Posts Tagged ‘bad’

0759 for the hidden Sky menu

This really falls under the “just so I know where to look next time I forget” category.  With MySky, the “setup” menu is hidden from casual use (IIRC in both UTF Sky and Sky Digital it is not).  To get to it, you go to the system settings menu and type 0759 (0SKY) and then select, and it takes you to the menu where you can change the satellite settings, do a fresh installation, and so on.

When we moved house, the theory was I could just pick up the MySky box and plug it in (there was already a satellite) and save $50.  Unfortunately, this didn’t work.  I was told that I could call their helpdesk and they would be able to help get past the “poor reception” error (which is indeed what I got).  Unfortunately, the technician I spoke to couldn’t do much – in fact she had to put me on hold while she looked up the MySky settings (she started out trying to fix Digital – do they not have an indicator on the customer record that shows I have MySky?) and was clearly reading from a sheet – and a slightly inaccurate sheet at that (it missed a couple of menus, although I knew where to go).

At the end of the day, the tech on the phone couldn’t help.  Although I could again get to the hidden menu, I had forgotten that MySky doesn’t offer a nice simple “choose the satellite” menu – instead you get to enter the frequency and angle yourself, which is information I don’t have.  I’m so busy with work and unpacking that I figured that I’d just not bother trying anything else and let the tech fix it.

It turned out that it was a cable around the wrong way.  However, this isn’t totally my fault – the satellite cable gets split and plugs into the MySky box twice.  One lead is white and one is black.  There are no indicators at all on the MySky box or the splitter that indicates that there is any difference between the two (no #1 and #2 or ‘white’ and ‘black’ or any markings at all).  I’ve unplugged and re-connected MySky many times, and must have luckily picked the same place to plug each cable in, since apparently if you get them the wrong way around you get no signal.

Couldn’t the tech on the phone have mentioned this?  Even just a “try swapping the black and white cables” would have sufficed.  If I’d had more time to play around with things I would have disconnected everything and tried again, and might have randomly selected the right way around, but I didn’t have time for that.  Even suggesting that, though, would have been something.

I guess they really want their $50 moving fee.  For about 5 minutes of technician time.  Bah.

Hardly news, but: Vodafone NZ sucks

They finally (hard to believe they waited this long) released their iPhone plans (the website is barely up at the moment – they own the second largest ISP in NZ, and can’t handle a bit of load!).

I knew that the data would be expensive here, although I had a little hope when I saw the costs in Australia.  This is much worse than I thought it would be, though.  Are people really going to pay $250 per month?!?  I guess so, but you’re excluding vast numbers of people that would be otherwise interested in this month.

My guess is that the cost is indirectly Apple’s fault.  At the WWDC keynote, Jobs pointed out that the cost around the world would be as low as (or lower than) the new US price – no doubt Apple enforces this in their contracts with the providers.  Vodafone NZ doesn’t want to sell the phone for $199, but has to, so simply raises the contract price until they get what they want out of it anyway.

This is twice as expensive as the US or even the complaining Canadians.  And we have a reasonably decent 3G network, so the phone would have been useful here.

The “250” plan costs $2,619 for 24 months.  For that, you get the phone, 120 minutes, 600 txts, and 250MB of data a month.  I’d pay that, but 120 minutes isn’t enough (we used about 200 minutes last month), and 600 txts are barely enough (580 last month).  It’s the data that breaks the deal – 250MB is about 8MB a day.  IOW, barely enough to check email and use the map occasionally.  My Zabbix status page is about 3MB.  I could check it twice a day.  Ridiculous.

The “500” plan costs $3719 for 24 months, and gives you the phone, 250 minutes, 600 txts, and 500MB of data a month (16MB a day).  Perhaps enough data to use the phone as long as you were really careful and around accessible wifi a lot.  But that’s a big jump in price.

The “1GB” plan (I can’t believe that’s the largest!) costs a whopping $6349 for 24 months (3 and a third brand new iMacs!).  600 minutes, 600 txts, and 1GB of data (32MB a day).  Too many minutes, and still not enough data, although it’d be useable.  But $250 per month?  There’s no way that I can justify spending that, even as a business expense (I would be using it to check the status of servers while out).

A 2GB plan (paying the overage cost) costs $7069 for 24 months.  600 minutes, 600 txts, 2GB for $280 per month.

The other option is to stick with our current plan and add a data pack.  We currently get 60 minutes, 600 txts and also have three “best mates” (unlimited txts, pxts and calls) for $46/month.

With the 200MB data plan added, the cost is $2950.75 for 24 months.  That’s only just more expensive than the iPhone 250 plan, and would suit us much better (the best mates make all the difference).  The difference between 8MB of data a day and 6.45MB of data a day is the difference between barely using the data and barely using the data.

With the 1GB data plan added, the cost is $3430.75 for 24 months.  Less than the iPhone 500 plan!  Twice the data for less money!  What are they thinking?  More importantly, what are the suckers that sign up for this thinking?  Sure you get 120 minutes with the iPhone plan, but we have three best mates that account for vastly more than 60 minutes of call time.  Given that most of the calls and a large proportion of our txts are to those three people, we get better value for exactly the same usage for close to half the price.

So: is it worth another $50 per month (and $1129 upfront) to have the iPhone?  That’s a large chunk of money.  It’s a great device, and we absolutely would use the GPS/mapping/data functionality that our iPod touch lacks.  Lots of thinking in the next couple of days!

A final note: the iPhone itself is $1129, the iPod Touch is $449.  $680 for GPS, calls, txts, and (for lots more money) data while not connected to wifi.  Pretty steep.