26 May 2011

RIP Nokia E73 Mode (the autopsy)

I wrote one of these about my Blackberry a long time ago, and now it's time to talk about what happened to my Mode.
I won't go into the full details of what led to the E73 going through the wash, except to say that it has to do with my leg surgery, the open incision I was left to manage, and the reasons for leaving the incision open after surgery. Suffice to say, things got a little gory one night, I had to take a shower, and threw my slacks in the wash in a slight panic. The sad thing is, I even checked my pockets. I just didn't check them thoroughly enough and even thought I'd already taken my phone out of my pocket.
It wasn't until I heard a repeated and loud "thump" coming from the dryer that I realized my phone wasn't on the bathroom counter where I thought I'd placed it.

Surprisingly, the phone actually worked after it dried... but only mostly. Here's where the story gets rather odd. I put my SIM card back in the phone and turned it on, only to find that it would turn itself off the moment I got to the main screen... then turn itself on all on its own, get to the main screen, and power off all over again. This cycle would repeat until the battery ran down. With the SIM card out, the story is very different; the phone turns on and stays on, but absolutely cannot and will not allow itself to be turned off. The only way to turn it off was to either wait for the battery to die, or remove it altogether.

I sat on the phone, debating what to do. I didn't have insurance on it (though I can't remember whenever I canceled that part of my phone plan), and I hadn't had it long enough to do another upgrade. At that point, it seemed the best option would be to contact Nokia about an Out-Of-Warranty repair. I went to their support site, found what I needed to do, and printed and filled out the form that would need to be enclosed with the phone on its journey back to Nokia for service. I checked the little box that noted the liquid damage, which made it an out-of-warranty issue. What was supposed to happen was that once they'd received the phone and inspected it, I would be contacted with an estimate for repairing the phone, and the operation would proceed from there. If it was too expensive, I'd just get an upgrade at less of a discount or simply keep the temporary phone I'd been using in the interim.

Nokia doesn't seem to get very many OOW service requests, as evidenced by what happened after I sent the phone out.

I was not contacted with an estimate. Instead, I found a small package in my mailbox with my phone inside and a note from Nokia stating that liquid damage invalidated the warranty and they could not repair the phone.

Obvious question: Then why is there an option to check "out-of-warranty" on the service request form, and instructions stating that I would be contacted if this turned out to be the case?

At first, I was furious, it seemed that Nokia basically ignored exactly what I'd told them on their own paperwork after following their instructions completely and to the letter. I called them in a mad huff, expecting to be confronted with full-on denial about their being able to do OOW repairs at all. Somewhat luckily, it turned out that they had abided by their own policy and procedure, but simply didn't tell me prior to returning the phone that it was simply beyond repair for them, regardless of any price that could be paid. They couldn't fix whatever was wrong with the power switch, but simply wrote it off as "not covered by warranty" despite that being established from the start, making me think they hadn't looked at the service request form in the first place.

In short, the Nokia E73 Mode, despite technically surviving a round in the wash, is considered totaled in the eyes of Nokia despite its ability to turn on and run all of its offline applications without a SIM card in it.

Democracy is Not My Friend

Well, when I checked on the survey I posted to DevART regarding the film that needs defending, I found that nearly each item has one vote. Granted, I don't have that many followers (or at least followers who care to hear my awful voice), but I was kind of hoping it'd spark a little more interest. As a result, I've had to take a slightly unscientific approach to choosing. In addition to the survey results, I've gotten a comment essentially voting against two of the titles, which I'm counting to cancel out two of the votes on the survey.

Of probably more importance is the fact that I hate my template. It looked cool, but I hate that I can't actually see replies on the page. I see them in my dashboard, but that just strikes me as pointless. I also hate that I can't see when replies are posted, but that may just be how tumblr is. Anyway, the point is that I need a new template and can't be bothered to learn CSS (I don't even know how I modified my Blogger page's template), so please suggest one to me.

I prefer minimalism, but I love data. I like light text against dark backgrounds, and want to see replies to my posts on the page instead of just my dashboard.

Those are my stipulations.

18 May 2011

Here, there, everywhere...

It's been a long time since the last post because I've been focusing on my art instead of my writing, which it should be known by now, is how I've operated creatively for years (don't ask about my Flickr stream, that's gathered enough dust to cut off the robot empire's power supply were it kicked up into the air).
However, more recently a number of my friends from DeviantART have all gotten Tumblr pages and have been asking me to jump on the bandwagon.
Technically speaking, there's virtually nothing that separates Tumblr from Blogger from LiveJournal from (you get the idea) except for a slightly slicker user interface and a few more options as far as just what exactly can be posted. As such, when I finally gave in and decided to get an account, I set a rule for myself that I would only post things there that I couldn't do just as well here on Blogger or DeviantART or Flickr. If anything, I might only consider something like that if I have to abandon one of those accounts for some reason, like getting hacked or banned. After a brief survey on my DeviantART page that yielded neither a definite yes or definite no on any of the ideas listed, I kind of did the dictator thing and went with what I kind of half-had in mind all along, which was a podcast.
Without going into the long and technical details of why that's never really an easy thing to set up on a weblog or why Tumblr is better suited for the task than Blogger, the reason for choosing it is that, apart from a regular webcomic, it's the one thing I've never really tried. The show would be irregularly updated, would cover a wind range of topics, and be mercifully short at about 5-6 minutes in length (I'm really not up for the stream-of-consciousness banter of something like Fast Karate for the Gentleman or the erudite panel discussions of The Greatest Movie EVER! podcast, and I don't think anyone else really is either). Also, as the show would progress, I'd start to include 1-2 minute pre-recorded guest segments, which could either be pre-arranged for upcoming topics and/or rebuttals for previous episodes' contents.

I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for Albuquerque and will be back Saturday afternoon. My brother is graduating from Med School, and this will be the first time I get to see my niece Fiona apart from photos on my brother's and sister-in-law's Facebook pages.

The truth is I'm actually really ambivalent about the trip, and the stress feels like it's giving me ulcers. Without getting into the whole tension-and-drama business that's effectively gone on in my family for at least the past 10 years following my parents' divorce (which will reach the 11-year mark this June), there's a distinct possibility I'll spend a large part of the trip repeating the phrase, "I don't care."
Okay, here's a little detail: My dad and my brother are, at present, not speaking. Am I surprised? No, not really Do I care? Again, no. Trouble is, in this family (chiefly my mom and at times my brother, which is a whole other matter I won't go into), having no opinion means I'm a blank slate that can have written endlessly upon it all the details of the transgression that I really couldn't care less about. If I sound like I'm overreacting, it's entirely possible that I am, but I'm working from a premise of this happening in the past. At its core, it's a lot of trust issues, hearsay, paranoia, cognitive dissonance, and even retcons, all of it completely baseless and unwarranted, yet persisting regardless. Having a difference of opinion or viewpoint is seen as having something horribly wrong with you, and there is no such thing as irreconcilable differences. In other words, half of the family has been able to adapt and cope in the wake of the divorce, the other half hasn't. That's not to say one side is right and one side is wrong, simply that they are fundamentally incompatible and have difficulty co-existing.

Then there's the flight: I can't stand flying. it's not so much a fear, per se, just that it's hardly my preferred method of travel:
1) Driving
2) Train
3) Bus (maybe, I haven't been, personally)
Also, I hate the Goddamn TSA. Once upon a time, I was one of those saying with full confidence and a straight face, "a little loss of privacy is fine for the sake of security." Now, however, I can't say that anymore, because it's gone too far. The enhanced pat-downs and strip-ray machines are as invasive as they are completely and utterly ineffective.
What's really funny about the whole thing is that when these machines (and gropings) were introduced, the proponents kept mentioning the Underwear Bomber as part of their case.

Here's the punchline: neither of these methods would have spotted him.

Amidst that, the "Don't touch my junk" phenomenon, and a story I'd read about a rather embarrassing incident involving the urinary apparatus of a cancer survivor, the TSA is a total failure on nearly every level that a government organization can. This is no longer security, this is paranoia (though I'll admit it's not comforting hearing of potential retaliatory attacks in the wake of Bin Laden's death when you're planning a flight).

That's it, I'm done, I need sleep.