Silhouette America, inc. You Suck (now with less suck)

I try to keep my rants to a minimum but dear God in heaven this has me mad.

My side business is vinyl decal cutting and window clings. We use software and hardware from a variety of vendors but one vendor who I SHALL name here has screwed the pooch with their latest software update. Usually software updates are faster, leaner and more user friendly. Epic Fail.

Not only did Silhouette America, inc.  put out a new version but it is so radically different it took me a whole day to use it. Add to that the new saved files from it are THREE TIMES LARGER than the last version. Really? That’s an upgrade huh? Oh and don’t let me forget that the time it takes to cut the designs is now almost 4 times longer. WTF? The hardware is exactly the same as are the designs.

I depend on my cutting software that drives my cutters to be fast and efficient. Silhouette Studio Designer Edition v 2.9.45 was FAST. It worked. It had quirks, but cut times were fast and efficient. I didn’t have to click through 5 screens to set my cut settings.

Now with version 3.0.293, the UI is completely different, the cut options are nice but the “optimize for speed” is anything but. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this. They conveniently have no way to discuss this with other users on their site…wonder why. I sent a support request. I seriously doubt they’ll get back. If they care they’ll fix this but I doubt it. They seem to have the same mentality as most software makers- pack in the features and who cares if it works (iTunes anyone?). Continue reading “Silhouette America, inc. You Suck (now with less suck)”

Time Warner. If you’re not laughing yet you will be.

I wish to God Almighty I was making this up. I have NEVER in my 20+ years as a network/infrastructure engineer said this to a customer. I haven’t even considered it. It was always a joke you told colleges but never, ever said with any honesty to a customer.

Time Warner said the following:

“Solar activity this time of year causes issues with internet and television service.” Continue reading “Time Warner. If you’re not laughing yet you will be.”

Open letter to AT&T Wireless. You Stink. Fix it!

Where I live- zip code 10901, AT&T Wireless service is generally good. With half signal bars I get good calls and data. Even in side. Verizon however doesn’t.  So congratulations to AT&T Wireless. Sadly, I don’t need voice or data at home. Ever wonder why cell phones are referred to a mobile?

I ride a train to work every day. Two trips. Same route. Every day. About an hour and a half each way. That’s mobile. That’s when I need service.

AT&T Wireless sucks along this route. In some places there is NO SERVICE. The route? New Jersey Transit Bergen County Main Line/Port Jervis. Some stations along the line have perfect service. Sadly, since the train is moving, we’re not there long enough for it to matter.

To be fair, I am in a moving metal box. However, the Verizon customer sitting right next to me has perfect service. That’s just not acceptable.

I know what you’re saying- I’m using a iPhone- they have notoriously bad antennas. Maybe, but my shiny new iPad 3 with 4G gets great reception- full bars even. Those stations that have no service? Some have full 4G bars but no data can be sent/received. How does that work? Oh and just in case you’re wondering- I don’t exceed my 3GB data plan so AT&T Wireless should not be throttling me.

AT&T Wireless has a nice little smart phone app that I use A LOT on my iPad and iPhone. It’s called “Mark The Spot” It allows me to “report” issues. It even tells me when “new service” comes to an area I reported. Thanks! I think. Most of the time I can’t report the spot because–wait for it–there is no service. Does AT&T Wireless even read these reports? If they did, I am sure that I wouldn’t have the service problems I have. Sure they send me nice little text messages saying they got the report. I promise those are automated replies.

It gets more annoying. I spend a good amount of time in Penn Station New York (no thanks to NJT and Amtrak service issues). Guess who has service IN the station and IN the tunnels (all underground mind you)? Not AT&T Wireless. Verizon does though! Why is this I wonder? Could Verizon care enough to put femto or micro cells down there? I think AT&T Wireless doesn’t care. It’s most likely that they just don’t want to put femto or micro cells in the station or tunnels. Either way it makes their service suck and it frustrates me.

My midtown Manhattan office has similar AT&T Wireless issues. Dropped calls are the biggest problem here. But you say, “you’re in a huge building!” Yes I am. On the 18th floor in front of a window. Guess who never drops calls in our office? Verizon! You’d think that being high up and having a clear view would help. Doesn’t seem so. The service for AT&T Wireless at the street level is strangely perfect. I think those cell antennas need some adjusting.

Now you’re definitively thinking- why stay with AT&T Wireless? Well I initially blamed Apple because my beloved iPhone was only GSM and therefore only AT&T Wireless. That’s no excuse anymore!

I stay with AT&T Wireless primarily because they have great service where I live, which, generally is where I spend my free time. I had Verizon previously and because the service was so bad, all our cell phones would empty their batteries trying to connect to service while in the apartment. That’s a real bummer!

I honestly like AT&T Wireless. Their pricing and customer service haven’t been that bad. I have a family plan with 3 smartphones, 1 feature phone and 1 tablet. It’s affordable. Not affordable from a service perspective mind you….

So what’s this “rant” for anyway? Here’s what I want. I believe that I speak for A LOT of AT&T Wireless customers here.


Stop adding 4G and LTE spots. Get the coverage fixed. 4G and LTE are useless if they don’t reach the customers. I live in a MAJOR metro area. New York is a BIG market. Service in the city stinks, I understand. Millions of cellular devices competing for air time. I get it. But on my train route? It’s suburbia. Low to medium density. Capacity shouldn’t be an issue out there.

Here’s what I’m doing about this besides writing long form rants. I use “Mark The Spot” EVERY DAY. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten a call from the “network” team at AT&T Wireless telling me to stop spamming them.

If we all use this app we can flood them with real data about the coverage issues. Of course I’m assuming they get the reports and really research them.

Spread the word. AT&T Wireless can be better. 4G is nice when it works. 3G that is consistent is much better. I’d even settle for Edge if it worked consistently.






Brail sign on the train…

I’m not blind but this sign just makes no sense.  Consider the context.  You’re blind. You’re exiting the train. Do you have time to stop AT the door, search for brail signs and read them before exiting?

I’m NOT blind and I don’t have time to do this.

Unless the train is empty you’re going to get pushed out of the train with everyone else, gap or not!

Thanks NJT for the excellent placement of this sign by the door.