Last year I needed an unlocked phone and rashly went with the cheapest option that presented itself – a Huawei phone from the local Woolworths. For the price it seemed a decent smart phone and worked well enough while traipsing around Belgium. As I complained back in March the devil in the deal showed up when my least favourite ex-politician in the universe popped up to defend Huawei’s right to
spy on build Australia’s IT infrastructure, and to be flying over Liberal politicians for ‘friendly’ talks.
The temptation was to use the traitor phone in ballistics testing, but I’m not that wealthy. The iPhone had gone to Her Majesty and was not coming back. Gold medal for China, until a week or so ago when Telstra sent a letter something like this:
Dear Valued Customer,
Seriously what is that shit you have hanging off our system? You been dumpster diving or what? Word up – the mutt is about to drop off the network. We are going 4G, you are going maybe .5G if the wind is blowing that direction. 3G is going bye bye, so get it put down and get your sorry ass to the mall.
Yours, the Telstra Support team.
OK, so what’s the SECOND cheapest place to go? JB HiFi. If you’re not from Australia feel free to compare to any local electronics wholesaler that uses comic sans and screaming food colours on every available surface. JB are OK, but not the place where you expect the just-out-of-school underpaid minions to care that much about your ‘shopping experience’. So I was surprised that the phone minion was a good sort that steered me to a slightly older 4G model known to not suck. Slight problem when I admitted I didn’t know my own mobile phone number.
“Do you know your home phone number?” Thank god for a question I could answer.
Furious tapping on the computer. “Right, so you have a home phone and two mobiles registered, you’re out contract, I’ve got your address, your tax file number, inside leg measurements and some photographs taken in through your eyes“. He looks at me.
“I used to work at Telstra”.
Back to the computer. Tap tap. “OK so the deal I can give you is unlimited texting and $600 of phone time a month.” How does anyone use up $600 of phone time a month? I was having trouble using up my $30 a month. “Maybe ring overseas?”
And thus it came to pass that I assisted Samsung in their epic battle with Apple.
To be fair I have assisted Apple with their epic battle with Samsung. All over the place are reviews of Mountain Lion that reach the same conclusion: it doesn’t suck as bad as Lion. I don’t know why they bother with the other 199 new features when the main one is so compelling. They could double their sales straight away with the slogan “The World’s Most Advanced Operating System That Isn’t Stoned Off Its Conk”. It’s only when you stop using Lion that you realised just how many cones that cat is pulling.
Apart from that it’s a .1 upgrade that changes just enough to break compatibility with all the sound cards again. I wonder if there’s anyone still working at AVID to fix that.
There’s some kind of nagging bar down the right hand side that looks awfully like the one that Microsoft Outlook already throws at me. Fuck knows why that’s a new feature. And you can get it to tweet your trash to Facebook or something, I kind of lost interest at that point.
Time to ring overseas to try consume some of this phone contract…