Tuesday Feb 22, 2005

Mmmm - VMware

You just have to love VMware... I'm now syncing the Clie via USB to Palm Desktop on Windows XP, running on VMware, running on Java Desktop System.
Now, logically, these are all just layers of software, and it should all just work, but I'm still pretty amazed when it does!

Thursday Feb 17, 2005

Sony Clie PEG-TH55

Writing this on my new (well, factory reconditioned from ebay) Sony Clie TH55. Loving it. Wifi is great! So far, the only downer is Graffiti 2. Why did they mess with something that worked!!??

Monday Feb 14, 2005

Linksys WRT54GP2 VOIP/Wireless/Broadband Router

Following up to my recent post on Lingo VOIP, Tom's Networking has an interesting review of the Linksys WRT54GP2 VOIP/wireless/broadband router. I've been a happy user of the WRT54G for a couple of years now, so this box looks very interesting - it can prioritize VOIP traffic over data traffic just like the standard Lingo adapter, solving my only issue with Lingo.
All I have to do now is persuade Lingo to support it.

Saturday Feb 05, 2005

Lingo VOIP

Not sure if Lingo counts as a toy, but it's certainly a gadget. For $19.95 a month you get unlimited calls to the USA, Canada and Western Europe. For Brits Abroad in the US this is a great deal. I got Lingo in November and it's working out just fine. Basically, you get a box. This box has two ethernet sockets, a phone socket and a power socket. You connect the box to your cable/DSL modem on one of the ethernet sockets, your PC on the other ethernet socket, plug in a phone and plug in the power. Wait about 30 seconds as the box comes up and the lights flash. When you see the VOIP light, you can pick up the phone and you have dial tone.

Of course, with a nerd score of 97, I couldn't possibly settle for the default config, now, could I? I have mine configured with a static IP, sitting on an ethernet switch, which is connected to a wifi bridge, which is talking to my wifi router, which in turn is connected to the cable modem. And it still 'just works'. I've been using it as my home office phone for three months now and the only problem I've had is when I'm sending large email attachments, the PC steals all the upstream bandwidth, and the person on the other end of the call can't hear me. However, that's a 'feature' of my particular setup - if you go with the default, the Lingo box is able to prioritise voice traffic over data and you won't get this problem.

Bottom line - if you're paying more than $20 a month for long distance/Western European calls, you need one of these. And if you write a comment with your email address, I can refer you to Lingo and we both get $25 off our bills. Can't say fairer than that, now, can you?

Monday Jan 31, 2005

Got my DVR!

Well, we're probably the last people in Silicon Valley to do so, but we finally got a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). We've had cable (TV and internet) from Comcast since we arrived in California, but only got round to adding the DVR box last week.

So far, I have to admit, I'm impressed. It 'just works'. I especially like the way that, if we're a few minutes into a show, and something comes up (with a 3 year old and a 6 month old, something always comes up!) I can press record and it records the show. From the beginning - great!

As far as I can see, it doesn't guess what you like and record it for you (like the Tivo box), but I'm not so sure I like that anyway. I don't have time to watch the stuff I record myself, let alone someone else's suggestions :-)

Anyway - I'm off to catch up with Desperate Housewives - bye for now!
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