February 09, 2010

HTC Tattoo tech woes

I decided to buy a smart phone to replace my aging Palm PDA. Little did I know what I was getting into. First I bought an HTC Tattoo on ebay that had wifi and was unlocked, so I could use it without phone service to start. Took six weeks to arrive as it was first sent without enough postage then got hung up at the border. First it announced "sim card is missing" and turned off. What. Wish I had kept better notes setting it up, as it was painful. (And I still get the sim card error) I get past the error by hitting the Menu key.Fortunately I had searched online for info and already knew that setting up Wifi to my home network probably wouldn't work (it doesn't) Apparently Tattoo/Android v1.6 can't use WPA encryption. Changing my router & laptop to use WEP was another frustrating exercise. Wasted too much time changing router settings, and finally reset it back to factory default, upgraded the firmware (from linksys.com), then set up WEP 64-bit encryption (Wifi security option under 802.1x). At some point I did something (probably a network name change) and the network finally appeared properly on my laptop network list. I connected to it using the passphrase. Now back to the Tattoo, and more messing with wifi settings. Again, I don't remember what I did to get it to connect finally. But I do remember having only a few seconds to "type" in the passphrase - the Tattoo kicked my out several times before I could press the digits on the touch screen keyboard fast enough. Shabby.

I've been using computers since we used to toggle in machine code - what on earth do mere mortals do when they run into tech woes. I suppose someday it will be as easy as internet connections are now. Does anyone remember when a dial-up connection took just the right software and a long list of settings to get a connection to work?! Here we go again.

Next step, downloaded "HTC Sync" to my laptop and installation spit out a big error window - so of course it doesn't connect or sync anything. I suspect a device driver needs updating - still looking.