Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why I won't stay with Virgin Mobile

I signed up with Virgin Mobile because a rarely use my cell phone, and paying $30 per month for my little bit of use was wasteful. I initially bought the SE-47 Slider phone, and with a data cable I added a few simple MIDI ring tones and some wallpapers images. When the antenna broke on my slider, I decided to shop for a replacement. Target has some, and I chose the Super Slice because it has a USB port, and I thought this would allow me to put the couple things on the phone that I want. I might even be able to add my contacts list without entering it on the phone.

However, the UTStarcom Super Slice phone for Virgin Mobile has a USB port that is deliberately disabled, and I found this out only after I bought it. I never thought a manufacturer would be so inconsiderate as to deliberately disable the USB port, but I guess Virgin Mobile wants me to pay $2.49 for their ring tones, all of which are unappealing (kids these days!), so they feel they just cannot let me do what I want to do with my own phone since I would then not be paying them for ridiculous stuff like ring tones and fake calls from celebrities to impress my friends (really!). The device will appear momentarily on the USB bus before it is immediately disconnected. I can watch this happen in /var/log/syslog

Nov 12 20:04:40 localhost kernel: [17444684.280000] usb 2-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 6
Nov 12 20:04:41 localhost kernel: [17444684.472000] cdc_acm 2-2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
Nov 12 20:04:41 localhost kernel: [17444684.472000] usbcore: registered new driver cdc_acm
Nov 12 20:04:41 localhost kernel: [17444684.472000] drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.c: v0.23:USB Abstract Control Model driver for USB modems and ISDN adapters
Nov 12 20:04:43 localhost kernel: [17444686.560000] usb 2-2: USB disconnect, address 6

and in /proc/bus/usb/devices (only momentarily)

T: Bus=03 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#= 5 Spd=12 MxCh= 0
D: Ver= 1.10 Cls=02(comm.) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs= 1
P: Vendor=0d08 ProdID=0300 Rev= 0.00
S: Manufacturer=UTStarcom, Incorporated
S: Product=UTStarcom CDM1450
C:* #Ifs= 3 Cfg#= 1 Atr=a0 MxPwr=500mA
I: If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=02(comm.) Sub=02 Prot=01 Driver=cdc_acm
E: Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS= 64 Ivl=32ms
I: If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=0a(data ) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=cdc_acm
E: Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 64 Ivl=0ms
E: Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 64 Ivl=0ms
I: If#= 2 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=00 Prot=00 Driver=(none)
E: Ad=84(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 64 Ivl=0ms
E: Ad=04(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 64 Ivl=0ms

Searching for help on the Internet only confirms what I have experienced. The phone is deliberately disabled for some reason. Now I'm stuck with a phone that I don't really want because it is more trouble than I want to deal with by reentering all of my contacts, and it has no redeeming features because of its disability. Target will not take back a phone that has been activated. Virgin mobile will not take back a phone purchased from Target unless the phone is defective and is being replaced with the same model.

I suppose I will deal with the phone just long enough for me to validate that T-Mobile is what I want to use. GSM phones and SIM cards mean that I won't have to be locked into a single phone. My advice to you is not to buy the UTStarcom Super Slice for Virgin Mobile because it will just be an semi-expensive annoyance.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On Daddy's Watch

My child is sleeping now, but the evening was long. On the way home a clichéd advertisement sprang to mind. One dime swallowed by a two-year-old: ten cents. Visit to an ER for X-ray: $250. Sleeping, safe child, well, we all know the cliché. I was planning to post about something else tonight, but life intervenes.

I learned tonight that the clinic near my house closes at 8:00 P.M, and I was thirty minutes too late. I learned that you can't get stitches on a wound if it has been more than eight hours since the injury due to an increased risk of infection. I learned, too late, that Urgent Care Plus, which is also nearby, closes at 9:00 P.M. We learned that lots of kids swallow objects, but even sharp objects are not as dangerous as disc and button batteries. I learned that the doctor in the ER wears exactly the same model of Seiko Kinetic watch I wear, and I learned that people can fracture their wrists in interesting and "unusual" ways trying to play follow-the-leader on their motorcycles.

update: The dime's out.