Tag Archive | Nexus 7

I Ordered A Google ‘Pixel 4’ On Thanksgiving Day & Got $300 Off From The Google Store, With 0% APR.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Oh, and I got 0% APR financing for 2-years!

How could I refuse? SMILE.

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The Google Store & I go back a long time — back to 2012 when I was one of the first to place a pre-order for the Nexus 7 pad. During the course of the last 7-years we have done much business.

I don’t care what folks say about the new Google Pixel 4. There is no other phone I would buy or own! Yes, I am a BIG fan of Google and Pixel phones. I had reasonably good luck with my Pixel 2 which I treated myself to for Christmas 2017. It was the first smartphone I owned. I used it mainly for the camera and by-and-large I have been reasonably happy with the camera. The Pixel 4 has an even better camera.

I buy Pixel for 2 main reasons: software and hardware! With Pixel, you, by definition, get the latest and greatest version of Android as soon it is released. Lot to be said for that. You also get the monthly security updates. So, there is that: Android software. Then there is also the Pixel camera software with all of its near-magical AI — and can I remind you of the fun I have had with the ‘Night Sight‘. The Pixel 4 camera software is supposedly even better.

Whereas folks are complaining about battery life on the Pixel 4, my experience has been that Google insisted on top-notch h/w components of its camera. You could tell. As some of you know I go through a lot of smartphones. Smartphones tax blacktooth, Wi-Fi and GPS hardware on the phone. The Pixel 2 always performed well.

So, that is why I am getting a Pixel 4.

Google tempted me mightily to get a Pixel 3 or 3a — earlier this year. But, I resisted. I knew I could wait until the new Pixel 4 with its new camera ‘bundle’. I hope I am amply rewarded.

Well, you will, of course, be able to see. SMILE.

P.S., I have been on Google Fi since Day #1 of the Pixel 2. Over the last month we went to the Google Fi GROUP PLAN, with 3 of us, now that they support Samsung phones. Yes, I will continue with Fi. Seems to work OK.


Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

Kindle eBooks: Heads Up, Automatic Book Update Notifications & Downloads Not Working.



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Anura Guruge


≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ Check CATEGORY ‘Books‘ for other posts
—>>> (side bar)


Given my propensity for typos I update all my books (e- & print) quite frequently. Being able to update freely is one of the big draws of eBooks.

Given that I have updated all my comet books in the last week, I noticed that I had not received any e-mails notifying me of the updates! Just to make sure that the books looks halfway decent on mobile device I always buy a copy of the book and have it downloaded into one of our Google Nexus 7 (Android) Pads. This way I get to see what customers get to see.

So I contacted Kindle support last night. They know me. We ‘chat’ often. They responded this morning. Yes, they are having issues BUT are working on fixing them — though they don’t have a timescale.

They are willing to manually e-mail all those that have bought my ebooks! That is pretty impressive — though in my case we are not talking thousands of sales.

So just a heads up since this is a topic that is not adequately covered on the Web. Thanks.

Reasons 118 To 119 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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See July 15, 2013 post as to why I have cut back the rants to one or two a day.


#118. I noticed to my intense chagrin that DirecTV does NOT provide me with ANY rating information on two movies that I recorded over the last 24 hours, one of them “Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage“. Absolutely nothing as to whether it is PG, R, XXX of whatever. Normally I don’t check or care about ratings because I other have a good ideas as to what they are supposed to be or because the movie is not for the kids. With these 2 movies, and the other has a title along the lines “A Dog For Christmas” I want to know whether the kids could watch them. Nothing. Nada. Yes, I can, and did, check the Kinkade movie using the Web. It is PG. But this is stupid. In general, compared to DISH, DirecTV’s ‘info’ leaves much to be desired.

#119. The Genie would NOT power up again. From the research I have done, all the indications are that my Genie is ready to die. If it dies before July 20 I could get a new one for free — I think since there is a grudging, petty 30 day warranty. I hope it dies soon. 


Reasons 116 To 117 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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As of today, July 15, 2013, I have 706 days left on my DirecTV 2-year contract.

I plan to schedule the cancellation of it 2 weeks ahead of that date so that it happens exactly ON that day.

I will not have DirecTV for even a minute more than I am obligated to have it.

706 and only 886 more ‘why I really hate DirecTV‘ items to list.

I don’t want to run out of my hate points.

So I am going to throttle back to 1 or 2 a day, per the 1.25/day average I have to maintain, so that I can bitch and moan about DirecTV every day.


#116. This morning, sipping my coffee and waiting for 9 am so I can catch the headlines, I resumed watching a previously recorded Military Channel documentary on the Wilhelm Gustloff the German ship justly torpedoed by the Soviets in the later days of  WW II. I had never heard of it. They reckon upwards of 5,000 Germans drowned. At 9am, I punched in ‘202’. This should have terminated the playback and selected 201. NOTHING. That same BLACK screen I got the day before appeared. #112. I have researched this. IT IS NOT GOOD! Means that the hard drive in my 22 day old Genie is dying! F*ing DirecTV. Since I refuse to pay them more for a protection plan I will have to pay them for a new one. I knew that this was their game. OF COURSE, the Genie can be programmed to fail after the first 30 days — so that suckers like me will have to pay for another one. DirecTV is, in my experience, the most unethical of U.S. companies. It is just out to rape and pillage its user base.

#117. A new record, within 24 hours for the f*ing MUTE button with the Genie f*ing Mini. Yesterday it was 3. #113. Today it was 4. So, 5 tomorrow. This is so f*ing stupid. I have checked. Common problem with the Genie. I have to find a lawyer. DirecTV should not be allowed to get away with this. 


Reasons 111 To 115 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#111. I have 30 Mbps broadband Internet download capacity at home across two dedicated fiber connections, 15 Mbps allocated to the Wi-Fi router and the other 15 Mbps, unshared, piped to this PC. Friday morning I was trying out the DirecTV Android APP (#103 & 104) on our Google Nexus 7 pads. At that time, since everybody in the house was piled on the bed, nobody else was using any bandwidth on the Wif-Fi router. So the router was getting close to 14.5 Mbps (taking into account the overhead). The DirecTV APP on both CNN and Nick was having trouble buffering the video. It was by no means streaming video! We were not impressed.

#112. This morning, Sunday, at 9 am, as is out wont, we put on Boston Channel 4, CBS “Sunday Morning”. Deanna wanted it recorded. So I hit record and it started recording. A commercial came on. I started going up through the Channels all the way to Channel 9, WMUR. They were showing local weather. Watched that. Then hit ‘4’ on the remote to go back. Black screen. NOTHING. No sound. Black screen. Thought bloody Genie was dead again. Hit guide. No, bloody Genie (alas) is alive — just not showing Channel 4. Hit Channel up to go to 5. 5 comes on. Hit Channel down. 4 now comes on. This is so pathetic and stupid.

#113. I had experienced this before (#89), but I again suffered mightily on Friday morning. Around 8:40 in the morning, while still drinking my first cup of coffee, I like to turn the sound off on the TV and read a book until 9 am, when I catch the headlines. So I hit mute. Friday morning mute only worked, turning off sound and then turning it on … on the 3rd attempt. So first two pushes got me noting! This is crazy.

#114. Given all the hassle I keep on encountering with the stupid DirecTV service, suffice to say I find the never ending ‘refer a friend’ commercials by DirecTV that tell me that I can save $400 a month extremely annoying and offensive. I have, however, hatched a plan. I am going to really push DirecTV to all those that irk me. So if you get e-mail (or similar) from me, signing the praises of DirecTV and urging you to switch, you should get the message.

#115. I have, as of today, had DirecTV for 23 days — and as these posts painfully chronicle I have yet to go A DAY without running into a problem. I wonder if the NH lemon law could be twisted to help me out because DirecTV sure is a lemon.


Reasons 101 To 105 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#101. So this afternoon, for the first time, I lost my satellite signal because of inclement weather. I get a cryptic message along the lines ‘signal from Sat. 2 lost …’ press for more info. I do that. It did NOT tell me that I should look out of the window to see if the failure was due to bad weather! Nw I have been liberal in my use of accusing DirecTV of being stupid, but this takes the cake. The main reason I am going to lose my signal is because of cloud cover or snow on the dish. That DirecTV does not address this just proves my case that they are stupid.

#102. Of late, each time I change channels I get this annoying black message bar at the bottom of the screen to tell me that I can hit the record button to record that show. Yes, I fully appreciate by now that DirecTV is targeted at the ‘technologically unsophisticated‘ would get this message after they have seen it 500 times, PLUS it isn’t that profound. To record a show you hit the record button. Most DirecTV customers should be able to work this out after 3 weeks. The bloody bar is annoying because it obscures the news ticker on Channel 202. So today I missed an item and had to rewind the damn thing to read it.

#103. Decided to download the DirecTV android APP on to out two (2) Google Nexus 7 pads. So I go to the Google Play APP store. There are 2 DirecTV apps and one for DirecTV Genie. Of the two DirecTV apps, one says ‘tablet’. That is what we have. An Android tablet — the quintessential Android tablet at that, made for Google and running the latest Android OS. So I go to download the tablet app. Says the Google Next 7 is not supported! Ah! Yes, I could down load the other (phone) APP. Stupid.

#104. The LIVE TV guide in the DirecTV App (#103) does not show you the channel numbers. Just the names of the show. I need channel numbers. Plus I can’t find the movie channels on the LIVE TV part! Not good. The usual DirecTV stupidity and incompetence.

#105. So far, and I have only spent a few minutes playing with it,  the MOVIE section of DirecTV App (#103 & #104) only appears to show me pay-for-view movies. I am sure I haven’t found the others. But it shouldn’t be that hard.


Unstinted Kudos & HUGE THANK YOU To Bank Of America.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


bofathankyou


Over the last 16 days, ever since my disastrous, nightmarish move to DirecTV, I have just felt abused, raped and degraded by DirecTV and TDS Telecom (who handle my DISH billing) — though to be fair during that same period I had service from DISH (yes, DISH), Google (on one of our 3 Nexus 7 pads) and Direct Sat (who refunded me my whole payment) that exceed expectations.

But, I had still been feeling battered and bruised — and mentally exhausted.

A wonderful company with great values. I love interacting with Fidelity. It is the ONLY phone call I enjoy making and even look forward to!

This morning as month end approaches I had to do some financial transactions. I first called up Fidelity. I had been saving this call till today. Dealing with Fidelity is ALWAYS a pleasure. They are so nice. So helpful. So pleasant. I am not a phone person. Never have been. But, I enjoy calling Fidelity. So, I called them up. As ever, piece of cake. Smooth as can be. No hassle. No aggravation. Just pure unadulterated ‘service with a smile’. I like Fidelity.

Then I called up Bank of America. I often see folks, especially on CraigsList (Boston & NH), ranting, foaming at the mouth, about BofA. I have been with them for a long time. I really have never had any problems with them. I have always found that they do their very best to help you out. I have multiple credit cards with them and we have a checking out with them — since they were the only bank in the U.S. that was able to accept, electronically, my very small pension from the U.K.! I enjoy dealing with BofA too — except that with them I also get to interact with them in person if I visit one of their local branches in Concord, Manchester or Rochester.

So this morning I called them. As nice as they can be. Answered all my questions. Then out of the blue, this rep says something along the lines of: ‘You have been a good customer for a long time. You have an excellent record with your credit cards. Let us do YOU A FAVOR and help you out even more …‘. No, I am not stupid enough to tell you the details. But, I was staggered and it takes a lot to stagger me. This was way beyond anything I had expected. It was like winning the lottery! Wow. I am impressed, and humbled. There was absolutely no reason that BofA had to do what they did. I had not asked for anything. I was just going through some numbers.

Suffice to say I am delighted. Yes, it was a big, unexpected favor. Of late I am totally jaundiced. I expect nothing from people. As I pointed out the other day, of late I can empathize with this squirrel and TDS and DirecTV have a lot to do with that sentiment. So, this was really great. Made my day. Actually it has made my year!

Google Chrome On Windows XP Does Not Properly Support GoDaddy eMail! That Is Diabolical.

Dec2013x125

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Anura Guruge


A Few Pertinent Posts:
  +++++ Do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘FireFox’ or ‘Chrome’ for others >>>>>
1. Switching from FireFox to Chrome  — Mar. 23, 2013.
2. Two things I like about Chrome … — Mar. 25, 2013.


I have now been using Chrome, exclusively, for just under a month. On the whole it has been ‘seamless’. I can’t believe that I was able to walk away from FireFox that easily, without nary a backward glance after over 12 year association. I really haven’t encountered any insurmountable problems with Chrome, on Windows 7, though I will continue to contend that I find it a tad sluggish compared to FireFox!

Last night I used Chrome on my Windows XP machine (which I still keep around because I still, alas, use FrontPage 2003). I was all excited that Chrome was going to automatically sync all my bookmarks, extensions etc. as soon as I signed in. It did all of that and I was happy.

But, I noticed that it would not render [i.e., display] my Bookmark Toolbar icons! That is a bummer because in some cases, especially with the very distinctive icons [e.g., Marketwatch, Bloomberg, Yahoo] I do not have any text next to them. Just the icon. On Windows 7 this works like a champ. On XP you get the generic ‘page’ icon for all. I thought this was a screen resolution issue so I ‘reduced’ my screen resolution to make the icons bigger. Still no joy.

Then I went to access my e-mail and I nearly fell off my kneeling stool seat. I reloaded and reloaded again. I even restarted XP!

GoDaddy e-mail, the e-mail service that I have used for eons (if not longer), just does not render in Chrome!

So I fired up FireFox. E-mail is just fine. I fired up this Windows 7 PC. Accessed e-mail. Just dandy. Went back to XP. Damn thing looks like somebody puked on the screen.

Here. This is what it looks like on Chrome on Windows XP.

Remember how GoDaddy rushed to my aid when I ran into traffic issues on my blog when the pope resigned. That is GoDaddy. Google should learn from them (though I have to say that Google was pretty awesome when we have had hardware issues with our Google Nexus 7 pads).

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

For a start, look at the parts I have underlined, twice, in red. Look at the BIG button. Notice that you can’t read the TEXT … which actually says ‘Move’ because it is displaying white text on a white background! All those little blobs you see, like bleached mouse droppings … those are supposed to be full size buttons.

This is crazy. This is stupid. This is unacceptable.

So, I Google. A known problem, going back to at least 2011. That is diabolical.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Notice that there is now a Chrome APP to access GoDaddy e-mail. I refuse to go that route. I have accessed GoDaddy e-mail from a browser for longer than most Google programmers have been out of diapers. I am not going to go down the slippery slope of relying on an APP to access Web-based e-mail.

That Chrome can be site-specific, depending on the version of the Operating System is beyond pathetic — and I am here talking as an ex-professional programmer for IBM, an ex-microcode programmer, a person who started programming in 1969, somebody with both a B.Sc (Hons.) & M.Sc. (Distinction) in Computer Technolgy/Science and somebody who taught computer programming at College level. This is just piss-poor programming. Simple as that.

I am not amused. Can’t believe that Google hasn’t fixed this or that GoDaddy, with their enormous clout, hasn’t leaned on Google and forced them to do the decent thing. Amazing.

Google Nexus 7 Pad: USB Charging & Battery Life Issues. 6 Months Old. Support?

Dec2013x125

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> 2 (Or More) Android Devices On The SAME Google Play Account
>> (Same e-Mail) — Oct. 12, 2012.


I got a Google (Asus) Nexus 7 for Teischan last July; I had pre-ordered it and got it delivered the day it was set to be available in the U.S. It worked fine. The price was right. Three months later I got another for Devanee — for her birthday. They both work fine and get a lot of usage from the kids. The pads are too small for me, but they have come in handy when we travel. They both have multiple GPS APPS and we use them when we travel, though Devanee has still to master using ‘map mode’ in GPS. The other night we were in Hanover, NH, for a HOP Concert, and I needed to make a quick change to a Blog entry. Did you know that Hanover, thanks to Dartmouth, has free public Wi-Fi? They do. I managed to make the edit using the pad. I was impressed and happy.

For the last week Teischan has been complaining that her Nexus won’t charge properly. I was skeptical. But, I tried charging it myself a couple of times. Sure seemed temperamental. It would say it was charging, but would never go beyond 11%.

We changed sockets and did the usual, USB charger not charging rituals.

But, it charges fine if we plug it into Devanee’s charger. But. battery draining faster than I expected. I saww it drop from 100% to 97%, in front of my eyes, and I wasn’t doing anything!

So, I thought I could get another Nexus USB charger from Google — and I was even willing to pay. [Yes, we have about 6 other USB chargers, but none of them seem to be able to charge it either].

I found the number, 855-836-3987 (and yes ‘855’ is a new ‘800’), and called this afternoon. Got somebody who spoke English worse than I! But, he said that Google policy was to exchange the whole pad and that he would get a specialist to send me a ‘Return Authorization’, by e-mail, within 15 minutes.

No e-mail.

5 hours later I called again. Got another barely coherent person. They had no record of my 1st call! I was put on hold 3 times. Eventually he said he was transferring me to a ‘supervisor’ or ‘specialist’. This new person, ‘Chris’, was great. Actually spoke English, which was nice. Yes, the whole unit has to be exchanged. He sent me the e-mail with the links and 2 PDFs. He stayed on the phone. When you click on the link it takes you to an ORDER page at the Google Play store. You order a brand new unit. They charge $199 to your credit card — but supposedly put it on ‘hold’ for 21 days. When the new unit comes I have to send the old one back. That is the theory.

So, lets summarize.

We have one of the first batch Nexus 7s. Six months in, charging and battery issues. Google swaps out the whole unit. Support is iffy. So …

Of course I will keep you posted.

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