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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!!!!

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!!!!!!

Turn Your Windows Mobile Machine into an iPhone July 27, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

TI – This might be for you. Over on Life Hacker, they’ve figured out how to turn kind of Windows Mobile device into an iPhone.  For someone like you, it would give you the benefit of keeping a real keyboard

Does the iPhone Make Sense for Me? July 25, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

This post is all about me.  I’m a Blackberry user.  It’s what my company supports.  It’s free (from the company).  It’s used for email, phone, and text messaging.  But I have to tell you, with the exception of the the keyboard input, the iPhone is one slick device.  I know it’s not practical for me, but wouldn’t the iPhone be a neat device for me to have? 

I don’t need another phone (my company pays for the service on my Blackberry).  I don’t need an iPod.  I’ve got a 30 gig iPod video.  But these are all logical things.  When you hold that iPhone in your hand, logic gets thrown out the window.  I’m almost to the point that I just have to have one. 

 Does any of this make any sense?

XML Document Must have top level element ??? July 22, 2007

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Uncategorized, xml document, xml document must have top level element, xml error, xml script error.


I know that this post is unusually technical for this forum, but I had no where else to turn.  Just recently, after leaving my computer on overnight,  I return the next day with several dialog boxes that say, “Error: XML document must have a top level element”.   It seems to have no adverse impact on the operation of my computer, but it is starting to annoy me.   The other day, I looked at my son’s desktop, and he is getting the same thing!   I have scanned both machines for a virus or spyware attack, but both machines appear to be clean.

Is there a PTIer that can tell me what is going on and how to get rid of this annoyance before it starts to cause trouble?

I know that this is not characteristic of the type of stuff we like to talk about, but I have full confidence in the PTI community.


Sprint Marketing Genious or Stupidity? July 17, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

I vote for stupidity.  Over on Seth’s blog there’s a lot of discussion about how it might be ok and smart to “fire” customers as Sprint is doing for customers who call customer service too much.  Well us PTIers know the truth about overall satisfaction with Sprint.  What’s missed by the “fire your bad customers” crowd are the thousands of customers who are equally dissatisfied with Sprint, yet don’t call customer service much to complain.  Remember, Sprint has the highest churn rate in the industry for a reason:  customers aren’t satisfied.

Thus, what might seem like a strategy to get rid of a SMALL number of irate, over-taxing, dissatisfied customers,  in reality is a strategy to prove to a bunch of other dissatisfied, less-taxing customers that the company truly doesn’t care about customer service.

So if Sprint were Apple, then maybe this would be counterintuitive marketing genious.  But Sprint is Sprint.  And trust me, there’s not a bastion of customer satisfaction happening for users of the service.

The PC and Windows Vista is No More July 9, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

Well I went and bought a high end HP desktop replacement laptop with Windows Vista installed with the high hopes of everything working well without a lot of trial. Guess what? I was terribly wrong. First, my “purchased new in 2004” HP laser jet 1012 printer could never be recognized by Vista (no drivers). Second, the NVIDIA card installed in the laptop, wouldn’t allow my $700 24 inch Gateway monitor to function properly at the highest resolution. 3rd, after downloading the supposedly correct drivers for the monitor, both the laptop screen and the 24 inch monitor failed to show any image at all. So I took it all back to the retailer to start over.

I have to tell you. I’m now a Mac man. It wasn’t cheap. In fact it’s really expensive. But my 15 in Mac Book Pro attached to my 24 inch monitor works fine. I’ve even got Boot Camp installed to run the Windows version of Quicken on the Mac.

Believe the Mac hype. It just works.

iPhone first impressions…Life after the hype!!! July 9, 2007

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Apple, iPhone, iPod, touchscreen keyboard, Uncategorized.

Well, if you recall, I attended the CES last January and heard about the iPhone announcement in California.  There was an awful lot of hype and anticipation.  We are well into the launch and I would like to resurrect the dialogue to see if Apple’s product development keeps pace with the marketing department.  In other words, does the product live up to the hype???  PTIers let’s here from you.   Fast Follower???  Where are you??  Nothing to say about the iPhone?  I find this very hard to believe!!!!

Avoiding DirecTv Deactivation Charges… Has anyone been successful? April 1, 2007

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Directv, Directv Deactivation Fee, HD, Satellite Television, Uncategorized.

OK PTIers,  Now DirecTv is on my list.   Want to hear my story?  Here it goes….

I bought my new DLP 62 inch television, and I was excited.   Now it was time to get some HD programming.  As a long time DirecTv customer (almost 10 years), I was excited to get the new HD dish and Receiver/DVR installed so that I could begin watching as much HD content.

I called Directv and scheduled an appointment for installation.  Needless to say they were so busy that I had to wait 10 days before someone could get out to the house with the dish and the box.  We got a Saturday appointment and they told me to be at home between noon and 4.  The installer arrived and went to work.  Three hours later, the guy had me up and running….well sort of.  For some reason I could only get a signal from the odd transponders!  This means that I only get about half of the channels that I was supposed to get! 

The installer told me that he did not have the right multi-switch and that I would have to call Directv and notify them of this and set up another appointment.  So now, I have two dishes on my roof!   An HD dish that is delivering half of the HD content to my new box, and my old tried and true round dish delivering the signal to my other TVs.   The neighbors aren’t real happy with the appearance, but it is only for a week, right?

The following Saturday, the guy shows up and says that he has the correct parts, and it will only take five minutes to install the correct switch and remove my round dish.  Great! I will be watching HD content on all my channels in not time, right?  Wrong.

It turns out that after installing the new multiswitch I now get half of the HD channels and my regular Directv televisions no longer get a signal!  What in the heck is going on?  I call the installer and he says reset my boxes…didn’t work.  He said that he would come back by to fix the issue…. never heard from him again.  Oh, by the way, my buddies are on the way over to watch the Final Four games.  Needless to say I didn’t see either of the games last night.  Can someone tell me who is going to be playing in the National Championship?

I called Directv to complain.  The very BEST that they could do for me is schedule another (the third mind you) installation…. NEXT SUNDAY!  Easter Sunday??  I told her to come get her dish and her box and cancel my subscription.  3 repair visits and I can’t get any priority treatment?  Not…  I told her that I was switching to Comcast.  She immediately told me that she could process the cancellation, but would be forced to charge me a $300 deactivation fee!  Can you believe this?  A deactivation fee for something that has not worked or been activated! Does she really think that I am going to miss the Masters and the National NCAA Championship cause they can’t get anyone out, and there equipment doesn’t work?

PTIers, I am leaving Directv.  Comcast, here is your chance. 

Can anyone give me the process to send this equipment back, and avoid the $300 charge!  Help me.  Any contract lawyers reading this?  I never signed anything.  Help me get out of this doggone contract PTIers.  Like Ryan Seacrest…. I am out!

The Addictive Blackberry March 26, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

Like this guy, it’s happening to me too.

HD Directv with DVR for TI? March 25, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

I heard a little rumor that TI has finally moved into HD Directv with DVR world – like me.  And they call me, Fast Follower ! !