My Three Week Flirtation with the Motorola Q

Being back in SF and wanting to be part of the hip and cool crowd, I went out and purchased a Blackberry-esque phone, the Motorola Q on Sprint. I can’t actually get a Blackberry since Microsoft’s mail system does not run a Blackberry Enterprise Server, which is required to have them work with Exchange email (and running the desktop client breaks company policy of having company data pushed outside the org).

At first, I was overjoyed to have my email, my calendar and contacts all on phone at all times. Having the Calendar was fantastic, it let me keep myself up to date with my life and update things as I needed to. I use my Calendar religiously to keep track of my work and personal lives so having it with me was very valuable. After about the first hour of using the phone, the joy wore off and reality sunk in. The phone barley works.

The list of the problems is too many to enumerate, but I’ll give the highlights. The buttons would stop responding. I would click something, the UI would flash that it received the press and then it did nothing. Clicking “Home” would at times do nothing. I could type faster than the screen could draw. It would send 200 text messages when I wanted to send one. The right thumb scroller just doesn’t work. Pushing the “Talk” button to pick up the phone would hang up on the caller half the time. The battery didn’t charge half the time. I would leave it in the charger overnight only to find it give me an a battery empty alert within minutes. The UI for Windows Mobile 5 is inconsistent, unreliable and non-predictable. Each part of it would act in a different way. It was never able to coordinate the vibrate and ring function (e.g. it would start vibrating a full 5 seconds before the ringer started). I could keep going ad infinitum.

End of the story is I returned it this weekend and I’m back to a non-smart, very-dumb, but at least it works Samsung flip phone.

T-Line

The new Third Street light rail opened up this weekend. It’s been pretty uneven service the last few days, both getting from Embarcadero and Folsom (where I live) to the Sunset and to Caltrain. Going outbound to the Sunset there were all kinds of backups of cars, bunching and other problems in signaling it seemed that made a 30 minute trip in to 1.5 hours. Plus, I had to change lines now (!!) becuase N doesn’t go past the Embarcadero any more so I had to take a S/T/J train and change.

SFist and the Chronicle both have more in depth coverage of what will hopefully be a short lived growing pain.

Craigslist + RSS + Outlook Search Folders

The search function on Craigslist is a bit hard to use and not that powerful if you’re looking in multiple neighbourhoods. Since I’m looking for an apartment in SF in multiple locations, I got an RSS feed out of Craigslist for my maximum price and minimum bedroom requirement and imported that in to Outlook.

At first, I was just using that Outlook to browse the feed, which wasn’t that helpful since I got all the results of place I didn’t care to live in. So I created a search folder with the critera of contains:(“pacific heights” OR “hayes valley” OR “pac heights” OR “nob hill” OR “lower pac” OR “SOMA” OR “south beach”). Bingo bango, all the places I want, in my price range in my neighbourhoods updated automatically from Craigslist directly in my Outlook. Can’t beat that.