Sunday, 20 May 2007

On phone with HP Middle East

Me: I got a OfficeJet 7413 that stops working after 1 or 2 days. The XXX led’s starts flashing and the All In One Printer refuses to print and receive faxes – eg. Non operational until reset the power.

Service Engineer (Middle East): One moment Sir

Me: okay (getting hopes up…)

Service Engineer (Middle East): Sir – the printer does automatic maintenance every 12 hours.

Me: Okay and?

Service Engineer (Middle East): Sir – you just have to recycle to power every 12 hours on the 7413 to keep it working.

Me: Are you serious? What when I’m away from the printer? I can't have a fax/printer that can’t receive faxes when I’m not here? I receive faxes 24/7 and you want me to get someone to reset it every 12 hours?

Service Engineer (Middle East HP): yes sir, printer does auto maintenance.

Me: Take me to your leader…

Service Engineer(Middle East HP): okay sir

A typical day trying to get qualified support in the middle east. Thanks god I know better.... But I worry about the poor consumers that do know what the 7413 is supposed to do. Someone here might just hire a guy to reset the fax every 12 hours......

Nokia N95 arbitrary – RIP

It is with sadness in my trembling voice I’m sending my N95 to the eternal gadget heaven. I have decided to give it its last power charge, and now let it use its last charge on a spare SIM card while I empty its brain for usable information.

The N95 came with a desire to be the phone / pda of choice, a genetically modified species, supposed to surpass every other mobile handset in the world. Unfortunately the built in features was not fully tested before reaching the market. And some of the features supposed to be “cutting edge” were a dull as a 10 year old paperknife.

Yes – it was light weight, yes it had a built in GPS, but running time was very low, and a lot of features in the phone made it break down – so it had to be restarted again and again. Something I previously only associated with software coming from Redmond....

The Navigation was ok. But the license system lacked a lot. The last 4 weeks after a firmware upgrade, the N95 could not agree with license service that it could get permission to guide me from place to place. The Gen therapists at Nokia have not been able to solve the problem yet.

Dear N95, I will miss the features your designers said you had – but I never found.

Rest In Peace….

Thursday, 17 May 2007

The Joys of (missing) Upgrades

I’m the lucky owner of a Polar 625X running and exercise watch. A gadget that follows me on every exercise. And in short a gadget that keeps me going back to the gym again and again.
The reason is that all the data it collects, including how far I run (??) is stored in that watch and then transferred to my pc - so I can follow my progress and if I become better and get more miles to the gallon. :-)

The software is called Polar Precision Performance v. 4 (actually 4.03.046). Great software with updates from time to time (latest April 2007) but a bit of a Windows 3.11 (yes..) interface and a bit harsh on the eyes. But in general it works. And to update it – you NEED to have the software installed or have the old original CD available, so you can install the old version and then upgrade to the latest version. A bit annoying but “ok”…

Then I checked out Polar – and they have now made some new watches – like the RS800 and the RS400 – clearly with a couple of new features – and damn – a NEW software called Polar ProTrainer 5. And I thought – what is this ProTrainer 5 software. I got the Polar Precision Performance 4?

Well in short – the software is not new. It is just the old Polar Precision Performance in version 5 in a slightly new dress-up.

But to avoid giving out upgrades to the old owners – and thereby giving them the opportunity to “BUY” a new watch.. (read the sarcasm) to get the software – they (Polar) must really think the average user is stupid.

What a shame. ProTrainer 5 is not that big an upgrade to v4 – but now the graphs and other graphics are updated to an XP+ kind of look – and seems a bit more user friendly – and it even works out of the box with my 625X watch?

I am a capitalist and like supporting brands I use. But not even giving me the opportunity to throw in a few dollars for an upgrade to V5 – seems a bit stupid. Maintaining two products will in the end turn out more expensive than charging me $5 or $25 for an upgrade.

But trying to cheat your users calling the software a new name?.. Well do they think we are stupid sports-jocks all of us? Polar - get a grip and stop treating your user base as idiots. We just might stop buying your products.

And since it is illegal to tell people to be software pirates I’m not able to tell you the software might be available for download on some – what is it called? Torrent Sites?? As ISO files… bypassing the need for transporting your original V4 CD with you all the time.

But Polar – I would PAY for an upgrade if YOU provided one at a cost relative to upgrade value of the software (somewhere between $5 and $25 – anything else would be highway robbery)

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Your turn HP - CTRL REBOOT

I’m the lucky? owner of an HP OfficeJet 7314 – a All In One printer with fax/copy/print functions.

It works quite well – got wireless access, nice display, memory card reader etc.
But sometimes it just gives up. I don't know if it is stress or whatever – but every once in a while – it gives out a cry for help - flashing a FEW lights - and no response before re-cycling power (CTRL-ALT POWER).

It does not really matter so much when I’m in the office. But when I’m out… Then it is a pain – suddenly no FAX…

HP doesn’t have a clue… Called their help line.. Clue-less… Now I’m waiting for an official response – since they claim they have not seen that error before.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Driving me mad

 Nokia N95.. Damn still drives me mad. One should think it was created around Seattle…

Received an sms – and was a bit quick to press the button. End result – hung phone – needed battery removed.

Nokia – why? 

Still haven't gotten my Navigation to work after firmware upgrade – and Nokia is very slow at picking up the “pace..”

Next phone will be an HTC or I-Mate WM6.


Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Put ICE in your Phone

The Rescue Services in co-operation with the Medical Emergency services in Copenhagen Denmark has a big problem – and a great and quick solution.

When people come in to be treated, sometimes is can be hard to find information about relatives and next of kin – for example who do you contact in case of emergency? Well we should all carry a “contact card” on us – but most of us have a wallet full of stuff anyway.

But the Rescue Services and Medical Emergency services in Copenhagen have a great idea – and a simple solution.

Since most people today have Mobile Phones – they suggest that we all put the phone number of our “In Case of Emergency” contacts into the mobile, so the Rescue Personal can look it up quickly if needed.

But write them down so contact name is ICE (In Case of Emergency) – and if you have multiple contacts – then ICE1 – ICE2 – ICE3 etc.

I think it is a great idea and very simple.

Of course it only works if the phone is not locked with a pin-code. But maybe if we show the mobile phone manufactures that it can work and people do it – then they might make it a “std” feature in the phones someday – so ANYONE can look up or call an “ICE number” on a mobile.

Pass it on!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

The head does not know what the body is doing

Today I wanted to restore my user profile to my Samsung Q1 using Windows Easy Transfer. Quite a nice way to get same settings on all your new Vista PCs. (I got an X60 tablet, a Samsung Q1 and a Shuttle X100 2.33 GHz Dual Core) all running Vista.

But imagine my frustration when all I got on the Q1 was a message saying.. “Sorry you can’t do that… Windows Easy Transfer requires a minimum resolution of 800x600” Damn Microsoft – you guys should start talking together inside. Your OWN specifications for the “Origami” Machines lists 800x480 as minimum resolution – so why do your tools not work on your own g.d. specifications? And what could possibly be the reason for an 800x600 minimum requirement apart from bad screen design?

Another design flaw in Windows Easy Transfer is that you can only select to restore ALL settings from your old machine. My old Vista was running Office 2003 – so imagine so much crap being loaded into the registry..

Now I have to try to get the Q1 into a “virtual” state of running 1024x768 or 800x600 to restore. Bugger since the drivers are not really Vista “perfect..” Or alternativly connect to an external screen - which i don't have right at hand...

Well that was my sour grapes of the day.

Thanks again Microsoft….