Showing posts from May, 2011

Which is better, Verizon or AT&T?

In the first quarter of 2011, AT&T's revenues were $30B with profits up a record 39% to almost $3.5B. With such bumper results, you would think that AT&T customers would be the happiest they've ever been. Think again. Customers are leaving AT&T in droves, mostly to Verizon now that they have the new iPhone4. But does that tell those whole story? Is Verizon truly better? Is it worth switching?

I've been with AT&T since I first moved to the US almost 12 years ago with Hewlett-Packard. Although I can't say that I liked them, I didn't really dislike them either. Their coverage with no roaming charges seemed okay and since I traveled a lot, it worked well for me. When the iPhone first came out, I was an early adopter. It was love at first sight. But it hasn't been a completely smooth romance. My first sign of trouble was the problem with my iPhone not ringing. I could have 5 bars and then receive a notification that I've got a voicemail. The phon…

Did I ask for it to break?

Here's a weird thing. You buy something online, pay for shipping and it arrives. You open it, only to find that it doesn't work. Sound familiar? Not only is it frustrating and time wasting, but if you're not careful, it can cost you money. You call up the retailer and they apologize and give you a return number for you to send it back. "No, actually, I don't want to have to pay to ship back a product that should be working but isn't. It's not like I asked for a broken one." Then I'll have to wait, gizmo-less for several weeks while they sort things out. Now, try doing that while you're on the road with different addresses every week or more. It never ceases to amaze me how many people accept this as normal and acceptable.

Even the mighty Amazon requires that the gizmo be returned 'unopened'. "If it's unopened, how do I know that it doesn't work?". Some retailers will then direct you back to the manufacturers website. …

Almost no signal here in Point South, SC

We're staying at the Thousand Trails resort (The Oaks) at Point South, SC. Rarely have we had such poor cell phone coverage - my AT&T iPhone has around 1 bar, and the Verizon aircard is struggling. Add to that the fact that it's very wooded so out satellite won't work AMD you get the picture! Time to pull put the big guns - the Wilson DT. I'd been waiting for a good place to test this desktop office booster, this seemed like the ideal place. I'll be updating a fill report by video later, bit for now, things look very promising. I set up the local antenna in our back office / bedroom and the outside antenna next to the front bay wing on the roof. Signal strength went from 1 bar to 5 bars! Although we had been able to get Internet on the Verizon MiFi, it was slow, and Tracey wasn't able to establish a VPN (a secure internet connection) which she needs for work. With the booster, bingo!
Next up, comparing the DT to the more powerful SOHO amp and trying the o…

How Ironic

Sometimes the irony of a situation has to make you laugh. It was like that on Friday when we were filming the latest episode of GadgetPlex. The subject was Long Distance Communications.

Unfortunately, the campground we're staying at (The Oaks at Point South, SC) had almost 100% tree cover, so our satellite was reduced to a heavy weight on the roof. AT&T service is one bar and our Verizon aircard is super slow. WiFi is via Tengo Internet which I avoid with a barge pole, so coffee shop it was.

Everything was going fine until 5 mins before we started to film and the coffee shop's ISP (their WiFi service provider) went down. No WiFi! Evidently this is a regular occurrence! Luckily there was a weaker WiFi signal that we could pick up, but it wasn't particularly fast. Added to that, AT&T service in Beaufort is less than 1 bar. We persevered, but it wasn't without a due sense of irony given the topic of our episode. Doesn't it strike you as odd that a company that…

GadgetPlex - Long Distance Communications & Photo Sharing

About to start filming the next two episodes of Gadgetplex. These episodes will be on  Long Distance Communications and Photo Sharing. As a little change, I'll be joining from the best coffee shop in Beaufort, SC (City Java and News). Why? Okay, I know that the coffee is good, but actually it's becuase the internet at our campsite is REALLY bad, even with my trusty Verizon aircard. Satellite? Not a chance, trees everywhere.

If you'd like to join us in the chat room and watch behind the scenes and ask questions, simply join us live.