Tag Archives: cingular

Enter the BlackJack

On Monday, at about 11:45 am, my Samsung BlackJack arrived at my door. Eagerly, I ripped the box open and pulled everything out. I was pleasantly surprised to see my BlackJack had shipped with the extended battery in addition to a standard battery (the initial models shipped with two standard batteries, which are pretty much inadequate, especially in 3G areas). I saw that the 3G SIM card was already in the phone…and I’ll tell you what, getting that standard battery cover off is a bear. Every time I do it I feel like I’m going to break the phone in two. Thankfully, the extended battery uses a different cover (which works perfectly fine with the standard battery to boot). This does add a centimeter to the thickness of the device but it actually makes it easier to hold.

I shut off the MPx220 and fired up the BlackJack about 10 minutes later, hoping it would activate. Nope. I had to run up to my cube at work real quick and give Cingular a ring. The CSR on the other end was very helpful in getting it going (including straightening out some lingering weirdness on my account that occurred as a result of my upgrade). After activating the phone, the first thing I did was shut off 3G roaming — there’s no need for the phone to waste battery trying to find a network that doesn’t exist in Charleston yet. Here’s hoping that 3G gets to Charleston soon, especially since Verizon’s had their high speed (and inferior, IMO) EV-DO network here for a few months now.

The phone is brilliant. It sounds great — much better than the MPx220 does. I can actually hear it in a crowd or on the street. The MPx220 was impossible to hear in those situations without doing some epic maneuvers involving pushing the phone against my ear as hard as I can. The push e-mail from the College’s Exchange server works flawlessly, and my Gmail account — where most @jaredwsmith.com emails end up — does just as well. Battery life is decent right now, considering I’m currently conditioning the batteries and really giving the device a workout in determining its strengths and weaknesses. So far, I definitely can identify the three-button unlocking and lousy Bluetooth stack as hangups. But other than that, so far, so very, very good. I’m extremely pleased with it.

BlackJack users should seriously have a look at the wiki at i607.org. The information there has proven invaluable thus far. My big thanks to Mark Percival, maintainer of the wiki, for gathering and keeping that info together.

This brings us to earlier Tuesday night. I was getting restless at home and decided to venture into Charleston for a bit for dinner. I ended up at Yo Burrito on Wentworth Street, and sat in the absolute last seat in the bar (underneath a shelf!). I then proceeded to order a mason jar margarita and a burrito (as is my protocol there). I then proceeded to read the latest news and such on the BlackJack, and just went about my business.

On the opposite end of the bar, these girls — two of them, to be exact — were kind of looking at me wondering “hmm wtf is this guy doing?”. I could tell because we would exchange glances every once in a while (flirtation? possibly). It was fun and interesting and stuff. Then, a salvo was fired that I least expected — the bartender stopped by and gave me a note one of the girls had written. It was epic, and can only be seen in pictoral form:

You’re Our Fish In The Sea

The text reads: “You’re Our Fish of the Sea – XOXO. PS What are you doing on your BB?” Included was a sugar cookie, shaped like a fish. It was brilliant, and cute, and certainly the most interesting note I’ve ever been passed…ever. I let about 10 minutes or so pass and I talked to the girls briefly, one of which was so embarrassed (which she shouldn’t have been — it made my night, it really did) that she couldn’t turn around and face me. I don’t think they expected me to come over and talk to them for a minute. Hehe. It wasn’t over yet, as I bought them their next round and then had the bartender pass another note back with my phone number on it. ;) I met up with them as I was leaving and took a picture. It was a good time, and really kind of shook up a mundane evening. So, ladies, if you’re out there, thanks. (And call me, too.) :)

Afterward, I met up with Mel at Mistral and hung out with him and his friend Gordon for a bit. Hanging out with Mel is always a great time, and I’m glad we were able to hang out tonight. He’s got a show on Sunday at the Map Room at 8 that you probably shouldn’t miss — he’s been getting heavy into electronica these days, and he’s actually got an album called .red coming out Friday, which showcases this totally random and excellent artistic bout. Check out his MySpace for more.

I’m out folks — I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday into my spring break week. Ridiculous. Ahh well…peace for now!

J

Windows Mobile 6 announced…but…

Microsoft has officially announced Windows Mobile 6 today. All indications are that it is a home run in terms of reliability and usability over previous versions of Windows Mobile. T-Mobile Dash users are lucky, too — they’ll get an upgrade. Sadly for those who own or are looking to own a Samsung BlackJack (like myself), there are no indications that an upgrade will be available.

So what do I do now? I want to upgrade my phone to the BlackJack, but now that it appears WM6 isn’t coming to the hardware, I’m really feeling as if I should hold out until the end of this year to upgrade my phone. This is disappointing and may — and you know, I think it should — ignite quite a firestorm in Samsung and Cingular’s direction. The device is only four months old; why not offer an upgrade? Hell, I’d gladly pay for it, and I know I’m not the only one. Sadly though, this is a cell phone carrier we’re talking about here.

AT&T to kill the Cingular name

Over the next few months, The New AT&T will be phasing out the Cingular brand and replacing it with — guess what — AT&T Wireless. Yes, the same AT&T Wireless Cingular bought out a couple years ago. This is a terrible mistake. It’s going to take some creative advertising to make the AT&T brand resonate as well with the youthful demographic as Cingular does now…