Today's accomplishments during the Toronto-to-Rochester drive (Greg was driving) were twofold: the first is that I finished my OnLinux slides (including putting in the new presentation content generated by the audience) which will be posted along with a rough guess at a talk transcription later today. The second was that I paid my phone bill.

Specifically, the AT&T bill - the first bill - for my GSM peripheral. Usually, this would be easy; you sign up to pay online, then pay online. The trouble is that AT&T sends the activation code for your pay-your-bill-online account to the device. In a text message. Which would be fine if it were a phone, but it's a USB peripheral for internets-when-you-are-anywhere.

This would also be fine if I was running Windows, since they have special software you can install to extract text messages from the device. We know that this is not the case, though. Finally, this would also be fine if I could hear enough to understand phone support and ask them to walk me through it, but this is also most decidedly not the case. So I...

  1. went on instant messenger
  2. to use AT&T's relay service in order to
  3. have an AT&T person mediate between me on chat and
  4. an AT&T rep on the other side.

This actually worked extremely well, and everything got settled out, and there was one beautiful moment where AT&T put AT&T on hold and the relay operator started typing in the hold music...

It wasn't a particularly productive car ride, but it was a wholly satisfying one.