Thursday, August 28, 2008

No More Landlines in this House

This summer we got rid of our landline phones (also known as the regular plug-in-a jack phone). With all the other technology options we've been using, our TTD was collecting dust. Now with higher gas prices, we looked around and realized we were paying for services we hardly use. With Vonage, we have been able to cut our phone bills into half. Which includes local and long distance services.

By dropping the landlines, we also were able to free up come space on our counters and desk by replacing TTDs with small cordless phones for the kids and visitors.

Don't fret if you have hearing significant others, CODAs, or kids in your household. If you have a broadband or dsl connection, in most cases you can piggyback phone service off them using services such as Vonage, Skype, and Comcast phone. (Minor service fee required). In some cases, you may be able to keep your same phone number.

Now about those voice callers to your house phone. Set up your service to automatically roll over to your relay service of choice after a certain number of rings. They can contact you based on your preference of vrs, text messaging, aim, or message transcription services, or can call them back after receiving a message.

Note that some services do not work with TTD devices. The long answer is that some can support TTD devices with some advanced research and tweaking. Better yet, use your other communication options.

Lastly, check out Nextalk, this service (also free) allows you to use a pc to make a TTD call (Internet connection required).

Push Email for Palm Treos

I have been a Palm Treo 700P user for nearly two years now. It has been a fairly good device, but the Palm O/S is starting to show its age.

While Palm Treos do not have push email right out of the box. You can subscribe to 3rd party push email providers for relatively low cost. They are just as good as blackberry push email services. Versamail that comes with the Palm O/S does not work with push email providers well. I suggest Chatteremail, an email client, which is available from Palm for a one-time cost. It works with push / IMAP email providers to provide you with real-time push email.

Fusemail and are such examples of push (IMAP) email providers.

The new Trep 800W (Windows Mobile 6.1), provides push email out of the box utilizing Microsoft Hotmail. While its free and it works, the notification options on this Treo are noticably weaker. That is, you have very little to no control of how to set up LED and/or vibrate alerts. Because of this, I have been investigating 3rd party options that allows you customize alerts... More to come on this.

Lastly, the 755P Treo has NO LED indicator at all. It is not recommended for those who rely the LED for notifications.

Purpose of this Technology Blog

Instead of having a blog about myself, I'm going to utilize this space to to blog, discuss, and share about everyday technologies that we consumers use. The primary focus of this blog will be for deaf and hearing-impaired consumers because we have different needs and uses for technologies than the general population.

I'm hoping that with this blog, we can help others by sharing our findings and experiences to help this population segment fully utilize technology for everyday needs. Overtime, I will include articles and links to some white papers and publications I have written or will soon to write.

You can also subscribe to this blog using your favorite Blog or RSS reader such as Google reader and Bloglines. Check out the "Subscribe to Blog" box in the upper right hand corner.

There are approximately 20 million deaf and hard of hearing consumers within the U.S., and 100 million world wide.

If there is a topic or technology item you'd like to for me to cover, feel free to contact me.