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DIY SOHO Organization For Rack Mount Gear

The late George Carlin famously told a story about, “a place for my stuff.” A home office can be a challenging place in which to find a proper home for all you stuff. We need a place for everything, and everything in its place…or anarchy reins.

As most home offices are not equipped like corporate data centers, rack mount equipment can be especially difficult to accommodate. Often gear designed to be rack mounted doesn’t readily take to being used on a table top, at least not for the long-term. I recently stumbled upon a novel and inexpensive solution to housing a small amount of rack mount gear; the Lack Side Table from IKEA.

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Telecom Continuity Strategies in the Cloud Era: SOHO Edition

As you likely heard on April 27th Northern Alabama suffered a spate of violent storms, including a number of large tornados. Many thousands of people were impacted, including long term loss of power and network connectivity. Digium was amongst the many, many businesses impacted by the events of the day.

I must commend Danny Windam, CEO of Digium, for making excellent use of the corporate blog to keep the Asterisk community informed about the companies operational status. Some time having elapsed since the unfortunate events of that day Digium has since returned to normal operations.

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Searching For The Perfect Cordless Headset

Let there be no doubt, I’m manic. I find myself on something of a quest to find the perfect cordless headset. Over the past year or two I’ve tried a number of different makes & models. Some have been very good indeed, but none have been ideal.

As I transition my desktop phone from a Polycom Soundpoint IP650 to a VVX-1500 I find myself wanting something more. To be more specific, I would like support for very high-quality wideband audio, even beyond G.722. The VVX-1500 supports Siren14 and G.719 so let’s actually hear the difference, right?

To be fair, nothing that I’ve tried thus far was designed to support use with a hard phone. In using the headset with the VVX-1500 I need support for an “electronic hook switch” (a.k.a. EHS) connection. That allows the phone to go off-hook from the headset so that I could answer or hand up a call while distant from my desk.

Oh, and by the way, by “distant” I mean to achieve some serious range, ok? I suspect that means DECT over Bluetooth, but class 1 Bluetooth might work, too. Remember, the coffee machine is some 70 feet away…and my personal productivity is definitely influenced by my coffee intake.

So, a while ago I began asking around, speaking to people that I know use of this type of hardware. I asked for specific recommendations.

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New Gear: The Viewsonic gTablet

viewsonic-gtablet-300Last week Woot.com offered the 10.1” Viewsonic gTablet for the very attractive price of $279. Being enamored of my Android 2.2 powered G2 phone I found the offer too good to pass up. I ordered one for myself.

I’ve ordered a few things from Woot.com previously, based upon that experience I didn’t expect the goods to arrive too quickly. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it arrive Saturday afternoon.

From a perspective of pure hardware specifications the gTablet is amongst the first of a new generation of Tegra2-based Android tablets. The 1 GHz dual-core processor certainly feels peppy. The gTablet’s multi-media capabilities seem impressive. It plays movies, even 1080p HD movies, quite well.

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Bluetooth Headsets: Style vs. Function

Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura, the original wireless headset goddess Let me lay before you a simple premise; people who habitually wear a wireless headset in public are often viewed as Geeky, Nerdy or very possibly even Dorky. The trouble isn’t the technology, but rather the question of its use, and abuse in various circumstances. Whether wearing such a headset is socially acceptable depends largely upon situational context. I’ve mentioned this once before.

To wear a wireless headset is most often a matter of convenience, only occasionally a matter of necessity. I accept that there are states where such tools are mandated for use while driving. I applaud such laws, and further think that a driver should not be allowed to operate a cell phone in any manner while a car is in motion.

Actually, I suspect that such headset laws are the result of intense lobbying by a secret cartel formed by the world’s leading headset manufacturers. It seems fairly obvious to me that Plantronics, Jabra, Motorola and maybe Jawbone form a kind of headset-axis-of-something-or-other.

Seriously, someone should look into this.

As ever, I digress.

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