Friday, September 30, 2011

iPad day from hell update

Friday 6 days after first and second iPad 3G form Verizon which totally sucked, we decided to bring it back and exchange it for the AT&T version. First thing I noticed was that registering the account went much smoother and that AT&T did not reject the credit card with auth code that VZ did not like. Also the registration happens quickly. When we got back to mom's house it picked up signal right away. Good sign. One more thing: we had also brought the second iPad to Verizon also and they were not able to do much. We also had brought back the second one to the Apple kiddies and their solution was to reboot the darn thing to get sig nal back. That was like every 15 minutes!!! Well let's see how this one works! deco

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

iPad from hell day continues

You know I have only myself to blame.  I had my mom buy an iPad without doing my own research.  I've seen plenty of people using their iPads and everybody seemed happy.  My mom is on her second iPad with 3g Verizon - nothing but problems.  Drops internet after 15 minutes and the blue shirt apple kids don't know how to fix it.  So much for my preconceived idea that it was a good product - bah humbug!

Apple Support on this problem

Article on the subject


Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Apple iPad day from Hell!

Just a little set up here.  I have never in my life have owned anything from Apple.  I have touched Apple devices just as a curiosity.  So I finally drank the Kool-aid.  I bought my mom, who is now 78, a refurbished a laptop years ago running Windows XP.  This laptop served her well all these years, and I was able to support her even when she went to Florida via LogmeIn.  But my mom still was using a dial up modem and she was always struggling with certain things.  So when her laptop gave up the ghost she wanted me to recommend another.  After thinking it over I thought maybe an iPad would suite her better because what she does is: Surf the internet, do her Yahoo email, and play games.  She can also get th 3G version, do the 1 Gb and she would be able to take it with her back and forth from Michigan to Florida.  So I told her that we would go shopping on Saturday.

Sat 9:30
I leave home to pick up mom and dad.  Apple store opens at 10:00 am.

I pick them up.

We get to the Apple Store - It's packed already.  So much for the recession.  We get lucky though and find a free blue shirt kid.  We spend almost an hour going over the iPad.  My mom is 78, hard of hearing and English is her second language.  She also has never seen one or touched one before, so it is slow go.

We leave the Apple Store for Best Buy to check out the laptops.

We get to Best Buy, look at laptop for 5 minutes and mom already wants the iPad so we leave and head back to the Apple Store.

We are back at the Apple Store and we finally get waited on.  It is more packed than before and I am getting a feeling that there really is no recession.

We finally get an iPad.  I want them to set up completely for her - register, email, 3g with Verizon.  All is going well, but real slow because my mom can't type on the screen touch keyboard.  We get to the part of entering the CC info, and it repeatedly refuses to take card. This is for the Verizon account.  We know the card is good because we just paid for the iPad.  We try everything.  Now mind you that every time you mess up or it fails you have to retype the password and CC info.  Mom tries, I try, the Apple kids try.  Nothing.  Finally we decide to try a different card - Bingo!  It seems Verizon is real weird with the auth code and does not like certain digits.  Go figure.  We also go through all the little training things from the Apple kids.  I also make sure that they register my mom for one of their iPad classes.  I am thinking this is great.  Apple store is like right around the corner from her house.  And when she goes to Florida, the Apple store there is close to her house there also.  Finally I can off load tech support to someone else :) .

We leave Apple Store and go out for lunch at restaurant with WiFi.  First thing I noticed was that it would not connect to the WiFi - OK, well not first time I have seen Restaurant Wifi sucked.  So I fall back to the Verizon, it connects and I am surfing.  But, then it drops.  I connect again.  Drops.  I go back to WiFi.  Connects. Drops.  Well, maybe no reception here I thought.  We will try when we get home.  She lives next to Verizon store and the signal is freaking good.

We get to her house and I try again.  Nothing.  I am getting real good now at typing password.  I reset the Network.  I restart.  I double check everything.  Nothing.

I finally gave up and called their tech support.  Not to bore you, but they had me do all the things I did.  I even go outside and wave it around :)  Finally the tech guy went one level up: nope.

After trying everything that any tech guy told me, they make me an appointment back at Apple Store to return the unit.

I am back at Apple Store.  They are all real surprised that an iPad would not work. Well guys it happens! They exchange it, but then we have to go through the whole setup again.  Verizon is not allowing us to re-enter the same account, so we have to call Verizon at the store.  I gave the phone to the Apple kid.  Finally we get it.  We configure it again.  I made dam sure it worked this time both on the WiFi and 3G before walking out.

We are back at mom's house.  I unpack it.  Test everything.  I get Free Cell and Angry Birds for my  mom.  I take a picture of the dog and show her how to change the wallpaper.  She seems happy.

I finally get to go home!  

The moral of the story is:
One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch!

Well, I can say that I just blew my whole Saturday, and missed most of the Michigan game thanks to iPad.  I hope that this Apple does not bite me back.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Making a multi-boot USB drive

Making Multi-Boot USB Drives

If all you need is one type of bootable USB distro then the Universal USB installer is perfect to make them with (see my previous post), but I thought it would be cool to make a multi-boot USB drive because I was carrying with me: DBAN, Password Reset, Mem Test, Avira, Gparted, Ubuntu, Knoppix CDs and bootable USB drives.  It would be cool if we could just make a multi-boot USB drive.  The cool thing this is that you can and you can do it easier than you think.  The same site that you download the Universal USB Installer has another utility called YUMI .  With YUMI you have a very big list of choices that you can add to your multi-boot USB drive.

The way you use YUMI is identical as the Universal USB installer, except that what it does is create a multi-boot menu that you can choose the different OS or Utilities that you want to run.  It categorizes them for you.  It also has links to the web sites where you can do and download the ISO or ZIP media to create add to your list of boot selections.  As with the Universal USB Installer the ISO name needs to match the name of the distribution or type of install you are installing.  If you have some odd or different ISO or install, you need to choose “other” – but I did not have any success with that.  It installs, but I could not find where to launch it from.

See screen shot of utility below:

It you go to the web site, you will see screen shots also of what the screen looks like after you boot from it.  I have used it now for a few weeks and have had good success.  It has helped me reduce the number of CDs and USB sticks I carry with me.


God bless the families of those who died 9/11

This is a blog of tech things, but today my eyes are watering watching all the images and listening to the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst days in our country.  God bless the families of those who died, and all those who have died in the wars since.  I remember that day like it was yesterday because I remember the threat of cyber attacks alarmed me at work, and I temporal y shut down our email system.  I remember that from the moment that day that I heard and saw the images, I could not concentrate on my work, and finally just went home.

Since that day 10 years ago technology sure has changed for good and bad.  Technology has been such a tool and ally of our country to hunt down and get the criminals that attacked us; but the bad guys now also are using technology against us.  As part of the technology community, I just wanted to remind all of us, to always be alert and on guard, but also thankful to all those who protect us.

God bless America!