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  • Michael Krakovskiy 7:20 am on July 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IOS, , , Linksys iPhone, Smartphones, , Steve Job, , , ,   

    iphone4 antenna rant 

    There are two types of people in this world: those who say that crushed bedbugs smell like expensive Cognac, and those who say that Cognac smells like bedbugs.

    I really wish the whole Apple antennagate would be over. Because I’m tired of explaining my position on it to everybody who drools over my iphone.

    I have 3 points to make:

    1) The office where I work has super ridiculously terrible ATT reception despite being in direct line of view from a brutalist style building containing ATT switches. So does an underground subway station where I change trains on the way to work. The rest of NYC has simply terrible ATT reception.

    I’ve tried at the office, I’ve tried underground. I’ve tried cupping any which way. I tried moistening my palms. I can’t get to get a reliable bar drop thing. Sometimes, in fact, I got more bars. Oh, and that underground subway station? None of the older iphones ever had reception there.

    This is all clearly a a product of me being a “fanboi”, and being under the heavy influence of Steve Job’s reality distortion field. I think they have mobile generators transmitting that.

    2) Sometimes getting more bars when cupping iphone4 gives me an idea that now it is possible to make a case that will actually boost iphone reception by possibly attaching a yagi or another type of big directional antenna to the case. Maybe even something gigantic, like the apartment tower antenna or one of those huge homemade antennas that I used to make for crystal radios.

    3) Right now I’m vacationing in the Ukraine. Here you can buy a sim card for $1 that gets you a phone number. On every corner there are agents and machines that allow you to refill these sim cards with ridiculously small amounts of money that get you ridiculously cheap minutes and data. There’s no standing in line while ATT employees are chatting / checking their social networks, scratching their asses, etc. There’s no hassle with forms, accounts, etc. You spend a little money, you get your phone to work. Most phones are unlocked. Reception is excellent everywhere. I hear they are working on making iPhone’s mini sims working with iPhones. People are ready to pay just about any price for the 4th iPhone. Apple would do much better with a simple business model: phones for money here first, and then in the US for us, who have to deal with ridiculous contracts and lock-ins. Grandstanding politicians would gain my vote if they did a little trustbusting in the cellular service industry.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 6:02 pm on June 2, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Smartphones, , Treo 650, , ,   

    So, How My Day Went, You Ask? 

    I spend a miserable morning working with Microsoft Sharepoint. A “smart quote” in a code sample from a KB article really chocolate-flavored my morning. Flavored it so much that I just had to send a profanity laced (virtually every sentence), but informative email to the MSDN keepers.

    The funny thing about MS though is that interestingly enough they read and reply to feedback rather quickly. Just watch this: there will be a reply in my comments from Scoble in a day or two. Apple, Google, as well as the company where I work don’t really dedicate many people to answering customer complaints. Especially publicly. Yep, MS is funny that way – they even have real, live people looking at those crash error reports. And I hear that the suggestions and general emails get read and answered quicker than one might expect.

    There’s even a link to “Request a Microsoft Executive to speak at events and functions” (notice capitalization), but sadly it does not work in Firefox. Too bad – I was gonna request that Ballmer give me and my co-workers a “Developers! Developers! Developers!” pep talk over lunch tomorrow.

    Actually, here’s a little known fact for ya – if you write to One Microsoft Way and ask for Gates’ or Ballmer’s autograph, they’ll send you an Autopen-signed photo. I obtained Gates’ photo like this once, but I used it up as a birthday card for a Microsoft-loathing friend. I wonder if this trick will work on distinguished engineers past and present. I’d totally want Dave Cutler’s autograph.

    In the evening I decided to go and replace my phone featured in this quaint still life from my cube’s desk. I mostly use the slide rule for pointing at the screen, poking my co-workers who having agreed to go out to lunch insist on sending one more email and drawing straight lines. I even learned how to do simple multiplication on it.

    Being one of those people who insist on getting burned on new technology and then feeling resentful (thank you, Acer for making your first Tablet PC with a 256 meg ram limit and you, Microsoft developers, for using memory-hungry Win XP for the tablet’s OS) I finally decided that maybe it’s a good time to forgive Handspring for the disappointment that was the original Visor Phone. Oh, that stupid thing. It only worked when I didn’t need it and crashed whenever I did. Bulky, ugly, nasty thing. After one more crash/memory loss I sold off my Treo and my Visor phone and started using a different kind of PDA. I just shudder when I remember how Jeff Hawkins arrogantly told everyone that handheld users should mould themselves into using stupid graffiti script instead of giving us good thumb keyboards like smart people at RIM.

    Well, I thought I’d get a Treo 650. I need something to type in on the train. The keyboard is not very comfortable compared to Blackberry or Danger (which design I like a lot more). But once again it’s the choice of better design vs an OS which is easier to develop for. Sadly I choose the latter way too frequently.

    Also, in New York you can either pick a cellphone company that has better prices, phones and customer service or you can pick one that has good reception. Yes, everything about Verizon sucks. But they have so many damn tower that even though you get shafted on everything else, at least you get a phone that works better than others. You can actually send or receive a call in most places, even in some shallow subway stations.

    Unfortunately it turned out that they want $25 extra per month for 10 megs of data, and in conjunction with a 2 year contract and $400 phone this just did not look like a good deal to me, so I passed. I guess I a destined to live with a bricky ol’ phone that is only good for making phone calls. Sadly it looks like to get better PDA features cheaper I’d need to sacrifice Verizon’s good reception.

    Then I spent 3 hours this evening cleaning out spyware from a friend’s computer. I failed miserably – Adaware, Microsoft Antispyware Tool and Search & Destroy could not clean out all the crap even on multiple passes. Looks like I’ll have to reinstall.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:37 pm on October 25, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Celeste Baranski, , , , , , , , , , , , , Smartphones, , , The Guardian,   

    The Guardian Of the Notes 

    For a while now I’ve been trying to organize all of my notes. For years I had great hopes of finding a perfect electronic organizer. My first love and biggest disappointment were devices created by Jeff Hawkins and Celeste Baranski.

    I owned my share of Palms and Handsprings, even the first Handspring phone module, but the damn things just kept crashing, running out of charge, loosing data and breaking exactly when I needed them the most. Also, the phone module was probably the worst cell phone I ever owned. Arrrr, just the memory itself of the scurvy thing be driving me nuts.

    Funnily enough, three or four of my co-workers who did not even want to listen to my raves about Handspring in those days now own latest Treo cell phones which are a little less terrible, but still not as good as what I use these days. What high technology do I use? I use an ugly brick of a cell phone with Verizon service which is easy to use, keeps charge well, never crashes, is comfortable to hold and manages to get reception even in some shallow subway stations. For a phone book and notes I use little black books made by Moleskine.

    Because of its slowness and bad text recognition my Tablet PC is sitting on a shelf waiting for a Linux installation, but I am trying to organize all of my notes and transfer them from random pieces of paper into neat new Moleskine notebooks. Tilde the cat keeps a watchful eye over them.

     
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