Insomnia is good and bad (geeking out)

The downsides of insomnia are obvious. I’m super tired and super frustrated. But while I’m exhausted physically, I have been a bit wired mentally. So at least in my current bout of insomnia I’m getting stuff done. Sleeping 5 hours over two days gives you a lot of time to take of things. In addition to the blog goodness I mentioned earlier, I have set up a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone system and redid my stereo.

 

The phone thing has been a long time coming. Like a lot of people, I only have a cell phone. That’s mostly OK but there are some downsides to it. Unless the phone is on you, it is easy to miss calls. It’s like being back in the 70’s when we only had one phone! The bigger issue is that I have zero signal in the basement which is where I spend most of my time. Rick has a land line but it’s his number. Plus, there has been a lot of robo callers accumulated over the years on that line. 

For a long time I thought I’d get a femtocell network booster. Those are essentially a mini cell tower in your house that uses your broadband connection to hook you to their system. By all accounts they work well but I thought they were expensive. Plus, it still doesn’t solve the problem of having the phone nearby. Alex Lindsey (of Pixel Corp fame) mentioned the Obie VOIP bridges on a podcast I watch. That got me thinking about the possibilities. I got one for a little less than $40 and a free Google Voice account. Hooked the Obie100 to the internet and tied the Google Voice number to it and Viola! I now have a land line with no monthly charges!

All I needed was a phone. I hadn’t looked at cordless phones in a decade or more. Turns out there have been some really cool improvements over the years. Bought a set of Panasonic Bluetooth cordless phones off of Amazon around 5:45 AM (insomnia, remember?) and had them delivered around 3PM later that day. I love living in the future… Hooked the main base station to the Obie and put the other handsets downstairs. Pow! I now have a fully functional phone system. Here’s where it gets good… I paired my iPhone to the base station. Now when I get a call on my iPhone, all of these phones will ring! That means I can leave the iPhone upstairs where there is a decent signal and I can still receive my calls downstairs! The cordless phones also imported my contacts from my iPhone. We’ll see how easy it is to actually use that contact list. My call quality has gone up, I can talk downstairs, and I didn’t add any new monthly charges. I call that winning…

I made sure that the handsets I got had the ability to use a headset. I had assumed that by headset they meant headphones because that is what is used in the mobile phone world. Well, no, they don’t mean headphones at all. They have their own, slightly smaller connection for headsets. Grrr. Still they aren’t very expensive. If I wanted to get really fancy I could try using a bluetooth headset pair to the base station. Need to look into that…

My stepsister is in town with her little ones right now. The obvious place for the base station is within easy reach of the littlest one. So I’l have to wait until they go back home before I can really take advantage of the cell phone thing but at least I can make calls from downstairs. Next post is another gear head one I’m afraid. Going to regale you about my stereo…

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