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University Update: VoIP in Food Out?

in Cell Phone, Humor, Kids, Money, Parable, Parenting Costs, Technology, Telephone, University Costs

No Food During Frosh Week?

So as my daughter’s first terms at University come closer we learn more and more about what we will and will not be paying for during her term(s) there. This week we found out that during Freshman week (or FROSH week in my day), she can move into her dorm room, but the cafeteria will not be serving food until the first day of classes. We now must sleuth out what exactly that might mean. Our guess is there is some food somewhere, but we are not sure how that is going to work, hopefully she won’t have to become a “Hunter Gatherer” for the week.

Voice Over IP or Cell Phone?

The next interesting point is that the University does not supply a phone line, I can arrange to have phone service, but it would be easier for her to simply use her Cell phone as her default phone service and be done with it. That is my guess as to how this could work.

Another option was pointed out to me by a co-worker, which is a new service offered called Free Phone Line which offers a local number for FREE in many areas in Ontario (not K/W yet, but soon).  Free phone line gives you a Voice Over IP (VoIP) client for your PC which you can then use as your local phone, or you can forward that number to another number permanently (say like your cell phone). I have already set up a number in Ottawa for me to try the service out (the number simply forwards to my cell phone right now). Lots of other stuff offered by this firm, but I am still mulling over how this might all work.

I spoke to the Free Phone Line tech folks and they had some suggestions too (and had some input to me about how the University might view the VoIP client as well), given the service is free, I like it so far.

If anyone has suggestions or comments about food or phones, please feel free to chime in.

The Parable of the Long Distance Bill

Things certainly have changed from when I went to University. I had a roommate who had a girlfriend at an out of town university, and thus there only way of communicating was via Canada Post and Telephone (remember this was 1980). They were very much In Love (what is the font for sarcasm?), but they were also trying to be cheap so they only made calls to each other after 11:00 PM during the week (did I mention I am an early sleeper and an early riser? That’s ok, I didn’t deal with it well, and was quite immature, as can be expected from a 19 year old, but that is for other stories).

The first phone bill showed up (I had never seen a phone bill in my life ’til then), so I opened it, and said out loud “WTF” (but not as a TLA either), it was for $125.00. I got back to our room and told my roommate and said, “I can’t afford this big a phone bill, this University is ripping us off!”.

My roommate then calmly looked at the bill and said quietly to me, “Your portion of the bill is $15.00…”, and then he pointed out there were 4 calls to my parents (all on Saturday in the afternoon and each for about 4 minutes). I then did the math and realized my roomie was putting out $110 to stay in touch with his girlfriend. I don’t think he married her, but he sure spent a heck of a lot on her in long distance phone bills.

I have told my daughters this story and pointing out that this had better not happen to them!

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