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iOS Complaint: Add to Existing Contact

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Chances are, when you add someone to your Contact List, you don’t have all their contact details. Besides their (first) name, you may only have a phone number or only an email address. But, while texting or emailing that person, you might get more contact details over time.

Well, this is what happens to me, at least. A client calls me, I speak to them and then when the conversation is over, I save the new number to my Contacts. At this point, I usually only know a first name and the phone number.

Later, I’ll get a text message with their email address. Great! Let’s just add that to an existing contact. Let’s see, how do I do that?

1. Hold down the email address link until the pop-up menu appears and select “Add to Contacts”.

2. Now I have two options: “Create New Contact” – nope, not that one – and “Add to Existing Contact.” I click that.

3. Now, find an existing contact…..WHAT!?!

But, but, but….. I want to add it to *this* existing contact, not some *other* existing contact. I mean, in my experience, over 90% of the time, I get contact details directly from the contact, not via a third-person.

This behavior has been present on the iPhone as long as I can remember, but I wish it weren’t so.

Am I missing something?

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Online services need to figure out the ‘Family’ concept

Recently, I’ve had several clients contact me asking to help them setup and configure multiple iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and computers, both Apple and Windows. In each case, children were part of the equation.

“This iPad belongs to Johnny. This one is for Mary. They also each have their own iPhone.” That sort of thing.

The question is about sharing certain things but not other things. The children’s devices should be able to use apps, listen to music, watch movies that were purchased with the parent’s iTunes account, but they shouldn’t have access to the parent’s calendars, contacts,  emails, etc. “Everything” should synchronize, but you know, not everything. Often, the client can’t really specify what they want, much less figure out how to do it.

So, the answer is to set up iCloud accounts for the children. That shouldn’t be a problem, but it is. Because you can’t create an iCloud account if you are under 13. Oh, wait, you can’t do it without lying about your age.

Apple, Facebook, Google, etc. should have a way for a parent to create an account and then manage their family’s accounts, too. Mom and Dad have Apple IDs and iCloud accounts and want to create accounts for their kids? Great, let’s just open the “Accounts” page, click on “Add child,” fill in the correct information and done! iCloud configured.

Sadly, most online services don’t seem to see the need or have an answer. I’ve seen lots of articles about “How to setup iCloud for my family” and each one of them just skims over the “Create an account for each child.” They don’t address the “lie about your kids’ age” issue.

It’s possible that when the articles were written, that requirement didn’t exist. I’m pretty certain that when iCloud was released, I created an account for my under-13 son using his correct birthday without any problems. But, now when I look at his account, it indicates a problem with the birthdate. If I change it to his actual birthday, it says “invalid.” So I cancel and leave it as it is.

Please, Apple and others, add this to your To-Do list. Fast!

Windows XP, Outlook 2003 with IMAP, and User Accounts

This week, I had a client whose computer I rebuilt. Standard stuff. New Windows XP. New Office installation. One Admin account, one personal Standard account for daily use.

When I went to deliver the computer, the last thing to do was re-configure Outlook for her email account with Swisscom/bluewin. Also, standard stuff. Or so I thought.

I was trying to set it up with IMAP so that the computer, iPad, and two iPhones would stay in sync. My plan was to set up the computer and then use iTunes to transfer the settings to the devices.

It wouldn’t work. Full stop. I tried with SSL and without. I tried with authentication and without. I called Swisscom for support who tried exactly the same things and said that their mail servers were fine.

The problem we encountered was an *instant* error message when trying to Send/Receive, something about not being able to get the folders or connect to IMAP.

We tried POP3. Worked fine, but that’s not a solution, that’s just more information.

I went to the Admin account, just for laughs. Configured the exact same email account with IMAP as instructed. Worked the first time. WTF?!

I set up a new, completely fresh non-Admin account. Tried the same. Wouldn’t work.

So, it seems as though Outlook 2003 and IMAP have a problem when using a non-Admin account. Can that be? Really, Microsoft?

I’m disgusted, but still looking into it. Maybe it’s Swisscom that’s got it all wrong.

Swisscom having problems

I was at a client today working on different networking, wireless, and internet problems. Cablecom, Orange, Swisscom, Bluewin….. it took some investigation, but then we called Swisscom because something *very* odd was happening which could only mean one thing. I called them, and before I could really say much, the nice gentleman told me “Yes, we are experiencing problems on our end. We are working to fix them.”

If you have bluewin or swisscom and mail is not working well, this might be why.

Dell.com is down?!

I’m rebuilding a client’s Dell Latitude D630. Everything is going well, but I can’t access their site to download the drivers.

I was able to download the ethernet driver, but after installing that, i’ve been unable to connect since to download other drivers.

Can you connect to Dell? It’s been over 12 hours….

Acer Aspire 5100: Keyboard and Trackpad not responsive

Client gave me their laptop today saying “I never shut it off. Last night, all was good. This morning, moved the external mouse to wake it up, but it didn’t wake up. Shut it off, turned it on. Nothing. Neither the mouse, the trackpad nor the keyboard work.”

I tried an external USB keyboard. Nope. I can’t even press F2 to enter the BIOS. So, it’s clearly not a Windows issue.

Sadly, the BIOS is set up to first go to HDD, then LAN, then CD/DVD, so I can’t even boot off a DVD. 😦

I’ve done the obligatory search on Google, but so far nothing. I’ve taken the battery out, pressed the power button for 30 seconds with no battery and no charger. I’ve looked for the J2 jumper under the memory to short it out and reset the BIOS, but there is no jumper.

Someone suggested a PC Card to USB adapter, but how will that work? If I plug it in, it won’t work until the drivers are loaded, but since I can’t use the mouse or type, how am I supposed to get the drivers to load? I can hope that the Plug-and-Play will work, but I’m not holding my breath.

I happen to have another client’s Acer handy. Very similar model. I tried the keyboard from one in the other. Nope. I tried an external wired mouse. Nope.

It seems that the optical drive is not spinning correctly. I mean, it feels like it’s sluggish. Does that indicate an electrical problem?

My current thoughts are: BIOS was updated automatically (that doesn’t happen though, does it?), the power to the system is insufficient,  or more serious motherboard failure.

Time for bed. More thoughts later.