“Dad, why do you have two phones?” asked the 11-year-old. While that’s excessive, it’s dwarfed by the number of numbers I’m juggling. And one of them is in Clatskanie, and I had to write about ’em so I could drop that name. Clatskanie, my fingers just love typing it.

Actual Phones · At home, there’s the home number [1] upstairs (stable for 13 years, wow) and then there’s the number [2] for the office downstairs, more used by Lauren than me. Lauren has hooked both of ’em up to some alternate long-distance service which makes calling anywhere really cheap. I seem to think that’s via her bank of all things.

Then I have my main cellphone, a 604-Vancouver number [3] I’ve had for a while, and which I used for the first few months at Google, until I got tired of getting stung with $400 phone bills for data and voice roaming. It’s a Nexus One “A” model which works with AT&T in the US and Rogers here; I made a special request to get it, because Rogers is the only network with decent coverage in my neighborhood.

The other phone is a “T” model (T-Mobile friendly) Nexus One with the SIM card Google issued me when I brought up the roaming charges; that’s a 650-Mountain View number. [4]

Oh, and there’s another painfuly-installed 604-Vancouver land-line number [5] in my virtual “home office” — I call it virtual because since Lauren uses the real one, I rent a little room over a bakery not far from home. I have an ADSL connection on that but haven’t used the voice capability in months because I have the wrong kind of POTS splitter. I should get around to fixing that because land-lines have their advantages.

Imaginary Phones · We live increasingly in the era of virtual telephony, and my employer’s in the biz. I already had a Google Voice 312-Chicago number [6] which is a neat trick for a Canadian because they want an actual US phone number to route to; I solved that for a while by using the 877- number that Sun gave me, then signed up with Gizmo5, a real interesting SIP-phone provider and now Google has bought ’em; it was a 747- number [7], which is interesting as it’s used both for SIP and around the San Fernando Valley, which is to say LA. I could get calls in my browser or even a modified Sipdroid on my Android phone. Well, sort of.

Since I joined Google I got another Google Voice number and was wondering what area code to go for; I decided to pick something roughly halfway between Vancouver and the Googleplex, and while looking through the options stumbled across that 503-Clatskanie number [8] and couldn’t say no. That’s the number that I give out and will go on the next revision of my business cards.

I use Google Voice a lot; I route it to the Mountain View number but mostly make and receive calls on my computer, so I don’t have to hold a piece of plastic up against my head. For numbers in the States, GVoice is reliable and robust and free. When it starts allowing routing calls to Canada, I can give up one of the phones.

The Future · I suspect I’ll want to have two different numbers for the foreseeable future, so that I can give them out to two sets of people. But I’m pretty sure that they’ll both route to whatever computer I’m in front of, and to a single pocket device. And I think that at that point the voice problem will have been well and truly solved.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Mark Alexander (Jul 07 2010, at 03:24)

I've got a ridiculous three phone numbers. When I moved to Vermont, I kept my California cell phone number, and got a Google Voice number in Vermont that forwards to the cell phone (a Nexus One). I really want to like Google Voice; it would allow me to have just one phone. But unfortunately, the audio delays are so long, on the order of one or two seconds, that using it is very frustrating, like talking to someone on the moon. So I was forced to get a Comcast pseudo land line. So much for simplification.


From: John Cowan (Jul 07 2010, at 05:35)

Cool name, and who would have guessed the pronunciation?


From: Michael Kozakewich (Jul 07 2010, at 12:34)

I got a mobile modem through Rogers, because I wanted internet everywhere, and then I discovered that I could pop the SIM in my (Rogers pay-as-you-go) cell-phone. Since then, I've gotten another phone, and switch my pay-as-you-go phone SIM and my mobile-internet SIM between the two phones and mobile modem, depending on what I'm doing at that moment.

I could probably share the same internet account between three SIMs, but I've never bothered asking, because my solution works.

When I get an Android 2.2 smartphone, I could condense that all into the one phone.


From: shita (Jul 08 2010, at 06:21)

I always bring four mobile devices :

- DoCoMo i-mode ( personal use )

- AU ( corporate use )

- Android HT-03A ( everything except i-mode )

- iPod-touch

Plus, MacBook, cables ( power, modem, power charging, etc)

You could easily imagine that I commute an hour in rush hour by jam-packed Tokyo-train with those....


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July 06, 2010
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