Holy ones and zeroes, you’re not going to believe this. A few weeks ago I signed up with Vonage as a part of the
shake up everything I know about phones effort I’ve been having recently. But I never thought it was going to be this cool.
I got the little kit Vonage sent a couple weeks ago and didn’t have time to hook it up, so it sat in my den, looking at me with those I’m-technology-why-aren’t-you-playing-with-me-immediately eyes. I broke down tonight and followed the eight-step instructions to install the thing. I guess I was scared it would break my Airport or something. Foolish, groundless concerns. It was installed in 10 minutes, and it would have been 5 if I hadn’t been cautious and read everything through even though I already knew how it was supposed to work. Let me tell you something: it’s unexpectedly eerie to pick up your phone and hear a dial tone when it’s not plugged into the wall. The wall jack is just sitting there empty with no cord in it. It’s like the horror scene in the movie where the doll plays its little recorded message when they push the button, and then they turn it over and there’s no battery in the back.
On the list of nifty features Vonage offers, I notice that you can email your voicemail to yourself. This is like a geek dream, people, so you know I’m not going to pass this up. I set it to email a mailing list that will automatically send the voice mail message (in WAV format, but no one is perfect) to a mailing list at joshlewis.org that Stephanie and I (and obviously only Stephanie and I) are on. Then I called my number (my temporary
fake number since the phone company hasn’t let go of my landline yet) with my cell phone and I left a very brief, stupid, testing one-two-three message.
I got this in my email ten seconds later. Ten! Seconds! Later!!! It’s crystal clear! It’s beautiful! It’s my voicemail! My cell phone reception isn’t even that good in this area.
Have you ever been at work and wished that you could find out easily if you missed a call at home without dialing your phone number, waiting for your voicemail to answer, putting your pass code in, listening to the lady tell you which numbers to push, blah blah, on and on? Well, this is the solution.
I would highly encourage you all to look into Vonage if you’ve got broadband already. I mean, you get up-to-the-second usage reports of both incoming and outgoing calls, how many minutes they lasted, what numbers they were to, you can forward your calls to other numbers, do the voicemail thing, set up virtual phone numbers… the list is endless. Yes, I realize there are probably quirks and bad points, but this is so much more for so much less. I’ll take it in stride, and kiss my landline goodbye for a stream of bits.
The phone is dead. Long live the phone.