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Vele discusses investing in Macedonia, technology, digital photography, business and international affairs

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      Vele Samak works as the Minister for Foreign Investments in Macedonia. The views expressed here are his own personal views and not official news or opinions of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

Archive for March, 2005

Vonage live support

20th March 2005

Hm, let’s see how this works, after 25 minutes waiting for a live person:

9:13pm Vonage tech support answers, guys pokes around and wonders if my cell phone picks up its own voice mail, well, duh! but that’s not my problem, my problem’s why doesn’t vonage’s voice mail answer..

9:16pm he’s calling me to see how this thingy works, i’m hold with horrible rock muzak that’s all high tones and no bass (argh)

9:18pm call waiting is beeping…that’s him calling to test it…more annoying than bad rock muzak? bad rock muzak with call waiting beeps every 2 sec.

9:19pm yep, my cell phone rings, the forward’s still on, no vonage voicemail,

9:22pm wait a minute, I get a vmail notification from vonage. it must work then. He explains the way it really works: call forwarding happens first, if no answer after 50 secs, then forwards to my cell, and if no answer for 10 secs, it sends to vonage voicemail. Aha! That’s it, the timings are in sequence and not parallel like I thought, because this is how the settings are shown on vonage.com:

Is set to ring for 50 seconds before being forwarded to 1XXXXXXXXX
If your number is busy or unanswered for 10 seconds, the call will forward to Voicemail.

this is basically a usability issue. Presenting information is critical here. If you can’t display all information in sequence, vonage needs to add a graphical arrow to show the sequential process of the timing of forwarding and voicemail settings. I made suggestion to fix the presentation layer on the webpage

9:25pm finally resolved issue, agrees to submit suggestion

9:25pm explained the phantom rings issue, he finds it strange

9:27pm on hold while investigates phantom rings issue…

9:30pm he says they shouldn’t occur because of VoIP, but they can occur in analog because of line noise, suggests that because my netgear router is the main firewall it may cause some noise. I find it hard to believe, but it could very well be comcast or others sending random packets to my the voip ports for vonage

9:34pm suggests I reboot my motorola adapter or do a factory reset, I promise to do it later because I’m on the vonage line right now…

9:39pm all done, if phantom rings persist, aliens must think I’m the chosen one, if so, then send email.

not bad for a rare call to vonage. so far I’ve had no complaints from them

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Vonage issues (argh)

20th March 2005

I’m having issues with my Vonage (had it since Nov 2003, with rare problems). I double- and tripple-checked my settings, but none of my incoming calls goes to the voicemail.

Problem: I’m set to have v/m after 20 secs of rings, and forwarding to my cell after 50 secs if unanswered, just in case or network is down. Still, all calls go to my cell after 50 secs.

Problem: I get occassional rings on my home phone (siemens, cordless gigaset 4000). No phone number, or caller id, just a ring, it lasts for 10 secs, then goes away. If I pick it up, no answer, just dial tone, like nothing happened. I feel like aliens are trying to talk to me, but they haven’t figured out VoIP.

Now, after 27 mins on hold for tech support, finally I get a live person, Yipy!
will keep you posted.

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Q4 is underway, 6 weeks to go till graduation

17th March 2005

Wow, hard to believe but only a few courses stand between me and my graduation: Pricing Policy with Prof. Raju, Operations and Marketing by Cachon and Hoch, Channel Management, Adv Corp Finance and Dynamic Competition. All classes are turning out to be quite good. I especially like Prof. Raju’s style of cold calling during his lectures. I’m not a huge fan of lectures in business school. They are required in small instances, but I think the case method is far more valuable because it reinforces mental tools that will be most needed after b-school. However, Prof. Raju has a list of students for cold calling each class, plus with a slight humor make his lectures enjoyable and useful. Many lectures at Wharton, sadly, can easily deteriorate due to poor participation from the class or dry presentation style. This one is an exception. Come to think of it Prof. Itay’s Adv Corp Fin is also an exception because so many students are interested in corp finance at Wharton that his lectures are hardly boring and well paced.

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Citizenship ceremony awaits!

16th March 2005

I’m becoming a US Citizen today. The ceremony should start at around 11am or so. I’m very excited and have been waiting since my November 1, 2004 interview when I passed with flying colors (yea, that was one hard test ;-) What a journey, I came to the US in August 1992 at the urging of my parents and very resistant because I was leaving my girlfriend at the time. But I made the best of it all, survived the 1994 Northridge earthquake in an apartment in Los Angeles and the September 11, 2001 attacks from Jersey City. My entire college education and bulk of work experience has been in the US which is now my new home where I raise my family.

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