Creative Commons

2008-08-12 08:55:00

Fellowship Of The iPhone

Journey to Mordor

My iPhone experience started yesterday around 4:00PM when I left work and headed to the mall. Because I hate people, I parked right outside of the restaurants so I would have the shortest distance to walk in order to get to the AT&T store.
Once inside, pitfall number one happened. This wasn't really a big deal, but it did take a few minutes. Mark, an acquaintance who went to my church, waited on me. I told him I was here to pick up my iPhone and he started looking for it. A minute or so passed and Mark came out from the back room with no iPhone. He made sure it was in my name, and as far as I knew, it was. Well, it wasn't. It was under the name of the original sales rep. who placed my order. Ok, a few minutes wasted, but at least we have the phone.
Now the real fun began. We started the "porting" process to move my current cell number from Verizon to AT&T. Uh oh, error. That's not supposed to happen. Apparently the entire store was having problems porting numbers, as I wasn't the only one in line waiting for that to happen. Oh well, they can still set up my phone and I can call Customer Care later to have them port the number.
So Mark started again, as if I was getting a new phone number. He took all of my information, again, and submitted it. Error. Seriously? Seriously. He tried two or three more times, all to no avail. It was at this point that he asked around and every sales rep. was having trouble. They conjectured that an update to the system was being pushed (apparently AT&T techs like to break stuff in the middle of the day), I assumed that AT&T just plain sucks. But what's a guy to do if he wants an iPhone...
Another sales rep. was helping another customer across the floor and couldn't get his normal computer to work, so he came over to where Mark and I were to use another computer. After much trouble, he finally was able to help his customer activate his new iPhone. Mark, curious, asked how he did it since the system wasn't cooperating. "It seems to be a persistence problem. I just kept going back and forth like 10 times until it worked," said the other rep. "I've done it seven, but if you say 10 will work..." said Mark, as he went back to the computer to re-enter my information.
By this point, Mark had all of my information memorized; name, address, phone number, SSN. I just patiently waited while he tried again. Eventually, it worked, and my request went through. All that was left was for Mark to hook the iPhone up to the computer so iTunes could activate it and I was home free. But it's not that easy, is it?
Mark opened iTunes and plugged in the iPhone. Oh, look at that, his computer isn't working. Awesome. Luckily, since there is no association going on, just activation, he was able to plug the phone into the computer beside him. Another minute and the phone was mine. Finally, after a good 45 minutes, I had my iPhone. But it still wasn't my normal cell number.
During the next two hours, I called the "porting" number three times and each time I was presented with a message, an automated message, saying there was no work order found for my number (the new, temporary number I was given). After two hours was up, I gave it one more shot, this time waiting until after the message and re-entering the number again. It still didn't find it, but this time it forwarded me to a real person. After about ten minutes on the phone, I was almost done. I was put into "split" mode, where I could use the iPhone to make calls as my normal cell number but all received calls would still go to my Verizon phone. I had to wait for a text message on the iPhone telling me the port was complete before I could shut off my Verizon phone.
The lady said it could take up to 12 hours for the port to complete. That would have really sucked, but luckily it didn't. Five minutes later, I received the text message.

Have It Your Way

Now that the phone was as it should be, I started playing. I customized the settings and downloaded some applications. Because I had heard that the battery life isn't the greatest, I started with some power saving settings. I turned off WiFi, 3G, and Bluetooth. WiFi will only be enabled when I'm at home, and it's only allowed to connect to my network. Bluetooth is the same way, because I use the Panasonic Link-To-Cell system so I can have multiple handsets around my house that pretend to be a "home phone." 3G, well, we don't have that yet. Word on the street is "Fall," which could be anytime between now and December.
Enough with the settings, applications are more fun. I refuse to pay for applications, so I only downloaded the free ones. I started with AOL Instant Messenger, then Twitterific, Facebook, and Midomi (a very cool song identifier). I also made a bookmark for Google Calendar and put that on my home screen, because Apple isn't smart enough to give me a way to link my Google Calendar with the built-in calendar application. Oh well.
Since everyone knows I like to tell stories, I figured I'd post some pictures just so you know I'm not pulling your leg.



2008-08-12 12:00:31

Joe E. says...

Any plans to unlock the iPhone?

Maybe I'll get one someday, only after I can stream internet radio, and
watch my slingbox from an iPhone.

I'll save the $60-70 a month for now...

2008-08-12 12:07:55

slonkak says...
I don't have any plans yet to unlock it. The only real reason to unlock would be to use T-Mobile (around here), and they have worse coverage than AT&T. As for jailbreaking, the only need for that was 3rd party apps, which you can get now. I have IM, Twitter, and Email. That's all I really wanted. I'm pretty sure there's a Pandora app to listen to music... As for the slingbox, if you can use Apple's SDK to write yourself a custom webapp running on your own server, you can use that to watch your slingbox. This guy did it for Rev3 shows:

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