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Tag: iphone

Quest for LTE

Did you remember that Ron Perlman was in Quest for Fire? Me either, but he was. This post is not about cavemen, though. It is a note on an AT&T LTE provisioning problem in the interests of helping other people get the problem solved.

I upgraded from my iPhone 4 to a spiffy new iPhone 5 on AT&T. It was great except LTE wasn’t working; I just got 4G and nothing better. The first week I had it, I went to Austin and Las Vegas which kept me a bit too busy to bug AT&T. I did call AT&T tech support from Vegas a couple of times, but neither time was very successful. (Do not foist me off on Apple, dude! Uncool.) My research said that a number of things could be wrong: my sim card might not be provisioned for LTE; I might not be on an LTE data plan; or the sim card itself could be hosed.

In all these cases except the broken sim card, it’s reportedly possible to get a phone support person who can fix it. I believe this is true because ultimately it was a phone support guy who solved the problem, but none of the ones I talked to in Vegas were clued in. So I finally went down to the AT&T store in Palo Alto today and chatted with this awesome guy named Chris Dubon. He swapped out my sim card and double-checked my data plan with no luck. I offered to hit the Apple Store, since at this point I was suspecting hardware, but he was all “nope, let’s eliminate anything we can eliminate before you leave.”

So he called tech support and they said “hm, we don’t see that sim as provisioned for LTE.” He swapped in another one, and they reset the whole profile. Bam: LTE.

The key thing here is not to go bug your AT&T guys with the magic words I’m not even sure I got right; what I’m saying is just hit the AT&T store directly and let them be smart about fixing the problem. They can pull out a replacement sim card on the spot, they’ll get through to the right tech support people, and so on. It took like 45 minutes but it was time well spent.

THAC0 Updated

The new version is pretty usable. The author fixed the issue of slider feedback, so it’s possible to be precise about how many dice you’re rolling. There’s also a new feature allowing you to auto-tally rolls equal to or higher than a target number. Finally, you can double-tap dice to hold them and reroll the unheld dice, which is cute.

At this point I’d say THAC0 is a good choice for die pool games, and D20 Dice remains optimal for other uses. I’d still like to see THAC0 have some sort of display of die type so you know if you’re rolling d10s or d6s or what, but in practice you’ll usually know.

iPhone eBooks

eBooks on the iPhone are pretty obvious; I’ve been keeping an eye out for a good reader. Here’s the first cut: Stanza (App Store link).

The key is being able to download your own books, which Stanza allows. Grab Stanza Desktop and load your books into there, then select Enable Sharing from the Tools menu and fire up the iPhone Stanza app. Shared Books -> Books on Macintosh displays the list of currently open books in Stanza Desktop. Select the ones you want, and there you go.

(Helpful hint: go back to the Mac to tell Stanza Desktop that it’s OK for the iPhone to connect. I couldn’t figure out why the iPhone app was hanging at first.)

Stanza Desktop supports a nice list of file types, including Open eBook, Kindle, Mobipocket, HTML, PDF, LIT, PalmDoc, RTF, and Word. It does not support Sony Reader or PDF files. Good enough for my purposes but not perfect.

The iPhone UI could use a little polish but it’s very functional. I’m happy for the nonce. The apps are currently free; the web site says the Desktop will cost something once it’s out of beta.