Running (extra cabling)!!!! March 18, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Directv, dvr, multi-switch, sat 1, sat 2, single wire multi-switch, swim, swm-8, swm8, Tivo.

Sorry I have been gone for a while and left you at the hands and silly comments from Fast Follower!  I have been moving into a new home and getting things in order.    But I am back.

Just like everything, this has been a learning experience for me.  And as always, I never listen to the advise of Fast Follower!!!

Wanna here the story?  Here it goes…

 – Moved into house about a week ago.  Previous owner had a REAL nice home theatre.
 – However, noticed that the previous owner had a non-HD Directv Dish
 – Also noticed that the each room was prewired to accommodate one sat input per TV
 – I call Fast Follower to see what he would do to get two sat inputs into each DVR because I want to watch shows an-d record at the same time!

Let me stop here for a second to explain.  My new house has a fully finished basement which is very restrictive when it comes to running new cable and wires… OK…

 – After about 5 minutes of talking with Fast Follower, he had my entire basement with holes and walls knocked out!!!  His only advise was, “you gotta do it if you want two sat inputs per room”…..

Here is the difference between Fast Follower and me.   Fast Follower says, I gotta get two sats in one room.   I say, “I can’t be the only guy with a finished basement, and I can’t be the only one with the issue, and there has to be a solution!”.  Bottomline…. Everyone isn’t busting the walls to their finished basement!!! 

Sure enough, I made one of the coolest discoveries since getting Directv, the “Swim Switch”!  PTIers this is the coolest thing.   Simply put, it increases the signal to each Sat 1 input, enabling the DVR to get two signals from one input.   From a user perspective you see no difference. You have a sat 1 and sat 2 signal, but there is only one cable going into the DVR!   How simple is that?  Now I have plenty of outlets on my switch (only need one for each dvr!).   Problem solved!!

Now the official name of the switch is the SWM8 or SWM-8 switch.  SWM stands for Single Wire Multi-switch, and it works great!!!  As this blog is about solutions and gadgets and not the technical detail, I didn’t too much care about what was going on.  My understanding is that it boosts the signal to a point that the second input is no longer needed!  As close as I am too cool stuff, I am surprised that I had never heard of it.

I asked the tech, and I wasn’t surprised at the response that I received.  He told me that there is really no benefit for the two money-making entities involved.  The switch is obviously more costly than the old type switches, and the installation folks lose the labor hours that it takes to run additional lines!!!!  Go figure.  The customer is last to know again!  Think how pissed I would have been if I would have started bustin up walls as suggested by Fast Follower!!!!

I have looked around, and found a few sites on the swim switch (that’s what the tech called it).  Here are a couple of sites that I found.  I was surprised that there isn’t much information on the SWM switch solution.



 There is one drawback, however.  My older TIVO units have to be replaced.  The tech said that the older boxes can’t take the increased signal power, but the newer non-hd Directv DVRs do.  So looks like Best Buy is going to get a huge order from me tomorrow!!!

The tech said that you can tell if your box is “Swim-compatable” by looking right above or below the Sat 1 input.  If you see the letters SWM, you’re compatible.  That simple. 

So if you have limited number of outlets and it is difficult to run two lines per box,, don’t call Fast Follower, learn to SWIM!!!!

It is great to be back Telling It Like It Is!!!!!!! 

iTouch Usage March 18, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPod, iTouch, itunes, Safari, YouTube.

Do I use my iTouch more than I ever used my iPod because it’s new and expensive? Or do I use it more because it has better and more things for me to use? I have to tell ‘ya… I rarely carried my iPod around with me. My iTouch is with me all of the time. Wifi is a big deal. Whenever I’m in a wifi environment, I turn on the iTouch (including at home). I check Gmail through the email interface. I check stocks through the stock market interface. I check Pardon the Interaction using Safari (and my other blog, SpotMeterSports). I watched a full length movie while traveling the other day (Michael Clayton, rented from iTunes). And it’s still a great music player. And it’s got a cool YouTube interface. And I use it to show off my sports photography as well.

The Most Visited Topic March 7, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Microsoft, XBox, Xbox Freezing, Xbox Tips.
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It’s very interesting that the most visited post on this blog ever is the Microsoft Xbox Freezing problem.  This was originally posted about 1 year ago.  Not only is it the most popular topic, but there still seems to be no Microsoft fix for the problem.

Palm Treo…. Class Act? No… Class Action!!!!! March 5, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in class action lawsuit, lawsuit, plam lawsuit, TREO, TREO 600, TREO 650, treo lawsuit.

Extra, Extra, read all about it!!!  Well, PTIers, it was just a matter of time until it happened.  Palm Treos are now the target of a class action lawsuit!!  Remember back in October of 2006 when I first got mine???  Here is the link, if you care to refresh your memories.  I turned in my Treo that day and have never looked back!!!!


There are other posts on Treos, as well.

 This one almost got by me, and it may be old news to most PTIers, but basically Treo 600 and 650 owners who have had their units replaced or repaired at least twice are eligible for cash rebates on new Palm smartphones, as part of a settlement of a class-action suit filed in 2005. The company will also repair any Treo 600 or 650 that hasn’t failed twice, but is outside of the original warranty.  Are you surprised????

But if you want info on the Class Action Lawsuit…. take a look here!!!!


Even when I am late getting to the party, I still TELL IT LIKE IT IS!!!

iTouch March 2, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPhone, iPod, iTouch.

There’s a review of the new 32 gig iTouch over on MacWorld.  The reviewer claims it’s much better than the previous lower memory iTouch devices for a number of reasons.  He also claims that the 32 gig iTouch now gets closer to iPhone functionality.  Some of the people commenting take him to task for comparing the iTouch to the iPhone.  They believe comparing the iTouch to other mp3 players is a better indication of its usefulness and superiority.  I agree with the people commenting by the way.  How would I know?  I purchased the 32 gig iTouch last week.  When I told TI about my purchase, my description to him was that I’ve purchased the best iPod ever made.  This thing is a music playing, video watching, youtube enjoying, internet connecting, iTunes communicating piece of wonderful hardware.  It’s also beautiful, intuitive, and very cool.  Did I also mention it’s a little expensive as well?  Again, this is the best iPod ever made.