Monday, June 23, 2003

Quick Note: Pith Helmet is incompatible with Safari v1.0. Safari behaves very badly if Pith is present (because Pith patches Safari internals in an unsupported fashion).

Update: Pith Helmet has-- as usual-- quickly been updated to be compatible with Safari.

Remember; if you use any kind of a patch that modifies the behavior of a specific application or the entire system and something goes wrong after any kind of an upgrade, remove the patch and try again. It bugs the heck out of me-- and, likely, also the software authors whose apps are patched-- when a slew of nasty reviews and/or bug reports come in because of code that is not a part of the product or underlying system.
7:08:03 PM  pontificate    

It seems like what I want to do should be easy: I just want to connect to the internet via BlueTooth through my t68i using T-Mobile's internet service ($20/month, unlimited data, no per minute charge).

But, no, it isn't.

The motivation for all of this is because of the ultra artsy-fartsy hotel I'm in for WWDC (the hotel W). It is one of those really annoying hotels full of plastic pretty people. I feel like I'm living a Zappa song. Nice enough place. I suppose if I gave a rat's ass about being "trendy", I'd be in heaven.

As it is, I'm just annoyed. The hotel wants to charge me $15/day for internet access. That offends me. Dial up would cost $1.50/call + 10 cents / minute after some period of time. Of course, there is so much 60hz hum on the stupid phone, that I'm sure the modem would be unable to sync at all.

Figuring that I have a bluetooth dongle, an OS capable of dealing, and a Sony-Ericsson t68i, I ought to be able to obtain wireless packet joy.

No joy.

T-Mobile's site is utterly useless. No useful instructions or technical notes to be found anywhere. It is hard to even tell if the internet account is even enabled. To their credit, the customer service department is very friendly and helpful, I just don't have time to call 'em up in the hour before the keynote.

Apple has a knowledge base article, but it is out of date. A search of google reveals that others have had success, but the descriptions of that success would indicate that it was mostly a roll of the dice. Others have tried the same steps and failed.

What the hell?

This is certainly not the first time I have tried to do something "supported" with this (or other) cell phones and cell phone providers. And it would seem that I am certainly not alone.

The cell phone companies are all claiming that they are struggling to survive.

Let me pull out my clue-by-four and smack out a suggestion:

Instead of continuing to add useless add-ons and pay-pers to your services, you should focus on fixing your existing services such that they are accessible, consistent, useful, and actually work.

If this crap "just worked", you would see an increase in revenue as more customers sign on for services and a decrease in operating expenses as the number of customers needing support decrease.

Seems kind of obvious to me, but I don't pretend to be a communications company executive.
9:09:50 AM  pontificate