Just another mith ?
I get some of these things in my mailbox from time to time. Use this program to call for free and so on. Almost every time it turns out to be a hoax and you have to pay some fee in order to make a crappy voice over IP phone-call to your parents next door. But I got tapped on the shoulder yesterday by one of my wife's co-workers who sent me this little link : Freecall. A free phone-service that apparently gives you five hours of free calls to landline's all over the globe including the USA (Landlines and mobiles) most countries in europe , australia, brazil and so on. So boot up your PC and here we go.
Download the client, yapp away ?
You can use either their client application (only for windows unfortunately) or make a trail call from their website.
According to my source (who lives in Belgium) his wife had spent the last three hours last night testing it out and calling her family in Russia, absolutely free.
The rates are almost the same as Skype , For a call to an Australian Cellphone using Freephone I will pay 0.13 eurocent, And with skype it will cost me € 0.19 incl. VAT. Rates vary per country but all in all it looks cheaper. Now this little tool is far from the functionality a skype client has but , to call a landline its an ideal little program. So check it out and tell us what you think about this free-call thing. Perhaps it will stick, perhaps it will fade away , but be sure you get your 5 free hours of yapp-time before the thing implodes on itself.
The Knightcast Episode 35 : Remote Domination.
Direct link to the show :
Don't even leave your seat for episode 35 of the Knightcast : Remote domination. We talk about the tools of the trade how to remote control every PC that you own. With tips, howto's and cool programs we turn your computerroom obsolete and let you control everything from your couch. With music from Noplasticinside its another Info- Loaded Knightcast.
Promo : Miketechshow .
Download the Shownotes in PDF.
What is Vacation ?
“Vacation : va·ca·tion : period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation, especially one with pay granted to an employee.” “A fixed period of holidays, especially one during which a school, court, or business suspends activities.”
Yep 🙂 Thats the one and the only explanation why it has been a little quiet here at the Knightwise.com website. I’ve taken a vacation. And when I say Vacation , I do mean : Vacation. For somebody tuned into the net and a tightly warn net of communcational devices this means : Unplug from the big ‘dub dub dub’ (internet), Turning of the ‘IM’ communicational tools, letting the mails que up nicely in my inbox and get my callers and my voicemail re-aquatinted.
Zen Med for Cybergeeks.
In the first week : this was very very true : Trekking out to Wissant France for our honeymoon meant traveling to a beautiful rural area by the coast that unfortunately housed NO FREE WIFI. The entire survival kit that I brought along ( Laptop and gear ) became its own Robinson Crusoe when no internet connectivity was available. Sure , I lugged the laptop around for the 2 first days , looking for an open wifi, but then (understandably) my lovely new wife pointed out the utter uselessness of the act and the fact I was painting a sad picture of the ‘geek in despair’ for the rest of the world. So I took up the challenge and remained disconnected from the internet .. The whole week. And that was pretty cool you know. Working on my laptop in the evenings meant an undisturbed session of writing and being creative. No internet to overflow one with information , no IM’s to disturb you .. Just the ticking of an old coo-coo clock and the wrapping of my fingers on the keyboard. For all cyber-citizens out there , getting your machine off line is like some kind of ZEN meditation exercise. What appears useless at first becomes very relaxing and helps you focus. And besides that : It was my freaking honeymoon ! So I was a little tied up in enjoying the company of my new and lovely bride to be bothered by the fact I was missing out on AMD buying ATI. All the pictures of our holiday are HERE.
The week after that ?
The week after that , when I got home , some 80 emails awaited me ( including some spam) but the wave of ‘This is the information you have missed’ was enormous. Being tied in to the throbbing pulse of the net feeds me more info then I think at first. Just a quick chat with Seb & Dave (the Soul men from the Global Geek podcast) led me to believe I had become an informational Retard in just missing out 7 days of net-related information. I’m still catching up to get back in the saddle. It amazed me to see , just how much information – communication and content creation i process every week. Am I really an information-junkie ?
We will resume our normal programming in 5 4 3 2 1 ….
But to close that all up , let me reassure you in saying that normal programming shall resume starting today and all will be hip and fine and dandy again. So the Knight is back in the informational saddle. But I do wonder if I’m driving the proverbial internet Horse .. or if i’m just a passenger with no control … Who knows ..
Early adopter syndrome.
If there is one thing that can really get under my skin, then its an end-user or cyber – illiterate waltzing up to me and lecturing me about a peace of technology that I have already filed under obsolete months ago. “ Hey dude “ he mumbles “ have you heard about this thing called ‘podcasting’ Its like the next big thing man. When I heard it, I thought of you right away .. You gotta try this out.” I sigh and roll my eyes as he tries to (inaccurately) explain the “new gig” he found out. When he is finally done I gently try do deflate his ego-balloon by pointing out that A : this new technology has been in existence for about five months, and B : I’ve been using it for a prolonged period of time in a more advanced way then his little brain can fathom and C : The next generation of this gadget is already out and i’ve been testing it for 2 weeks.
Whatever the next step is , its all a no-win scenario. Either you brake their little techno-spearheading soul (you can hear its little kernel crash right then and there) OR they insist on clinging to their ignorance and actually stick to their malformed arguments and delusions of knowledge.
Thank you captain obvious.
Its the curse of early adoptor syndrome. First you crawl the night night and day, beta test software untill you see as blue-screen in the face. Next you twist and turn to tune the tech into your way of life. Then, when you finally have it down and its becoming more of yesterdays news then a force of habit… te rest of the world catches up. Sigh… It just makes me want to scream ‘ I KNOW all this already ‘ and biting back “ And my information is a little more correct” .. And finally you have to sit through the weeks that everybody is clumsily adopting this new technology and is so exited about it you think your at the special olympics.
The new cosmopolitan.
For example, today : Skype + cellphone + Skype forwarding + conference call = Telling your girlfriend who is 20 km’s away , that you’ll be a tad later using your Australian friend as a relay. And afterwards , while driving the call calling in to a VOIP phone conference with you (on the cellphone), your girlfriend (behind her pc) and your thunder down under dude (on his pc). If you tell this to a “normal” person , they are about ready to put you in a mental institution. As my aunt thinks i’ve betrayed my roots just for moving 20 km’s away, she must think i’m the Omen for talking about friends in Chicago, Sacremento, Leeds, Australia and so forth like its the most normal think in the world. They always say : The internet is the death to distance, and the then the early adopter has surely become the cosmopolitan. So when the rest of the world finally catches up .. and starts calling us on skype too.. We are soooo gonna have a bad case of “early adopter syndrome”.
There is nothing as annoying as having to wait. Wait for your girlfriend on the first date, wait for Santa Clause to come at night, wait for the person in front of you on the public restroom when you have to make a mega dump. Or .. Wait for the delivery of your Macbook. Yep, I now curse myself for not being an earlier adopter of the mean machine and waiting until last thursday to order it. Delivery would take from three to seven days the apple store said. With previous orders that mostly meant ' Three to seven days, but in two days you'll have your goodies”. Unfortunately THIS time (of all times) Three to seven days does mean .. to seven days. So as I sit behind the front door like some hungry puppy waiting for the doorbell to ring. But no Macbook yett. A lot of it has to do with this freaking bank holiday we are having. Not only does this means I have four days off (which could have been spent in utter bliss with my new macbook) it also means the transportation and courier industry is a little fucked up and .. guess what , delivery's have been delayed.
But with the use of the tracking number at the apple store and some surfing we can see where our macbook is at this very moment. Lets track the shipping shall we ?
So we take the tracking number of the apple store and hop over to the website of the courier company. There we can see a step-by-step history of where it is.
May 18, 2006 om 07:05 PM GMT Order placed.
Yes indeed , After a little doubt and a lot of research I placed the order , exactly one week before that blasted bank holiday. I could have done it about a week earlier but I decided NOT to be an early adopter.
May 22nd 2006 05:22 Suzhou Consignment Received At Transit Point
So at the early eastern dawn my Macbook arrived FROM the factory at my couriers pickup point. A quick Google lets me see where the town of Suzhou actually is , a tad east of Shanghai.
May 23rd 2006 00:41 Suzhou Shipped From Originating Depot
Okay, It took my little Macbook a few hours to grab a cappuccino, some croissants and be on its merry way.
May 26, 2006 15:50 Arnhem Hub Consignment Passed Through Transit Point
Probably by boat or by plane (i guess by plane) it arrived at Arnhem in The Netherlands. Pretty late and with no hope of arriving at its destination here that very same day. As I was on the road myself that day I encountered what traffic must have been like for the couriers : Rainy, overcrowded highways and a lot of people on the road that had a day off. Mixing proffesional travelers with leisure travelers and bad weather = Chaos.
May 27 th 2006 04:49 Brussels Hub Consignment Received At Transit Point.
Ah ! Joy to the world, my little Macbook has jumped across the border and has arrived in our nations capital of Belgium. As it is Saturday morning, the 27th of May, 9 AM : The one million dollar question is : Is TNT running errands today ? If so : My Macbook could only be minutes away, If not … its gonna be freaking MONDAY until it arrives.
I'll hope for the former but fear the latter. No matter no matter …..
The Story is ALL OVER the internet , so we carry our bit .. Just read the little intro below and click play. See how one of the biggest company's in the world (Apple) is represented by .. A random sollicitant coming in for a job at the BBC! (Don't miss the first second of the introduction and check out the face on poor mr Goma). " Guy Goma, a graduate from the Congo, appeared on the news channel in place of an IT expert after a mix-up. But Mr Goma, who was wrongly identified in the press as a taxi driver, was really at the BBC for a job interview … (more) ("
If there is to be a point where I have to officially admit it .. i guess its here and now. Besides from losing my mind ( which happened a long time ago), my ties with something that would have to represent reality ( out the window ) I have now also lost all cultural ties with my own nationality / hometown etc.
The reason you ask ? Well besides from the first two , who where only a matter of time , the loss of cultural integrity is entirely to blame on the internet. And in this case : Skype to be precise. Over the last week while working hard on the new website design and being in the works of providing the whole Knightwise.com idea with some more traction, I have stumbled across two gentlemen who happen to live on other sides of the planet. Dave ( from Roostersrail ) and Sebastian ( From Sebs Random thoughts ) are two very talented writers / podcasters who happen to hang out in cyberspace together a lot. So as little old me stumbled across their mutual Skype conversation .. The hook – line and sinker scenario unfolded .. And farewell Flemish roots.
But i'm getting ahead of myself. The reason for this loss of cultural integrity is not only the fact that I am spending more and more of my time (online) with people from all over the world (Saturday morning was happily squandered away in a conference call between a Sacramento professional body-painter and his wife, an american college student living in Britain and little old me) I also caught myself talking global events with Wallaby-land Australia while doing the dishes. And at that point I'm not even mentioning emailing people around the globe and now having to refer to persons with their nationality or personal website attached to their name , in order to keep them apart.
And its butchering my English accent (which is getting seasick from swinging between American-southern-states-style and British-nine-o'clock-news-style) It now has tendencies to lunge for an Australian-I-just-shot-mysellf-a-crock accent (Thank you Sidney !) But far more worse .. It is absolutely killing my cultural identity. So close to the Eurovision song contest where us Europeans do want to patt ourselves on the chest and shout .. I'm a proud 'Insert-country-here' , I on the other hand feel like a citizen of the world. Knowing somebody personally on every continent and having these people interact with you on a daily bases has done nothing good for the xenophobic backwater-smalltown-mindset that I sprang from.
So there is a wonderful danger on the edge of real and cyberspace. It lurks in every corner and the more people you meet the more dangerous it gets. It takes away these preciously built misconceptions we have. Stereotypes of all kind that help us make sense of the world as we jam everybody we don't even know into preselected cubicles in order to make sense of it all. This danger is called : REALITY .. The reality that dawns upon you when you start realizing that we are ALL just people and that fearing what you don't know is the dumbest thing you can do. And more importantly ..After seeing that people are just people , you have to realize, YOU are just people to .. and the cubical of your own nationality / ethnic group has just faded away around you.
People are just people and its great to get to know them one by one.. I'm not a Belgian, You're not 'black' .. He's not a Muslim .. She's not a Republican ..
WE are all just people.