A few days ago I was kvetching about buying a cable for my cellphone (LG-G4010), only to find out it did nothing. Yes, it was the right cable, but it came without software.
I’ve spent the past few days trying to find the right program to ‘speak’ to my phone. It wasn’t a pleasant experience nor an easy chore. There is nothing on LG’s US site or Cingular’s site to help.
I started searching through Usenet, my perennial favorite for tech info. After I struck out there, it was on to the more esoteric cell phone sites like Howard Forums.
There are cell phone hobbyists. That was a major surprise. Unlike PC’s, which started as wide open systems, cellular phones have been locked down almost from the beginning. It’s much tougher to hack and fiddle with your phone than your PC.
Most of the postings concerning my phone were cries in the dark, like mine. Where can I? How can I? Many weren’t answered. Some were, but often with cryptic references to previous posts concerning other phones.
Over time, I started to see a few posts talking about software for my phone from LG’s Russian website. I went only to find… it was in Russian! All Cyrillic type, much of it images (which can’t be searched or translated by machine). It seemed the answer to my problem might lie on that site, but I had no way of knowing, or even knowing where to navigate.
I fired off an email to Alex Moskayluk. Alex and I met on the net. I don’t know him well. I do know, and I hope he’s not embarrassed or bothered by this characterization, that he’s a geek’s geek. The mere fact that Alex’s review of a highly technical programming book sits on the front page of Slashdot is irrefutable proof. More important in this situation, he speaks Russian.
Within a few minutes, his reply sent me to the LG Russian site and a free downloadable file. It is actually made for another LG model, but it works just fine on my phone. I could now peer into the internal phonebook and make changes. It’s a lot easier entering someone’s name and number on a computer keyboard than the phone’s number pad.
Next, I hunted around and found a program that allowed me to add new ringtones. I’m not sure I want my phone to ring as the 20th Century Fox or Simpson’s themes, but it can!
What upsets me is that all of these programs are in English – even though they’re pointed to in Cyrillic on the Russian LG site. So, why aren’t they available here in the states from LG? This is all about customer satisfaction.
Now there’s only one piece of software I’m looking for. I need a program to allow me to get rid of LG’s annoying ‘wallpaper’. I don’t need to replace it – just turn it off!