Bracing against the wind  

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Good VOIP Bad Washer

In October, I wrote that I was planning to use a Broadvoice internet phone, instead of Verizon for my house phone. Also, I got a Splendide combined washer/dryer instead of a traditional one. Here's an update.

The VOIP service is fantastic, unlimited dialing to 21 countries. I just called Switzerland for free about 5 minutes ago.

We have 2 lines, the second one was provided by SIP Phone, for only $40/year. The Broadvoice contract allows me to log in and add a second line, but I had to call them for a password. I use a Uniden dual line phone system which is fluid. Calls come in to Line 1, fail over to Line 2, I can dial out while Yvette is on a call - you name it, it works. I put new phones in the kitchen and dining room - anywhere there's a power outlet, no need to run a line.

Now as to the combined Washer/Dryer. We all enjoyed not having to unload the washer and reload to a dryer. Unfortunately, I had to sell it on craigslist for 30% less than I paid for it. Used the money towards an old-fashioned Frigidaire stackable ($1K new with installation and warranty from Lowes). Sad really, but the capacity was just too small, we needed it to be about double. Also, the dryer, because of some deep design flaw reason, makes some clothing unwearably wrinkled.

WARNING: The Splendide is only useful if you're in an RV, or maybe an apartment in Tokyo. Even in a condo in NY, you're better off with a stackable, just put your luggage in the hall or something.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Goodbye Telcos, Hello Laundry

I just installed and configured a BroadVoice phone line. It was terribly easy, and I got a dial tone a minute after plugging everything in. And it doesn't interfere with my wireless network or anything odd like that. So now I pay $20/month for unlimited calls to the US and 21 other countries. It's the only company I know that lets me make unbilled calls to Germany, which is useful for me. I used to give Verizon $55/month for a similar service, but why pay double and not have international? I know I'm late to the game, but I ususally am.

My next big thing will be a vented extra-large washer/dryer combo by Splendide for my house. RV'ers have used them for a long time. Sadly, lazy conglomerate monopolists don't manufacuture 220 volt versions anywhere in the world, despite strong demand. (A better example of the failure of free markets might be the mattress industry). Anyhow, the old task of transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer has had it's day in the sun long enough. I mean, 2010 is only 4 years away. It's not asking that much.


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