Cellphone blues - Jay Maynard

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Monday, 8 August 2005


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1524 - Cellphone blues

My year-old Kyocera SE44 Slider has croaked. Specifically, there's no audio going out to the other end of the call.

I'm thinking of getting a Treo 650. I want something I can use to ssh into my system at home (even if that takes installing another program), do some rudimentary web browsing when I can't set up my laptop, and keep my information in the same place as I am. The only other contender I know of is the Blackberry, and I don't think it can do ssh - and its email function is useless to me, since I keep all of my mail on my server, and will not change that. (That's what I use ssh for: I ssh into the server and use mutt to read it there.) I neither need nor want a camera.

I need nationwide coverage, roaming included. I need to be able to make a call, no matter where in the US I am (specifically including Middle-of-Nowhere, Iowa/Minnesota/South Dakota/Wisconsin), and not worry about exorbitant roaming charges. I need at least 600 minutes a month. I need a second line to share the same minutes (for vakkotaur), although that can just be a basic phone. I don't care about mobile-to-mobile or free night and weekend minutes unless they're usable no matter where I am. I need to be able to transfer our existing numbers to the new service. I need home service to a billing address in Fairmont.

I need all of this within two weeks.

Who do I need to call? I know very little about T-Mobile. Sprint has the reputation of having good coverage in major cities and along the Interstate system, but not elsewhere (see comment about Middle-of-Nowhere above). Nextel is, supposedly, more expensive, and the push-to-talk feature is nearly useless to me. Cingular pissed me off once upon a time, but the merger with AT&T might have fixed the coverage problem I was having,

Suggestions?

current mood: [mood icon] aggravated

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:bronxelf_ag001
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I have a Treo 650 on Sprint...
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
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I've been looking at the Sprint coverage maps. Their coverage in places I go is spotty at best, and their off-network roaming is 50 cents a minute. Sprint is simply not an option.
[User Picture]
From:bronxelf_ag001
Date: - 0000
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I dont blame you as Im not real happy with them myself.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
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That explains why I haven't gotten any calls from you today.

And if anyone reading is wondering, there's no point in my having more than a very basic service on a cell phone. I barely use the thing as it is since I only carry it when traveling; it's not a constant companion. I intend to keep it that way.

[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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You did get a call: the call about 1:05 where you didn't hear anything and hung up.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
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I was wondering about that after reading this. I tried calling after I saw this post (one minor thing could be taken care of even one-way), but I think you shut the phone off.

[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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Yes, I did. There's no point in having a phone I can't talk on. Send me an email.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
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Sent.

[User Picture]
From:rbarclay
Date: - 0000
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Do you really</> want/need to use the phone for remote access, or is that rather of the "hmm,-maybe-nice-and-useful-feature" variety?
I've had various Nokia Communicators at various jobs, and have used the mobile's softmodem for the Palm, but for me it's either worth it to bring out the lapdog, or I just ignore it.
A couple MB worth of storage on the mobile seemed tempting, but I'd want to use that for various keys etc., and those don't really combine with anything wireless in my book.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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If I had remote SSH access capability, I'd be on it all the time. I read email constantly when I'm at home.
[User Picture]
From:rbarclay
Date: - 0000
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So do I, when I'm at home, the home MUA is on 24/7, when I'm at 'ork, both the home and 'ork MUAs are open. But inbetween, no thanks, that urge has passed a couple years ago. At about the same time when I quit the job at $ISP.
[User Picture]
From:thatguychuck
Date: - 0000
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Whichever carrier you decide on, I suggest going to a store to work out the details of your plan. I've had much better service face to face than I ever have over the phone with any cellular or pager service.

I can't offer a good suggestion, as I only have specific knowledge to the Detroit area. I can say, however, that Verizon is the rarely-disputed champion in this area. Calls are almost never dropped and the signal is very good. I may be able to get a slightly cheaper service somewhere else, but I'm very happy with the service.
[User Picture]
From:elizagoth
Date: - 0000
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Another suggestion for Verizon. No problems with coverage here (I think the only time I've had a dropped call was in an elevator... my fault!), good selection of mobile devices as well.

"Can you hear me now? Good."
[User Picture]
From:zarchasmpgmr
Date: - 0000
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If possible, go to a company-owned store, not an "authorized dealer". I've had issues in the past with "authorized dealers".

Internet research (I'm looking at T-Mobile multi-band phones, ones that I can use overseas) is key, too.

I'm happy with dum-dum-dum-dee-dum. I used to have Verizon, but they weren't doing international for a long time.

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