The Case For Making A Great Case

HPRC2700-face-300pxIn my past life I schlepped equipment all around North America in the process of giving demonstrations. As the most senior field staff it also fell to me to oversee the acquisition of shipping cases for our demo inventory.

Back then the nature of the gear, and the cost of shipping, drove me to select lightweight cases with layered foam inserts. This accommodated the 3-5 RU server chassis. A 2” thick protective layer of foam on all sides provided adequate protection without undue weight or cost.

Some months ago I was again tasked with creating a shipping case for some gear. This time the gear involved was not a server rack, but a small suite of telecom & network devices for demo use. Since this suite of gear was much smaller & lighter than a server I decided to research if/how I might get a nice custom case manufactured. Everyone involved in the project was delighted with the result, so I though I’d share my experience with the vendor and their process.

Continue reading “The Case For Making A Great Case”

Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport Delivers Power to The People

Back in January I made a trip to Fresno where I found that the newly renovated airport took a decidedly 1980’s approach to publicly available AC power. That is, they basically didn’t provide any beyond the occasional outlet to allow someone to polish the floors.

A recent trip to Knoxville TN presents a splendid contrast. Arriving at Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson airport I found a new-ish facility that had taken a more enlightened approach to providing travelers with power for their gadgetry…they had built it into otherwise normal seating.

Continue reading “Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport Delivers Power to The People”

Gallery: The Doc Porter Museum Of Telephone History

Recently, my parents decided to pay us a visit. It was their way to escape the Canadian winter for a short while, and see how their most distant son lives. Amongst the many things that we did was they were here was to tour the The Doc Porter Museum of Telephone History.  It was something that I had been meaning to do ever since I learned of its location some years ago.

Continue reading “Gallery: The Doc Porter Museum Of Telephone History”

Rant: American Auto-Makers Still Need a Clue

[Begin music: Beach Boys, “I Get Around”]

Recent projects have had me in Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington DC and Nashville. Suffice it to say that over the past few months I’ve rented cars on several occasions.

[Change music: Max Webster, “Battle Scar”]

Most typically I book what the rental companies call an “SCAR.” That’s their code for a “Standard Car” but I’ve come to believe that it also describes the relationship between domestic auto makers and the auto renting public…scarred.

Continue reading “Rant: American Auto-Makers Still Need a Clue”

Advantage GSM Carriers: Simultaneous Voice & Data

Now that Verizon Wireless is getting traction with the iPhone 4 on their CDMA network AT&T is left trying to find ways of differentiating itself. While it’s too early to know how much of a bloodletting AT&T will suffer, it’s clear that in many parts of the country Verizon’s much touted network supremacy will win over a significant number of frustrated AT&T customers, even if it means buying a new CDMA capable iPhone4.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two carriers is the type of networks they operate. Networks based upon GSM standards, like AT&T and T-Mobile here in the US, allow the simultaneous use of voice and data. In marked contrast, CDMA networks like Verizon’s, simply don’t do this.

Continue reading “Advantage GSM Carriers: Simultaneous Voice & Data”

Notebooks, Netbooks & Tablets…Oh,My!

This post is inspired by the recent release of the HP Mini 5103. I’ve been carrying its predecessor since April, and meaning to share my recent experience with netbooks, especially in the light of the coming onslaught of tablets.

There are aspects of my working life that lands me squarely in the category of “Road Warrior.” Business has me visiting customers locations all over North America, and occasionally locations overseas. This very fact of my routine travel has dictated that I carry a laptop. Remember that my employers business is broadcast graphics equipment, so our laptops are on the more capable side of things…meaning more powerful, bigger & heavier. Recently our staff have started carrying “mobile workstations.”

Continue reading “Notebooks, Netbooks & Tablets…Oh,My!”