Feature Photo: Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey

Trying to get to posting regularly again. I took this picture of my friend Missionary Nick Maulucci in Ephesus, Turkey. The Library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selçuk, Turkey. It was built in honor of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus (completed in 135 AD) by Celsus’ son, Gaius Julius Aquila (consul, 110 AD).

SAM_9473.JPG width=
Click on image to view larger size.

Use VOIP to Save Money on your home phone service (Introduction)

Yesterday I posted an article on how to update the firmware on the Linksys/Cisco PAP2T Phone Adapter. Some might have said, what in the world is he posting that for? How about saving money? Is that a good enough reason? It is for me! 😎 Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of articles on how to save money with your phone service by switching to a VOIP provider.

I stopped using my land line from Verizon long ago. I switched to Vonage (a VOIP provider). Vonage works fine and all but the price keeps going up. My last monthly bill from Vonage was $29.81. Much better then the $45 or so I was paying for my Verizon land line.

The good news is that right now I am testing two different VOIP solutions.

For company one, I am paying $0.99 (yes 99 cents) a month to have a DID (Direct Inward Dialing) phone number. Each incoming call cost only $.0100 (yes 1 cent) per minute – billed in 6 second increments. For outgoing calls the rate is $.0125 for Canada and US 48. There are very inexpensive international rates available. I do pay an additional .08 cents for each Caller ID lookup on incoming calls. So, for this company, if I go on vacation and do not use the phone my monthly bill is $0.99 (99 cents). I do not have e911 on this account. Voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, and numerous other options are included free.

For company two I am paying $1.95 a month for my DID number. I am paying $0.015 per minute for incoming calls and $0.0198 per minute for outgoing calls with caller ID included. I do have e911 active on this account ($1.50 per month). The only other fees for this account is NY State Sales Tax. No other fees! If I went on vacation and did not receive or make any calls the monthly bill would be $3.45. It has all the bells and whistles free as company one. You can receive up to three incoming calls at the same time with company two.

Company two has a very nice and easy to use website. I had everything up and running in minutes. The voice mail system of company two is superior. Company two has an online phone book feature that I really like. Company one has some awesome “power user” settings. I like both companies at this point.

With Vonage you receive a phone adapter for free (this connects the internet to your analog phone) but it is locked to Vonage. The two companies I am testing out have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. You buy ($49.00) the phone adapter (like the Linksys/Cisco PAP2T) and configure it to use their system. The nice thing about this is you can always switch providers easily, if you need to.

In January, here at home, we used 155 minutes incoming and outgoing time total and we paid Vonage $29.81. With company two my bill would have only been $6.52 plus sales tax (8.875%) which is $7.08 total for the month – I like that.

I will report back when I have completed my tests. I will pick a winner and show how to make the switch and save money…

How to update firmware on Linksys/Cisco PAP2 VOIP Phone Adapter

This is an easy way to update to the current firmware of the Linksys/Cisco PAP2T Phone Adapter, using your browser. Using the upgrade url supplied and placing the .bin file in your Dropbox public folder makes it easy.

1. Download the updated firmware file from Cisco/LinkSys (5.1.6 is latest as of today) from here: DOWNLOAD

2. Place the .bin file that is in the .zip file you downloaded into a public Dropbox folder.

3. Go to the Dropbox web interface, find the file select it, and click More Actions –> Copy the public linkWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

4. Open a new browser tab or window and enter the following upgrade URL:

“http://[enter PAP2T-IP here]/admin/upgrade?[enter your Dropbox public link for the .bin file here]”

5. Do not power off the phone adapter. The status light will flash while the firmware is being updated. When the light stops flashing the update is complete.

How to Tie a Taut Line Knot

This knot is very useful for adjusting tie downs quickly and easily. For example, a tarp could be held down by a series of these knots and be made very tight so the wind cannot make it rise, and easily be removed simply by sliding the knots later. A taut line knot is also used to keep large tents from sagging by keeping tension on the lines leading to the stakes.

How to Make a PVC Rocket Cannon

This video demonstrates how to fire a rocket under the power of a flammable aerosol. Hairspray or a flammable spray deodorant are the fuels of choice. The total cost of this project assuming the tools needed are already available is about $25. For that price you can make 4 rockets for the launcher, as the foam sleeping pad that they are made of is large enough to make multiples.sinopsis film

Parts & Tools:

  1. 18″ x 3″ Pressure Rated PVC Pipe
  2. 3″ Pressure Rated PVC End Cap
  3. Piezoelectric BBQ Igniter or Flint & Steel Lantern Striker (Available at hardware or sporting goods stores)
  4. 2 Self Tapping Screws if using a BBQ Ignitor
  5. Foam Sleeping Pad
  6. 2 Liter Soda Bottle
  7. Duct or Packaging Tape
  8. Hot Glue
  9. Drill & Bits
  10. PVC Primer & Cement