How To Reset Ink Level On Canon Pixma MP140/MP150 August 31st, 2010
It would seem that manufacturers are not happy any more simply selling you a product; instead they engineer in ways to try and retain your business and force you into buying their own brand consumables and/or replacement parts. In fairness, this makes for good business practice but for the cost conscious consumer, it’s not exactly good news. It wasn’t so long ago that I wrote a blog post regarding Lenovo and batteries. The Lenovo software will constantly remind you that you do not have a genuine battery if you replace yours with an aftermarket model and at the most inappropriate moment, redirect you to one of their sales sites in the hope that you will buy another genuine one. In fact, they’ll even give you a warning that your laptop may spontaneously combust if you continue to use an aftermarket one; the fact they are made by the same manufacturer in the same factory has nothing to do with it of course, they simply want your money at their inflated prices. It’s not just the once though, the pop ups and reminders happen time and time again.
We have an aging Canon MP140 Pixma inkjet printer. In fairness it didn’t cost a lot and it doesn’t get much use but its ideal as a second printer for printing off draft copies of documents; of course it also acts as a scanner and photocopier which are useful features. It was originally bought for printing photographs and actually for the cost, the results are quite impressive. The problem comes when it’s time to replace the consumables, its astonishing the difference in price between a full set of genuine Canon ink cartridges and a set of cheap (refilled) aftermarket equivalents from the likes of ASDA or Tesco. Of course this is all part of the master plan over at Canon (and in fairness, all the other printer manufacturers too; yes, I am referring to you Dell/Lexmark), you’re sold a relatively complex piece of kit that actually performs really well at a rock bottom price; the catch? Well the consumables are going to cost you more than the printer itself.
The printer will of course run perfectly well with non-genuine cartridges, however the printing software (both on your machine installed as part of the driver package and on the hardware controls on the printer itself) will refuse to acknowledge the presence of the new cartridges and will constantly remind you as with the Lenovo software above, that you are not using genuine Canon consumables. In this case, every time you print you are told that your ink has run out which clearly is not the case. It’s more frustrating than anything else, of course had I installed genuine Canon cartridges the ink level monitor would have automatically reset but now, no matter how many times I reinstall the cartridges or reset the printer; it simply keeps telling me I am out of ink even though they are new cartridges. The same would be true if I had taken a set of empty genuine Canon cartridges to the likes of Cartridge World to be refilled; the printer is clever enough to recognise the exact cartridges and will remember that it has run out of ink.
Well I am sorry Canon; I will not be buying your cartridges because I know a way around this problem. It’s actually quite simple all you need to do is perform a factory reset as would take place if you sent your printer back for service to fool the printer, then the levels reset and it is happy to use much cheaper, after-market consumables.
Just do the following:
- Disconnect the power supply to the printer by removing the power lead from the back
- Press and hold the Power Button whilst plugging the power lead back in, then whilst continuing to hold the button down press the Reset Button (the one with the red triangle inside the circle) twice
- Release the Power Button and after around 10 seconds the display will show ‘0’
- Press the + Button to change the value from ‘0’ to ‘1’
- Press the Colour Button; you’ll notice that both the A4 Plain Paper and A4 Photo Paper LEDs will now be on
- Make sure that there is some paper in the paper feeder
- Press the Power Button twice; the printer will now print some random information which you can discard
- Now open the printer cover (not the scanner cover) and remove the cartridges. With the printer still open, remove the power lead from the back of the printer once again
- Close the printer cover
- Replace the power lead and press the Power Button to turn the printer back on
- Now replace the cartridges and the ink level monitor will be reset
It’s about time that manufacturers acknowledged that owing to their inflated prices buying genuine consumables are simply too prohibitive for a lot of people. If they were to lower the cost (and let us be frank, does it really cost them that much to produce?) then I would not have an issue with them engineering in ways to try and manipulate you into buying their own consumables. But if they insist on keeping their prices so high, stop the nagging; we aren’t fooled and we aren’t going to buy from you anyhow. Remember a happy customer is a customer for life and above all else, the customer is always right!
I hope you find this useful.
HTC Desire: Downgrading HBOOT And Installing Custom Froyo ROM August 28th, 2010
** Last Updated 30/08/2010 23:45 – I have updated the post to reflect the release of OpenDesire v4.0 (the original post was built around v3.6). For future releases, I will not revise the post as all you need to do is substitute the ROM file for the newer release if available; the rest of the guide remains the same. To check the latest file, head over to this thread **
It’s been a while now since the official Froyo OTA was released and installed by most people who will be reading this post. For most of you, using the official Froyo will be more than enough to satisfy your soul but for some, you’ll be wishing you had waited a few days; certainly enough time to allow the developers to root the official OTA and thereby giving you what we all – apparently – want, value added extras!
Initially, for those who followed the official upgrade path to Froyo, and I include myself here, there was not much we could do once the initial Froyo honeymoon period was over. The Froyo update also included a new HBOOT driver which meant that we could not perform root, or play with the recovery very easily. As with all things though, a little time and this has all changed. So, if your happy with Froyo (and please, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with it, the official Froyo is great and for the average user, will be more than enough to bring a big smile to your face) then you can stop reading this post; but if you crave the ability to root and delve further into your Desire’s abilities then read on, I’ll show you how to downgrade your HBOOT and install an already rooted, custom Froyo ROM image and install a custom recovery along the way meaning you can easily change ROMs at will in the future.
I decided to install the excellent OpenDesire ROM from AdamG which is as close to stock as possible but with performance enhancements and a very small footprint. It’s also a vanilla ROM so does not contain the Sense UI overlay (which I prefer as it runs much quicker and smoother than the HTC ROM). Of course, you can choose any ROM you wish; see here for options and more information on each ROM. Once you have a custom recovery and root, you can of course swap and change between these ROMs at will, daily if you wish. To use a different ROM, simply change the download in the first step of the guide below.
Caveat: A word of warning, HTC and your network provider will frown at anyone trying to install custom software onto one of their devices and will quite rightly use this as an excuse for not honouring any warranties. The method shown in this post has been tested by myself and works, however if you do not understand any of the steps or do not follow the guide, you risk damaging your phone and owning a very expensive ‘brick’; please ensure you read the entire post before attempting this yourselves and ask any questions before you need to ask them. I will not be held accountable for any bricked phones; you follow this guide at your own risk.
This guide is based on an unbranded Desire handset running the latest HTC official Froyo ROM (although my Desire once upon a time used to be a branded Virgin Mobile handset, you can find a guide here for a step by step guide for debranding and upgrading to the official Froyo ROM) meaning a firmware version of 2.09.405.8, HBOOT version of 0.92.0001 and radio version of 5.09.00.20, importantly it is also based on an AMOLED Desire and not one of the newer sLCD versions. It’s very important that you check to make sure what specifics you have before following this guide; if unsure ask a question. This guide will also work on other combinations but you may need to follow additional steps depending on your individual device.
Before proceeding with this guide, ensure that you backup any important data on your Device, by following this guide your Desire will be restored to a state which does not have any of your applications or user data. You’ve been warned.
Ok, now that’s all of the boring stuff out of the way, let’s get on with the guide:
- Download the following files to your local machine, for simplicity I usually save them to the desktop as you’ll be needing them again shortly: [PB99IMG] [Official 2.1 WWE OTA] [misc_update] [OpenDesire ROM] [Froyo Radio]
- Remove your SIM care from your Desire. You shouldn’t need to do this but some devices has been SIM locked during ROM flashing so best be safe
- Ensure your Desire is sufficiently charged, I usually make sure it is at least 50% charged; you don’t want the battery running out during the flashing process
- As above, triple check everything is backed up that you want to keep
Now we can start the actual downgrade process.
Important: This guide assumes that you still have your original gold card from previously upgrading your Desire’s ROM. You will need a gold card in your Desire to successfully complete this guide so if you do not have one or have formatted your microSD since you last used it, create one with the aid of this guide. If you’re unsure, create a new one anyway.
- Copy the 5 files that you have just downloaded onto the root of your microSD card and then depending on how you did this, either put the microSD card back into your Desire or unplug your Desire from your PC
- Turn off your Desire
- Turn your Desire back on whilst holding down the Volume Down key, this will take you to the HBOOT menu. Wait until PB99IMG.zip is automatically found and verified
- Press the Volume Up key to begin the downgrade process. Once the downgrade has started wait until all of the steps have completed, your Desire will automatically reboot during this process. It’s important that you do not interrupt the power or turn your phone off whilst the downgrade is talking place
- Once the downgrade process has finished, press the Volume Up key to reboot
At this stage, you will have a downgraded Desire running an official 2.1 Éclair ROM. You can check this by skipping through the initial installation steps and going to Menu>Settings>About Phone>Software where you should now find your firmware is version 1.21.405.2, if you were watching while your Desire rebooted in the above step you’ll also have noted that the HBOOT is now 0.80
You now need to remove PB99IMG.zip (there is no need to remove the other files, unless you want to) from the root of your microSD before continuing with this guide, also download the following files, again to your desktop for ease: [Unrevoked3] [Unrevoked USB driver]
Next continue with the guide:
- Uninstall any versions of HTC Sync that you currently have installed on your PC
- Enable USB Debugging on your Desire, this can be found by navigating through Menu>Settings>Development>USB Debugging, you’ll be asked to confirm this with a security dialogue box, click OK
- Ensure that the correct adb drivers are installed on your PC, to test this restart your phone in HBOOT mode (reboot with the Volume Down key held in) and go to Device Manager on your PC. You’ll probably find that the adb device – your Desire – will have an exclamation mark next to it meaning the driver is not installed correctly. Right click this and choose to update the driver, pointing the wizard to the USB driver you downloaded on your desktop earlier (you may need to extract the archive first)
- Start the Unrevoked process by running the reflash_package executable on your desktop and follow the onscreen instructions
The Unrevoked package will now root your Desire and install a custom recovery image, meaning you’ll have far greater control over your Desire in the future and allow you to now continue and install the custom Froyo ROM.
- Once the Unrevoked process finished, you should be in your new custom recovery
- Select install zip from sdcard by using the Volume Up and Volume Down keys to navigate, using the optical trackball to select the correct option
- Select choose zip from sdcard
- Select misc_update from the SD and confirm it by navigating to Yes. This will repair your /misc partition
- Go back to the front screen on the recovery menu by using the Back key
- Select both the wipe data/factory reset option and wipe cache partition option before continuing
- Select install zip from sdcard then choose zip from sdcard
- Choose radio-5.09.05.03 2.zip from the list and wait for the upgrade to take place then update-od-4.0-signed.zip and wait for the upgrade to take place (remembering that if you downloaded a different ROM at the beginning, you’ll need to select that option instead)
- Once the upgrade has taken place, choose reboot from the menu
The initial reboot will take longer than normal, once your Desire has started turn it off again and replace your SIM card, then turn it back on and enjoy your new, even faster Froyo!
Notes: I’ve followed this procedure a few times now to test it all works, on one occasion during the initial reboot after the upgrade process my Desire seemed to sit way too long on the initial boot at the splash screen. If this happens to you (I mean more than 5-10 minutes, it will take longer than normal this is OK) then don’t panic, just pull the battery and restart in HBOOT mode, then reflash the ROM again by following the final 4 steps above, very occasionally it doesn’t seem to take first time, this used to be the same when I was flashing my old G1! Before reflashing, use the wipe data/factory reset option and wipe cache partition option.
For those like me who miss the HTC clock widget, there is an alternative available (although it has long since been pulled from the market) called fancywidget which can be downloaded from here. It’s almost undistinguishable from the original HTC version.
I hope you’ve found this useful, please remember to sign up to my FeedBurner service to receive email updates of further posts. Please leave any comments of questions below and either I or one of the other frequent flyers will get back to you soon.
Windows 7: My Thoughts A Year In August 18th, 2010
It’s been over a year now since Windows 7 RTM came to market, a year which unusually for a newly released Microsoft OS has been in the main, trouble free. The transition for many business users from Windows XP to Windows 7 has been easier than with previous incarnations, certainly surprisingly simple considering there is a decade separating the two operating systems which let’s face it in the ever changing world of IT, is a huge gap.
Overall Windows 7 has been a massive boost for Microsoft generally with the latest figures telling us that more than 150 million licences have already been either installed or at least sold. So what does this tell us (apart from the size of Microsoft’s bank balance)? Well, importantly it means that Windows 7 has now effectively overtaken the installed user base of Windows Vista during its first year of sale which let’s face it is huge for Microsoft although for us; not at all surprising given that Vista is far from perfect (or even good actually).
I was an early adopter of Windows 7 and moved my primary machine to Windows 7 Ultimate prior to the official release (I was fortunate enough to be given an official copy by Microsoft prior to the public release date) and was genuinely surprised by the ease of installation compared to prior versions; things like driver installation and compatibility checks are now fully managed by the system. Owing to Vista being – well – actually quite rubbish, I didn’t transition via Vista and came from using Windows XP on my machines. Windows 7 is definitely the most stable and robust all round operating system I have used to date for my day to day use, both at home and work.
It’s not all great though, on my T61p battery life is not as good as it used to be and there are a few other areas which have been made unduly complicated compared to Windows XP. But of course Windows 7 is designed appeal to all, including consumers who demand the fluid, GUI improvements and work arounds which I would historically have done manually via the command line; that’s not to say that this can’t still be done, in fact with PowerShell this is even more powerful than ever. Let’s not forget that we are still in the infancy of the OS though, with SP1 under development and due to be released soon I am sure some of these annoyances will be addressed making the OS even better.
Of course in the meantime, now manufacturers have more experience of Windows 7 too, updating the BIOS to the latest version will undoubtedly help with any hardware issues such as the increased battery drain, and updating drivers will iron out any system glitches, although they are few and far between.
For sure though, Windows 7 is Microsoft’s most polished operating system to date (although I do still remember Windows 2000 fondly; it just worked!) and it’s safe to assume there will have been some questions raised in the Microsoft hierarchy as to why Vista wasn’t anywhere near as successful. I’m sure some eye brows were raised.
I look forward to testing Windows 8 at an early stage – I believe the public release date is tentatively set sometime during 2012 – when it becomes available on TechNet, it is most likely to follow in the ilk of Windows 7 and will be Microsoft’s most ambitious project to date, really making full use of cloud and mobile computing whilst fighting off the ever nearer threat from Apple, Linux and most recently Google.
Microsoft finally seems to be heading in the right direction again.
BT Broadband Issues And @BTCare August 11th, 2010
As those of you who follow me on Twitter (@mikesouthby) will no doubt have noticed, I have been having some issues over the past month with my BT Broadband service. I’ve had BT Broadband for some time now and usually, it just works. Perhaps it’s not the cheapest solution, but having the convenience of simply having my usage charged directly to my BT account is convenient; and I’ve simply stuck with it. Of course another reason if the inclusion of the Home Hub for free which saves having to go out and purchase a router independently, the Home Hub itself isn’t a bad piece of kit and once you delve into the settings, can do most things; specification wise it even has 802.11n which is an added bonus for home networking.
The service until recently has been OK, being that I live close to my local Exchange (perhaps no more than 600m) I achieve a reasonable download speed of around 6.5Mbps off peak, although this does of course drop owing to contention during the busy periods. Recently however, the problems began.
I noticed around a month ago that randomly, my connection would disconnect and reconnect automatically, sometimes just the once and sometimes 3 or 4 times in a row. There is not particular pattern to when the problem occurs; sometimes it’s in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes in the middle of the night. At first I simply put it down to ‘one of those things’, I mean once it had reconnected the service was again stable and would resync at the same speed so no harm done. But after a few days the novelty soon wore off, especially as I am often working over a remote connection.
It was then that I started to make a few comments on Twitter and not long after, was contacted (via Twitter) by BT Care (@BTCare). Now before I go any further, let me just say that I think it’s great that a company like BT are moving with the times and communicating with their customers through modern channels such as Twitter, but as I have learnt over the last few weeks, they let themselves down miserably by not keeping me (or others like me) informed as to what is going on, or even more frustrating, give standard responses that in no way make any sense in relation to the thread of conversation that preceded; it’s almost as if they do not read all of the messages that you send, or that they do not have the ability to group them together into conversational threads and thus, making it easier for them to help.
Back to the problem.
After a few tweets to and fro, I was told that an engineer would need to visit my house to investigate the issue – I already had a good idea what the issue may be but understand that an engineer visit was required – and was given a PM slot on Tues 3rd August. Tuesday comes, Tuesday goes. No engineer arrives and the disconnect/reconnect cycles continue. So I contact BT Care again through Twitter:
- Me: (03/08 18:12) @BTCare Thanks for organising appt. just a shame no-one turned up. Wasted afternoon off work. Still, it’s only money hey? #frustrated
- Me: (03/08 20:06) @BTCare So no visit from engineer today as promised and connection still dropping. Please advise
- Me: (03/03 22:25) @BTCare More drops tonight guys, can this PLEASE be sorted
- BTCare: (04/03 12:27) @mikesouthby That’s not good. I have checked the fault today and another engineer visit is required. Can you tweet me when would be convenient
Another engineer visit is required? No mention of the one who never arrived funnily enough. Still, I need the issue resolved so again, say that I will make myself available at any time convenient for the next engineer to visit.
- Me: (04/03 12:48) @BTCare Another? What happened to the one who DIDN’T turn up yesterday? Again, I am flexible for rebooking.
- BTCare: (04/03 15:15) @mikesouthby I am really sorry the engineer didn’t show yesterday. When would be best for you for the visit. Let me know and I will get on it
Well, it’s good that I finally get an acknowledgement about the engineer not arriving, but surely if they had read my previous tweet they would have read that I am flexible for an appointment instead of having to ask again when I am available. Do they read all my tweets I wonder.
- Me: (04/03 15:25) @BTCare As mentioned in my tweet this morning, I am flexible so to suit
- BTCare: (04/03 15:45) @mikesouthby I have booked an engineer visit for tomorrow between 8am and 1pm. Drop me a tweet to let me know if this doesn’t suit
- Me: (04/03 18:23) @BTCare OK thanks, let’s hope they remember to come this time lol
- BTCare: (05/08 09:36) @mikesouthby I’m sure they will :) Keep me posted
So later on the 5th, a BT Openreach engineer arrives as promised. He asks me what the issue is and I explain it to him, I also say that I think it is most likely a dodgy leg on the line card (having worked on many ADSL installations, I have encountered this a few times); he agrees. However, to be sure he runs all of the various tests that he can on my installation and heads off to the Exchange satisfied that there are no issues here and that the line card is the most likely problem. We’d already discussed changing my routing and moving my connection onto another line card, he said that he would have to contact my provider (BT ironically, you’d have thought it would have been simple, left hand talking to right hand and all) from the Exchange and ask permission to move me. He says he’ll call me with the outcome. Back to Twitter:
- Me: (05/08 10:55) @BTCare Engineer has been, suspected line card issue, as thought. At Exchange now seeking permission to change routing from powers that be
A while later he calls and says that my provider would not allow him to move the connection but was already aware of my problem and had been monitoring the disconnections for a while (like no really, thanks, although I would have preferred you to have done something about it instead of just being ‘aware’ of it waiting to see if I would notice and complain), he went on to say that they would change the latency on my line and see if that made a difference, and would continue to monitor the line for a few days. Back to Twitter once more:
- Me: (05/08 12:08) @BTCare Update. Provider says no to change of routing, instead is reducing speed to compensate for drops. Not best outcome! Will monitor…
Sure enough, later that day during another disconnect and reconnect I notice that my latency changed from Fastpath to Interleaved.
The engineer says that there is nothing else he can do although we both ‘agree’ that changing to another line card would have been a better option; line cards do occasionally cause issues and moving connections onto another so it can be rebuilt is the right way to solve the problem. Let me try and explain it by using an analogy. Imagine driving down the road in your car and out of the blue the engine starts making noises; remembering that until that moment in time the car has been reliable, and hasn’t made any noises that it shouldn’t have done. You’re now faced with two options, you either get your car fixed (obviously the best choice as it shouldn’t be making noises) or alternatively, you overcome the problem by turning the stereo up so you can’t hear it anymore. Of course this essentially is what BT have done, changing the latency will have the effect of making the line less sensitive to error and – they were hoping – stop the disconnections.
Let me try and explain Latency for those who may not fully understand it. There are 2 types of error correction on ADSL; normal forward error correction or FEC, which is based on a set algorithm and Interleaving, which is set on longer lines (by distance) if the line has noise above a prerequisite level. Interleaving complements FEC. During showtime, Fastpath is up to level 2, anything required above level 2 to keep FEC working properly and interleaving will be applied automatically at varying levels up to level 32. High levels of interleaving plus the FEC can cause latency (decrease in speed), even though in theory this will only be in milliseconds.
On a long and/or noisy connection turning off Interleaving (or changing latency type to Fastpath) can cause disconnections. Frequent disconnections can result in the reduction of your IP Profile and throughput/download speeds.
In my case, I live what is deemed to be close to my Exchange (around 600m) and my house is less than 2 years old on one of the many new housing developments in North Swindon. The engineer who visited ironically said he remembered working on installing some of the copper in and around the estate, certainly he said I should have no distance or copper quality issues where I live. What does this prove? Well, coupled with the fact that until now I have had a fast, stable connection with latency set to Fastpath, it means that I should not need my latency changed to Interleave; the distance to the exchange is not long enough, the installation in my house is new enough and neither distance nor age should have a detrimental issue on my connection causing noise or error. The problem didn’t develop, it appeared overnight. In essence, it means that the ‘solution’ given to the engineer by the provider is like turning the stereo up in the example above. The proper solution would be to identify and remedy the problem; the most likely cause would be a developing fault on the line card.
So later that evening, the Twitter thread continues:
- Me: (05/08 19:08) @BTCare More drops. Latency has been changed from Fastpath to Interleaved this evening. Fixing, not overcoming would be preferred
- BTCare: (05/08 19:49) @mikesouthby Hi I checked with our suppliers and they have confirmed everything is now fixed. Tweet me to let me know if this is the case
- Me: (05/08 19:51) @BTCare Not so. Was told they would monitor and leave open. Also, line dropped 45mins ago! What time did they say it was resolved?
Next day and no response, this is where I found the lack of communication start to become frustrating. If a company is to use social media such as Twitter, then it has to do it correctly, not to do so will have a negative effect on what they are trying to achieve; it would have been quicker and less stressful to revert back to the old method at this stage and use the phone (well it is good to talk, right?)
- Me: (06/08 10:03) @BTCare More drops already this morning, and sluggish connectivity. Becoming more frustrating by the day #btbroadband #fail
- BTCare: (06/08 10:24) @mikesouthby Hmm strange, the fault has been closed & all looks good from this end. Are you still experiencing drop outs? Let me know
Evidently, they did not read my tweet less than 20 minutes previously where I clearly stated I was continuing to have issues.
- Me: (06/08 10:36) @BTCare Please READ my tweets before furnishing me with generic responses. If you had, you’d have read ‘more drops already this morning’…
I must have upset them at this stage as they chose to ignore me for the rest of the day. The random disconnections persist and using BTs own speed check test, I get random results, often dropping down as low as 0.69Mbps which on a line with a downstream sync of 8,128kbps is pretty poor. I get my next contact on Saturday morning, again via Twitter:
- BTCare: (07/08 09:54) @mikesouthby I have let the engineers know the problem still exits, updates to come, also if you haven’t used an i-plate,see tiny.cc/1zftp
- Me: (07/08 11:07) @BTCare No, not used an i-plate. Lots of drops today already
- BTCare: (07/08 13:58) @mikesouthby Hey, i tested it and seen the dropouts, i want to get an engineer out to look at it, when would be suitable?
I found this quite funny. So they test my line from their end and can clearly see all of the disconnections, would this not have been a good idea a few nights before when they were happy to close the case; surely it would have made sense to have run a quick check then to make sure for themselves that they were being given good information. Another engineer? I wonder if this one will arrive. Trying to remain positive, I again give them total flexibility in the dates so that I am not causing a delay by not being available.
- Me: (07/08 18:15) @BTCare Anytime I am flexible, just let me know
- Me: (07/08 19:09) @BTCare Can I pre-request a switch to another line card at the Exchange, I suspect this to be the issue. Perhaps it needs rebuilding…
- BTCare: (08/08 16:25) @mikesouthby Hi I have booked an engineer visit for tomorrow between 1 pm and 6 pm. Drop me a tweet if this doesn’t suit
- BTCare: (09/08 11:57) @mikesouthby The engineer will decide during the visit how best to resolve the issue. I’ll tweet you this evening to see how it went :)
I thought it would be good to mention the line card issue directly to BT Care, whether they made a note of this in the case notes I’m not sure, but surely by now they would want to do whatever they could to resolve the issue and get me off their case! Monday comes, Monday goes. No engineer.
At this point I start to get quite angry. I know for a fact if I had not been available when an engineer arrived at a pre-booked time I would have been given the standard £50 invoice for wasting their time, well guess what BT, my time is valuable too and I have already taken 3 half days off by now to wait in for engineers, of which 2 have not arrived. I’d charge business clients £45 an hour so I’m sure you can imagine what’s next:
- Me: (09/08 18:03) @BTCare So yet again the engineer has not turned up. Not happy. Who do I send the invoice to for MY time? #btbroadband #btcare#bt #fail
I get no response.
- Me: (10/08 10:08) @BTCare Still awaiting a response re: yesterdays engineer who didn’t turn up, again. You also said you would contact be last night & didn’t
- BTCare: (10/08 11:24) @mikesouthby Hi our suppliers are currently working on this at the moment. I will tweet you later today once I know more
- Me: (10/08 11:51) @BTCare More drops, expect progress 2day or complaint being filed with #ofcom. This has been going on far 2 long with 2 many false promises
- BTCare: (10/08 15:56) @mikesouthby Hi another engineer appointment is required.Slots are Monday-Friday either AM8:00-13:00 or PM13:00-18:00 let me know what suits
- Me: (10/08 16:37) @BTCare Anytime. I expect them to arrive this time. You still haven’t let me know where to send the invoice for my time for the 2 non shows
- Me: (10/08 16:41) @BTCare Can you also DM me an email address for your complaints dept., and the names of the people who have been dealing with this, thanks
- Me: (10/08 19:04) @BTCare Can you please confirm the appointment details, thanks
- Me: (10/08 22:04) @BTCare Still waiting on an update for engineer booking please?
Finally I get a response this afternoon.
- BTCare: (11/08 13:47) @mikesouthby I’ve booked engineer appointment for tomorrow 12/08/10 PM (13:00-18:00) Let me know if this doesn’t suit. Thanks
- Me: (11/08 14:05) @BTCare No, that’s fine thank you
So there we are; I wonder if the engineer will turn up tomorrow.
My experiences with BT Care over the last couple of weeks have highlighted to me an inherent issue with the way companies are embracing new technologies, Twitter in particular. It seems to be the ‘cool’ thing for companies to complement their online presence with Twitter, Facebook and other similar forms of communication. It’s great; but only if it’s done right.
The moral of the story is that if you do not have the resources or manpower to effectively use Twitter, then don’t. At first I was singing BT’s praises for approaching me about my problem after tweeting, but this has now been tarnished into a frustration that will be hard to shift. I find it hard to praise their efforts when my tweets often go unnoticed or unread. As for not giving me the details of who I need to complain to when asked, that’s inexcusable for such a large company (well, any company actually).
I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if my problem is going to be fixed as it should have been on the very first engineers visit, but regardless, BT you must do better. Either put more people on the BT Care team to work with Twitter if understaffing is the issue, develop a better system of working or educate your staff to better their Customer Service skills.
HTC Desire: Creating Goldcard Using Mac Or Linux August 9th, 2010
I have been asked by a few people how to make a goldcard using a Mac, but as I do not have access to one at the moment I have not been able to produce a guide however thanks to Johnny and some research using Google you’ll be pleased to know that I have now produced a guide.
Caveat: I have not been able to test this myself as currently I do not have a Mac to test with; however I have read various comments confirming that this method works. Please post a comment to let me know how you get on.
PLEASE backup the entire contents of your microSD before proceeding, in one of the first steps you’ll need to reformat. I will not be accountable for anyone neglecting to do this and loosing data – you have been warned!
So, to create a goldcard using Mac OSX, simple do the following:
- Backup the data on your microSD
- Click Menu on your mobile
- Go to Settings and then SD & Phone Storage
- Click Unmount SD card
- Click Format SD card
We now need to know the microSD cards CID number, using this method; we can find it by going to the market and downloading ASTRO File Manager. Once you have downloaded and installed it, do the following:
- Open ASTRO File Manager
- Navigate to sys/class/mmc_host/mmc1/mmc1:82d1 (you’ll find that 82d1 will be different on your device)
- Long press on the CID file
- Select Open As and then Text
- Select File Editor
- You’ll be given a long number, make a note of this
Next we need this long number in order to create your goldcard image; this can be done by using a simple tool found on this page:
- Copy the number carefully into the data field and hit Submit
- Make a note of the new number
Next to create the actual goldcard image by going to this page:
- Enter the number from above into the SD Card Serial (CID) field
- Enter the other details and hit Generate Goldcard
- Check your email and save the attached goldcard image file to your user directory
Connect your Desire to your Mac and do the following:
- Pull down the notification bar and press Charge Only (if you have previously changed the default option this may be different, i.e. HTC Sync)
- Select the Disk Drive option and hit Done
- On your Mac, open Terminal which can be found by clicking through Applications>Utilities>Terminal (or your Linux Terminal)
- Type the following:
- You should be able to see your microSD card; you can recognise it from its size and by the fact that its type is DOS_FAT_32. You need to make a note of the Identifier for example disk2s1
- Now you need to unmount the microSD, assuming your Identifier was disk2s1 (change the value ‘2’ based on the number you got after the word ‘disk’) enter the following:
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
Finally, to create your individual goldcard do the following:
- Open Terminal once again and type the following:
sudo dd bs=512 if=~/goldcard.img of=/dev/disk2
(remembering to change the ‘2’ if appropriate)
- You’ll need to enter your password when prompted (or if using Linux, the password for root)
That’s it, goldcard created!