I’ve had a love hate relationship with my Cingular 8125/HTC Wizard since I bought it (or more specifically, since it was bought for me by my dad). The keypad slides out in a very tech 1.0 grungy way. The screen doesn’t rotate until the keypad is entirely engaged and “clicks” out. The screen often doesn’t rotate for a couple seconds because it’s doing god knows what. If you click out the keypad while the “screen locked” screen is up, you get to watch a hilarious series of resizes and reorientations on the unlocking keypad while it gets up to speed. The device doesn’t “wake up” when you tap the screen, which is good-ish, but sometimes it doesn’t go to sleep either. So you hit the power button to wake it up and it goes to sleep, and you have to hit it again to get it to wake up. Which is weird and confusing. Sometimes when you lock the screen, it goes into “device lock” mode where you have to enter your code to get it unlocked. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’ll decide that my headset is still OK as a bluetooth device, but not as a headset. So I’ll get a call, hit my headset button, and it’ll answer the call, but the person is talking to my pocket. Fixing this requires fishing out the phone, unlocking the device/unlocking the screen (sometimes both), then hitting Menu, Turn Handsfree On.
In otherwords, it’s as klugey as you’d imagine a phone interface built by Microsoft on Windows CE technology would be.
But this latest thing just rides right up my ass. See, since typing on a thumbpad is as exciting as it is slow, and the mobile IE is shit, and the chat program I use on there is only OK, my primary use for the phone is to dial out on it over bluetooth from my laptop, for EDGE internet. Finding details on how to do that was not too hard, but definitely not on their webpage, nor on Cingulars. That’s still not the big problem. The big problem is, I keep getting booted offline, and the speed when connected is not good. Not bad, but definitely modem territory.
The loss of connectivity is odd, here’s how it happens. I get online, I connect to Gtalk and AIM (through pidgin). It slowly pulls down my contacts. I open up Firefox, it slowly brings up my homepage. I’ll be talking to somebody, like maybe Brad or Fargo, and then they’ll stop responding. I’ll check to see what is going on by going to my work machine, pulling up my Gmail archive, and looking at my chats. Usually, I’ll see that none of the last messages I sent are in there, which means they never hit the gtalk server. I have tried a series of voodoo fixes, including but not limited to, rebooting the phone, rebooting the laptop. Disconnecting and reconnecting to the bluetooth connection. Turning bluetooth on the phone off, and then on again, making the phone discoverable or not. Nothing really seemed to fix it, but eventually it would go back to being OK but slow and I’d get on with my life. This morning? It became unbearable. I would connect, then get online, and then be back offline as fast as you please. Finally, I tried pinging yahoo.com (which is my default troubleshooting ping name)… couldn’t resolve yahoo.com.
Couldn’t resolve google either. Couldn’t resolve shit. Could ping by IP though.
So, I did what I used to do with dialup users that had this problem, I hardcoded the old Mindspring DNS servers into my connection… and it has been like turning a light switch on. What the fuck, Cingular/AT&T? Are you incapable of installing a good DNS server? Shit, _I_ have a DNS server! I created it accidentally and it works better than yours. What the fuck!
For everyone else, if you are having problems with your internet connection through your Cingular phone (you can hard code the DNS on the phone itself too), I highly suggest you do this.