When The Wifi Blows: Experience At NAB 2011

NABshow_logoThe past week or so my attention was wholly consumed by the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters. Held in Las Vegas each April the NAB exhibition is the major event in the year of a broadcast equipment maker. This was my 18th NAB, which makes the more a test of stamina than anything else.

Happily, the show was for my employer a considerable success. Attendance has returned to reasonable levels. It seems that broadcasters are feeling better about their existence. Globally broadcasters are starting to move forward with long stalled projects. New channels will be launched and existing services enhanced. It all bodes well for the manufacturing sector of the industry, presuming that manufacturers have toughed out the recent slow period and continued to develop products that improve the operating efficiency of customers.

For our company the one major annoyance of NAB 2011 was the complete failure of wifi on the show floor. From the last day of setup to the close of the event wifi was essentially useless. This was not a huge problem, but a considerable inconvenience. In our case it meant that the many sales and executive staff present could only access email via a wired network connection.

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Dave Michels: Capitalizing on the Cloud

Long time telecom guru and advocate for on-premises PBX hardware Dave Michels recently posted an article called, “Capitalizing on the Cloud.” While titled in reference to The Cloud it’s actually a good primer on the underlying logic of capital vs operating expenditures. It’s a good read, highly recommended.

Further, although for my own situation I remain a proponent of hosted PBX services, I take Dave’s point as being sound. There are a lot of claims being made about hosted services of all sorts, whether cloud based or not. Such claims should be examined thoroughly. They may not be completely sound.

Dave has been doing some really good writing over the past year. It makes me wonder where he may come to rest his hat once his current walkabout has come to an end.

Introducing The Freetalk Connect PBX With Skype Integration

Today marks the launch of the Freetalk Connect PBX from In-Store Solutions. Freetalk Connect is a small business PBX appliance that includes close integration with Skype.

Freetalk Connect was initially announced in January at ITEXPO East. Thomas Howe, CTO of In-Store Solutions, made a guest appearance on a VUC call on August 13th to discuss the device. At that time we learned that Freetalk Connect is based upon Asterisk and Skype-For-Asterisk.

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A History Of Asterisk In My Home Office

I’ve recently been reflecting upon my history as an Asterisk user and the evolution of my preference for embedded systems (aka appliance) approach to Asterisk servers.

The path that I’ve followed is probably typical of a lot of people in many ways. Perhaps by sharing my experience I can help some people avoid some of the problems that I have faced, and understand how I arrived at my personal definition of an “Asterisk Appliance.”

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Nerd Uno Dishes Out Advice on SIP Security

Ward Mundy over at Nerd Vittles has a great post today about SIP security. It’s entitled The Incredible PBX: Adding Remotes, Preserving Security. If you run an Asterisk based PBX you should probably read this. Now!

Ward’s advice really rings true (sorry for the telecom geek pun, it couldn’t be helped!)  His “Baker’s Dozen SIP Security Checklist” makes perfect sense. That doesn’t mean that I can’t add my own two cents.

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PBXact: Unexpected Magic

If you were keeping an eye on the realm of open source PBX offerings you might be lulled into thinking that there is Digium with Asterisk and Switchvox, then everyone else. Where “everyone else” was basically hobbyists and Freeswitch fanatics. Well, that’s easy to understand, but you’d be wrong. I know that I was.

TMC recently posted an interview with Tony Lewis of Schmooze Communications. I know, I know…how do you take a company with a name like that seriously? It’s just one step above Goober Networks..oh,wait…they’re a real player, too! Well, what’s in a name?

Until today Schmooze Communications didn’t mean anything to me. However, I was enlightened by Michael White from E4 Technologies who is distributing  Schmooze Communications‘ product….PBXact.

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