January 10, 2008

VoicePulse update

I fixed MY mistake in my Sipura's configuration last night and made a couple of calls using VoicePulse Connect. The quality is amazingly good - better than my PSTN line! Some local calls, calls to places within a mile of me, cost $0.019/minute but the rest of them were $0.005/minute. Of course, I can download their complete rate sheet to find out what my cost will be, and when I finally put up a PBX that talks IAX, I'll query their rates on each call and adjust my provider dynamically, but, for now,

I'm quite pleased!

The experiment continues ...

Posted by tony at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2008

Man, that's what I call "connected"

Was chatting by email with one of my friends and I was reminded of one of my most satisfying "converged", "connected" experiences. A friend and I were driving to her parents' house a few hours away. On the way, we lost our favorite radio station. So, I pulled out my trusty Windows Mobile phone with 3G access, connected it to her car's radio/CD player and I streamed radio via my phone. We listened to the Internet broadcast of the terrestrial station for a while and, when we got bored with that, switched over to one of the Internet-only stations and flopped between them and one or two others. Eventually, we found nothing we were interested in so I fired up Radio365 Mobile and listened to some Live365 stations, all with nary a hiccup or dropout. Coming back, we didn't even bother with the car's radio but started right off with my phone. I was in geek heaven!

Posted by tony at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

Fancast from Comcast: watch

Fancast, a relatively new website courtesy of Comcast, gives you access to a lot of full episodes of current TV shows (e.g. Monk, House, The Simpsons, Nip Tuck) as well as movie trailers and even some movies (e.g. "The Jerk", "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"). And, if you sign up and tell them what kind of service you have for your TV viewing (I have Comcast) and tell them what kinds of TV shows and movies you like, they'll tell you what on your TV tonight as well as what's On Demand (for Comcast subscribers). Eventually you're supposed to be able to control your DVR.

Posted by tony at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Trying VoicePulse

VoicePulse Connect has always interested me. It's an incredibly low-cost VoIP service (gegnerally less than $0.01/minute from US to US destinations) that offers no frills. It's really targeted at Asterisk, FreePBX and the like in that it's all about IAX but will work with SIP. It's one of those pay-as-you-go operations where you deposit some money into an account you create with them and they deduct your charges from your account. The thing that's stopped me is that the minimum investment is $50. Well, that changed over the holidays -- they offer a free trial account preloaded with a $2 credit. So I signed up on Sunday. And I still can't get my ATA to work with it. Don't get me wrong, the support is great, so much so that I actually got a phone call from a tech yesterday to walk me through some configuration steps. So, I tried it when I had a chance last night and ... it still doesn't work.

That's the problem with roll-your-own solutions - you've got to work at them. So, I'm considering going back to Vonage, especially in light of Vonage Alpha which brings voice activated call-by-name (Vonage ContactBook), FAX by uploading a document (Vonage FAX) and a free softphone (Vonage Talk). $25/month is starting to seem like a good deal even though I'm pretty sure I'd be able to save between $10 and $15 each month. We'll see how much more work it is to get VoicePulse to work and what their call quality is like.

Posted by tony at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2008

Vista and Mobility

I have Vista on one of my new laptops and, whatever you may think about Vista, it's an interesting experience - there's a lot of good in the new system (Bluetooth and wireless that "just work", for instance). I've got a Windows Mobile phone that I regularly connect to my laptops to transfer and archive data and, I have to admit, it's easier to manage with Vista than with my XP systems. Information Week has a good article entitled Going Mobile With Windows Vista that talks about mobile computing on Vista; things like power saving settings, the Mobility Center and like that. Apparently the article is an excerpt from a Que book

Posted by tony at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2008

Super Minimalist Micro Calendar

While not strictly a mobile topic, I'm filing this under Mobile because it helps you BE mobile!

Saint Louis University has published a super-small 2008 calendar but not in a form you'd expect. It shows what day the first of each month falls and the date of the first Sunday in each month. With some very rudimentary arithmetic, you can easily compute other days/dates

Instructions and a downloadable PDF are here.

(From Lifehacker.)

Posted by tony at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)