Are Tablets Really Killing PC Sales?

I think not. Kudos to Dean Collins for getting this right. Dean  notes a Boomberg Business Week article citing Gartner Group report. They claim;

“…PC makers and suppliers are still struggling to lure back consumers who have decided they can get the Internet access and computing they need from cheaper tablets.”

…which is I think absolute hogwash. Dean quite correctly asserts that the trouble with PC sales is a lack of compelling new applications that require the continuous upgrade cycle of old.

If I consider our own experience hereabouts, both Estella and I got new desktops last summer. This was motivated in part of a compelling offer from Woot.com and the fact that were had three-year-old systems running Windows XP. The move to new hardware was accompanied by a new OS. It made more sense to go all-in on the new systems than upgrade the OS on the existing hardware.

For many people, uber-gamers and media guru’s aside, there simply isn’t any reason to get new hardware so very often. We bought our last Windows XP systems at about the time that Estella bought a license for the Adobe Master Suite. That was a monster bundle of heavy-hitting software that justified the new hardware.

Our move to Windows 7 64 bit was in-part compelled by the need to move to the latest Adobe Creative Suite, which absolutely required a 64 bit OS. For my part, I needed a desktop with PCIe to support the use of a BlackMagic Design video capture card.

Clearly, our activities involving the use of high-quality video drives our hardware upgrade cycle. Such forces do not exist for many people, so their hardware sustains them much longer.

We own tablets, but the presence of those devices has not impacted our decision to buy desktops or laptops. In this case I think that Gartner is mistaken.

The Freetalk Everyman HD Webcam & H.264 Compression

Not long ago In-Store Solutions launched the Freetalk Everyman HD Webcam for Skype. I’ve had a number of webcams before, even one capable of real “HD.” I bought the Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 last summer when I was trying the LifeSize Desktop video conference client. HD in this application means 1280 x 720 pixels.

So initially I thought that the Freetalk Everyman HD Webcam for Skype was less than exciting. Upon further investigation I find it very interesting for one specific reason; hardware acceleration of H.264 encoding.

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Open Source Hardware Where Art Thou?

audiocodes-mediapack-114VoIP Supply’s Garrett Smith has an interesting post the other day. Actually, we can cross reference a couple of posts to follow his line of thinking. Firstly, he offers some advice on selecting an analog gateway in a post titled, “Four Keys To A Successful Voip Gateway Purchase.” It’s a good basic overview on VoIP gateways for the beginner.

I’ve made my thoughts on gateway/ATA devices well known in the past (here, here and here). I see them as relics of a prior era of VoIP, and to be avoided if at all possible. However, some people feel that they are truly necessary. Whatever floats your boat.

A little later on over at VoIP Supply’s VoIP Insider Blog Garrett poses the question, “Where Are The Open Source VoIP Gateways?” That is a fine question and one the deserves an answer. It also needs to be broken down a bit to get to a clear answer.

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