OnSIP Recommends Polycom

Family is curious thing. The people closest to us we often regard with a complex mixture of both affection and disdain. Such is the human condition. Emotion, passion especially, arises in so many forms, like matter and anti-matter, energetic yet opposite.

Your family might include doctors, lawyers, poets and astro-physicists…even Nobel laureates. But they’re still your family. You know them really well, and for all their legitimately wondrous attributes there are times that they’re still just a pain in the….well, you know.

When you make use of a particular companies products for long enough they become a bit like family. You appreciate their better qualities, but you also get to know their idiosyncrasies. You know what you’d change if you had some influence.

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USB & Bluetooth In IP Phones: A Missed Opportunity?

Last week’s VUC call with FWDs Dan Behringer brings to mind a common complaint about SIP desk phones, namely the lack of an alphanumeric keyboard. Lacking a proper keyboard it’s difficult to really push the idea of SIP URIs as a primary means of making calls.

There are a variety of approaches to overcoming this, including the use of ISNs as prescribed by the Freenum project. That project proposes a means of dialing SIP URIs indirectly, assigning them ISN numbers. Since ISNs use only numbers and the * key they can be dialed on a traditional phone keypad. It’s essentially a way of avoiding SIP URIs through indirection.

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USB Speakerphones: An Observation

Over a period of years I’ve used quite a number of these portable USB attached speakerphone devices. A while ago I summarized my experienced with them, but as a couple of new models have recently emerged so I find that they have my attention yet again. These new devices, if I should be lucky enough to try them, will be the focus on some future posts. For the moment I have another observation to share based upon a recent experience.

Six USB Speakerphones

All of these portable speakerphones I find well suited to individual use. That is, they work well enough for an individual who sitting at their PC and doesn’t like to wear a headset. They’re also sufficiently portable to please a road warrior. One of the nice things about this kind of device is that they often support HDVoice when paired with a suitable soft phone.

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STUN’d Into Silence

I’ve been traveling a lot lately so the phones around my home office have been idle. Even so, I was a little surprised to find that my snom m3 was not making or receiving calls this morning. Well, it was and it wasn’t. I could dial out and the call appeared to be placed, but I never heard any audio. Once clear of today’s VUC call with Dan Behringer, and lunch with my wife, I was able to investigate this further and get the matter resolved.

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Toward A Community Developed IP Phone

A few days ago on the Asterisk Users Mailing List Tzafrir Cohen of Xorcom fame started an interesting thread about the possibility of a community developed IP Phone.

A common wisdom here is that one should use a proper hardware phone rather that an extra software on the user’s PC. Why is that such a big issue?

One thing that bothers me with the current crop of hardware SIP phones is that they are hopelessly proprietary.

So what would it take to build a fully-adaptable phone?

I am 100% behind the assertion that most users want a hard phone on their desk. Soft phones, even good ones, seem to be exclusively the domain of those who travel and vertical niches like call centers.

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