The worst part now is that I found the instructions to unlock my sim
card on the Cingular  site

So I either got ripped off by the salesperson or they didn't know anything, either of which just sucks

Cingular you are now on double secret probation, it's only going to
take one more thing and I'm out, an overbilling, some new fee,
whatever.  And I'll take as many people with me as I can so you don't
get their monthly fee either.

I hope the profit on the extra phone was worth it to you.

Sorry people another non Oracle Tech posting but well it's my blog.

So here's the situation, my daughter lost her cell phone, and I told
her mom I'd go get here a new one, simple right? Let me tell you things
are never simple.

So I go into the Cingular store tell the sales person I want to get her
a new phone. Since I'm an old AT&T customer the sales person says I
need to change my whole plan to get her new phone and keep her signed
up on my account I also need sign on for 2 more years , if I want the
discount on the phone, which isn't too big of a deal since , until 30
minutes later in the process, I've been happy with Cingular. So I pull
out my Nokia 6620 which I bought from AT&T since the salesperson
says we need new Cingular chips, again no problem, her phone starts up
great everything is fine, put the new chip in my phone and it's not
recognized, so here is a paraphrasing of the next 1/2 hour.

Salesperson : Your phone was vendor locked by AT&T

Carl : How do I just unlock the phone?
Salesperson : You can't.
Carl : What do you mean I can't? I know it can be done, I just don't know how, Can you unlock my phone?

Salesperson goes in back to make call or talk to manager something (10 min).

Salesperson : Well we can't , don't you just want a new phone?

Carl : What do you mean you can't your Cingular you bought AT&T so you have to be able somehow, plus I like my phone.

Salesperson : No you will need to get a new phone and I can only give you a discount on one of them.
Carl : Ok, I'm past my last service agreement length right.
Salesperson : Uh yes.
Carl : Ok I want to cancel.
Salesperson : What ?
Carl : Yeah I'm going to go to Sprint and get some new phones over there.
Salesperson : Sir can you wait a second ?

Salesperson goes in back to make call or talk to manager something (5 min).

Salesperson : Uh what if I give you a discount on both phones.
Carl : I thought you couldn't do that?
Salesperson : Well we can work something out.
Carl : Like what?
Salesperson : How about a discount on a Razor.
Carl : I don't like Razor's, I like Nokia's
Salesperson : Well thats all I can do.

At this point I'm under time pressure since the kid has to be somewhere.

Carl : Fine lets just do it.
Salesperson : Oh the discount is all mail in rebates heres all the paperwork.
Carl : Mail in rebates? Fine whatever.

Now it's the next day and the whole unlocking thing is burning me, I
know it can be done. I look online and after , and I'm not exaggerating
30 seconds find
which then leads me to and in 3 minutes
have a fully unlocked Nokia that I can swap sim chips from all three
(two new / one) old phones.

So what lessons to learn from all this,
A. buyer beware.
B. don't go to get a new cell phone under time restraints.
C. make sure you know if your phone is vendor locked.
D. don't trust the salesperson/ or the salesperson doesn't know anything.
E. All of the above.

Of course the answer is E

My kid loves her new Razor, my Nokia is back in top form and I have a
spare if either should break.  And oh yeah I'm saving the rebate money
because if anything else happens I'm going to use it to pay the early
termination fee, which is only about a month and a half of my normal
bill anyway and go somewhere were they treat long term customers right.


Well it's been awhile and I know you've all been on the edge of your seat wondering how everything went, well the truth is I finally just today finished dialing in my computer to the point where I'm happy, who says sitting around watching World Cup isn't productive.

All I wanted to do when I got my new computer is dial it in like my old computer, pretty simple right?  I have dual monitors and two hardrives, one for data one for OS. So I get my new dell I figure all I have to do is swap the the video card and hardrive from my old machine to my new machine simple huh.  Get the screwdriver out pop out the cover of the old machine pull the card and the drive bamn done super easy.

Look at the new machine heck I don't even need a screwdriver to open it it has this handy little pull tab thing open up the machine grab the video card to shove into the handy AGP slot ...................................... where is the AGP slot?  Every machine I've owned for last  3-4 years has AGP slot there is a slot that kinda looks like a AGP slot but after brief inspection , (well just trying to shove the card in it in multiple times with varying degrees of force) it obviously not, I pull out the specs and take a look and what do I find?  A whole new type of card type the PCI Express. Now I don't have any PCI Express x16 cards so I just put it  on the list of things to get at Fry's.  You know Fry's it's the electronics SUUUUUPERSTORE and I'm totally addicted to the place, so I decide to put that graphics card to the side, since I need to go get another one anyway, grab the data harddrive and find the mount  point start installing it  until what do I notice..... where is the IDE ribbon? Every hardrive I've every used has an IDE  ribbon  but whats hooked up the the hardrive they shipped with is this little  tiny connection cord that I've never seen before....... AHHHHHHG.

So at this point I'm mad, off to Fry's pick up dual output  Nvidia card, made sure it was a PCI Express and Linux compatible (as a side note I've used both Nvidia and ATI dual monitor cards on linux and using yum and this rpm repository makes it a breeze) and get a external stackable networked mounting for the hardrive that way it will be easier to add extra space later on and I have a couple extra drives anyway.  Put all the hardware together and then boot up the machine for the first time with the Fedora Core 5 Setup Disk One ,thats right I never even looked at the Windows install, take that Bill Gates!

And you know what went wrong then......... nothing Fedora installed exactly how I expected it to without any errors, a big difference from the days when I installed  Slackware off of 30 or so 3.5 inch floppies and even the old Redhat had an issue or two, but Fedora 5 is absolutely the the easiest Linux install I've ever had.

Run yum and install yumex, Run yumex update all my software ,had a beer or three :) while this happened, remapped my user directory to my data drive and rebooted everything is worked perfect.

So what did I learn through this whole ordeal....

  1. Check the hardware specs, for some reason hardware vendors like to change things that have ran perfectly for years.
  2. I am absolutely addicted to FRY's , even though I knew what wanted when I walked in I still spent 2 hours browsing through things and playing with different electronics.
  3. Fedora is absolutely the easiest way to get Linux up and running.
  4. Don't ever start setting up a computer and expect to get 'any' real work done the same day, It's not going to happen.
  5. A six pack is mandatory, it should be a nice lager (best to be imported, if not a nice micro brew),  it is the absolute necessity to keep you from putting a foot in the machine when you figure out your graphics card just isn't going to work.
  6. Finally and most important, don't blog about setting up your computer it's boring and nobody cares, including yourself, but you feel like you need to finish up the 2nd part because you started it an need to have closure.

But the computer is done and is so much faster and more responsive that my old machine I seriously get a smile on my face every time I boot it up.