Friday, August 31, 2007

Vonage Router

How many times has your day, or night, been ruined by downed technology?

You know what I mean. You wake up nice and rested just to find out your computer, network or Vonage Router is kaput. Now, trying to figure out what is wrong puts you in a foul mood, doesn't it? Well it does me and I don't know why.

Are we so connected that our world would just crumble without this stuff? I think I am. Obviously, Vonage is my home phone provider, so I would like for my home phone to work when I need it.

So, I get up and notice that the router has no lights on. I check the connection, good. I reset the router, still, no lights. I switch to a different outlet, no lights. Finally after disconnecting and reconnecting the power a million times, I called Vonage.

You know what I really hate? I really hate all the automation we have to go to in order to speak to a live person. Press 1 for English. Uh, hello, we are in the U.S. Should that even be an option? Press 2 for this and 3 for that. By the time I am done pressing options, I have dialed the Kremlin! Worst, when you speak to someone you don't understand! No offense to anyone, but you know what I mean. (The gentleman I spoke with spoke English.)

Okay, so after calling Putin, I finally get a hold of Customer Service. The guy, very professional fella, was about to start on the "troubleshooting" proceedures. In order to avoid a cold dinner, I chimed in and explained everything that I had done already.

He then told me that the Vtech routers have been going out on many customers the last few days. He checked my warranty and immediately told me that a replacement was on the way.

I had a ticket number and an RA# within minutes of my call being answered. So, not taking into consideration the call to the Kremlin, I think I spent 5 minutes talking to Vonage Customer Service. Not bad at all for a "technology down" call.

Luckily with Vonage, I can route my calls to another number free of charge. For $24.99 a month with unlimited calling to............England, I think I have a good deal.

Now, if we can just work on the automation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Palm Bluetooth Keyboard.

Here you can see the Palm Blue tooth Keyboard. Never thought I would need one until my thumbs and fingers starting hurting from all the text and IMing I do.

The Palm Keyboard is compact and yet has a full keyboard with a number row. It has functionality to use with commands and keys that mimic the 5 command keys on your Treo. These keys are handy but will take a day or two to get used to them.

The keyboard uses two AAA batteries and promised up to a 4 month life. Of course, that will depend on how much you use your Treo and Keyboard. Since I text and blog from my Treo, I suspect that the battery life will be much less. I will use my rechargeable AAA batteries as soon as these are done.

The number one issue with Treo owners tooth. Many Treo owners complain about the disconnect and having to repair blue tooth devices. So far this has not been an issue. Palm recommends that all other blue tooth devices are turned off when pairing the keyboard for the first time. If you have any other keyboard .prc loaded onto your Treo, those must be deleted as well.

When pairing the keyboard for the first time, it was simple. Just press and hold the blue tooth button on the keyboard, and the turn on the keyboard app on your phone. They, pair and then you start typing. I have been using this keyboard for about 24 hours now. E-mails, notes, memos and Calendar updates. So far, no key skips or delays. The keyboard has stayed paired with my Treo. Most of all, my thumbs, wrists and fingers don't hurt!

The only "thing" wrong with the connection is when starting the keyboard the keyboard program must be off on your phone. I couldn't get mine to pair after closing the keyboard. I turned off the keyboard app then turned on the keyboard. Only after the keyboard is turned on, should you turn on the keyboard program. Works like a charm if instructions are followed correctly.

I can type approximately 60 wpm. Not a single skip or missed letter. Unfortunately, my favorite site, did not have this model in the shop. I had to get it else where.

Give it a try and tell me what you think.


I was able to get a screen shot of the 3jam application. Pretty simple to use and fun. You click on the To: and you can select to choose contacts or you can type the number in yourself. This application is for my, and your, Treo. Try it and enjoy.

Like I said before, if you are not a Treo user, you can always begin the application with a text.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

3jam Widget

As you can tell by my links to the right, I like 3jam. I was on the site looking around when I saw a link for the widget you see to the right. What you do is input the information, your name, phone number and a message, in the widget. I will receive a text from you and the option to reply. Keep in mind that the reply will go to your cell phone and not the blog page.

Give it a try and I will reply! If you are not a 3jammer yet, sign up. It is fun and allows you to text to multiple friends, co-workers, or family members all for the price of one text. See my blog below for the information or click on the link under my favorites.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hybrid MPG

This picture was taken from my Treo 700P. Yes, I was driving while I took this picture so this picture is a little blurry.

What is this? It is the dashboard of my Honda Civic Hybrid. I am not an "Eco" kind of person, but I do believe in doing what I can to reduce the consumption of foreign oil. Many cars claim to give you "great" gas mileage. As we all know, the listed mpg for vehicles is not what you are going to get in everyday "normal" use.

However, as you can see here, I am getting approximately 52.9 mpg. The bar below this shows that, at the time of driving, I was getting about 60 mpg. The bar increments at 20 mpg, so this is my approximate mpg guess. The Honda Civic Hybrid was advertised at 46-48 mpg. My Honda is a 2004 model so newer models may have a higher mpg rating.

The 52.9 mpg is what I usually get from driving from Home to Work and back. The speed limit is 50 mph on this stretch of road which is the ideal speed for the best gas mileage. Obviously, my mpg drops when I use my car for other than my work commute. Depending on my speed, my mpg drops to approximately 39-40 mpg. To me that is a significant drop but a necessary one if I wish to travel on the highway.

My average miles per tank is 567.46 and the most miles per tank is 680 miles. Yes, I nursed the pedal to see how many miles I could get. Once again, these are not typical averages for most people driving these vehicles, but then again I am not typical. My average days between fill ups is 14 days. Remember, I mainly use my car for work commutes which is 27 miles one way.

I know many "experts" have stated that you will have to own your Hybrid for about 10 years before you make up the difference in cost from a non-Hybrid vehicle. With averages like this, my checkbook tells me otherwise.

I will continue to use my Fry's card in order to save $.10 per gallon, but that will be for another blog.

How does your vehicle do compared to my Hybrid?

Monday, August 13, 2007

CFL Bulbs

What does CFL stand for? Compressed Flousescent Lights.

With all that is going on in the world today, I decided to make a difference. Not much, but enough to put a smile on my face. I changed out 62 light bulbs for CFL bulbs. At a cost of 6.99-7.99/2 each, my approximate cost was a whopping $248. This is of course assuming I paid $8 for 2 bulbs.

Many people would have a hard time dealing with the up front cost. However, I purchased the bubls over a period of a couple of months. After changing out some bulbs in an area, I would monitor my electric bill. Luckily I have the option to see my use since I started my account by going online. With every area I changed out, I could see a slight decrease in my bill.

Once I completely changed all the bulbs in my house, to include outside lights, my average bill was reduced by $92 a month in the summer times. The winter saving was a little less at approximately $69 a month. Why the lower savings, I think because of my Christmas lights. Yes, I am a fanatic on Christmas and go all out.

Speaking of Christmas lights, they were selling LED Christmas lights at Walgreens last year. I bought a couple of strands. I guess my next conversion will be my Christmas lights. I will do some research so I can see what my savings will be.

When I bought my CFL, I wanted to by American. The only lights that I found to be made in America were "Lights of America". I purchased most of what they had on hand and then had to settle for some made oversees. I had read that "Lights of America" were restructuring and were almost up again. (Don't quote me on this.) I hope they are, we need to buy American.

I purchased the "Sunlight Bulb". Why? Because this type of light gives out a white light and simulates sunlight in your house. I don't like the "yellow" light given out by traditional lights. The white light brings out the beautiful colors in your house and is supposed to help with moods.

Other than saving you money on energy, they will also save you money on purchasing. Obviously the purchasing savings will not be up front, but with time. The CFL bulbs I bought are guarnteed to last 8 years. Taken into account how many regular bulbs you will buy in that time, you can add up the savings.

Remember that CFL bulbs do have a slight amount of mercury in them. So handle carefully and recycle them. I know, for a fact, that Home Depot and Lowe's will take your used CFL bulbs and recycle them.

Well, there you have it. If you wish to reduce your electric bill, you can do something about it. One of those ways it to change the light bulbs in your house. One more note, the regular light bulbs produce more heat than the CFL bulbs. The less heat will also help you in your cooling bill in the summer months.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


What is 3jam? 3jam is a service that allows you to "chat" via text with several friends at a time. For example, I send a message to friends 1,3,5,7 and 9. All of them will receive the message sent:

"Hey, let's meet for some drinks?" All of my friends will receive the message. Now, friend 1, replies, "I can't go, have to babysit." All of my friends, including me, will receive that message. As each of the friends continue to reply to my original text all of the friends in the chat will receive that message.

Not a bad little program to have if you have many friends you text to. You will be charged the text messages from your provider. However, 3jam states on their website that you will only be charged for one message per chat. I understand it as one text no matter how many friends on that chat. In my example above, I would be charged only one text for my original message to all of my friends and one text for each reply I get and send there after. 3jam does not charge you for the service.

If you own a Treo Smart phone, send "start" to 43526. You will then receive an URL taking you to a web link. At this web page, you will be a able to download a little application called 3jam. From within this little program, you can add your contacts for each "chat" you want to start.

If you don't own one of the approved phones, check the website, you can still use 3jam by sending start to 43526. You will have the option to 3jam from the reply. Check my links to the right for the link to 3jam.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Part 2

The sun continues to rise on the AZ desert. Once again, the dark purple skies give way to blue radiance. This picture was taken from my Treo 700P at approximately 5:45 a.m.


A beautiful sunrise from AZ. Yes, I may be a little biased, but we do have very beautiful sunrises here. The beautiful purple skies radiate a bright purple as the sun peers through the mountains. Now a cup of Joe will top off my morning.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Palm Back Up

The Palm Backup Beta is a free, for now, software offered by the folks at

What is the Palm Backup Beta? Basically it is a Palm OS based application that, on your set schedule, backs up your important information on your Treo Smartphone. The backed up contents are contacts, tasks, call log, memos, favorites and bookmarks. The information is stored on a server somewhere in Palm's hands.

The update has been hit and miss. I just had to complete a manual backup because I have had a "fatal communication error". Granted, the data connection has been a little slow in the area for the last week or so. I set the automatic update to go off at 5:00 p.m., since I am sleeping at that time.

Does it work? Well, yes, it has for me. Recently, Palm had released an update for my Treo Smartphone. Before updating my phone with the new update, I performed a hard reset. Basically a "clean wipe" of my phone. I did that to ensure that any 3rd party applications didn't interfere with the update. Once the update was completed, I performed a backup of my Palm Back Up software. The software automatically updated the information back onto my phone.

The best thing about this program is that it only backs up the important information. The program leaves out all of the "orphaned" files left when deleting trial applications. Yes, it does not back up your favorite applications, but a quick install can take care of that.

If you are a subscriber to, then I recommend this software.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Invisible Shield

I purchased the invisible shield form the Treonauts Shop @

This is my favorite shop for my Treo 700P.

When I received the package, I was flummoxed by the contents. I was expecting a sheath that I would have to put my Treo through. Instead, I got a.....puzzle. You know those little stickers that you have put on your kids toys after x-mas? Yeah, that's what it was. Well, I opened the package and now I had to decipher where each piece was supposed to go. The shield did not come with pictures so it was a little amusing.

I had to carefully put each piece where it belonged. Remember those stickers after x-mas? Well, if you don't follow the ridges carefully, you get a crinkle. Luckily all I had to do was peel of the shield, add water that came with the package, and re-try.

The shield was not what I expected it to be as in design. However, I do like its performance. My Treo doesn't feel so....slippery anymore. My phone does feel safer in my hand.

The shield is supposed to protect your phone from a fall. That is one feature that I will not test on purpose! From a fall I am saying, scratches, dents, etc. The shield also comes with a screen protector and a lifetime warranty.

The screen protector feels better than the old one I had. I don't have to press as hard on the screen to get it to respond.

All in all, I am happy with the feel of the product. However, I would like to see instructions on where each piece of the shield goes instead of having to "guess" for myself.