RIP Peter Brock

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 8-Sep-2006 17:20

Australia is not having a good week.

Reports are just coming in that racing legend Peter brock has been killed in a motor vehicle accident in Western Australia.

Congratulations Vodafone

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 8-Sep-2006 16:59

Well congratulations to Vodafone - my previous blog post obviously attracted somebody's attention at Vodafone and is obvious proof how powerful blogs are! Just looking at the Vodafone website now the two promo links have been removed and the Plan details section has been rehashed! The Motormouth PDF still exists however but it's certainly a start!

PS: You might also want to fix up your Promos page however

This says Take 10 finishes on the 31st August. If you would like some more help checking the rest of your site my services come cheaply..:-)

Vodafone website inaccuracies

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 7-Sep-2006 20:20

While looking at the Vodafone website tonight I couldn't help but notice yet more inaccuracies with their website.

You can check out their Specials & Promos section

You can check out their Snowboard Promo and enter the draw to go to the Burton Open in Queenstown's just a shame the Burton Open was on the 3-5th August.

You can get a Sweet 3G deal ... it's just a shame the deals all finished on the 31st July.

Now that you've got over that how about a Plan?

Being on a plan you can get some great value including

  • Included minutes
  • Included TXTs
  • Included PXTs
  • Access to exclusive calling services, many of which are free
  • Hassle-free global roaming
  • Flexibility to change plans to chase the best value
  • Choice of fixed-term or no-term contracts
  • No termination or switching fees

  • Take a look at our two main plans, You Choose and Motormouth, and find the one that's perfect for you.

    It's just a shame that if you want these features you can only go on Motormouth. Unfortunately You Choose & Base plans don't offer no-term contracts, Base plans let you change plans for free but You Choose will only let you upgrade for free. Both have termination fees if you want to cancel your contract and included TXTs and PXTs are

    Now that you've decided on Motormouth lets look at the pdf

    Wow, SMS to Vodafone OZ customers is only 20c. It's just a shame that if you're on Motormouth Prepay Vodafone will actually charge you 30c. And double wow, PXT to Vodafone OZ customers is only 20c. It's just a shame that if you're on Motormouth Vodafone will actually charge you 50c.

    Come on Vodafone - you're a huge company! Maintaining an accurate website is important these days. How about doing some work on your website and fixing up the rubbish on it?

    TelstraClear - sort your crap cable network out

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 31-Aug-2006 06:45

    As discussed here ( cable customers including myself suffered yet another outage again last night.

    Now we all know that outages can happen and that no network is perfect but the reliability of the cable network over the past few months has to raise some serious issues - in the 8 or so years I've been a TCL cable customer I've never known there to be as many outages as there are at present. Combine this with the ARP issues before Xmas last year causing routers to lock up and you have to wonder outside audits need to be performed of their network to find out why such things are happening.

    What is beyond comprehensible though is the fact TCL are not even capable of updating their network status page or adding a message to their helpdesk advising that issues are occuring, instead there is a recorded message advising of delays of approximately 1hr due to heavy call volumes. Customer Service are two words that Telstra are incapable of saying, it's obvious the same now applies in New Zealand as well. Telstra in Australia are required to refund customers for network outages, a system that was implimented to try and improve their network because it would cost the company money when things did fail. It's obvious why TelstraClear can't do the same here - they would be bankrupt by now with the payments they would have to make back to customers.

    Come on TCL, sort your crap out. You have the best network in the country but it's no good when it's not working. Update your status page and put a phone message on when there are outages, it's not exactly rocket science.

    IE7 RC1 Dramas

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 26-Aug-2006 17:33

    I decided to replace my Beta 2 install of IE7 with the new RC1 version last night. What should have obviously been a simple job turned into a nightmare!

    I uninstalled IE7 Beta 2, rebooted my system and then installed RC1. I then rebooted and after logging in was prompted by a warning message saying ieplore.exe could not run do to normaliz.dll not being found on my system and Windows failed to boot any further.

    I was now dreading what I had done until a quick Google search (lucky I have multiple PC's) showed this isn't an isolated problem and numerous other users have encountered the same issue.

    Lucky the fix isn't that hard - since you can access task manager after this error occurs you can run cmd.exe, locate normaliz.dll (or download a copy) and copy it to c:\windows\system32 and reboot.

    A few more details are in the links below

    Permalink to IE7 RC1 Dramas | Main Index

    Trademe vs 2Tradeit

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 18-Aug-2006 18:31

    I wonder if TM's lawyers see any similarities between the two sites?

    Econet at it again

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 18-Aug-2006 18:00

    So Econet are getting so desperate somebody supposedly travels 4000km (obviously the long way) around the North Island to take photos of cellsites due to their ongoing issues with Vodafone and access to shared sites.,com_d4j_ezine/task,read/page,1/category,5/article,545/Itemid,145/,com_d4j_ezine/task,read/page,1/category,5/article,554/Itemid,145/

    When Econet actually have a *single* operational site of their own then maybe they could have an issue, but to moan about the competition when they are nothing other than a loud mouth is just crazy.

    Business sense dictates that co-location is obviously very logical when the cost of building a mast can easily be $200000+ for a rural site. When you compare the different technologies and frequencies used in NZ however - CDMA 800, GSM 900 & 1800 and UMTS 2100 just because somebody has a site doesn't necessarily mean that it's the perfect location for a competitors gear. There are also other factors such as the design of many of the standalone masts used by Vodafone & Telecom in NZ which are incapable of supporting additional panels without significant modifications and RMA issues where consent in some cases has only been granted for 6 panels per site which is one of the reasons Vodafone swapped out GSM panels with UMTS ones on some sites. There have been some pretty significant fights between Telecom & Vodafone in the past when it came to co-location including large rental payments to ensure exclusive access to some rural properties to block the other but both companies have not benefited from sitting down and talking through the issues.

    Econet simply want to bludge off Vodafone's & Telecom's infrastructure, lets hope the ComCom don't listen to all their crap.

    Vodafone Sence of Humor

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 17-Aug-2006 21:01

    For those of you who aren't aware if you want to sign up with Vodafone for a Monthly Plan on a "Personal" contract (ie non business) you now have no choice but to sign up for a minimum 12 month contract unless you want to sign up for Motormouth. Vodafone claim that the old GET plans are now end of life:

    Why isn’t Vodafone supporting Get plans any more?

    Get plans were introduced when making calls during “peak hours” were much more expensive. That was when mobiles were mainly used by business people. Now everyone uses mobiles all the time, so we don’t split calls into peak and off peak – and that means that our customers can use their mobiles when they want rather than when their plan dictates.  Newer, more flexible plans like You Choose make much better sense, give you much better value and allow you to make the most of NOW!

    Isn't it ironic then that every voice addon for You Choose is Nights & Weekends only?

    I would love to switch to a You Choose plan but unfortunately can't because I steadfastly refuse to enter into a 12 month contract just because Vodafone want me to. I've been a loyal customer for over 10 years now, certainly have no plans on migrating to another network becasue of the advantages GSM offers me and would actually be spending more per month on You Choose than what I do now and would have greater flexibility. . . I guess it's your loss Vodafone.

    EDIT: Just one other thing - as mentioned elsewhere by other users You Choose has a policy where you can move your base plan up levels but cannot move down. This means that if you sign up on You Choose 100 you cannot move to You Choose 20 without paying a penalty. I'd receommend that anybody who may be believe they would ever need to move sign up on You Choose 20 and then upgrade your plan for the next billing cycle.

    Great new Tui billboard in Dunners

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Aug-2006 19:37

    Telecom NZ to move call centres to The Phillipines

    By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Aug-2006 10:45

    sbiddle's profile

    Steve Biddle
    New Zealand

    I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

    I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

    My interests and skillset include:

    *VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
      -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

      -xDSL deployments

    *Structured cabling
      -Home/office cabling
      -Phone & Data

    *Computer networking
      -Mikrotik hardware
      -WAN/LAN solutions

    *Wireless solutions
      -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
      -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
      -Temporary wireless deployments
    *CCTV solutions
      -Analogue and IP

    I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

    +My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

    You can contact me here or by email at