Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Back From Greece

I'm back from my trip to Greece. Mobilewise, I have a few items to report.

First off, I brought the Jornada 690 with me. As I had to stop over at Schipol Airport (Amsterdam), I decided to try out Schipol Airport's WiFi service (after checking out the Art Museum - an Art Museum and a Casino - Schipol is now my favourite airport). IIRC, it was €10 for an all day pass. The Jornada was slow, but I was able to ssh back into the flat. I stayed in Athens for two nights and I tried out Novotel's service - it worked, though the WiFi was more expensive (I think it was €5 or 6 for an hour). Sadly, the hotel out near Corinth didn't have WiFi (or any other form of internet access), so I spent most of my trip without access to the internet.

I decided to buy a local phone while I was out there. I bought a cheap Alcatel on the Cosmote network, which cost €40 including €10 credit. I topped it up with a €30 top up voucher (which included €3 extra credit). I think I have less than €1 left on it, as I needed to make several long phone calls and lots of text messages to both the UK and the USA. I've brought the phone back with me, and it seems to have roamed onto T-Mobile (I dread to think how expensive it would be to use, assuming I could find a way to top it up). The oddest thing about the phone is that you need to enter the PIN number every time you switch it on, and there doesn't seem to be a way to turn PIN checking off. It also has the worst ringtone selection I've ever come across. Still, it was a lot cheaper than roaming charges.

There were two things I needed to do to get the phone working entirely in English. The first was to call 1313 and ask for the menu to be changed to English. This meant that 1314, the number for adding credit and checking your balance, was now in English. The second thing I had do was play around with the phone looking for the language selection menu. It took a couple of minutes to find the right menu item, but once I found it I had a phone fully working in the English language.