Monday, March 16, 2009

Remotely located iPod dock

Using the Belkin F5L009 Network USB Hub I have my iPod Nano setup to auto connect/disconnect from the Mac when placed in the JBL Soundstage Dock.

Doesn't sound too complicated really does it? I have the JBL in the kitchen, and there is no room for a computer to hangout in there. I also have not had any time to run ethernet ports to the kitchen. So I have a pair of WAP11 AP setup for point-to-point to go from the main router closet, and connect in the kitchen. The main wireless routers can be setup to have the open network infront of the private, to limit exposure to my data.

So the Belkin software is setup to connect to the Nano automatically upon recognizing it has been connected to the dock, as well as load iTunes. Having Belkin load iTunes is a failsafe setting, to ensure that iTunes will sync. When iTunes is closed, the Nano is disconnected, again this is a failsafe, as iTunes and the Mac appear to do this if directly connected.

The setup in the kitchen needs a little cleaning up (wires are a little wild, not too bad). The biggest bonus of this setup is that many of the items are actually ontop of the cabinets. The wife can get her Nike+ data online with minimal interference from me, as long as the Mac stays running. (7 year old, never formatted, laptop with recently dead battery).

The Belkin also allows for connection of a total of 5 items, and I regularly have my X10CM11, iPod Shuffle, and Kodak DC connected.

GrandCentral --> GoogleVoice

Are you using the Grand Central service at all? I don't really use it much, and get a lot of wrong numbers.

We try not to not give out our house number. And to 'new' people we only give out GrandCentral (soon to be GoogleVoice). For any of those odd numbers, I just label them wrong number and/or block them. Wife no longer gets calls on her cell directly. She did get lots of credit collectors (looking for other people), we just blocked them, and they have not gotten through since. Everybody pretty much calls the GC# though her dad does not apparently trust it for some reason (falls under the category of Jody-rig'd). Some people also think that calling the GC# is different than calling the cell or house number, and will call both or all three.

I love it though. I was on the phone the other day, and my cell battery was dying, and I ran to my office, pressed *, and the call transferred to my office, without the person knowing. I do that also when I answer my wife's calls at the house, and I think she will answer her cell, like her mom calls, I talk with her for a bit, and then I press * and my wife's cell phone rings, and we can all three talk, and then I hangup, and they continue to talk.

With GoogleVoice you can do SMS through your GC(to be GV) number. And you can connect an incoming call to an existing conversation with pressing 5. When we moved here, we just gave out the GC number instead of the house number AND missouri cell. This worked well on our side, because it turned out our number was published as a fax machine for a new nearby golf course, very annoying with autodialers calling every 30 minutes at 3AM on the weekend.

I also have it hooked up to gizmo, so if I every travel out of the country, and I can get computer access, I can 'skype', but with my own phone number, and for free, setting up the GC interface to call Gizmo.

If I had a data plan on my cell phone it would be even more useful, but I can't afford that, with 2 cellphones, an aircard, and a landline, communications is ~$200/mth. Due to that load I cant even start to consider things like TIVO, cable, SatTV, SatXM, Netflix, or RIM.

Google purchased Grandcentral 21 months back, and they now are re-releasing it as GoogleVoice. I dont have it yet, but am excited that some new options will be coming on line.

I recommend if you are going to be getting a new number, get a GoogleVoice number, and set it up with your home/cell/work phones. You will no longer have to worry about keeping your cell phone number when changing carriers, you currently can have free in/outbound VOIP based calls, you can peer it with the GIZMO project, and there are so many cool feature of the system that only VOIP can provide, like the call transfer feature.


*Jody-rIg'n' a term made sometime in the late 20th century to denote the fact that I can make something work, but it might not work if I leave, it may look ugly, or you may have to have the ability to rub your belly and pat your head at the same time to get it to work. Mostly concerning electronics, but could be electrica, plumbing, landscaping, etc. Credit is given to either Gray or Justin for the creation of this term, though it may of originated from other parties unknown to me at this time.