Category Archives: Reviews

T-Mobile Is Cool

OK, I am sure there would be some whom may disagree with me, but I have been a customer of T-Mobile’s Cell phone service for a few months now, and come to find out that they offer a great deal more than the other carriers. Yeah, I know – AT&T has rollover, Cricket has the cheapest Unlimited plans, and blah blah blah. I had a taste with every carrier at one time or another, and while I haven’t had them in recently, I do not have a job testing carriers.

So, what makes T-Mobile cool? Well, first – their Faves feature. It allows you to make and receive calls with 5 phone numbers for free. If you are like me, and have a very small social circle, this is actually good. If you have a larger social circle, than this is a step in the right direction. They don’t offer network calling without charging extra, but in all reality, I only know two people who uses T-Mobile.

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You’re Grounded, No More Minutes

Earlier today, I seen a commercial from T-Mobile with Family Minutes Allowance. Despite the silliness of the commercial, it basically allowed the account owner – almost always a parent has the option to set limits on text messages, and cellular minutes on secondary lines. I only found one good page posting on this, even T-Mobile doesn’t have all of the details on their site, but from what I gathered, this only affects billable minutes. If a family has MyFaves, or Network Calling, these don’t get adjusted. I am curious to know if this affects their Hotspot calling features. If Hotspot calling is treated like the MyFaves,  than this would be a great option for families.

From what I learned, the primary account holder can decide what phone numbers are good or bad with whitelisting, and blacklisting. This means that the parent can block the bad boy’s phone number (until he changes it) from calling the precious daughter. Whitelisting assures that calls can be made even if it would exceed the allotment of minutes. There is also time restrictions, so no calls in school at 3 in the morning when they should be asleep. I am assuming that the whitelisting would override the time limits too.

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T-Mobile Verdict

I have been with T-Mobile for a couple months now. I have been using T-Mobile for EDGE Data services for my notebook, but with the inclusion of using Cellular services, things are somewhat different.

The services is about the same as with everyone else. Like with all carriers in the US, they have a perk which is unique just to the carrier. For example, AT&T offers the ability to have unused minutes to carry over for a up to a year. T-Mobile offers two of such perks, although the second one requires a special dual mode GSM/Wifi phone.

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Magic My Jack

On Monday 9th of June of 2008, I have received a special piece of hardware that utilizes software, and a service. This device and service is called Magic Jack. It is a special device that connects to the USB port of your Windows XP/MAC OS PC. The software installs on your PC, and you set up with an email address. You would than be able to select a limited line of phone numbers that are US based. Once you set everything up, you would be able to connect a telephone that has a standard US based RJ-11 jack into a the device, and you could make regular phone calls.

The device cost’s about $50 including shipping. It takes about 5 -10 minutes to set up, and it installed easily on a Windows XP Pro computer. It includes one year of service, and each additional year is $20/year. Continue reading Magic My Jack

Blackberry – Yummy

Here is a problem. I have a house phone, and a cellular phone. I want to be able to rely on one phone, but needless to say, home phones don’t have the flexibility. Unlimited Cellular plans cost more than $100. There is an exception being Cricket, but in my experience, it is not worth it. So, I need the power of a cell phone, and the minutes of a home phone when I am home. There is a solution that requires a change in cellular carrier, and phone.

The T-Mobile’s edition of the Blackberry Curve and the right plans is the answer. First, the perk is the Curve’s wifi capability. With @Home service, any compatible phone can make unlimited calls when in a wifi network. Since I have a wifi-g network, this is great. Before, when someone calls, both a cordless home phone, and my cellular phone rings. I then choose which phone. Now, just one line is required. The Curve then rings, and since it is in a wifi network, the calls are 100% free, and do not consume any of my cellular minutes. Continue reading Blackberry – Yummy

Brother QL-570

Early in April, I came across a need to print labels. The reason is regular mailings on the behalf of someone else. In any case, I was brought with a dilemma. Do I go and buy more sheets of labels that may or may not print exactly as needed, and spend on ink to print these, or do I look for a better alternative. I already knew of label printers, but needed something on a budget. The Dymo series started are around $150, and goes up from there. I found an alternative being the brother QL-570. which was about $100. I also acquired a roll of labels which while more expensive per label, the cost savings would come with the thermal printer which requires no resources other than electricity.

The printer is fast for its size. I am able to print out about 20 labels with barcodes in about 1 minute. This makes my life easier as I never have to wait. And since the labels are never printed until needed, it is going to save on resources. And since the printer is thermal, it is not going to require an ink cartridge, nor a laser cartridge. Heat is applied to specially coated material, in this case the labels. The software package is also good allowing for a wide range of effects. The address book can import and export CSV files which makes storing a backup of the needed addresses easier. Continue reading Brother QL-570

Acer Aspire 5100

I currently own an Acer Aspire 5100-3010 with an AMD Turion 2.0Ghz CPU. It first came with 1GB of memory, but upgraded to 4GB of memory. It has a 160GB hard drive, but 10GB is partitioned from user’s resources – most likely for re-installation. It of course has a webcam, DVD Writer, VGA, and all of the ports including the useless v.92 modem port. It also an SD card slot, and a PC card slot. To top it off, it comes with a variety of tools or the webcam, and to make a personal feel for the Acer. It also has Windows Premium Edition. With a 15.4″ Widescreen monitor, it is a great road worker PC, and a good compliment for any home user except for the hard core gamers.

It does have a good 2.5hour battery life, although you might be able to squeeze 3 if you do a couple of things. I do like the fact it has a good set of specs that is even respectable to would be desktop users. There are a few gripes I have. One, the speakers could be better. I found myself buying a set of desktop speakers only to plug in the front of the front of the notebook. In the case of the speakers, it is pretty much like the little engine that couldn’t. The webcam was odd. It can take pictures, but don’t dare to place pictures it hasn’t taken in the “My Pictures” folder. If you do, forget your webcam working. When I talked to technical support, they said just move all of the pictures in a separate folder. Continue reading Acer Aspire 5100