osodecanela: (cam capture)
I got myself a Mophie.

The old car charger fritzed. Not a dire loss. It was an old AT&T for an iPhone 4 & now that I have a 5, I was using its USB port and a separate cable. The last time the car charger died, I went into the AT&T store and they replaced it on the spot, no questions asked. This was the replacement that failed - after 5 years. I'm not surprised the declined replacing it.

When I got the phone, it was before they had most of the functional accessories for the iPhone 5. Now while I'm VERY happy with the phone itself, the battery life? Not so much. Further, the new cable head is a better design than its predecessor, but they ain't cheap, and the device only comes with one. So I could have one at home, one at work and one in the car, I've picked up 2 on eBay, both of which failed within a couple of months.

By comparison, having the old car charger last 5 years, as opposed to a couple of months, $30 didn't sound overly expensive.

The woman helping me was lovely; 8 minutes into interacting with her, I looked down. She was not simply overweight. She was quite heavy with child. I offered her my congratulations and commented," good lord! You'd think doing what I do for a living, I would have noticed that sooner!" She laughed, then looking at my credit card, exclaimed, "OMG! You delivered my cousin's baby! They wanted me to come to you, but I have Kaiser."

It's a small world. I didn't just deliver her cousin's son, I delivered her cousin as well as both his younger siblings. And I adore her family.

It didn't completely surprise me, I got an employee discount on the charger.

So, you may ask, "what's a Mophie?" It's a brand of phone case that doubles as an extra battery. So far it seems to add about 6 hours to the time I can be away from a charging cable. A friend of mine had one back in the days of the iPhone 2 & while a nice convenience, it was not small (nor was it cheap). The Mophie for the 5 however, only adds 1/4" in thickness & 1/2" in length to the bottom of the phone. That I can live with. I can also live with the employee discount.
osodecanela: (Default)
This is a device that's supposed to make my life easier, and in truth, most of the time it does. However, in exchange for that convenience comes a modicum of dependence. At the moment, it's feeling a lot more than just a modicum.

In March of this year I accidentally drop tested my computer. I was seeing a patient at the time and because the battery had run down, I had it plugged in. Sadly, the cord tangled in the wheels of my stool and as I rose, the computer came flying off of the counter. The flooring I'm afraid is linoleum over cement. I'm sure you all can do the math.

I acquired a new computer, but as of today still have not been able to retrieve most of the data that was on my hard drive. This included a rather sizable music library, most of my recipes and years of personal pictures. Please don't lecture me about the importance of a computer backup; I've grown very tired of kicking myself.

I'd wanted to update the iPhone to its new operating system, but as I couldn't sync to iTunes without losing all of the music that was on the phone, I was sort of stuck. Yes, I knew I could get aftermarket software that would migrate my music to the iTunes on the new computer, but frankly there was too much other stuff to get to; it remained on my 'to do' list.

So, I was in Oakland last Friday for a day of continuing Ed. The 'bone maven' that I refer to in Oakland, a rather remarkable nephrologist who's niched out a practice that is exclusively bone health, was sponsoring an update on osteoporosis. As dry as the topic might sound to some of you, I was chomping at the bit to go. Late morning, I looked down at my cell phone to check the time and noticed it was nearly out of juice. Odd, as I had had it charging the entire night. I happened to have my computer with me, so I booted it and borrowed a charging cord from another attendee. Nothing happened. I have three different USB ports on this machine and not one of them would power up my phone.

When we broke for lunch, I tried another cord. Again, a no go. I turned to the owner of that cord and asked if I could check his phone with that cord to see if it would boot off of my computer. It worked. I tried my phone again and nothing. We tried plugging my phone into his computer and again, zip zilch nada. His phone with his cord on his computer, no problem.

My heart sank.

I turned off anything I could think of that would be drawing power on the phone. Wifi got shut and the screen brightness got turned way down. Twenty minutes later, in the midst of the next lecture, I got a text from my office manager asking about a med refill. I texted back a reply and warned her my phone would soon be out of power. Shortly thereafter, it went dead.

I borrowed a phone and made arrangements to stop at the Apple Store, setting up an appointment in Corte Madera (nothing was available in either Emeryville or Berkeley). Much to my displeasure, I had to bug out of the conference 45 min. early, in order to make it to the Apple Store. The realization hit me, not only could I not be reached should there be an emergency (and given that I'm a physician, that simply isn't an option), but every last phone number, pharmacy contact, and application that I use almost daily in my practice, is on that damn phone. I don't have to remember the number for any particular ward at the local hospitals, or any pharmacy in the county because I've programmed them in to the phone. For that matter, the same is true for all of my family, as well as those of all my friends and neighbors, are in that phone.

It was a sobering moment, to realize I can't tell you my sister's phone number off the top of my head. Or Mom's. I even have to stop for a moment to think what my husband's cell phone number is. Not that he ever turns the damn thing on. I married a Luddite.

The phone was so dead when I plugged it in to the car, I couldn't tell if it was charging as I drove off. Much to my relief, it did take a charge as I drove across the bay. The power was just over 30% by the time I got to the mall in Corte Madera. Within minutes I was meeting with the Apple Store 'genius'. I explained what the phone was doing or more pressingly, NOT doing, and we tried connecting it to a computer there in the store, which once more was a no go. The genius' diagnosis was that likley, I was SOL. He noted occasionally these problems will rectify themselves, then mentioned there's a program available to get my music off the phone, back onto iTunes on my new PC, should my phone start speaking to computers again. Under his breath he said, "go to the web and spell iTunes backwards."

I suspect Apple store Geniuses start out as store reps. He smiled, then followed with, "let's see when you're eligible for a new phone. This one is out of warranty." Turns out for just a couple of hundred, I can tie myself into another 2 year contract for an iPhone 4S. "Oh, you want a 32 gig? Make that 3 bills." I asked if he had any idea when the iPhone5 would be out, to which he smiled and said, "you think they tell us? They'll tell us here in the store the same day Apple releases that information to the world!" "You do know," he continued, "the 4S didn't come out until almost 4 months after the rumors said it would be out."

At this point, all I want is this phone to make it till the next edition debuts. I'm eligible for an upgrade now, but frankly I don't want to tie myself into a two-year contract, if the next edition is going to debut within the next six months.

Mysteriously, Saturday morning the phone was once again connecting to the computer and I succeeded in transferring about a quarter of my music, when the cable started flashing on and off. I'm sure you all know that familiar 'dah dum' sound a Windows machine makes when you attach a peripheral to a USB port. Well that started cycling on and off every few seconds. That lunacy continued both times I attempted things on Sunday. This morning however was smooth sailing, at least to start and I managed to get off all the music, and sync the phone saving pictures, contacts, and applications. At that point I decided to attempt an operating system update. While I suspect the connection problem is a hardware, not a software issue, I figured it was worth trying, to see if it would correct the connectivity issue.

Updating the operating system involved wiping all the data, then installing the new iOS 5. Midway through, the phone froze. It kept giving me a screen indicating it was in restore mode, but would go no further. No matter what I did from there, once it became clear things had frozen, I could not get it do anything. It 'dah dummed' when I plugged it into the computer, indicating my PC 'saw' it attach, but neither Windows nor iTunes could see it. I handed my phone over to Oana, who's a bit more computer savvy than I, crossed my fingers, and went back to the paperwork I so desperately needed to do.

As I write this, the phone has indeed updated to the new operating system, and all my information seems to be syncing back to my phone. My fingers are crossed. We shall see.

update: it looks like everything is back. None of my apps are where they're supposed to be, so I've got a good half-hour or so ahead of me, rearranging everything, so I know where my apps actually are. There's some data missing. Any notes, calendar entries, or text messages I've made in the last 3 1/2 months are gone, but I can live with that. Better still, the phone seems to not be having trouble talking to the computer any longer, so for the moment I'm breathing a major sigh of relief.

Enough of this crap, it's time to go home.
osodecanela: (Default)
I'm not a follower of the pack. (at least not usually.)

When word came out that the new iPhone would have a much better camera & much better battery life hit the word, I was sold. I loves me my iPhone as it it currently except for those two snags. The camera on mine is lousy and without fail, I wind up charging the thing at least twice a day. However, I do things with this phone I never expected to be doing (like this post for instance).

The AT&T store however has been giving out a new story almost daily as to when we'll be able to get the new phone. I tried to preregister first on line (got bumped off twice) & then at the store (there was a 90 minute wait & I had to head to see patients), but the woman taking the names for the appointments at the store said to just come in a couple of days later to preregister, there would be plenty of time.

Not so much.

Three days later? Nope, preorders closed. Same woman suggests I come down on Friday the 25th when they open to try buying one. Since we leave for vacation Sat. & I would like not to take an extra camera, it seemed like a good thought. Well after showering this AM, as I toweled my hair while watching MSNBC, they showed shots of lines snaking around the block at Apple stores around the country.

I decided to stop at AT&T today.

No iPhones there till the 29th. "Why don't you hit the Apple store in the mall now and see what the story is?"

At the store there were two lines, one in either direction. One started just outside of Sears; that one turned out to be the one for preorders. The guy at the front had taken 90 minutes to get to his turn and they were pulling a person in to the store every 30 seconds or so. The standbys were almost as long and not moving at all. A guy walking out with his new phone told his GF they were almost out of the 16gig model. It was 10:30.

Looks like I'm taking the extra camera.
osodecanela: (Default)
and to truly screw up requires a computer, which apparently includes the iPhone.

I was on call last night. I really despise call on Thursday nights. It's my late evening in the office and I'm never done before 7 p.m. The phone calls however start at 5 PM sharp, most often people calling to find out why their prescriptions haven't been renewed. Without fail it makes my last two hours seeing patients a royal pain in the keister.

Last night a call came in from a woman concerned about her elderly husband; my receptionist took the call and shortly thereafter handed me the information. For the next three hours I called this woman every 20 to 30 minutes, a busy signal every time I called. Finally the operator tried breaking in on the line, only to confirm that the phone was indeed off the hook.

Finally finished with patients at a 7:45, I sat down to do some paperwork in no rush to head home, as I fully expected to get a call from the ER saying I was needed. At 10:30, I decided I had enough. The evening had been blissfully quiet. I reached for my phone to dial the house, but the call wouldn't go through. The screen kept flashing, "dialing number,....." with nothing happening. Then I noticed up in the corner where the AT&T icon is supposed to be, it wasn't. Only a plaintive little message that read, "searching....."

I had lost the connection to the network. That's why it had been so quiet.

I turned off the phone, then turned it back on again at which time the network came back, along with 21 voicemail messages. The ER had been looking for me for three hours. Three bloody hours. Three whole bloody hours, while I sat at my desk a block and a half away. By the time I got the message, the hospitalist for the night (who just happens to be one of my call partners) had just finished admitting the man.

It never dawned on anyone to try my back office line at that hour, and it never dawned on me to check my phone to see that it was working. Through no fault of my own I now have a major olive branch to tend my colleague.

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