Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Fri, 21 Nov 2003
Jobs and gadgets
When I bought the headset for my telephone, the one thing that was missing was a mute button. I can't remember whether I couldn't find one or whether I didn't think of it. With my new job, I'll be on the phone quite a bit more. I may also be doing some video conferencing or VOIP, so I'd like to have a headset that hooks up to my computer.

So I googled around and discovered the GN Netcom 4150, which has a mute button, lets you use the same headset on a phone or computer (and switch between or mix them), and includes an amplifier. So far, it's already made a difference for the calls that I've used it on. I haven't hooked it up to the computer for sound yet, but maybe I'll find some time to do that this weekend, or maybe I'll just wait until the Powerbook comes. I did try to find one that didn't have the headset, but the one with the headset was actually cheaper than the one without the headset (the 8150). And at $50, it was cheaper than the original headset -- so now I have a backup.

[22:27] | [gadgets] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
I actually called tech support
I very rarely call tech support for a product, in fact, I can't even remember the last time that I did. Today I made an exception. I ordered an SMC 2804WBR 802.11b/g wireless router because of a deal I saw on More Stuff 4 Less blog. The router was working very well, with much better range than the Netgear 614MR that I helped a neighbor install early this year. If I leave the router in my office, which is in the back of our house, I get green bars in the master bedroom closet, which is at the opposite end of the house, one floor up. The signal carries onto the front porch (key for watching the kids and hacking in the summer), and will certainly carry onto the deck in the back. And that's without me moving it around to put the signal area where I want it.

So far, so good, until I turned on security. Once I started with WEP, I just couldn't get a connection. I tried 128 bit WEP, 64 bit WEP, I tried for too long. It was just a pain. So I broke down and called SMC tech support. Turns out I was only typing in 1 of the 4 WEP keys, and this was causing the problem, because after I typed 4 keys in, I got a connection just fine.

Unfortunately, the saga's not over yet, because I haven't gotten remote administration to work (where remote is the inside of my network, not the WAN -- I have a Linux firewall/router for that), and I still have to get WPA working once the PowerBook arrives. And then I'll have to hack the firewall rules on the wireless router and inside the firewall. No, it's not over yet.

Still, I've been eying one of these for years but have been too lazy, and you can't beat it for $50.

[22:20] | [computers/hardware] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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