Oxygen Games

The corporate site for my new company, Oxygen Games, is live.  Check it out and find out what we’re planning to do!  Our first game, Duels , is also going live today. Stay tuned for more information! (Oh who am I kidding, like there is anyone reading my blog that is going to actually stay tuned! So if you wander through the great interwebs, fall through the “tubes”, or whatever – check out the game!

iPhone Update: My Big Issues (Negative)

So I’ve had the iPhone for almost a month.  There are parts of it I really like.  Everyone writes about what they like though, so I’m going to skip that part.

Here are my issues (ie: what I don’t like):

  • My biggest issue with the iPhone is e-mail.  (Not the edge, the way e-mail is handled.)  I generally blame Google / GMail for this.  Here are my issues:
    • GMail uses this funky “threading” mechanism for conversations (e-mail exchanges with the same titles) which is pretty cool on the web.  It sucks in an e-mail application.  Google, please, for the love of tech gadgets, give me a way to turn this off in POP.
    • Better yet, give me IMAP.  Please, please, please.  I think adding IMAP support (so I could ditch POP) would make my GMail / iPhone experience ten times better.
      • I believe this would solve a myriad of other issues I have with e-mail that are related to how POP works.  I never had these issues on my Q with the Mobile Outlook client.
      • It might also make me a user / fan of the Google Calendar.  (Which I don’t currently use – I’m just keeping my calendar directly in the iPhone.)
    • Apple:  Change the GMail mechanism in the e-mail client to support addresses that are not “@gmail.com”.  I use commercial GMail (ie: my own domain) and not being able to put those accounts in there is annoying.
  • More on e-mail.  Apple, these are for you:
    • Let me play WAV attachments.  WTF?  I mean I know you guys are kind of proprietary, but give me a break.  I just want to listen to my Vonage voicemail on my iPhone.
    • Show my new e-mail account for all my e-mail accounts on the unlock screen so I don’t have to go through the hassle of unlocking and looking to see if I have new e-mail.
    • Even better, show me the number of new mails since last time I looked instead of the absolute new mail count.
  • Austin has this citywide wireless network that appears as COA_Mesh.  It isn’t iPhone friendly (possibly the same network structure, ie: Cisco, as the Duke network that was covered as having iPhone issues) becuase it requires some confirmation screen and, well, it never seems to work. 
    • Cisco:  Please fix your network infrastructure stuff so it is iPhone friendly.
    • Austin:  Please beat on Cisco to fix it and, hey, ideally turn off that stupid confirmation screen.
    • Apple:  Please add the ability to exclude wireless networks that you have connected to in the past.  Since I connected once, my iPhone keeps trying to connect to it.  Since it can, technically, get a WiFi connection it thinks it is connected but can’t actually do anything.
  • Fix this Vista issue.  I’m not sure what’s going on, but Vista blue screens when I try to sync music or pictures.  I admit I haven’t tried it in a week or so…. largely because it pissed me off.

So to summarize my plea(s) for help:

  • Apple:  Add a little bit better e-mail support.  Fix the WiFi handling.
  • Google / GMail:  Please, I’m begging you, add IMAP support to GMail (even if it is just for commercial users).
  • City of Austin:  Fix COA_Mesh to be iPhone friendly.


BTW, even with all these gripes I don’t regret my iPhone purchase.  I love the browser (except when it crashes, which it does a lot btw). 

This Is Why Phone Companies Suck

This time it’s Verizon. 

Anyone after Novermber 2006 – either a new customer or someone who changed their contract – has “variable early termination” which means they get prorated.  If you’ve been a customer longer or haven’t modified your server since before that date you are screwed.

I love that.  Been a customer longer?  Screw you.  Brilliant.  These guys are even worse than AT&T.

If they had just given me a pro-rated early termination I probably wouldn’t have a) said anything b) done anything.  But now I’m pissed so I’m going to extract it from them one way or another.

The thing that really pisses me off is that for the last several months my Q phone has been dying on me.  Usually late in the afternoon or the early evening.  (After being charged up all night.)  I’m not sure whether this is caused by a faulty battery (I’ve had for maybe eight months – my previous one was stolen and I paid full price for this one.) or if it is bad service.  In my downtown Austin home I typically only got one bar so I suspect it might have been ratcheting up power for reception and thus draining the battery, but I don’t really know.  All I know is I got a lot of dropped calls and my phone just turned off on a regular basis.

 I have 5 bars on AT&T in the same place where I have never had more than 2 on Verizon.

I’ve now requested a copy of my contract, this will be interesting.

iPhone Real World Trial

So yesterday my iPhone finally got fully switched on (incoming calls).  So I went out for dinner with a couple of my friends and continued on to have a few drinks in Austin’s Warehouse District (Fourth Street).  I didn’t have any issues with the phone – it didn’t feel weird in my pocket or anything.  No scratches either.

WiFi is way better than the Edge, but not available everywhere.  Although I expect that to change.  There is a downtown Austin wireless project sponsored by the city called COA_Mesh but I can’t get my iPhone to connect to it for some reason.

The SMS system is really cool.  It shows a list of people and you click on the people to see the SMS correspondence like a chat.  It’s very well done.

I’ve also already convinced at least one of my friends to get an iPhone – I should get some kind of referral thing.  🙂

Anyway – the iPhone continues to live up to the hype for me.  I love it. 

Vista and the iPhone

So the first time I synced my iPhone using Vista it mostly worked.  The set-up worked fine.  It took calendar, contacts, and what not from Outlook.  But when I tried to sync photos it blew up.  (Music might have been involved in this too.)  I’ve gotten 5 blue screen of deaths (at least).  It’s really starting to irritate me.

The part I love is when you reboot, Vista says, “You’ve recovered from a serious error, would you like to check for a solution?”  I click yes…. Some bar glows for a bit.  Then disappears.  Thanks for the help!  At least tell me you haven’t encountered this problem before.

I don’t even know if it is really an iPhone related problem.  The only time the little “error helper” came back with anything it said it was a hard drive error.  I did a diskcheck and whatnot…. Still blue screening and the “error helper” has no useful info now.  I guess I will have to sync my iPhone with a different computer.

Has anyone else encountered this type of problem?

First blog entry from my iphone

This is my first 100% iPhone written blog entry and so far typing this much is not bad. The predictive keyboard is pretty impressive.

I am in a restaurant on the basic free wifi they have. I will give it a shot on edge next. I think once I get fully used to this keyboard that it will rock. I can definitely see what they mean when they say trust it. I am already sewing improvement.

iPhone Continued

Ok.  I got an SMS from AT&T late last night telling me welcome.  I assumed that meant my service had transferred, but nope.  I still can’t call my iPhone.  I can get SMSes though – although possibly only from people on AT&Ts network. 

Anyway, I spent several hours playing Duels (yes, I know there is nothing there yet – still in restricted beta, post a comment with your e-mail and I’ll invite you [and, no, I won’t publish your e-mail]) on my iPhone and it is freaking cool.  The fact that I can do that is really impressive.  (We use a lot of Flash, so there are a few things that aren’t there, but it is still playable.)

I browsed around and set up my WSJ account and looked at a bunch of pages.  I still remain really impressed.

Typing in usernames, passwords, etc. doesn’t seem like a problem.  I’ve had it for less than 24 hours and I can already type with two thumbs.  The keyboard is as good as the one on my (now retired) Motorola Q….. If might even be better. 

The software interface design on the web browser and the keyboard is some of the best I have ever seen.

The SMS handling looks pretty cool – it keeps them as an ongoing conversation – but I haven’t really fully tested it out.

Hopefully my number will transfer soon and I can really use it as a phone.

More soon.

iPhone First Impressions

OK.  I now have my iPhone mostly working.  Still can’t receive calls… and it’s kind of late so I haven’t actually made any calls either.

But, the browser is amazing.  I would probably have bought this thing as mobile browser.  The ability to zoom in and out, etc. Multiple open pages.  It works great.  I’m super impressed.  

Of course I’ve been testing it on the wi-fi network in my house, so Edge might make it a little less impressive. 

I’ll write more tomorrow once I get to use it as a phone.


I knew this going into it.  I wish Apple had picked T-Mobile or someone who actually gives a shit about their customers. 

Great experience:

  • Wait in line for six hours.
  • Get iPhone.
  • Woot.
  • Go home.
  • “Activate” on iTunes.  (Which presumably was done to take people out of the equation and make it faster.)
  • Get through activation.
  • Get e-mail – “it will take 24 hours to transfer your number”
  • Get another e-mail cannot activate.
  • Call AT&T – “WTF?”
  • “It takes time to transfer a number.”
  • “No it doesn’t, last time I did this it took less than 15 minutes.”
  • “Oh, it’s the high volume of transfers.”
  • (Thought bubble): Bullshit, it’s fucking computers.
  • “Oh really?  Well why can’t I just activate my phone while I wait?”
  • “You can’t activate it until the tranfer.”
  • “Really? That’s not what the FAQ/website say.”
  • “Oh, uhm, it can take up to 24 hours.”
  • “What if I want a new number?”
  • “That takes up to 6 hours.”
  • (Thought bubble): WTF?  If I just went into any wireless store on the planet and bought a phone service would be on with a new number INSTANTLY.  Does iPhone somehow make provisioning harder?
  • Click.

WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU PEOPLE THINKING!  If people are waiting in line to buy your product, you shouldn’t shaft them at the end. 

Really disappointing.

Oh and you can’t use the phone in this state so I can’t even start configuring it or doing anyhting.  VERY NICE.

I swore I would never use AT&T again.  iPhone came out.  Apple forces me to use AT&T.  I get the shaft I knew would come.