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10/06/06

  07:59:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1018 words  
Categories: General, VoIP, Networking

I answered the damn phone

One of my phone numbers had been acting kind of weird lately....this morning I decided to investigate. It was my BroadVoice VoIP line which I have configured for simulring to my landline. I also have my Vonage number set for simulring to my landline. This was largely for historical reasons.

When I was using the D-Link DPH-540 WiFi phone with BroadVoice, I wanted my landline to get the calls....because the phone was kind of iffy. So iffy, that I have shelved the $250 piece of junk and gotten a different adapter to do phone with the service at home. Though that isn't without its problems.

Later in trying to resolve DSL issues, I had moved the cordless phone from my Vonage adapter to my landline....so I could be calling from the problem landline while talking to phone repair. So because that meant there was no phone attached to the Vonage box at all....

Well, those calls were completing because the landline seemed to be sucking those calls into a blackhole.

So, I tried calling myself.....one ring and then noise. Tried again...same thing. One more time....same thing. Then I looked at the VoIP activity logs and found that I was paying for calls that were being routed to the landline (I only get 100 minutes a month, and I do more than that just talking to my mom...so I should probably upgrade to unlimited, but it currently isn't over that threshold). But, the landline never rang or anything.

So, I walked over to the landline phone (a basic AT&T line powered phone...since the main reason I have landline, is so I will have something in the event of a power outage....or something 'reliable' to call 911 on). No dial-tone...just noise. Though the DSL is working fine.

So, I log a trouble report...which wasn't easy. I first went online to do it...and at the last step it said it couldn't process my request online and that I would need to call.

Calling the repair number....routed me to a hold queue....where they kept telling me in the recording that I should be using their website to log my trouble report. Umm, that's what I tried first!

Finally got through to somebody....quickly rattled off that I not an idiot....but left out that I'm a Professional (Electrical) Engineer and I already did numerous internal wiring checks (though I couldn't find my buttset, which probably gives me the excuse to get a DSL safe one to replace it &#59;) And, they said somebody would be out by 6pm to look into things...but since I'm not paying them their special service fee to cover my inside wiring, there would be a charge for the service call if the problem is on my end. Didn't I just tell them that I already know the problem is on their side.

Well, I wasn't gonna wait around to see them show up....I already missed half a day on Monday, when they finally responded to my DSL trouble ticket. Where they knocked and said they were here and would look around outside and get back to me. Later I noticed they were gone and I didn't hear from them ever again. If it weren't for the 12-month contract, I'd cancel the DSL....and I'd strongly be thinking of going landline free again. (Hopefully, my new Sprint phone will appear soon and it'll have a local number, etc.....unlike my T-Mobile line where I asked to have the number changed to a local number...and they only got as close as being in the same area code.... for a small city of population ~3300... But, T-Mobile was glad to charge me for changing my number....and my old number was gone forever and any additional changes would result in the same change fee again....oh they finally said, that they are currently out of local numbers.)

Anyways....I came home, eventually remembered to check for dial tone....and went about my evening....

Until the phone rang. I answered it....though I guess I was kind of expecting an automated message from AT&T telling me that they had completed the repair (sometimes I get one, sometimes I don't....though I'm supposed to get some kind of work completion indication...and there were times I got the message even though they didn't actually complete anything. Like when I first got service...they turned it on, but didn't feel it necessary to connect my home to their system...and it took a major effort to convince them that they needed to send somebody to connect the wires, instead of assuming that a remote circuit test was sufficient and any lack of service at my end was a problem on my side....even though I told them that there was nothing connected to the wires sticking out of the side of the building.) I guess this is what happens when the phone company turns into a monopoly again. They broke up AT&T so that one of the pieces spawned from it could buy up all the pieces and eventually buy up AT&T and become AT&T again?

Anyways....it wasn't an automated message...but somebody looking for a Brian. I told him he had a wrong number....and then it was just silence....no apology or acknowledgement. Some people.

At least it wasn't a Sunday 6am call for somebody looking for some hotel....or some 3am call, because some girl is giving out my phone number at bars. The last ones are worse, because the guys won't accept that they have a bad number...

The rest of the time...its people calling for money....while they are worthwhile causes....it does make me wonder how they got my name, address and phone number...I don't want incoming calls on the line (I'm thinking of turning the ringer off again). Obviously the answer is that the phone company sold my personal information to them.

Not sure who I'm angrier at in this case.....

10/03/06

  10:51:04 pm, by The Dreamer   , 405 words  
Categories: General

Blood Drive at K-State

Forgot to mention that the next day I came across a table in the K-State Student Union where they were taking signups for donation times and/or volunteering.

So I scheduled an appointment for 1pm, today (October 3rd).

Meanwhile...yesterday I got 2 phone calls (at least two that left voicemails) asking me to come in and donate.

Today...I got 3 voicemails to come donate blood. All to my old Dublin, Ohio number with Vonage....namely because that's the number I was giving out when I first moved here (since I had it forwarded to my cellphone and didn't yet have any local services). I'll probably cancel my Vonage account sometime this month....because this is probably the only exception for calls that I do want to get....the rest are job offers which continue to pour in, and most of them are the nuisance ones that aren't even close to what I did or do for a living.

Anyways...today's donation was somewhat more entertaining....though I shouldn't be taking pleasure in other people having a bad experience giving blood. Though it takes me back to when I first gave blood at the University of Calgary....while my first time was uneventful...there were a few 'interesting' experiences in subsequent donations.

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  08:04:15 am, by The Dreamer   , 170 words  
Categories: Networking, WiFi

The Cloister Bell was ringing all night

I went to bed early last night, hoping to catch up on some zz's :zz:

It didn't work out that way....first the HOT phone kept jumping around all night, lept off once during the night. But, equally annoying was that the cloister bell was sounding on my computer in my living room.

That means from my computer's prespective one of the websites I monitor had gone down....the sites I monitor are this one and http://www.lhaven.net. Poopli and the K-State main page.

As it was, I don't think any of those sites went down (though I've been having issues lately with this site....) Turned out part of my WiFi network had failed. I've been thinking of replacing parts of it with HomePlug network adapters....but if I were to implement the plan...it was to span the large distance of my living room to my 'computer' room. And, not the opposite corners of my living room....

But, I guess I might have to rethink my plans....

10/02/06

  07:26:11 am, by The Dreamer   , 197 words  
Categories: General, Networking

The end of dial-up

I just remembered that I was going to pull the plug on my dialup account by the end of last month. So, I just went and canceled it.

We'll see if that was soon enough to avoid getting charged for this month. Otherwise, I suppose I might get an angry email, because the info they have on my card gives last month as the expiration date.

Full story »

10/01/06

  01:11:17 pm, by The Dreamer   , 90 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone

Blackberry Stuff

Link: http://www.blackberrystuff.com/

Well, looking around at accessories and doing some reading....it appears that while the new C-S2 batteries of the 87xx will work in the older 71xx phones...the older C-S1 batteries from those won't work in the 87xx devices.

And, since the price is more reasonable....I think I paid ~$100 for the extra C-S1....~$25 for a C-S2....I decided to get one....in addition to the other accessories I did decide to order today.

Namely, I got a different style case and decided to see what the cradle is like.

  12:34:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 184 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone

Sprint Blackberry 8703e

Well, its true....when they announced that this would be available on October 1st....it did show up on their website today, available for order.

At first I was just going to look around, but in chatting with an online sales rep....I decided to go for it. He assured me that I would get a local phone number (unlike T-Mobile).

I don't know if I'll keep the old Blackberry 7100t or not....I got it unlocked yesterday...so it either makes it easy to sell, or makes it possible to use a different SIM card should the need arise.

At one time, I had considered travelling the Europe and therefore having a use for the capability...but it seems unlikely that there'll be any overseas travel in my near future.... The darn terrorists are winning.... :##

Anyways...in somewhat haste to complete the order, I forgot to browse for accessories....though about the only thing I might be looking at is an extra battery (which I don't need right away) and maybe a different style case...which probably won't come from Sprint (or Blackberry).

09/26/06

  07:34:06 pm, by The Dreamer   , 110 words  
Categories: Home Theatre

Should I try another wireless speaker system?

Just found an email, that Radio Shack has the HomePlug speaker transmitters in stock again.

It was because it was out of stock, that I started thinking of skipping the process and see about saving up for a Yamaha YSP-1000.

But, I'm a long way off from reaching that goal...and the HomePlug stuff is relatively cheaper....of course, that assumes that it'll work.

The lack of good sound is really impairing my HT enjoyment...and has impacted my NetFlix subscription...in that there hasn't been any activity on my account since I've moved....

Hmmm..... :??:

Guess, it was a false notification....their site still shows it as out of stock. >:-(

  07:29:46 pm, by The Dreamer   , 511 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, VoIP

Good-bye Lingo

Well, this morning I saw the monthly charge from Vonage hit my card....and it occurred to me that it was time to hurry up and cancel my Lingo account.

I plan to cancel both eventually....but Lingo first....because all I ever get weird calls that must be from exempt telemarketers that don't understand that asking to speak to someone who doesn't exist....when they get my voicemail and then asking again, and then saying they are sorry and good bye....isn't very useful.

They should just not call at all. (or perhaps leave a meaningful message.)

Otherwise, my call volume on the line has been dropping for a long time...the main reason I had it was that Western Europe is part of its 'local' calling area....but my cousin in London is moving to California. And, even then I have only called a few times....mainly use our gmail accounts to keep in touch.

So, I cancelled it. And, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Wonder how it'll go when I decide that it is time to drop Vonage. |-|

Full story »

  07:12:44 pm, by The Dreamer   , 155 words  
Categories: General

I want to give blood

And, there's a blood drive coming up next week at the University :D

However, I just called 1-800-GIVE-LIFE, twice....and both time they connected me to Massachusetts, which won't schedule appointments for Manhattan, KS. And, I have never been able to schedule appointments using their website.

For Manhattan, KS...the drives never show up, so I can't even try. And, back when I was in Dublin, OH....I would schedule, and then they would later email me that the drive has been cancelled and so has my appointment. But, later I'll find out that the drive still took place. And, if they hadn't told me not to show up...I could've given blood. :**:

But, now that classes are in session....I suspect it'll be much harder to just walk in to give blood during my lunch break....it already took a long time when I gave blood the last time.

What am I to do? :??:

09/22/06

  10:00:43 am, by The Dreamer   , 301 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Home Theatre, Hardware, Wireless/iPhone, Networking, AppleTV

The 12-Drive RAID Storage Box

Link: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2018300,00.asp

In addition to the 3 (or 4, or 5) rather definite big ticket items in my purchase plans....

  1. New prescription eyewear (x2)
  2. Blackberry 8703e
  3. A suitable all season bicycle
  4. this home that I'm living in...
  5. a Mac Mini

There's now a pile of other stuff that I'm thinking that I want to get. The latest is this 12-Drive RAID box. Might just be in the price range that I can rationally accept. Sure its not a true 12 drive array, but at least it is step in the 'right' direction.

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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