Tokyo 2009: Grappling With Technology

## iPhone

The horror stories are well known about what happens when you travel internationally with an iPhone and leave “Data Roaming” on. So both of our iPhones have been ratcheted down – data roaming off, email checking set to manual (just in case), etc. We’re bridging the in-room internet into wifi so we can still use our phones while we’re in the hotel.

But two odd iPhone things have come up during the trip that are worth mentioning:

Turns out you **must** have 3G turned on to get a cell phone signal while in Tokyo, even with data roaming off. I tend to keep it off, usually out of battery concerns, but also due to this whole international traveling thing. (If the data does have to go on, at least that way I’ll be rate limited.) But there’s seemingly no GPRS signal, so as soon as I turned 3G back on, I got full signal from NTT DoCoMo.

It gets weirder: despite the settings being the same across the board on both phones, Katie’s iPhone is not able to get a cell signal. The Carrier/Network Selection menu is displaying, it sees DoCoMo and SoftBank, but selecting either throws a “Network Lost” error message. This is baffling and, admittedly, troubling. Only thing I could find as a troubleshooting tip was running a Network Reset, which has done nothing. (If anyone knows a fix for this, I’d love to hear it.)

## Skype

Skype works like a charm on Katie’s laptop, but I really wish the app better defined the preferences. I had to turn off “Use Skype Access”, which is about as nebulously defined as you can get, before it would connect.