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Uh, Wow June 30, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

That last post was pretty weird. I am not really sure what I was thinking. It was late and I wasn’t in a good place, I guess.

I Still Have Things To Say June 29, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

It is very likely that I will post something like this again someday. In the meantime, maybe this will be my last post and nobody will discover any words I have left behind. Whatever the case, I still have things to say. From trying to reconnect with my ex’s little one, Deva, to smothering my own demons, I hope that my last words will mean something to somebody as surely as I hope that my past ones do.

Apple Treats Me Right June 19, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

The AT&T network is pretty crappy in my home neighborhood, so the fact that I was having trouble placing calls Tuesday evening just seemed like an especially bad evening. Of course the AT&T website claims otherwise. Last time I looked at their coverage maps, you would think my house was parked in their corporate headquarters or something. In the real world, I typically get 1 single bar, and the most I have ever seen here is 2 bars. I regularly suffer dropped calls, even when talking to other AT&T customers. I’ve pointed this out to them, too, only to be repeatedly blown off.

Anyway, Tuesday evening seemed particularly bad. Every call I tried to place, my iPhone would instantly flip over to “Call ended/Call failed” as soon as I dialed. Using my cable internet, I got online to research the issue a bit. AT&T’s advice seemed to be “drive 5 miles away and test again” so I did. I drove back to work, even though it was pretty late. At work, I range from 3 to 5 bars coverage (which incidentally is shown as exactly the same as my supposed home coverage on the website). When I got back to the office, I had 5 bars, so I tried calling again. Same thing – instantly flipping over to “Call ended/Call failed” again.

I looked up a contact number for AT&T online – I usually just dial 611 from my iPhone – and called them (using a work landline) to try to get help. To be fair, the tech who eventually inherited my problems tried to be really helpful. I think he stayed on the phone with me for well over an hour. In the end, though, he said I would need to go to an AT&T store the next day to get a new SIM card.

Early Wednesday morning, I headed to the closest AT&T store and demonstrated the issues I was having. The folks in the store were personable, and they tried to be helpful. They put in a new SIM card, and tested it out. Even with a new SIM card, the same issue kept occurring. Dial call, call end, call fail. They said it had to be a problem with the phone, and that I would have to take it to Apple.

Great I thought. This is one marathon issue, with no end in sight. I am just being passed from one person to the next. Ugh. Off I went to the Apple store with a sinking feeling in my heart. Would they pawn me off on AT&T and leave me hovering in some ugly circle of finger pointing?

No way. Apple isn’t perfect, but they were definitely better than that. I went to the Apple store, and it took me well over an hour to get a meeting with one of the Genius bar techs. Nonetheless, when I got that meeting they ran a couple of tests, told me something was wrong with the phone’s modem and handed me a new iPhone. Just like that. I walked out of the store with a replacement in hand and all I had to do was hook it up to my home computer’s iTunes to reload all of my apps, music and contacts. Apple took care of me. Now, if AT&T would just make good on their coverage claims.