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Technology Today - December 2013
By Robert Sanborn

An Upgrade

Two years ago, I succumbed to the call, and need, of getting a smartphone. Too many contacts to keep track of while on the road, trying to figure out where things are so I used a cell phone, a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) to keep track of contacts and browse the web when I need to, and a GPS to keep track of where I was going. Unfortunately, the PDA was getting more and more difficult to use and keep updated and of course with the introduction of Windows Mobile and the smartphones, HP nor Microsoft wanted anything to do with my poor old iPaq and so the writing was on the wall and I went out and spent $200 on an Apple iPhone. It did well, kept me up to date, and informed, and with the Lifeproof and Catalyst cases, was kept in perfect condition. So, life was good for two years.

The first glimmer of discontent was when Apple pulled a Microsoft and radically changed the operating system.  You can read about what my daughter thought of it here: http://www.pcll.com/Articles/TechToday1310.htm

iPhone 5 Silver

The second bit of discontent came when I got this email from Best Buy telling me that if I had kept my iPhone 4S in perfect condition, they would give me $185 in trade on a new smartphone. $185 on a $200 phone; I can keep my same voice and data plan, and they will transfer everything from my old phone to the new one. Faster, newer, better battery life, cool features, better camera… what could go wrong?

Now, before things could go wrong and I made my journey to Best Buy, I made sure everything was backed up. The photos and videos I had taken were copied to my computer, all the apps that I have were registered in iTunes, the music is also in iTunes and my OneNote files were backed up on my computer as well. So, off to Best Buy; they did give me the $185 credit for my iPhone as it was in perfect condition thanks to the above mentioned cases; but another glimmer of discontent came when they told me that transferring everything over wifi will take a very long while as I had a couple of gigabytes of data on the phone.  That’s ok, get it started and it started ok until it tried to connect to iCloud and the first thing it did was to pop up someone else’s email address to log into iCloud. Stranger still, it was one of my friends and the email address it had was maybe five years old and not valid for him anymore. So, put my own in and it takes off and then stalls. Ran some errands and two hours later, still sitting there doing what knows? People at Best Buy said that it is just rebuilding the phone data files so I could take it home and let it finish and so I did but of course, it did not finish.

iPhone 5S Gold

Used or Not ?

A couple of hours later, a call to AT&T tech support tells me that the phone is hung up and needs to be soft booted and to do it on the new iPhone 5S, you hold the start button and the off switch for a few seconds and it resets itself. He also says I need to take it back because the phone was used by someone else and not factory reset before it was sold to me though when I saw the girl unpack it, it was sealed like it was new.  More on that later.

A day later, in looking over the iPhone, I see many of the photos have been loaded but it does stop part way through.  And, everything else seems to be working just fine, nagging need to log back into many of the apps before using them but that is ok.  Of course, there is an update to IOS which I do and that not only brings the software up to date, it also rebuilds the missing photos.

 

So, was it a used phone or not? Finally got ahold of my friend and he tells me that while his wife uses an iPhone as does his son, neither of them ever used that email account nor did they recently try out a new iPhone 5S. what he did do recently was to have to reactivate his iTunes account with that old email address because he couldn’t get it to work with the new account he was setting up. Today, when you set up iTunes, it also logs you into iCloud so the really strange mystery is how did his iTunes/iCloud account get connected to mine and why did my brand new phone have his iCloud account number in it?  Looks like an Apple problem.

Robert Sanborn

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