Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back Up!

A few years ago, I discovered a device called the T-Mobile Sidekick. I loved it immediately. It was a phone, PDA and camera. It had the usual features: calendar, address book, photo album, notebook and task list. While those were great features, an additional feature was online backup. Anything I entered into my Sidekick was immediately backed up to an Internet server, which eliminated the need to sync up the device to a computer. I could use a web interface if the device wasn't available; the interface was a mirror of everything on the device.

Another very attractive item was that this device was not Palm OS based, and more importantly, had no Microsoft-related software, functions or features. That meant a 1000% increase in reliability in my eyes.

No Microsoft? No Windows? Count me in!

I grew to heavily rely on the Sidekick. I never missed a birthday, an appointment, I had well over 1000 phone numbers, home addresses and email addy's in that device. The operating system was powered by Danger, Inc. and I loved the platform. I could count on one finger the amount of times I encountered any trouble with the OS. Microsoft Free, that's for me.

Well, unbeknownst to me, about a year ago, Danger Inc. sold out to Microsoft. It was a very quiet merger. And one that I didn't keep abreast of. That was a major mistake.

In the technology world, be it phones, smart phones or computers, the wisest advice is "back up your data!" I do that fairly religiously. And with the Sidekick, I had instant backup of every detail.

However, the largest (not to be confused with the best) software provider in the world, King Microsoft, seemed to not heed its own advice. As I mentioned, it took Danger in as a subsidiary.

Well, last Saturday evening, Danger/Microsoft encountered a major server failure. Suddenly, everyone who had a T-Mobile Sidekick had no data. No emails, address books, calendars. Over the course of the next few days, T-Mobile did its best to offer damage control and information regarding this catastrophic failure. Danger/Microsoft said nothing. There was not a single communication made, there was no mention of the failure on the Danger website. The behavior was quintessential Microsoft Business-As-Usual.

What the biggest mistake turned out to be was, Danger/Microsoft had no backup of its server that failed.

No backup. Imagine that.

Fast forward one week. T-Mobile (not Danger/Microsoft) issued a statement that basically said, what you have now is what you'll get. Most, if not all, of the data that was lost was permanently gone. Danger/Microsoft's failure was our loss.

And never a word from Danger/Microsoft. Not a peep, bit or byte. Why should they issue anything? They don't care about their customers. For every one they lose, there's another one lining up to take his place.

Danger/Microsoft committed an error that was on the same intellectual level as a builder forgetting to put cement in between the bricks.

It was a big problem for me personally. I had foolishly relied on a Microsoft product a lot more than I should have. Anyone with any real technology savvy will tell you that Microsoft is a disaster. That's why people in the know use Mac's, they run Linux systems for serious computer applications. iPods rule the music world, despite Apple's occasional Microsoft-like customer relations. The only reason I haven't gotten an iPhone for myself is that the provider here is AT&T, the only company I can think of that equals Microsoft in ineptitude and total disdain for its customers.

Had I known about the Microsoft involvement, I'd have dumped that Sidekick a year ago and would be writing something silly about me tonight instead of something stupid about Microsoft.

I thought I was smart choosing a product that provided backup, real-time, 24/7. I was dumb relying on a product that was powered by a Microsoft division.

I lose.

If you're thinking of choosing T-Mobile as a provider, consider this experience. It was an event that was exclusively related to the Sidekick devices...this time. There are a lot of products out there running on Windows Mobile. Microsoft has its fingers in a lot of pies these days, and we all know how messy that can become.

Buyer beware.


  1. Eeek! That's awful. :(
    I'm sorry, Lippy.

  2. I am a VERIZON costumer and I love it. I live 3 miles from the Sprint headquesters and for years had sprint. They go through CEO's like the Mikey D's goes through fries. We could never get a clear line and customer service sucked. I'm happy with Verizon and my son in AZ had a blackberry that operates on real time and loves it. It's his workline/lifeline. Anne

  3. I'm guessing that you won't be sending Bill Gates a Christmas present this year! : ) Have a happy Sunday JP. Luv ya!

  4. Oh no! There's a complications you weren't expecting. I'm sorry about all the trouble, but I'll help you out by giving you my birth date again to put on your new calendar :)

    ***7-11 ***

    And I'll send an email to your jimmy address on the Sidekick for my number and email address… I have to give you my Arbonne order anyway :)

  5. That is a hard loss. Backups are good advice, and I have several methods. Fortunately, I never really got into the phone/PDA space, so only have basic cell service and no texting.

  6. Bummer! I'm sorry. I hate Microsoft and AT&T too.

  7. That's a huge failure on their part. I'm not a cell phone kinda gal, and only have one for emergencies. Sorry you had to go through that!

  8. Oh Jimmy....this is terrible! I'm so sorry. I'm not a MS fan either...bugh on them!

  9. Major Bummer Dude.

    It really does suck. I dunno, I do have to admit I like microsoft products, probably just because I'm used to them (or maybe its just the challenge). I know better than to trust them though... I back up religiously.


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