Actiontec device offers access to free long distance...

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June 12, 2000

Actiontec device offers access to free long distance

The Internet Phone Wizard helps connect your phone to free domestic long-distance services on the Internet.

Looking like a small external modem, Actiontec Electronics $99 device uses a USB port for connecting to a Windows 98 PC and standard phone jacks for connecting a telephone.

The three supported Internet telephony service providers Deltathree.com, Dialpad.com and Myfreeld.com charge nothing for calls within the United States and Canada. Deltathree is the only one of the three to allow international calls.

Before making a call, connect to the Internet using a broadband or dial-up service. Select an Internet telephony provider, pick up the phone youve connected and press the pound key twice. This prompts the Wizard to switch from analog to Internet mode. Dial using the keypad on your phone, and the call is automatically routed over the network.

With a broadband Internet connection, the sound quality is equal to, if not better than, that of a cordless or cell phone. Unfortunately, sound quality and reliability tend to suffer on a dial-up connection. Replacing the handset terminates the call.

While the dialing software and coverage area of service providers can vary, the Internet Phone Wizard makes using any of these services as easy as dialing a phone.

Information: 1-800-797-7001 or www. internetphonewizard.com.

Jeremy M. Van Zee/KRT

OmniSky wireless modem gets Palm V users online

Owners of Palm V and Vx handheld computers who yearn to tap wirelessly into the rest of the world can now do it. OmniSkys Minstrel V Wireless Modem fits snugly under the trusty organizer, letting you access e-mail, surf the World Wide Web, check stock quotes, get directions, buy airline tickets and more from almost anywhere.

The 19.2K, full-duplex modem is compact but more than doubles the size and weight of a Palm.

Working with Palm Inc. and several other important software houses has allowed OmniSky to take advantage of the Palm OS and made crucial software updates. The prerelease software we tested effectively allowed us to send and receive e-mail. We also could go directly to virtually any Web site, including many optimized for the Palm.

The Minstrel V Wireless Modem is a nifty gadget, though not inexpensive. Aside from the $299 for the device, there is a $40 monthly fee for unlimited wireless Internet access and six e-mail accounts from OmniSky. You can also access your existing POP3 e- mail account.

Information: 1-800-860-5767 or www.omnisky.com.

Jim Buu/KRT

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