Browsing "Internet"
May 9, 2012 -

Grateful For My Little Pink Phone

I’ve never never had much use for phones, except when they act as a modem to get on the internet. I’ve been very lackadaisical about keeping an active cell phone unless I have a very specific reason for needing it on (eg. my PR person at the RV show needed to be able to keep in touch with me). I lived most of my life without 24/7 access to a phone and I just don’t rely on the technology that much. When I’ve needed a phone in an emergency, it was just a matter of minutes to get it reactivated. I don’t remember missing access to a phone when I was traveling through the US last year.

On this trip, I wanted to have internet access, so I was very grateful that Donna gave me her LG phone that can be tethered to your computer and act as a cellular modem:

I was irked that I had to buy a voice plan so that I could get the data plan, but jumped through the hoops and got the smallest phone plan, 450 nationwide minutes. A few days later, I decided to pay the extra $20 and get the nationwide+Canada plan. This means that I can make calls to anywhere in the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and receive calls from anywhere in these locations, without being billed beyond my monthly amount as long as I don’t use up more than 450 minutes.

Needless to say, I have been very grateful for my phone since the accident! I haven’t had to worry about being able to reach people or to be reached. I do only have about 120 minutes left, but at least I will have used up all my minutes, making the expense worthwhile.

I did find it fussy for going online, but suspected the cable was bad. I spent all of $2.50 on Amazon for a genuine LG cable with a cell phone port at one and and a USB port at the other and, voila!, problem solved.

This phone has a touch screen and QWERTY keypad (the phone opens up like a book to reveal the keyboard), which is useful for texting, although I have to pay for each text (it was $10 to add a texting plan). I will confess that I have used the phone to check my email and to do internet research! The phone also has a pretty decent little camera.

I love my easy-to-remember North Dakota number and am thinking about keeping the voice plan active when I get back to Canada, although I will be turning off the data plan to avoid incurring huge charges. I am amused that I am considering keeping a $70 cell phone plan active when I’ve resented paying the $17 minimum fee to keep my Virgin mobile phone active. I think that part of it is that I will be able to use this phone everywhere I travel and that I’d need it active anyway in the US to get the data plan. Might as well keep it going all the time.

Verizon seems like an okay company to deal with, but they are a little clingy. I just made a payment online using my credit card and I immediately got both a text and an email thanking me! I won’t even get into the mountain of paperwork they sent me thanking me for signing up, for changing my plan, for switching to paperless billing (as my friend says, oh, irony, it burns!). Hopefully, that will calm down a little.

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Cell Phone, Communications & Electronics, Internet, Technical    5 Comments
Apr 25, 2012 -

Overcast Morning in Iowa

It’s warm in Council Bluffs this morning, but the sun hasn’t come out yet. I’ll be heading out shortly, going southbound to Kansas City and then shooting eastwards to Columbia. This will mean another fairly long day today, but a short one tomorrow as I plan to stop for a couple of nights in St. Louis. It’s my friend’s hometown and I promised her I’d ride the Arch. 🙂

I can’t believe how much better the internet here is than in North Dakota; much better signal and faster. I haven’t had a hard time getting on at all down here. I must say that having internet on this trip, even though it is costing me an arm and a leg, is making a huge difference. Last spring in the Pacific Northwest without it was really frustrating!

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Communications & Electronics, Internet, Iowa, Itineraries, MIssouri, Technical, Travel, USA    1 Comment
Apr 19, 2012 -

Tethered

My wonderfully awesome friends Ken and Donna gave me their US Verizon cell phone that can be used as an internet modem. A lot of money, several phone calls to tech, and about five hours later, I’m finally online with a connection similar to what I get with my internet key in Canada. I also have a US phone number. I am shocked by how easy the activation process was. I know that a few short years ago, I would have needed a US credit card and SSN. Today, they were able to run a Canadian credit check (must have been good since I didn’t need to make a deposit) and all they wanted beyond that was a US address, which I was able to give them since my best friend told me I could use hers.

Getting on was so hard that I’m afraid to log off! But I badly need groceries. I spent some time trying to find the nearest grocery store when I remembered that I am parked at a Super Walmart. Doh.

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Communications & Electronics, Internet, Technical    3 Comments
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