Archive for November, 2009

New Blog

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Generally Speaking..

Check out my latest blog entries!



Main Page – Linux Mint

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Generally Speaking..

Linux Mint 8 is now out! Enjoy!


Linux Mint 8 is out now!

Posted: November 30, 2009 in OS Reviews

The 8th installment of Linux Mint, called Helena, is out now.  In about 4 days I will download it and give it a review.  Why wait?  Well, normally I would just go ahead and download it, try it and review it but since Linux Mint is my installed operating system of choice, I want to wait a few days to make sure there aren’t any major bugs that need fixing first.  Of course, even if there are, Clem and Gang will be all over it within a day.

So look for my review of Linux Mint 8 Helena in a few days.  Congratulations to Clem and Company for getting this rolled out.

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Linux Mint 8 is almost here

Posted: November 26, 2009 in OS Reviews

The 8th incarnation of Linux Mint, named Helena, is just about here. As of this writing, the RC1 (or release candidate 1 for us nerds) is being tested and the bugs getting flushed. I can’t wait for the new version, to see what Clem and Company have done to wow us this time. As soon as it comes out, I will be reviewing it (and installing it of course!)

to be continued…

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Google Voice Review

Posted: November 23, 2009 in Helpful Techie Things

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned how he had Google Voice but he never used it.  I was curious about it, so I researched it and found out that Google Voice is a phone manager service.  I’m going to quote heavily from the website because there is so much to tell.

About Google Voice
Google Voice gives you one number for all your phones — a phone number that is tied to you, not to a device or a location. Use Google Voice to simplify the way you use phones, make using voicemail as easy as email, customize your callers’ experience, and more.

Google Voice isn’t a phone service, but it lets you manage all of your phones. Google Voice works with mobile phones, desk phones, work phones, and VoIP lines. There’s nothing to download, upload, or install, and you don’t have to make or take calls using a computer.

Google Voice will let you define which phones ring, based on who’s calling, and even let you ListenInTM on voicemail before answering the call. We use smart technology to route your calls. So, if you’re already on a Google Voice call, we’ll recognize it and use call waiting to reach you on the phone you’re on.

Note: At this time Google Voice is only available in the U.S.”

If it sounds like Google Voice does a lot, that’s because it does! Check out the features list:

* A single Google forwarding number to all of the user’s phones
* Free calls and SMS in the US and Canada
* Calling international phone numbers for as low as US$0.02 per minute
* Call screening. Announcement of callers based on their number or by an automated identification request for blocked numbers
* Listening in on someone’s recording of a voice message before taking a call
* Blocking calls from specified numbers
* Send, receive, and store SMS online
* Answering incoming calls on any configured phone
* Call routing. Selection of phones that should ring based on calling number
* Voicemail transcripts. Reading of voicemail messages online
* Listening to voicemail online or from a phone
* Notification of voicemail messages via email or SMS
* Personalized greetings based on calling number
* Forward or downloading of voicemails
* Conference calling
* Call recording and online archiving
* Switching of phones during a call
* Viewing the web inbox from a mobile device/phone
* Customize preferences for contacts by group
* Ability to change your number for a fee
* Specifying an existing phone number instead of the Google Voice number on initial setup for use with limited functionality, such as some voicemail functions.[18] and using the voice mail system for the user’s phone number (mobile devices only).[19]”

Okay so now you have an idea of what it is and what it does, I’ll relate my experience with it and why I like it so much.

First, I chose my new Google number. You can use your existing number but with limited functionality. For choosing the new number, you can search either by area code or by zip code. I recommend the latter as it’s easier to get local calling numbers this way. Then you set up your own numbers for GV to verify. I used my home number and my cell number. Then you are taken to your GV account, where you can set up GV’s voicemail to replace the voicemail you have already.

I set up GV voicemail for my home phone but not for my cellphone. Then you can record whatever you want your voicemail to be. It doesn’t want to recognize instrumental versions of songs (I tried to record the theme song of Transformers but I ended up with a funny song by Peter Griffin) so I recommend something with words. To receive notifications of new voicemails, you can either call your GV number, or you can get email notifications or text messages (which I chose). Not only does the text message tell me I have a new voicemail but it also gives me a transcription of the actual message!

There is caller id in and out, a do not disturb option, call screening with an available option to listen in while the voicemail is being left.

Calls in the U.S. made with your GV number are free! Calls to other countries are rated by country but still very good rates.

You can group contacts in 3 different ways, and can manage groups setting up greetings and which phone to ring specific to each group.

My favorite things about GV are the transcribed voicemails texted to me and the free calls that I can make outside my local calling area.

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