Andy posts long and loud on AT&T’s new Unity Plan: unlimited free calling between AT&T mobile and landline customers for a fixed price per month. While the plan excludes mobile roaming, international calling, and CallVantage services (the AT&T VoIP offering), he thinks they will be blended into the mix soon enough. This should prove troubling for companies like Vonage. In fact, why use Vonage when I can have unlimited mobile AND landline calling for a fixed price on one monthly bill?
I’m a bit slower than the other bloggers trying out the Nokia N80i, but that’s typical me. I like to process things a little.
Overall, there’s not much I don’t like about this phone. It’s got a good feel in my hand, not too small but not to heavy either. It takes better than expected pictures, and the video recorder is great for the kids’ spontaneous slapstick routines. The music player is a real bonus for me. I don’t bother with an mp3 player when I’m out and about because it means carrying around another gadget. But now that the player is in the phone, I’m really enjoying using it. I know these features aren’t unique, but the N80i implements them really well. One-button access to the camera, video and music player makes these features super easy to use.
However, I had a few hiccups during the setup. The first was installing GizmoVoIP, which I couldn’t find anywhere on the phone. It is supposed to be available from the Downloads folder but in my case it wasn’t there, at least at first. It only appeared after refreshing the list several times over the span of several hours.
The second problem I had was installing PC Suite, the Nokia driver software and applications for the PC. In my case the drivers did not install, despite many uninstall/reinstall combinations. No drivers means no way for laptop and phone to communicate, no way to download music to the phone from the PC, synchronise contact lists, etc.
The error I received was: “There is no available connection type. The connection to phone cannot be established.”
Ultimately, my solution was to uninstall EVERYTHING Nokia N80 from the Control Panel/AddRemove Programs. This includes PC Suite AND the Nokia PC Connectivity package. For some reason, there were two PC Connectivity packages installed instead of one which probably caused all the grief. I then downloaded the most recent PC Suite from the support web site, and reinstalled.
The PC Suite on the CD that came with the phone was out of date but the autoupdater that updated the sofware when I installed the first time, clearly didn’t do a very good job. I think this is why I ended up with two sets of drivers that didn’t like living in the same house.
The third thing I did, and this is more of a user problem, is that I connected the cable to my laptop first, before popping in the CD. Predictably, the Found New Hardware wizard prompted me for the CD that contains the drivers. When I inserted the CD, of course nothing happened because PC Suite installs the applications and drivers all at once. But since I didn’t realize this at first and there wasn’t anything in the documentation, I spent a bit of time hunting through the packaging looking for another CD that I may have missed.
Who knows if many users have the same issue, but an easy fix would be for Nokia to add more accurate labeling and instructions to the CD itself.
Anyway, all is fine and dandy now.
Carolyn Schuk has a post about the much blogged iPhone introduced this week at MacWorld. An evolution instead of a revolution. Should we be disappointed with the lack of innovative features or impressed with the breakthrough design for a phone? Some lively comments posted as well.
I’ve been fiddling for the last few days with my Nokia N80i. I know I should be homing in on the on-board mobile VOIP capabilities, but I’m too distracted by all the other things this device can do. You have to understand that I’m a basic cell phone person. I’ve never held too much with phones that try to manage your life. I use my mobile to make calls. That’s pretty much it. (C’mon Leanne, get with the program here). So now that I’ve tried the N80i, I realize how boring I’ve been all this time.
So far, I’m delightfully dazzled by the camera, the video recorder and the music player. These three things I never thought would have interested me and now I can see using them daily…oh yeah, and making calls…that’s four things.
However, I had a few bumps installing the software (GizmoVoIP), for Internet calling, and the phone drivers on my laptop. Tell ya about that later.
“This is what you do: Call their HELP line, go to the cancellation option and then wait. (Luckily, I waited about 5 minutes.) Next, as soon as the person gets on the line say, “Hello, My name is Michael and I would like to cancel my account because I am moving to another country.” This will immediately cause them to lose most of their script and go to Page 2. The kind woman on the other line then asked me if the move was permanent. I told her that I would be overseas for the next 10 years. She countered by saying that Vonage could be used anywhere, it was one of the advantages, etc. I agreed that the thought had crossed my mind, but unfortunately I was moving to a place where Internet service was not allowed. She asked if she might know the location of this country. I told her Ethiopia. She asked if there were any towns nearby that might have Internet access, I told her no, because I was moving to a monastery and it was 100 miles away from the nearest town. Very remote. She became quiet and then asked if there was anyone living in the U.S. that could use the account while I was gone. As this point, I was like, ‘Jeeshâ€¦’, but I went on, “No, there’s nobody here in the U.S. I could transfer this too. That’s part of why I’m leaving the country. My family has passed away, my dog just died, and I just don’t value material possessions as much as I used to.’
She got started on canceling my accountâ€¦.”
Today, GrandCentral announced a new community-wide service designed to fight annoying telemarketers and other phone spam agents. The PhoneSpam filter lets both visitors and GrandCentral users report unwanted callers to a community list at http://www.grandcentral.com/stopphonespam. Once the number is confirmed, it is added to the PhoneSpam filter. For GrandCentral users who have the spam filter enabled, calls from any of these numbers are automatically sent to the spam voicemail folder.
To avoid malicious abuse, I’m assume that “confirming” the number means GrandCentral does a manual check to make sure the number is a legitimately annoying one.
This is my first post in awhile. I checked out during the holidays (for me the “holidays” consist of the day the kids are out of school ’til the day they go back–that’s a week from now). But my-o-my, the blogging community has been going strong, even over the break. I guess the VOIP world waits for no woman. All hail the tireless VOIP bloggers…through rain, sleet, snow, etc. etc. Andy blogged from Frankfurt on Christmas Eve, PhoneBoy survived a major storm and power outage, and I can see at glance that instead of sleeping in or sleeping it off, many bloggers, Ted Wallingford among them, had something to say on New Years Day. Alec Saunders generated a great list of top VOIP bloggers if you want to keep up with these guys.