My wife was not happy with her android cell phone and wanted to find out it it was a faulty phone or that was just the way it was made.

So, after our swim, we went to the mall to talk to fellows who sold us the phone 2 years ago.  On the way we passed the Koodo kiosk and decided to stop ans see what they had.  Well that was it,  The saleperson was so good that he sold my wife on a new Samsung Galaxy S III on a cheap data plan and he convinced me to move my iPhone 4 from Rogers to Koodo.

Well that was the start of the long process to get me moved over.

1 – Connon, the fellow at the Koodo booth, explained about the different plans for Pat and myself.

2 – He asked me if my iPhone was UNLOCKED.  I said yes because I had that done in the fall of 2013 because i wanted to be able to use my iPhone when I was travelling.  I had paid my money at the time and that was it.

3 – Connon did all the paperwork and processed the switch over so that Rogers no longer was my service provider but it would now be Koodo.  All was going well.

4 – Connon removed the Rogers Sim from my phone and inserted the new Koodo Sim.  Problem -  phone says invalid sim.  Oh oh.

5 – I phoned Rogers help line and between navigating the menus,  getting my call dropped,  explaining my problem and getting transferred to another person:  I spent about 1 hour talking to Rogers while standing in the middle of the mall leaning against a pillar.  The Rogers staff could agreed that I needed the phone unlocked before I could have Koodo be the provider,  they could not find any proof that I had the phone unlocked.  And I maintained that I distinctly recall that I had it unlocked in2013 August time frame.  Total time on project = about 2 hours.

5 – I went home and phoned Rogers again about 3 pm.  Again I explained what the problem was. Now I spent most of the time on hold and being transferred  finally to the unlock department I got a fellow who tried to help and again on hold.  He could not find any record of my iPhone being unlocked.  He said that he had to go home now.  He explained that he had missed his bus and also missed the train.  So he now transferred me aback to Tech Support.  Time = 4:10

6 – New person in Tech support listens again to my story and goes in search of the billing information or some other record that would prove that I at least paid for the unlock.  I searched my expense file and found the bill that showed the billing for the unlock done September 03 2013.  Time = 4:15  Now the Tech support person also finds the record also to confirm.  To now back to the Unlock Group.  Time 4:18

7 – Wait again for 23 minutes. Time 4:41, a fellow from the Unlock group answers and I go through the story again.  He explains that I may have paid but it seems that the iPhone was not unlocked.  He accessed a database at Apple and my iPhone did not show up as being unlocked.  The reason, he said, is that I should have done a full Factory RESET at the time and then and only then would the phone be unlocked.  The salesman who sold me the unlock did not tell me that was the requirement.  Arggg.  (That is my story and I am sticking to it)

8 – Now to do a RESET.  But first I have to do a full BACKUP,  you know – save all of my music and apps and games and telephone numbers.  The UnLock Tech said do an iCloud backup. “Ok” says I and start.  Oh oh,  after about 5 minutes doing the backup a message appears that says that the backup will be finished in “about 5 hours”.   “WHAT says I”..  This is not right.   So I said good-by to the Tech and he said that he would phone later to see if I had succeeded or not. Time = 5 pm.

9 – The Unlock Tech called back at 6:15 and the backup to the iCloud still had 3 hours to go.  Arggg

10 – Ok, now I had to do a BACKUP using iTunes as I have done in the past.  Whoa , iTunes is not on my computer.  WTH.  where did it go?  I do not recall removing it.  I liked it.  Ok, no problem  I will simply access the iTunes site and do another download and reload iTunes.  Not so.  The download from the site using FireFox or MS Explorer did not work.  WTH.  I tried and tried with no success.  Ok, I thought, maybe I have some sort of virus so I started my Norton 360 scan to see what it might find. Time = 6:15  The scan is a long process.  So it is supper time.

10 – Time 7:30 pm or so.  I look at the results of the Norton 360 scan and it found 3 little possible problems and deleted them.  Ok, I think,  maybe that was the problem.   No.  I still cannot download a new iTunes from the iTunes site.  Arggg again.  Ok, maybe there is another site to down load from.  With a little bit of googling I find a site that looks safe and do a down load of iTunes.  It works and after 5 or so minutes I get iTunes running.

11 – Time 8 pm Now I try to do a BACKUP of the iPhone.   It seems to work so I left it for the night because it was going quite slowly.

12 – Time 8:00 am – Hooray, it works.  Now I try a full restore to test that the Backup was ok.  Again it was slow so I left it to run.

13 – Time 9:00 am -  The restore worked it seems.  So now to do the full RESET:  I get into the Setting – Reset and select to ERASE ALL CONTENT and SETTINGS.  iPhone asks for my passcode and I enter it.  Ok so far.   Now the iPhone asks for my Restriction Passcode.  WHAT it this?  So I do a bunch of digging on the web and find that is to prevent children from accessing certain things (I think).  I do not recall entering a Restriction Passcode.  So I try some of my 4 number favourites including 1234,  9999,  1350,  etc and nothing helps.  The troubling aspect is that the iPhone is now keeping track of how many times I tried and failed.  At 6 it said I could try again in 5 minutes.  Oh Oh.  On one of the help sites some fellow said that he tried many times and was up to a wait of 1 hour before he could try it again..

14 – Time 9:30  am-  I did a lot of googling and found a site that had a FREE (important feature) piece of software that would help me find the restriction passcode and possibly reset it.  Ok, here I go.  Short story about the FREE bit.  The instructions are quite good and clear but very fiddly and long.  I got half way through and figured that this was not for me.  I could end up messing up my backup and really killing the ability to do a full restore. I am a techi and can usually handle detailed stuff but this was deep water for me.    And then I read more documentation that said that the new iPhone software is different and all that previous stuff that I had attempted would not work anyway.  CRAP.  Then with more reading there was a mention of clicking on Utilities and then click on SHOW or RESET the Restriction Passcode.  Wow,  I had missed that.  That is exactly what I want.  So I click on SHOW and, you guessed it,  I got the message.  This feature is only available in the PAID version which cost USD $30.  CRAP again.

15 – Time 1035 am – I dig out my visa card that I use for internet purchases (low limit of course) and buy the PAID version.  And then I select SHOW the Restriction passcode and it says it is “0000′.   I am shaking my head now. (and maybe banging it on the desk top)  Yes, that is what I would have used,  Why did I not try it previously.  So I now own a nice piece of software for $30 that I will never use again and can’t sell because it seems to have a very good copy protection.

16 – Time 10:45 am -  I do the RESET and now enter my passcode and the restriction passcode of “0000″ and the iPhone now does a full RESET. Finally.  Now I start the RESTORE from BACKUP and it starts but is running slowly.

17 – Time about 12:15 pm – RESTORE has completed.  Good.  I remove the ROGERS sim from my phone and replace it with the Koodo sim and we have lift off.  The iPhone is searching for a Koodo cell tower signal and finds one and give me 3 bars.   Finally.

So, the total cost to move my cellphone provider from Rogers to Koodo is about 10 hours of time and $30 USD for the program and $50 for the Unlock a year ago.  Had I known the rough path that I would be on I may have reconsidered the move from Rogers to Koodo.   It might be easier next time I venture along this path or then again,  maybe not.

I am a techi and can handle most of this stuff but this particular situation leaves me shaking my head about the complexity of the systems that we have built.  I was really hoping for something as simple as someone just turning a switch (or clicking a check box) that says my service provider is now Koodo and that should have taken about 4 seconds at most.  Instead I spent 10 hours,  Rogers technical staff spent maybe 5 hours.  Interesting.





12 -


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F-35 Fighter Jets for Canadian Armed Forces

by Ted on December 7, 2012

Canada has been looking for a new Fighter Jet aircraft for the past 10 years or so and had been fixated on the F-35 which was promoted as being the best of its class in speed and its radar invisibility. (they call this “stealth” technology).

And the life time price of the total purchase has risen dramatically from less that $10 Billion to at least #30 Billion (and some are saying possibly $50 Billion).  And this was not even going to be allowed to be discussed by the citizens.

Many people have issues with the total cost which is huge.  Can you imagine a singe fighter worth about $250 million (that is $15Billion purchase price divided by 65 planes).  Here I am estimating the purchase price as being 1/2 of total lifetime cost of $30 Billion.

Times have changed in the last 20 – 30 years.  Technology has changed dramatically.  The developers of fighter aircraft are using all the new technology to make the aircraft faster and more deadly in their purpose.  The avionic systems are state of the art and are VERY expensive.

I suggest that, in today’s new world of technology, that the very idea of a fighter jet may be out of date.  The idea of one or two airmen in a super fast aircraft (or missile) whose purpose is to intercept other super fast aircraft or to bomb or strafe enemy in bunkers (foxholes anyone) , is obsolete in the extreme.  The developers are just dressing up an old idea.

Today the cutting edge is remote control and autonomous and small and cheap.  Drones are the latest item now.  Most drones are controlled by some desk warrior 1000 s of miles away who goes home to his family after a days work.  New drones will be tricked out with AI (artificial intelligence) and very high resolution cameras.  These drones will be given the task of finding Mr. Smith and following further instructions like:  report location or kill.  Oh, these drones will not be missiles or even slow moving aircraft but may even be 10 kilogram silent helicopter types that may even look like a soaring eagle.  In 5 years from now the latest will be a drone that looks like a humming bird,  act like a humming bird but will be able to fly to a person and kill that person.  Can you imagine  Mr Smith lounging around in Belize with his friends and all of a sudden there is a swarm of humming birds that descends on them and they are all killed.  This will be possible soon if not already.

The future of the military is going to include thousands of small, cheap, aerial, unmanned craft that will do all of the snooping and various levels of combat.  If the drone is shot down or captured then the loss is minor.  It will be just like the loss of 1 bee from a hive of many.

Another technological advance that will determine the end of the fighter jet is the cheap, fast missiles that will take out any fighter they are told to “take out”.  If a fighter can fly at 2 or 3 times the speed of sound then a missile can do the same.  If a superbly trained pilot can weave and dodge in a “dog fight” then so can a missile.  A single pilot will be no match to 5 or 10 missiles.  And 1000 missiles will cost as much as a single aircraft. And there was another new item of a Gatling type gun that can shoot many 1000 s of explosive shells per second. Think of an aircraft flying into that.

So,  I am suggesting that the Canadian military invest in the new technology not including anything like the F-35, and beef up the other areas of aircraft that would be used in disaster relief and other non-war related activities.

And beside, if we get into a war with the US or CHINA or even RUSSIA then our little contribution will amount to “sweet bugger all” and we all might as well just surrender.

The goal of the Canadian government should primarily be that of peace.  There are going to be too many problems in the future related to global warming, loss of fish species,  loss of coastal farm land,  displaced populations,  hunger.  We should be preparing for these and not buying quarter billion dollar aircraft that will not survive their 1st mission.

HOT OFF THE PRESS – 2012-12=27

Here is an item that shows where the technology is going.  A quad-rotor copter with a machine gun and controlled with a video link.  It is quite crude but shows the concept.  And this was not created by a $100 million USD project but I suspect with a budget of only $10,000 to $50,000.

Take a look at this  Quad Rotor DRONE with Machine Gun

And this   Bug-Sized Lethal Drones

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Bats in Sydney Park

May 13, 2012

We have visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney Australia many times and it is a fantastic park with lots of everything botanical:  grass,  trees,  plants of all sorts and then there are the bats.  These are the fox bats that live in the trees during the day and fly at dusk to the west [...]

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Fukushima and The Return of GODZILLA

April 12, 2012

See new information added 2013 AUGUST 11 WARNING – SKIP THIS ITEM IF YOU TEND TO HAVE BAD DREAMS CAUSED BY WHAT YOU HAVE READ. Do you remember the fictional monster that was half gorilla and half whale and looked like a mix of giant dinosaurs and was called GODZILLA?  (see to see a [...]

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Loyalty Cards Redeam Earned Points – Not worth the effort

February 20, 2012

I recently reviewed the SaveON More Rewards loyalty card system used by Overwaitea Foods and associated companies in BC. What I found puzzles me. The Loyalty cards when presented at the Cash Out often allow a significant discount on the products. I recall discounts in the range of 20% and more on items. This is [...]

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I just got finger printed

February 10, 2012

Here is an adventure that I just must tell you about. I am now retired, well almost retired, and I am spending a lot of time around the house. It seems that I am getting in my wife’s way and it has been suggested that I get involved with some activity out of the house. [...]

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What does a Trillion Dollars look like

April 28, 2010

When I was a kid a million dollars was a hell of a lot of money. Our high school cost about 3 million. Now a fighter jet costs $500 million and more. Executives of large companies and investment bankers earn at least $5,000,000 each year and many houses are worth $1,000,000 and more. And then [...]

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Australia is Different – Post 1

February 25, 2010

We are currently visiting Australia and are enjoying it immensely. We could not help notice all of the things in Australia that are different from where we live in the Okanagan valley of BC Canada. Some differences are small and really trivial but some are major. You decide. 1 – Backing in Angle Parking. In [...]

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Oh Canada Video

January 24, 2010

Here is an interesting item created by HalfLifeCrew. Oh Canada Video and Rap I found this item in BOING BOING Tweet This Post

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How to live to be 100

January 6, 2010

As you know I frequently visit the TED website.  I don’t do this because my nick name is also Ted.  I do this because there are so many very interesting and important ideas being presented.  These are presentations and not discussions;  some presenters are fantastic and some are a bit nervous and have a problem [...]

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