problems with images

March 31, 2007

all is not well in the world of worpress and windows live writer beta

not sure what is going on but there seems to be some problems with uploading locally cached images on live writer – I’ll do some investgation, hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly


Cisco Add 3G HSDPA to their Integrated Services Router portfolio

March 29, 2007

ISRs to get 3G and HSDPA support through an HWIC card

Cisco announced on Tuesday that they have added 3G and CDMA  support to their 2m installed ISR routers, the modular 1800, 2800 and 3800 series routers can accept the card in an available HWIC slot.

There are two variants the GSM version HWIC-3G-GSM and the CDMA  unsurprisingly the HWIC-3G-CDMA, I’ll look at the 3G version which adds quad-band (well quin band) GPRS, EDGE and HSDPA support to the Cisco range.

The EDGE support is particularly interesting as Orange’s EDGE network coverage in the UK is surprisingly good.

HWIC-3G-GSM

A quick look at the HWIC itself shows that it’s a sierra wireless card under the bonnet, there’s no external SIM slot so this has to be preinstalled,  ( a bit of a shame as you need to know the most appropriate operators in an area at deployment)

The HWIC-3G-GSM supports external antennae options with  a supported cable up to 15m long so would be ideal for some of our rapid deployment solutions.

Currently only a single instance of an HWIC-3G is supported in a chassis.

the press release mentions AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless  as partners, which is understandable in the states as you can’t buy GSM kit without a contract.

The release also mentions Telefónica Móviles España which is more worrying as the European Market allows you to purchase equipment independently of a contract, I just hope that Cisco will not be following the Linksys policy of tying their kit to a manufacturer as Linksys have with the WRT54G3G which only works with Vodafone branded cards, unless you get involved in significant remodeling of the Linux firmware.

The HWIC-3G-GSM is a great addition to the Cisco portfolio and will give real flexibility and mobility for temporary installations, WAN backup and wireless high speed connectivity for rapid deployments.

the installation guide  can be found here

go link: http://www.cisco.com/go/3g/

the brochure can be found here which contains  the dubious Marketing douplespeak

serves as a high-quality alternative to traditional wireline services,

Wireline is surely just combining two words that have the same meaning  to produce a marketing term that has none?

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Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Public Beta is here

March 27, 2007

the Beta of the replacement for LCS 2005 is available for public download

read all about it here on the Unified Comms blog – not got time to go into this at the moment ( deadlines deadlines) but will look at it in depth later.


HTC enter the UMPC Market

March 27, 2007

revealed the HTC shift

I posted earlier this month about the HTC Advantage and how it was blurring the line between UMPC and  HTC’s traditional Windows Mobile Output – it’ll be coming to your local UK retailer sometime in April and I was all up for getting one for a showcase  I I’m organising.

HTC have now firmly leapt across that line by announcing the Shift nothing on the EMEA sites but the US press release suggests that it’ll be here in Q3.  no details on specs apart from a 7″ touchscreen display, a 30Gbyte HDD, WiFi and HSDPA support……

oh and it runs Vista Business – the product page shows Flip 3d which needs Aero so there must be a pretty natty GPU under the bonnet.

 shift1shift2shift3shift4

specs are vague, and will be announced nearer to launch which is a bit worrying, also there’s no in the hand pictures which makes a cynic like myself a bit suspicious.

that said it looks like a cracking bit of kit and thankfully HTC are not known for their Vapourware, it’ll beat the OQO series if that keyboard is a good to use as it is good looking. Battery life and swappability are going to be key.

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how to get Groove

March 26, 2007

stop banging on about it and tell me how I get it

Office Groove 2007 can be purchased as a standalone product for around £150 + VAT

it’s also available as part of the Office 2007 Enterprise and Ultimate bundles

you can of course get the Groove trial, at first it appears you can’t create a workspace and unless you know someone who has a full copy  you’re stuck however , there’s an unannounced bug which I  found out about over on the groove advisor blog, you actualy can create workspaces under the trial but you need to :

restart Groove before you are able to get out of “RFM” (reduced functionality mode) and start creating workspaces.  Unfortunately, there isn’t any warnings to help clue you in to the problem.  Don’t just close the Groove window, you actually need to right click on the Groove icon in your system tray and chose “Exit”.  Then manually start Groove up again from your programs menu.

what are you waiting for?

NOTE : this post was edited on 12th May to assist searchers in finding a solution to the apparent can’t create workspace under groove 2007 trial issue – prior to this edit if you performed a  Google search  for ‘can’t create workspace Groove 2007 trial’ reading the Google summary made it appear that this post was confirming that you can’t create work spaces within the trial – in  the interests of getting as many people as possible to see the power of Groove I’ve edited the post to remove the confusion – if the solution or this edit was helpful please leave a comment below.

Alasdair


Limitations of Microsoft Office Groove 2007

March 26, 2007

the Limitations of Groove or…….. times when Groove just isn’t groovy enough

sorry  had to do it 

Groove 2007 is my new favourite app but it has some limitations, this refers to a standalone installation of Microsoft Office Groove 2007, I’ll look at the benefits of Groove 2007 within the context of Groove Server 2007 and Groove Enterprise services later.

I’ve been wondering just how far you can go with Groove.

there’s not a great deal out there on Groove’s limitations, the FAQ  expounds it’s virtues there are a few limitations which I’ve discovered, thankfully not through trial and error

  • Groove cannot synchronize any files that are larger than 1 GByte.
  • Groove will stop synchronizing any file sharing workspace that has more  than 5000 files or which exceeds 2 GBytes in total.

in addition you can’t synchronise Hidden, System, Temporary, or Offline files, this last limitation caused me a problem recently, I needed to share historical documents with a colleague which only existed in an offline folder on my machine when I created the workspace.

I had to save it elsewhere and then upload the saved folder to Groove – I suppose it’s too much to expect Groove to synchronise an already synchronising  file so you do need to plan when you are going to build your Groove Workspaces.

you also can’t share a networked folder or any folder already being shared by another groove account.

There are a few tips for keeping your Groove Workspace running nicely,  bear in mind a beefier system will help but much like walking in the wilderness keep the Groove party moving at a speed that suits the slowest members.

  • Don’t flood the workspace by adding large numbers of files at once, the update grinds, and I mean really grinds if you add loads of files,  you can go and make a cup of tea, the single multiple upload seems to take far longer than the combined duration of the same uploads when completed individually.
  • try to keep the number of files down in a workspace, there’s an overhead as Groove has to check multiple files for changes over and over again.
  • the number of files multiplied by the rate of change is a good indication of how the workspace will perform lots of files with little change will perform better than a few files with lots and lots of changes – due to the overhead of updates  
  • keep Groove running, there seems to be a lag when you start the launchbar before the synchronisation stabilises.

if you have members of your workspace that don’t need to be appraised of every update in all or any part of the workspace as it happens you can encourage them to use manual updates, to do this right click on a file folder in the files tool and select properties

grooveWS

then click the downloads tab and select manual download

  • grooveDL

you can do this folder by folder or by a folder tree as folders inherit the download properties of their parent.

reducing the number of people automatically downloading means the Groove clients reduce the number of updates they have to do, keeping things zipping along.

Microsoft say that

Any team of information workers that needs to collaborate on a project can derive value from Office Groove 2007. Team sizes typically range from 2 through 30 members for maximum productivity and effectiveness

Groove hits the mark in this environment and as a solution to the problems surrounding ad hoc collaboration it seems to me to be a winner.

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more responses to response point

March 23, 2007

Have Microsoft really grasped the telephony nettle?

Bloody hell I was looking forward to this, despite assurances from people on the inside of unified comm’s in Microsoft that they never planned a phone system,  since their acquisition of Media streams for their ePhone and Teleo I knew it was just a matter of time.

Now I’ve sat through the somewhat embarrassing response point Webcast with XD (Xuedong Huang)  and friends and frankly I’m underwhelmed.

There seems to be huge excitement in the Microsoft world about many features I’ve come to expect  in the telephony world since time immemorial,  but  they’re newbies so I’ll let them get excited.

Sorry to be dismissive but Response Point is simply a voice activated PBX with familiar proprietary hardpoint terminals

Yes voice activation is very geek chic but frankly if people don’t use the features it’s not really that they find them awkward to access it’s really that they don’t recognise their value and can’t be bothered to access them.  Making features voice accessible doesn’t help you need to tell the users that the features are there.  Avaya’s  INDeX  ( god rest it’s soul ) led the way with a context sensitive display that prompted users with appropriate features.  The system copes with accents but I wonder how well it would cope in an open plan office?

Yes it’s got an easy to use GUI based management suite ( they all have) yes it integrates with outlook (ditto) yes it’s got auto discovery feature for phones (tick), it screen pops (err?), there’s an auto attendant (wow), voicemail to email (I’ll stop now).   There’s really nothing to commend it over  current small office offerings by Mitel and Avaya, they must have been quaking in their boots but I guess you’ll have heard the biggest sigh of relief if you were hanging around Avaya central.

highpoints

up to 100 endpoints without sneezing and without the FD coughing (I’d hope, but remember those proprietary handsets)  

voice activation … has massive geek and tech company appeal 

two click backup and restore, a nice touch but the fact it’s listed will lead to questions about stability

it’s just Microsoft

lowpoints:

No OCS or Exchange integration – WHAT!!!! you are kidding right?  unfortunately not…. this is a major own goal… response point should absolutely be a branch solution for OCS ….. maybe antitrust paranoia?

Official line it’s for a different market sector … blah blah blah …….. we’ve spent years thinking about advanced applications for voice solutions  and now the application company hits the market with an application compromised telephone system. Every other PABX vendor pushes the big company features for a small company message why aren’t Microsoft?

NO software only version – seriously.. why do you need  hardware and response point optimised phones, surely you can write the ease of integration into SIP software clients?

IMHO it’s about time Microsoft stopped being all coy with hardware vendors they don’t need their help (Ok maybe they do to get buy in from customers initially), get the product out there and let people provide specialised appliances based on it if need be. The Asterisk model should have been a clue.

It’s tied to hardware vendors, (see above)  and the US ones are the wrong ones for a global product.  I’ve never seen anyone buy a dlink or quanta PBX in EMEA, I’ve seen Uniden in the distant past but I’m hoping a Panasonic, Toshiba or Samsung emerges for the EMEA market?

no points:

Seen it all before actually,  thanks for coming peeps…. a bit shocked that Bill deigned to lower himself to promote this.

Where’s the homeworking and flexible working capability? imagine this, OCS or LCS SBS and exchange 2007 for the small business, maybe even mobile twinning that would be a really powerful tool for a smaller enterprise.

It must at least be able to act as a Microsoft gateway for unified comm’s,  please say it will.

summary:

Response Point has missed the point, as an adjunct to OCS it could rip the telephony world apart as a standalone, it’s just another telephone system but with a huge amount  of catching up to do.