Monday, July 30, 2007

Free wireless at Georgia rest stops

Perhaps others already knew about this, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Georgia has free wifi at some (all?) of its rest stops. Gave me a chance to check mail, post to my Tumblr, upload my photos to Flickr, and check the weather on the road ahead. Kudos to Georgia for catering to the traveler.

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Minimum speed limits

Spending as much time on the road as I have lately, I think we need more of these minimum speed limits; not to mention enforcement.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

South of the Border

The venerable institution that made Pedro famous and occupies hundreds of bulletin boards.

Six hours of sun, Fours hours of strong thunderstorms

So, the first six hours was fine. Headed down US301 and across the Nice Bridge at the Potomac. Then through scenic eastern Virginia. The storms hit as I neared Hopewell. Just as the storm ended, I found my way to City Point National Cemetary where I hoped to locate a Smeltzer who died there during the Civil War. Unfortunately, I had no luck and he wasn't listed in any of the onsite directories. It was still a sobering moment, to be there with all of the headstones from long ago.


Headed south again, the storms came in earnest. Several bouts of rain were so strong that traffic was pulling off the road to wait it out. I pretty much flew through the state though, stopping for a short spell in Fayetteville. I had hoped to locate my brother, but had no real leads I could follow on a weekend. Maybe on the return trip.

On the road again, I can't wait to get on the road again

Road Trip!

I'm headed down the eastern seaboard to Florida, and then back again. Sun, breeze, and the top down on the convertible. Watch this space for posts about the trip.

Monday, July 2, 2007

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Steve:

I assume I can call you Steve since I have been a longtime Apple customer (and Pixar and NeXT). I am sorry to say that I think you blew it this time; this time being the iPhone. The instrument itself is terrific as far as I can tell from borrowing my son's, but you blew it by picking ATT as your partner. They don't understand, nor do they care, about the customer experience the way Apple does. Their money-grabbing penny-ante antics to try and reap every cent out of this has created a series of bad experiences for many of us who are (soon to be WERE) ATT business customers. Now, I grant you that all the mobile telecomm companies probably act like this, but perhaps you could have had more influence over a SPRINT or T-Mobile.

The biggest issues folks have experienced could have been easily anticipated; business accounts and traffic/load-scaling. As for business accounts, the sad part is that it could have likely been easily solved through simple communication. How hard would it have been to simply put a sign in the stores (both Apple and ATT) that encouraged business customers to ask before buying. The worst part is that the only way most of us found out about the problem with business accounts was to open the iPhone and attempt activation through iTunes. Even that didn't give a clear answer. Of course, this is also creating an issue with the refund when we try and return it. Oh Steve. Steve, Steve, Steve.

I think many of us actually expected the scaling and customer service issues with ATT. After all, watching the MacWorld keynote this year it should have been clear that ATT executives just "do not get it". Old time telecomm thinking just doesn't work anymore. It makes me think that there might be room in the marketplace for a new player. Oh, Steve.

As I bring this to a conclusion, I am packing my iPhone to return in the morning to my local Apple store. We'll see how the question of a FULL refund goes under the circumstances. As for ATT, I think this was the final straw for me. This has made it clear that they cannot, or will not, support my business needs. So, I am taking my $10K/month account and shopping it. If you can't get customer service anywhere, I may as well try to save our shareholders a few bucks.

Good luck with this ATT partnership. I think you are really going to need it.