Archive for the ‘geeq chic’ Category

my first ip telephone

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

I decided to mark all my geek posts [geek] so that people who subscribe and don’t like geek stuff can skip them and won’t stop reading the other stuff I write because of all the noise. That is, inasmuch as anybody reads what I write anyway. :P

At the building I used to work at, the woefully outdated and unsuitable-for-all-day-work phones were managed by the company that owned the building. When we moved to the new place, phone management was not included, so we had to go out and get a phone system for seventy-some-odd people, plus field sales people, conference rooms and conference calls, etc., etc.

We ended up getting this Avaya system of Voice over IP phones. A VoIP phone is, basically, a phone that you plug into your network (Ethernet) rather than a phone line. Physically, these phones are pretty sweet. The first thing that struck me about them is that they don’t have an inlet for a power adapter. They plug into a Power over Ethernet switch, another piece of equipment I hadn’t seen before, which powers the phone using the same Ethernet lines that carry data to and from them. I wondered at first what you did when you didn’t have a PoE switch, and felt only slightly dumb when I was shown the power injector, basically a power brick that has Ethernet coming in and powered Ethernet going out.

In addition to the connect-ey bit, the phones themselves have large, tractable buttons and a large LCD display with eight soft keys to either side.

The really cool thing about VoIP, for businesses, is that once you turn your phone into just another network device, and give it a little bit of intelligence, it becomes….just another network device, with a bit of intelligence. Cool Thing #1: If you configure it right, you can take this phone anywhere in the world, plug it into an Ethernet jack, and it will automagically open a VPN connection to your work and assume the same extension it has when it’s sitting on your desk. If someone calls you, your phone will ring, regardless of whether you’re in LA, New York, or Bangalore. It’s even got an extra jack on it that you can plug your computer into and be on the same VPN, transparently. Another nice thing is that you never technically run out of incoming call capacity on your link. You can just crank down the bit rate, and specify different bit rates for internal and external calls.I don’t want to bore you (any more than I already have) with some exhaustive feature list that you can read at the vendor’s web site. It just occurred to me that IP telephony has finally gotten to a place where it doesn’t suck, and is probably going to go from biggish to huge in the next couple of years. Nobody is going to pay money to drop phone lines any more when they can just run Cat-6 to the desktop and use it for everything. Seems like that’d be a good market to make some money in. Wish I had some money. That I didn’t owe to anybody, I mean.

house diary: Got most of the rest of the squeaks out of the floor today. The plywood on the bathroom side runs under the wall, so the parts I need to put nails in to stop the flex are apparently either under the wall or under my cabinets. I need to¬† rip out the cabinets, but not yet, so I’m going to have to whip out the jig saw, rip up the part of the plywood panel that’s on the bedroom side, locate some joists to nail it to, and replace it with new plywood. This can wait until I replace the carpet with new carpet, because the squeak is minor and on the edge of the room.

The plan is, tonight I go get some paint, and tomorrow I paint my room. I’m kind of torn. The sky blue that Lanie had in her room looked crazy at first, when you first saw it, but was really incredibly relaxing. I like that color, but when I look at my room. I keep seeing mint green for some reason. I like mint green. It’s relaxing.

I guess I’ll just pick while I”m at the counter tonight. Nah, I’ll go with mint green. It’s better to try something new than repeat yourself. The important thing is be decisive. 9_9