It's All In The Mind

Musings of an active mind

How to make my Nokia 9500 PERFECT!!

Posted by activemind on May 17, 2006

Don’t judge me. I love my Nokia 9500. I saw my first communicator back in the 90s in a Val Kilmer movie, The Saint. Since then I have been reading and researching about the communicators. I did not own one till recently and there were various reasons for it:
1. It was too expensive and I did not have the money ๐Ÿ™‚
2. US was primarily TDMA/CDMA at that time and the imports I could pick were GSM (leaving pacbell alone whose service was very spotty at that time).
3. Cellular Internet connectivity was non-existent and it did not have Wi-Fi.

 Anyway, fast forward and came out the Nokia 9500. I waited a couple of months for the prices to fall …okay…waited for a year (I am not about to spend my hard earned money like this) and bought it last May (2005). Now I like pretty much everything about this phone except:
1. The camera on this thing is pretty much useless when compared to whats available today in the market. So I wish the camera on this thing was a tad more decent so that I use the pics here on my blog ๐Ÿ™‚
2. I read in some article somewhere that even if there was a skype port for 9500, it would not work nicely because of some audio compression capabilty missing in the hardware. You could a PTT like conversation but not duplex  talk using VOIP.
3. There is not much software available for this platform. A part of me wants to ditch the 9500 and goto Cingular 8125 which is Win based and hence larger pool of apps and has pretty much the same features.
4. This is more of latest and greated feature, why did they not put in 802.11g and opted for 802.11b…I can feel the need for G when I am trying to stream something internally from my Lan…it doesnt make a diff when I am using the internet using Wi-Fi but yeah I would have loved to see 802.11g on this…….maybe because of power considerations?

I will add more to this list as time permits in future but yeah, if we could change/fix these then it would be MY perfect phone.

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Posted in Cellular | Leave a Comment »

Cellphone and Radiations on CNET

Posted by activemind on May 17, 2006

So I am not the only one who worries about it. I wrote about this some time back here and also reasoned why I dont use bluetooth headset….my cellphone is bad enough!!
Anyways, read this CNET article to see how good or bad your phone is!!

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Free Skype->PSTN this whole year

Posted by activemind on May 16, 2006

Who does not know skype….okay granted not everyone is a geek like me but still skype made VOIP a household term more than Vonage and other real VOIP providers….reason…because skype meant free and was straight forward….did not involve and tinkering and just worked which is what is needed to appeal to the masses which is where the real money is.
Anyways…the big news is that Skype is offering free calls to PSTN/Cellphone within US and Canada if you are calling from within US and Canada. So thats the good news. For people from rest of the world, if you are calling US, standard rates would apply. They are determining based on the IP address if you are from within US or from somewhere else. Now if you are smart and know a little about networking, it should be pretty easy to get around this restriction if you know someone here in US willing to offer you a termination point and allowing you to use some of his bandwidth and viola!! You have free calls to US and Canada for full 6 months…no restrictions whatsoever.
Although, I dont have any real motivation for this because as I mentioned in my earlier post, I already have my setup in place and I dont mind paying the $5.99/month, but the geek in me wants to do it.
Here is the outline of what I am thinking:
1. Setup a ssh server here in US. Search and you would find so many examples of how to do it.
2. Use putty to setup a tunnel from outside US to direct all your traffic through this ssh server to the internet.
3. Now start Skype on the remote PC and try to make a call and see if it works.
Questions that I have in my mind:
1. Does Skype have something inbuilt mechansim to prevent or detect this kind of tunneling.
2. Even if it does, what happens if I go one step furthur and install a virtual network adapter on my remote PC (like the ones you install when you install a VPN) and connect it to a server here in US. Will the Skype mechanism work then?
Any Comments?

Posted in VOIP | Leave a Comment »

When 2 mins == 45 mins

Posted by activemind on May 16, 2006

I was just talking to a friend of mine and was surprised to see that he still kept a diary even though I he is in hi-tech…so I asked him why he did not keep all the info in a digital form like someplace online and he responded back that he was too lazy to convert or enter all the info online so to pull his leg I responded back with the following scenario. Leave a comment if you think this applies to you too…

well the motivation for me to convert all my post-it tid bits into digital format is something else…imagine this scenario…you need some info you needed on a piece of paper but forgot it at home…no biggie…call up wifey and ask her and she will read you the info…so you call up thinking it will be 2 mins and you can get back to what you were really doing or wanted to do prior to the call….so the conversation goes as follows:

She: Hello
You: Hello…can you help me with something that I forgot at home?
She:let me call you back…I have something cooking on the stove and the clothes are in the dryer and YOUR daughter has pooped again….this is third time since morning…do you think I should call up and talk to a doctor about this…though I have read that this is normal for kids but do you think I should still call up?
Me: Yeah why not its not going to hurt to talk to her doc (trying hard not to forget the real reason why I called her).
She: You are on the net…why dont you lookup her number and tell me, I will have to goto my phone menu and pullup her number…
Me: okay….but what about one quick thing I called you for?
She:right after this…gimme the number, I want to call her else she will be gone for the day…today is Tue and she leaves early today….
Me: okay here is the number but call me back once you are done…I need some info i wrote on a paper on my desk.

She calls back after 15 mins:

She:Hello, see I told you she leaves early today….if you had given me the phone number earlier rather than all the talk then I would have been able to talk to her today….anyways….so what did you want?
Me: Goto my desk and there is a paper on which I have someone’s phone number…can you give me that number….
She:(goes to the room and even before looking for the paper) I just dont know how can someone live and work with this kind of piles of paper all around…I have told you so many times to keep your desk clean…you dont clean it yourself and you dont let me clean it but you know what, this desk is also a part of the house and if you will not clean it by today evening then I will be forced to clean it and then don’t complain about your papers…its not going to be my fault…
Me:Okay, for now…can I just have that number and we can have this conversation later and you will have much more time to tell me about how disorganized my desk is…
She: whose number do you want…..there are so many stickies here….oh yeah that reminds me that we need some more stickies…can you pick some up while coming from work…
Me: Its Josh’s number
She: Who is Josh…oh that guy you were talking to about some stocks….dont you have his number on your cellphone…
Me: well that was 2 weeks ago and no…the number falls off the phones memory after 20 some numbers…so whats the number?
She: here is the number 1-222-333-4444
Me:Thanks….
She: wait…what time are you coming home…
Me: Same time as everyday…..gotta go now…bye

So you see my friend…something that would have taken me 2 secs (dependent on internet speed) took me close to 45 mins so I think I am better off spending that 45 mins in advance and entering the data in digital format so that I can use it in 2 secs EVERYTIME
๐Ÿ™‚ ….. maybe I should post this on my blog…whatdaya think?

Posted in Marriage Humor | Leave a Comment »

Trackbacks

Posted by activemind on April 28, 2006

I just realised that I did not have any trackbacks enabled in my blog at all. So I googled and found this very good tutorial on trackbacks and wordpress blogs. Head over to here if you want to learn more about trackbacks.

Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments »

FireFox and Keyboard

Posted by activemind on April 28, 2006

For those of you who know me, you know it pretty well that I am a keyboard kind of person. I like using mouse once in a while but if I can do everything from the keyboard itself without needing to move my hand…nothing like it. Believe it or not…I still am a ardent fan of bash and vi. Okay, enough of the geek stuff. Anyways, I was thinking today that I need to learn some more firefox keyboard tricks because that is one place where I do use the mouse quite a bit and I dont like it. I feel it slows me down. So here is a nice (I dont know why I use that word so much) link to adding some more keystrokes to your typocabulary (You can see I AM in a creative mood today ๐Ÿ™‚

box of chocolates ยป My Favourite FireFox Keystrokes

Dont miss the comments for this post because they too have a trick or two in them!!

Posted in Browsing, Firefox | Leave a Comment »

New Category “Marriage Humor”

Posted by activemind on April 28, 2006

I was thinking today morning that this Blog is not complete without the biggest factor which controls my life…no not god…someone even higher than that…my wife ๐Ÿ™‚ My favourite past time is actually bugging my wife about small small useless things and seeing her reactions to them and she getting all worked up about things that happened like ages back..ok..in guys world…anything that happened more than a month ago IS ages back…so I decided to create a new category called Marriage Humor for posts on this topic. Now you can very well understand that this section would be a heavily screened section with all the posts reviewed and read and re-read and then again re-re-read to find something of interest in them. So I will be walking on a very thin line here…lets see how much can I post before I am asked to get rid of this category…..

so wish me lucK!!

Posted in Marriage Humor | 6 Comments »

My VOIP Journey

Posted by activemind on April 24, 2006

My introduction with VOIP started back in 2000 when I wanted to get in touch with my family overseas without paying too much money. The only options I had at that time were the older version of MSN Messenger version 4.x which was amazing in itself because it was based on SIP. Yes, it was after that, Microsoft followed everyone else and moved to something non standardized. Anyways, then came Vonage in 2001 and I joined the bandwagon. I signed up for it sometime in July 01 and received a ATA 186 for the connection. Not that calling overseas was cheap but it was cool ๐Ÿ™‚ But soon realised that the service was NOT ready for prime time. Kept the Vonage connection for close to yr and a half and then cancelled it. It was around that time that local long distance on cellphones was becoming free so I did not miss my Vonage connection for local long distance. Well after some more time in Jan 2003 I got Vonage again. This time I was determined to get rid of PacBell landline and use Vonage for pretty much everything. This time they shipped me a Motorola Box. The service was still better than what it was but soon realised that it was not going to pass the wife test ๐Ÿ™‚ plus the package was much more than what we needed. Also at this time a LOT of new smaller players had emerged and amongst them I like Broadvoice the best. It was the cheapest with $9.99 In-State plans and all the most commonly used features. I switched to Broadvoice at that time. I stayed with them for a long time but soon remembered my real reason why I started looking into VoIP. At that time I switched my home phone to its bare minimum (had to keep it to get DSL….damn! SBC) and swicthed myself and my wife to ATTWS( now Cingular). Anyways, I tired a couple of cheaper options like packet8, Callpacket/Telepacket, Lingo, FWD, IPKall, Gizmo project, Skype, but was not impressed by anything. The closest I came was Telepacket with their $0.95/month plan with 1c/min incoming and 2.9c/min outgoing. This was pretty close to what I was looking for. I used them for like 6 months but their reliablity sucked. And I mean it….half the time the phone would be down. I was very reluctant to get rid of Telepacket because it suited my pocket but was not serving me any real purpose because it was down a lot. I went to Dslreports.com Voip forum and someone(sorry i dont remember who?) adviced me of a hidden jewel…. Callcentric. They are a bare minimum provider but ROCK SOLID. If your Internet connection is good…you cannot go wrong with them. I have been with them for past 3 months…took a Incoming number ($5.95/month) and I am all set. They dont charge anything for incoming and outgoing is 2c/min. Granted they dont have voicemail or virtual numbers or any other fancy features but I dont need them. I have this number from Callcentric mapped overseas and talk as much as you want for $5.95/month + tax. I know, if you dont scrounge the forums and are not totally into VoIP you would have never heard of them, but I would say if your needs are similar to mine….you cannot go wrong with Callcentric.
And no, I am not affiliated with them in any way. I am just a happy customer and again I dont get any referral if anyone else signs up with them after reading this. Bottom line, I do not have any hidden agenda in this.

Posted in VOIP | 6 Comments »

Runner’s Carnival

Posted by activemind on April 24, 2006

I am a regular reader of Blog Carnivals on various topics at Blog Carnival. In case you dont know what a carnival is read here. Today I was there and searched for running carnival and was surprised to see that there was nothing listed. So I am going to take a stab at it. Please go ahead and email me any articles you think would be interesting to runners.
I have added a link to the right under running section to my upcoming running carnival.

Posted in Blogging, Running | Leave a Comment »

For you gmail fans!!

Posted by activemind on April 24, 2006

A comprehensive list of all tools and utilities for gmail and on a lighter side…all the different ways in which you can use gmail.
Robs Blog: Gmail Tools & Plugins

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