I've learned two ways to make the operation more successful: I purchased a
headset at Radio Shack for about 20 bucks and plugged it into my computer. I
can hear better, and so can whomever I am talking with. There is a slight delay
in sending and receiving. I inform the party I'm talking with and they hesitate
before responding and it works fine. With my older daughter, who likes to
interrupt, I tell her to wait for me to say "over," before she talks.
For maximum improvement, do not run any systems while completing the
phone call. Also, the size of the voice packets should be aligned. You can do that
by going to the telephone icon, and click on "account" on the top of the dialer.
Then, choose "preferences" and then "Advanced." On the bottom, right-hand
corner of the window that opens, there is a section named "bandwidth." Here,
choose the option of "My connect speed is:" and then choose "56 kbps or less"
or "128 kbps or more," depending on your connection. You will need to log off
and log back on and make a test call to see if there is an improvement.
Megared: If you have a high-speed connection you can sign up with dial-
pad.com and call the USA for $.039 U.S. a minute. Advantages are the same as
iconnecthere. The difference is that you are going through the TV cable com-
pany instead of the telephone line.
News of the U.S. and world in English: As I mentioned in Chapter 2, the
Pacific Pearl is available in English, but does not carry worldwide news. There
is a newsstand on the corner of Camarón Sábalo and Gaviotas that carries
English language "USA Today," but they are not only expensive, but also most
of the time, a day or two late.
I get the news through the Internet. I put my hometown newspaper and the
Seattle Times on my "favorite browser," and every morning over coffee, I "get
on the net" and read the sports section and news. Even if you go to one of the
Internet cafés and pay for one-half hour of Internet time, it would be cheaper
than buying a newspaper.
Internet connections: There are four different Internet service providers
that I know of in Mazatlán. They are Telmex, the phone company that is actu-
ally providing the Prodigy service, and Megared, the Cable Company,
Red2000, and Infosel.
The Telmex Internet has one disadvantage. Sometimes for no reason, you
are disconnected from the Internet. Remember, each time you dial up on the
Internet, it counts as one phone call for the month. If you are interrupted
enough times in one month, your phone bill can skyrocket. You can avoid this
by setting your email program to check for new email every five minutes,
which keeps the ISP server from "tuning out" thinking, there is no activity.
Telmex has ADSL Internet connectivity. It costs about $300 U.S. for the
installation and about $50 U.S. per month. The nice thing about ADSL is that
M a z a t l a n I S P a r a d i s e