In 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.
The tech elders convened as a group of friends to work on a roadmap for the gigabit age continues to grow (see below).
Tech elders so far:
John Perry Barlow, lyricist and activist
Mark Cuban, founder, AXS TV
Tim Draper, founder, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Tom Evslin, founder & former, CEO ITXC
Dave Farber, Professor Emeritus, CMU and Board Member ISOC
Charlie Giancarlo, Sr Advisor, Silver Lake
George Gilder, author
John Gilmore, activist
Brett Glass, founder of first Wireless ISP
Doug Humphrey, co-founder Digex, Cidera
Bryan Martin, Chairman and CTO, 8×8
Joe McMillen, founder, Complex Drive
Scott McNealy, co-founder, SUN Microsystems
Bob Metcalfe, Professor, University of Texas and inventor of Ethernet
Ray Ozzie, founder, Talko and Lotus Notes
Jeff Pulver, co-founder, Zula and Vonage
Michael Robertson, founder, CEO, MP3.com
Les Vadasz, former EVP, Intel
It’s most likely that you, like myself, can’t just fly to DC for such events, no matter how interesting the gathering. However, the fact that this event is being streamed by the Internet Society makes it considerably more accessible. Thus it’s an invitation well worth sharing.
Headset/Headphones: I prefer the term headphones. I think headset implies a voice microphone and headphone implies audio or speakers only. Those distinctions are obsolete. Modern microphones are small, cheap, and sensitive. They no longer need to be in front of the mouth, so can be placed invisibly on headphones. Since most devices now support speech or voice, it’s just silly to get headphones without a microphone. Now that we’ve cleared this up, I am only using “headphone” below.
I take issue with his simplistic view of microphones, and especially the significance of microphone placement. If you truly care about how you are conveying your voice then a boom mounted microphone is a must! Accept no substitutes.
If, on the other hand, you are more concerned about not looking geeky…go whatever path tickles your fancy. Enjoy those Beats By Dr Dre Hey, he’s a Doctor right? They must be great.
Perhaps you recall last year when Logitech launched their CC3000e Conference Cam? We had them as a guest on VUC 490 to show off their new gadget. The entire audience was impressed with the device, most especially the camera portion. It seems that last month they launched the camera alone as a new product, calling it the PTZ Pro Camera.
With MSRP of $799 the PTZ Pro Camera delivers 1080P video over USB 2.0 using an onboard H.264UVC encoder. It’s capable of SVC when used with a suitable capable client, like those from Cisco, Microsoft or Vidyo.
Apps not able to use the onboard encoder will be limited to accessing 720p30 over the USB 2.0 link. That includes Google’s Hangouts since they use VP8 instead of H.264.
Although the camera is exceptional in its price class, that class is rather limited. There quite a leap from the $100 USB webcams with a fixed lens to the entry level PTZ cameras from HuddleCamHD, Vaddio or VDO360. Things approach $1k very quickly, which makes their pricing strategy for the PTZ Pro Camera potentially quite sensible.
My own experience with the CC3000e shows that it can deliver excellent video, but it’s not without its quirks. The auto focus cannot be defeated, and occasionally hunts to find the focal plane. Also, the single preset camera position, basically a “Home” is limited. It would be nice to have a number of positional presets, as most other PTZ cameras provide.
Finally, I wish that there was more (ok, really…any!) support for remote control of the PTZ mount.
In a casual look around the web I see that many AV dealers are starting to list the PTZ Pro Camera. Prices listed vary widely, which suggests that it’s not yet shipping. Amazon has the PTZ Pro Camera listed at $978. MacMall is the lowest at $681, but that could change once there’s real availability.
I really don’t mean to sound down on the PTZ Pro Camera. I actually like it a lot. I expect that Logitech will do quite well with this new offering.
You may have notice that March was a very quiet (crickets) month hereabouts. It was the slowest month in the seven year history of this blog. As such, I can’t help but feel that I owe an explanation for these events. March was spent focused on events in meatspace.
I suppose the term “meatspace” is by now archaic. The term “cyber”space has certainly been devalued, most especially since part of it was coopted by CBS into their newest CSI franchise. Whatever the case with the linguistics, I spent most of March engaged in things that involved getting away from my desk and dealing with real people in the physical world.
When I left Pixel Power in the spring of 2013 part of my plan was to become more engaged in the local community. For many years my work life involved so much travel that I had been unable to commit to such activities. Since then quite the opposite is true. I need such engagements to keep me from going stir crazy in the home office.
Yesterday I received my third Nexus 7 (2013 edition) by way of a Groupon deal that ends later today. The offer is new, not refurbished, versions of the 16 GB model for $149. That’s down from the $199 list price, which was an unbelievable bargain in the first place.
There are dozens of cheap Android tablets to be had, but few that run Lollipop. In my case, my existing Nexus 7, which has a few scrapes and nicks, will be rotated into a utility role, very likely as a pseudo-Squeezebox.