The Cool House: cellphone
Showing posts with label cellphone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cellphone. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Today was techie Wednesday, the day when, after six long years of living in the Incorporated Village with no cell phone service, we finally found a partial solution to our out-of-touch problem: Bluetooth. From today I can make and receive cell calls via new VTech cordless handsets that we have on a VoIP system. We still won't be able to use the home handset and the cell simultaneously but we can put one or the other on hold while we answer a call and conference between the two. And we can pair two cell phones with the base station and import the address books too.

Secondly we upgraded the home network to stream music, videos and photos from my computer to the den. I waited a long time for AppleTV to get to a price point that I felt comfotable with - and enough applications to become available - so I could play music from my iTunes on the flatscreen in the den. Now that Airplay for iPad is here I get all that, as well as a bunch of radio stations, photos from Flickr, youtube videos and a few other apps that never worked smoothly as widgets via the awkward Samsung dongle. AppleTV also proved much easier to set up than the previous wifi system. I had all my accounts, flickr, itunes, youtube, programmed in less than 10 minutes. If the iHome Airplay wifi speakers ever become available we'll have a whole house music system again but this time it will be fully integrated. I can't wait!

I also signed up for Netflix, a feature that wasn't offered on the Samsung 7000 LED last year (although video downloads from Amazon and Blockbuster were) so we now have instant movies on demand showing on the iMac, iPad and the TV! This should be a big help when the entire family descends for the Holidays.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Dear Verizon and ATT
I hear that you respond favorably to demands from damsels in distress and provide cell phone coverage to those who ask for it, no special favors necessary. I'm therefore asking you to accord me the same service you granted to Cindy McCain, so that I can be heard (and others can hear me) in this important election year 2008.
I know that you didn't grant Ms McCain any special service because Senator McCain's campaign says so: "Mrs. McCain's staff went through the Website as any member of the general public would -- no string pulling, no phone calls, no involvement of Senate staff,"(...) Just because she is married to a senator doesn't mean she forfeits her right to ask for cell service as any other Verizon customer can."
I live in an Incorporated Village where the Board decided in 2005 that we did not need twenty-first century telecommunications. I don't know the reason, the minutes aren't very detailed, but in any case I am denied coverage, which puts me at a disadvantage living in a world dominated by Blackberry's and iPhones. I am out of touch, and it is affecting both my mental health and ability to do business. It also makes us look rather backward to our friends in Europe and Asia who can't believe we live in the greatest country on earthTM yet still cling to our landlines. I know just how Ms McCain felt missing her text messages, and I think one of those portable cell towers or "cell site on wheels" would be a solution to all my cellphone woes. Maybe you could park it right behind the Village Hall?
I know you don't like to comment on individual customers and their requests but I'm confident you will give my request the same priority you gave the McCain's and I'm looking forward to a favorable outcome and "full bars".
modernemama @ The Cool House.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Prank calls

It's been so long since anything odd or unexplained has happened around here that I got used to normal. Hmm, there's nothing like another scientific impossibility to set you right back to nuts, is there?
The weirdness started around 2 AM Saturday morning. The phone rang. It's horrible when the phone rings in the middle of the night, panic sets in even before you've answered it. And even if it's just a drunk dialing the wrong number, it takes ages for the body to calm down enough to go back to sleep.
I picked the phone up and the id reads: STEVEN. And then it stops before I have time to answer it. That's the id of my husband's cellphone, who I now notice isn't in the bed beside me. I thought he'd just gone downstairs to throw the cat out. But why would he be phoning me on his cell? Strange, and what's stranger is that cellphones don't work in this house, or even in the surrounding area.
So I'm thoroughly confused and run downstairs to find Steven with the house phone in his hand and a perplexed look on his face. "I answered the phone", he said, "but there was no-one there and when I checked the caller id, it was my cellphone calling".
I'm very practical, so my first thought was he'd lost his cell and someone had found it and pressed the "Home" button to locate its owner. But, as Steven pointed out, he'd phoned from his car on the way home Friday evening, and he hadn't been anywhere since, and the cell was still in his car. Uh, oh. My next thought was that the car had been stolen.
As Steven made his way to the garage, phone in hand, it rang again. The id was still STEVEN, and when he answered it again no-one was there. Freaky. The car was still in the garage and his phone was in there, not switched off but powered down. He switched it on and attempted to phone the home but, as normal, there was no signal. Then, and this is the weirdest thing of all, as he is standing there with both phones in his hand, the cell idle but not off, the home phone rings a third time: STEVEN. I grabbed the home phone out of his hand, not surprisingly no one was there. Steven switched his cell phone off. We made a hot drink and waited. After twenty minutes or so we decided it was safe to go back to bed, and that was it. No more unexplained calls from a cell phone that was off and doesn't get a signal here. Nothing, except on the call list on the home phone are three calls: 12/15 2:11, 2:14, 2:15 AM.
If ANYONE has any idea why or how this happened, please take a moment to let me know. Put me out of my misery. I'd just about got over the whole mystery automatic light thing (got over but not solved, since I thought I found the source of the problem the lights have come on by themselves a couple of times. But I've learnt that if I turn the exterior lights off first I can control the den lights. And it's all about control, isn't it?) but this phone thing brought a whole new meaning to bizarre phenomena.

And now I can't get the Animal song out of my head.