Thursday, August 24, 2006

Spectec low profile wifi card review

In a nutshell:
This little card has finally allowed me to enjoy the
world of mobile wireless Internet access without
having to pay a fortune to my cell phone company.

When I got my Treo 600 a few years back, one of the
features that I liked most about it was its ability to
send and receive e-mail on the go and surf the web,
albeit at dialup spped. The problem with this, of
course, was the price. Wireless data charges via
T-Mobile amounted to $20/month plus taxes and other
fees over and above the monthly charge for regular
cellular voice service. The result when all was said
and done was a typical monthly bill of about $70.00 or
$840.00/year. This really began to annoy me when I
realized that I was paying less for Verizon's DSL
service in my home than my cell phone's Internet
service was costing me. In the end I found a solution
that I could live with though.

At first, I just dropped the Internet plan from my
phone. Later, when my contract was up, I contacted
T-Mobile and switched my Treo to their pre-pay
service. For a $100.00 I now get 1000 minutes of
voice service that does not expire for a full year.
Best of all, no more monthly bills and I kept my old
number. It still bugged me that the wireless web was
off limits but I really couldn't complain otherwise.
What happened next is that my wife broke her Treo 600.
She is still under contract with Cingular and didn't
want to get stuck buying a new phone. What we did was
to put her sim card in my working Treo and I then
looked around for another phone for me. What I wound
up with was a Pocket PC phone called the Audiovox
PPC4100. It isn't a current model but it works well
and can be found on the bay inexpensively. Unlike the
Treo, this phone could accept a secure digital wifi
card though.

Most of the wifi cards I have seen are pretty big in
that they stick out 3/4 of an inch from their card
slot. I didn't like that idea since it wouldn't take
much of a bump to break the card. The Spectec card is
different though. It is much shorter than most such
cards and only protrudes about 1/4 of an inch above
the card slot. That's not too bad at all. Now, it is
possible for me to wirelessly connect again, through
my own hotspot at home and in Bryant Park, many NYC
libraries and at loads of other locations. It isn't as
convenient as a cellular based data service but it works
well enough and without the big bills.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nice little machine :)

Testing a wireless post from the Audiovox. Wifi is

Thursday, August 17, 2006

New toy :)

I gave the Ipaq to my wife's nephew. I just couldn't re-adjust to carrying a phone and a pda again. The solution, this Audiovox PPC4100. A Microsoft Pocket PC Smartphone. Very cool machine. Goes online via WIFI (which is surprisingly available throughout NYC) has Windows Media Player and a terrific screen. It addresses my big complaint with the Treo. To use the Internet, you had to pay big $$ to the phone company for a wireless data plan. WIFI is a more hit or miss method of conecting to the web but the price is right, so to speak. Bryant Park in NYC offers free WIFI access, many NYC public libraries do to. My Mac has a built-in WIFI transmitter for use around the house and a surprisingly large number of unofficial open hotspots are all over the place. In a pinch, Starbucks offers wireless access too, albeit for a price. The phone works nicely too. My wife is now using my old Treo as hers was dying. My only complaint with this Audiovox is that it doesn't have a camera. Not that the Treo's camera was very good but it was nice to have. I may have to rename this blog if I stick with this machine. We'll see.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

All this news about Reuters doctoring photos

got my attention. I looked at this picture on the front page of New York Newsday a few days ago and something looked wrong. The stone and iron building here has been completely pulverized but a fabric teddy bear and a plastic child's scooter are both undamaged and upright. That doesn't seem possible. An explosion that could shatter a building would have easily destroyed both of those items as well. This looks posed to me. If it is, Newsday should be ashamed of itself.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The seats for kids day up top.

The view through the center field fence

To beat the heat, we watched the game from Long Ball Alley. This is an area under the bleachers that is open to the public.

lining up :)

Kids day at Shea Stadium. The kids get to sing the anthem on the field. Good stuff.

Great when the Internet connection craps out and the help line tells you to get help online. Duh...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Jahn's Ice Cream Shop

I love this place. Still right where it has always been. Great burgers, great ice cream. Still looks the same too. Walls with customer names carved in over the last 100 years, antiques all over the place, converted gas lights, the old soda fountain counter, Jahn's original paintings, a working grandfather clock, the Seeburg Piano machine, etc. A fun piece of Queens history. Always a hit with my kids.

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