Archive for January, 2010

Rogers Disabled Internet on HTC Dream

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

For those who don’t have time or don’t care, here’s a REALLY short version:

Rogers announced Friday night that there is an issue to do with GPS and dialing 911 and that we need to download a manditory firmware upgrade (which wipes all the data on your phone), and they will disable internet access on all HTC Dreams on Sunday morning at 6am. They did exactly that, and now there’s a huge outcry in the community. But for me, without internet access I can’t download a backup app to save all my data such as text messages, apps, settings, etc., and they completely refuse to turn it back on for me – claiming they can’t.

And in long form, here’s the full story.

January 15, 2010 at 6:51pm I received a text message from Rogers:

Rogers/Fido service message: URGENT 911 Calls: Please disable GPS location on your HTC Dream device to ensure all 911 calls complete. HTC is urgently working on a software upgrade and we will provide details shortly so you can re-enable GPS. Instructions: Select Menu – Select Settings – Select Location – Uncheck Enable GPS Satellite

A week or so later, I recieved another text message on Friday night – January 22, 2010 at 8:09pm:

Rogers/Fido Safety Message: URGENT 911 Calls HTC Dream software update: Mandatory software update is now available to help ensure 911 calls are completed from your phone. Please go immediately to rogers.com/dreamsoftwareupdate on your PC to download. In order to help ensure 911 calls are completed internet access will be temporarily disabled on your phone at 01/24/10 6:00AM EST. To minimize loss of internet service, please complete your software update immediately. Upon completion, internet access will be re enabled within 24 hours. For users of Macintosh and Windows 7, please call 1- 888-764-3771(1-888-ROGERS1) for update instructions. We apologize for the inconvenience but we prioritize customer safety above all.

Now this comes to me as I’m sitting in a pub, unwinding on a Friday night after a long work week – I don’t really care too much about this at the time, and it doesn’t cross my mind on the weekend at all.  Monday morning, I come into work and remember this nuisance.  I have to fill you in on a bit of history with my device.  This is my first cellphone ever – I got it back in June of 2009.  Over a few months, the phone had to be factory reset about a half-dozen times, to the point where it was replaced.  We attempted to upgrade the firmware, but I tried their software on four different computers and with three different HTC Dreams, and we could never get the program actually talking to the device!   Anyways, the new device gave me just as much crap over time, and I had them even write down in their system that it also is defective, but not wanting to have to start my phone from scratch again, I told them to wait until it happened just one more time!  Lucky me – it has worked great for the last two or three months with no issue!  Finally my first experience with a “stable” device – if you would call it that at this point.  Another side-tangent – Spencer and Sean both have the same phone, and have never had to factory reset it, yet I’ve done it well over a dozen times!

Anyways, I called their tech support line in the afternoon and waited 45 minutes to talk to a tech.  We got the program up and running and I cringed when I saw the message that it was a firmware update and I would need to wipe my phone.  I bit the bullet and told the tech that I would complete it on my own after I backed up all my data.

This is where the issue started to grow.

A few minutes after I hung up and I tried to download an app to backup my data it hit me – I need internet to download the app to backup my data.  Then came another automated text message at 4:02pm:

Rogers/Fido Safety Message: URGENT Reminder 911 Calls HTC Dream software update: Mandatory software update is now available to help ensure 911 calls are completed from your phone. Please go immediately to rogers.com/dreamsoftwareupdate on your PC to download. In order to help ensure 911 calls are completed internet access was temporarily disabled on your phone at 01/24/10 6:00AM EST. To reactivate internet service, please complete your software update immediately. Upon completion, internet access will be re enabled within 24 hours. For users of Macintosh and Windows 7, please call 1- 888-764-3771(1-888-ROGERS1) for update instructions. We apologize for the inconvenience but we prioritize customer safety above all.

At this point, I began to realize how much not having internet on my phone really sucks – the majority of what I use my phone for is via the internet.  I can’t download apps, I can’t get my email, I can’t download maps for Google Maps, can’t FTP home, can’t check my calendar, can’t use Google Talk… I could go on.  I would say over 75% of what I use my phone for is internet related.

I worked a little longer into the evening, and eventually called Rogers again at 11:09pm that night.  Waited on hold 55 minutes before getting to talk to a tech.  I explained to Kevin that if given internet access back for a short time, I can download the backup app and would gladly follow through the upgrade process.  He mentioned that there is the HTC sync software which can backup my contacts and calendar, but I explained that both of those are already sync’d with Google as I’m running the Android OS. I need the internet so I can download a backup app to save my apps, messages and such.  He said he can certainly get me internet access… BUT I have to do the update first.  There is no logic in this, as we spent 15 minutes going in circles!  He progressively got more and more condescending towards me, and started talking about how he’s been a 10 year service rep and such to back him up.  I refrained from lashing back at his incompetence.

Being frustrated, I asked to speak to the supervisor.  I believe his name was Survin?  After a few minutes, the supervisor and I agreed this situation doesn’t really have a resolve and I would not be able to backup my apps.  He claimed that they can not simply turn it back on for me – even just for ten minutes so I can download a backup app.  Apparently the network is blocking me out and there is nothing they can do for me.  I asked him WHY the internet was disabled in the first place, as the first message I got from Rogers indicated that it was an issue with the GPS and dialing 911.  He admitted he has no idea and doesn’t have access to that information – how does the supervisor of technical support not know this? I asked him to look further into this why this issue is forcing our internet access to be cut off and gave him my email to send the details to.  A reasonable request.  He said he would try to do so within 24 hours, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

I got off the phone with them around 12:30am, and proceeded to read more online about this entire issue.  I found an amazing resource at xda-developers.com.

I officially filed a complaint against Rogers Communications Inc. with the Comissioner for Complaints for Telecommunication Services (CCTS) this evening, but I doubt that will resolve anything quickly.  Sometimes it’s just nice to rant… ergo this lengthy post.  Thanks for reading, or not reading!

Bowling at New Place in Coquitlam

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

A few of us old chums went down to the new bowling place near Silver City Coquitlam.  It was my first time down there, and I found it pretty slick looking!  The wait on a Friday night was about an hour, which is about on par.  Some of us grabbed some bubble-tea from the strip-mall it’s part of, but we weren’t able to indulge in some beer because the restaurant isn’t open yet!  Here is a print out from our two games:

Legend: B Rye = Brian Romein, Fox = Karilee, Goob = Jessy’s friend, Lady XIV = Ange, MCWOO = Mike Waddell, OGIE = Jessy, Paulish = Me!

A neat new thing I learned this evening was from the guy at the beginning – it takes about 15 minutes per person for a game.  I took us on average about 13-14, but its still an awesome way to guess how long you’ll be bowling for!

Diez Morning Hike

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We started out at 5:45am and hiked for 1 hour 33 minutes in the dark with our headlamps! The sun came out on my drive back home! Covered 7km this morning and at a wicked pace too!


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Drinking Makes You Smarter

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm. Here’s how it went:

” Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

First Hike of the Year

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Went up Minnekhada with Sheena this afternoon!


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