A friend recently lost his DSL modem to old age. The phone company tech support lady determined that it needed a replacement, and overnighted a new one. His was about 10 years old, a Zyxel 660 (like mine), and the new model is a modem/router/Wireless combo. He plugged it in, but still couldn't connect (his home network is all wireless using a Netgear router), and called me for assistance.

When I got to his house I took out my phone just to see if the new modem was broadcasting a wireless signal. It was, and the phone gave me the "Connect?" dialog box. I accepted, and the new modem's setup html page opened. I ran through the procedure on my phone, entered the modem's passphrase (printed on the bottom in hex), and got an internet connection and "Congratulations!" from the modem setup wizard.

I opened a web site with my phone to confirm connectivity, then woke his two laptops (Windows 8 and 8.1) and his desktop (Windows 7), got into networking and entered the modem's passphrase in the boxes on each, and it was all good. That was my quickest "service call" I can remember for any of my friends.

I continue to be impressed with the 1520's capabilities and Windows Phone 8.1. I use it regularly as a WiFi hotspot for my laptop at work (email for spreadsheets, etc.) and everything is routinely smooth and almost seamless. I use Cortana for voice dial when I'm on the road, and every morning I call in a little before 6 to leave a voice mail to let them know that I'm on the property. Friday morning I mixed up the name (correct last name, wrong first name) without realizing it. The first name is in my address book, just not in that combination. The response from Cortana was, "I don't have a work number listed for Debra".

How's that for a "Personal Assistant"? I only make "work" calls at that hour of the morning.