State of the Tech

In the world of technology, no news can sometimes be good news. I haven’t mentioned a whole lot on the blog here, mostly since things have been working pretty well. But for the sake of pure information, here is a status report on where the Wood Family’s technology is at.

Land Line Voice Communications Currently serviced by Comcast Telephony. This service runs in through our cable lines, and connects to our apartment’s phone jacks. The call quality is good, and our local, regional toll, and long distance calls are all handled by the system. The caller ID information is also better than the information Verizon used to provide. We have two similar GE telephones, one with caller ID, and the other with a digital answering machine.

Wireless Voice Communications Currently serviced by Sprint PCS. We have a service plan that provides 500 anytime minutes, unlimited night and weekend minutes, and unlimited PCS-to-PCS calling. This means that Becky and I can make as many calls as we want between our two phones and will not be charged for them. This also means we can call my parents’ or my sister’s cell phones from our cell phones at no cost to us. We have had some problems with Sprint not billing us correctly for PCS-to-PCS minutes, but I have been able to resolve those problems by ultimately going to our local Sprint PCS store and talking to the assistant manager (who it turns out is originally from Mount Vernon, Ohio). Becky currently has the venerable Sanyo SCP-4000 (coming up on 3 years old… it didn’t even make it onto Sanyo’s “previous models” page!) and is loving it. I am currently using the Samsung SCH-A400, and am rather frustrated with it. Thus I’m currently looking at purchasing a new phone. One of the candidates is the Sanyo SCP-8100. This is a PCS Vision-enabled camera phone. It has similar features to Sanyo’s 5300, but is smaller in size and has a lower quality camera. Since I already have a digital camera, that’s not such a big deal. It looks like a fun phone to have, especially with Sprint’s Vision service, and it comes in at a good price when I get the phone upgrade discount. I actually got to check out a demo model at the local Sprint PCS store, and it looks to be a very solid phone. It’s a bit thicker than the phone I’m using now, but still easy to carry and use.

Data Communications At home we are currently using Comcast High-Speed Internet. We have not had any problems with our service. It just works!

Our web hosting provider, Site 5, has been performing admirably well. I have not had much need to contact their technical support, and their service has been up and running consistently. We still have plenty of storage space left on our account. Becky and I also run our email through Site 5’s servers, and we haven’t any problems with that. Five stars for Site 5!

Computing Becky’s desk is currently equipped with an HP Pavillion 6730 running Windows XP Home. I recently relented and gave her back the LCD monitor so that she could have some more room on her desk.

My desk is currently equipped with a SuperMac S900 and a PowerBook G3 “Firewire”, both running Mac OS X 10.2.5. The S900 was upgraded a couple of months ago, and has been performing well since then. When I gave Becky back the LCD monitor, I bought a new 17″ CRT monitor to use with the S900. It was a fairly cheap model, $100 after a mail-in rebate, but it performs just fine for everyday use.

While we were visiting my parents over Easter, I took the opportunity to install Mac OS X on their computer. From what I tried while I was home, and from the reports I’ve heard since I left, things are working well!

Audio Entertainment My iPod continues to perform well, day after day. Thanks to some recent software updates by Apple, its battery life has improved significantly. It is almost filled to capacity, and I’ve recently had to delete some less-frequently-listened-to music files from it in order to add new music.

Video Entertainment We recently upgraded to Comcast Digital Cable, so that we could get all of the TV stations we wanted, and then some. In particular, Becky wanted TLC so that she could watch While You Were Out, and I wanted to get some of the news stations and FX network. Incidentally, upgrading to Digital Cable put us into a Comcast Bundle, so we now actually get our High-Speed internet for a little bit less per month!

The home entertainment system hasn’t been used too much recently. Becky and I have been too busy to have occasion to watch a DVD, but hopefully we will have more time to do that soon!

That’s all that’s noteworthy on the technology front!

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