WordCamp Birmingham: Blogging Birmingham, AL

Well I was not quite sure what to expect. I ran into an extremely nice group of people of many persuasions, geeks, bloggers, social media gurus, and more. André Natta the Founder, editor, and publisher of The Birmingham Terminal Put on a first class conference with speakers from all over the Southeast. As he said this was the First Wordcamp in the Southeast.

I for one learned a lot, I’m finally on Twitter with a purpose. I am contemplating total overhaul of my site layouts and approach, and I hope I made s few new friends.

Twitter client of choice seems to be Tweetdeck, the first Adobe Air app I’m finding a use for.  Good viral marketing on their part. Thanks to Joey Gibson and Mitch Canter as well as André for the patient intros to a clueless one. The hints That Donna Fontenot provided were very helpful. I know I have not got all the great contributors here , and that is why I provided the link to the main site. but again thanks folks hope to see you again soon.

T-Mobile At Home

Have not posted for a while. I have made progress on my development environment (Eclipse, BRIT, MYSQL, Heidi SQL) all now basically functioning together. I’ll try to cover that soon. In the meantime— another adventure into the world of new service offerings!

$10.00 a month to replace ATT/BellSouth with unlimited local and long distance! Vs. the current $53.00 a month for ATT/BellSouth and $5-10 for the cheap LD provider we used. A real deal!

Lets be kind and say that T-Mobile does not really have their act together in terms of service provisioning. Admittedly I signed up when I first saw the ad on the local media. To their credit everyone I dealt with was extremely pleasant, almost too much so. T-Mobile has got something going across all parts of their service sector that has excessively polite scripts being used by all of their employees and providers.

I took me about an two hours to get in and out of the local “company” store. They had me on the phone with a phone center and they tried to co-ordinate what was to be done. I had called ahead, to save the time and effort of getting the router sent by UPS. I strongly suspect it would have gone smoother by phone, but then I don’t know how they would have dealt with all the paperwork.

After getting the router and the sim card in the store I went back home to replace my current router. For what it’s worth my high speed internet is provided by Charter. I heard of some people trying to get the service when their service was provided by the telco. So when the service was cut the high speed internet went also, so no service!

I left the store intending to plug the router into my network exactly in the place of my then current D-link wireless router switch. The Lynksys provided by T-Mobile was functionally identical except that it had two phone jacks and two slots for Sim cards. The people at the store and that I spoke to on the phone there indicated that I should just plug the router in and the phone into the router and I should get dial tone and the number “port” of my existing number should follow in about a week… A few days later I received a large (router sized) box by UPS containing a SIM card…Now I had two, the one from the store and the one from the head office. I also got a message thanking me for signing up for a new line for a one time charge,of $35 I had missed that in the fine print, it would not have changed my mind but the disclosure seemed fairly below the radar.

I plugged everything up and could not get the router to pass info to my computer, after an hour or so,I got through to customer service only to have to wait on a call back from Lynksys. The instructions did not say that I had to “clone ” the mac address in the router set up, a fairly simple fix, once you know it. So my new friend from Lynksys in the Philippines told me.

So now I was back where I started, I had my regular router and computer configuration working with the new router in place, but no dial tone. Another few hours on the phone with T-Mobile. This time they informed me that I needed to have a temporary number assigned to get the dial tone… Avery helpful person got me set and determined that I needed the “boxed ” Sim card from head office. and she provided a temp phone number and shortly I was in business, and my number was to be ported in about a week.

A week goes by and I notice that the new phone no longer has dial tone. I call, slightly concerned since they should be porting my number any fay and I’d like it to work. It turns out their computer somehow had rejected my 911 address so they took me offline, and further my port request had been rjected by ATT since I had the “complete Choice” plan on the line which also provides for a second # (distinctive ring) which I had never used. So we got the temp # working again, I got ATT on the line and cancelled the features and roughly a week or so later I ot switched over!!

Only issues The caller ID is number only, no names, which we kind of miss. Call quality is fine in and out, if anything it seems a bit clearer to me. As of 10/21/2008 the caller Id is now coming through with names!

All in all I probably spent about 6 hours on the phone and in the store maybe more, hopefully the process wil get smoother for later users!