Friday, May 8, 2009

Number Portability Actually Works

I originally wrote this entry on September 29, 2004, and published it on

I don't know how many of you have changed mobile operators, but I've done it quite regularly: PacBell, Verizon, AT&T Wireless, Cingular and now T-Mobile. Part of the reason is that I want to change mobile devices or try different operators while receiving the device discounts. Sometimes, I like a device or an operator and stay longer than usual. What matters to me most is that I can sign a 1-year contract.

In the past, when subscribers changed operators, they would end up losing their mobile number, partly because the Supreme Court kept admitting requests for delays in implementing the FCC-mandated number portability feature. The operators were asking for delays because, they argued, the systems had not been prepared adequately to make the process smooth.

In any case, now, the process seems to work like a clock. I put in my request last night. My new "mobile station" (to use GSM-ish language), which was originally attached to a temporary number, has been working with the transfered number since this morning. (For all I know it could have been operational right after my number transfer request last night. I didn't get time to check.) A Sun partner visiting our offices just called me to remind me of the time he was arriving. He called my old number, and I got him on my new phone.

Number portability actually works and is quick!

Should I go or should I not . . .

I originally wrote this entry on September 26, 2004, and published it on

I was supposed to attend (as vice chair and participant) the Open Mobile Alliance - Mobile Web Services working group meeting in Orlando early next week but Hurricane Jeanne has closed the airport until Monday afternoon, and going through 15 hours of travel and airports (not including the delays) while ending up with the opportunity to attend (possibly) less than one day of a meeting is not my idea of resourcefulness. So, I think I'm going to have to cancel this trip. This will incur Sun some cost but the savings in time, energy and individual productivity outweigh the losses. So, Sunday morning when I wake up, my first move will be to put a cancellation order in motion. Missing the meeting will unfortunately mean that I will also miss what promises to be a great presentation on Fast Web Services by Paul Sandoz. (He seems to have gotten to Orlando, from France, just before the airport closure.)

Some have expressed curiosity regarding how the OMA board could have allowed the meeting to be arranged during a hurricane-prone season in Orlando? Can Mickey Mouse really produce such an irresistible pull for our European OMA colleagues? I doubt it very much.

Danger Gets Dangerous

I originally wrote this entry on September 27, 2004, and published it on

I'd been waiting for more than a couple of years to get Danger's Sidekick.

No, this is certainly not like Enkidu, the sidekick to Gilgamesh, that primordial myth-model of heroism, from Mesopotamia, a land we now know better as Iraq.

Nevertheless, every hero needs a sidekick, even if it is to be a cyber-sidekick.

Gilgamesh had Enkidu, and I got my Sidekick at the Palo Alto T-Mobile outlet on University Avenue this Sunday. If I'm satisfied (and I get 14 days to decide), I will then have to see about number portability. I'm told it now takes a very short time to install. I will write about this more in a couple of days.

My criteria for the purchase of a sidekick had been a color screen and tri-band radio capabilities. Sidekick II meets both. Not only that, I now have IMAP/SSL accounts I can set up. I haven't had time to set up an IMAP account yet but I had enough time to take a picture of Roberto Chinnici. He visited me (or was it a visit to my Sidekick II) just a few moments ago. More about Roberto later.

Trying a "Mobile" Weblog

I originally wrote this entry on September 27, 2004, and published it on

On my first day of owning a Sidekick II device, I've been able to start and manage a mobile weblog in less than 3 minutes, with great ease and directly from the mobile device itself. The device design and service integration are strikingly smooth. Many efficiencies are included.