The Cell Phone Adventure

Well first off hello. Things are good, enjoyed another small group with John Sheldon and a bunch of awesome people. Only two more weeks.It helps when you win the game! 😉

I started my Live365 station again. Here is the link:

http://www.live365.com/stations/rufas2000

It focuses on deep cuts, those songs and artists you don’t always hear on classic rock radio (including Christian ones). I might even start a second station with more modern stuff. I like such a variety of music but I’m thinking a station with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lothar and the Hand People, Flobots, Pink Floyd, Opeth, Carole King, Classic Crime, Moby Grape, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Nightwish and Gaslight Anthem might be a bit jarring. Don’t worry, I’ll be promoting it. I think its fun, especially at under $50 a year for an 8 hour playlist.

NP (on my Live365 station): .38 Special “You Keep Running Away”.

BTW: I know Spotify allows users to make & share playlists and is free (but the really cool features cost money). But they don’t have The Beatles, Led Zeppelin or many of the more obscure bands I want to highlight. So here you go, I can do Spotify playlists too.

I also got a cell phone this week. Actually I bought 4, returned 3 and kept 1. (NP: Grand Prix’s “Give Me a Sign”). I know but I have a reasonable explanation: buying a cell phone is hard. I think its been more challenging than any other piece of electronics I’ve bought. There are so many variables, some of which cannot be known until the phone is used (biggest one being coverage where the phone will be used).

Background: I like to think of myself as tech literate or even tech knowledgeable. Truth be told I only learn by doing. I don’t know what’s important until I buy one and use it for awhile. (NP: Black Sabbath “Planet Caravan”). My first purchase usually isn’t a good one. By the third or fourth purchase (usually over several years) I end up doing much better.

I’ve wanted a smart phone for awhile. These are the things I wanted to do with the smart phone (in order of random thought):

1) Post on Facebook when away from home

2) Listen to Sirius / XM internet radio in the car or through headphones.

3) Use GPS directions to get places.

4) Update my fantasy football team.

(NP: Ramases “Earth People”).

5) Use a cloud drive to access music

6) Get scores for my sports teams (instead of asking Michael Griffin).

7) Make an occasional phone call.

I don’t have much room for a big bill. $45 / month was about what I could do. So we are left with a few prepaid monthly plans. I went with Straight Talk. I went to Walmart last Sunday and bought a Samsung Galaxy Precedent. The electronics associate said I had 14 days to return it needs must (I always ask). I then read the negative reviews (bad coverage, slowdown). The coverage was adequate (with one exception) but it was plagued with slowdown).

(NP: The Cars “All Mixed Up”).

Then I went to my friend Sam’s house Monday night. No signal at all until I got outside. He said you got to get a Metro PCS, they’re wonderful. Perfect coverage, no dropped calls. Next day I did just that. Went to the Dade City Metro PCS store and got an LG Optimus and a month worth of coverage. The guy said I could return it for a full refund even the plan if I didn’t use an hour of talk time. Got it home, tried it. No internet, very little phone coverage anywhere in the house. Went back, he said he’d update the roaming then if it still didn’t work return it.He did, I went home. A bar but no internet. So I returned it and got a full refund.

Note: the customer service was excellent. Much better than Walmart (which wasn’t bad at all but they aren’t a cell phone store)

(NP: Petra “Pied Piper”).

I went across the street to Walmart and found the LG Optimus Q (with slide out keyboard). Straight Talk plan again, I got it. Got it home, transferred the number and liked it. A great phone. With one fatal flaw, more in a second.

(NP: Pentangle: “Light Flight”)

Now the Precedent needs to be returned. Tuesday night I called Walmart in Zephyrhills and asked if I could return a cell phone at 9 PM. Sure no problem. I even asked “Is a service desk person going to be there?” No problem, always someone available to serve you. I think I even mentioned something about an electronics person. You know where this is going. I got there and “Sorry we can’t take this back tonight, the electronics person left”. Uh huh. 

Next day I go to Dade City to return it. I go to the service desk, the electronics associate happens to be there. You know what’s coming next? Yeah, she looks over the phone carefully and I get my money back,

Then I discover the fatal flaw with my LG Optimus Q. I learned that cell phones have internal memory. Some of it is used on the operating system and unmovable bloatware. What is left can be used for user downloaded apps. There is also an SD slot but many apps can not be moved to the SD card. As a general rule the more popular / useful the app the less chance it can be moved to the SD card. I quickly ran out of room. Remember my list at the beginning, yeah not enough room to do even that. I was trying to squeeze it all in or find out how to move stuff to the SD card when it didn’t want to move. No luck there. If the electronic item can’t do the things the owner envisioned it should do and costed $180 you gotta make a switch.

(NP: Eloy “The Light from Deep Darkness”)

I read about the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim.  1 gig of internal memory compared to under 200 meg. And it ran on the Verizon network (the Sprint network is very limited according to internet chat boards). This was the one (there weren’t any others left). Since it was the same price as the phone I had I thought I could just exchange the two. Nope. I had to get the new phone and transfer the number then return the old phone. Saturday afternoon I got the new phone, Sunday afternoon I returned the LG Optimus Q. A week almost to the hour.

As it happens the LG Optimus I had did run on the Verizon network (as noted by the CDMA-V). The LG Optimus phones in Zephyrhills run on Sprint (noted as CDMA-S). In addition a Verizon recording came on when I dialed an inactive number or whatever. But I’m happy. Plenty of internal memory and it works everywhere I’ve been. Even at Sam’s house tonight. BOO YA!!!! I did prefer a couple of minor things about the Optimus but it couldn’t do the basic things I wanted. Now I have the phone I need for now. Of course I’ll upgrade eventually but for the price and the plan I wanted (another thing that complicates cell phone shopping) its the best I can do.For now. 😉

(NP: Eagles “Victim of Love” just finished, now its Sweet Comfort Band “Perfect Timing”).

Thanks for reading. Take care.

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