Thursday, February 16, 2006

Burrrrr...

It it way colder than usual in Seattle these days, as evidenced by the layer counts for my ride to work this morning:


  • 4 tops (1 base layer + 3 summer tops)

  • 3 layers of foot protection (1 pair regular socks + gortex socks + booties)

  • 3 layers of hand protection (2 pairs of gloves + 1 pair of "outer" gloves)

  • 2 layers of arm protection (long sleeve base layer + arm warmers)

  • 1 layer of leg protection (leg warmers)

  • 1 layer of head protection (balaclava)

  • 1 layer protecting my man business (fortunately the chamois in bike pants are thick so I didn't end up with a little popsicle)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Switching to Vonage

Well, I finally decided to go for it and switch to Vonage. I don't use my phone that much and the Vonage deal was just too sweet to pass up. I have to give them a lot of credit. The process was incredible simple. I plugged in the Linksys box, set things up on their website and I was off and running. Even transferring my old land line # to Vonage was easy (even though it did take a while). I would have done this sooner if they had offered 911 service.

Anyway, something about the process made me realize that, in some ways, it isn't ready for prime time. It first happened when my wife was using the webcam and making a call. Not surprisingly, the call quality was poor. Well, of course it's poor, I thought, Vonage and the webcam are competing for bandwidth. Then I got the sinking feeling... oh no.. I need to start thinking about quality of service settings on my router. This has officially become much more complex than the average user can handle. They will just think Vonage sucks.

Anyhow, much to my surprise my Linksys router did have QoS features. Nothing great, but enough to say "give the port with the Vonage box high priority". I don't think their implementation is particulary bright either since Outlook loses its connection to Exchange when I made a phone call. Sigh.. but it works and the call quality is fine.