The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Dead Ringer

For the past few months, Smirk has been working to set up a VoIP system for work so all of us at the Office could opt to work from home if we so choose—all office calls would be forwarded appropriately to our various homes. I personally would rather work mostly from home as it's more comfortable, and I save a 38 mile round trip.

So Smirk is doing his part to be enviromentally sound.

I say all of this because the phone system here at the Office is wonky. Our main 800 line is non-functioning and Smirk is still trying to figure out what's going on with The Monopolistic Phone Company about that. And the phone on my desk has been acting weird—or it could be the answering machine it's plugged into. The phone doesn't ring and the only indication that there's a call is the answering machine suddenly kicking on.

As this was happening, I just figured it had something to do with Smirk working on the VoIP for the office (I run the network—I don't run the phone system) or The Monopolistic Phone Company having fun at our expense (not the first time). Or the answering machine is going.

I just now got a call from Smirk and I informed him of the odd behavior with the phone on my desk.

“Did you check that the ringer is on?” he asked.

“The what?”

“The ringer. On the phone. Is it turned on?”

“The ringer?”

“The ringer.”

I checked.

It was turned off.


Speaking of phone systems

Later on in the day, Smirk dropped off the new VoIP unit I'll be using at home. It's a Linksys PAP2 and the installation couldn't be easier—it was literally plugging the power cable in, the Ethernet cable in and the phone cable into phone plug #1 (I initially plugged it into phone plug #2 and when I went to make a call, I heard a computerized voice telling me I had plugged the phone into the wrong port). I was then ready to go.

Of course, Smirk had already signed up the unit for Vonage so I'm not sure of all the details about that, but I was impressed with the hardward after it was delivered to my hands.

The few calls I tried were fine quality wise. Smirk has been using the same unit for a few days now and I hadn't even noticed. All in all, it seems like a decent unit.

Update on Friday, April 21st, 2006

About the only complaint I have so far about the unit is the unnaturally bright LEDs on the front of the unit. They were so bright I had thought I left my curtains open and the street lamps where shining through when I turned out the lights to go to bed. I turned the unit off so I could sleep.

I'm going to have to find some way of cutting the light down a bit.

Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

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