I’m switching to Vonage

I hate SBC After moving down to the Dallas area, I decided to use SBC for my phone service. They seemed to offer some competitive plans for local/long distance calls and they had a really good web site. I signed up. I hate them now.

One of the first features I missed from my old Verizon plan when I lived in the Philadelphia area was answer call. Their automated voice mail system. After going through a number of answering machines it’s one feature I liked a lot. It just always worked.

Since I found out my new SBC plan didn’t include their CallNotes™ feature I had it changed around to add it. Doing this meant moving to a wider area plan which forced me to change my phone number. I don’t know why. Being a new resident, and having deliveries being made, I had to call up everyone to update them. Inconvenient, but I had my voice mail.

I had a plan I thought included free long distance calls, too. I was surprised to get a $230+ phone bill the next month which told me otherwise. It wasn’t free, the plan “included” long distance but that doesn’t specifically say it’s free.

Okay. MCI calls and asks me to switch long distance. I switch. Screw SBC.

My next bill comes and I’m getting more irritated now by my local charges totalling up to $70 a month. About 40% of these seems to be all these mysterious taxes and surcharges.

I would call SBC’s support to weed out unnecessary features, but prior experience with that was awful assuming I could even get through to anyone.

So today, I was prepared to call them and decided to check out VoIP as an alternative. I’ve read a lot of things both for and against, but I’m taking the plunge because I’m disgusted with SBC.

So that’s why I’m switching to Vonage and I’ll report my experiences here. Stay tuned if you’re interested.

To var or not to var my javascript

This is probably trivial to a lot of people. I’ve done a bit of javascript work recently and in looking at reference material and code snippets around the internet, I noticed that the ‘var’ keyword to declare a variable seems to be optional in all cases. Even popular libraries, like Script.aculo.us, have revisions where ‘var’ appears where it wasn’t in the previous release.

In your own coding there’s two things to keep in mind about it.

  1. For global variables, it doesn’t matter, but you may want to use it for consistency.
  2. Always try to use ‘var’ to declare variables in local functions. It makes sure you’re using a local copy of the variable instead of another variable of the same name in a different scope.

For example, the two similar functions here have very different effects:

var myvar = 0;
function affectsGlobalVar(i){
   myvar = i;
}
function doesNotAffectGlobalVar(i){
   var myvar = i;
}

What categories should I use for my site?

As I’m finishing up this site, one thing I’ve gone back and forth on is what categories I should create. How specific do they really need to be? For example, If I write an article on how to create some nifty do-dad in PHP, would a Code category be okay, or should I have a PHP category. Both?

After thinking about it for a little, I decided to go to a few blogs I frequent and see what categories they use. Maybe I should be consistent with what others are doing. I’m not sure how many people really make use of categories, but maybe consistency would be important.

What I found is that there isn’t too much commonality in category naming. Some people use a lot, others not. It’s obviously dependent upon the type of blog.

One interesting thing I found out was that a number of sites had categories listed with no articles attached to them. Therefore, I decided to just start with nothing and create categories as I go. I’m sure I’m not the first person to do it this way, but it just didn’t occur to me right away.

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