« August 2007 | Main | October 2007 »

September 29, 2007

Thanks Bren!

I've posted a lot of photos since I started my blog, and I've spent hours trying to get the text to flow properly around those photos.  I had just given up until I mentioned my problem in my last post.  Just a little while later Bren left a comment telling me exactly how to do it. 


If I've done it right, this text will appear below the photo.  It worked!  Thank you very, very much Bren!

Just to make it easier to find next time, or for anyone else having trouble with it, I've copied Bren's comment below:

When you are adding a photo in Typepad, after you’ve hit “Browse”, and have chosen your photo, don’t hit the “insert image” button yet. Instead, look under number 2: “Set Image Option”. Choose “Use Custom Setting”.

New settings will pop open. Make sure the box by “Wrap Text” is NOT checked (wrapping text is what makes your text show up alongside your photo instead of only underneath or above it). Instead, check the box by “Create Thumbnail”, and choose your pixel width (400 is about max). Now scroll down and hit the “insert image” button. (Doesn't matter if the "Pop-Up Window" box is checked or not.)

If you want to change a photo that is already in a published post, you’ll have to remove it and then re-insert it. Just do that with your “edit post” function.

September 29, 2007 in Photography | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2007

Phone Geek


I've been called a phone geek, but I don't think I can claim sole title at Gold Systems.  This is a photo of the desk of our Unified Communications Program Manager, Bo Molai.  He only straightened it up a little for this photo!

From left to right, back to front you have:

Hot laptop from Dell (Or at least it was hot a year or two ago)

Polycom Tanjay without a dial-pad.  VoIP.  This works with Microsoft Office Communicator software and is a USB device.

Polycom USB Speaker Phone.  Very cool - I could see traveling with this and it even comes with a case.


Polycom Tanjay with touchscreen, fingerprint reader, presence indicator and Ethernet.  Works alone or with Microsoft Office Communicator.

Catalina wired, USB headset with call control buttons

Cisco 7960 VoIP phone

Treo 700w Windows Mobile Device

Plantronics digital headset

Lucent/Avaya digital display phone

I think the boxes in the background are full of VoIP gateway devices.

(Not visible in photo - Microsoft Roundtable conference device)

(P.S - I sure would like to know how to format photos better in Typepad.  I would have liked the text to appear below the photo.  Any ideas?  Thanks!)

September 27, 2007 in Unified Communications | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 25, 2007

Wireless in the wilderness

I've had one of the Microsoft Tanjay VoIP phones for three or four months now and I'm really liking it.  I start my day by swiping my fingerprint to unlock the directory, which automatically sets my presence to "Available", unlessImg_7633_2  I have a meeting scheduled, in which case it talks to the Exchange Server and magically sets my presence to "In a Meeting".  The sound quality, which is what really matters in a phone, is great.

A couple of weeks ago, the Microsoft product manager for UC wrote about how cool it was that he was able to take his Tanjay phone home, plug it into his home network and it just worked.  He could make and take calls just as if he were sitting at his desk at work.

Yep, that's cool all right, but you just know (if you read my blog) that my first thought was "I wonder if it would work in the FJ Cruiser?"  Not only did it work in the FJ, but I was able to go up into the mountains, and sit on a rock with both my laptop and the Tanjay working together on the FJ's EVDO hotspot.

Img_7637 I was able to surf the web, check email AND carry on a conference call via the Tanjay.  Yup, I'm a geek.

A quick note - the new FJ Cruiser Car computer has arrived and I'm starting the installation.

September 25, 2007 in Speech Recognition | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 04, 2007

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Pricing

Michael Dunn, one of  the gotspeech.net guys, wrote the first article that I saw in public about the pricing for the new Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.  Michael does an example configuration of a typical speech recognition system that will handle 96 ports.  For the speech recognition engine, Text-to-speech, development and deployment environment the software license price comes to $700.  Not $700 per port, but $700 for software for the entire server!

That’s a little more than $7 per port.  OK, that doesn’t include hardware so factor in the price of a good rack mounted server, and a VoIP gateway if you can’t talk SIP with your PBX.

Michael speculates that you could do a touch-tone application and get as many as 200 ports on a single server.  Still $700.  He says that’s roughly $3.50 per port for the software.  “Insanely Cheap” he says.  I’d agree with that!  Even allowing for redundancy and extra capacity, this still slashes the price in the market for the typical speech recognition telephone self service application.

You can read more about the product at http://www.microsoft.com/uc

Microsoft also published two new case studies that I’m particularly happy to see, given that Gold Systems did the software development on both of them.

Avaya, another one of my business partners, began the move from "Big Iron" to software solutions many years ago, designing less proprietary hardware and relying more on industry standard hardware.  It's been a smart move for them.  They also saw that computers and telephones would come together and they've moved away from closed systems to open systems, being one of the earliest proponents of Unified Communications.  As I’ve said before, lower prices and more companies deploying applications is good for the industry and the consumer.

September 4, 2007 in Speech Recognition | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack