Phones @ The NAB Show

Don’t get me started with this silly concept of using pretty ladies for a target to test 4K or 8K cameras. It’s no longer a man’s club anymore.

But I digress.

After shooting this, and back home a couple months later I realized in this picture there was a Mitel 5200 series that had the touchscreen. Mitel made a boatload of IP terminals for a period of time from the 5200s alone. 5300s had a more stable lineup. Possibly due to the change of LCD technology and the ability to fully replace the desi strips with something that used to resemble paper desis.

This was the only telephone they had for the show and for the show girls. If I recall this was Canon’s space.


Phones @ Work: The Boston Globe

A couple weeks ago The Boston Globe, which has been at Morrisey Blvd in the Dorchester neighborhood for just under 60 years is moving to a new facility in an office building in downtown Boston. To put it in simple terms, to use the cliche in a reverse sense Avaya Red “is [not] alive and well”. It’s full death among local businesses and enterprises are dropping like flies. And the replacements should make customers just want to use cell phones or just SIP/POTS phones instead!

The local WGBH Beat the Press did some interviews of the remaining staff at the old facility three weeks ago. However, before the move, their once long time phone system an Avaya Red Definity class system had at some point gotten the layoff notice. And this footage was taken at their old facility, may I repeat.

It’s not a surprise to see new phone systems at old locations, or any piece of technology for that matter. For users it’s to break in to a new thought process, for IT or IS managers, it’s to lock in the technology, and for the finance department it’s to save costs.

The replacement is a young, hip, anti traditional phone vendor known as Shortel the company known for stalking users online with targeted ads to their platform for months on end (if you retain cookies), and has been touted as a “Pure IP” vendor.

The man to the left of the small end Shortel is their high tech reporter, Hiawatha Bray. The irony is their high tech reporter is using a monitor that’s more than fifteen years old. I can’t imagine the electricity bill for that building alone if they used old PCs and screens. At least a phone system will always have static cost, and well if it works…

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Telephony 101: “Turret Telephones”

I’ve posted this in the past. I’ll say I was one lucky bastard to have the experience in my lifetime before a few animals destroyed America within weeks. If September 11th occurred earlier, I wouldn’t been able to see what I am about to show you.

I’ll save the other commentary in the original throwback post.

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8520 ISDN Voice Terminal


These sets of JPEGs I acquired over a decade ago. I’m posting these photos because to clear things up with these sets. These 8500 sets was marketed by AT&T, then Lucent then Avaya. They are ISDN sets. Open standards telephones that worked on BRI supported lines. So this set could theoretically work on a Nortel PBX or carrier switch, or a 5ESS central switch or a Definity/Communication Manager PBX. But when Avaya was spun off, who had the rights?

It seems to be Avaya, because Lucent marketed a 202x series of ISDN sets post spinoff. Prior to the 8500s, there was the 7500 (mimicked the 7400 DCP/7300 Merlin sets) and the 6500 (mimicked the Spirit line) essentially giving Avaya the legal right-of-first-refusal perhaps.

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The Museum of Telephony doesn’t give a crud about style and aesthetics unless it hampers on performance. The reason why these sets were boxy, may had been internal processes, as commented recently; or the fact according to a list-serve post related to sets used in the Oval Office, was the sets had ribbon connector inside to support daughter-cards for encryption. While the ISDN sets were used for interoperable purposes, ISDN brought something proprietary hybrids couldn’t, use end to end digital signals to prevent any types of eavesdropping beyond the handset.

A previous post on the 8434 actually opening the case of the proprietary DCP set kinda confirmed the possibility on the PBX side of products, but no known “adjuncts” would support “VIP” styled security.

These open BRI sets were in the White House’s Oval Office until a few years ago when Cisco slowly made it’s way. And after Donald Trump’s latest remarks against Avaya, one can’t feel hopeful that any ISDN, digital telephony or Avaya in any way or all will return. This is one of the few places where one can’t just believe VOIP can be fully secure.


Phone of the Day: Cisco 6841 | Local School


I spotted this overpriced telephone in an elementary school during a late fall craft fair. It had a nice turnout, to the point I want to be a vendor and sell geeky fashion items! I say overpriced because this is located in a community where it’s ultra-conservative. The town I live in is extremely frugal in finances and keeps the government small. On the town government, the board would zero-out any proposals to their IT department, which is lead by a “coordinator” that grew up in the days before IP, Windows Servers, etc. In the world of compliance and technical adherence, they run the town side like a mum and pop shop.

The school district’s offices (a seperate agency) is housed in two ranch houses, near the local high school that are commercially zoned. This is most likely where their CallMangler (I can’t help to resist) is located. I’ve spotted a 7900 series in one of the offices when I walked by in that same school.

I’ve seen on the town side using Cisco 7940 sets and 7960 sets since I moved in 2010. The town to kinda leak my location is the largest single voting place that got national attention during the primaries last winter  if people who don’t know where I live.

I do not follow municipal matters as much anymore, but a cutover to VOIP in the school system occurred sometime in the range of fiscal years 2011 to 2013 because the previous phone systems were end of life. I do not know the systems prior to because I didn’t attend school here. What’s ironic is there is an Aruba wireless access point shown here plugged on the PC jack. The town’s fire department had a consumer grade Linksys plugged into their PC port on their Cisco sets…

In the town I did grow up, we had TIE systems in the late 1980s-late 90s then went to Telrad in the school district. The elementary school that I went to got their Telrad in 2002. The Telrads were still there when I moved out of town in 2010.

Phone of the Day: Nearby Kohls | Undisclosed location

This was taken at a local Kohls, just a little north of where I live. This is located in massively redeveloped area of box stores when it was just all trees. I can’t remember when it was built, I’m going to bet before the 2009 bankruptcy of Nortel. (Remember a similar post of noticing Mitel sets of their alleged “Do we stand by our man?” post bankruptcy mentality across any former Nortel sites.) Newer stores went with the “screw them” approach of building new stores with Mitel and older stores still run Avaya Blue.


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Phone of the Day: LEGOLAND Discovery Center | Boston, Massachusetts

Located just north of the Boston city line, in Somerville, Massachusetts, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is located in the Assembly Row neighborhood. Unlike the LEGOLAND in California, or Florida, this place is an indoors given the climate of Boston, hazy hot summers, and very cold winters (honestly more of the former than the latter in recent years.)

Anyways these sets of pictures is a workspace of lady named Megan, whom builds little things shown in the Miniland section of the attraction. According to their Facebook page, she is a certified through Lego’s Master Builder Academy.  Things such as characters from The Lego Movie, Wally (and his galpal) from the Boston Red Sox, the four colored puzzle Autism Awareness, etc. I actually met this lady at the Red Sox game that was Lego themed on the 31st. See telephony related post. In fact I found out that this was her work space after I snapped the picture of the notorious Cisco 6921. She came up to me about a few minutes later asking if we met at Fenway. I felt somewhat flattered that someone could recognize me among thousands that come there.

As you can tell, sadly Lego is on the “dark side” of telephony…:(

I was only able to come because the indoor park is only open to adults if you have kids. On the third Wednesdays of every month, they open it to adults for only a couple of hours, despite them selling adult beverages and closing time is bedtime for a 10 year old. (Nine o’ clock.)

I had fun regardless and hope I run into these fine folks again next month. The neighborhood is a wonderful attraction with it being setup as an outdoor mall. Click below the phone to see more Lego related pictures of the workspace.

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POTD: Avaya Red 8410 DCP Telset Attitash Grand Summit Resort | Bartlett, NH


This was taken at the front desk at the Attitash Grand Resort Conference Center in Bartlett, NH. This area in the building is where you can only spot the digital sets. The nearby bar, conference rooms and rooms use analog sets. There is no evidence of any attendant consoles ether.

I’ve frequented this facility during the spring time over the last four years for an annual conference. I no longer attend, and I like the place, so I went for the vacation this week. The people I used to see at the front desk were not working (or is no longer working there) to see if I could see the switch room.

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Phone of the Day: Mitel Superset – Cannon Mountain Tramway

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In New Hampshire we have mass transit. Not to get to work per se, but to enjoy natural beauties.

How you get to this tram, is to the Franconia Notch State Park, and the Cannon Mountain facility on Exit 32 B on I93. This facility I believe is still owned by the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Resources and Economic Development, known by it’s true acronym as DRED. DRED and several other state agencies (Department of Safety, the Liquor Commission and Department of Health and Human Services) had jumped on the Cisco bandwagon since the last decade. This facility has been unscathed as they probably use a Mitel SX system, I’m going to assume SX 50 given the low port density.