Category Archives: My Comments

Steve Jobs Resigns

This is scary.  I would not be concerned if he wasn’t sick, and stick thin.  But…

From my perspective…this is a guy who changed the world more than once, more than twice, more than three times.  Simply awesome.

He is not afraid to innovate, to try something new, to make it easy, to make it reliable, and then have the foresight to have the backup stuff available to make it all work.

Read my original blog entry on the brand new, world changing iPhone.  Look at the smartphone you have in your pocket today…I rest my case.

The world will miss his creativity and energy.  Let’s hope he re-gains his health.

Cisco Flips the Flip

I ran across this article in the NY Times this morning and found it interesting.

Why is it interesting?

I’ll tell you why:  In 2007, the Flip camcorder was the latest cutting edge technology.  It sold like hot cakes, and the big players came out with their own versions.

2007 was 4 years ago.  Yikes!  ONLY 4 years ago…

Now…the Flip is pretty much obsolete (as are those cool little cameras you can stick in your pocket).

Smartphones can take pictures with great resolution, and videos, and you can make phone calls, connect to WiFi, upload to Facebook, Flickr, or Picassa.  Who needs a separate device?

Apparently hardly anyone…Cisco is closing down the Flip division which it purchased for $590 million only a short time ago.

Technology time is moving faster and faster.

Sure glad I’m not obsolete….hmmmm, maybe I am.  Check back in a microsecond.  :-)

Update: I just found this interesting CNET article on Cisco’s Consumer Failures.

Now…you know I am not really fond of Cisco (oh you mean it was not obvious that I think their videoconferencing efforts were not being done right (DUH…standards!  DUH…travelling to a fancy, extremely expensive, room to video conference is ANTI-intuitive)…until they bought Tandberg that is), but, this consumer stuff is not their fault, and at least they tried.

Drive Safe!  Never forget.

Top Ten TelBitConsulting Blog Posts of All Time

Since this is a technical blog, and we, as techies can nerd out on stats, I thought it might be interesting for you to see the top ten posts on this blog (when it was on wordpress.com only…the year it was off on it’s own is not included).

Not including the “Home” page here are the next ten:

Comcast HDTV Cable Box Installation 5,731
VidyoDesktop Review 4,348
Google Gmail Video Chat Review 2,390
Radvision Scopia Desktop Review 2,024
Polycom PVX for H.323 Video Conferencing 1,521
Sony Blu-Ray Player Review 1,262
Digital TV Converter Installation 1,057
Review of Mirial Softphone 1,053
Tandberg Movi: A Quick Look 813
Lifesize Desktop Review 782

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

Twitter, Facebook, Blog

Been thinking.

Yeah, I know that is dangerous.

But, hey, I enjoy it (being dangerous, of course).  ;-)

Blog

About 5 or 6 years ago (I think) I heard about this relatively new way to put your thoughts out for the world to see.  The Blog.  In a previous life, my thoughts ended up in a magazine (DVC Magazine, TeleConference Magazine, New Media Magazine…all now…hmmmm, gone) and it was fun to read my own words of wisdom on video conferencing and collaboration (of course at that period in time, nearly everyone thought I was crazy….”Why would you want to SEE someone”.  It’s 2011, and now I can tell them:  D-U-H).

With a blog, I could spill my guts (and whatever knowledge I had to impart to the world) very easily to a large audience (or so I thought).  So I started my Yahoo blog.  After awhile,  that blog was not working for me (it was really clunky), so I moved to Blogspot.  Wow….much better, but, again, after a while, I seemed to tire of blogspot / blogger for some reason, and moved to WordPress.  I’m still here (even though I took a year to fire up WordPress.org blogs).

Have I ever told you I LOVE WORDPRESS?  Well, there you go.  :-)

And I love blogging.  As you can tell by looking at the bottom of this page…..I have 4 blogs now.

And the nice thing about a blog, is my OLDEST blog entry (that is MY FIRST, or second) is still around.  See it here, written in Feb 2005 (We still have that TV….recently replaced the lamp for the first time!).  Using the “Categories” and / or “Search” you can find everything I have written in the past 5 or 6 years.  I think that is awesome.

And the content I put up is (hopefully) educational.

Facebook

I tried MySpace after it had been out awhile.  Boy did that suck.

Then Facebook came out and it was much better, I signed up.  I now have 205 “friends” (truthfully, only a small percentage of which are really friends) on Facebook, and a business page under “AltamontCowork”.   I have placed ads (largely a waste of money), and post stuff about ForCarol.com, AltamontCowork, and some personal stuff (but not totally dumb ass stupid stuff).  Again, truthfully, the most fun I have on Facebook is talking with the Bay Shore Kids.  Much of the rest of my time on Facebook is time wasted.  Sorry.

Unlike a blog…..the information on Facebook goes away (and is really freakin hard to find) after an hour or so.  I suspect if you have 500 to 5000 friends you will never see my posts, even though the ForCarol.com posts are DAMN important.  Especially if you have teenagers who are driving….

And unlike a blog, most of my personal posts (and sorry, again, other’s posts) are drivel.  I really don’t care when you get gas (whether for your car, or the other kind), and other than a few people, I’m am pretty sure you don’t give a rat’s ass about how many miles I ran this morning.

The information on Facebook, is for the most part, not educational, and it goes away in an hour or less…..never to be seen again.  But then again….who cares.

Twitter

When I first heard of Twitter, I had heard that it is a blow-by-blow description of a person’s life.

Well, for most Twitterers (or as Jay calls them “Twatters”) that does seem to be the case.  But, I saw some value in promoting AltamontCowork and my Technical Blogs and Book Reviews there, so I signed up.  I quickly realized that there was no way in the world I could read everyones tweets (and that my tweets were gazed upon by very few eyeballs).  Twitter is basically a mountain (Everest!) of useless drivel.

I also have come to understand that a Tweet lasts less than minute…..and then it is gone forever.  But, again, since most of it is total shit…..who cares.

What the Hell is my Point?

Beats the crap out of me, but, guess what?  10 years from now you can find and read this blog entry and tell my heirs what a total jerk I was for writing it. How funny. :-)

Oh yeah….I have copies of the magazines I wrote for, but, I’ll bet you don’t.  Blog is better, and longer lasting than even a magazine (National Geographic the exception), and it takes up less space.

Video Conferencing in 2011

Technology is moving at light speed, but, culture change takes time.

For some technologies the time is almost here for mass adoption.  For example, 2011 may, finally, be the year video conferencing (read on for my theory on why) will reach mass adoption.  Time will tell….

2010 Technology Change

2010 was an amazing technology year.

Technology change in 2010 happened faster than ever, and since there was more technology to change, it seemed even faster (sometimes overwhelming).

  • Really cool (and powerful) smart phones boomed.  Tablets that people actually used emerged.
  • Social networking via texting, Twitter, and Facebook all provided hundreds of millions of people a quick surface look into “friends” lives.
  • E-book readers (both human and technology) boomed, but, real books did not go away.
  • 3-D movies, TV’s, and players boomed.  HDTV is almost ubiquitous.
  • Streaming of movies, TV shows, or original content over the Internet continue to hurt stores like Blockbuster while others simply went away.
  • Cloud computing came to the forefront and will continue to boom.
  • Video conferencing is now everywhere.

But technology (no matter how cool) is only a TOOL.  How people use these tools, for their benefit, at home, work, or at play, determines how their lives can be improved (or not) by these technological tools.  But, it takes time for people to learn how to use these tools.

Video conferencing is an old tool

For the purposes of this blog, (according to my theories) we are at the cusp of mass adoption and use for video conferencing.

Many years ago, I gave a talk giving examples of when a particular technology was introduced versus when that technology changed the world.  In all cases:  TV, radio, telephone, microwave ovens, Internet, etc.  The delay between design realization and use by the masses was 15 to 20 years.  A generation, or two, of people.

Culture change takes time.   As a young man, that was hard to understand.  As an older man…I accept this (sort of).

In the late 1980′s, video conferencing was introduced (at least the “modern” version).  In the early and late 1990′s standards were developed for videoconferencing over telephone lines, and, eventually, over a packet network.  The Internet arrived in the mid-90′s. Packet based video conferencing system started to arrive in the late 90′s.

Fast forward…..hmmmm, how interesting…..15 or 16 or 17 years and it is now 2011. Video conferencing (as we have come to use it) has been around for the required amount of time (15 to 20 years).  “Video chat” is on your cell phone, it is free on your computer (with multipoint), the need for high definition rooms seems to be fading, and the need to videoconference anytime, anywhere, with anyone is definitely on the upswing. Most importantly…..the kids are involved.  “Lets video call” will be the new mantra…

2011 may indeed be the year videoconferencing changes the world…..’bout time.   :-)

What else should 2011 bring?

1. Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework

Folks, it is time you start working from anywhere.  Commuting to a central location (for those with jobs that can be done remotely) is stupid, inefficient, and costly. It is time for the OFB’s (old fashioned bosses) of the world to retire and let the world of work change. Need to see your employees?  Video conference !  DUH.

2. We need cell phone apps that can help save lives.

An app can detect an accident, then it can alert emergency response teams with the location.  Videoconferencing via cell phone with a Doctor can help save lives at an accident site.

3. We need cars that recognize the driver, and their condition, and limit the speed achievable accordingly. How about cars that can automatically correct out of control conditions too?  The technology is here…

Lets see what 2011 brings….I’m sure there will be some awesome technology.

We all need to figure out how to use this technology to improve our lives, and maybe, save lives.

Happy New Year.

Frozen Nook

Never, even on the coldest day, has a Book ever frozen on me.

I’m in the middle of a great book (Brad Thor’s “The Last Patriot”) and my Nook FROZE.

Yikes!   Nothing I did worked.  Rats.  (I used the Nook app on my new HTC Aria to continue reading)

Then I called Barnes & Noble Tech Support, 1-800-THE-BOOK, (how FUNNY is that…Barnes & Noble tech support…..?) and they told me what to do to UNFREEZE my Nook.

1. Pull off the back cover (there are tiny slots on each side to fingernail grab and pull)

2. Unscrew the battery screw and take out the battery.

3. Hold down the Power button for 1 minute (to drain the power completely).

4. Put the battery back in and secure it with the screw.

5. Put the cover back on.

6. Charge it for up to 4 hours (mine only took a few minutes to UNFREEZE).  But I will have to keep charging it since it is severely uncharged.

Barnes & Noble Tech Support….how funny, but, they are great!  :-)

Beat Facebook This Month

AltamontCowork is trying to beat 570 billion page views for this next month.  Please help by clicking this link…be part of history!

Latest Count (May 28- June 1):  472 clicks !!!

Content Rules

I have lived through a lot of change, and it seems like change is happening now much more rapidly than in the past.

To keep up with technology, you have to be fast on your feet  and willing to accept new ideas.  Most people, as they age, stop at a certain point….I’ve seen videoconferencing companies die because they refused to adapt to change.

I will not stop…I refuse to stop..there is one thought that I have had for an hour now that is keeping me sane….

It occurred to me (about an hour ago) that the CONTENT is stable…it is only the delivery mechanism that changes.

Wisdom:  So when everything seems to move too fast, remember that really, truly, nothing is changing at all.

Lets look at several examples.

1. News / Information

In the old old days, people heard about the news by word of mouth, then paper,  the telegraph, then wireless via the radio, then TV, now the Internet (blogs, twitter, facebook, etc… )

The history may not be totally accurate, but, you get the idea:  News is still news.  Information is still information.

Only the transport mechanism, the delivery, has changed.

2. TV Shows ( for entertainment)

I’m a child of TV.  I grew up as this technology went from nothing, to black and white, to color, to high definition.

The sets themselves went from huge  heavy things that took minutes to warm up (tubes being what they were) to razor thin wall mounted intant on LCD, or now, LED HD sets that, truthfully, blow you away with the sound and video quality.  Now you can watch TV shows via your iPod (or other such device) via the Internet.

All along the way, the shows are still being shown.  “Sky King”, “Bonanza”, “Lost”, “Glee”, and my favorites “Survivor”, “Celebrity Apprentice”, “The Office, and most of all….”NCIS”.   I can still watch my baseball games, football games, or Kansas basketball.  Only the delivery mechanism has changed.

The CONTENT is constant.

3. Novels / Stories

Books are in the process of going away.  That makes me sad, but, I now understand that the CONTENT….the stories themselves (and the Authors who write the stories), are here to stay…until the human race disappears (and it will..).  Before my time is up, I may be reading books on a Nook (or other some such device) and buy them via….hmmm, the Internet.

But the stories will remain the same.

4. Country (or other some such) Music

I remember the momentous day when I got my first bright red transistor radio!  I ran next door immediately to show Tommy, Danny (was a baby) and Ginny.  Transistors were the new fangled kid in town and radios could now be carried around with you…amazing.  Radio has evolved to HD audio and satellite delivery, but, guess what?  The CONTENT is the same.

Likewise, for your car or home, 8 track tapes, audio cassete tapes, CD’s, and now the iPod like devices (and …..the Internet) have changed the way we listen to music, but, guess what?   The music, the CONTENT,  is still the same. (Maybe even better since George Strait is still singing, and Gary Allan, and Eric Church are up and coming).

Conclusion

I can moan and groan about the changing technology, but, after all is said and done…the CONTENT is constant…it is really only the delivery that changes.

What did I miss?  Human interaction (talking, telephone, videoconferencing, texting, ?), Going from one place to another (does this count as content?) (walking, horses, cars / trains / planes, teleportation?)

Disagree?  Comments?

Google TV

Related to yesterday’s blog posting (funny how I timed that blog entry…completely random, believe me), this article on Computerworld tells us that Google, Sony, and Logitech are planning to introduce an Internet capable (smart) TV.

This Android-based TV (sure hope it will be High Def…interesting, Friend Paul posted this link on Facebook that mentions 1080p HD) will connect to your Internet connection that is now oh so very handy…at your TV!

When this happens, possibly this Fall, you can watch a TV show, record one on your DVR,  (I’m sure) videoconference using Skype (Logitech makes web cams too), work on an application with the remote end (via a planned wireless keyboard and mouse), and watch movies, TV shows, News, etc all from the Internet.

The center of the family and computer network will finally move to the vicinity of the TV.

VEEERRRY INTEEERESTING, indeed.

Hmmmm, is there gonna be a REBOOT button on TV’s now?  Since I have been aware of TV (the 50′s) my TV has been VERY reliable….I’m afraid that may change.

Comments?

Home Networking Paradigm Shift

Figured I’d change the tone a bit for this blog.  Instead of heavy emphasis on product testing (which is time consuming and sometimes expensive), I’ll start commenting on things technical that strike my fancy or when I see interesting developments that I just can’t keep quiet about.

The Old Days – Way in the Past

In the old days, I had the computer network in our house centered in the study.

We had our big desktop system (the DELL), an HP printer, a VERY old HUB (yes….a hub), and my trusty old Toshiba laptop (yes…it is still my main laptop since 2006!).

I ran cat 5 tp from the garage into the study for my DSL connection, and later on, I decided my trusty Toshiba laptop could be used in the Family Room, or outside, so I installed a Linksys wireless router….in the study, of course.

VUDU Days – Start of the Paradigm Shift – Not So Far in the Past

A couple of years ago (search this blog for VUDU for the complete story) I found a 5 WaterTower technology that allowed us to watch high quality movies via the Internet.  Only problem:  I needed to run a cat 5 (I could have done wireless, but, hey…) wire from the Study to the Family Room near the TV and the VUDU.

Now I had Internet access next to the HDTV (we bought this HDTV in Feb 2005…see one of my first blog entries).

The shift has begun.

Wireless Era – Recent Past

The old Linksys wireless router now was responsible for supporting a wider range of wireless devices.  Over a couple of years, we acquired 2 IPod Touches, and one more laptop computer which was used 100% of the time wireless.

The old Linksys was still in the study, but, now the computing devices were mostly mobile (the DELL and printer the hub and the DSL were still in the study).

Comcast Internet – Paradigm Shift Well Under Way – Current

Not happy with our DSL provider (how dare they think I’m a complete idiot when I called for technical assistance…) I moved to Comcast Internet (which I have at AltamontCowork and am very happy with).

But that move posed a dilemma.  I only have one cat 5 wire running from the study to the Family Room.  Where do I set up the cable “modem” (remember these are not really modems….), how do I connect the DELL, Printer, and Linksys?

Solution:  First of all….I was forced to place the cable modem near the TV.  The old Linksys was getting flaky, so I bought a new E1000 Linksys (I still like Linksys even though they are now part of the Cisco collective) wireless router, and a new 5 port switch (to replace the ancient hub in the study).

Now the DELL and Printer are connected to the new switch.  The switch is connected via the original cat 5 to the Family Room to the new E1000 wireless router.

VUDU is wired to the E1000 (a very short cat 5 cable), and the new Cable modem is connected via wire to the E1000.   The iPod’s and laptops are wireless via the E1000.  If I ever decided to connect the Blu-Ray to the Internet, the E1000 has room, and the needed cable will be short.

Conclusion / Future

The shift of our house computer networking needs from the Study to the Family Room is nearly complete.  I suspect a wireless printer will be next, and the new computer replacement for the DELL will be a laptop.  The study will then be free of computing devices, but, I will keep the new Printer there just for old times.

The new center of our world is now the Family Room….by the big HDTV (we now have a “small” HDTV in the Living Room.

Pretty soon my prediction of many many years ago will come true.  Kristen will be at college (she starts at University of Pacific in the Fall, not the University of Kansas in my article) and will call me, via videoconferencing, on my HDTV.

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