Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy 3Com, the Massuchusetts-based network equipment manufacturer. The value of this is equal to almost $8 per share in cash.
Since I had scheduled a haircut at Aveda At The District for this evening to begin my three-day weekend (tomorrow is Nevada Day so don’t have to go to work!), I thought I would ease into the evening by hanging out at the Panera Bread elsewhere in the center.
I had been in a choice physical location (where the picture was taken) but the conversation near me was taking a turn that made me feel really uncomfortable so I moved… After I settled in to another part of the restaurant, I decided to check out the WiFi speed at this Panera Bread location. Results: 1574 kbps download and 1366 kbps upload (quite nice).
After almost eight years, I decided to close my account with j2.com, the web-based faxing service. I always got great service; my problem is that it rarely got used.
As my higher education jobs demanded more attention and fewer out-of-state clients needed the toll-free access (the voicemail feature is/was great until most people had mobile phone services that made long distance calling inexpensive), it was something I hung onto like a tradition: something you’re used to doing, but the real explanation for why you keep doing it is elusive. With the need to still be able to send certain files via fax, such as claim forms for flexible spending accounts, I didn’t want to be away from such a service for long. Monthly fee services were available for less than I was paying monthly and annually for j2.com but they still were more than I needed.
My beloved domain registrar, GoDaddy.com, offers its own Fax Thru Email but it appears you might be charged up front for the various annual plans and the local number is in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Other services were similarly priced but plans at between $6.95 and $9.99 per month are still more than I need to spend on a fax service. Yes, I hear I could do a fax on my MacPro if I had a phone modem but what if I am on the road and have only wireless? I might need to send something and many office telephones are on PBX systems and you cannot just plug those into an analog telephone modem (and, no, I can’t just use some other person’s fax machine, for various reasons).
This weekend, I am doing a trial run with Fax1.com, which has a different billing model. After a $1 trial period (approximately eight pages), you place $10 credit at a time in your account and you reduce it as you go. The credit doesn’t expire so it isn’t a month-to-month fee.
While I will wait until the FSA account company processes the faxed document (thus confirming the receipt of the fax), I am pleased so far with the service. It really is bare bones (but there is a Windows-compatible integrated print driver) but accomplishes the tasks. The web interface is plain but does the job; my four page PDF file was transferred quickly. Received a few minutes later was an email confirming the successful receipt of the fax by the FSA company’s machine. Only $0.48 of my $1 trial credit was used in this session.
It has been a full week in-between the first leg of the Tour and today. I hope that at least one interesting possibility presents itself before the end of November (that’s all I know at this point…).
Anyway, I had my usual Friday supper at Bangkok 9 which is in the vicinity of all of the locations I have been visiting. No need for a menu; the staff knows what I usually order (I like being predictable). After visiting Petco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Best Buy, I settled in at the Starbucks near them (U2 had a concert near me at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium so traffic was expected to be unreal until the fun started). While sipping my Venti Decaf Skinny Vanilla Soy Latte, I tried out the signal for WiFi (while it isn’t free, I used my paid AT&T WiFi which is what I used to access MacDonald’s signal). The speed results: 1421 kbps download and 1266 kbps upload. It actually took about a minute or so for my MacBook to lock onto the signal.
The verdict: in this particular locale, a number of viable choices with decent signal strength and speed. My preference: I really like the Starbucks but it can sometimes to be noisy (while typing this there were two college-aged women who were gossiping and dissing various friends, sprinkling their conversation liberally with expletives). For free WiFi, Panera Bread has better food choices and more available electrical outlets.