On being a geek (2): WiFi, Tablet PC SP2, SkypeOut and Bluetooth headsets
As there is no way I can pretend I'm not a geek since I've got my TravelMate TabletPC, I'll write more about technical stuff :)
First thing I found out that learning "how-to" WiFi goes very fast when you actually have something WiFi enabled :) Going through the process of getting connected to Wireless LAN of University of Twente (largest hotspot in Europe, btw :) I've learnt about all kinds of settings and security protocols...
I managed to get connected, so now I'm enjoying WiFi connection at home, in the office and in between (actually I still have to walk outside and find areas with a good signal in a green between buildings :).
And because my employer is a member of EduRoam network I can use WiFi in some other places in the Netherlands (may be in other countries too, but still have to find out how it works). This is especially fun since there is a selection of WiFi pubs in university towns; I tried it in our unofficial corporate drinking place in Enschede and it worked.
Tablet PC SP2
Since there was a lot of discussion about problems with WindowsXP Service Pack 2 (which is supposed to enhance security), I was a bit afraid of installing it on my Tablet PC. After browsing around I found out that in a case of Tablet PC it comes with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, so I decided to take a risk.
It was worth it. Next to the fact that I didn't experience any software conflict and feel better with firewall enabled, I've got small, but really nice enhancements of hand writing input (and I also installed a dictionary for hand writing recognition). Still haven't tried to write long pieces by pen, but at least it works fine for browsing and adding del.icio.us tags to interesting sites.
I guess I'll write more about my Tablet-specific experiences, but if you don't want to wait you can spy on my via my Tablet resources at del.icio.us.
Having discovered Skype long ago I wasn't using it much. The reasons were quite trivial:
- It's not that easy at work since usually there are things to do and I don't want to bother my office roommate with too much talking (either by phone or Skype).
- Due to some mysterious problem my machine at home doesn't support microphone.
- Lots of people I wanted to talk are Mac users.
Now life gets much easier: beta for Skype for Mac is out and my TravelMate doesn't have any problems with microphone.
I was also waiting for a moment to try SkypeOut, paid service of calling to a normal phone from Skype. I use international calling cards to call Moscow and they direct phone traffic via Internet anyway, so I though this would be a good alternative (especially given that I always forget to buy those cards :)
So, I tried it. I had some problems with authorisation of my credit card payment, got nice chat with Skype live support, got the problem fixed and finally managed to pay.
I loved it. Great quality and very good price (1,3 Euro for 1h15min talk with a landline number in Moscow; see costs for all destinations).
Talking for one hour with my current headphones was not that comfortable, so I decided to find out if there is something better around. And it was logical to look for something wireless since I'm getting spoiled with anytime/anywhere Internet access, so I looked for Bluetooth headsets.
After some surfing I found something I really want: Bluespoon headsets. There are too models, Bluespoon Digital and Bluespoon Chameleon. Digital is lighter and advanced, but costs quite a lot, while Chameleon should be good enough, costs less and looks much nicer. With my birthday in one month I'm really thinking of it :)