Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cracked the Data Plan Problem! No data overage charges for me....

As I watched with horror my limited 200 Megabyte AT&T data plan get used up in the first week of ownership of my new AT&T Samsung Galaxy Captivate, I knew I had to do something or the dreaded $400 cell phone bill was headed my way. But what? Every cute app I downloaded, free or not, used the web to bring me ads that I did not want or worse, checked for updates on the web at midnight when my phone was "sleeping"   
Yikes! Come to find out that, even if you are in your home wireless (wifi) area, the default set in the phone is to use the 3G network (your dataplan = $$$) when the phone is sleeping (blank screen) I was stunned.

Fix? Turn the wi fi to "never switch off"  1 problem fixed. I was still using 3g data though (i downloaded a cool app called "3G Watchdog" (Free)

Still using data despite my best efforts. What apps were using it? Where was it going? I needed a Firewall to get back control. I downloaded "Droidwall" and was thrilled to see that it would let me customize and choose, for each app on the phone, my choice of data access! Not so fast! says AT&T , because the moment you try turning on the firewall it gives you "No root access allowed - Superuser permissions NOT available" or some other nice "you are totally out of luck" messages.

How to get Superuser access? How to "root" the phone? What does it mean anyway? My local AT&T people looked at me blankly when I asked them (that vacant "what are you talking about" stare) but did suggest calling Samsung support for Galaxy phones.

Samsung Technical Support ....

Level 1
Did not know what I was talking about at all .

Level 2

Knew what it was, but had no idea how to do it,

Level 3

Knew what it was and knew they couldn't do it. They connected me to Ralph -

Level 4.
Ralph sounded like he was in his basement at home surrounded by computers. He was refreshingly non-corporate, non pc, he did not bother with the "I understand you are frustrated" pleasantries that supprt people are brainwashed into saying to you when they don't really mean it. Ralph was great. I ask him about rooting. "Well it does void your warranty", he said. "What would you do?" I asked. "Oh, I did mine in the first ten minutes of ownership"  he said, matter of factly. He suggested getting "One click root" software on my pc and following the instructions.

Well, the whole process took 10 min and now I have Superuser Permissions, Droidwall works and  I have used 0 that's ZERO megs in 5 days!

Remember though - You do this at your own risk, batteries not included, some sets sold with all the wrong hardware, your mileage will vary and all those "it's your fault" things........

Find your Wallet, Cell phone, Glasses using your keys and vice versa - No Base transmitter required!