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Ensuring Productivity In My Home Office

I-Have-A-Bean-SingleMugDarkImageI’d like to pose a simple question. What’s the single most important piece of technology in my home office? Don’t dwell on it. What comes immediately to mind?

Those of you who have been paying attention for a while will know that the correct answer is the coffee machine. You may have a different opinion, but as the question was specifically about my home office, I assure you that this is definitely the case.

Like so many people coffee plays an important part in my day, illuminating the foggy crevices of morning, accelerating my migration into the productive portion of the day. I have been heard to refer to coffee as, “that marvelous brown fluid that gives rise to intelligence before noon-time.”

I am admittedly an addict. So be it.

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A Few Ideas On Call Recording

Polycom-SoundPoint-IP-335-300px Earlier this week I had a little Twitter exchange with Jon Brodkin. It was inspired by his initial tweet:

“transcribing interview and can hear myself sipping coffee. That must come through loud and clear on speakerphone too.”

The inappropriate, or at least unfortunate use of speakerphones being a pet peeve of mine I could not help but respond, recommending the use of a good headset…as I’ve done many times previously.

Jon further went on to inquire about how he might easily record a call when using a headset with his using a Polycom Soundpoint IP335?

He further asserts that:

“…you would think it should be a lot easier with an Internet-based phone, but it’s not.”

That started me wondering how many people find call recording to be troublesome? People in companies with on-site PBX systems may have such capability presented by those systems. SOHO users may need other options.

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The Deskphone Re-Imagined: Invoxia’s NVX610

In recent years we’ve repeatedly heard of the death of the land line, how large numbers of consumers are “cutting the cord” and turning to mobile phones as their only phones. Industry data on the continuing loss of land lines bears out this claim.

Many people, including VUC regulars like myself and Dave Michels, have been calling for a reimagining of the desk phone. The premise being that an innovative reconsideration of the desk phone could save the “Home Phone.”

The trend in cord cutting is not purely a consumer phenomenon. Given dispersed and highly mobile workforces some businesses are eschewing the traditional desk phone in favor of mobile phones. This is driven by many factors, notably; cost, convenience, and feature set in the light of smart phones.

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Getting Close To A Yeti

Blue-Yeti-200 My ongoing involvement in the VoIP Users Conference has me occasionally pondering my home office equipment. While I make my living in the broadcast television equipment business, in truth, audio was my first love.

The VUC can easily be joined using any phone, but sometimes a phone…even my long-time companion Polycom IP650…doesn’t feel like the right tool for the job. So last year I put a microphone on my holiday wish list, the Yeti from Blue Microphones. Seeing an opportunity to address the my voip-geek habit, my wife decided to put one under the Christmas tree.

The Yeti is in many ways special. It’s a USB-attached microphone, so it plugs directly into a computer. That means that the critical electronics of the pre-amplifier are housing in the mic itself, away from the harsh electrical environment of the computer’s internals.

Further, the Yeti has three microphone capsules under it’s wire mesh head. The output of the three capsules can be mixed in various combinations resulting in several directivity patterns; omni-directional, cardoid, stereo (left-right) or figure-eight (front-back.) This makes the Yeti very adaptable to different  situations.

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A Ramble In Search Of A Topic: Podcasts, NAB, Convergence of Broadcast & IP Comms

three-podcastsAt this very moment I face a bit of a problem. What to write about? I have a lengthy list of ideas, notes and incomplete drafts. Oddly enough, none have any appeal at this very moment. Yet here I sit, on board a Jet Blue flight from Houston to New York…which is typically prime time for wordsmithing without distraction.

When I travel I tend to listen to podcasts. Often I’ll catch up on VUC calls that I’ve missed. Today I have a couple of episodes of Escape Pod and CBC Radio’s Spark on my phone. All three are favorites and well worth your time to give them a listen.

Like it not, my work is somewhat seasonal. This time of year we are consumed by the reality of the National Association of Broadcasters Annual Convention & Exposition, aka NAB 2011. NAB opens a week from today. Much of the coming weekend I will spend helping to get our booth ready for the show.

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