Tags: phone

08/11/09

  11:18:55 am, by The Dreamer   , 303 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone, VoIP, Networking, Cox HSI, AT&T DSL

Saying good-bye to phone service again.

Today, I finally pulled the trigger again....and canceled my home phone service. But, I'm keeping DSL.

Originally, when I first moved to Manhattan, KS there were issues on whether or not I could get a local number from a VoIP provider. And, I was interested in the possibility of getting DSL. Plus as it turned out, I had trouble getting Cox Internet. So, I had to use expensive dialup Internet to feed my habit. :>>

Later I went ahead and ordered DSL, after giving up on ever getting Cox. Of course, once I did that, Cox moved mountains, and got me connected. But, I kept DSL because it had been on my list of things to try....to try being dually connected. Which has been fun, so I'm going to continue to do this.

But, since I got Internet service at home...I haven't used the phone part of my home service.

So, I was sitting around this morning, because I didn't have to go into work, looking for little things to pass the time with....so I decided this was a good time as any to finally make that call.

Getting past the automated phone system to a real person was kind of a pain, but once I got a real people the process went surprisingly well.

So, this Friday my home phone service will be no more. It was kind of useless...at over $27 a month for just basic local service, when pretty much all I do are long distance calls (to Canada...to my mom)...hence the value of VoIP. I had rationalized keeping it for when nothing else is available....but having survived a couple significant power outages recently...I decided that it wasn't as essential.

Yes, I expect my DSL cost to go up....by $10....but it is still a savings....that I can apply to other crazy things.

06/16/09

  10:55:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 706 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, VoIP, Networking, TV, Home, Broadband, Amateur Radio, Healthcare

Rainapocalyse: The Post

Last night I experienced another Kansas Weather Event. Starting to wonder if I had known about these things, would I have called Manhattan, Kansas home?

Last night it was rain, and lots of it. I may as well have been a solid water coming down everywhere....almost the instant it started....I could hear water pouring into my living room. I had towel handy, and the put empty trash containers along the patio door and that kept most of the water at bay.

Carpet was dry by morning.

But, then the inevitable next happened. The power flickered and then went away. I was watching TV at the time (L&O: Criminal Intent). Guess I'll have to pick up the ending later. Things were humming on the UPS. Though somethings bounced...I turned off the TV and the V880N. Seems my HDVI5 switcher isn't on a UPS. So, there was no using things while the UPSs beeped. I thought I had disabled the beeper in the UPS, but maybe it only disables if it knows there's a computer attached....there isn't so...hmmm.

The UPS handling 'lhaven' died immediately. So, no IRC. So, even though the cable modem was still working and lasted more than half an hour. And, the DSL modem never went down. I was quickly without Internet, as computers ran down. And, my wireless access points are connected to desktop UPSs. I think I should move the access point to the PowerSource 400 that was backing up my phone/VoIP/router/dsl.

I went around shutting down some other computers to help stretch the UPSs....

Seems the Lasko floor fan and the Kenmore Envirosense air purifier didn't like being on the UPS...probably the TRIAC to make low speed fan and the simulated sine wave of the UPS output not getting along. I turned these things off. And, then after pacing around for a while, and checking various light sources. And, finding it getting warm and stuffy indoors. I went out and listened on my HT to the weather spotters, and checked out the area.

Pages: 1· 2

02/23/09

  10:25:17 am, by The Dreamer   , 546 words  
Categories: VoIP

I Canceled my Vonage Service

July 24, 2003 is the date that I first signed up for Vonage, with them assigning me a local Columbus, Ohio number. The service had been very good, and there were even times I looked at upgrading or adding on to the service.

Then on July 1, 2006, I landed in Manhattan, KS. I had looked before this move whether or not Vonage had local numbers, and they didn't. But, since I was mainly using the service to call long distance to Canada, I felt that I could survive without having a local number.

Problem is that for the extended period that I was out of work, my number had been circulated with many different head hunters who wouldn't stop calling to harrass me...with claims that I must talk to them, and they wouldn't accept that I had a job now. Even the Ohio State government kept calling to harrass me with jobs. Guess they wouldn't accept that I now work for the State of Kansas.

So, I got rid of my Columbus, Ohio number on December 30, 2007. I got a number that corresponded to Oxnard, CA...thinking that my parents could make a local call when they spend a month each year there. Of course, they never did....its I have to call them, etc. still. Plus I suppose, where they are staying...perhaps they still have to pay for local calls. But, it was a big mistake.

Almost immediately I was getting calls for somebody else on this number. It was totally useless, they were all collection agencies and other like calls. And, none of them would get a clue that they should stop harrassing me. donotcall didn't help either. If only I could sue these people for all they were worth for bothering me...with their autodialers that even if I chose the option to tell them that they have the wrong number, they wouldn't stop.

After the latest flood of collection calls coming in over a year after I've had the number, I decided that enough is enough. I didn't want to pay Vonage for a new number, especially since it still can't be a local number, and run the risk of other wrong number activity.... I decided that I would just cancel the service.

So, I called Vonage, apparently I'm supposed to have a PIN. I have no recollection of setting one up back when I opened the account, nor having set one up during my tenure with Vonage. So, I had to answer the account verification question. First they asked why, and I said no local number....the agent put me on hold, evidently to see if a local number could be procured. Not entirely sure if I would've stayed if he were successful.... Then they offered to give me two free months of service (to tell people that my number is changing, etc....which is unnecessary given the situation), and then I can cancel completely after that. They didn't say it would cancel automatically, so I assume they expect me to forget after the two free months....or something. They then there was also an offer to downgrade to a cheaper plan. Also not interested. Finally, it got canceled.

I may seek out another VoIP provider that offers local numbers at a future date, but no immediate plans to do so....

Tags: phone, voip, vonage

01/12/09

  06:58:21 pm, by The Dreamer   , 66 words  
Categories: VoIP, Home

What a difference the phone makes

The Panasonic Dect 6.0 Series Cordless Phone seems to have made a big difference in the quality of my other VoIP service. So, guess most of the poor audio issues were due to the Uniden 2.4Ghz cordless phone I was using previously with this service.

Guess this means I don't need two separate VoIP services anymore, and that I can get rid of one to save money....

01/11/09

  03:19:56 pm, by The Dreamer   , 494 words  
Categories: Stuff, VoIP, Home

Panasonic Dect 6.0 Series 3 Handset Cordless Phone System with Answering System (KX-TG1033S)

I had been thinking a long time about replacing my cordless phone system at home. Mainly because it was a 2.4GHz system, though I had held off because I the VoIP service that it is attached is kind of noisy and I only have 100 minutes per month with it.

But, I had been eyeballing a Panasonic DECT 6.0 based cordless phone system. Then two months ago, I was at LISA and went on the Fry's BoF. Trying to think of stuff I wanted to buy while at Fry's...I looked at their cordless phone section. And, remembered that I've been wanting to get this system for a while.

I couldn't remember whether I wanted a 3 handset or a 4 handset system, they were all cheaper than online prices I had seen elsewhere....but the 3 handset system was on sale for further savings. So, I grabbed it. Though looks like I wanted a 4 handset system (someday I plan to declutter the other bedroom and make use of it, so a handset in that location would be useful). Guess I'll have to take the expensive route of adding a handset later (though it can't be too much later, in case newer models come out and obsolete the system I have).

Today, I was sitting around thinking of what else I could do to fill out my weekend...and I decided that this might be the day to finally set it up.

Preliminary testing, shows that most of the noise that I experienced with using this VoIP service have gone away.

Guess it makes sense...it is probably hard for a 2.4GHz phone to be clear when surrounded by tons of 2.4GHz WiFi and other devices around my condo.

I had considered other frequencies....but 900Mhz cordless phones are scarce, and I never had much success with them in the past. I already have a Panasonic 5.8GHz cordless phone, which is on my other VoIP service and it works well...but the intent was that the VoIP service that does provide me with a local number should be my primary (and perhaps prompt me to discontinue the other one). And, at the time I was using 5.8Ghz wireless rear surrounds....which the 5.8GHz cordless phone would prevent from working (noted in some previous blog posting).

So, that pretty much left 1.9Ghz DECT as the frequency I hadn't tried yet.

So far so good....maybe if it works out well, it may finally be time to get rid of Vonage....I would prefer to stay with them, since they were my first and other than the lack of a local number (and the annoying calls that aren't for me that I get on it, they way they appear seems to indicate that the person they are calling is continuing to give out this number as theirs)....they've been good.

If I do, I'll probably have to upgrade the other VoIP to 'unlimited' calling. With Vonage I just have the 500 minute calling plan, which is adequate for my usage....but 100 minutes isn't.

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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