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Apples or Berries?

My flu is flying the coop, and I think I'll be back in the 90th percentile sometime tomorrow. Feeling about 85 this morning. The human body is an amazingly resilient thing, ain't it.

So Larry came home with and iPhone a few nights ago. It took until last night to get it up and running. At first, the set-up interface (a series of co-branded O2 and iPhone pages embedded within iTunes) wouldn't accept his bank details. It seems that 02 and Citibank haven't shaken hands on the whole thing, so, as of right now you have to use bank other than Citi (their sort codes aren't in 02's system) or call 02 Customer Service (he was disconnected twice) to give them your bank details and then 02 will provide you with a set of dummy numbers that map to your bank details. My HSBC account worked fine (and I've seen on some other forums that NatWest gave no problems either).

Then came the issue of email addresses for AppleID (iTunes) accounts and user names for 02 accounts. Larry didn't realize he had an AppleID account from registering his MacBook. So we get about halfway through the registration process for the iPhone, and it says "that email's already in use, either restart or cancel and log back in." When you cancel, O2 has already tucked away the user ID you chose, so now you have to choose a second (and third, and fourth) for each retry of the iPhone registration.

His original choice of larry.lastname got eaten, as did his second choice of larry-lastname and then larry_lastname. He ended up going with something else. 02's going to have a bunch of dead account names in their database at this rate.

Once we got the bank details sorted then we got a "our account creation services are not available" message ... still not sure if that was from 02 or Apple. That was another night scuppered.

Fortunately (as 15 years of living with me will prove) Larry is much more patient than I, and can easily say, "oh well, maybe it'll work tomorrow." If it were my new toy and I bought it days ago and couldn't use it till this morning ... well, there would be much yogic breathing and a few tranquilizers involved.

And then there's the issue of changing 02 numbers over. We got the iPhone working last night, but it's going to take about five working days for 02 to transfer his existing number to the phone (no SIM card, you see). They've issued him a temporary number for the phone, and will (I assume) let him know when that dies and his existing number starts working.

So anyway, about another hour of fiddling last night, he got it up and going.

And this morning, well, I've hijacked it ... for his own Luddite good, of course. I got his bookmarks set up, got his gmail to sync to it, downloaded his contacts from his work blackberry and uploaded them to his iPhone, and changed his wallpaper (it's a brilliantly simplistic interface with iPhoto) to, surprisingly, not a picture of me (there are some shots from our Africa trip that are perfect).

Apparently he didn't watch the 30-minute video introduction that's available online. I did, but purely as a listening/discussion exercise with one of my students a couple weeks ago.

Bottom line ... it is wicked cool and I'm pretty sure I need one (but 8mb seems awfully tiny). I can still text / write email faster on my Blackberry Curve, but the iPhone interface is amazing (and I'm sure my fat thumbs could get adjust to the touchscreen keypad). We've yet to try it without wi-fi (it's picking up our home network), so we'll have to see what happens once it's out in the real world.

We'll see if my must-have-new-toy thrill wears off anytime soon. The minimum contract on my Bberry lasts another month or two and I'm still really pleased with all it can do (pretty much everything that the iPhone can, but without the smooth interface) ... and Christmas is coming.

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Oh ... here is something brilliant though. Desptite not being able to use his existing phone number or connect it for three days, he's just a message from 02 on his spiiffy new iPhone. "Your 02 bill has arrived."