Gigiddy gigiddy! We are in the process of a home technology extreme makeover. This is thanks in large part to various technology tips passed along by friends.
Several weeks ago Percussivity told me about a sweet tech called Playon that will pump internet video from a computer to a Wii. After getting that put in place we signed up for Netflix and have been using their 'instant watch' feature quite a bit, although we really don't even watch much TV. We have decided that this is sufficient to replace our use of cable TV since the price for basic has steadily gone up.
A coworker told me about another product called Google Voice. This is an amazing new Google product that allows you to centralize all your phone numbers under one number. You have to request access from Google, which took about eight weeks to come through. Once in place, I could call my new Google phone number and my cell, home and Skype numbers all rang. It has tons more functionality as well, which gives you a lot of control.
We've also been using Skype and have just purchased a permanent Skype number plus a service that allows you unlimited calls to and from regular phones. My friend Guy has been doing this for a while now. My wife found a USB device that works with Skype on your computer and allows your regular phones to act as 'Skype phones'. So we'll soon be dropping our home phone service as well as TV. The only drawback to this arrangement is that we can't user our Google # as our Skype caller ID #, so people we call might get confused. I think at some point Google and Skype will probably work this out.
The sweet mulah we'll be saving on our reduced Time Warner bill is being shifted over to pay for a data service plan on a freakin' awesome T-Mobile MyTouch. Unfortunately this product is pimped by Whoopi Goldberg: but it's still a sweet product. My wife has been toting around a Dell Axim for about the last seven years and it's been telling us the system battery is shot for the last three years. Now it can be retired, along with her crappy Nokia. To my wife I say: Merry Christmas, happy birthday and happy anniversary! :-P Just kiddin'. With all the stuff she has to keep up with, this will be a great help to her. Now I can email her about dinner and expect an immediate response no matter where she's at.
One final note, if the unabashed short attention span reader is still reading this, mucho propso to you for fixing the lights on my trailer! You are one dude I will loan any of my stuff to, any time.