A techie’s gadgets

Lately I’ve been living up to my techie self. I’ve been exposed to some tools that for some aren’t new, but for most are top of the line, new tech tools.

1. Skype — since we had Globe Broadband installed at home, we thought of trying out Skype. I have long been aware that Skype’s a real cool, encrypted (define:secured) and clear (because of their p2p technology) Voice Over IP (VoIP) software. But I haven’t really tried it out myself for the main reason that I don’t need it. My clients chat with me over Yahoo IM and voice chat seems too taxing for a day to day use. My relatives mostly live in Vienna, Austria. That means, I can’t really make use of Skype’s cheap rates (as compared to a call to the US).

This time, I had to try it out with Joy’s pleading. Her sister is California-based. She said, she needs “company”. (Come on. :-) ) I initially ordered a $10 dollar worth of “load”, tested Skype to call her sister’s home number and whoa!, clear as a PLDT phone calling another PLDT phone! — oh well, I’m exaggerating, there are some delays once in a while. But hey, a dollar an hour is not bad at all. That made my wife do a 1-hour telebabad a day to her sister for ten days. After the load has been used up, I had to order a CA based number (thru SkypeIN) for $38 a year. That gave us a US number, which her sister can call up, then the call will be routed to us via Skype on a broadband internet. My US based clients can call me up too using that California number!. Cool, eh!

2. Smart 3g over Nokia 6680. 3G is a relatively new technology here in the Philippines (as opposed to South Korea. They have been a 3G country for years!) 3G basically means 3rd Generation. It’s high speed internet on your mobile phone. With high speed internet, you can do a lot. With a mobile phone, the obvious application is a video call. I’m not so much interested with it yet, there’s no one to call via video call in the first place. Because of my line of job, high speed internet is what I want. Imagine I can access our servers in the US while having a chat with a client on Starbucks or log in to our portal and reset the servers when my buddy Je calls for help while I’m in a middle of a bible study group meeting — all using my new Nokia 6680. (Oh, by the way, I had to trade my old Nokia 7610 just so I can test this new technology).

Smart, my mobile carrier, started rolling out 3G last February. You can see them all over the place promoting it. For a limited time, 3G access is free, too!

Today, I had my first 3G experience. I watched a “The Buzz” clip — and it really works. I tested the internet speed using GlobeQuest’s tool, and I’m amazed, I got a speed of 300+kbps! I’m not sure if that’s accurate though, but at face value, that’s DSL speed. Whew! I’m starting to love being in this industry. ;)