Why are Cordless phones so bad? - especially Phillips

Maybe it's a test - how bad can cordless phones be and people will still buy them? We had some Cordless phones - they were Panasonic - They drove Sandra a bit crazy, but they were quite good. Then there are these:

Not so good Phillips Phones

When we moved we needed Cordless phones with 3 handsets - we now have 3 floors, and I wanted Dect phones so all the Wifi in the neighborhood wouldn't interfere with our phones. We found a great sale on some Phillips phones (the poetically named CD4453B/37). These phones are SUPPOSED to have a long battery life - 150 hours of standby and 12 hours of talk - Sadly not even close - I followed the instructions on charging the batteries fully and letting them drain fully the first few times, I try not to leave them on the charger if they don't need charging... Sadly they need charging every second day, and if you put them on Speaker phone they will often die with no warning --Even if they still have 2/3 bars showing on the charge indicator- they you have to go around the house looking for a phone that still has some charge. I may try buying different rechargable batteries to replace the ones that came with them - but maybe that's throwing good money after bad.

Why would anyone want different Cordless phones to have different memories on them? You need to program each phone seperately, teach each one how to get messages from the invisible answering machine, teach each one a good phonebook - yes you CAN copy phonebooks from phone to phone, but to do that you need to have all of them in one place, and hit some keys on each on - yes I really want the phonebook to come to the other phone. The memory belongs in the base so you don't have any of this insanity.

The UI on these things is crazy too. Most anything you want to do requires lots of keypresses - and now I've lost the reciept and I'm stuck with them. Of course it could be worse - I could have gotten the next model up which looks and feels more like a relay baton than a phone.

Lesson: Don't expect much from Cordless phones, don't trust brand names, keep receipts.

Recommendation: buy something else if you can.

Lunar Eclipse 2008

Lunar Eclipse 2008We all went out to see the Lunar Eclipse this week. I was sadly confused about how far I would have to drive to find a nice dark site. Of course you don't need a dark site to see an Eclipse, but for the rest of the experience it is nice to be able to see the stars too. We were able to show Cassie Orion and Sirius. I was sadly unable to find her eponymous constellation.

I was able to take these pictures hand held with my camera. Using the manual settings - including manual focus was a bit of a fight. Remember when taking pictures of the moon to use the sunny f/16 rule - on the Moon it's sunny right now - even if it is nighttime. After the Moon is in Shadow (the colorful part of the lunar Eclipse) you have to experiment, or bracket, or have a really good spot meter to get the exposure right. My camera couldn't get much image during totality - I think all of my pictures are during the lead up to totality.

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