Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

D**n You, Autocorrect!

November 28, 2012

I recently updated to the latest version of the iPhone software, and for the most part, I’m happy with the changes.

Except one. Every time I type “lol,” Autocorrect changes it to “Laugh out loud.”

C’mon, Apple! Really?

I’ve been patiently refusing the suggestion for weeks now (and backspacing when I type too fast and it makes the correction before I can stop it). I keep thinking, “Hey, it’s a smart phone. Eventually it’ll learn that when I type “lol,” it’s because … news flash!! …wanted to type “lol.”

Except … have I mentioned that I’ve been patiently refusing the suggestions for several weeks? I don’t think my “smart” phone is going to learn.

I hate it. Replacing lol with “laughing out loud” just makes me look dumb. And middle-aged (or older). And tragically unhip.

All of which I may well be, but I hardly want to advertise it!

So … if you get a text from me in which I say “Laugh out loud” (*cringe*), please know it is not actually me that is tragically unhip.

No, the person who is tragically unhip in this relationship is whoever is writing software code for Apple


Google Sux!

November 27, 2012

Today my son was locked out of his Google account, and his gmail account will be deleted in thirty days unless we can provide “proof” that he’s over 13. Which we cannot. Because he’s not.

So it’s gone —  letters from grandma, from his best friend who moved away, his cousins. Also gone is his ability to do some of his homeschool work.

But Google doesn’t care. In fact, when a parent wrote a very respectful “Help!” in Google groups, Google’s response was an arrogant blaming.

“Your children must have lied about their age to have been able to sign up for the accounts in the first place, as Google does not permit under-13s to run Google accounts of any kind, as it breaches their responsibilities under COPPA.

I realise that this is a blow to your family arrangements, and I’m sorry for that, but you have based those arrangements on what you knew was a breach of Google’s Terms of Service.” (emphasis mine)

Umm … No, my child didn’t lie. It wouldn’t occur to him to lie. When we set up the account (years ago!), they didn’t ask for his age. And no, we didn’t know it was a breach. Geez, what a suspicious bastard you are.

My son is in his room crying. Thanks a lot, Google.

Edited to add: Turns out the arrogant prick wasn’t a Google employee at all but Wendy Durham, a freelance journalist in the UK. The official responses from Google said, “F*ck you!” much more politely than that.

Update About Telus

January 14, 2012

Well, the Telus customer service guy called me back. Yep, the same guy. You may note I don’t have “customer service” in quotes in anymore, which I suppose is a bit of a spoiler.

But he was wonderful. He treated me like a human being. Funny, how far that goes!

Oh, and they didn’t turn off my phone again, so I wasn’t a frothing, raving lunatic* without internet.


You’re Turning Off My Phone AGAIN?!

January 10, 2012

Forgive me for a moment while I rant against Telus. Feel free to skip this entry, and come back another day, when perhaps my sense of humor will be restored.

Good thing that Christmas cheer crap is over, eh? Otherwise, I’d have to stuff all this infuriation into Mom’s Christmas Cake Cookies and my sister’s Frosted Eggnog Cookies and my friend’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, and then I’d never be able to fit into my adorable clothes.

I just got a text from Telus saying I have almost reached my credit limit* (again!) and need to “make a full payment now” or they’ll shut off my phone.

Frankly, this makes no sense. Since the last time they shut off my phone, I’ve been religiously watching my usage, and as of yesterday, I’d used about 2.75 GBs (I’m allowed five per month), with an overage charge of $40-something.

So I’m naturally wondering how the heck I used 2.25 GBs and spent $160 overnight – especially since I haven’t been able to get on the internet for the past two days.

I called their “customer service” (in quotes because that’s what they call it, though personally I think “customer f***ers” is a more apt description).


No Internet. Again. *sigh*

January 7, 2012

Just FYI: I have no internet again. This is becoming almost laughable.

I think there must be an Amish or Luddite ghost haunting our house, making sure modern technology doesn’t pollute the property.

If you want the gory, boring details, they’re below the cut.


Ingredients for a Truly Sucky Week

December 14, 2011

Are you looking to make your week sucky?

I don’t mean meh. I mean deep-down, truly rotten, go-back-to-bed-and-sob SUCKY.

I’m here. I can help. I know exactly how to make a week sucky.

All you need are three simple ingredients.


No Internet. Again. *sigh*

December 12, 2011

Remember how I happily kissed Hughesnet goodbye, once and for all, because I had solved our internet problem? I was wrong.

Oh, not about Hughesnet! Seriously … if you’re thinking about signing up for Hughesnet, email me first. I don’t know any Hughesnet customers who are happy about the service.

No, I was wrong when I thought I’d solved our internet dilemmas.

This morning I woke up to a notice from my cell phone company saying I had gone over my credit limit and my phone would be turned off if the bill wasn’t paid immediately.

This is critical stuff because it means I not only lose my phone (and ability to text, use the Postsecret app, obsessively check Facebook three hundred-seventy-five times a day, etc.), but I also lose access to the internet since I tether to the phone. And since Mars is driving the van to work every day (his truck isn’t reliable right now, and the car doesn’t handle well in snow), I don’t even have the option most days of driving in to use the wi-fi at the library.


So Long, Hughesnet!

November 20, 2011

YES! I am doing the Snoopy Happy Dance today. Mars just got off the phone, and once and for all, he cut the tether tied around our necks that held us to Hughesnet.

Seriously! Do NOT sign up for Hughesnet without talking to me. And checking out this website, and this one and especially this one.

It was unbelievably satisfying to say, “Yes, we know we’ll have to pay to break the contract. Believe me, it is more than worth it to be DONE with you.”

Instead, I’m tethering to my iPhone, which works surprisingly well. I use the iPhone as a “Personal Hot Spot,” and I can access it via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Mad Scientist can access it on his DSi. In fact, anyone who has the password can access it.

I’m on a flexible data plan, so we only pay for the data we use. And it’s considerably less than Hughesnet was. And we never have to worry about getting thrust into Punishment Mode because I tried to update my phone software or download a system security fix.

Best of all, though, it actually works. I can blog again! I can get on the Twitter and Facebook pages. I can … gasp! … read Postsecret. I can actually watch YouTube videos. I can … double gasp!! … preview songs on iTunes. I can buy whole albums on iTunes without getting punished. Heck, yesterday I was able to balance all of our financial accounts yesterday at home — I’ve been driving into town twice a month to balance them because Hughestnet couldn’t even load a regular page, much less a secured page. But over the iPhone, every page loaded just like it’s supposed to.

And that should tell you something. Cruising the internet via the 3G network over my phone is infinitely faster than the rural satellite we were paying almost $100 a month for.

Goodbye (and good riddance) Hughesnet.

Hellllooooo, twenty-first century!

Even MORE Fun with Money!

September 20, 2011

O.M.G. This is getting SO ridiculous that even *I* can see the humor, even while it’s happening.

I told you this morning about learning my credit card had declined a payment. Well, I decided not to waste my time and energy trying to convince a “compliance officer” that I should be allowed to color outside the lines. After all, anyone who would take a job with the title of “compliance officer” is going to tell me to shut up, sit down, line up my toes with the yellow mark, and don’t move until he says, “Jump.”

I was pretty sure I had enough money in the checking account at the big bank to cover the payment, but I wasn’t certain because Quicken doesn’t support Apple anymore (very wisely since, yanno, nobody uses Macs). When my laptop died, and I replaced it, I had to find, install, and learn a different financial software.

After hours online, I learned there is a community of Quicken Refugees who’ve been forced to switch by a recent computer upgrade, and there isn’t an adequate replacement, but there’s this great little program that’s actually a budgeting software rather than accounting software, so it doesn’t do some quirky little tasks hard-core accountants like to do (like balancing accounts or keeping running totals), but it’s really great at budgeting, so it’s worth a little minor annoyance like not knowing how much money is …. Never mind.

The point is, I needed to hop online and check my balance. Then I could add my bank to Billpay on the credit union website, and “pay my bill,” that is, transfer funds to the bank.

Except … remember that crappy internet service?


10 Reasons to Bang My Head Into a Wall Today

September 14, 2011
  1. Both my children insisted they were too sick to go to school. Mad Scientist complained of a sore throat and fever (which he didn’t have), and Girly Girly insisted she had stomach cramps. I gave Girly Girly Tylenol and made them both go to school, but I felt guilty about it all day.
  2. I spent $52.50 today to have a guy come out and tell me we have crappy internet service (as if we didn’t know). Worse, we’re stuck with it. Apparently our home is not within reach of the fixed wireless towers Parkland County is thoughtfully providing to rural areas so residents won’t be victimized by Hughesnet. But we’re stuck, being screwed on a daily basis by the very company we were rejoiced to leave behind in the U.S.. So no YouTube, no previewing music on iTunes, no streaming anything. I can’t update my phone software, or any software. I’m seriously considering switching back to dialup. At least then, I’d be paying for slow service, not just getting it.
  3. I realized late this afternoon that I could neither text nor receive texts, not even Mars’s sweet, encouraging messages. I could neither make nor receive calls either. Turns out my phone was turned off for non-payment.
  4. I would have paid the bill happily — had I ever received it.  But apparently Telus will only send bills after you’ve created a profile on their website. Nobody told me this.
  5. I couldn’t create a profile. The page wouldn’t load.
  6. I called Telus’s customer service and they emailed a special link. Apparently they can email a special link before you set up a profile even though they cannot email a bill. That page wouldn’t download either because … wait for it! … we have crappy internet service.
  7. Because I have a brand-new iPhone, I could have tethered my laptop to the phone and used wi-fi over the 3G network — if I had any other phone provider. But Telus won’t allow it. Apparently I have unknowingly signed a three-year contract with the Canadian alternative to AT&T, the company that refused to unlock my old iPhone, thus forcing me to buy a new one from Telus.
  8. The customer service rep from Telus said they sent me a text five days ago telling me they were about to unplug my umbilical cord — a text I did not receive. They did not bother sending a letter or email, or calling either my cell or phone numbers. No, they sent a text, waited five days, and turned off my lifeline.
  9. I finally logged on with Mars’ computer (which uses a cellphone modem instead of Hughesnet) and created a profile. But they wanted money before they turned the phone back on, and in Canada, you can’t use a debit card over the phone. And I don’t have a credit card, not even a $500 secured card.
  10. In desperation, I grabbed Mars new credit card to pay the bill — only to learn it hasn’t been activated yet.

Clear the way, folks. There’s a patch of slump block over there with my name on it.