Rogers: Where Free Costs $935 @rogershelps
Published by Toronto Mike on September 25, 2014 @ 13:43 in Technology
I have wireless, TV and internet services with Rogers. It's been three years since I got a mobile phone from Rogers, and under "Upgrade Your Phone" in My Rogers, I found this good news regarding my account.
That's right, my device balance is $0.00 and I was told I could go to a Rogers store and upgrade my phone without penalty!
As it turns out, "without penalty" doesn't mean "free" like I thought it did. If you want a current phone, like the LG G3 (my preference) or the Samsung Galaxy S5 (my second choice), you have to buy the phone. Rogers wanted $90 for the LG G3 if I signed a two year contract.
Then, there's a "Connection Fee" of $15. I have no idea what this is for as I'm already a customer, I'm just taking my sim card out of one phone and into the other. Is an expensive two year contract and $80 not enough?
All of the above was disappointing, but what truly upset me was when they told me they would no longer honour my current wireless plan and I'd have to switch to one of their new "Share Everything" plans. You choose a device, data and value pack and pay that, regardless of what you were paying before. Matching my current plan would increase my current monthly payment by $35 before taxes.
To summarize, I have three expensive services with Rogers, and have been a loyal Rogers customer for many, many years. In order to upgrade my phone after three years, I'd have to pay $80 + $15 and an additional $35 a month over the next two years. That's $935 + tax!
I left the Rogers store having done nothing and feeling incredibly frustrated and angry. Toronto, what's my best option?
Update: I've got to give credit to @RogersHelps for making things right here. I'm actually now on a better plan for a little less money and they're going to courier to me a new LG G3 at no charge.
How to Replace a File in Google Drive Without Changing the Link
Published by Toronto Mike on September 24, 2014 @ 11:27 in Technology
I use Google Drive to share a number of documents at work, including PDF documents. I'll share a Google Drive link with everyone, but when I update the file, I don't want that link to change.
Updating the PDF without altering the Google Drive URL isn't nearly as intuitive as it should be, so here's a little tutorial as to how I do it.
In Google Drive, select the document you want to update, click the "more" menu and choose "Manage revisions...".
In the "Manage revisions" dialogue box, choose "Upload new revision" and upload the updated file.
If you'd like to get rid of previous revisions, as I do, simply click the x next to the older version and then "Delete now".
20 Years Ago, AT&T Predicted the Future and Here's How They Did
Published by Toronto Mike on September 1, 2014 @ 11:01 in Technology
Back in '93 and '94, AT&T released a series of "You Will" ads touting the future. For fun, watch them all in this compilation and see how accurate they were.
Some of this they nailed. I attend meetings all week long in my bare feet with people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Some of this we've long surpassed. We're not video talking at a phone booth or buying concert tickets and renewing our driver's license at a kiosk, we're doing it all from our computers and smartphones from just about anywhere in the world.
We're not quite there with a few of these predictions. I can't buy groceries that way, although I can scan my own items. I also believe Canada is lagging behind on that whole "medical history in your pocket" concept. And opening your door with the sound of your voice? That just sounds dangerous.
ASUS Transformer Book T100 Review
Published by Toronto Mike on July 16, 2014 @ 21:11 in Reviews, Tablet Talent Show, Technology
I'll spend a little time on a desktop running Ubuntu and a tablet running Android, but otherwise it's always my work-issued MacBook Pro or my LG G2 phone. It's been a while since I played with Windows on a laptop and I've never used Windows on a tablet.
That's why I was intrigued by the ASUS Transformer tablet. It's a 10" tablet that comes with a keyboard dock, so you can convert it into a laptop. It also runs Windows 8.1 and includes Microsoft Office.
I feel sorry for folks using Windows 8.1 without a touchscreen. It really seems designed for touch and counterintuitive if you're just using a keyboard and mouse. But if you want Windows because it's what you know and / or need, the ASUS Transformer Book might just be the tablet for you. And it is a touchscreen, making Windows 8.1 actually bearable.
Pros: Switching from tablet to laptop is super easy, and the battery life seems pretty good. It's light and has a USB and HDMI port, which you rarely see with tablets.
Cons: Coming from a MacBook Pro, it feels awfully plastic, but then again it is a great deal less expensive. And the Windows apps suck, especially if you're used to Android or iOS, but you can run full Windows programs to adequately compensate.
In terms of value, I recommend this device, especially if you're a fan of Windows. For a 10" inch tablet / laptop hybrid, the price is right.
This ASUS Transformer Book T100 was provided by Intel Canada as part of the #IntelCanada Insiders Experience program.
Why VHS Succeeded and Beta Failed
Published by Toronto Mike on June 17, 2014 @ 18:23 in Technology
The first time I ever saw a VCR it was rented for a friend's birthday party and we watched Star Wars. A couple of years later, we bought our first VCR. We went with VHS, even though the local video store guy carried titles in VHS and Beta.
Soon thereafter, VHS won the format war and Beta went bye-bye. Here's a little video that helps explain why VHS succeeded and Beta failed.
Who out there owned a Betamax VCR?
The Apple Store
Published by Toronto Mike on May 12, 2014 @ 14:30 in Technology
I have a work-issued MacBook Pro I've been using since 2011. It's the machine I use when I need to do heavy lifting, and lately it's become rather sluggish.
I'm not an Apple guy, so I didn't really know the process. Silly little me hopped on his bike during lunch on Friday and pedalled with his MacBook Pro to the Apple Store at Sherway Gardens to talk to someone there about buying more RAM to improve performance. Apparently, you can't do that.
I was nicely told I had to make an appointment before I could talk to an Apple rep about buying more RAM. This is the Apple way.
I made an appointment for today, and biked back to Sherway Gardens to learn if I could salvage this MacBook Pro. They ran diagnostics and everything came back A-OK. Here's photographic evidence my hard drive passed the test.
So now I've been asked to see if the performance is better. I'm not sure they did anything, so I don't know why I'd see an improvement, but I biked home agreeing to come back if things are still shitty.
Of course, I have to make an appointment first. The appointment is mandatory.
Hardware Salvation: What Would You Do?
Published by Toronto Mike on April 1, 2014 @ 15:29 in Technology
When cleaning out my old office recently, I came across a dusty old desktop I hadn't used in some time. This week, I decided to set it up in my daughter's room.
The first thing I did was install all the updates to the operating system, Ubuntu 13.10. Then, I gave her a whirl. Everything is great, but once in a while, the screen will freeze in a trippy psychedelic state. That's no good...
I bought this desktop about six years ago for $250. I'd like it to put it back in service without graphic card crashes. Here's the specs:
If this was your hardware you wanted to breathe new life into, what would you do?
Desktop vs. Mobile vs. Tablet in 2013
Published by Toronto Mike on December 30, 2013 @ 14:06 in Technology
While I'm knee-deep in Google Analytics for this site in 2013, I thought it would be interesting to see how people are visiting Toronto Mike these days.
This site is 11-years old, so there was a time when 100% of visitors came from a desktop / laptop. Today, that's definitely not the case.
Here are the stats for desktop, mobile and tablet visitors to this site in 2013:
- Desktop - 60.72%
- Mobile - 30.49%
- Tablet - 8.79%
Top Browsers in 2013
Published by Toronto Mike on December 30, 2013 @ 13:37 in Technology
2013 was the year of the Mac with a big change in the browser rankings.
Here are the browsers used by visitors to this site in 2013:
- Safari - 27.83%
- Chrome - 25.10%
- Internet Explorer - 18.08%
- Firefox - 13.14%
- Android Browser - 7.04%
There was a time when Internet Explorer absolutely dominated these rankings...
All This Technology is Making Us Antisocial
Published by Toronto Mike on November 28, 2013 @ 10:01 in Technology