Toast.net vs. Netzero

I live in a rural area, so I’m stuck with dial up. For over 3 years I’ve used Netzero 3G Highspeed. Worked good, but I decided to look into other dial up isp’s to see if I could get a better speed. Toast.net had good reviews, so I gave them a try. I really like them. Their accelerator works much faster than Netzero’s. If I was loading a couple different web pages and one had video or audio, Netzero would sometimes slow down or the accelerator would suddenly become unavailable. It got annoying after a while. Toast.net’s accelerator must work differently because I have no problems loading multiple pages when one has audio or video. For dial up, web pages load very quickly.
With Toast.net, you have to make sure you disconnect from the internet when you’re not using it though. They automatically disconnect you after 4 hours, but if you automatically keep reconnecting for most of the day, they will put your account on hold, so you can’t login anymore until you contact them. That happened to me the other day. I like to leave my internet connected all the time. My account was flagged for excessive usage & I couldn’t log in. I called them & they reactivated it as long as I disconnect when not in use. I don’t like it, but I was thinking, maybe that is why their connection is so fast. They keep an eye on people’s usage & make you disconnect when you’re not using it, but that does free things up. I guess I can live with disconnecting in exchange for the faster speed.
BTW, I tried cancelling my Netzero service and they gave me 3 free months. After that, monthly payments are $6.95. Pretty good deal, so I’m keeping it as my backup ISP.
Toast.net is $9.95 a month. If you pay annually it is $7.95 a month. Toast.net does have a dedicated plan where you get disconnected after 8 hours, but it is $39.95. A bit steep for dial up.
If you need to call Toast.net for support, it is free. Netzero charges $1.95 per minute. That’s a little ridiculous.

Can only get dial up and want to go wireless? Then check out the Wiflyer!

Amazon Kindle – A portable reading device

I just discovered something really cool. The Amazon Kindle. It is a little portable reading device which lets you download and read newspapers, books, blogs and magazines wirelessly. There is no monthly fee. Amazon pays for the Kindle’s wireless connectivity. You only pay for the device which sells for $399.00 and includes free two day shipping. The Amazon Kindle uses Amazon’s optimized technology plus Sprint’s national high-speed (EVDO) data network to enable you to wirelessly search, discover, download, and read content on the go, so you can use it anywhere. It’s not WiFi, so you don’t have to be near a hotspot which makes it nice for areas where wifi is not available.
The Kindle is light and thin, weighing only 10.3 ounces. Very portable.
Downloads are made right from the Kindle and prices are reasonable.
The Kindle has a QWERTY keyboard for doing searches etc.
You can add bookmarks and annotations just like with a real book.
There is a built in dictionary and you can wirelessly access Wikipedia from the Kindle.
Text size is adjustable.
The Kindle also has a long battery life. If left on, the battery will need to be recharged about every other day. Battery life does vary based on usage and coverage strength. Full recharging takes about two hours.
If you have a long commute or spend lots of time reading on the go, the Amazon Kindle sounds perfect. No bulky magazines or newpapers to drag along. Just a small little device where you can access just about anything you would like to read. Pretty cool.

No more analog television

February 18 2009, television as we know it will end. There will be no more analog television. The FCC is requiring all television stations to air their broadcasts in digital format. What that means for the low-tech, common man is you either have to buy an digital tv or buy a converter box for your current analog tv. Either way, you have to spend money if you still want to receive a television picture.
The cheapest short term option is to buy a converter box. Supposedly they will cost $50 – $70, but wait, the wonderful government is giving away 2 free $40 coupons per household, which expire 90 days after you receive them. Each receiver will then cost $10 – $30. How generous. How about giving the first receiver free to each household and then a $40 coupon. No, that would be too generous. As usual the government is scamming the poor man over something which is completely involuntary. Oh and the coupons are only good towards certain gpovernment dictated converter box models, which are probably cheap and will bust after a year, so then you’ll have to buy another converter box at full price.
If you are interested in applying for the television converter box coupons, you can get them here.
Check out this site for more info on digital television.

More Digital Television

HDTV