A Wireless Experiment: $20 All Inclusive Wireless

22 Sep
hushed

I recently became aware of a service known as Hushed by sheer luck and have been absolutely blown away by the possibilities this app enables.

Hushed is toted as an app that allows you to get a disposable number in a large list of countries to use as a burner number. Good idea right? The product is simple, elegant and works well. But here’s what the company I don’t think realises.

If you select a Canadian or US number, an unlimited plan becomes available which offers unlimited Calling, Texting and MMS anywhere in North America for $4.99 per month! Here’s where it gets really good.

Fido has a promotional data plan right now which offers 3GB of data for $15 per month (in Ontario not sure of other provinces). Do you see where I’m going with this yet?

Here’s what I did:

  • Visited a Fido store and purchased a Data Only SIM card (The sims used for tablets.) at $10 and set up the $15 data plan mentioned above.
  • Signed up for Hushed through the Android app (Also available on iOS) and selected a number.
  • Purchased the unlimited plan from Hushed.

That’s it! I can now call, text and use data all for $20 a month. The overage costs on this $15 data plan is $10 a GB which is perfect. This means I can even do 5GB of data and unlimited calling for about $40 a month.

Hushed also includes visual voicemail, and calling options such as call display and call forwarding.

The app also lets you have multiple numbers. So for instance if you run a small business, you could simply request another number for it.

I you want to try it out for yourself, you can sign up and try a number out for 3 days. Also don’t worry about loosing your number! You can open a support ticket and have your number ported in as well should you decide to stick with the service.

Get Hushed: iOS | Android

Hotel Review: Studio 6 Hotel in Toronto

4 Sep
14191337_10154514539083156_64195488_o

The Studio 6 Hotel in downtown Toronto is within 2 km of just about everything in Toronto. It’s a fantastic location located close to the intersection of Queen Street West and Augusta Ave.

The Trip

The reason for my trip to Toronto was to meet up with some friends and to take part in Toronto Fan Expo. If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend you attend at least once in your life. It’s a fantastic convention and they seem to have worked out all of the kinks from previous years aside from navigating between the two buildings at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

I was taking the train into town so I wanted a hotel that was relatively close to the train station and the Metro Toronto Convention Center. This weekend is a long weekend, so a lot of the hotels have jacked up their rates to profit as much as possible.

How I booked it

I booked this hotel using Hotels.com which secured me a rate of $156 a night taxes and fees included. Most other hotels this weekend were sitting around $250 per night or more not including taxes.

The Outside

When I rolled up on the hotel, it was late at night (about 11:00 PM) and this was the best photo I could get at the time.

14191337_10154514539083156_64195488_o

From the outside this hotel didn’t look like much. It looked a little beat down and even the inside hallways and whatnot show that this was a converted apartment complex.

It was at this point I was starting to worry about the kind of room I booked, but before we look at the room, lets talk amenities.

Amenities

The room I booked came with two twin beds as I was expecting to have a friend stay with me for the weekend, however he had other plans. So for my last night, I asked if I could swap to a queen room, and the staff happily moved me. Which was nice of them as I booked through a service and not through them directly.

The room also has a kitchenette type set up with a fridge, a sink, pots and pans, plates and cutlery and everything you could need to cook up your own meals! There is also a Loblaw’s grocery store within walking distance of the hotel that is open until 11PM most nights.

The hotel also has on site laundry on each floor, however I’m not sure of the cost or anything as I didn’t use it. I would assume it is coin operated as the hotel is a converted apartment building.

Room Photos

Here’s a few photos I snapped of the room. Pardon the mess.

As you can see from the photos, the room looked quite nice and was fairly clean.

The paint in the bathroom was starting to peel off the wall, but I can look past that. The bed was pretty comfortable, and the kitchenette made this room even better because you could prep your own meals.

Each room also had a Keurig coffee machine which I thought was pretty nice too. It was a single cup machine, and I was easily able to obtain some coffee pods from the nearby Loblaw’s.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a hotel on a budget and want to be close to downtown Toronto without paying insane downtown rates, this is a great budget choice.

That being said, if you are driving in, there is no on site parking. The closest outdoor lot is about a block away.

All things considered, this was perfect for my purposes but may not be for yours.

Back After a Weeks Vacation

18 Jul
My Daughters Violet and Rhys.

This past week I took the first vacation from work I’ve taken in several years. I spent my time at home with my wife and my girls and I could not be more grateful that I had the chance to do so.

I got to take them shopping, and for ice cream, and got to do all kinds of cuddling and playing with them. It was a tiring week but one filled with love and joy. I can’t wait to do it all again!

Until then, it’s back to work!

Play Pokémon Go in Canada

16 Jul
boxart

Some people have asked me how to go about playing the game in Canada, so I thought I would detail how to get it done.

Android

Step 1) Download the APK here

Step 2) Install the APK. You may need to allow unknown sources to be installed. Once completed you are good to go. Just open the app and sign in with your google account.

iOS

This one is a bit more complicated, so I will add a link HERE to the full instructions by MobileSyrup.com

First Experiences with Pokémon Go

13 Jul
Instinct_2-300x300

Although Pokémon Go is not out here in Canada, there are a ton of people who have it and are playing it all over the place. That being said, I thought I would post a story that happened to me a couple of days ago that I thought was pretty funny.

The night in question I decided to meet someone from reddit at Greenbank Square to go out and hunt some Pokémon.

We walked around a surrounding neighborhood, for a bit until we hit Ben Franklin Park 1 because there was a gym there that Marco (the redditor I met up with) wanted to take over.

So here we are at about 9PM in a parking lot trying to take over a gym. We noticed that there were a couple cars full of thugged out Lebanese  guys just sitting there watching us when one of them yelled over “Yo! You guys tryin to take that gym?!?! It’s a real bitch!”.

Marco and I couldn’t stop laughing about it! It was one of the funniest things that’s happened so far playing this game. The guys came over and we were all talking shop about the server stability issues and whatnot. It was like being 10 years old again and meeting a bunch of random new people! It was a really awesome experience!