Thinking Of Dropping My Landline

Lately I’ve been giving serious thought to dropping my landline in favor of going cellular only as part of my efforts to reduce my bills to the point where I can actually pay all of them.

In all honesty I hardly ever use the voice phone. If it weren’t for the fact that my Internet service is part of my phone package I’d have dropped it three years ago.

Now that I have this free cellphone with a monthly allotment of free airtime minutes I am reconsidering the idea. My cellphone works good, I have never had any dropped calls on it in spite of living in a very rural area and recently I found out that the local phone company is now offering internet only packages.

That internet only package is about 50 a month where my current landline phone bill package is nearly 120 a month. so there’s a lot of savings to be had and very likely I’m going to make the switch next January.

[tags]phone, phone bill, internet, landline, internet only, cell phone[/tags]

Too Much Variety

Variety is a good thing but I think that when it comes to batteries there is actually entirely too much variety. I honestly long for the days when Batteries came in A, AA, AAA, AAAA, C, D, the big tall 1.5 (about 6 inches tall by 3inches diameter) volt dry cell batteries and car batteries instead of the literally thousands of battery designs currently available.

A good example is my camcorder’s battery. It’s almost shot, only holding a charge for about two to three minutes of recording time. It’s design is VERY simillar, with the same layout, as my cell phone battery. Since I *NEVER* use the cell phone I figured why not put it’s battery to use in something I do use.

Unfortunately, even though both batteries look exactly the same with the same connector shape, they’re not interchangeable because the body of the cell phone battery is *JUST* enough larger that it won’t fit in the camera.

Both batteries are 3.7 volts, have the same amp hour ratings and the same connectors on the end. The only difference is the size of the casing. I think that cell phone makers are doing this deliberately so that you have to buy the battery they specify (and are ultimately the only source for even if you find an “off brand” it’s still something they had made)

It’s the same thing with charger cords. most of them are just different enough that you have to buy a certain one or it won’t work. I don’t see why they don’t just all use a standard USB cable and be done with the crap.

Of course really I do see why. By having the special batteries or special cables, you have to go to them to get it and thus they squeeze you for more cash instead of letting you save money by using standardized parts & cables.

[tags]batteries, cables, charger, cell phone, camcorder, rip off, standardization, standard[/tags]

I’d Rather It Was A Thunderstorm

You know how it seems that most people, whenever there’s cloudy gray weather, will talk about how they wish it was a bright sunny day? Well I’m not one of them. It *might* be at least a little bit different if I didn’t wear glasses and could wear proper, real, sunglasses. The reason I say that is because I have always been very sensitive to bright light and those bright sunny days that most people love so much hurt my eyes. Because of that, over the years I’ve grown to hate them.

The first thing that most people suggest when I say something like that is that I should just get myself some ray ban sunglasses and then I won’t have such a problem with bright sunny days.

The problem with that is I wear prescription glasses already. This means that regular sunglasses just aren’t going to work for me. The next thing suggested is that I could get the “clip on” version.

Yeah, I have “clip on” sunglasses and to a degree they work. However because they’re clip on, I don’t get the wrap around design that frankly would really do me a LOT more good.

Another, completely unrelated, reason that I would rather there was a really big thunderstorm going is simply that I freaking love thunderstorms. I always have. The mix of wind, rain, thunder and lighting can be a genuine wonder to behold. A true display of God’s might, out there for all to see and feel.

A lot of people, including several relatives, always tend to look at me like I’m some kind of lunatic Martian on drugs every time I say anything about liking thunderstorms.

I know that part of the reason for this is because I think that most people fear those storms. Some even have perfectly good reasons to fear them, having had some really bad experiences with severe storms and things like the occasional tornado that can develop in such storms of power.

Like I said. I know those things. I even understand the part about bad experiences and not wanting to ever even almost repeat them.

The fear however I do not understand.

I never have.

In my 51 years I cannot ever remember being afraid of a thunderstorm, even as a child. Oh, I’ve been startled occasionally by a bolt of lightning or an especially loud and close crack of thunder. I’ve even had lightning strike the ground less than ten feet from where I was standing. More than once.

In all that I can honestly say that I have never been afraid of any thunderstorm that I’ve ever been in. Even when said thunderstorm produces a tornado or six.

I don’t fear it. Rather I find the display of raw unadulterated power to be one of the most exhilarating things there is that a human can experience. This is a tiny glimpse into the power that formed all that there is. It is, in fact, nothing less than a thing of sheer ultimate beauty.

How can you not love that?!?

And they call it “weather”. Hmpth! That word hardly even begins to do it justice. Raw poetry is more like it.

There’s a weather front that is supposed to move through here in a day or two. The forecast is calling for thunderstorms.

It’s the same every time.

I feel like a kid again, looking up, waiting for the greatest show in all of creation to begin again.

I can hardly contain myself waiting for it.

God I love thunderstorms!

Don’t You?

[tags]thunderstorms, rain, lightning, thunder, light, flash, wind, power, majesty, God, poetry, awesome, spectacular, amazing, thrilling, creation, weather, severe weather[/tags]

New MacBook Pro – Gold Or Garbage?

There seems to be something of a difference of opinion on the matter. One the one hand, PC Magazine has featured a review in which the reviewer cannot sing the praises of the new machine loud enough. Reading his review I actually expected him to say that it was the best thing since sliced bread, though I suppose it’s fortunate that he didn’t actually say that.

Then on Computerworld there is a very critical piece talking about how this new machine with it’s $1800 base price (and you know almost nobody buys the base machine so most people will be paying a LOT more).

What they had to say about it was that it has some serious issues.

While disassembling a 15-in. MacBook Pro, — a site that regularly tears down electronics and publishes do-it-yourself repair guides — found several signs of substandard assembly.

We’re talking about everything from a stripped out screw to the fact that the infrared sensor’s ZIF socket was unlocked to an excessive amount of thermal heat sink paste applied to the CPU and the GPU which regardless of whether it may or may not do any harm it certainly shows some really sloppy workmanship.

All I can say is that, given this second report, I’m going to stick with my policy of not buying Apple computers newer than the Apple][e and steer well clear of this one. My recommendation is that you do the same.

[tags]apple, macbook pro, reviews, teardown, shoddy workmanship, sloppy assembly, potential problems, avoid[/tags]

Is Your ISP Getting Ready?

I know that, so far, mine is not. In fact, from what they’ve told me several times over the last year, they have no plans to get ready at all. This makes no more sense to me than handing a bottle of diet pills to an anorexic. It is a just plain bad idea and sooner or later everybody involved is going to regret it.

What am I talking about?

Only a few weeks ago IANA handed out the last five /8 blocks of IPV4 addresses to the RIRs. This means that sometime over the next year or so those addresses are going to run out. When they do, ISPs, Businesses, Governments and so on will have to have implemented IPV6 with is the successor to IPV4 or there WILL be connection problems.

ISPs that choose to keep their customers on IPV4 and simply implement a gateway to IPV6 are going to quickly find a lot of dissatisfied customers when those customers find out that working through that gateway is not the same as connecting directly like they should.

So. Is your ISP getting ready? Call them and ask. Keep asking until they have a good answer.

[tags]ipv4, ipv6, ip address, ip address supply, implement ipv6[/tags]