New Stuff: VSee For iPad

VSee-For-Ipad-LogoYou may recall that some time ago Milton Chen, CEO of VSee made a guest appearance on a VUC call. I was impressed by the service, which at the time supported Mac and Windows. Recently VSee announced the availability of VSee For iPad.

Normally, products announcements for the iPad don’t even register on my radar. However, as I recently purchased a third generation iPad with the Retina display I thought this a fine opportunity to revisit VSee.

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The Logitech Squeezebox Lives On

squeezebox_mr.jpgThis past week I bought our fifth Squeezebox streaming music player. It’s a used Squeezebox Classic sourced via E-Bay for a rather approachable $89. This new-to-us Squeezebox replaces a Squeezebox Touch model that failed a few months ago.

We now have three in service and two that have failed. Two failures over about eight years is completely tolerable. We remain committed to using the Squeezeboxen even if Logitech has discontinued the line.

I think that Logitech stumbled in their decision to discontinue the Squeezebox line. The product range has a substantial and very loyal user base. It will continue to do so since they have ported both the Squeeze Center Server and Squeezebox player software to the little Raspberry Pi SBC.

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Bean There, Done That: Android Jelly Bean Announcements

It was a year ago this month that, inspired by Karl Fife and growing frustrated with my G2, I ordered a Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus. Google was not yet selling the handset directly so I ordered it from an online deals web site. I paid just over $500 for the handset, which would sell for just $350 just eight weeks later when Google began to offer it direct.

Of course, the Galaxy Nexus arrived running the newly minted Ice Cream Sandwich flavor of the Android OS. It wasn’t until Q4 that it received the Jelly Bean update. The aged G2 was upgraded from Froyo to ICS , but that’s where it’s path ended.

The leap from Gingerbread on the G2 to Jelly bean on the Galaxy Nexus was considerable. ICS was clearly better than it’s predecessor, but Jelly Bean was vastly better than ICS. The Galaxy Nexus experience inspired the purchase of the Nexus 7 when it became available, but that is around nine months ago.

I am constantly befuddled by the steady parade of announcements proclaiming device XYZ is getting Jelly Bean. I was reminded of this today when a customer told me that his Droid Bionic just received Jelly Bean.

Really, Jelly Bean just now? That’s Incredible…and Bionic…and RAZR…and MAXX…and various other ‘droids as well!

It simply amazes me how long it takes for vendors and carriers to roll out Android updates. Motorola isn’t the only laggard. HTC, Sony and others exhibit similar behavior.

This fact alone has me convinced of the wisdom of staying with the Nexus series of devices. If you’re choosing the Android experience then you might as well choose the current Android experience, without any bloatware from the carrier. You’ll get the latest OS on day one, and fastest access to the updates as they become available. It just makes so much sense.

Eight Weeks Later: Living With The Lenovo X1 Carbon Ultrabook

thinkpad-x1-carbon-site-300pxWhile under a different title, this post is the third in a series called A Road Warrior Plans To Shed Some Weight. It describes my thoughts leading to the purchase of an Ultrabook.

It’s been about eight weeks since the Lenovo X1 Carbon arrived. During that time I’ve made three business trips. So I’ve accumulated some experience with the X1 Carbon (hereafter just X1C) both at home and on the road.

The day or two after I placed the order for the X1C I came down with a significant case of buyers remorse. I paid around $1700 for the device, which is without question a lot of money. I had thought that perhaps I was being unduly irresponsible, even for me.

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Back To Basics: A Telephone Handset Should Just Feel Good

Cisco-Handset.pngI recently found myself trying yet another new desk phone. I’ve tried may different makes and models over the years, literally from Aastra to Zultys, and many in between. They’ve addressed all different price points, from Polycom’s VVX-1500 Business Media Phone to an entry-level Yealink.

In every case I could find some fine qualities worth reporting. Also, in each case I could find some questionable attributes worth discussing. To be plain, even in something as mature as the business class desk phone, there are no perfect products. Every product involves some kind of compromise.

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A Strategy For Debugging My Home Office

Gwen-200pxNot all of my home office technology is “high technology.” Nonetheless, some of the low-tech is critically important. On this particular occasion I offer some insight into how we go about debugging. That is, how we eliminate bugs…more specifically, flying insects.

The factual information that I have to share is slight, but the story of how I come by it a personal one. When I was teenager my family lived in the small, Northern Ontario town of Atikokan. At the time the family business included a building supply adjoined by a Laundromat.

The Laundromat was open long hours and during much of the year the doors left open. In the summer it had the most unfortunate way of gathering flies. Our reaction to this was to deploy a pair of small battery operated appliances that dispensed an aerosol spray on a timed basis. The spray was known as KONK and it was tremendously effective.

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