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Experimenting MiFi Phone#1: Don’t buzz when you’re driving November 11, 2012

Posted by geek-ish.com in Uncategorized.
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Mifi Phone is working so well that I forgot it was an experiement. Lol (but serious). At this point, there are several lil issues and one sum-biscuit issue that I’ve already created resolutions for, so I’m really thinking about moving forward with this thing.

Sum Biscuit issue:  Trying to make a long call or text (buzzn) while driving is not reliable at all.  This is pretty obvious to me now, but I really didn’t realize how it forces me to pull over if I want to make a long call or text if I want to be sure they are sent & received. Wait a minute… That’s not a convenience liability, it’s a safety feature! 😀  Seriously though, practically 100% of the long calls I make (using hands-free) while driving drop when using Mifi.  My fix – don’t expect to buzz while driving. Really. It kinda works in my favor in a way.  Here are the lil issues:

  1. Mifi battery requires a 2nd charger at all times.  Minor thing for me, my daughter needs a charger for her devices in the backseat.  I use that charger for the mifi.
  2. Mifi signal weakens often without any obvious physical cause or other reason.  I’d say the mifi signal is less than 90% reliable.  1 out of 10 times the signal will decay and break all the web stuff I’m doing.  I think the only fix for this is selecting a different network provider with better consistent signal strength or get better networking hardware.  I haven’t investigated this or reported it to my provider because 90% up-time during this experimental phase is fine.
  3. Mifi hangs and needs a reboot more than once daily.  This used to be a really frustrating higher priority issue.  It was more than a little disturbing to have to reboot the device over and over because I couldn’t get a signal or my device couldn’t connect | authenticate the network connection, but I eventually realized that that issue typically surfaced when I was in specific physical areas and locations.  At the office, we have a satellite-based telecommunications system that wreaks havoc on most cell and wireless transmissions.  I had forgotten this and was consistently trying to make a connection to the mifi while leaving the parking lot (to check personal texts, email, vmail, etc.).  Well, it would be several miles before I got a solid connection and that frustrated me because I was already en route before getting my web stuff relevant to my directions after work.  I workaround this issue now by not repeatedly booting my devices and wait for a mile or a minute or so between retries.  It works well.

Bottom line – this thing is working. And I’m definitely going to keep working with it.



Appreciating: Browser syncing across desktop and portables November 10, 2012

Posted by geek-ish.com in Uncategorized.
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I keep notes.  My notes have notes. Lol (but serious).  Lately, I find myself working on 3 different pc devices and leave notes on each of them.  I don’t sync them like I should, so they’re all over the place.   I’ve found that if I don’t have ‘Butter’ in a note somewhere on my phone when I go to the market, my daughter’s waffles are just going to have syrup. Blah, blah, blah – I needed a way to keep my notes easily on my phone no matter where they were authored.  Enter my mobile phone browser.

Luckily, I recalled that years ago I had a phone (with barely half the resources of an old XP machine) that could render some of the most popular pages.  It used Opera.  I checked and found that Opera was still in development, had both a desktop & mobile versions, and a sync feature where it would keep track of your browser history, form inputs, etc.  Woohoo!  I installed the mobile version on my Android, enabled the sync feature and… boom.  My notes and web history were consistent across multiple devices assuming I use Opera on each.  Now I can keep my notes together.  Nice.  Very nice.