Windows 10 – 9879 loaded over after error 0x80248014

Recently Microsoft released the new Windows 10 9879 technical preview. I went to my test machine for Windows 10’s PC settings and changed the setting to receive FAST builds. When I checked for the download I received the error, “Failed to check for new preview build, please try again later.  0x80248014“.

It appears the update wanted to be loaded over Ethernet. Some blogs showed that if you bind the Wireless Card with the Ethernet this might bypass the issue, while others found a registry fix in case they had loaded the MediaCenter add-on.

Plugging in to an Ethernet connection did fix my issue and the release loaded as planned.

Nokia 1520 and SoftCard – Successful!!!

I upgraded to the Nokia 1520 on AT&T after finding out that my Windows Phone Lumia 920 I received at the Microsoft Build Conference would not work due to being unlocked.

I went to AT&T to upgrade my SIM card and that went very smooth. I think it must take some time or I needed to turn off WiFi to actually get the network to realize that I had a new SecureSim as the first time I went to the MS app store the SoftCard app wasn’t there and when I did a Cortona search for the app it loaded and said that my phone wasn’t supported. I left the area and tried again and it worked fine…Phew!

During the installation you choose a PIN code and then you can create a soft card account and create an American Express Serve account to use with the card.

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After using the card I was able to log into the SoftCard web site and see my transactions and noticed that SoftCard gave me a $1 back on each of my purchases so far so that is pretty neat!

Other stores like ToyR’Us have promotions inside the app that give you specials like $5 off when using the card. That will come handy this Black Friday!

I have used the card at my Local MC Donald’s and Subway. There are supposedly some other coke machines in the area that also have NFC ready.

So far so good, if SoftCard continues to give money back why wouldn’t you want to use it?


Does Nokia Wallet Now work on A&T with a Secure SIM? Doesn’t look like it.


After I have determined that SoftCard will not work on my Windows Developer Lumia 920 device. I am wondering if the Nokia Wallet option will work?

The NFC settings are allowing me to go to tap to pay, I don’t recall if that was disabled before.


One quick way to determine this. If SoftCard is supposed to work at McDonalds there is just one around the corner, so I went to try it out.  The NFC is usually pretty fast on the Lumia 920 so after trying a couple different ways to tap the NFC area nothing seemed to be working.


 If anyone has had success doing this with a Lumia 920 with Nokia Wallet please let me know.


SoftCard doesn’t appear to work with unlocked phones

I stopped by an AT&T location today to get my secure SIM card. That part went perfect the AT&T rep was wonderful to work with. This new SIM card also got me passed the first step of installing the application bypassing the warning that I didn’t have a secure SIM.

The next step was that it said that I didn’t have an internet connection when accepting the Terms and conditions. I uninstalled and reinstalled SoftCard, this bypassed that error and I was able to try to create a username and password. The next step is to set a PIN number after confirming the PIN Number I receive the error that my phone is not compatible with SoftCard.

I contacted AT&T and the transferred me to SoftCard Support. The Direct Number is 855-273-9150. This is an unlisted number so keep this one handy.

I contacted SoftCard and after going through several things they asked if my phone is unlocked. I have the Windows Phone Lumia 920 Developer Kit phone from BUILD conference. This phone I believe was unlocked and has multiple radios in it for other countries.

The only other gotcha could be that I also have the development preview loaded for the Microsoft Heath Band loaded. They said their software is written for specific versions of the software. So it would be to hear if anyone else has this working on the latest Dev preview on a locked phone.

It would also be good to hear if Android users have this working on an unlocked device too.

I called back tonight to AT&T and reached a knowledgeable person about all the troubleshooting steps. She said I need to uninstall and install on Cellular only, Check the NFC option under settings to make sure they are on and retry. Unfortunately it didn’t work.

So it looks like I am stuck until I upgrade soon to the next Windows Phone.

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I called AT&T back one last time to verify the SIM was correct. Looks like it was so my phone wont work out. Darn.



“The ATT tech support said that only the sim card with the gray blob on it is the right one…to be sure…check the SKU number for the sim they give you.

“4682B” or “4681B”.



Microsoft Band – Day 3


I  wore a Omron pedometer today to compare the step count between it and the Microsoft Band. The difference was 250 steps for the entire day.  I am not sure how the Microsoft Band determines your step stride length. This could be the difference across 5000 steps throughout the work day.

The sleep app is seeping pretty accurate knowing how bad I have slept recently. But it is also pretty neat to see the lowest resting heart beat at 55bpm.

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Microsoft Band heart rate sampling frequency

  • Exercise modes (Run and Workout): Heart rate records every second
  • Sleep tracking : 2 minutes on, 8 minutes off. Repeats throughout duration
  • All other times : 1 minute on, 9 minutes off, and repeating the cycle
  • Manual: You can force-check your heart rate at any time by tapping the Me Tile

When the Microsoft Band is just being worn under regular conditions, users can expect ten-minute intervals for heart rate data collection, which is six data points an hour. During sleep, the heart rate monitor is working slightly harder, taking a longer periodic sample.

Finally, during exercise when the user puts the Band into Workout or Run, the Band goes into a high-performance mode collecting a user’s heart rate once every second.



Mobile Phone Payments – SoftCard – Is this a competitor to ApplePay?


On 10/31/14 AT&T published a version of SoftCard to the Windows Phone Store. I am curious about this app as it seems like AT&T was blocking the use of their SIM Cards with Nokia’s NFC Wallet application to NFC payments.  I think that is a positive move for the other mobile platforms and offers competition for ApplePay.

Here are a few pictures during the installation. It offers a location finder to where the services can be used. Looks like similar locations that were just upgraded to ApplePay as well. Some people have posted that SoftCard has quit working at WalGreens and other locations that have upgraded their hardware, so this will be interesting to test out.

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Here is the description from the Windows Store app about the software.

To use Softcard™, you need two things:
▶ A compatible smartphone that uses NFC (near field communication) technology to send payment info at checkout.

▶ An ENHANCED SIM CARD that stores and protects your payment and other sensitive payment information.

To find out if you have what you need, visit or

Softcard is a free* app available for use with many of the latest smartphones.
▶ PAYMENTS: Add eligible payment cards and get all the benefits and protections you would with your physical card. Or setup a prepaid account and add money to it with your preferred debit card, credit card or U.S. bank account.**
▶ OFFERS: Find money-saving offers from participating merchants—right on your phone and ready to use.
▶ LOYALTY: Store participating loyalty cards and cut the clutter.
Plus, Softcard features state-of-the-art technology and layers of security to protect your information.

Paying with your phone is easy.
1. Open Softcard and enter your PIN
2. Select a payment card to use
3. Hold the back of your phone over the contactless symbol on the terminal at checkout

You can use Softcard to pay anywhere contactless payments are accepted – that’s over 200,000 locations nationwide!


If it is true that McDonalds is implementing this nationwide then that will help push some of the other fast food companies to follow suite.

Image: Softcard

Edit – 11/5/14

I contacted AT&T corporate today and the representative was clueless about the SoftCard by AT&T as well as the process to request a secure SIM card. I hung up and contacted the Springfield IL AT&T corporate store and got a much different response.

Not only did the store representative know what I was talking about. He said he has been using it for some time at WalGreens, CVS, and McDonalds. He said that any corporate should have them in stock.  I will try to grab one tomorrow if possible.

Microsoft Band – Day 2 – Still no complaints

Day two and I am still learning more about the band. I was able to make it all night without any discomfort with the band. The negative reviews continue to fall in as people are comparing it to handcuffs or ankle bracelets. Maybe those people that have been in handcuffs and ankle bracelets aren’t cut out for this device?

I know I didn’t sleep well in general last night and this pretty much nailed my expectations.


I was able to create a VIP email list to help filter which emails show up on the phone and also play with the watch option that keeps the time dimmed on the face at all times. Some were reporting that at night this is still too bright. I’ll find out tonight.

I’ll try to compare the “steps” tomorrow against an Ormon Pedometer which was more accurate than the Fitbit Flex band. But my steps today were pretty average around 4,000 just around the office.

So far my favorite feature is the intense vibration of the band before a meeting. my snooze button the phone was too easy to dismiss. This makes me get up an get to the meeting on time.

The weather app was on target today as it rained all day!

I am not disappointed at all with this device so far.

Microsoft Band – Day 1 – So far loving it.


Microsoft did a great job with the boxing of the Microsoft Band it looks professional just like the Surface boxing.


The first impression of the device is, “Wow, this isn’t a cheap plastic band.”   To start the pairing of the device, plug it into USB power.


Download the appropriate application for your phone. Mine was the Microsoft Health app for Windows Phone 8.1 (Lumia 920).

The syncing seemed to work but then the band would disconnect from the Windows Phone.

When I started the Microsoft Health app it asked me to download the Windows Phone Preview to enable the newer Bluetooth options. Side note this update also includes some great features for the Start screen allowing better grouping of applications

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This took me right to the phone update to download and install the update. This took some time to download the update and then install it. I am guessing at least a half an hour. After the phone reboots I got worried as it sat at a picture of 2 gears for a very long time, another half hour. But it eventually took off and started showing a completion line at the bottom. Bottom Line, Be Patient!!!

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Once the software is installed you can change the applications that show on the tiles and drag and drop them to be in the right order that you want them to appear. If the application has the edit button next to it you can change some of the options. For example, you can make a VIP list for the email tile so you only get notifications for a list of up to 10 people.

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To change the order, press the icon of the band in the upper right hand corner of the screen.


The Microsoft Band is very comfortable on my wrist and feels just like a watch.  Some reviews say that you are aware that it is on your wrist, and I feel that a bit, but I do with normal watches as well and this doesn’t bother me at all. The weight of it is perfect, lighter than normal watches that I’d wear. It is commutable wearing the Band on the top of the write or on the bottom. I have had it on the bottom of the wrist most of the day. Microsoft is handing out a Zagg screen cover in some stores. I bought just a cheap iPhone 4/5 screen cover and put it over the screen until I can go back to the store and pick one up.

I haven’t noticed that the Band picking up erroneous steps for just driving around in my SUV, something that the Polar and FitBit bands did do. The resting heartbeat is fun to watch as I type right now it is at 75 while it was over 105 during a engaged conference call earlier today.

The band is still showing a full charge after 8 hours, more than I can say about my Lumia 920. My phone was dying fast today with Bluetooth on so that might be a bigger concern than the Band’s battery.

I am anxious for the Band to interface with Microsoft Health & FitNesse or HealthVault. I am not much or a runner so some of the other built in apps might not do it for me quite yet. I did hook it up to MyFitNessPal, but haven’t quite learned how to integrate with it from the Band. I thought I saw an advertisement where a person was speaking into the Band, “I ate a candy bar” and it logged the food? I’ll need to find that and show an example if that is really possible.


Last step for tonight, check out how the sleep tracking works. More tomorrow.

Microsoft Band – Ordered and ready to give it a whirl


Microsoft Band

Pretty excited about the new Microsoft Band fitness #Band. It really looks like a nice combination of features. It will be great to see if I can make it 48 hours on the one charge! Having the option to quickly look at inbound emails as well as text during the day will be very nice. In daily standups it will be less noticeable than pulling my phone out of my pockets to ensure I didn’t miss an important call or email.

The integration with Cortona playing music, replying to text or just adding a reminder will be nice as well. Obviously I have a Windows Phone (Lumia 920) to take advantage of the Cortana features.

I am really hoping this will also help kickstart me into becoming more active as it will be in my face showing me otherwise.

The Starbucks option looks quite impressive in theory and will be fun to test it out in person, but I could see this as Microsoft’s Wallet approach to competing with Apple Pay if more stores would accept this payment option.

I ordered the size Large based off the Microsoft PDF that was posted here:

The heartbeat option looks very neat as well vs. having to wear a heart band around your chest like Polar requires typically.

It will be great to see how this will work out on an elliptical machine or used while golfing track calories.

I am also curious how this will work in the car if my phone is paired with my car stereo/Bluetooth?

I don’t think it will be fair to really comment much more until I get it on for a few days and see how it performs. Will wearable’s be the next thing to be outlawed to use while driving?

But overall I like what I see and most of all I love how Microsoft shocked the world about it and delivered so quickly!

This is the best unboxing video I have seen on WPCentral.