Blogging from 30,000 feet

Now that I can blog from 30,000 feet using my iPhone, maybe I’ll actually remember to update my blog more often. I have to say, though, that I’ve gotten into the habit of updating Facebook with a lot of the kinds of things I used to put up here. Brightrock seems to only get an update when I have a big trip to brag about.

(Writing from a Delta airlines 757-200 at ~30,000 feet. )

I take back every nice thing I’ve ever said about Slingbox

Based on my recent experiences with Slingbox support, I can no longer recommend the product.  Slingbox seems to feel free to push out software updates that will break the Slingbox.  If you then call tech support, you will discover that if you’ve owned the box for more than 12 months they want to charge you $29 per call to discuss the problem.  

After a recent software update, my Slingbox Pro now thinks that “it was not originally designed to be used in the USA” and has forgotten all of the remote control settings.  So, while I can now see what’s on my television at home, I can no longer change the channel or access the DVRs.  For the record, the Slingbox has only been used in the U.S. (California, specifically). 
I’m definitely not the only person seeing this problem:
http://www.slingcommunity.com/search?search=%22not%20originally%20designed%22%20usa
http://www.slingcommunity.com/forum/thread/30100/Error-This-Slingbox-was-not-originally-designed-to-be-used-in-USA/
http://www.slingcommunity.com/article/10580/How-to-Add-New-Remote-Control-Codes-to-Your-Slingbox/
 

I should point out that this experience is a marked contrast to the support that I’ve received on other pieces of home networking hardware, including routers from DLINK, Buffalo, and Netgear. I suspect that all it would take to get my system back up and running would be to revert to the earlier software version, but Cass (the supervisor I spoke with) and the other people on the tech support line refused to provide me with those files.

Slingbox Error

Free text messages from a web browser

Even though my mobile phone plan includes a pretty decent number of text messages, sometimes it would be nice to be able to type messages using my computer keyboard.  It just seems silly to use the phone to 'type' messages using iTap when I'm sitting at a full-sized qwerty keyboard.  I stumbled across this web site that lets me send free text messages from my web browser, which may come in handy at times.  The cell phone carriers provide a similar web-based interface, but at least on Cingular's web site you have to log in and you can only send messages to other Cingular customers.