The Wireless Revolution

So much for the wireless revolution. I’ve returned the pda and cancelled GPRS, since as far as I can tell, I’m just not going to get the experience that I was looking for.

I spent a couple of hours on the phone with t-mobile support establishing that the abysmal performance of their proxy server wasn’t just a temporary cell crowding thing, a ppp settings thing, or anything else that made sense. We finally got it working at somewhere between a 9600 and 14.4 modem, but with a 30 second lag for the first page to hit the proxy. Turning off the proxy by going through a different AP helped with the latency and speed a bit. Until they went through billing to make the change permanent and managed to switch me back to using the proxy again.

The final verdict is that it’s not supposed to be this slow, and that maybe it’s my phone. I’m going to leave it there, I’ve spent too much effort to justify the marginally better-than-a-modem service that GPRS provides. I suspect that I’d have a different impression of GPRS if I were using a dedicated non-phone device like a danger or blackberry. Email and chat are much more tolerant of the low speed high latency connection than anything interactive like ssh. (SSH and google being the two things that I really want in a phone/pda combo.)

Maybe next year.

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