There was a time, when people bought their own phones and then bought service....I did that twice. First was a 'fancy' candy-bar phone....it was nice, but it was hard to use for data. Second was a Motorola flip...where modems and such for it could be easily had...so with great complexity I found ways to be online while mobile.
Then they came out with digital...and I got one of the first digital only phones, it was sprint and coverage was poor. Though they only needed 1 year contracts back then. Later I got wise, and got phones that were both digital and analog. Along the way, 2 year contracts came into play. Now analog is pretty much gone. I've spent time on various major carriers and then some over the years.
More recent history...I had an iPhone 3G. I waited and waited to see if something newer than that was coming, and they didn't. I was on a blackberry before that, and now working a job where those aren't popular....iPhones were....and it was with Sprint...where reception at home is poor and none at work. Though with AT&T, reception at home was poor and work wasn't much better. There was reception by in the bathroom by my office. Fortunately, for visitors the conference room is next to the bathrooms.
Eventually, Apple came out with the iPhone 3GS, and a new iOS that turned my old iPhone 3G into a bear. But, it hadn't even been a year with it yet. So, along comes Credo Mobile, offering to buy out AT&T contracts....they credit the ETF to my account. Well, that was good...though its back to Sprint.
Then a couple months ago, my phone fell off my desk at work...and turned into one more piece than expected. Though it mostly worked after I snapped it back together. I used to get phone insurance back in the beginning...but since it became new every year, and then new every 2 years....I hadn't. Don't know if I should reconsider.
The phone continued along....though it developed a problem where it would just turn off expectedly, or spontaneously restart. The self-restart was a big problem, with my recent traveling...there have been 3 separate occasions where the phone had turned it self back on while all such devices are supposed to be turned off. Only once, did it do so soon after I had turned it off...that I heard it turn itself back on before I had stowed it for the trip.
And, then there have been days were I've been walking around not knowing that my phone was dead.
I wanted to go back to T-Mobile. I knew they had pretty good signal at home, though they didn't have much service at work. There was service...but it was a CellOne (GSM) tower....which later got moved. For good service, it was US Cellular. And, it was good when work was reselling their service. But, just before I was considering jumping to them on my own...they changed all their plans around, and I didn't like it. All this emphasis on voice minutes...in proportion to data usage. IE: I don't want to pay for unlimited voice minutes to get unlimited data.
There was a time originally, where I had a Blackberry...where I paid for unlimited blackberry data service....and had 0 minutes and 0 texts on my plan... minutes were only like 10 cents each.
Cell phone is still largely for safety & security.... And, when I switched to Credo Mobile...I opted to go with a 'feature' phone. At first I didn't want anything, though being able to tweet on the road might be useful. Though initially I signed up as if it was going to replace my work phone. Since they weren't reselling US Cellular anymore, those phones were going away. I ended up getting a Droid 2 with VerizonWireless service as work phone.
The Droid 2 was nice in the beginning, but its been getting pretty frustrating to use lately....and I was torn about wanting to go back to T-Mobile for personal service. While they'd would be good most areas of town, except right around work. I figured on benefiting fromt here WiFi calling feature. But, these days that's pretty much an Android phone....though there was this whole AT&T wanted to wipe them out...and not sure why I would want to be with T-Mobile without that one key feature.
So, I limped along on work phone that was getting less and less stable, and slower and slower....but Android. And, feature phone for personal...that was becoming unreliable. While watching the T-Mobile site for free phone offers.
A few times I saw their Sidekick 4G come up as free. And, it was a good candidate in most areas, except one. It has a physical keyboard (a 5 row to boot), and 4G. But, its only a single core phone and only 2.2. I wanted at least 2.3, and it seemed dual core was likely to be a requirement for longevitiy.
And, then finally...the AT&T takeover was gone....and discovering that the cell phone that I had been traveling with for safety, was useless. It was time to take the plunge. Though I waited until the last day of the sale period.
I went with ordering a MyTouch 4G Slide - Khaki - for $99.99 from T-Mobile on December 29th, 2011. It arrived on January 3rd, 2012. A few days before I took the plunge the old Samsung Seek had once again died on me, but I didn't notice that it had until after...and it didn't last to see the arrival of my new phone.
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Earlier in the week, I got an email from EFF about their Tor Challenge. I had looked at Tor some time ago, but it seemed like a hassle to use. But, I am a support of EFF, and not just because I had lots of ReplayTVs and now a few TiVos.
So, I decided to take another look at Tor....I had started worrying about my privacy with some of my online activities, and I do support various human rights issues, etc.
The challenge called for setting up a relay. So, I continued looking and what I needed to do to make it do that. ORPort prefers to be either 9001 or 443...well, wouldn't go on 9001 on Orac, it conflicted with another service that I'm already running. So, it would have to go on a different port.
That, meant figuring out how to NAT on my WRT54GS...it doesn't do port NAT on inbound forwards, so I had to figure out how to add entries to iptables to make that go. That took some doing, but eventually I got that working. Not before I accidentally lost my rc_firewall, and had to restore for a rather old version. I should probably see about doing some kind of automated backup...
It defaults to going with exit relay, and I decided to go ahead...but use the 'reduced exit relay' policy. To see how that would work.
I set bandwidth and transfer limits on things....but first instance on the 'Orac' actually hit the limit, which made it hard to night surf for my own reasons. And, while I was on the torproject site, I decided to take a look at Orbot for both my Android phone and my Android tablet. And, I suppose I'll want to run it on my laptop.
One problem I seemed to have is that I couldn't get tor to work locally on my android phone on wifi, but it worked on 3g. I figured its some kind of conflict with the tor network seeing the relay at the same IP. Though later it started working, maybe that was the relay went into hibernation. I did set up 'Orac' as a central proxy for everything at home. Strange that when I think of private surfing I tend to use my DSL and general surfing on Cox. I had gone with default gateway on 'Orac'...so it was going Cox.
With everything seeming to work well, I opted to set up another instance of 'box' to use my other Internet connection. That didn't go as well, because the ISP blocks a lot more inbound connections than the other. But, I got it working. And, I poked around some sites here and there before calling it a night.
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Many years ago, I got my first eBook reader device. It was an REB1200 (RCA, Gemstar, TVGuide, something, something something). It seemed like the thing to get. It had color and it could connect to the net without requiring a computer. And, it had a compactflash slot for expansion. And, Barnes & Noble was going to sell content for it.
However, Barnes & Noble never materialized for it, content was expensive...especially magazines. If you buy a magazine subscription online, its cheap...really cheap, and they send you a magazine that you can do just about anything with. But, the eBook version was the raw undiscounted price (like lots of subscriptions will tell you your getting a special deal...instead of somewhere around $120, you're getting a super discount rate of like $12....does anybody actually pay the $120 rate? Apparently they thought DRM laden eBook readers would....)
There was hope though, when Gemstar merged with TV Guide....perhaps they would bring TV Guide to the eBook reader. Sadly they didn't.
Originally there was no way to put personal content on the REB1200, but eventually ways were found and before Gemstar pulled the plug on it....they opened it up. Somewhere after that I sold my REB1200.
More recently, I picked up the Amazon Kindle...I had waited for the 2 to come out, being somewhat more cautious this time around. And, it didn't look like a color version was going to materialize anytime soon. I guess it'll be a while before eInk displays get to good color. The kindle is nice, but its magazine content is just the text content. The pricing at least was reasonable. And, it was possible to put own content onto the Kindle and at it was self contained (not computer dependent), etc. But, I like magazines because they have pictures. Especially important for a gadgetaholic....also the pretty advertising was missed. In some magazines, the advertising is more important than the content....at least in finding out about gadgets.
Meanwhile over at Barnes & Noble, they have the Nook...and they came out with a color version. And, reports are that magazines are real and complete on there.
Though, most Kindles and all the Nooks have one flaw...they are small. It is okay for reading a novel...where it is the right size for that, but not so much for reading magazines. (Also not so good for PDF content, particularly ones that can't be reflowed/reformatted). Kindle does have a DX model, but its pretty expensive, monochrome and still limited to the same kind of content of other Kindles. But, both companies do offer software to access its content on iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android devices. Though I wish I had done more research into those options first....but I had assumed that everything that I could buy for the device was also available through these options, just not as convenient as the purpose built eReader.
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