Author Topic: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1  (Read 159362 times)

tj

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #550 on: May 24, 2017, 08:38:35 PM »
@ Daley - any thoughts on this Modem?

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-340Mbps-Spectrum-Cablevision-CM400-1AZNAS ?

It's quite a bit cheaper than the ARRIS mentioned in the guide.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #551 on: May 25, 2017, 11:36:29 AM »
@ Daley - any thoughts on this Modem?

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-340Mbps-Spectrum-Cablevision-CM400-1AZNAS ?

It's quite a bit cheaper than the ARRIS mentioned in the guide.

Eh, Netgear can be hit and miss. That model appears to be pretty solid, however, so long as it survives the first year.

The specific modem referenced in the guide's a little longer in the tooth at this point and you know how Amazon listings can be sometimes, but my rule of thumb is Motorola/Arris Surfboard modems, DOCSIS 3.0. Refurbished/used is getting a bit dicier these days, however... not because they won't technically work, but because the cable companies are getting sloppy about MAC address removal on accounts when modems get swapped out and are "making it the user's responsibility" to deactivate it from their account first. This results at times in perfectly functional used modems being useless because the cable company won't let you activate the device's MAC address on your account as it's still registered to the old account despite their clearly already using another modem. Friggin' wasteful and insane.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #552 on: June 14, 2017, 10:46:42 AM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #553 on: June 16, 2017, 11:31:07 AM »
Anyone else heard of Sprint's "free unlimited for a year" offer? I'm relatively happy with Ting (I have pretty horrible reception in my office but otherwise few complaints) but I'm seriously considering hopping over to Sprint until next July, and then switching back to Ting or some other MVNO if the landscape has changed dramatically.

Anything I'm missing here? Both our phones are eligible to port over to Sprint, and the total cost is two new SIM cards and a $1.99/mo admin fee. I admit to chasing the bottom line, but saving an average ~$45 Ting bill x12 is nothing to sneeze at.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #554 on: June 16, 2017, 03:53:47 PM »
Anyone else heard of Sprint's "free unlimited for a year" offer? I'm relatively happy with Ting (I have pretty horrible reception in my office but otherwise few complaints) but I'm seriously considering hopping over to Sprint until next July, and then switching back to Ting or some other MVNO if the landscape has changed dramatically.

Anything I'm missing here? Both our phones are eligible to port over to Sprint, and the total cost is two new SIM cards and a $1.99/mo admin fee. I admit to chasing the bottom line, but saving an average ~$45 Ting bill x12 is nothing to sneeze at.

I don't know more than you've written here and is posted on the offer page, but I would guess that the danger would be risk of hedonic adaptation and getting addicted to that level of usage and difficulties canceling before your credit card is automatically charged for the successive months.

Quote
A standard $1.99 admin fee, $0.40 regulatory fee and other taxes and fees apply

Requires a Sprint SIM card, eBill and Sprint AutoPay ($5/mo./line discount applied within two invoices)

    If AutoPay is cancelled, you’ll pay $5/mo./line
    If AutoPay and eBill are removed, a $7.99/mo. charge will apply for Account Spending Limit customers
        Your Spending Limit is the monthly maximum amount of spending per phone on your account based on your credit decision
        For accounts with multiple phones, the total spending limit is calculated as the number of phones on the account multiplied by the spending limit per phone

How much would the "other taxes and fees" be?

[Edited to remove mysterious double line.]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 03:09:27 PM by With This Herring »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #555 on: June 18, 2017, 11:27:19 AM »
Anyone else heard of Sprint's "free unlimited for a year" offer?
[snip]
Anything I'm missing here?

Read the fine print at the bottom of the page. Relevant below quoted under fair use:

Quote
Req. AutoPay, eBill, and port-in from postpaid carrier.
[snip]
Excl. ports made between Sprint or related entities.

Can't be 100% certain, but I suspect the second part excludes all Sprint MVNOs, postpaid or not. That said, I suspect Sprint might view Ting as a prepaid MVNO given even Ting views itself as somewhat nebulous on the subject depending on where you draw the lines, roaming or not. Businesses aren't in the business of losing money. You can try, but color me skeptical.

That's the benefits of being an optimistic pessimist. When you're proven wrong, it's usually good news. That said...

The first thing that jumps out at me is the complete lack of clarification on whether you're obligated under contract to a hard length of service time even if you bring your own device, and the current general terms and conditions don't help appease that concern.

Always read the contract before you sign. ALWAYS.

As for why the offer, it's likely happening due to the possibility of a T-Mobile merger and Softbank trying to pump up their Sprint subscription numbers at the last minute to improve their sale price to either T-Mobile or another potential buyer. Sprint's postpaid terms and stealth fees are treacherous in general these days. Why anyone would willingly go under those, even for the promise of a year's worth of "free" service is beyond me, but I'm one of those crazy nutjobs who checks the teeth on a gift horse before taking it. Finally, if the merger talks prove out, I'm not sure I'd personally want to be on the absorbed network end of a merger due to the inevitable technical issues of combining two massively disparate networks and billing systems.

My gut says this is a bad idea, and "free" anything should immediately send up red flags with any semi-rational person, but there are days it doesn't seem like many people care too much for my my more measured and cautious methodologies anymore. If you're brave enough to go back to a postpaid contract with Sprint even despite current circumstances, I wish you well.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 11:38:39 AM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #556 on: June 22, 2017, 06:35:50 PM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

I found DW a Galaxy S5 on EBay today.  It'll arrive in about 10 days.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #557 on: June 22, 2017, 07:59:08 PM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

I found DW a Galaxy S5 on EBay today.  It'll arrive in about 10 days.

I genuinely want to apologize for missing your first post, Travis. I've not been on top of things as well as I'd like to be the past couple weeks. That said, given what you reported, knowing your past history and what you're familiar with versus what's available currently... I'm not sure I would've suggested much different for you than what you settled on. It was a good call.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #558 on: June 22, 2017, 10:19:09 PM »
DW's Samsung Galaxy Light freezes on the welcome screen whenever she restarts it. I've had to do factory wipe/reset twice this week. I'm guessing it's dying. She's had it for about 4 years. I thought about a Cyanomod on it, but if it won't boot past the Samsung logo,  then I'm not sure if changing the OS will do any good. If it's not fixable, she's still looking for a "simple" Android smartphone to replace it. Any thoughts on diagnoses or replacement options?

I found DW a Galaxy S5 on EBay today.  It'll arrive in about 10 days.

I genuinely want to apologize for missing your first post, Travis. I've not been on top of things as well as I'd like to be the past couple weeks. That said, given what you reported, knowing your past history and what you're familiar with versus what's available currently... I'm not sure I would've suggested much different for you than what you settled on. It was a good call.

No worries. I know you're a busy man and this isn't exactly your full time job.  Hopefully the next week goes by quickly or we don't have any more hiccups on her current phone. It had to be wiped again last night because the phone just randomly turned itself off. Any circumstance that reboots the phone now requires her to do a full wipe and reinstall. That's four times in 10 days now. Each time she reinstalls fewer apps out of frustration.  She thinks it's hilarious that now for the first time she'll have a phone more advanced than mine. 

At this point I've accumulated the Galaxy S3 that I bricked over Christmas, her Galaxy Light that is dying, and I have a Blackberry Z10 that I ended up with due to a hardware change at work.  The Z10 is still functional and might have some resale value, but I don't think I can get much more than scrap for two dead or dying devices.
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alsoknownasDean

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #559 on: June 23, 2017, 02:27:51 AM »
My mum's still using an ancient Nexus S (running 4.1 Jelly Bean), but because of how the phone's storage is partitioned (of the 16GB, 1GB is reserved for applications and 15GB is dedicated to 'external storage'), she's unable to update any apps (even the standard ones that came with the phone). I've suggested she replace it, but she likes the thing.

Is it worth trying to repartition storage so that apps can be upgraded, or is it time to let it go?

I've even got a spare first-gen Moto G that would do a great job as a replacement for a while.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 02:45:03 AM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #560 on: June 23, 2017, 08:52:53 AM »
There's supposed to be a way to format an SD card so that the phone thinks it's more internal storage, but I haven't tried it yet.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #561 on: June 23, 2017, 09:49:48 AM »
No worries. I know you're a busy man and this isn't exactly your full time job.

Thank you for your understanding. I still can't believe I somehow missed your post and responded to the one right after, though.

Hopefully, you can keep the thing limping along long enough to get the replacement, and that it arrives quickly.



Is it worth trying to repartition storage so that apps can be upgraded, or is it time to let it go?

I've even got a spare first-gen Moto G that would do a great job as a replacement for a while.

Probably not, but there is always the SD card expansion trick Travis mentioned if you want to try. As for the Moto G, excuse the possible battery condition, consider slapping the latest stable build of Resurrection Remix on that sucker first. I've found the old and dying Moto E that my mother used to have perked up a bit more with RR than with Lineage, and eeked out a bit better battery life on the old and tired battery than with the last official build from Lenovo. I suspect given your location, it's the XT1032, if so, you want the Falcon build. You'll have to do a full wipe and factory reset, unlock the bootloader and install TWRP first, though. You can grab the GApps from here (if you install RR 5.8.3, you'll need to go ARM, 7.1 on the GApps build - stick with Pico, Nano, or Micro builds to keep things lean.) It'll be like a whole new phone by the time you're done with it.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #562 on: June 23, 2017, 08:55:56 PM »
There's supposed to be a way to format an SD card so that the phone thinks it's more internal storage, but I haven't tried it yet.

There is, but I believe that only applies to Android 6 and later (this runs 4.1). The thing with this is that it's got 16GB in internal storage and no SD card slot, it's just split in software between 1GB for apps and 15GB for 'external storage'. It's probably fairly straightforward to flash the phone and repartition it so the entirety of the 16GB can be used for apps. However, it's a phone that was released back in around 2010-11, and it's hardware lags behind even cheap phones today, so I'm trying to decide as to whether that's worthwhile :)

Probably not, but there is always the SD card expansion trick Travis mentioned if you want to try. As for the Moto G, excuse the possible battery condition, consider slapping the latest stable build of Resurrection Remix on that sucker first. I've found the old and dying Moto E that my mother used to have perked up a bit more with RR than with Lineage, and eeked out a bit better battery life on the old and tired battery than with the last official build from Lenovo. I suspect given your location, it's the XT1032, if so, you want the Falcon build. You'll have to do a full wipe and factory reset, unlock the bootloader and install TWRP first, though. You can grab the GApps from here (if you install RR 5.8.3, you'll need to go ARM, 7.1 on the GApps build - stick with Pico, Nano, or Micro builds to keep things lean.) It'll be like a whole new phone by the time you're done with it.

I didn't think about reflashing the Moto. It still seems to perform fine (running 5.1), but I guess it'd be nice for it to get a later version of Android. The battery is in pretty good condition as it's only seen light use. If it wasn't for the lack of an SD card slot and poor camera, I'd probably be using it myself.

Close with the model, it's the dual-sim XT1033, not that the dual-sim feature is of any use now when carriers are closing their 2G networks left right and centre.

I'm open to the idea of putting RROS (or some other Android variant) on my current phone, but it doesn't look like there's a build for it. I've got some kooky Australia/NZ only Huawei phone (Y6 Elite) that doesn't even appear in GSMArena, but it's a very close cousin to the 4G variant of the Y5 II, so I might have some luck with a Y5 II ROM. :)

I've had major issues with the limited internal storage space on the Huawei, but it's surprising how much space is freed up when one disables the Google app (I can search within the browser), Chrome (currently running Opera) and Google Play Music (I use Spotify). Even the Uber app was 180MB.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 08:59:57 PM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #563 on: June 29, 2017, 10:26:50 PM »
IP, did you know Cyanogen is defunct?  Apparently a couple months ago they shut their doors, but the developers spun off into Lineage OS.  They've only been running for a couple months, so they don't have a build for every device yet.  It confused the hell out of me today because I have a Cyanogen app that appears to still be hosting the last set of stable ROMs.  I did a search on them since their website doesn't work anymore and found on reddit that they're gone and if you want to keep getting updates you'll need to switch to a Lineage ROM. I'm tired of my Galaxy S4's internal storage being full so I was going to root it, but if Cyanogenmod won't be providing updates and Lineage hasn't gotten around to my model yet I may have to wait a little while.

On the bright side, DW's new Ebay Galaxy S5 arrived in the mail today and is set up and functioning. Her old Samsung Lite is now a WiFi-enabled toy for our son.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #564 on: June 29, 2017, 10:40:39 PM »
IP, did you know Cyanogen is defunct?

Yup, since the day it imploded. I've also shifted gears myself on third party Android build recommendations now that I've got Android hardware back in the house again for experimentation. Ressurection Remix is a whole lot closer to AOSP with all the nice gravy bits of Kang and the like, really matured, and runs a lot lighter than Lineage/Cyanogen. Not as many devices supported, so still recommend Lineage as they rebuild their own device libraries, but I kind of lean toward RR as a first stop now.

Note my post to Dean a couple posts back. :)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 10:43:16 PM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #565 on: June 29, 2017, 11:02:48 PM »
IP, did you know Cyanogen is defunct?

Yup, since the day it imploded. I've also shifted gears myself on third party Android build recommendations now that I've got Android hardware back in the house again for experimentation. Ressurection Remix is a whole lot closer to AOSP with all the nice gravy bits of Kang and the like, really matured, and runs a lot lighter than Lineage/Cyanogen. Not as many devices supported, so still recommend Lineage as they rebuild their own device libraries, but I kind of lean toward RR as a first stop now.

Note my post to Dean a couple posts back. :)

I'll take a closer look at RR. Now that I know I can find an S5 on Ebay for half of what I paid in the store for a used S4, I'm leaning towards taking the risk on ROMs again.  It turns out Lineage does have my build, but they way they named it I had to do some digging to see that it's a unified build.  Apparently bootloaders are a problem with a lot of them so I may have to put in some more effort on this one.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #566 on: July 07, 2017, 02:28:59 AM »
I'm tired of my Galaxy S4's internal storage being full so I was going to root it, but if Cyanogenmod won't be providing updates and Lineage hasn't gotten around to my model yet I may have to wait a little while.

I've been running an unofficial LineageOS build on my S4 since May.  Runs like a dream.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s4/i9505-orig-develop/jdcteam-optimized-cyanogenmod-14-0-t3479888

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #567 on: July 09, 2017, 11:07:28 AM »
Is NetTalk still the forum approved plug n play VOIP service?

I've been reading some negative things here:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29347550-NetTalk-Are-they-out-of-business

Some folks are suggesting BasicTalk which is a Walmart branded Vonage service?

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #568 on: July 09, 2017, 11:23:06 AM »
Is NetTalk still the forum approved plug n play VOIP service?

I've been reading some negative things here:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29347550-NetTalk-Are-they-out-of-business

Some folks are suggesting BasicTalk which is a Walmart branded Vonage service?

Two things:

1) The thread you linked, check the dates: 2014-Jun-26. Nettalk is still clearly in business and functioning.

2) Nettalk was really only the go-to for people attracted to things like MagicJack or the free tier of Ooma as a less awful option, and were unwilling to spend a couple extra sheckels a month on something like PhonePower or VOIPo and/or pay for a year or two of service in advance, which both offer pre-configured ATA devices or let you bring your own. That said, PhonePower's pre-configured ATA devices are currently only available for pick-up at Fry's Electronics. Down at the cheap end, there's also OBiTALK these days, but it falls into the same category of service as Nettalk as far as features, service quality and support. Not terrible, but not great.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #569 on: July 10, 2017, 09:47:49 PM »
Is NetTalk still the forum approved plug n play VOIP service?

I've been reading some negative things here:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29347550-NetTalk-Are-they-out-of-business

Some folks are suggesting BasicTalk which is a Walmart branded Vonage service?

Two things:

1) The thread you linked, check the dates: 2014-Jun-26. Nettalk is still clearly in business and functioning.

2) Nettalk was really only the go-to for people attracted to things like MagicJack or the free tier of Ooma as a less awful option, and were unwilling to spend a couple extra sheckels a month on something like PhonePower or VOIPo and/or pay for a year or two of service in advance, which both offer pre-configured ATA devices or let you bring your own. That said, PhonePower's pre-configured ATA devices are currently only available for pick-up at Fry's Electronics. Down at the cheap end, there's also OBiTALK these days, but it falls into the same category of service as Nettalk as far as features, service quality and support. Not terrible, but not great.
Perhaps not quite plug and play, but I set up voip.ms yesterday and it was pretty easy and seems to work well. Nice BYOD and cheap. Used a simple Cisco ATA for $40. Just follow a wiki, fill in the config page and it works. If you can do ikea furniture you can do it..

I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #570 on: July 11, 2017, 08:35:10 PM »
This may be in here somewhere. I wanted to ask what people's recommendations are for figuring out what internet speed you're actually getting at your house.

My roommates and I are starting the re-negotiations with Xfinity (there's 5 of us in the house), and are trying to figure out if we should lower our stated Mbps. I just googled and used beta.speedtest.net...is this a legitimate way of going about this, or is there more to it than that?

It showed download speeds very much in line with the max Mbps we are subscribed for, which slightly surprised me because of Daley's 'potholes"...Pothole #1 – oversubscribing and data throttling, Pothole #2 – data metering, and Pothole #2-A

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #571 on: July 11, 2017, 08:43:28 PM »
I just noticed that Ting now lets you finance devices.

That's good news for those of us who get a fixed monthly amount of money for cell service through work. Until now the only options outside of the Big 4 were Consumer Cellular and Google FI.



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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #572 on: July 11, 2017, 10:37:56 PM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #573 on: July 12, 2017, 08:19:00 AM »
It showed download speeds very much in line with the max Mbps we are subscribed for, which slightly surprised me because of Daley's 'potholes"...Pothole #1 – oversubscribing and data throttling, Pothole #2 – data metering, and Pothole #2-A

That is the downside of speed testing websites. ISPs can "optimize" for performance on those domains, thus reporting your actual capped speeds instead of your real-world throughput. Great for diagnosing line problems, but not for getting real world speed numbers.

If you really want to tax the system and see what your best case real world download speeds look like, download a Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft's website between 6-9pm local time when all your neighbors are screwing around on Netflix after work. Ultimately, you're only paying for the data speed from your ISPs local node to your house. Beyond that, you're at the mercy of server and backbone congestion and you may or may not actually get those speeds.



I just noticed that Ting now lets you finance devices.

How is this different than buying a phone on a credit card or through Swappa with Paypal Credit and taking your sweet time repaying it? >.>
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #574 on: July 12, 2017, 10:50:36 AM »
I just noticed that Ting now lets you finance devices.

How is this different than buying a phone on a credit card or through Swappa with Paypal Credit and taking your sweet time repaying it? >.>
It's purely because my employer requires a receipt of my "phone bill" for reimbursement and I've taken that as meaning they want a single receipt, not an explanation of how I paid upfront and would like to get reimbursed $50 at a time. But I suppose I could ask what for their exact policy.

But thanks for the swappa mention, that site looks great.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #575 on: July 12, 2017, 02:28:07 PM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

Interesting, I didn't look at localphone. Do you happen know how much their fixed monthly cost is? I'm a bit annoyed I'm paying $2.35/month now. But $1.50 is gov fee (at least voip.ms claims) for E911. Yeah if our voip phone gets used >5 times in the next 8 years I'd be surprised.. I mean I always have a cell phone, I really see almost no need for a "landline". Only thing is 911, or so our kids can call in emergency once their older. Funnily, calling abroad is cheaper with google Fi than our voip line!

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #576 on: July 12, 2017, 02:57:26 PM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

Interesting, I didn't look at localphone. Do you happen know how much their fixed monthly cost is? I'm a bit annoyed I'm paying $2.35/month now. But $1.50 is gov fee (at least voip.ms claims) for E911. Yeah if our voip phone gets used >5 times in the next 8 years I'd be surprised.. I mean I always have a cell phone, I really see almost no need for a "landline". Only thing is 911, or so our kids can call in emergency once their older. Funnily, calling abroad is cheaper with google Fi than our voip line!

There is no fixed monthly cost. It's half a cent per minute to US landlines or cells, the international rates are also listed at their site.

https://www.localphone.com/prices

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #577 on: July 13, 2017, 06:30:30 AM »
Quote
I checked most voip providers and voip.ms seemed best /cheapest for infrequent and emergency use we want. I pay 85 cents per month plus a per minute charge, but I never expect to use it. There's also $1.50/ month for E911. So 2.50 per month is a bit more than I'd prefer, but think that was the cheapest I could find it.

My research suggested voip.ms for incoming calls/e911 and localphone.com for outgoing is the cheapest. That's if you actually use it though.

Interesting, I didn't look at localphone. Do you happen know how much their fixed monthly cost is? I'm a bit annoyed I'm paying $2.35/month now. But $1.50 is gov fee (at least voip.ms claims) for E911. Yeah if our voip phone gets used >5 times in the next 8 years I'd be surprised.. I mean I always have a cell phone, I really see almost no need for a "landline". Only thing is 911, or so our kids can call in emergency once their older. Funnily, calling abroad is cheaper with google Fi than our voip line!

There is no fixed monthly cost. It's half a cent per minute to US landlines or cells, the international rates are also listed at their site.

https://www.localphone.com/prices

interesting, but localphone does not support 911 calls at all. So won't works as an emergency phone. In any case that would only save the 85 cents/month cost of voip.ms (not the $1.5 911 gov fees), so not a huge deal.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 09:11:33 AM by Scandium »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #578 on: July 29, 2017, 10:22:04 PM »
A fellow forumite passed along the following message to me earlier regarding Cricket Wireless.

Quote
Hey,

I just wanted to pass on a tip I learned today regarding customer service/troubleshooting with Cricket Wireless; I didn't want to start a new thread, but thought if you thought it was beneficial to other forum members, you could integrate it into your guide.

Basically, after a week of working with the customer reps in the store, via phone, and online (via their website chat option) I finally had our problem solved via the Facebook chat in about ~30 minutes. There was an issue porting over our second phone after a store rep started, but did not cancel or finish porting it over (they didn't have the less expensive phone that my wife wanted in stock and tried to up sell to the iPhone 6..) So, their system thought we needed to complete activation, but wouldn't let us order a phone to complete the activation. I was told by multiple reps through multiple sources that it would be, "fixed today or tomorrow by noon" every day this last week. I finally was able to speak with a manager, who admitted that they have no idea on the timeline.

Out of frustration with the cricket adds on my Facebook, I messaged them to tell them how poor my experience was, and within a few minutes it was fixed. I have previously spent 5+ hours this week with phone, chat, and store reps without anything being done. So, hopefully others can skip the hassle and try the Facebook messaging system with cricket first.

Yes, you've read that right. The advice passed on in regard to how to resolve a service issue with Cricket? Fight with them futilely for a week and then shame them in social media to get the problem resolved.

Folks, nobody should have to resort to publicly shaming their mobile carrier into action to resolve a technical issue. It is issues and stories like this that lead me to warn others off of using Cricket in the first place and go with smaller MVNOs that have better service and support. If you don't want to listen to me because I refuse to use Cricket, listen to what's being said by those who are using Cricket.

This is a cautionary tale, not a solution. Value your money and your patronage more than this next time you choose a mobile carrier.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:26:26 PM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #579 on: July 30, 2017, 08:00:41 AM »
A fellow forumite passed along the following message to me earlier regarding Cricket Wireless.

Quote
Hey,

I just wanted to pass on a tip I learned today regarding customer service/troubleshooting with Cricket Wireless; I didn't want to start a new thread, but thought if you thought it was beneficial to other forum members, you could integrate it into your guide.

Basically, after a week of working with the customer reps in the store, via phone, and online (via their website chat option) I finally had our problem solved via the Facebook chat in about ~30 minutes. There was an issue porting over our second phone after a store rep started, but did not cancel or finish porting it over (they didn't have the less expensive phone that my wife wanted in stock and tried to up sell to the iPhone 6..) So, their system thought we needed to complete activation, but wouldn't let us order a phone to complete the activation. I was told by multiple reps through multiple sources that it would be, "fixed today or tomorrow by noon" every day this last week. I finally was able to speak with a manager, who admitted that they have no idea on the timeline.

Out of frustration with the cricket adds on my Facebook, I messaged them to tell them how poor my experience was, and within a few minutes it was fixed. I have previously spent 5+ hours this week with phone, chat, and store reps without anything being done. So, hopefully others can skip the hassle and try the Facebook messaging system with cricket first.

Yes, you've read that right. The advice passed on in regard to how to resolve a service issue with Cricket? Fight with them futilely for a week and then shame them in social media to get the problem resolved.

Folks, nobody should have to resort to publicly shaming their mobile carrier into action to resolve a technical issue. It is issues and stories like this that lead me to warn others off of using Cricket in the first place and go with smaller MVNOs that have better service and support. If you don't want to listen to me because I refuse to use Cricket, listen to what's being said by those who are using Cricket.

This is a cautionary tale, not a solution. Value your money and your patronage more than this next time you choose a mobile carrier.


Not defending the earlier stupidity, but he says he messaged them (private) not that he posted about it, so there was no shaming.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #580 on: July 30, 2017, 01:00:06 PM »
Not defending the earlier stupidity, but he says he messaged them (private) not that he posted about it, so there was no shaming.

Perhaps semantics, but given the nature of many posts on the Cricket Facebook page these days...
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #581 on: August 27, 2017, 06:25:56 PM »
So apparently American Movil has enough of Verizon's wholesale biz to eliminate throttling . People seem to like Total Wireless on other forums.

http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2017/08/tracfone-confirms-end-of-5-mbps.html

I'm still using a corporate provided Verizon phone, but I must not be in a great location for Verizon because my jetpack mobile hotpspot is getting only 2MB down / 7 MB up. Ironically, my Centurylink DSL has a much lower upload speed at 20 MB down / 2 MB up.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #582 on: September 14, 2017, 04:14:52 AM »
I've started wondering about the long-term prospects of MVNOs here in Aus. Currently we've got a seemingly healthy MVNO market, but there's been a massive price war, to the point where a number of MVNOs offer plans with unlimited domestic calls/texts and some data for $15 a month or less (even $9.90 a month), and it's not hard to get plans with ~5GB of data for $30 or less (sometimes even including international calls). The big three have plans for $40-50 a month with 10GB+ of data, and many MVNOs are beating even that.

The ARPU must be very low, and I have my suspicions as to whether it's sustainable long term. At those prices, without economies of scale, a carrier would have to be struggling.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #583 on: September 14, 2017, 07:49:44 AM »
At those prices, without economies of scale, a carrier would have to be struggling.

You speak the true-true.

We are witnessing similar here in the US, and I'm suspecting likewise.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #584 on: September 30, 2017, 03:25:48 AM »
So, can anyone recommend refurbished handsets? I've only owned new previously.

The HTC 10 is available refurbished for some pretty low prices. I'm very tempted to replace my cheap burner Huawei with something just a little nicer.

Also, are third party laptop batteries generally to be avoided? My MacBook's on its second battery (and it's dying). Given the age of the machine (8.5 years), I'm debating whether to buy a new battery (it's already on its second) or look at replacing the whole thing. Spending $100-150 on a new decent battery for a machine that's stuck on El Capitan and has a slightly dodgy keyboard might be throwing away money. Hence my considering the eBay batteries.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 02:22:22 AM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #585 on: October 01, 2017, 08:43:33 AM »
So, can anyone recommend refurbished handsets? I've only owned new previously.

The HTC 10 is available refurbished for some pretty low prices. I'm very tempted to replace my cheap burner Huawei with something just a little nicer.

Any handset that you'd be willing to buy new would be fine if properly refurbished.

Also, are third party laptop batteries generally to be avoided? My MacBook's on its second battery (and it's dying). Given the age of the machine (8.5 years), I'm debating whether to buy a new battery (it's already on its second) or look at replacing the whole thing. Spending $100-150 on a new decent battery for a machine that's stuck on El Capitan and has a slightly dodgy keyboard might be throwing away money. Hence my considering the eBay batteries.

Here's the thing with Apple devices... Apple refuses to sell replacement batteries to the general public. This means you have to buy third party aftermarket batteries if you want to replace the battery yourself instead of paying a ridiculous markup or be told that you have to replace the laptop anyway. The problem is, the third party aftermarket battery market is full of cheap and dodgy brands and manufacturers, and even the small handful of good and reliable non-OEM brands frequently are never as good as the OEM. This isn't to say that I haven't gotten good aftermarket batteries before, but they're rare, and you really need to know what you're looking for (power specs and checking their math to make sure they're not lying, warranty, longevity and overall market of the seller, etc.). Yet another reason I don't like recommending Apple products, because you don't just have the option to go OEM easily.

This is why I recommend buying laptops with user-replaceable batteries and long-term OEM battery availability from the manufacturer. Yet another win for my usual recommendation of older model Thinkpad T/W/X 2xx/4xx/5xx series and Dell Latitude 5xxx/6xxx series laptops - common and readily available OEM replacement batteries.

It's entirely possible the dodgy keyboard is related to battery bulge with the current battery. As for "safe" third party battery brands, nearly all the known good brands that I know of have gotten out of the aftermarket device-specific battery manufacturing game the past couple years, which really doesn't help you.

This said, only two batteries across 8.5 years is a pretty good run, and the price for a replacement is not out of line for what is a consumable. My only concern is the possibility of longer term motherboard/keyboard damage from what is likely a bulging battery, so it would be worthwhile to pull the battery, check for bulging, and check to see if the problems persist and how stable the hardware is with a hardware testing/burn-in suite if the battery is bulging and it is left removed.

The El Capitan thing is a non-issue, because if the hardware is still solid, you could transition to Linux and still get current OS and app-based security updates on what may still be perfectly serviceable hardware. ElementaryOS might be a good starting point for someone coming off of OSX (and yes, you can download it for free if you only want to try it).
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 08:46:04 AM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #586 on: October 02, 2017, 04:14:00 AM »
Thanks for that Daley. Decided to order the phone. Hopefully it's going to be OK, there's a small warranty from the eBay seller (who seems to have a pretty good rating). It's 30% of the price it would have been new when released, is apparently getting Oreo, and there's some aftermarket ROM support. Not too bad.

With the laptop, I've actually got one of the last models which did have a user replaceable battery (the late 2008 15", first of the unibody design). I've been running one of these for the last few years, but a new one here is $150. That's a fair bit to sink into such an old machine (that's likely on borrowed time as it is), but there's got to be something in between the $30 eBay units and a $150 battery, hopefully. Knowing my luck I'd spend $150 on a new battery and something else on it would shit itself two weeks later :)

I'll keep the Thinkpads in mind next (I like the large glass trackpad on the Mac so I'd be leaning towards the T440/T440s if I went down that path). Hopefully it's easier to repair than a MacBook. To replace the keyboard (I spilt coffee on the MacBook last year and the keyboard was toast), I had to replace the top case, and had to remove the motherboard and everything. It would have been rather nicer if I could have replaced a keyboard for $20 rather than dissect the whole thing and spend $50+ for a used B grade top case.

The keyboard thing is partly my fault, I bought a slightly B grade top case, and removed the space bar temporarily when fitting it, and the space bar has never been quite right. Sometimes it doesn't register when I press it and it doesn't feel quite right. My guess is one of the rubber things underneath is either broken or misaligned (or I've not got the mechanism in quite right). The backlight doesn't work, but whatever.

The hardware otherwise seems fine (8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD), and I believe El Capitan gets security updates for another year, but I'm open to going (back, as I used it regularly about ten years ago) to Linux afterwards (or on my next machine). Once I've finished my exams I might nuke my old HDD (still with a Lion install on it) and try a few distros out natively rather than via a VM. I still like the old GNOME2 style interface so I liked Ubuntu MATE when I was playing with Linux earlier this year, but I'll give Elementary a go.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 04:20:45 AM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #587 on: October 02, 2017, 07:22:16 PM »
A friend says Airvoice is having trouble :-(
Howard Forums thread. Their FB page is also full of people who can't contact Airvoice.

I will want to port out soon, but where.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #588 on: October 03, 2017, 02:51:03 AM »
A friend says Airvoice is having trouble :-(
Howard Forums thread. Their FB page is also full of people who can't contact Airvoice.

I will want to port out soon, but where.

I'm sorry that I haven't been more on top of the news here lately. Been a lot on my plate. I noticed a slide a couple months back in customer support, and had been backing off of recommendations the past few months and steering folks elsewhere.

Consumer Cellular or Puretalk USA are about the only viable third party AT&T MVNOs at this point from my perspective, with Puretalk eliminating their $10 plan Sunday, and CC just jacked up their second line fees while redefining their "unlimited" talk time to $20 a month and more minutes than 250. Get out of Airvoice while you can, but don't get comfortable.

There's still Red Pocket and H2O Wireless as well, but I'm hesitant....

*tips a 40 for another once amazing and now dying MVNO*

T-Mobile's aggressively killing reliable voice service for anyone who uses third party Android builds or any phone that doesn't have LTE band 12 support (which is nearly all their phones excuse a handful sold in the past two years), and there's a likely merge coming between them and Sprint. Either of these are going to deeply hurt any of T-Mo's remaining MVNOs. Sprint's so desperate to pad their subscriber numbers they're giving service away if you'll only buy new expensive phones from them on both their postpaid service and their Virgin Mobile brands. AT&T has just about killed off most of their lower-cost, non America Movil based wholesale customers with Cricket at this point. Verizon really doesn't do much wholesale business outside of America Movil anymore.

Sorry kids, the ride's looking to wind down. Enjoy the savings while it lasts.

I'm not expecting much more than just America Movil's assorted sub-brands and hopefully Consumer Cellular to be left by 2020. Maybe Google. Maybe a few quirky niche brands like KnowRoaming. It's not that new MVNOs won't try to crop up and be for a while, but there will be brand turnover and stability will be a thing of the past. Mobile bills under $20-25/month per line will likely get increasingly rare as well.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 02:53:56 AM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #589 on: October 03, 2017, 12:02:04 PM »
Red Pocket has better plans, which means they'll probably go under faster.

My mom and DH are on Airvoice's $10 every three months (both probably use fewer than 10 minutes a month and no data or texts).  I think they each have about $50 built up credit (not that they care).  They may let them run and see what happens, since I don't think they care if they lose their numbers.  I'd prefer not to lose mine.  CC and Puretalk will sure cost us more!

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #590 on: October 03, 2017, 01:06:35 PM »
CC and Puretalk will sure cost us more!

Tell me about it. Our own mobile bills have nearly doubled at this point since P'tel went under despite not really using much more.

Red Pocket has better plans, which means they'll probably go under faster.

It could cut either way, honestly.

The thing with Airvoice is, even if they survive in the short term and regroup? The damage has been done. If your customers can't contact you, you lose their confidence.
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #591 on: October 03, 2017, 01:14:16 PM »
Nooooooooooooo. It looks like Ting is in our future.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #592 on: October 03, 2017, 02:18:47 PM »
I have a question about these plans that use "buckets" (like Ting).  If you get 1 text or 100, it's $3 for that month?  Same with calls?   

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #593 on: October 03, 2017, 02:35:05 PM »
Nooooooooooooo. It looks like Ting is in our future.

Mind you, I'm not claiming Airvoice is officially dead. I'm not going to go there, and the linked thread is the only one at HoFo and has lots of rumor and speculation. I'm personally just not too optimistic about their long term viability right now, and have felt hesitant about them for a handful of months at this point due to what I've seen unfolding in the MVNO wholesale markets recently. No plan updates keeping pace with market changes, increased lifeline customer service load, increasingly difficult to reach a support reps, more frequent support complaints... I've seen other MVNOs go through similar and keep chugging... but it's certainly not the Airvoice I recommended back in 2012 at this point. That alone makes me sad.

There's been a lot of shakeups in AT&T MVNO pricing recently, lots of stealth price increases for end users despite the illusion of "cheaper" service with everyone sacrificing their margins on minutes to keep up with the data pricing arms race. I'm glad RedPocket is helping to carry the torch currently for the sub-$20 market on the AT&T end along with H2O, but I've been seeing a lot of elimination of cheaper plans in general.

For crying in the mud, Consumer Cellular now considers minutes in excess of 250 as "unlimited", includes "unlimited" text messages on all data plans, and just did a $5/month price hike on secondary lines yesterday. On paper for the end users it looks good... but an over-reliance on "unlimited" can be a very dangerous thing for people who actually use a substantial amount of minutes or texts, and a sneaky way for MVNOs to reduce costs through nebulous terms. CC's ToS remains unchanged as such, but it's still worth keeping in mind as that's how other MVNOs have operated in the past after these sorts of changes.

Unlimited never means unlimited. It's a numbers game betting that you'll use at or less than the national average as a means to keep profit margins up and the illusion of competitive pricing.



I have a question about these plans that use "buckets" (like Ting).  If you get 1 text or 100, it's $3 for that month?  Same with calls?   

Yup. It's a numbers game designed to try and increase revenue. Profit margins are tight in the MVNO game, and companies will take any edge they can get.

For those of you considering Ting, especially Ting GSM (or *any* T-Mo MVNO), do keep in mind that T-Mobile is in process to shut down all 3G voice and most data services on all bands, and throwing all in with LTE. That leaves only 2G voice service on their old tiny skeleton GSM network for most phones without Voice over LTE support, which will get increasingly congested as the 3G network gets shut down and so few current handsets owned by T-Mo based customers have VoLTE Band 12 voice support given T-Mo itself didn't even roll out many handsets that supported it before 2015, and continued to sell non VoLTE capable handsets all the way into last year. No T-Mo certified Band 12 VoLTE voice support on your handset? Unless you have 2G voice coverage in your area, you won't even be able to contact 911 on their network or make any voice calls. Most unlocked AT&T handsets don't have Band 12 VoLTE support, either. Given how T-Mo implemented their LTE voice network, it also means that any Android handsets running custom ROMs, even if they technically have VoLTE Band 12 support in hardware, won't be "certified" by T-Mo and will be unable to make voice calls outside of their tiny 2G network as well.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 02:46:41 PM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #594 on: October 03, 2017, 06:42:18 PM »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #595 on: October 03, 2017, 09:13:18 PM »
Thanks for that Daley. Decided to order the phone. Hopefully it's going to be OK, there's a small warranty from the eBay seller (who seems to have a pretty good rating). It's 30% of the price it would have been new when released, is apparently getting Oreo, and there's some aftermarket ROM support. Not too bad.

With the laptop, I've actually got one of the last models which did have a user replaceable battery (the late 2008 15", first of the unibody design). I've been running one of these for the last few years, but a new one here is $150. That's a fair bit to sink into such an old machine (that's likely on borrowed time as it is), but there's got to be something in between the $30 eBay units and a $150 battery, hopefully. Knowing my luck I'd spend $150 on a new battery and something else on it would shit itself two weeks later :)

I'll keep the Thinkpads in mind next (I like the large glass trackpad on the Mac so I'd be leaning towards the T440/T440s if I went down that path). Hopefully it's easier to repair than a MacBook. To replace the keyboard (I spilt coffee on the MacBook last year and the keyboard was toast), I had to replace the top case, and had to remove the motherboard and everything. It would have been rather nicer if I could have replaced a keyboard for $20 rather than dissect the whole thing and spend $50+ for a used B grade top case.

The keyboard thing is partly my fault, I bought a slightly B grade top case, and removed the space bar temporarily when fitting it, and the space bar has never been quite right. Sometimes it doesn't register when I press it and it doesn't feel quite right. My guess is one of the rubber things underneath is either broken or misaligned (or I've not got the mechanism in quite right). The backlight doesn't work, but whatever.

The hardware otherwise seems fine (8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD), and I believe El Capitan gets security updates for another year, but I'm open to going (back, as I used it regularly about ten years ago) to Linux afterwards (or on my next machine). Once I've finished my exams I might nuke my old HDD (still with a Lion install on it) and try a few distros out natively rather than via a VM. I still like the old GNOME2 style interface so I liked Ubuntu MATE when I was playing with Linux earlier this year, but I'll give Elementary a go.

Wow, really impressed you dissected your computer and removed the motherboard yourself. I recently replaced the battery on my mid-2010 13" MBP (I was still able to get ~2h out of the OEM battery after 7.5 years) and put in an SSD. My computer is also running kind of hot, so I thought about replacing the heat sink ... until I saw a video of what removing the logic board would entail. No way I'm capable of doing THAT without doing some serious damage to a critical connection. I'm running a free trial of iStat Menus, and it looks like the temperature doesn't go above 80 degrees C, so I'm just leaving it.

The link you posted showed replacement battery for $100. I got mine from ifixit, which is also around that price. I think it might be worth getting a replacement to keep the laptop going for another couple years, if the keyboard doesn't bother you too much. I, um, use my spacebar quite a lot, so it might bother me. In any case, your MBP has lived a good life.

I'm also running El Capitan because it seems to be the last OSX that plays well with Office 2008. I'm hoping to get another 5y out of my MBP. I'm also taking the 500gig SSD I just got to my next computer. I've never used Linux, but I may play around with it at some point. I wonder how LibreOffice would handle the Word and Excel files I need to open for my work.

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #596 on: October 04, 2017, 07:52:20 AM »
This just in: Puretalk lowers their basic plan to $20.

Actually, a lot of pricing sleight of hand happened with their plans on October 1st. It's not as awesome a change as it looks like. There's also a shift from hard data caps to "unlimited" 2G throttled data above the high speed data cap, which now eliminates yet another MVNO from the tethering pool...

Plans before change as of September 2017:
$10 300 minutes, 300 SMS, 50 MMS and 50 MB of data
$24 unlimited minutes, messages and 1 GB of data
$29 unlimited minutes, messages and 3 GB of data
$35 unlimited minutes, messages and 5 GB of data
$45 unlimited minutes, messages and 7 GB of data

Plans after change as of October 2017:
$20 unlimited minutes, messages and data with the first 500 MB at high speed
$25 unlimited minutes, messages and data with the first 1 GB at high speed
$30 unlimited minutes, messages and data with the first 3 GB at high speed
$35 unlimited minutes, messages and data with the first 5 GB at high speed
$45 unlimited minutes, messages and data with the first 10 GB at high speed

So in reality? They eliminated the $10 plan while introducing an "unlimited" $20 plan with 500MB of data (thus increasing their per user revenue by $10/line with new subscribers), jacked the 1GB and 3GB plans up a buck a month, threw in an extra 3GB/month bone on their $45/month plan (despite the fact that most average data usage according to industry metrics still doesn't come anywhere near 10GB/month, let alone 7GB/month), and eliminated data tethering in exchange for "unlimited" data just fast enough after the cap to check your email and browse websites with images off for everyone - despite the fact that most lower data plan users rarely ever hit their limit in the first place, and confident that if the user does so more than twice, they're likely to go up to the next tier anyway without increasing their data habits to match. Such a deal!

(Remember, Airvoice exploited these same user habits in another creative manner with their data plans for years by splitting the data in half, leaving you to activate the second half if you hit your first half cap in a month. Many people just thought they hit their monthly cap, and jumped up to the next tier; or even if they did know, they still jumped up to the next tier or left to avoid the hassle of calling in.)

So, yeah... "lowers their basic plan to $20" is a wee bit misleading. Nothing but price hikes in reality, and it's spun like the change is all wine and roses.

I can't fault them, though. They have to do something to ensure they stay profitable in the new market. I'm not jumping for joy, though. Two AT&T MVNOs make stealth per-line rate hikes while distracting customers with the "new unlimited ______" smokescreen, while a third AT&T MVNO has rumor swirling around them about financial troubles during increased difficulties reaching customer support all within about a 36 hour window. Meanwhile, Red Pocket is making a heavy discounted annual subscription push currently with their Essentials and Best Value plans...

...the accounting is getting increasingly creative, and it's clear providers are trying to gamble on reduced minute and text usage by the average consumers to offset the data cost to offer more of it since everyone is clamoring for more data than anything else. These are the situations where "unlimited" can get dangerous for everyone involved.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 08:05:05 AM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

tj

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #597 on: October 04, 2017, 12:52:05 PM »
There is still  selectel on verizon for low usage. Who knows how long they will last though?

Edit: expo mobile seems to have the best pay as you go plans for verizon.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 12:58:45 PM by tj »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #598 on: October 07, 2017, 07:04:37 PM »
Wow, really impressed you dissected your computer and removed the motherboard yourself. I recently replaced the battery on my mid-2010 13" MBP (I was still able to get ~2h out of the OEM battery after 7.5 years) and put in an SSD. My computer is also running kind of hot, so I thought about replacing the heat sink ... until I saw a video of what removing the logic board would entail. No way I'm capable of doing THAT without doing some serious damage to a critical connection. I'm running a free trial of iStat Menus, and it looks like the temperature doesn't go above 80 degrees C, so I'm just leaving it.

The link you posted showed replacement battery for $100. I got mine from ifixit, which is also around that price. I think it might be worth getting a replacement to keep the laptop going for another couple years, if the keyboard doesn't bother you too much. I, um, use my spacebar quite a lot, so it might bother me. In any case, your MBP has lived a good life.

I'm also running El Capitan because it seems to be the last OSX that plays well with Office 2008. I'm hoping to get another 5y out of my MBP. I'm also taking the 500gig SSD I just got to my next computer. I've never used Linux, but I may play around with it at some point. I wonder how LibreOffice would handle the Word and Excel files I need to open for my work.

Ah, well I've been messing around with the insides of computers since the 90s, so I guess I felt confident to have a go. iFixit guides and the fact that the machine's already quite old, and not much to lose. A couple of things don't work properly after it's operation (the iSight camera and keyboard backlight), but I can deal with that :)

LibreOffice is available for OSX/macOS and Windows also if you wish to 'try before you buy'. Just in case you're unaware, Office 2008 reached 'end of support' by Microsoft in April 2013.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-popular-office-for-mac-version-reaches-the-end-of-the-support-line/

With the cooling, maybe get a can of air and blow it into the fans/heatsinks.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 07:22:11 PM by alsoknownasDean »

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Re: Communications & Tech Discussion Thread #1
« Reply #599 on: October 09, 2017, 01:30:50 PM »
Ah, well I've been messing around with the insides of computers since the 90s, so I guess I felt confident to have a go. iFixit guides and the fact that the machine's already quite old, and not much to lose. A couple of things don't work properly after it's operation (the iSight camera and keyboard backlight), but I can deal with that :)

LibreOffice is available for OSX/macOS and Windows also if you wish to 'try before you buy'. Just in case you're unaware, Office 2008 reached 'end of support' by Microsoft in April 2013.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-popular-office-for-mac-version-reaches-the-end-of-the-support-line/

With the cooling, maybe get a can of air and blow it into the fans/heatsinks.

Thanks: I will try the OSX version of LibreOffice. If I can get the hang of Linux & have a functional suite of software, there's no reason I can't use this 2010 MBP until it physically melts down.

Yes, I'm using a number of legacy programs. MS Office 2008 still suits all of my needs perfectly, so I haven't felt compelled to pay for an upgrade. So far my work isn't providing me with a paid copy.

Confession: I was running Snow Leopard until these recent upgrades (SSD, battery). Many websites had ceased to work, I couldn't install most new software, and I could no longer log on to secure sites. But Snow Leopard was so stable and peppy on my system. My MPB with a SSD installed still feels quite peppy on El Capitan. One thing that annoyed me, however, is my legacy internet blocking software, Freedom, ceased to work on El Capitan. I paid for it back in the day, but I see that they now have a fancy website and have gone over to either a subscription model, or you pay $129 for Freedom "forever." I don't really believe any of this paid software is forever. So now I'm playing around with the free version of Cold Turkey.

I will maybe try the can of air on the fans. The problem is that the heat sink is under the logic board, i. e. between the logic board & keyboard, so I don't think I can access it. I read somewhere MBP of this era have had problems with their heat sinks. The fan seems to kick on when the computer reaches ~75-80 degrees C, and the hottest I've seen it so far is 84.

BTW, I'm now getting EIGHT hours on the new ifixit battery if I'm just working on Word documents. 4-5 hours internet browsing with 10 tabs open, depending on how many videos I play.