At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We're not in Mexico anymore!

And we proved it yesterday when we bought a package of 50 corn tortilla for $6.95!! We actually had gone to a Mexican grocery store here in Saskatoon and they even have fresh corn tortillas. But those are 6 for $2.95! You can't afford to eat like a Mexican while in Canada.

The major item on the agenda for yesterday was to get our "MiFi" internet device reactivated.

We had bought this from Bell about two years ago. We bought it outright, so we didn't have to be locked into a contract. We only used it for about five months and then I cancelled the service when we arrived in Mexico in the fall of 2011.

Our Bell MiFi.

This little device connects to the internet over the cellular network. Then, it distributes a wi-fi signal that up to five devices can connect to. So Ruth and I can both be on the internet at the same time! The park where we are working this summer has no other method of connecting to the internet, but they do have good cellular service. We'll find out tomorrow!

Anyhow, we went down to the main Bell store downtown in the Midtown Mall. It wasn't busy and we were served right away. They gave us a new SIM card (the chip that has the cellular phone number on it) and set up our account again. 

Then I checked it to make sure it was working. 

And it wasn't!

So they checked a few things, and then they called their own tech support. Remember, these are just two sales clerks in the retail store. They really did go out of their way to try and get it going, but with no success. They were thinking there was something wrong with the device itself. I asked them to check that the device settings were all where they were supposed to be based on Bell's network, and they said they were. After about two hours (!) I finally gave up on them and asked for their tech number so I could take it back and work on it myself.

If I was going to have to spend $200 on a new one, I wanted to be confident that there was indeed something wrong with the old one.

I got it all set up and went into the device configuration settings. The first thing I saw was one box that was marked manual, and one box that was marked automatic. I changed it from manual to automatic, clicked "save" and watched it connect. Bingo! Just like that! It works perfectly now, exactly the way it's supposed to.

You'll notice in the picture above that our camera has developed dark splotches. I've already contacted Olympus, and they say these are dust particles on the sensor. My question is, how did they get there? Anyhow, they say it's covered under warranty, but I have to send it in and pay for the shipping and wait for who knows how long for it to come back. I'd rather have a new camera. I've asked them for a discount on a new one, and I have to call them today to find out if they'll do that. They didn't say no outright, so I guess we'll see how that plays out.

Not much on the agenda today. It's supposed to warm up though, calling for a high of 10C (50F) today, and 18C (65F) tomorrow!

Edit: I meant to include what the rate package is for the MiFi device. It's a graduated scale, starting at $10 a month, but quickly going to $30 a month for only 500 MB. If you go over that limit, it goes to $45 for 2 GB. Then $70 for 6 GB. Then $85 for 10 GB. Plus taxes, of course.


16 comments:

  1. Good for you for sorting out the Bell problem.

    As to the dust on the sensor, it happens. Colin has to be extremely careful when changing lenses on his professional cameras, he does it in a tiny dust free area and use a special brush. The rest of us get dust just from having an open lenses and dust in the air. Also how it is stored makes a difference. There is a camera shop in Centro in Mazatlan that will repair your camera for 250 pesos so don't throw it away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But ours is a sealed unit "point and shoot". That's why I question how the dust got in there.

      Delete
    2. The dust still gets in. I have had my point and shot fixed twice now. Colin says it just goes in right thru the lense.

      Delete
  2. Good you got your MIFI going again. We just bought a Rogers one and works great, less expensive than the Bell one at this time. But I think your Bell would have a better service where you are located.
    Good luck with the camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Rogers doesn't have a very good nationwide network. Bell is actually the best in that regard.

      Delete
  3. Having spent the winter in the southwest US and a few weeks in Mexico I am having heart palpitations at the price of groceries back here in Toronto!! Butter is $5.50 a pound and I was getting 2 pounds for $5 in Las Vegas!!
    Isn't it typical that the "techies" couldn't fix the problem. I have no faith in any of these places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes on the price of butter, I haven't checked out the price of that yet! We will be doing a proper grocery shop today so we will have a better idea on the prices. Good thing we don't have a lot to spend our money on this year other than the internet and groceries.

      Delete
  4. Not be an authority or expert on anything - especially not electronic stuff - I would suspect the spots on the sensor to have come from humidity/condensation - being too hot or too cold - or going from one to the other. Anything electronic has to be protected from to much heat or too much cold unless it is design for extremes.

    Another note sort of similar but not the same - we have looked at flooring for our Bus - looking at vinyl wood like products - when you read the fine print it is amazing how close the tolerances are for temperatures not only while installing but over the life of the products. After installation no direct sunlight or temps of 90F - or below 40F - so not going to work in an RV. If flooring products are sensitive to temps I would guess electronics may be even more so. Don't tell the camera people you spend time on beaches in Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The camera spent very little time at the beach so I don't think that was an issue. Maybe it didn't like the mountain air or the rainy English weather because we spent way more time in these locales than the beach. Cameras, I think are built better than that. Our other Olympus camera put up with a lot more use than this one and the only reason we stopped using it was because the lens had a sratch on it. We had that one for 9 years.

      Delete
  5. Wow, I'm wondering what we'll eat if we go to Canada. Do they have welfare for retired Mexican tourists?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ouch on the grocery prices. Corn tortillas don't have a long shelf life. 50 is a big package, I hope you can freeze them. Can you order groceries from Amazon? Wonder if they have free shipping to Canada, they have a large selection of gluten free products.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can freeze them. We do it all the time in Mexico and then I just heat them up in the dry, non-greased frying pan for a minute or so as I need them. This works really well so these will last me for a while. For other gluten free products I have no problem getting them in Canada and for the most part the prices aren't too much more than in the US.

      Delete
  7. I had spots show up on my point and shoot Sony. Turned out to be water makes on the lens coating that you needed a magnifying glass to see. Cleaning it with a Q tip solved my problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is more than that but we seem to have things worked out with Olympus so we are just going to send it off and get a replacement one.

      Delete
  8. Wow expensive internet but sounds like you have little choice. Guess you will be keeping more of an eye on your usage now. I manage to get 500mb plus 200 minutes phone calls and 500 texts for £8 a month so now appreciate what a great deal I have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inernet and cellular have always been expensive in Canada. It is probably the most expensive country in the world for it. Canada is a huge country with many areas that aren't very populated so it is expensive to put up all of the towers so everywhere can have excess the system. Because we don't have internet any other way here it has to be through the cellular network. With our MiFi we only get internet no phone, 500mb won't get us very far. We are hoping that 6Gb will do us each month.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...