Tag Archives: telephone

Do you Need a Land Line?

Craighton is a rather active member of our community. He volunteered at Gnomedex, and has performed a countless number of small tasks whenever my assistant Kat needs help. He raised a good question on Lockergnome earlier… asking whether we truly need a land-line phone or not.

Many people are reminding the young grasshopper that a land-line phone is the easiest way for emergency services to locate you. There are also other obvious advantages, including not having to deal with dropped calls. A hard-wired phone still works even if you don’t live near a tower of some sort. Should your beloved cell die run out of juice, you can always pick up that old cordless (or corded!) phone and dial up a friend. I know, I know… who calls anyone anymore?

Something else to think about… there are actually some places left on Earth which do not accept calls from cellular devices. When is the last time you were able to accept a collect call on your iPhone or Droid? I’m pretty sure the answer to that is a resounding “never.”

Do you still have a regular old telephone line? Do you think you’ll ever get rid of it?

What is MagicJack?


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What do you currently use for your phone service? Do you use a traditional land-line company, or something like Vonage? I’ve been using Vonage in my home for a couple of years now. Lately, though, some people were asking me what I thought about MagicJack, so I decided to try it out.

I figured we’d set it up together in this video. After all, the package promises “60 seconds to a lifetime of savings!”. It also talks about having free voice mail, free International calling, and even free local and long-distance. All you need is a phone and a broadband connection.

I actually had to go buy a cheap corded phone, because all of the phones in my house were cordless! I plugged the MagicJack in, and it instantly opened. The little interface told me to click a button to start calling – even while everything was downloading.

Within about 30 seconds, I was ready to register. I entered my email and a password into the program. I was told that following activation I would receive a confirmation email to finish the process. Then, it asked me my name, and approximate location for proper 911 services. After this step, it gave me the option of which area code I wanted to go with for where I live. Then, I could choose any number I wanted. Heck, I could’ve even chosen a number and area code back in Iowa!

I then had to of course agree to the Terms of Service. Don’t do as I did – or didn’t do. Always read your Terms of Service before agreeing! After doing that, I had my very own MagicJack phone number. I didn’t like the giant banner ad in the middle of the dialer though. I guess that’s what we get for having free phone service though.

I plugged the phone it, picked it up and dialed. It went through! That quickly, I called myself! I even answered myself. The sound was pretty clear, as well. I was impressed at this point, for sure. It took no time to set up, and it works!

If you shut down the MagicJack application on your computer, you cannot receive incoming calls. So – keep that in mind! Oh! Cool! There’s a call log! However, I don’t like that the address book cannot coordinate with my address book within my operating system. That would rock! Maybe they can work on that with a future release.

Well, there you go. There’s my opinion on MagicJack. It’s free, it’s simple, and it works. Try it for yourself. You may want to consider this as an alternative to a traditional land-line phone.

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Christmas with the Pirillo Family (by Phone)

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Ponzi and I couldn’t travel to Iowa this year to be with my family on Christmas. Instead, we did a conference call on Christmas Eve with the gang, and recorded it for everyone to share with us.

You can see Ponzi and I, of course. On the phone, you can hear my Mom and Dad, and my brother Adam. Apparently, Adam is partaking in Mom’s Merlot wine, and she got after him about it. Growing up with these people was fun, to say the least.

The first thing they opened is a box of gizmos, gadgets and toys that I sent. Inside of it, they found two Annoy-A-Tron’s, two Spy Remote Controls, and two of the 8-Bit Ties. Dad was happy to receive these, and is so far refusing to give one of each to my brother. Adam is demanding his own set of gizmos!

Next up, Dad opened the package addressed to him that came from Amazon. He was tickled to discover that he got the helmet-cam he’s been wanting. It’s a camcorder that is specifically designed to mount to a helmet, motorcycle, car, etc. He’s been wanting one of these for awhile now, so he finally has one!

Lastly, Ponzi and I told them to open the canvas package. Ponzi is very excited about seeing their reaction. However, first we had to wait for Dad to get back from wandering about the house, and hear Mom yelling at Adam to behave himself. Finally, they opened the package, and you can hear Mom yell out “Oh my God this is AWESOME!”. We took a wonderful picture of Mom and Dad that was taken at our wedding, and had it printed onto canvas, to make it look like a painting. Also, the person who made this for us put actual brushstrokes onto the canvas by hand, to make it look even more like a painting. It turned out beautifully, and Mom and Dad love it.

Of course, Ponzi still needs to get the wedding album (and the 8×10) to Mom. She’s working on it, I promise!

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