Retro phonetastic

I’ve always wanted one of these ever since a mate of mine bought one. They sell on eBay for about £40, all refurbished and modified for use on modern networks (BT’s network at least still understands pulse dialling). Firebox also sell them, for £60, but it’s not clear whether they are new or refurbished. I frankly can’t see how they could be new, I find it hard to believe that someone’s actually started manufacturing them again.

Anyway, I bought a black one for the spare room, and it looks fantastic in there. It’ll never, ever get used, of course, the landline at home is only there for the broadband and rarely do we make or receive a call on it, but the phone does work! When it rings it breaks windows in Salford!

I love the description of it on the Firebox page, it’s hilarious. Especially:

Lovingly refurbished internally and ready for use in the modern world, this endearingly clumpy phone is guaranteed to bring the memories flooding back the second you poke your finger in the dial and hear that familiar ugh-ugh. You might even be tempted to start answering it by reciting your number in your finest nasally operator voice.

My Dad still does that! I think he still only announces the last 5 digits too.

Absolutely no modern features whatsoever!

Absolutely no modern features whatsoever!


Powerline ethernet

It’s not amazingly new technology, but the price of Powerline networking equipment has recently come down and so the other week I bought three adaptors for use on our home network to replace a couple of creaky wireless connections which were really starting to annoy me. The trouble is that in my apartment building we are surrounded by 40 odd wireless networks, and even with careful channel selection the local wireless spectrum can get very congested very easily, which leads to problems, particularly when streaming music to the AirTunes in the bedroom.

The powerline adaptors really are plug and play – not a single bit of setting up is required. You just plug them in and they work, very impressive. So now I’ve got the MacMini and the bedroom AirTunes on what is effectively wired ethernet and they both perform very reliably. The speed’s nothing amazing, but I’m not fussed about that, as long as the devices remain available and have reasonable speed then that’s all I’m worried about. The technology boasts up to 85Mb/s, but I don’t know how close to that I’m getting. It’ll work with 4 gangs but apparently the speed is reduced if you try to use it with surge protectors.

I detest wireless more and more these days, it really isn’t the convenience utopia that everyone makes it out to be. I hate setting it up, I hate troubleshooting it and I hate it when it craps out on you when it’s lease convenient, so the ability to eliminate wireless connections without having to take a chisel to the wall is very welcome! Very highly recommended if your wireless is up and down more often than Tower Bridge.