Reflecting upon recent experiences with Smartphones, etc.

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Reflecting upon recent experiences with Smartphones, etc.

Postby working on it » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:12 am

  • I just was reflecting upon my recent experiences concerning my cellphones. After many happy years of using Samsung Rugby rugged phones, first a 2010 Rugby 2 flip phone, and then a 2012 Rugby Pro smartphone, I was exploring my newest Samsung, an S7. My faithful Rugby Pro developed extreme sluggishness back in Sept., when I was totally reliant upon it, with no internet or landline, while temporarily living in our 20 ft. trailer in the driveway (during our rushed, emergency, house replacement project). It needed replacement anyhow, having been abused for years, and still stuck on Android 4.1.2, generations old.
  • I went to the AT&T store, where I wanted them to switch me back to my flip phone, but I was talked into getting a newer replacement phone, covered on my phone insurance plan. So, for only $37, NIB, I received the best/latest phone I could get, a Samsung Galaxy S7. It didn't meet my "rugged phone" desires, but we put an Otterbox Defender on it, at the store, so it was now waterproof, and nearly as shockproof, as my older phones. The representative told me to just use my old Rugby 2 as a back-up (I bought a sim kit to adapt the nano sim to it) when I would go camping.
  • Further along, for some reason I don't recall, I went back to the AT&T store, and incidentally got help from the same rep, and I was very grateful. Now for the latest episode:
  • My wife was out of town for the weekend (before last), and I was fooling around with features on my S7, and tried "pattern lock", for the first and only time. I couldn't unlock it. I tried for hours, without success, even though I had drawn the exact pattern on a slip of paper, so I couldn't forget it. No go. So here I sat, without a working phone, no landline (at the time of the "new home project", we decided on no TV service -except thru internet-, and no landline - which only seemed to get telemarketers' calls), thus no way to call my wife if need be. I could've fetched my flip phone out of my "go bag" in the "go box" in my trailer, and put in the sim card, but that would've taken too much effort. So I gave Samsung Support a chance to help, via my PC.
  • I was directed to a chat line with a support agent overseas, via what I now call the "Hindu Hotline" (sorry, I'm not politically correct, and it seems that all tech calls are routed to India, anyway), where I talked for hours with three different agents, let two of them remotely maneuver my phone's innards to try to unlock it. One gave up, and routed me to the second guy, who gave up, after getting me to use Google "Find my Phone" to put a second lock on it ?!?, and hung up, and when I got the third one online, he told me to go to Best Buy to get it unlocked. Huh?
  • So, I made an appointment for Best Buy to look at my phone the next afternoon, after my wife was home, so I would have her along to witness the insanity that I usually had experienced with Best Buy services: my Toshiba laptop has twice been looked at, never fixed, and yet I still use it after adding a $80 auxiliary screen and a $12 Amazon Basics keyboard, in lieu of $750 in suggested repairs. Once there, the very nice Geek Squad guy, tried in vain to unlock it, and said that he had been in phone contact with the (1) Samsung liason in the DFW Metroplex, that could've perhaps unlocked it, but was out of town. I then told him thanks, I wasn't waiting for him to return, and I went back to my familiar AT&T store, and got the same agent/rep who had saved me twice before.
  • After recounting my hours of miscues, misleads, and sheer incompetence of the techs who get paid to fix these issues, the AT&T agent/rep, who reminded me that he was just a salesperson, proceeded to unlock my phone. He accomplished the deed by rebooting the phone, which others couldn't do, and restored it without loss of any of my data, in 10 minutes. After I profusely thanked him, and said that he was my AT&T rep for life (and also told him he had lost the sale of the S8 Active I had in mind, as a replacement for my "bricked" S7), I returned home, vowing never to lock my phone again!
  • My AT&T rep did get a sale that day, though, because I convinced my wife to discontinue use of her Samsung Gear watch's separate phone line (she could still use the watch as a remote for her S6 Active in her purse while driving), and use that extra line as a substitute "landline" at home. I selected a Samsung Galaxy Express Prime 2, for $100, from their stock, and even produced my spare Otterbox out of my pocket...the case for my S7 fits the Prime 2 perfectly (I had already figured this out, beforehand). He got a sale, I got my S7 back in working order, my wife could finally use her watch, we would have a "landline" again, and we will save money using the Prime 2, instead of a landline.
  • Lessons learned: don't fiddle with your phone unless you're prepared for consequences, don't lock it if you don't need to, don't experiment when the old lady is gone, don't use the "Hindu Hotline" in emergencies (I have had one or two favorable outcomes over the years, though), a second phone line is very necessary, and find a good phone tech/sales rep you can trust!
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", semi-offroad, 4x8 TTT, 2150 lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, & active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system modified for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's, GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/C *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" rooftop rod & reel carrier tube
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Re: Reflecting upon recent experiences with Smartphones, etc

Postby Bill n Robi » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:04 am

Items on my camping check list:
Update all apps on both phones and test
Verify iBooks is up to date
Back up Phones / save off pictures / check free space
Make sure auto updates are disabled

The worst thing is to have Apple decide to send you a 1.2 GB update and use their double talk 'Install now/Install Later' while using your cell data plan to download. My wife is not stupid but she thought selecting 'Later' meant she could ask me about it and decide then. Now she is on iOS 11 and hates it while I have to delete the update package weekly to save space on my phone and stay on iOS 10.

It is nice to have a scanned copy of important documents in pdf format on both phones that we can access - doctors, medications, vaccinations, POA and Advanced health care directives, dog's vaccination history, insurance cards, id's - less than 2 mb plus have those things in a 'draft message on a gmail account so I can access them from any computer in an emergency - those are encrypted so I don't rely on google to protect them.
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Re: Reflecting upon recent experiences with Smartphones, etc

Postby working on it » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:57 pm

Bill n Robi wrote:1) Items on my camping check list:
Update all apps on both phones and test
Verify iBooks is up to date
Back up Phones / save off pictures / check free space
Make sure auto updates are disabled

2) The worst thing is to have Apple decide to send you a 1.2 GB update and use their double talk 'Install now/Install Later' while using your cell data plan to download. My wife is not stupid but she thought selecting 'Later' meant she could ask me about it and decide then. Now she is on iOS 11 and hates it while I have to delete the update package weekly to save space on my phone and stay on iOS 10.

3) It is nice to have a scanned copy of important documents in pdf format on both phones that we can access - doctors, medications, vaccinations, POA and Advanced health care directives, dog's vaccination history, insurance cards, id's - less than 2 mb plus have those things in a 'draft message on a gmail account so I can access them from any computer in an emergency - those are encrypted so I don't rely on google to protect them.
  • 1) I update my apps on a daily basis on both my Samsung S7, and my Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 (8 inch) tablet, though when camping, I only use the maps/driving apps on the tablet, and perhaps stored movies inside (120 GB's of really old Sci Fi, mostly). And I keep up with the weather on both devices (it always storms on my trips), and keep my Baofeng UV-5X tuned to the nearest NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards station. Otherwise, I tend to walk around and talk to other campers, and enjoy the outdoors.
  • 2) Coincidently, just last night (3:30 am) I finally received the long-awaited update to Android Oreo 8.0, from AT&T (from Google originally, then to Samsung, before AT&T finally gave it out, 293 days after Google released it). I accepted the 1.78+ GB update, since it had been pre-released several times before Samsung/AT&T got it right, and it's OK, though it did eliminate one feature I had liked, and I've not used the new features, yet. I accepted it immediately, whereas if I hadn't, after two rejections, AT&T would've forced it anyhow. I waited over a year for the Marshmallow 6.0 update for my Lenovo tab, after it was released by Lenovo, because it was "bricking" all those that tried it; Lenovo kept at it, and after a year I chanced it again, and after three successive downloads (one after another, from Lenovo), it was done. It was worth the wait...it made my Lenovo's previous problems under Lollipop 5.1.1, all go away. It's great now, though slow and crammed to the gills with only 4.9GB (of 16GB internal storage), and 4.5GB (of 128GB external-SD card-storage) left.
  • 3) I keep all my saved documentation on my Toshiba laptop at home, and only the ICE number to contact my wife in emergencies, on my phone. We never travel or camp together, and she knows my password(s) to get my info (I have no secrets!). On the other hand, I have to guess which of 5 different passwords, and 4 different user names to get into her mess, if I need to. Any hacker that would observe her files would have a breakdown, I'm sure. Sometimes, I miss just filing hard copies of everything...except when my ex-wife destroyed ALL my saved document, photos, everything before I could get them, and my current wife's physical files are worse than her computer records! I do keep my wallet full of my most needed items, though, where she can't lose them; we still can't find documents from before we got the new house, after 8 months of searching.
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", semi-offroad, 4x8 TTT, 2150 lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, & active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system modified for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's, GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/C *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" rooftop rod & reel carrier tube
156215157958148599
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