Mar 9, 2009

Feb - 23 2009 | By

Paul is in Costa Rica and called in using Magic Jack. It's a device that plugs into a computer and allows one to use a standard phone over a broadband connection. For this call Paul's computer is connected via ISDN (the high-speed connection which preceded DSL) which runs a 128 kilobits/sec.

Glenn was exploring how to get to Europe inexpensively. Sometimes it's cheaper to take a more circuitous route than a direct flight.
Paul uses Orbitz & Expedia but check the airline's site for flights that may not be on the travel sites.

Paul is blogging about his trip at tropicaltributes.blogspot.com. Gmail users don't need to create a new account for blogspot.com. It's owned by Google, so use your current login.

Magic Jack is easy to hook up, no drivers to install; works well in foreign countries. Paul did a writeup here.

A caller recommends TV Fool (mentioned in the notes for the last show) for information about TV reception in your particular location.
Also check out:
antennaweb.org
antennaweb.org/aw/Stations.aspx

Paul talked to a guy at Radio Shack and was told that about half of the people in the <Nevada> county will succeed in receiving a digital signal if they get a yagi array antenna and raise it to a higher level.

A caller recommends kayak.com, a travel site aggregator, so you can get travel info from various sites in one place.
EDITORS NOTE: I just read about a simillar site called Tripadvisor.

A caller wants to know if wi-fi or Ethernet is faster for uploading files.
– It shouldn't matter. The bottleneck is the provider.
– Check your end-to-end speed with speedtest.net.

3g cellular is becoming available locally, in the county. It's close to DSL speed.
3gstore.com
But there's a monthly capacity limit (2 or 3 gig).

A caller mentions that Southwest Airlines is not on the travel sites
– Southwest doesn't contract with the travel sites to provide flight info (and maybe not Jetblue either).

The same caller, wants to know if there's a free virtual machine to run Windows NT.
VMware may have a free version.
– google "free microsoft virtual machine"

The same caller, thinks HD TV requires only the small, UHF antenna not the long yagi, mentioned above.
– HD TV and digital TV are not the same. HD comes in digital but so does regular definition.
– Yagi just refers to the arrangement of the antenna elements and it works for various frequencies. To get a weaker signal you may need an antenna with more elements, in effect, making the antenna longer.

The KVIE audio channel at 87.8 FM will go off the air when we go all digital. Radios that pick up the audio from TV channels will suffer the same fate. (also mentioned in the previous show's notes)

A caller is getting a marginal signal for his iPhone thru the EDGE network and wants to know if it's a good idea to use repeater with an antenna or wait for 3G.
– Paul thinks a repeater might be expensive and the improvement only slight
– Check with Banner Communications, a company local to Nevada City.

A caller using a Mac & the program Fetch for FTP and wants something that does the same on the PC?
– Use the FireFTP addon with Firefox.
EDITORS NOTE: A command line version of FTP comes with XP and has come with many versions of Windows. In XP it's located in C:\WINDOWS\system32:

Jeffrey Hein called to add that there are many FTP clients, including filezilla.
There's also WINSCP for secure file transfer.
JP Hein Consulting helps people integrate technology with their business.
Jeffrey says there's a free version of VMware. Also Virtual Box is free.

A caller is trying to use the Gmail POP service with Outlook Express but keeps receiving old mail.
– Switch to Thunderbird.
– Set Thunderbird to use IMAP. Under settings in Gmail there are instuctions to set up your mail program.
– There's a check box in Gmail settings to "enable this for only mail that arrives from now on".

Paul Patterson (KVMR station engineer) also thinks that the TV audio on FM will go away at the digital transition.

A caller has trouble receiving KVMR in Sacramento and wants to know if putting an antenna in her crawl space will help.
– Use the internet to listen to KVMR.
– Reception in a car is usually better.
– There are FM antennas you can use.
EDITORS NOTE; TV UHF antennas have long been recommended for FM signals.
– The digital radio KVMR signal is not much better than the analog.

A caller asks about a local store to buy a laptop.
– There's no local store but there may be a one in Marysville.
– Try Ebay or Craigslist.