Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. That means for the next 30 days I have to fast from sun-up till sun-down (islamic fast means I don’t drink or eat plus a few other things during that period) so for half the day I don’t eat and the other half I’m fine.
The thing about Ramadan though is that it brings the family together… Most families get together to break their fast. The other thing is that its a month of intense worship for Muslims. After the Night prayers (the last prayers of the day) you will find most of the mosque filled to the brim with worshipers wanting to perform extra prayers… not just the ones that are compulsory (there are 5 daily compulsory prayers anything beyond those is kind of like extra credit).
If you see a Muslim… greet him with Ramadan Mubarak… or Ramadaan kareem.
Now onto other things.
More Talk of Goodies
So a while back I told you guys that I ordered a few things online and was waiting for them to arrive.
What I do is I usually wait to see if one of my friends is going abroad and then I buy stuff and forward it to their address for them to bring with them. Usually its microphones or computer parts or clothes.
So yesterday I got my last batch of stuff … and it included one of the items I was looking forward to laying my hands on.
One of the issues I have with having an online business is that its kind of hard to communicate with some of the agents only through email. Long distance calls cost a considerable penny here in Cairo especially since you have a limited number of carriers. There are no competitive long distance rates in Egypt.
So as you might know by now I’m one of those people that likes to experiment. I found some ads about a product called the MagicJack… Figured I can dish out $40 usd for one and get myself US number.
This is what the product looks like… It’s basically a USB dongle that fits in your usb port. you hook up a regular telephone set to it and your ready. If you purchase the gizmo through their website you get the first year subscription to their service for free.
So what does it do?
Well quite simply it gives you the ability to call any number in North America (including Canada … so my Canadian peeps might be hearing from me soon) for free… No long distance rates. No bills… no hassle. All you need is Cable or DSL connection and a computer with the gizmo hooked up to it… and a regular old telephone.
The system allows you to purchase vanity numbers even get a canadian number for $10 extra per year. That didn’t really matter to me since if I call someone I wont be paying but if they called me they would … so I figured I’d get a number in Washington State…. Seatle.
Because its next to Vancouver … so consider it an homage to my wife who grew up there. Also I liked sleepless in seatle.
I thought of getting a New York Number… but I dunno… that seemed a little cliche… I also considered a Georgia number since my dad went to school there. But my wife won out.
Anyway… so I get to call my friends, clients and do call backs for 20$ a year in north america… Sweet right?
Plug it in… and wait for the autorun to kick in. The software then downloads itself to the device and then asks you to register so you can get a number.
Its very gimicky… there is allot of trying to sell you extra license time and vanity numbers and insurance for the device… all that within the registration walkthrough.
So are there any benefits for me? Yes… reduced skype time… no need for a headset… and you can take your MagicJack wherever you go and it’ll work fine as long as you have dsl access.
For you guys… it’s a complete telephone carrier replacement. You don’t have to pay 30 or 40 bucks a month.. you pay 20$ a year and you can call anywhere in north america and canada and puerto rico… etc etc.
So to my the friends I’ve made over the time I’ve been blogging… you never know… I might just give you a call to say hi.
or prank call you… it’s up in the air right now
That is so very cool, Taji. It kind of sounds like the ability to buy a Skype number, actually… They have little units like the one you’ve just purchased. But as you use it, let me know how you find it. Any problem with the quality of the line at all? Do calls ever drop?
The amount of money I’m paying for telephone lines here makes me want to seriously consider this alternative. :-/
Oh – and Ramadaan kareem! All the best, — Jodi
It was nice talking to you on the phone yesterday. Sorry if I freaked you out a bit.
But as you heard the quality wasnt half bad and you can call anywhere in canada and the usa for $20 a year… $10 extra for a canadian phone number.
No worries, Taji. It was great to talk with you! And you didn’t freak me out, honest! I actually had someone on the other line that I’d put on hold when you called… though I didn’t know if it was a salesperson or not and thought she could wait, considering where you were calling me from. 😉 Thanks for doing that! This is definitely something I’ll consider.
All the best, — Jodi
I’m glad the MagicJack technology works where you live. I was an ‘early adopter’ of the device. Almost sent it back because it interfered with my regular sound card. Once I got the information about how to fix than, it has worked quite well.
It serves as a ‘spare’ phone line at home. Since my MJ number has not been widely circulated, I seldom get a call on it. Still it’s handy for when I want to make a call on our regular phone and another family member is already using it.
I haven’t tried using it with a laptop going out of town, so I can’t comment on how well it works that way. I’m assuming it does or there would be complaints.
As more people abandon ‘dial-up’ internet access and sign up for broadband, the more who are likely to own a MagicJack. I suspect the guy who invented it is rich already.
I’ve been on either Cable (in canada) or DSL (in egypt) for the past 10 years now… We might only use the 56K phone modems whenever there is an outage… but thankfully those arent regular.
If you don’t mind dan… send me your MJ phone number.. I’d like to test how an MJ to MJ number sounds (Jammon… sorry Michael Jackson Reference).
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