Life in the clouds …

Back in August 2008 I posted an article about how my family gave the phone and satellite companies the boot. It’s ~16 months later, so I thought I give an update.

Internet Connection
We are still using a broadband cable connection to the Internet, though it has been upped to 10Mb down and 1Mb up. With 5 computers/laptops and a couple iPods/Zunes/smartphones, the increased bandwidth serves us well.

Phone
The big change here is that I am now using a phone solution provided by my cable provider, but this decision was 100% economic. It is cheaper to have my Internet connection with the phone service than without! Crazy, I know. I elected, though, to have only the “local/state-wide” service and still use Skype-Out for ALL my long distance needs. For incoming calls we now depending wholly on Google Voice. I have been using Google Voice since before it was purchased by Google. Love it! Love it!

TV / Movies / Entertainment
The main change here is that we have dropped Blockbuster and switched to Netflix. I have become a Netflix believer! Incoming vectors for entertainment now include: OTA HDTV; Hulu, YouTube and other streaming sites; and Netflix DVDs and streaming. This is STILL TOO MUCH CONTENT!!!

Email / Productivity / Organization
Everyone in the house is still using Gmail (hosted) for email. While we occasionally need to use M$ Word / Excel / PowerPoint, most everything is done with Google Docs. New this year is that my wife is starting to use Google Calendar. Now that we are using Google Voice 100% and now that Google supports Active Sync (for my Touch Pro2 smartphone), I am centralizing my contact management in Google Contacts (bye bye Plaxo).

Costs
The only cost increase seen this year was the price increase to my Internet connection (+30/mn). I am still realizing savings over what I had 2 years ago!

I cannot imagine going back to the way it was 2 years ago. My family and I do not feel we have missed a thing. I am calling this “experiment” a success!!! Or in Google terms, I am removing the BETA tag  🙂

One thought on “Life in the clouds …

  1. Now the only thing left for you to do is to find a good site that streams media for free. There are certain sites that carry out surreptitious activities like data spying and spamming by infecting viewers’ computers with spyware and malware. Do some Google search and take a look at online forums and social networking sites to find out which sites are safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.