Category Archives: Foney Baloney

Audio telephonic vocal interface

Almost Heart Attack

Ok, my friend Aaron almost gave me a heart attack today.

We’re both going to the COMMON conference in a few days … and need to connect up.   So we traded cell phone numbers.

Just to make sure I had the right number … I sent him a text message “Did you get this message”.

This morning I saw a message on my phone from Aaron that said “Who are you and why are you texting my daughters phone”.

Obviously I thought I had the number wrong … but even worse, I thought maybe I had pissed off some girls father … making him think I was a freek.

Well, turns out that Aaron was just having a joke at my expense … but it was a bit alarming.

I’m going to chalk it up to cultural conditioning.

Heaven can be frustrating

My brother Mitch’s version of heaven can be a very frustrating place. Especially during the holidays.

I went to Frys today to pick up a new phone … the cordless phone in the family room is beginning to give up it’s ghost and I figured it was time to get a new one.

I decided to get a 5.8ghz expandable phone system. Unfortunately the two line versions of this kind of phone tend to have all the extra bells & whistles, including answering machine, so I ended up spending a bit more than I wanted … but I think I got a good system.

I wander around Frys a bit more … just browsing … and then go to the checkout. Talk about a madhouse.

They have about 20 registers open … and a person directing you to the next register that is open (signified by a flashing green light). I was directed to register #7 … but there were 3 people in line there. Turns out the guy running that register didn’t know that, when you were helping a customer, you shut off the green flashing light.

Luckily a nearby register opened up within a minute … otherwise I would have called for their floor manager and lodge a complaint.

Yahoo! News – Coming Soon: A Cellphone Directory

Yahoo! News – Coming Soon: A Cellphone Directory

After years of anonymity, the numbers of most of the nation’s mobile phones will be compiled later this year in the first wireless directory.

Talk about a stupid idea! Now a phone solicitation will cost you money even if you don’t buy what they are selling.

Thankfully Verizon (my provider) will not be including their customers in the directory.

…Verizon Wireless vowed not to include its 39 million subscribers in the directory and chided the effort as “misguided.”

Cellular Reception

While we were in Mesa Verde National Park … which is in the middle of nowhere … I was able to get a reasonably good cellular phone signal from Verizon.

The signal tried to be digital (which would have been nice) … but after spending about 30 seconds each call trying, it gave up and switched over to analog. Luckily it was still Verizon analog, so there were no roaming charges.

Needless to say I was quite impressed with the cell coverage.

Verizon needs better proof-readers!

I took the LG 4400 phone back to Verizon because their ad slick indicates that the phone has a speaker phone … but the documentation (and phone) does not give a hint of it.

Apparently, they KNEW about the misprint!

The only thing they would / could do for me was change phones … which I don’t want to do. The only other trimode phone they have is another Audiovox … but I can’t turn off the bootup & shutdown sounds.

I was tempted to talk to the manager about the situation … but my frustration level was rising quickly and I don’t work well when frustrated…. so I decided to shelve the problem for another day. Maybe this weekend I’ll go in (with Steve, possibly) to talk about the problem.

Reviewing all my receipts, I also noticed that they didn’t give me the $20 credit that Steve wanted me to get (instead of Steve getting the credit).

Of course, since I traded in the Audiovox picture phone, I don’t need the 20 pix messages anymore … and I’m sure their system isn’t smart enough to know that the phone I have is no longer capable of sending pictures and automatically drop the feature.

New phone

I returned the Audiovox 8900 phone today and got a LG 4400 from Verizon.

I decided that the ‘gee-whiz’ features fo the 8900 just didn’t outweigh the defects (as I perceved them).

The 4400 has everything I really need … and only one feature that would be nice to have that isn’t there (speakerphone).

Interestingly enough … the ad slick for the 4400 indicates that it has a speaker phone … but the PhoneScoop page does not indicate so … and neither does the documentation.

This weekend I’m going to take the ad slick and the phone into the Verizon store and talk to someone about it. Seems like false advertising to me.

Who designed this phone?

Well, Ginny and I got new cell phones yesterday.

Ginny wanted to get a picture phone … and I thought it would be kind of cool to have one too (ref: future post about camera envy).

I’ve been less than pleased with the SprintPCS so we decided to get Verizon service. Mitch & Steve both have it and have no complaints.

We picked up the phone yesterday evening … as they were programming the phones, I heard this horrible music playing when they turned the phone on and off. I asked the guy if that could be turned off. He said: Of course … and asked if I wanted to be shown how? I replied that as long as it could be done, I could figure out how.

Got the phone home and tried to figure out the process for turning off the music … I found nothing obvious in the manual or on the phone itself.

Additionally, I wanted to figure out how to change the banner display so it would have my name instead of the words “Verizon Wireless”. Since both phones were identical, I wanted some way to clearly identify Ginny’s phone from mine.

I couldn’t figure out how to change either, so I called Verizon’s tech support.

The guy at Verizon said that there was no way to change the startup & shut down music off short of turning off all sounds and the banner text was built into the phone. Well that’s clearly unacceptable. If you’re in the theater and realize that you forgot to turn off the phone the music plays regardless.

So, we’re off to the Verizon store again to return these phones and find new ones.
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