My daily struggles with technology

I shuttle between Italy and Belgium. I have an iPhone, which I use in Italy, and an old Nokia for Belgium. Yesterday, the Nokia's plastic casing just crumbled to pieces. Don't understand why. Bought it right after the Iraq emergency. That's only six years ago.

Anyway I thought it would just be better to put my Belgian SIM into my iPhone when I arrive in Belgium. Swap SIMs rather than phones. Then I don't have to drag two phones with me. Seems simple enough. From time to time, I use my mobile phone to send a picture. Or to check Twitter. So, I thought "Great, works fine with the iPhone"...

Then I discovered that I don't have access to the Belgian Internet data services, so I enabled Internet access for the SIM. I tested it, it worked fine. Went to sleep. At 6 AM I got an automated SMS from my GSM provider, stating I just used Internet for 6 hours, while I was sleeping. And while the iPhone was connected to my wireless anyway...

I called them, and they could not help me any further. But to suggest to upgrade my subscription to a 2 Gbyte/month package. Paying a monthly fee even when I am only for two months per year in Belgium did not seem reasonable to me.

Did not find a setting to switched off the data access on the iPhone. Only thing I could do, is to enter fake APN (network parameters), so it could not access the Internet.

It intrigued me. Which iPhone application was using the Internet? Maybe there is an application to control the use of Internet on the iPhone. I Googled it but only found parental control applications.

Ah, there was one Enterprise Control application by Apple. Downloaded. Tried to installed. Beh. I needed an update to "Netframe 3.5 SP1". Downloaded that. Took 45 minutes to install. Reboot. Re-ran the Enterprise Control. Installed well. Started it. Gave me cryptic errors indicating I needed something else, and a key to launch it.
Gave up. De-installed the Enterprise Control thingie.

Googled for more Internet access controls. Found some solution: iPhone IOS 4 lets me switch off the . For which I needed the new iTunes version, which came with the new Safari version. 130 Mbytes. Took 45 minutes to download/install (I have a BIG Internet pipe here, but that did not help).

Started iTunes. Which needs to backup my iPhone first. Another 30 minutes. Then it needs to resync my iPhone with my computer. Another 30 minutes.

The only thing I want, is to email an occasional picture from my iPhone while I am on the road.... Is that too much to ask? Our lives are dominated by technology. Our lives become buggy, just like the technology is.

I got up at 6:30 am. It is now 11 am. The sun is shining outside. I'm going out. Foert. Off to the shower.



Although... the mouse on Tine's laptop does not work anymore and Lana's laptop crashed. And Hannah needs a new computer too.


vagabondblogger 28 June, 2010 15:48  

Ahh! The dreaded iPhone costs. I e-mail photos when I'm in an area with WiFi. I have my notifications turned off, I don't receive e-mails (that's on "fetch"), messages are on (since I use the MSM a lot while traveling ("boarding in Frankfurt," "departing Cairo"). You can leave airplane mode on to receive calls (which I never answer), but turn off the data roaming and notifications, and send photos, etc, via a message attachment, anywhere, or an e-mail if you're in a Wifi area. Otherwise (if you're an American traveling abroad) you will add up amazing charges (I'm talking thousands of dollars)! Otherwise, you need to buy an unlocked iPhone - hell, you're in Italy! Dubai imports them from there (expensive though, 800-1000.00 dollars in Dubai.) And you can use any chip you want with the unlocked phone.

So basically you need to turn off your data roaming. You can send photos via an attachment in a message.

Sorry, for the elongated explanation, but we've been through the horror you just experienced, and the companies that picked up Apple's endorsement are really sticking it to us!

Peter 28 June, 2010 16:04  

It seemed my solution was to upgrade to IOS4, where I can switch off cellular data.

I am still not sure which application was using data. Which is particularly silly as in the house, overnight, the phone is also connected to my WiFi...

And data roaming is definitively out... Thank got all of that was with a Belgian SIM. Still racked up a bit of a bill.

Just called them this morning. They said "Aaah we know that problem, but no issues, we will refund you for those 5 hours..." ;-)


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