Getting Hard To Save Money

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by NetBrakr, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Actually, I want to revised the prices, including taxes & fees.

    At&t Landline Phone - $25 + $20 Long Distance.
    At&t DSL - $30
    DirecTV Total Choice Plus - $65
    At&t Wireless - $160

    I really do want to get rid of the landline, but my family is not ready.

    But what is a good VOIP service?

    And please excuse me for my ignorance, if I do get VOIP, does it work with my current phone system, 1 base + 3 headsets?
     
  2. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Update: At&t Wireless is now $150. :)

    I also decided to replaces the regular light bulbs to CFL bulbs (thanks r0k). Luckly, I don't have to buy them. My dad bought a bag full sometime ago. :)
     
  3. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Those are pretty much where you can start when you wish to watch over your expenses, NB. They are expensive, but they last a lot and they save a lot on your power bill. If you happen to get hot water thanks to gas like propane or butane or something, try keeping the heater to the lowest for most of the day, and put it back up say 20 minutes before you gotta take a shower.
     
  4. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Let's say you decide to get VOIP. You plug the adapter in 3 places:
    ** AC power,
    ** any phone jack (you are back feeding the phones so you need to do this after your phone has been disconnected or like me you cut the wire coming in your house!),
    ** and ethernet to your router.

    Some of the older adapters let you plug in a 4th place which is a landline for "backup" but around here the internet has proven much more reliable than the land line. Every time it rains our landline goes out. Well not any more.

    I have an Ooma which easily supports the 12 handsets we had on At&t. The trick is not to use the old style handsets with the "ringer equivalency" number close to 1. Most handsets today have REN of 0.4 or less. Ooma can handle up to about 5. With my 12 handsets, averaging 0.3 each, I'm still below 4.

    Some of the major contenders are:

    Skype (via OBI no 911), Google Voice (via OBI no 911), Vonage (almost as expensive as At&t), Magic Jack, and Ooma. There are many more for instance Comcast and At&t will happily sell you overpriced VOIP as well. I know my 911 works because I called the police to report a dog I found and when I was on hold with a dog tracking 800# the police called me back. They were able to "break in" and let me know they found the owner. This is a landline feature that you normally don't get on VOIP but it worked fine with my Ooma box.

    If you don't care about 911, Skype and GV are definitely cheaper. If you want that normal "landline feel", then Vonage or Ooma are the way to go. I didn't really consider Magic Jack because I don't want to deal with software running on my "real" Macs. If they had a G4 Mac version, I would have probably tried Magic Jack first.

    I have a friend at work who has tried Magic Jack, then Vonage and finally Ooma and he likes Ooma the best. Ooma costs the most up front (up to $250 for the adapter).
     
  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    Here's an article that reminded me of this thread: In emergency, law enforcement may be out of touch | StarTribune.com In this case, it isn't about someone calling emergency services from a cell or VoIP -- it's the other way around. Emergency services may have difficulty contacting you if you don't have a landline or registered cell phone.
     
  6. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Now this really streaks me weird. I thought that in the US, it'd be even better covered than it is over here. In Mexico law enforcement agencies are among the few and last official agencies where outgoing communications are unrestricted. Here it's rather common that both private and public corporations have assorted comms restrictions, you know, the typical assemblies to keep productivity undisturbed and indirect costs moderate. Like restricted outgoing calls to cellphones, for instance. Calling from a landline to a cellphone has an outrageous cost per minute, so nobody wants to have a Dilbert chatting for hours with his wife over the building's PBX at the expense of the corporation, and with a null effect over productivity.

    All of the latter is the general trend, for the exception of law enforcement, where the more they demand to keep in touch, the more they receive. At what effective benefit, well that's a good question, but the point is that if you need to be called by a law enforcement officer, chances are you will be reached. You name it, landline, cellphone, Skype, Twitter, ... Besides, as much as digital communications can evolve, street units are still relying on the traditional two-way radios, across assorted bands, systems that depend on much sturdier and less refinate tech, harder to take down. So, if digital tech breaks down, law enforcement is still intercomm'ed, and they can search for more personal communication means in order to reach you (like a phone booth) :D

    In the current TwittCraze, lots of official and semi-official efforts have poured into Twitter making it the Mexican de facto channel for live updates. OK, as real-time as the Twitter mechanics allow, but the point is that no matter how slow it can get at some point during the day, it's faster than RSS or email, and even than FM radio. Traffic updates, official announcements from all the levels of government, law enforcement warnings, ... Come to think of, the single agency that I've never found is the disaster warnings agency.
     
  7. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    I haven't read the article (sorry Jig, just way too swamped); but most communities have 'reverse 911' which allows people to be called. It's true about cellphones though. If you haven't registered, you may not be contacted. With the recent ice storm in my area that took out electricity, etc.; I wasn't registered and didnt' get a phonecall or text; but others who had registered did.

    Personally, I think using Twitter (at least for now) makes little sense. In my recent situation, some had no Internet or electricity and phones often couldn't be charged. The old-fashioned method of sending police cars around with PA announcements may be crude; but it's effective.
     
  8. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    "Reverse 911"... Excellent coinage, Varjak :newpalm: Yeah, it sums up the whole subject. OK, registering cellphones is pretty much the solution, and the latter provided that local law enforcement offices do not have a restriction regarding outgoing calls or SMS. Now, I don't know what you think about registering a cellphone with the local police, but here south of the Bravo is not exactly a good idea. Our law enforcement doesn't enjoy of an earned prestige among the population. Secondly, I'm not pretty sure that such a registration would actually be used to warn about storms and etc., perhaps it would just be adding phone numbers with no practical effect.

    Regarding your objection about Twitter, and for the case any Internet-based service, I have to agree. 30 years ago, the first things that went kaput when disasters hit, were power, clean water, and dry food. Today, it's power, clean water, dry food, and with power then also Internet connection. Therefore, unless there is a much convoluted assembly to ensure that Internet connection is preserved, it shall be taken as a fragile asset. And until Twitter and the like are readily accessible by most people using mobile devices, it's not feasible as a last-resort comm. I also think that police cars with PA is a crude but however good solution, it's simple, effective, and (very important) affordable. If it were for me, no cellphones would be legally available unless they had FM radio and UHF-FRS band two-way radios incorporated.
     
  9. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Coincidentally, last week I returned home to find a message from my County Emergency Response Office left on my answering machine. The message instructed me (and to pass the message on to my neighbors if needed) to go to the County website (speaker gave the address) and register all of my phone numbers in case of an emergency situation requiring notification for the public welfare. Obviously my home number was listed but I believe that verification/confirmation of name to address & phone numbers was being sought.

    In January of this year there was a severe icy weather situation in which we were all snowbound/iced in for a week - that's right, a week. Power lines were down in areas and the Emergency Response System called homes instructing residents to record a message if there were dire circumstances requiring assistance.
     
  10. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Besides that, AFAIK, all Atlanta metro area has recently had issues with, hmmm, carrion, right? :D


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