VOIP: A Basic, Basic Intro

Written by Bear Cahill

Continued from page 1

There are some other cool features available for extra $ likerepparttar softphone which lets you use your computer as a phone w/orepparttar 133379 modem - this means you can take your laptop w/ you wherever and you have your phone w/repparttar 133380 same phone number everywhere too (you can do this w/orepparttar 133381 softphone, but you have to take your VOIP modem around w/ you - not bad if you're going somewhere for a longer trip).

Another really cool thing isrepparttar 133382 virtual phone numbers. You can get extra numbers that ringrepparttar 133383 same phone, but they are local numbers to any area code you want. So if I live in Dallas and have family in New York, I can get a local phone number here and there. That way my family in New York can call a local number (free) and talk to me! Vonage charges $4.99/month for that. I'm not sure aboutrepparttar 133384 others.

Andrepparttar 133385 biggest benefit - IT'S CHEAP! I pay $14.99 plus some tax and such, but notrepparttar 133386 ump-teen taxes, charges, fees, etc. likerepparttar 133387 phone company charges.

Also, if you do a little research/reading, you can set it up to where every phone jack in your house is wired for VOIP. It's little more than pluggingrepparttar 133388 output of your VOIP modem intorepparttar 133389 wall jack you already have. Very little more.

Bottom Line

You get lots of good, free features and options for doing/managing a lot more including a lot overrepparttar 133390 web and it's SO much cheaper (at least it is for me!). Beingrepparttar 133391 'average guy' I am, I don't really use allrepparttar 133392 features. Fortunately, it's pretty much a 'set it up and forget about it' type thing except that I save $40+/month w/ it!

I use Vonage b/c that's what I was told about first and it was one ofrepparttar 133393 first. There are others and I'm sure they have their strengths, but Vonage hasrepparttar 133394 cheapest base option atrepparttar 133395 time I did my research.

Bear Cahill runs: The Armchair Geek (www.thearmchairgeek.com), Webpage Hosting Info (www.webpagehostinginfo.com), Go To College Online (www.gotocollegeonline.com) and The Video Exchange Community (www.videoexchange.org)

DVD Recorders: Getting Started

Written by Bear Cahill

Continued from page 1

Many recorders and players do both, but cost more. I say save some money, pick one (probably DVD-R) and move on. If you pickrepparttar wrong one, chances are in a couple years you'll be buying a new one anyway. Moreover, you'll probably be able to get a cheap one w/ a built in converter or two trays to duplicate one torepparttar 133378 other.

DVD-RAM and DVD-RW arerepparttar 133379 rewritable types. They're more expensive and for my purposes aren't worth worrying about.

My Recommendation

I gotrepparttar 133380 Panasonic DMR-E55K:

It records to DVD-R like a VCR. I don't use it to record live TV so I don't use VCR+, but it has it. Also, it has TimeSlip which lets you watch something while it's recording (start recording "24" at 8pm and start watching it fromrepparttar 133381 begining at 8:20 to speed thru commercials like a TiVo). Again, I don't use this, but it has it.

Plain and simple, it records my TiVo, camcorder, digital camera (RCA cable output), VCR, etc. to DVD - that's what I want it to do and that's what it does. It's easy, creates a good menu w/ thumbnails and my chosen titles, it's a name brand w/ good reviews and was fairly cheap (there was a rebate atrepparttar 133382 time).

Also, it plays CDs and mp3 CDs w/ a good interface so not only does it replace a CD player, but since you can put so many songs on one CD, it replaces a CD changer.

An interesting trick: If you have a digital camera w/ RCA cable output, you can hook it directly intorepparttar 133383 dvd recorder and create a quick slide-show dvd. Many cameras even have a slide show function built in! You can userepparttar 133384 sound from a music channel, CD, etc.


If you're going gung-ho into allrepparttar 133385 nitty gritty about DVD recorders, you're either just starting here or haven't bothered to read this far. If you're looking for a good, relatively cheap solution to digitize your tapes, archive TiVo, etc., I recommendrepparttar 133386 Panasonic DMR-E55K.

Bear Cahill runs: The Armchair Geek (www.thearmchairgeek.com), Webpage Hosting Info (www.webpagehostinginfo.com), Go To College Online (www.gotocollegeonline.com) and The Video Exchange Community (www.videoexchange.org)

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