I’m a fan of Truphone

truphone.jpegI have been a user of Truphone for what seems like over a year now, originlly on my Nokia E61 and now on my E61i. It really shines in so many ways. I call myself a VOIP advocate because I promote Truphone so much. It has really worked well for me in multiple situations. I usually use it in my office and also take advantage of the free international phone calls seeing as a good portion of my calls these days are overseas. I have also used it a good deal while I was traveling recently to the other side of the pond. I was able to make phone calls to the US as if I was stateside. I was also able to give out a US number for friends and family to contact me. Best of all Truphone has made some changes upon my request to make it inter operable with GrandCentral. This made it possible for clients to contact me via GrandCentral (my work number) while I was overseas because I forwarded the Truphone # to GrandCentral.

Basically this is a fanboy piece because Truphone has saved me a few times. So thanks to them and all the folks that work for Truphone.

Avis cars go WiFi

This is exciting for me and many other Avis renters. I exclusively rent with Avis for many reasons but read my post below and you will see one of the many reasons. I can’t wait to rent my next Avis car and I will be sure to include WiFi on it. This is great for long drives like from LA to San Francisco which I am considering to make in a few weeks. I like to be connected and this would be one more way to have that. Maybe my wife can whip out my Mac and watch her TV shows she has missed while I drive. I am already connected to the net on my Nokia E61i but this would take it to a whole new level.

Here is what

So this isn’t new, but I find it interesting nonetheless as entertainment options proliferate online. Avis rental cars offer Avis Connect, WiFi for your car. Their service is about $11 per day, available in major US market airports. The technology is to connect to either an EV-DO or HSDPA network (not sure which). There is an executive coach service from Boston to New York that also uses this technology.

So what does it mean? I think it’s a great idea for those dreaded road-trip family vacations. Remember the classic family trip – being trapped in a car with only as much entertainment as you can bring along, reach behind the seat, read without getting nausea, or invent in your own head. Now imagine you had the internet at your fingertips! Online gaming, streaming music, email, chat, endless entertainment. Would a parent be willing to spend $11 a day to keep their kids quiet, er happy, in the car on the way to Mt. Rushmore? I suspect they would if they are honest with themselves.

This doesn’t even consider the functional benefits for the road trip. Pass an ad for a historic sight, go online to see if its worth stopping. Get news in the town you’ll be staying to avoid any surprises. Find maps and phone numbers of the hotel reservation you forget to print out before you left home. No worries about staying in a hotel that doesn’t have wifi. In the end, this is a great idea that will revolutionize the family roadtrip. Unless, of course you take the family so far afield that you don’t have a wireless signal…

Avis Customer Service is top notch

avis.jpegDuring my latest travels overseas I rented as always an Avis vehicle. It was a Hyundai van that had what I needed, seats to fit my family. We took an overnight trip to Northern Israel and the Kinneret. It was a great trip, except on the way home we hit a snag. Traveling with 2 babies we made many a stop for a crying baby or a diaper change. At the end of one of these many stops we changed diapers, purchased lots of snacks and coffee. As I went to turn on the van I found the battery dead. Now this could have ruined the end of a nice trip except for some very nice Israelis. I walked up to 2 gentelman chatting in the parking lot and asked for a jump. After that we were on our way. Thank you to those men.

The following morning my brother-in-law Dovid was supposed to return the van but low and behold, the battery on the clicker was dead. In Israel on many cars you have to input a numerical code to release the ignition so it can be turned on. In this case the keypad was on the clicker on the keychain. So Avis was called and came out to solve the problem. After a few hours the van was returned and that was the end of the rental.

I have a long history with Avis and I have had some lemon cars from them. So I called Avis and after telling my story to the customer service representative she offered to refund half of my rental fee. Now this is what I call customer service. Thanks Avis.

I’m fringing loving fring!

I got to sit in on an interview in Tel Aviv with Boaz Zilberman (Chief Architect), Neal Fullman (PR Director), and another very nice gentleman. I feel bad, I can’t remember his name, but he was also in PR for fring. I was very impressed with what they were telling us and with how they said fring works. So me being the huge fan of IM and VOIP decided to download the program as soon as I got out of the meeting. That being said I got back to my brother-in-laws house and downloaded fring to my Nokia E61i. I have been hooked ever since. Ewan MacLeod of SMS Text News (who was nice enough to bring me along to the interview prior to Unlimited Drinks) is also now hooked on fring.

I keep using it and keep liking it even more. Today I made a few calls over Skype and lots of instant messaging. fring rocks.

Keep up the good work fring Team and thanks for a great service!

Update: Full review to come.

Nokia always makes me happy!

nokia-e61i.jpegI updated my software on my Nokia E61i a few days ago and the darn thing was running slow and doing funny things. So I decided to do a hard reset. With that done I had to input all the settings again and one of the first things I always do is go to the Nokia website and send the internet settings to my phone via sms. Well it wasn’t working so I thought I should just phone up AT&T and they would send them to me. Think again. They were very nice but told me they couldn’t help. My next thought was to call Nokia. I’m glad I did. The very nice women I got on the phone (I will with hold her name) wasn’t able to get the settings emailed to me so she just sent them to her personal phone. Wow someone took a vested interest in ME (this is one of the many reasons I’m loyal to Nokia). After she got the settings on her E70 she went in and walked me thorough inputting those mMode settings for AT&T into my phone. Walla! This woman is a genius. She got it right the first time.

I thought to myself, what if this happens again or when I get a new phone, I will need these settings and the Nokia woman said that the newer phones come with a wizard that is supposed to set it all up, but it won’t for AT&T. So what do I do, I ask her to email me the settings. She said she wasn’t able to for one reason or another but was nice enough to take her time and read them to me so I could type them and email them to myself to keep on file.

Thank you Nokia Customer Care!

Here is their number if anybody in the US needs help 888-665-4228

WiFi in Israels Ben Gurion Airport, thumbs up!

I’m back from Israel and the first Unlimited Drinks in Israel. It was a great trip and I had a wonderful visit with all my family. On my way home I had a short time to sit down in Ben Gurion Airport and relax. Of course I whipped out my MacBook and logged onto the free wifi in the airport. There is a central area where the fountain and many many stores including duty free and this is where the wifi is located. I didn’t get a chance to check the speed but I was able to make a VOIP call via Truphone on my Nokia mobile phone, besides just checking my email.

I was very happy with the results and would be happy to do some work next time I am in Ben Gurion Airport.

Well I’m taking off tomorrow on vacation for nearly a month.  I haven’t been on a vacation for this length of time in years.  I’m really looking forward to decompressing.  But in true form, it will be a working vacation.  I’m hoping to have an Unlimited Drinks event in Tel Aviv.  Anyways, I must pack seeing as that I leave the house in less then 12 hours.