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Dave Michels On Working From Home

studio-office-chairLike many people, in recent years Dave Michels has taken to working from home. Not long ago he posted some advice garnered from that experience. In this post he offers makes some excellent observations. While I agree with most of what he offers, there are a couple of points that I’d like to add or emphasize.

You’ll need a good desk and chair. Don’t scrimp on these items. A desk needn’t be fancy, but it does need to large enough. In fact, usually the larger the better.

The chair is really an issue relating to your health & welfare. It’s easy to just run down to OfficeMax and get something affordable, but you will not be well served by such moves in the long run. You back will appreciate a more carefully considered approach.

As opposed to something solid or upholstered I like chairs with shock cord support. This reflects the fact that I live in an area with warmer temperatures most of the year. It’s easier to stay cool given this kind of ventilated chair.

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Dave Michels On The Demise Of Netbooks

Self-proclaimed telecom Blogalyst and all-around great guy Dave Michels recently posted some interesting observations about Microsoft, the sorry state of the PC industry and the demise of the netbook category. As someone who has counted a couple of netbooks as important tools in my arsenal I’ve been pondering his assertions. While I agree with many of his observations, I’m not so certain that I draw the same conclusions. Netbooks were doomed to be transitional items from the start.

Dave is correct that Microsoft took a dim view of netbooks, offering only Windows XP Home at a price point that would permit them to retail in the $200-300 range, at least initially. Recall that the entire category was started by the Asus Eee PC. That device offered a 7.0” display, Intel Celeron CPU,  512 MB of memory and 8 GB of flash storage and sold for $199. That device tapped Linux to keep the price down and the performance acceptable.

One of the innovative aspects of the early netbooks was the use of flash-based storage. This was before SSDs were commonplace. It was a great way to eek some performance from otherwise pokey hardware.

The category evolved quite quickly, with most netbooks offering traditional hard drives for storage and displays in the 9-10” range. Most were based upon Intel’s Atom CPU family. At their peak they sold in the range of $350-500.  Only the occasional model reached beyond those prices.

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My First Tweet-Up & The Plantronics Voyager Legend

Twitter-Bird-Voyager-LegendThis past week I’ve been travelling with a new Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset. This is the fourth headset in the Voyager range that I’ve used. You may recall that not so long ago I bought a Voyager Pro HD. That headset has been completely satisfactory. I was not intending to purchase a replacement. So it is that I’ll start by describing how I came to have this little beasty, which is a bit of a curious story and the tale of my first Tweet-Up, aka Twitter Party.

Back in October my wife took a business trip to Anaheim CA for a few days. This was something of a turning of the tables for I am the frequent business traveller in the family. She rarely travels on business.

It was decided (i.e. I was told) that since she had to be away I would need to be taking care of things at home that week. I found myself tending the homestead without some of the normal distractions of our daily life. I had some extra time to tinker for a few evenings.

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Dev-Audio’s Microcone: A Novel New USB Conference Microphone

Many thanks to self-described Blogalyst Dave Michels for pointing out a new usb conference microphone from Dev-Audio called the Microcone. Featuring six microphones and some on-board DSP this little device is purportedly able to capture the directional cues inherent in a meeting.

The company sells a related OSX application that is said to record six tracks in parallel. Each track corresponds to one of the size directional microphone pickups.

According to the companies web site:

“Microcone® uses innovative intellectual property based on microphone array techniques. Microphone arrays consist of multiple microphones functioning as a single directional input device: essentially, an acoustic antenna. Using sound propagation principles, the principal sound sources in an environment can be spatially located and distinguished from each other. While the Microcone device can be understood conceptually as a single intelligent group microphone, in fact it is a microphone array device containing several microphone elements acting in an integrated manner.”

They’re leveraging acoustic beamforming, something that I have mentioned a few times in the past.

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Dave Michel’s Notable News Feed

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, “The internet is big. Really, really big. I mean it’s just mind-bogglingly big. ” It’s amazing that we can find anything at all. It’s especially nice when smart people help us to find things. Over the…

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Dave Michels Launches “TalkingPointz”

VoIP blogger and VUC contributor Dave Michels has launched a new online venture in the form of a web site that he’s calling TalkingPointz. Dave and I discussed this new venture while it was still in the just-thinking-about-it phase. The project bears some explanation as it offers something new and possibly quite valuable to the SMB telecom market.

To understand TalkingPointz it helps to know something about Dave’s background. Starting with a Master’s degree in telecommunication Dave has a long history in the area of telecom. When I first encountered Dave he was still at the helm of Buffalo Communications, a VAR based in Boulder CO. Prior to that he held various positions at some significant enterprises, including; Coors, IBM & GE.

To be concise, Dave knows enterprise telecom.

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