Tuesday, November 26, 2002

PCS/Cell Deadzones

For information on deadzones, you can check out this website. http://www.deadzones.com/ This site lists reported dead zones for cell and pcs services in most metro areas.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Handspring Treo 300 Sprint PCS info

This is a freeform of my thoughts about the Treo and Sprint, so it's not a report, just my experience with my device and its service.

I encounter at least 50% signal strength almost anywhere and 100% near signal tours. Once in awhile I get less than 50%. Since it's PCS, that doesn't affect speech quality all that much...though maybe you'll have sometimes clipping. The only connection problem I encounter is during peak usage, where I'll briefly can't dial out to a phone on another service for a minute or so right around 5:00pm. Actually, i'm not entirely sure this is Sprint's fault since this has happened with only one of my friend's phones using verizon. I don't have any in-service problems at all.

I've used voice calls up the pennisula, in SF, up the East Bay, up 580, 680, 880, 17 (in cover areas), 101, 280 and 85, Los Gatos, West San Jose, Campbell, South San Jose, East San Jose, Cuptertino, Salinas, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Modesto and along I-5. I-5 itself is somewhat spotty. The is no data/internet available in sparse areas along I-5. I haven't tried data/internet useage in Modesto, but pretty much everywhere else. It's about the same speed as current dial-up, and can be faster at times and slower other times. There are breaks in connections sometimes, but you won't notice unless you are on big complex websites for awhile (like roaming around Amazon.com can be frustrating, but checking local movie listings or driving directions is usually problem free.)

I found that the Treo is being treated like a PC in terms of usage and customer service, but like a phone in terms of purchase and replacement.

If you go with the Sprint version, you'll get free unlimited data usage [yes, unlimited internet], but you'll need to install your own internet browser (and SMS add-on software for text messaging if you want to send text messages). (There is an internet browser included which does not recognize JAVA.) The SMS on Sprint phones allows incoming, but not outgoing, so u need add-on software to activate the outgoing ability. Cingular version of the Treo comes with full SMS on board already, but I think they are still charging for all data/internet usage. As far as the internet goes, once you have a JAVA enabled browser, you'll be able to access most of the internet. I haven't seen any Palm OS internet browsers that support Flash5 animations yet.

As for e-mail, you can set it up to directly access your work e-mail under the "Business Connection" option. I don't use this cuz I don't wanna clutter up my PDA with work emails. I also don't download Outlook emails during hotsync'ing, but it's automatic if you set it up that way. I do use a POP3 email account from Yahoo on my PDA for direct access to private emails to that account wirelessly. I haven't encountered any problem with this, other than the fact that the PDA doesn't come with a POP3 account already.

There's software that can allow you to fax documents from you PDA as well, but I gotta wonder who really needs that.

There's a ton of shareware/freeware available for Palm OS which will work on the Treo. I recommend staying away from "Hacks". Everything else works pretty good. When I was experimenting with hacks, i had regular hard and soft crashes. Since I stopped using them, I've had no hard crashed at all, and only rarely have soft crashes. That's pretty good considering I have over 50 applications on my device.

One more note about usage: The phone can handle more than one of certain wireless activities at a time, but it will hiccup if two different incoming events arrive at the same time (such as a phone call and a text message). You can recover pretty quickly though and doesn't even cause a soft crash.

So, to recap, the phone/PDA can voice call, text message, instant message, internet, e-mail and fax. You'll just need to download the software to fully enable certain abilities. And Sprint hasn't had bad service for my particular usage.

Anyways, that's the long and short of it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

What's been going on??

Well, just stuff. Nufin too exciting right now, and nufin on my mind. Maybe soon though. la la la