This morning (29/7) I took off from Schiphol (Amsterdam airport) for Austin, Texas to assist at the 17th NIWeek. During the flight I kept my phone switched off in a pocket of my pants. Now, when my phone is switched off the key lock function does not work because it is a function of the operating system of the phone, not a hardware feature. So, without me noticing, my phone got switched on in my pocket while I was looking out of the window (I had a window seat) and apparently I unknowingly sort of "punched" in (with my thigh or handkerchief) several wrong PIN codes which resulted in a blocked SIM card when I took my phone out again in Houston (where I had to change planes). To unblock the PIN code my phone now first wanted a Personal Unblocking Code (PUK) code, which off course I didn't know. A helpful girl in a phone shop on the airport told me that this code is often printed on the SIM card itself. So I examined my SIM card and indeed discovered a 17-digit code of which the first 8 digits turned out to be the PUK code for my SIM card. Great!
Or is it? Thanks to the missing hardware key lock feature my SIM card got blocked, but thanks to the PUK code conveniently printed on my SIM card, I can unblock it again. And if I can do this, anyone who gets hold of my phone can do this. How's that for anti-theft protection?
So, problem solved? Well... no. Entering the PUK code gave me the right to choose a new PIN code that I had to confirm by typing it again, which I did without errors. 1234 is not so difficult to get right, right? Wrong! According to my phone my new PIN code is incorrect (???) and I am back to the PUK code. I would now be stuck in an endless loop if it weren't for the cleverly built-in hang protection (they did think of that): the number of tries is limited to 8. I still have 3 left...
Tomorrow I will buy a prepaid local SIM card.