Free 411!

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

Don’t you just love technology? I’m just amazed at some of the possibilities we have with technology these days. Of course, I’m most interested when I can:

  1. Save money
  2. Give less (also read take away) money to phone companies.

Point in case has been my conversion to Skype for long distance.
Another little annoyance that’s been bugging me lately has been the $0.99 that my T-Mobile has been charging me for 411 service. It’s ridiculous to have to pay for that service!

I do have to credit T-Mobile though. It used to be you’d call for a number, usually while mobile and not able to write down the number. Then two days later, you need the same number, you’d have to call again… and pay again. I’d been suggesting for quite some time that they should at least txt you the information as well so you can then later add it to your phone book. Well, at least they’ve listened on that front and are now sending txt messages of the listings to you after you call it. But you still have to pay for something that should be free.

Well, it seems Google feels the same way. And now you don’t have to pay for 411 service anymore! Just simply dial 1-800-4664-411 (1-800-GOOG-411) and use the service the same way you would normal 411. You also have the option to get txt message info on the listing. Even better… If you have an internet enabled phone, you can even get mapping direction sent to your phone for the listing… AND IT’S FREE!!!

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I’ve already replaced my 411 speed dial with 1-800-GOOG-411. Heck, I’ll use 411 a LOT more now that I don’t have to pay for it! 😉




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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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