Yesterday the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch property posted an article called “10 things not to buy in 2014” by AnnaMaria Andriotis. Hey, it’s the end-of-the-year and lists are sprouting up like mushrooms in the morning dew. I wish they held as much value as those edible fungi. Still, I suppose there’s little point in being listless at this time of year.
If I may take a moment to anthropomorphize…hard drives are not immortal. I was reminded of this very fact when overnight on April 11th a drive in my primary desktop failed.
Given that I was just one day away from my making annual forced trek to Las Vegas for the NAB Convention, and the fact that our income tax return was on that media, it certainly could have been a a problem. However, it wasn’t a catastrophe. Not at all.
The two computers that Stella and I use as our primary desktops sport internal RAID 1 disk arrays. Both desktops came that way. In fact, that was part of their appeal. I was concerned that Stella would have a drive fail one day when I was travelling. Such a failure at an inopportune moment would surely heap calamity upon my very existence.
These desktops are now getting older. Last fall Stella’s system did lose a disk. She told me about the event, advising that she received a desktop prompt noting that “Logical Drive 1 had become critical.” I said not to worry, if it was still running it wasn’t being critical of anything she had done. All would be well until I resolved the trouble.
In recent weeks and months I’ve been giving some thought to making greater use of video within the scope of my work life. In part this is what what motivated my ill-fated attempt to get LifeSize to appear on a VUC call. It happens that others VUC contributors are considering such things as well.
Last week Paul Warmbowski was completing a trial of the Vidyo personal telepresence server. He offered several VUC regulars a chance to connect for a test call. The experience was both welcome and very interesting.
Austin-based LifeSize recently released a software-based PC video conferencing client that they call the LifeSize Desktop. Since I’m always looking for new tools I took the opportunity to download the 30 day free trial and have it installed on a desktop and laptop, both running Windows XP.
The software is intended to be a SIP soft client for their HD video conferencing products. To that end they recommend it be used with a webcam that supports 720p images, that is 1280 x 720 pixels @ 30 frame/sec. At the time of its release the only one available was the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000. Since then Microsoft has announced a suitable webcam. I expect that others will eventually do so as well.