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    The Phone Saga

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    chris c
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    The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Wed Dec 07 2016, 22:49

    OK my old phone finally stopped working after a mere 14 years. It was an Ericsson, made of iron, didn't do much except be a phone but only needed charging about once a week. It used to cost about £400 but I bought mine after it went obsolete for about £70, so £5/year, not bad eh?

    I also bought a Virgin SIM, back in those days Virgin were small and friendly and tried hard.

    They started going south when they stopped using O2 for connectivity and switched to some fly-by-night bunch called EE which have much poorer coverage around these parts.

    There's one big local dead spot on all networks and I've heard tales of people trying to phone someone in the next village being connected via masts in France, Belgium or Holland and having to pay roaming charges.

    They also stopped being contactable except by phone.

    "Hello, my phone's broken. Hello? Hello? Oh bugger, my phone's broken" and when you do get through the call gates you get a very nice Filipina girl who has no knowledge and no ability to actually do anything except read off a script, a bit like this guy



    plus they seem to be making a major bog-up of introducing 4G, and you can't get it on PAYG which I prefer to use because I often don't use the phone much for a long time, then suddenly use it a lot for a while.

    I looked at some guys called TPO but they use 3 for connectivity, the only lot who are worse here than EE. Giffgaff are O2 resellers and remind me very much of how Virgin were 14 years ago, so I ordered me a SIM which arrived the following day (I already got the phone off Amazon <spit>) I'd have been lucky to get a Virgin replacement before Crimble.

    Sooo, all I needed to do was buy some credit and I was back on air.

    Verified By Visa refused to process the transaction. I assumed I'd mistyped my password and tried again and failed again. I changed my password and failed AGAIN.

    Sod this for a game of soldiers, I thought (as you do) and went back downtown to the supermarket to take out some cash (I ran out because I was in the supermarket once already). They buggers had put a stop on my card!

    So I went downtown to the bank today with a cheque in my hand, the first one I'd written for at least three years. Managed to get that cashed at least, and had speaks with the cashier about unblocking my card, which she couldn't do, and she explained that I'd have to ring Visa Security, which as I explained I couldn't do because my old phone was broken and my new one had no credit.

    So I walked back up to the supermarket AGAIN and bought a topup slip with cash.

    Actually the phone sprang into life almost instantly, and fully and properly configured too, which was brilliant.

    Visa Security told me they had detected "suspicious activity" on my card and blocked it as a precaution. Actually they weren't as snotty as I'd expected about unblocking it again, they explained that buying phone credit was a "common fraud" so they made a note that I was now using Giffgaff and that Virgin were no longer on my friends list.

    Pity they did sod all when I was ACTUALLY the victim of fraud. I have no clue who did it, or more importantly how they did it or where they got my details, but somehow they let someone who did NOT have my card, or my PIN, or my password, buy hundreds of poundsworth of stuff in a town I could eventually prove I'd never been to, mainly because I'd used my card around these parts at around the same time.

    They still wanted to pin it on me though, and especially avoid refunding the money, rather than catch the bastard, but eventually they relented.

    Try dealing with all that AND a gum abscess, just before Christmas.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Dec 08 2016, 20:37

    Evil or Very Mad   Evil or Very Mad   Evil or Very Mad

    Sometimes all we want from a phone is to make / receive a call and perhaps nowadays send / receive a text.

    Anything else can be superfluous ... well for me anyway.
    Call me old fashioned - yes I am  Smile

    All the best Jan
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by graham64 on Thu Dec 08 2016, 22:13


    Think I must have spoken to his sister but she works for BT, all I wanted was to book an engineer to check the line she was obviously reading from a script from the few words I could make out  Mad 


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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Fri Dec 09 2016, 22:41

    Yeah they all do it now. So often there's no email address either. That's why I like the small guys. You ggotta love who I get my internet and landline from (I have an el cheapo landline which has no billing software so you can't make calls and though it will receive them I turned the ringer off)

    http://sod.ms

    You have to love an ISP with that domain. On the rare occasions things go wrong and they aren't sorted automagically you can talk to a genuine human in the UK who can fix stuff, and they have an excellent reputation for giving BT a good kicking when it's (usually) their fault. They may look expensive until you take into account the time and money you don't have to spend talking to barely audible foreigners after you've negotiated an interminable call gate.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Mon Dec 12 2016, 21:02

    Graham, you aren't kidding about reading the manual. I have been tinkering for ages trying to get WiFi up and running to no avail. Eventually I twigged that to secure my router I'd given everything a hardwired IP number and turned DHCP off. You can't give the phone its own IP number, so I had to turn the DHCP server back on which took opening and reading two manuals at once.

    Now it works! This time I've locked the router to only accept connection from things I've given it the MAC address for, phone and laptop. Hopefully that'll keep out any drivebys or neighbours.

    During the course of this I discovered someone nearby has a completely open and unsecured network, I'm not sure who though or I'd go round and warn them.

    Now to order a protective case and a micro SD card and learn to use the camera. It's not as good as my massive Canon and lenses but much easier to carry. Plus there are screenfuls of gadgets to tinker with during these long dark days.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by graham64 on Mon Dec 12 2016, 22:38

    @chris c wrote:Graham, you aren't kidding about reading the manual. I have been tinkering for ages trying to get WiFi up and running to no avail. Eventually I twigged that to secure my router I'd given everything a hardwired IP number and turned DHCP off. You can't give the phone its own IP number, so I had to turn the DHCP server back on which took opening and reading two manuals at once.

    Now it works! This time I've locked the router to  only accept connection from things I've given it the MAC address for, phone and laptop. Hopefully that'll keep out any drivebys or neighbours.

    During the course of this I discovered someone nearby has a completely open and unsecured network, I'm not sure who though or I'd go round and warn them.

    Now to order a protective case and a micro SD card and learn to use the camera. It's not as good as my massive Canon and lenses but much easier to carry. Plus there are screenfuls of gadgets to tinker with during these long dark days.

    Good to see your finally sorted Chris, it's best practise to secure your router when using WIFI . I do browse the web on mine but that's it I don't log on to any sites prefer to keep passwords and any personal details restricted to laptop and being on BT broadband I use a lot of open WIFI hotspots

    I don't have a case for mine but have a screen protector I got it put on at the local phone accessory shop cost three quid but it was far better than my own past efforts  Laughing


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Mon Dec 12 2016, 23:48

    Sometimes you can be so secure that you can't do anything! I like to work with just less than that.

    I thought a case might help it to bounce when I drop it as I inevitably will. The Ericsson just laughed on hitting the ground and said "try harder, wimp!" Yes a screen protector is a good plan too, keep off the greasy fingerprints while I'm stuffing my face with fat. Hahahaha.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by graham64 on Tue Dec 13 2016, 21:15

    It was not only the reviews that convinced me to purchase the Moto it was also fully compatible with ford sync bluetooth, besides the calls I also get text messages read out to me  Shocked


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Wed Dec 14 2016, 20:40

    It does lack a few modern features though, like Apple's Permanent Screenlock and Samsung's Firelighter App.

    Don't remind me, now I have to read the car's computer manual too. Or perhaps I'll just leave the phone on voicemail while I'm driving.

    Hmmm, someone seems to have "upgraded" the forum software again, a few features seem to have broken.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by graham64 on Wed Dec 14 2016, 22:17

    @chris c wrote:It does lack a few modern features though, like Apple's Permanent Screenlock and Samsung's Firelighter App.

    Don't remind me, now I have to read the car's computer manual too. Or perhaps I'll just leave the phone on voicemail while I'm driving.

    Hmmm, someone seems to have "upgraded" the forum software again, a few features seem to have broken.

    Might be lacking in a few features but for the price it's good value 

    The car manual  bitenails now that's another saga


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Fri Dec 16 2016, 19:30

    So far it seems the features that it does have just work. Still playing.

    Same with my car, I use the bits I need and so far have succeeded in ignoring the rest, except once when I pressed a button on the steering wheel by mistake and found I'd engaged the speed limiter and couldn't turn it off again except by rebooting the car (ie. stopping and switching it off and then on again).

    It has a very strange gearbox, literally the faster you shift the lighter it is, with the clutch I flick the gears through with my fingertips and then have to wait for the engine to catch up. Unlike many modern cars it also works well without the clutch. The lower gears are further apart and it's quicker to use the clutch but I generally do 5 - 6 and often 5 - 4 and sometimes 6 - 5 clutchless, reminds me of my truck driving days. Back off on the throttle, very brief pause in neutral and it goes straight into the next gear, and to downshift keep just enough throttle on that the revs go up in neutral as fast as you can move the stick.

    Odd thing I can't fathom though, my VW had the same "feature" and so did my friends' Ford: when you switch on the screen demister the aircon comes on.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by graham64 on Fri Dec 16 2016, 22:28

    @chris c wrote:So far it seems the features that it does have just work. Still playing.

    Same with my car, I use the bits I need and so far have succeeded in ignoring the rest, except once when I pressed a button on the steering wheel by mistake and found I'd engaged the speed limiter and couldn't turn it off again except by rebooting the car (ie. stopping and switching it off and then on again).

    It has a very strange gearbox, literally the faster you shift the lighter it is, with the clutch I flick the gears through with my fingertips and then have to wait for the engine to catch up. Unlike many modern cars it also works well without the clutch. The lower gears are further apart and it's quicker to use the clutch but I generally do 5 - 6 and often 5 - 4 and sometimes 6 - 5 clutchless, reminds me of my truck driving days. Back off on the throttle, very brief pause in neutral and it goes straight into the next gear, and to downshift keep just enough throttle on that the revs go up in neutral as fast as you can move the stick.

    Odd thing I can't fathom though, my VW had the same "feature" and so did my friends' Ford: when you switch on the screen demister the aircon comes on.

    It's called technology Chris it's harder for us old geezers to keep up with all this new stuff  scratch


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Sat Dec 17 2016, 21:14

    It begins with a blessing
    And it ends with a curse
    Making life easy
    By making it worse

    Kevin Ayers, Soft Machine c. 1968

    It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to press this button

    John Brunner, about the same year.
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by graham64 on Sun Dec 18 2016, 00:27

    @chris c wrote:It begins with a blessing
    And it ends with a curse
    Making life easy
    By making it worse

    Kevin Ayers, Soft Machine c. 1968

    It's supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to press this button

    John Brunner, about the same year.

    Pity you don't live near me Chris I could have sent one of my grand kids round to help  Cool


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    Proving the LowCarb sceptics wrong for over nine years,

    Not all cherubs are Angels  Wink nor all diabetics Bonkers  Rolling Eyes
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    Re: The Phone Saga

    Post by chris c on Mon Dec 19 2016, 21:57

    Yeah well I was looking at those Old People's Phones which are cheap and have the BIG BUTTONS, but I  thought I'd drag myself into the 21st Century.

    I've got nothing against technology when it's useful. If I was a tractor driver I'd insist on one with an automatic/powershift/infinitely variable gearbox. Try dipping the clutch on an old tractor with the plough still in the ground, it will stop instantly, this modern kit goes up and down the box as conditions change. They even steer themselves using GPS and you can use the output from your combine to tell your fertiliser spreader which parts of the field need fertiliser and which don't. Rumour has it the next generation will be crewed by a man and a dog The man is there to feed the dog. The dog is there to bite the man if he touches any of the controls.

    Likewise if I drove a dustcart on anything else involving stop-start work.

    If I drove a bus I'd prefer a semiautomatic like the venerable Self-Changing Gears (aka Leyland Pneumocyclic, AEC Monocontrol) where the driver chooses the gear and the box does all the work.

    If I drove a truck I'd insist on manual gears. The early auto boxes were a disaster, not enough ratios, wrecked fuel economy and performance and did silly things like changing up when you were going downhill when you needed to change down for engine braking. So they were equipped with override buttons and switches. Then they had a second level of automation to defeat the buttons and switches when the driver pressed the wrong one by mistake.

    I believe they are better now with computer control.

    I'm VERY leery of self-driving cars though. Imagine coming up to a busy roundabout and this happens


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