Friday, November 20, 2009

T-shirts are to Xmas what Fur is to Summer

Surprisingly the above statement is not true, it just sounds good. During Christmas I actually sell a lot of t-shirts. I am always surprised by this, but the nature of the t-shirt, printed or blank, is ubiquitous. I have been selling more long sleeve t-shirts this year and I think I should pump up the presence of Thermals, but generally speaking t-shirts work well for people designing a gift and printed shirts with wacky prints continue to work as presents. This year I have been focused on strange animal designs that seem to be following a trend created by Brit on the Flight of the Conchords with his goofy animal shirts. It always looks like his mother purchased his clothes and he has never gotten around to updating his wardrobe, thus a trend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This blog must move - Evict, Evict, Evict

I like talking like a droid. The commercials and sounds remind me a fixated robot on Dr. Who that is chasing me down a hallway. Terminate, Terminate...Anyway, it doesn't make sense to keep talking about the Droid and my Verizon / AT & T exploits while I search for the perfect wireless communication system / combination of services. Unless I am discussing t-shirts and I forgot to mention the 2-color droid shirts that the Verizon store representatives were wearing for the first few days. Who printed those? I want that job. I did print the original Xbox t-shirts for the promotion when those came on the scene and a couple of jobs for a company named Ableton, but I missed the call on my AT&T phone when Verizon called for a quote on that job. Simple design, nothing flashy, just a graphic text logo. pic to follow.

I will be moving this blog to an old domain I have like to continue these trials and tribulations. This blog is supposed to be about t-shirts, not cell phones, so bye bye.

What if I threw my Droid at a wall, would it smash it? or could I get a new one?

This commercial implies that I can call on a robot or a Godzilla like character if my Dumb Dumb navigator makes me angry. Is this true?All the more reason to buy a Droid before we find out the bugs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Showdown at the Verizon Corral

Today was the day I had to throw-down at the Verizon shop. I had been led into testing multiple phones on the basis of 30-day trials and so I did. I've now spend many afternoons in the local store at Corte Madera testing and returning the items I didn't like, Samsung with Vindows, Netbook with Wifi and a variety of other phones that did this and that. Now that I am somewhat satisfied with the Droid, which I was unaware of when I started this escapade, I am faced with multiple accounts and some lousy free phones that looked good when they were "free". Free is a word for nothing left to lose and since those phones weren't really up to speed my wife and kids didn't really care for them and we have been switching up since day 1. Finally they must've gotten tired of this and since they give me a different sales person each time I show up it has usually required me to call up the manager to get the switches approved. Today they gave me the same guy, the problem solver guy I assume.

Simply put they didn't want to let me dump or trade my Blackberry for a phone my wife would want since it had already been switched out from a Windows based Samsung Cell Phone / PDA to begin with. WTF! Why didn't they say, limited switching or that we are going to make you yell to switch again instead of "go ahead and try this phone and return it within 30 days if you don't like it", eh? The funny thing about this story is that the "problem solver" went over to a sign on the wall and pointed to it like they made me read that before I agreed. I don't think so. Take down the sign and hand it to customers then. If I am correct I think I have several legal points. Verbal agreements are binding too. F that shit about a sign on the wall. They brought out a printed copy upon demand, but it took a long time and basically it was no agreement, only the things the sales people are supposed to explain.

Here is the legal point. The sign says you can only exchange a phone once in the 30 days, however it doesn't say what happens afterwards. They tried to imply that it meant that I was forced into a 2 year agreement or that I would have to pay the retail price of the phone to turn it back in. No so fast. An agreement that is not direct on the effect of a termination within the terms of the 30 days does not in debt the user to a contract or a purchase for products that are being returned. Moral of story, is terminate and return all products instead of doing an exchange. With a termination you won't have to yell as much and the sales guy will bring the manager out quicker to upsell you on some other product. Most corporations are really just legal arrangements created by Gangsters and they just give people jobs to help them screw people with a smile, while the real culprits are coming up with new ways to rope us into contracts and obligations. In the end you may have to act like a Gangsta to not get screwed, no guns, just logic. I like Verizon, but I don't want to give them more credit than they deserve when they start pulling out the friggin' wall signs as if I agreed to that because it was hanging on the wall. LOL.

Final part to the story is that I had confused the pen I had scribbled some notes on in my pocket with a pen of my own and the "problem solver" proclaimed it was his, however, I could have it. Sensing a contract I looked at the pen closer to make sure it wasn't mine, then handed it back to him. For all I know if I had taken the pen I might've been suckered into a 2 year contract for the ink or worse. Luckily I found my pen in my pocket, that looked similar, then went back and shaked it in his face to show him I was only slightly confused and I did not want his pen. Congenially, he answered, "that's a nice pen", and I left proud that I did not fall for the old "take the pen, owe the next 2 years of my life to the Mob" scenario.
Enough with business;
Viva La Droid!

I've got the Droid now what? Tethering...

I showed up at the Verizon store at 7a.m. and was the 9th person in line to get the Droid. It was a light rain and my bagel was damp, but that didn't matter. I hadn't been this excited since the batman costume was available for my 5th birthday around Halloween. One potential Verizon Droid customer in the store was dissappointed when he determined the droid may not synch with a Mac home computer, but overall the crowd seemed happy to dump their Blackberry for the bigger screen and keyboard. My daughter wanted one too, but she wants everything new and shiny.

Now I've got the phone and all seems well, except that it eats up batteries and the screen may be getting looser from use sliding it back and forth to use the keypad. I'm about ready to port in my AT&T phone number, but I'm not 100% convinced this phone is going to allow me to tether my laptop to the internet without having to pay an extra $30 a month. I've downloaded an FTP app and setup my Gmail account to access Google, but I didn't instantly get access to all of my Google apps like Adwords and Adsense. I may be able to reach them through a browser which with the bigger screen makes the web more accessible.

Tethering the Droid: Here is what I've found out so far. JuneFabrics has a software for this here, JuneFabrics, but once I attempt to download the software it claims that I can't because it is not supported by the Droid / Verizon. I may have to manually download the file and transfer it over. Basically I think I can do most of my network solutions by simply FTP, email and Web browsing, but for the special circumstance when I need to print a label and communicate with other software I feel this may be too difficult to manage on the Droid or a Blackberry or an Iphone, but I can't afford another $30 a month. This always brings me back to a high tech phone is still only 1/2 a computer and more of a fun expensive toy when it comes to doing anything useful. If I could spend $30 a month and have internet everywhere, then I wouldn't need these fancy phones. It really is the contracts I hate for these services more than the money. I hate being locked into 2 years for something that will most likely be free and or cheaper in a matter of months. Other Droid Tethering articles

Friday, November 6, 2009

Will the Android at Verizon change my life - or turn me into a robot?

Personal Day: The Motorola Android Droid Phone is coming, The Motorola Android Droid Phone is coming; It's coming to cut you in two. It's on the way, it will be here today, it's coming just for you.

Today I am going off at 7am to buy the Android at Verizon and test the phone service and internet capabilities of this phone. I've been working over the last month on finding the best solution for my multi-tasking, driving, remote working business orientated lifestyle and have been captivated by the ads for this item. Needless to say I just want one to try.

I've got a BlackBerry in my pocket now. I've tried the Samsung Windows operating system phone and Apple Iphone and Ipod through Wifi. I've got a netbook and have tested the Mi-Fi card, as well as, the pci style car for internet connectivity. I've got AT&T phones, Vonage, Jfax, and a Magic Jack and have tried Skype. Where will it all end? Hopefully here, with the Android.

My problems are legion as I need to download files for artwork from different warehouses without the internet, process email and orders via a secure connection, take pictures of samples and send them to clients, update this blog and get decent phone reception. I like the idea of using a phone for my tether to the computer, but the additional cost seem high for the service and if I can combine it with a phone then I would feel like I am getting the right level of service for my money.

I suppose no phone can solve all my problems, but since I spend much of my time working on Google anyway, Analytics, Adsense, Searching, Google Checkout, Maps and more, then it is possible that this may provide a smoother internet when I want to use their services. That may make my other issues irrelevant as I go forward with my business, more on Google through the phone should substitute many of the things I have to use a computer for remotely anyway.