Friday, January 21, 2011

The REAL CVPCS. A great developer, an ungrateful individual.

In response to:

How I know CVPCSM isn't so "friendly and approachable" and why he lost support from AllDroid. This conversation was on July 30th, right after AllDroid's Twitter account was compromised and I make it clear to cvpcsm that he was NOT a suspect, but MDW as a whole was, why, and why I thought he should be careful associating himself with them:

cvpcsm: also, don't give me that crap about how hard you work. i know you work hard for the community mike. i get it, but i never asked you to purchase anything or spend your money, and i work hard as well and don't need you going on like i'm taking advantage of you
me: AllDroid didn't contribute to your ROMs popularity? Asking you not to link away was unreasonable when I PAY for the hosting you got to use for FREE? Warning you about the characters at MDW was bad/wrong? Ultimatum?
cvpcsm: what hosting did you pay for mike? NONE. you host a FORUM. you never ONCE hosted any of my data files
don't give me your crap about how you pay
you have no right to pin that on me any more than you do any other user that posts on your site
also, don't give me that crap about how hard you work. i know you work hard for the community mike. i get it, but i never asked you to purchase anything or spend your [or the money the community has donated towards developers like me] money ...
In a previous conversation - June 14, 2010cvpcsm: i'll take a look soon. oh, just so you know, i have begun rolling out my release today, and as soon as alldroid comes up let me know so i can post it right away. i have a link to alldroid set on my wiki to link in there for the time being until we figure something else out. i'm eager to get some stuff posted and i have mayh3m already set to do basic teir 1 support an alldroid for anyone who needs it. i have a few posts going on some other forums (for press release purposes), but i'm going to basically state there that all support and whatnot will be either on my bug tracker or on alldroid's forums. i hope this is alright with you. me: I'm up and around man. AllDroid is up and flying. cvpcsm: sweet! :D cvpcsm: any chance i could get a subforum under droid releases to post my press release in? i mentioned it to BM but his internet is not doing so well. me: You want your forum name to be? cvpcsm: cvpcs i have big plans to support more devices one day, and each device's rom will be named after a different jewel. (incredible=ruby, evo=onyx, droid2=emerald, etc)
... , and i work hard as well and don't need you going on like i'm taking advantage of you

meWhere the hell do you think the forum runs?! You think the server is free? Forget I said anything. You've definately made your position known. I hope that someday you learn how to be more sensitive. Logic isn't always the ultimate "right". Quite often when dealing with people, there's more than sound logic.

Quite the change of heart in under 2 months ehh? Not too long after his rom (which was brought to the world via AllDroid) gained some real momentum and he became more concerned with exposure than showing some loyalty to those who helped get him there. This is how I see him. Later I was talking with a well-respected member of the community and brought them up to speed in case this became a larger issue and I clarified:
me: Just FYI. Not really an issue, but want you to have context in case it matters down the road. This is typical of someone younger, poorly raised, but VERY intelligent in my opinion. Life experience might teach him eventually.
Then I went on to quote the entire conversation so this individual was fully aware and so nothing would be taken out of context. I've only quoted the most relevant bits here because the rest isn't relevant to this post and I don't want to dredge up old crap more than needed to support my point here.

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I'm a very passionate person where my interest and support of Android is concerned. As a result I know I follow my heart too quickly at times. Given what I've endured, matters are made worse, but facts are still facts and nobody has the least bit of reason to call me one thing; dishonest. I always have and always will tell it like it is and admit my mistakes. In this case, it appears that my mistake was expending my efforts and limited resources towards a developer who would not return it even in the form of a thanks.

At least I can say I supported and helped make possible the work he has brought to the community and so I know it wasn't a waste. My opinion (as stated above) remains the same. I think CVPCS is a strong Android ROM developer, but as a person, I find him lacking and don't think it fair for the community to see only part of the truth.

In closing let me say that I'm still greateful (mostly for the sake of Droid owners) that he is still a part of this community, but I can't help but wonder if he'd seen more support (financial in particular) if he was an impressive a person as he is an Android developer. I expect there are plenty out there who are ready to jump up in his defense and tell me how helpful he's been for them. To those people I'd ask, "How far out of his way did he really go for you, and more importantly; you for him?"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My chat with Samsung regarding the Samsung Fascinate and Froyo

Kyle: Hi, thank you for contacting Samsung Technical Support. How may I help you today?
Michael: I have two issues. The first is that the product registration page is telling me that my serial number (hex IMEI) is invalid and won't let me register.
Michael: Are you familiar with this issue or could you help me confirm I'm providing the right information?
Kyle: I understand that you are trying to register the phone. Am I right?
Michael: Yes
Kyle: Thank you for confirming.
Kyle: Please let me know the model number of the device.
Michael: SCH-i500
Kyle: Okay.
Kyle: Thank you for the information.
Kyle: Are you getting any error message on the PC?
Kyle: It has been a while since I’ve received a message from you. Are you still with me?
Michael: Not from my computer. The site tells me: ... well, I just tried to submit again to get the error once more and it seems it took this time. Go figure.
Michael: I love buggy software (I'm a developer myself) :)
Michael: On to issue number two if we may.
Kyle: Is the issue resolved?
Michael: It appears that issue is, yes.
Kyle: Okay.
Kyle: Please let me know if you have any other questions for me.
Kyle: I don’t mean to rush you, but I haven't had a response from you. Are we connected?
Michael: Yes, can you tell me what the official reason, according to Samsung, that the Fascinate (SCH-I500) has not yet recieved an update to Android 2.2 or 2.3?
Kyle: I understand that you are looking for the Android 2.2 or 2.3 update for the phone. Am I right?
Michael: Yes, if it existed. To my knowledge it does not so I'm wondering why that is. If it does exist, I'd love to know where to find it.
Kyle: Thank you for confirming.
Kyle: Unfortunately there is no update available at this time for the phone, nor is there an estimated date of one being released. We are unable to speculate when/if a software revision might be available due to the fact that this might lead to inaccurate information and confusion.
Kyle: I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.
Michael: Understood. So back to my original question. Why hasn't an update been released already? We in the community (without the benefit of source code) nearly have it working so we know it's not a technical issue.
Kyle: I am sorry I couldn’t help you fix the issue over the chat. However, is there anything else I might be able to assist you with?
Michael: You haven't even come close to answering my 2nd question.
Michael: I didn't ask for the update, or if it was available, I asked why it is not.
Kyle: I am sorry, Samsung did not mentioned any information about the update.
Kyle: I apologize, I would have surely helped you if I had the information at my end.
Michael: Thank you. I didn't expect a more useful answer. I'm sorry you have to hear my attitude, but I am one of thousands who feel ripped off.
Michael: Have a good day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My first consumer interaction with Lexar and why I won't do business directly afterwards

First of all, their site brags about how shipping is free for orders over $150. Guess how much their premier new item, a 32GB, Class 10, MicroSDHC card is? Here's a hint. If it was 2 pennies more it would qualify.

I'm sick of companies marketing like this. It's spineless, at best, dishonest at worst, and is insulting to me as a consumer either way.

As if that wasn't enough, my first attempt to purchase this item was canceled because my Visa Debit card showed up in their fraud system and they took their sweet time letting me know which delayed my order. They finally reached me on the phone and told me that I'd have to submit my order again, but if I "did it right now, it will be processed today", meaning that same day, yesterday. So I did, with another card, and again I received an online order confirmation just like the first time, one that made it appear as if they'd confirmed payment and the order was getting ready to ship.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call today telling me that my order had be further delayed because they needed to confirm some information (which was IDENTICAL to my first order so clearly it wasn't a mistake). When I sought to clarify that my order still hadn't been processed and would be further delayed, they told me that was the case and in fact the item was on back-order and wouldn't ship. That's something that any company with an e-commerce presence could tell you during checkout. If not then, in the email confirmation is reasonable and easier for them. Either way, I had been mislead the day before this last phone call because it had been said that my order would process the same day when in fact it couldn't process because the item was on back order.

When I asked how long the delay was expected to be, the person I was speaking with couldn't tell me and eventually she had to transfer me (to sit on hold for far too long) to someone who could say.

Lexar needs a serious audit of their order fulfillment system and how customers are informed. I'm very disappointed that such a large company performs so poorly.

UPDATE 2011-01-23: I've been contacted by Lexar with a request for my phone number as a result of this blog post. I've responded and am waiting to hear back. It appears they'd like to clear the air or perhaps do something to improve my opinion. I'm already impressed to some extent just because my post was found and someone is seeking me out as a result.

UPDATE 2011-02-23: Due to a significant personal loss, Jeff wasn't able to get right back with me, but he eventually did and he left an impression. The short of it is that he agrees the non-free shipping because the product was priced a couple pennies too low (to make the free shipping threshold) was silly. He's speaking with the appropriate people to see about getting free shipping for these drives. He also apologized for the experience I had. Though I'm not swayed much by apologies (I much prefer to see change), the fact is that he did find this blog entry, contact me, and in doing so, show that he was concerned at the least with the companies image. That's FAR more than most companies would do these days. More than that, he's compensated me for my time in writing the original entry to bring my experience to his attention. The compensation was an impressive new product they've introduced. It's called the Echo ZE and it's basically a 32GB USB drive that must be as small as a USB drive can get. Any smaller and you would have nothing to grip to get it back out. Just what I needed for my Exopc tablet project (porting Gingerbread over) to get another 32GB storage on board without a "thumb" drive sticking out that would get broken off or fall out. I want to thank Jeff and congratulate him making the most of a bad customer situation and showing that Lexar is far from typical where customer appreciation is concerned. Now if we could just get the other 1,000,000 consumer companies to think along similar terms.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More buck-passing from another major entertainment company.

I wish I could put words to how sick and tired I am of EA and their B*******. From "you can't go prone because that will slow down the gameplay [even though it's not a problem for anyone else publishing decent games]" to what brings me to this post.
"First off, we should clarify that it is the carriers (e.g. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile, etc) who are solely responsible for all billing related issues (purchases, refunds, pricing terms and conditions, etc) regarding applications on your phone. We should also note that we do not bill you ourselves. EA simply develops the games and makes them available to your carrier."
This is what I found HERE when I was trying to get support because NFS Shift on my Android device refused to download and I was directed to their support page.

First off, the phrase "first off" in the English language (at least in the United States) carries with it a connotation of attitude that's not very professional. Secondly, the paragraph is downright wrong. My "carrier" is not billing me for their application. They are billing me through Google Checkout. In fact, my receipt specifically says:
Your order is complete. Have questions? Contact Electronic Arts, Inc..

  • Jan 11

  • Electronic Arts, Inc. charged your VISA xxx-xxxx for $1.05. "GOOGLE *Electronic Art" will appear on your billing statement.
    So they're giving me attitude, then lying to me because their application or the supporting systems are buggy? Wow. Sounds like a company I've dealt with before. OH! Electronics Arts!

    Google's new 15-minute return policy doesn't help matters either. I can't even get the download going in that period of time, let alone see if the app will run in that period of time.

    So I opened a Google Checkout Ticket with the following:
    When I open the application it tries to download 150MB of content to my phone, fails with an explanation, then leads me to the first step in a wild-goose chase that EA apparently calls "Customer Support". Can I get some real support please? Tell me how to get this application to download, or tell me it's broken and give me a refund instead of lying to me and trying to pass the buck ( ?

    Their response was indicative of the very problem I'm pointing out. They point me back to their wild goose-chase:

    Thank you for contacting EA Mobile.

    For questions about EA Mobile games on your Blackberry, please visit
    For questions about EA Mobile games on your iPhone/iPod/iPad, please visit
    Otherwise, please visit us Online at, and click "Mobile Support" (make sure to have your appropriate Country selected), so that we may provide you with the best support services possible.
    Once there, you should be able to find answers to many of your questions within our Knowledge Base or FAQ sections. If you are unable to find the answer you?re looking for, you will need to create a free EA Account in order to email us your question directly.
    Thanks again for your interest in EA Mobile, and we hope you continue to enjoy playing our games on your mobile phone!


    EA Mobile Customer Service

    As if there's anything sincere about that AUTO-REPLY.

    "First of all"... my phone is the SCH-i500 but that's not in the list I'm being given.

    Secondly, this "support" is a joke. The hoops I've had to jump through are beyond comprehension for me in light of how large EA is and I've said as much on my blog ( though few subscribe there, I'm well heard on twitter with over 2,000 subscribers between my two accounts). You have ONE opportunity to change that perspective.

    NFS Shift reports, "Unsupported Device", "an error has occured while downloading your game".... despite the fact that it IS supported (see and the Android Market DID let me purchase it.

    How do I download the content? If you are to tell me that it's not possible, then please proceed to a refund of my purchase ( is my google user account).

    It appears to me that this application is not designed per the Google Android API best practices otherwise it would recognize my phone and download, or give me the benefit of the doubt (since I WAS able to purchase it) and download.