365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Enough Already

I’ve lived in the same place ever since I moved to DC. I REALLY like my neighbourhood and I like the actual layout of my apartment even more. I really don’t want to think about moving until I absolutely have to. But every single year SOMETHING happens that causes me huge amounts of frustration. I think I wrote something about my plumbing issues last month which kind of hinted at this frustration a bit.

Every time the season changes over my heating and/or AC breaks…. So far this spring (as the weather gets warmer) that’s all been working normally. I really hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that.

This time.. the issue is with my home phone line. It’s a land line provided by Verizon. My internet at home is also provided by Verizon. For the last couple of weeks there has been a great deal of static on the line. Its actually so bad that you can’t hear the other person you’re talking to nor can they hear you. Once or twice the line actually just quite entirely and cut off the call I was on. It is also seriously interfering with my internet connectivity. Everything about my modem is working just fine. There is no real problem with the connection to the internet. But the significant static on the line just cuts out the connection every now and then… It’s very intermittent and very frustrating.

Today I was planning on working at home so I could focus on a few projects, get some laundry done at home and step out during the day to go get my car (which as I wrote about yesterday is finally fixed). The issues with the internet were driving me batty by 9am so I ended up coming back into the office and working from here all day. The trade off is that I need to leave early to get to the rental car place to drop off that car and have them take me to get my car at the auto body shop. Both places close at 6pm this evening… but thankfully they are just down the street from each other.

Now, here is the most annoying thing about these intermittent issues with my phone. I called Verizon and when they tested the line they said it was fine. Which it’s not. They can send a technician to come and look at things but the earliest they can send someone out is Monday. Then if the problem is on the OUTSIDE of the building they can just fix it. But if it’s on the INSIDE of the building then I have to pay to fix it. The cost for the labour is about $100 for a 1/2 hour and then ~$45 for every 1/2 hour after that… talk about a rip off… For that cost I might just go to my cell phone as a phone line and find a different internet service. Or I may just call my property management company and see if they will cover the cost of fixing the lines if the problem is inside the house… afterall… they do have a ‘fund’ set aside for repairs needed to the property and even with all the struggles I’ve had with plumbing/AC/heat/etc they haven’t had to spend all that much on up keep. The challenge is that if I don’t approve them to fix things on Monday (but want to have it fixed) when they are out to find the problem then I will have to wait another few days for them to send someone out again.

So, I guess I am off to email the property manager and see if they would pay the cost if it comes to that. Here’s hoping the problem is on the outside of the building and Verizon’s responsibility to fix.

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May 4, 2011 Posted by | House & Home | , , , | Leave a comment

Blackberry vs iPhone

As the iPhone becomes more and more widely adopted I see more and more of my circle of friends and acquaintances going the iPhone route. And I completely understand why. It’s the experience of it. It’s cool and fun and playful and interesting. Yes, it’s a bit of a ‘trend follow’ thing too. I remember about 8 years ago when RIM first released the Blackberry. It was a really really big deal. It was a very cool thing to have one. To be able to check your mail from multiple accounts all without needing a computer. Then when the iPhone came out people went a bit nuts over all the other stuff. It truly was a little mini computer. Since then Blackberry has increased it’s ‘apps’ and tools so that it’s just as smart a smart phone and others (like the HTC Droid phones) have hit the market. But none seem to be gaining ground quite as quickly as the iPhone. None really seem to have found that ‘cool factor’. People just straight up WANT the iPhone solely because it IS an iPhone.

I’ve had a Blackberry for about a year now – I got it when my previous phone just up and quit on me. When my phone died I realized that I really did need a smart phone. That my lifestyle had become a lot more mobile than it was in the past and it was getting harder to keep up with everything. I wanted the iPhone really badly but my contract is with Verizon and not AT&T. I know, I could have switched if I really wanted an iPhone that badly. My plan with Verizon though just simply won out over any reasons I could think of to make the change. Verizon offers me an unlimited Canada/US calling plan with no roaming charges. So since most of my family is still in Canada it’s nice to be able to call them w/o crazy long distance charges. It’s also nice to not have roaming charges when I visit my family (which is actually quite frequently). AT&T’s ‘world plan’ is just not as good. They have ‘limited’ roaming and long distance charges that equate to a whole lot more on my monthly bill.

Now, the good news… Verizon finally has the iPhone. Or they will in a few more days/weeks. I can’t remember the exact release date. But since AT&T and Verizon run on 100% different technology people tell me there will be a whole lot of kinks and bugs with the first iteration of the iPhone released on Verizon. They suggest holding out for the next model where a lot of these bugs should be worked out. Another potential draw back on verizon is that something about their technology doesn’t allow you to talk and search the web at the same time. I am sure this will have some negative impact on the overall experience of the iPhone – but it’s likely going to be small. I mean how many times do you REALLY want to be using phone and data at the same time.

I really like my Blackberry, but some big part of me still really wants the iPhone. Perhaps it has something to do with generally becoming a Mac Geek in the last year or so. I don’t think I will ever purchase a PC computer for my own use anymore. As I see more and more of my friends getting on board and dropping their Blackberries for iPhones and am starting to feel just a bit left behind. Even with the draw backs of the iPhone on Verizon I still think I will end up there very very soon. In fact I am already used to the no phone/data at the same time thing – my Blackberry does that now. If I am on the phone, the phone doesn’t download data until I end the call. It’s mostly just something I know but never notice though so I don’t see that as a huge draw back. But I do believe that the first release of iPhone on Verizon is just going to be generally buggy and I don’t want to ruin what I expect to be my ‘happy iPhone experience’ by needing to be among the first Verizon customers – just cause. So for now, I will stick with my Blackberry. I will continue to watch everyone around me adopting the iPhone. I will attempt to hold in my slight pangs of jealousy knowing that when iPhone 5 comes out – likely just in time for my phone upgrade with Verizon – I will be happily jumping on the iPhone bandwagon.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Technology & Gadgets | , , , , , , | Leave a comment