Failed by my technology on the way to Prague

We took MIR TV to Prague over the weekend. It’s a super city — steeped history, stunning architecture, friendly people.

We met some smart folk and we captured some good footage. That’s ANOTHER 3 hours of video to edit!

I had quite a lot of people querying why they heard more or less nothing from me via Twitter (I’m at ew4n) during the weekend. The answer is simple. I trusted in my technology and it spectacularly failed, before I’d even arrived in Prague.

If I’m Twittering, I prefer to do that via two mediums: iPhone Tweetie Client or Blackberry GoogleTalk Client hooked directly into Ping.fm. ‘Pingdotfm’, the Ping.fm user-gateway name for the service has been continually offline for days. It’s super when it works. I just type in a sentence as though I’m chatting via the excellent Blackberry GoogleTalk client and … woosh, my message is echoing across tons of services in seconds.

But that’s not been working for some reason. So my fall back plan? Tweetie. I expected to do a few Twitpics, a few updates now and again and so on.

But no.

Here’s what went wrong.

I stayed in a hotel at Heathrow the night before we were due to depart. Instead of the Yotel, I picked the Sofitel which is actually *at* Terminal 5. It’s nice and new and efficient. I placed my fully-powered Blackberry and fully-powered iPhone 3G next to my bed, set both alarms for 05:45 and went to sleep. I said I’d meet Dan and Ben for breakfast airside at about 06:30. Plenty of time.

At 04:20 I woke up suddenly and saw the time. No bother. There was time for maybe one more REM cycle. At 6:40 I glanced at the hotel clock, just to check the time.

And then I started effing and blinding. Oh the language that came out of my mouth.

I’d turned to my devices to query why the alarms had not worked — or HOW I’d slept through them. Arse, arse and thrice arse.

The answer? Well, there’s next to no signal in this hotel — for SOME reason. Perhaps it was the area my room was located in? My Blackberry had NO power left, my iPhone was displaying the ‘power me up please’ screen. As I cursed my rubbish technology — I was *depending on it* — I swapped to the other fully charged Blackberry that I’d brought with me. That worked. No such luck for the iPhone.

And of course I hadn’t brought a charger. Instead I’d brought a camera and all the gubbins that you need to film reasonably professional in a European city. No space for ANOTHER charger.

What happened to erase the power on both of my handsets in about 6 hours?

Simple. Because there was SOMETIMES mobile service but generally NO mobile service in my room, both handsets spent 6 hours doing this:

* Logging on to the network
* Trying to setup 3G services
* Oh no, no 3G services available
* Falling back to 2G
* Oops lost signal
* Hunt for signal
* Found the signal again; logging on
* Logged on

.. and repeat.

The net result being they’d sat and drained themselves. Completely.

Come on. How *annoying*.

I should have put both of them in ‘airplane’ mode.

I had a fully powered Blackberry, thanks to the spare battery I brought along. I *should* have brought my iPhone charger. Fat lot of use it’d have been whilst I was walking the streets of Prague though.

I think I need a Proporta.

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  • http://www.kcjhdesign.co.uk Kip Hakes

    Did think you'd been quiet! :)Yup nothing seems to eat a battery like when it is trying to find a signal! A more sensible idea maybe would be for the phone to have say 'x' number of attempts and then stop! Still hope you had an enjoyable trip! :)

    K

  • Mike42

    That'll learn you for sleeping in a lead-lined bunker.

    I do like the idea of Mr Belt & (pinstriped) Braces lining everything up on the bedside table (possibly aligned to Newbury on a wee non-slip mat). Lying down, getting up again to check for the 3rd time that yes, the wee alarm icon is still up and that it's for 5:45am tomorrow, not the day after.

    Oh to have had an audio of the 6:40 moment of realisation.

    One question: does this hotel not offer a wakeup call? Or bedside alarm clocks?

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    Come on, how retro is a 'wakeup call' or a 'beside alarm clock' ?? I thought I'd evolved my technology beyond this…

  • Mike42

    I like to spread my technology bets…plus if the hotel fails to wake me and I miss my flight, I can raise merry hell and probably get a voucher for a free night's stay in a suite or somefink.

    Whereas if it's a coverage issue, well, I don't fancy your chances with Voda CS: “You made me miss my flight because your coverage didn't make it into my hotel room. Gimme gimme gimme!”

    Question is: will you ever rely on a mobile device again for something like waking up for a flight?

    In this instance, it was coverage. It could just as easily have been an OS crash.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    GAHHHH my handsets wake me up every other day perfectly reliably!

  • Mike42

    Only every other day? so half the time you are late? Explains quite a bit ;-)

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    Hah!

  • http://shkspr.mobi/ TerenceEden

    That's why I only take devices which charge via micro-USB. Only need one charger / plug it in to a laptop.

    For future reference, the BlackBerry will still sounds its alarm even if it's powered off. If you have a Storm or a Bold, you can put them in to “Bedside” mode – that way they show the clock and sound the alarm but they don't connect to the network.

    I'm sure you can buy an App from the Apple App Store for $3.99 to do it to…

  • http://ymb.jaiku.com Mike Bradshaw

    i thought blackberries used Standard USB cables to charge with, are you telling me you could not get a loan of a USB cable, or that you did not have one?
    The wierd iPhone connector i can forgive, you could never find one of them in an airport ;)

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    If I'd had a USB cable, I didn't have anything to charge from!

  • http://invalid.name DanLane

    I take one of these, it's very good: http://www.gear4.com/product_detail.php?product

  • http://invalid.name DanLane

    Pick up one of these: http://www.gear4.com/product_detail.php?product… but remember to bring the correct adaptor… took me ages to disassemble (and even longer to reassemble) the hotel room desk to find a suitable plug after I bought the US adaptor by mistake.

  • http://ymb.jaiku.com Mike Bradshaw

    My bad, i can normally find a USB port somewhere, or have something with one with me (hotel desktop/kiosk PC, ask someone if you can plug into their laptop etc)

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    You pulled the hotel desk APART??

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    I was traveling ultra light Mike! I had to carry all the camera stuff — and for simplicity, I wanted to carry it all as hand luggage. So no space for anything else! I think I'll get a proporta!

  • http://ymb.jaiku.com Mike Bradshaw

    My bad, i can normally find a USB port somewhere, or have something with one with me (hotel desktop/kiosk PC, ask someone if you can plug into their laptop etc)

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    You pulled the hotel desk APART??

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I was traveling ultra light Mike! I had to carry all the camera stuff — and for simplicity, I wanted to carry it all as hand luggage. So no space for anything else! I think I'll get a proporta!

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