Phones @ “Work”: Donald Trump’s (Oval) Office

Thank you Joe, the UCx guy for reminding me to do an update with Trump.

If you were on the ether hashtag campaign of “#MakeAmericaGreatAgain” or “#MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain” or “#MakeAvayaGreatAgain”, don’t be hopeful on the latter two hashtags after recent events from our new President and the incumbent phone vendor in the White House.

Continue reading

Case Study: The Need for a Home Phone System

In the first twenty-three years of my life, of about four or five of those years, I grew up on a ranch house in Suburban New Hampshire. This picture taken from Google Maps from 2007 shows my former residence. In fact this ten year old capture was the better one than any of my collections!

ltown

The house had an unfinished basement, and dated electrical infrastructure. DSL internet was provided by the telco (Verizon then FairPoint) and the only Comcast service was Cable TV. The Internet connection was located in my mother’s bedroom as the gateway/router lived there too. Typically I had to ask permission when a problem arose, which at times I had to get in to reset. My bedroom consisted of a desktop, my MacBook, a PowerMac G3 and a Lacie Network Space, 3.5″ NAS appliance. No Gigabit Ethernet at the time, as that was very costly. A Cat 6 cable linked the router to my bedroom. We all shared the same phone line, one in my mothers bedroom, one in the kitchen and one in my bedroom.

There was no phone system or any rack mount servers at all. Not that was really a need.

Continue reading

POTD: Local Papa Gino’s

Sadly, where I live, Avaya or Nortel isn’t “alive and well” unlike another site I follow. Nortel has disappeared in my state in public and private entities in lieu of Cisco years ago and Avaya Red has slowly disappeared too.

On a Christmas Eve tradition before I was born, my family would order pizza out at the local Papa Ginos, that is local chain with more than one hundred stores around the Greater Boston region, basically in four of the six New England states. It’s reputation is fresh quality pizza of with quality ingredients. Over the years Papa’s has had exclusive marketing deals with the local Boston teams such as the Red Sox and currently the Patriots.

The chain has used AT&T products going back to the days of Western Electric. This location I had frequented growing up had used one of those 10 line 1A2 wall mount Key telephones till a cutover around 2001 to a Partner ACS system. The only ComKey I’ve ever seen in production was another store nearby, and that had cutover to a Partner circa 2001 or 02.

I’ve been to mostly the New Hampshire stores, and D’Angelo the sub shop, is a sister brand to Papa Ginos. I don’t recall them using any phone systems, the one nearby me, that I took a few years back with an Avaya van uses POTS phones.

But today, just the next block away from that same D’Angelo, I noticed  this phone. Nope, its not a 9600 Avaya IP or 9500 DCP set. No, worse a Polycom VVX 310 set. (I haven’t been here for a while, some days I normally walk here because it’s not that far away from my home.)

img_1831

Continue reading

Phone of the Day: Cisco 6841 | Local School

img_0659

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.

Review: Polycom VVX 310 IP Phone

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m recovering from my dinner, and thought some updates were in order. Today I’m doing a review of these free to me Polycom VVX IP sets.

img_0245

I found them at a local business that apparently moved. They were outside for “Free” so hey, why not?

These phones are an improvement from the SoundPoint IP sets that I still loathe to this day. Such improvements: you can adjust the set using a plastic thing on the back to three levels; second there is a tuck in space for the handset or headset cable. And BLFs most likely use the AUX jack and doesn’t do that infrared thing that I had doubted the reliability for a long time. Also in this range features wideband calling or high dynamic (HD) voice quality; and a backlit display (seen here) and a single LED with multi colors to show lamp status (or should I say in IT-speak “presence”?) and supports nearly 24 unique lines (or should I say “SIP sessions”?) It has cute screensavers too. If you want to see it, I have posted on my friends-only Instagram feed from mid October.

Continue reading

PSA: Please Hug your Phones and Phone Systems

 

 

In my Instagram world, I found this sad picture from a mutual follower. The picture says a lot of words simply put.

Anyways optics is everything. For those nitwit IT admins (or subcon vendors) who think phones aren’t in their scope of services or support; users of any organization are not stupid. This type of visual is common in many VOIP deployments. Whether the telecom is in house or outsourced or IT runs it; a lot of times you see similar sets with a  system malnourished of current firmware updates, often abused, and of course left tangling.

Doesn’t this phone remind you of your VOIP deployment from yesterdecade? The same exact phone with the same exact cables, etc? When Bush was still president?

Hug your phones, kiss your softswitch. Give it some love.

Please, donate a dollar to your telecom budget. One dollar a day can fund basic necessities such as 20 handset cables that are in need. Your users will be so happy that they will be untangled.

Thank you.

(This was a Public Service Announcement from the retired and laid off Telephony Professionals of the World.)

😛

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.

IMG_9253  Continue reading

SIP Experiences, part two

SIP is like a PC, it’s a great technology. It’s like “I wanna have a computer on my desk but I dunno what I really want out of it”. As the 1990s came along, these little things became a nightmare for network administrators. Not only that but PCs had too much power for what many people didn’t need. What I am talking about is enterprises not consumers.

SIP is in fact much like a PC.

Continue reading

POTD – Local Kohls

IMG_6463

In today’s Phone Of the Day I recently took this picture of a Mitel IP 5212 set (if memory serves me)  at the Bedford NH store. This Kohls has a few IP telsets and boatloads of analog sets all across the sales floor. There are no sets near the fitting rooms. This store was built within the last five years around the time where perhaps Kohls was in a position of like a dysfunctional marriage: Do I stand with my man? (i.e. sticking to Avaya.) Don’t forget in early 2010s there was a bunch of doubt whether if Avaya would continue in supporting an overrated brand of telephony equipment. There is probably many reasons why in newer stores (of which popped up in my area, as their stores came to my area around 2002 – of which the Norstar 7200s are still in use in those locations) and other reasons such as higher maintenance contracts if you go through Avaya directly and the change of the user interface. Continue reading