VOIP: A Basic, Basic Intro

Written by Bear Cahill

What is it?

Most people are familiar w/ NetMeeting and other software that let you talk to others overrepparttar internet. VOIP is similar. However, it also uses your phone -repparttar 133379 interface we're all familiar with.

Instead of connecting your phone torepparttar 133380 wall, you connect it to a box eitherrepparttar 133381 VOIP company provides or you buy on your own. This isrepparttar 133382 modem. You need highspeed/broadband internet for this. Your modem plugs into your cable/dsl modem and now it can 'talk' btwn your phone andrepparttar 133383 internet.

Your phone lines already do pretty much what VOIP does, just w/ different/older technology (well, some of it's new w/ optics and such, but...).

How hard is it to setup?

It's actually very easy. Assuming you haverepparttar 133384 company send you a modem or you buy a kit atrepparttar 133385 store, you simply plugrepparttar 133386 modem btwn your current cable/dsl modem and your computer (e.g.,repparttar 133387 out from your cable modem now goes torepparttar 133388 new box andrepparttar 133389 out from that to your computer). It also has a phone jack for your regular phone.

Once it is on, it will boot up and configure itself.

What arerepparttar 133390 benefits?

There are many benefits depending onrepparttar 133391 company you go w/, but here are a few I have (all of these are free w/repparttar 133392 monthly fee- $14.99 for my setup):

1. Features like caller id, call waiting, call waiting caller id, call forwarding, etc.

2. Voicemail

3. Email alerts for new voicemail.

4. Web access to voicemail - you can play your messages on your computer.

5. Auto-forward - ifrepparttar 133393 phone is ever down or isn't answered, it's auto-routed to another number

6. Online management of all features, settings, account, etc.

7. Computer dialing - highlight any number on your computer, hit F6 and it sets uprepparttar 133394 call from your phone to theirs - very convinient!

8. Keep your regular phone (you don't need a voip phone)

DVD Recorders: Getting Started

Written by Bear Cahill

IMO, these sd work 'like a VCR' as far as recording and playback. There are models w/ harddrives, VHS players, etc. built in, but to me that's overboard.

Bells and Whistles

The VHS option is not bad, but you most likely already have one you can plug intorepparttar inputs ofrepparttar 133378 DVD recorder.

I have a DVD recorder for archiving TiVo shows as opposed to accessing my TiVo from my PC. This is nice because it means I can also archive VHS tapes, camcorder tapes, etc. w/no extra work.

I do have a TV card in my PC so I can do this, but usingrepparttar 133379 DVD recorder is easier.

My motto is: buy what you WILL use and not what you CAN use.

I've bought lots of things that CAN do a lot, but in reality I don't use allrepparttar 133380 extra features. Not in all cases, but in this case, I say pass onrepparttar 133381 bells and whistles.

Again, there are models w/ all types of features, but if you buy one that is a DVR, DVD recorder, VCR, TV tuner all in one and one part breaks, it's all broke.

Realize Something About Technology

Remember - this is new technology and will only get better and cheaper. If you buyrepparttar 133382 top ofrepparttar 133383 line today, it's going to be out of date and/or cheap tomorrow. Testrepparttar 133384 waters w/ a 'good' model and upgrade whenrepparttar 133385 time is right.

Editing Your Recordings

Chances are - you won't. It's a pain forrepparttar 133386 most part and usually requires DVD-RAM or DVD-RW discs to do it and they're more expensive. If you have a lot of free time for this, you're a rare person.

I was looking for this type of solution in getting ready for having a baby and I knew I wasn't going to be sifting through and editing hours of video.

If you're really interested in editing, look in to PC options. Pinnacle, ArcSoft, Adobe, etc. - they have good solutions for that.


DVD+R and DVD-R are like VHS and Beta: they're both ok right now, but eventually we'll probably land on one orrepparttar 133387 other. It seems to be leaning towards DVD-R which tend to be less expensive also.

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