Teaching An Old Vodem New Tricks

Those of you who have not read about my Vodem Blues should do so before reading this post so that it makes some sense.


Today I got a call from Vodafone informing me that my Vodem had been repaired and was ready for me to pick up when I was ready. I have just picked it up and installed it. Installation went well after I uninstalled the software installed by the previous firmware. Installation was a relatively smooth affair so I only have a few questions for Vodafone here.

  • Why did the new software not detect the old software and remove it? Having the new installer silently fail if old software is detected is not a good behaviour.
  • Why does the installation UI just disappear after the windows installer phase? Everything appears to be working but i had to manually start the softwae and I’m not sure whether installation was a success or if it silently failed but installed enough to work.
  • Why are the extra AT commands needed to connect added the first time you click the connect button, this could be done during device or software installation where the process has already been elevated.

 

Vodafone Mobile Connect Lite (VMCLite) has changed a bit too. Despite the new splash screen the user interface is still as crap looking as ever but it does sport a few new features and improvements

  • Lame splash screen
  • Authentication Settings: allows users to select which authentication protocol should be used. Vodafone do not appear to set a default here.
  • Network Preferences: Allows user to select which network the device has a preference for (3G /2G)
  • Usage meter no longer uses a stupid combo box for entering quota size
  • Usage meter will now alert you when you are close to and/or have exceeded your quota (finally)

It’s good to see some steps in the right direction, however I’m still somewhat dissatisfied by the software. I believe power management is still an issue in this release but I’ve not tested that yet

It’s also good to see the Vodem now detecting the 3G+ (HSDPA) network, this is something I have never seen before despite claims that the device is a HSDPA modem and that I am in fact in a coverage area.

Whle it can’t be denied the new software does improve the Vodem experience a little I am still dissatisfied that it has taken this long to get anything good out of Vodafone and that what I now have is so far below my expectations for a company that proudly proclaims to be the worlds largest network. It seams logical that the world’s largest network would have the best customer experience, for me at least this is far from true.

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