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Home page: http://www.short.id.au
Posts by Shane Short
Factory resetting Polycom handsets
If you’ve got a polycom handset and you’ve forgotten the admin password, it can make life difficult. Especially when to reset the unit to defaults, you need the admin password! It appears that there is a way to still reset the password, but Polycom guards the secret well. If you post about this on the polycom forums, you will have the post removed.
Here’s the steps to reset the handset:
- Find and write down the MAC address (serial number) of the phone you want to reset. It should be twelve characters, and look something like ‘0004F2ABCDEF’. It’s located on a sticker on the back on the handset. If you can’t read the back label, you can find the MAC address by pressing Menu, Status, Network, Ethernet.
- Power down the phone.
- Power up the phone.
- Whilst the phone powers up, hold the following key combination, depending on the model of phone. Note: Since firmware 3.3.0 you have to press ‘cancel’ on the “Starting application” screen before doing the following key combinations:- SoundPoint IP 550, 560, and 650, and VVX 1500: 4, 6, 8, and * dial pad keys
– SoundPoint IP 321, 331, 335, 450, SoundStation 5000 , 7000 and SoundStation Duo: 1, 3, 5, and 7 dial pad keys
– SoundStation IP 6000: 6, 8, and * dial pad key
– VVX 300 , 310, 400, 410 , VVX 500, VVX600 and SpectraLink 8400 Series: 1, 3, and 5 dial pad keys
- After holding down the numbers for few second, you will be prompted to enter the admin password. Enter the MAC address of the phone. No colons and the alpha characters must be entered as lowercase letters
iPad Car Install — Completed!
As I spoke about in a previous post (here.) I wanted to install the Apple iPad inside my 2007 Ford Focus. After quite a while and a few iterations, it’s now (mostly) complete! The complete list of components are:
- iPad 16GB 3G (w/Vodafone Microsim)
- iPad Camera Connection Kit
- Cables To Go 22327 USB 5.1 Audio Adapter
- Random $10 iPhone Charger
- Kensington iPhone Charge Cable w/Passthrough
- Audison Bit One
- Custom Nylon Mounting Bracket (Thanks Carl!)
- Alpine MRV-F345 (4x75W RMS, Active Crossover for Front Stage)
- Jaycar Response Monoblock Amp (820W RMS @ 1ohm)
- Digital Designs DDW6.5 (6.5″ Midbass Driver, 150 WRMS)
- MB Quart Reference Series Tweeters (70W RMS)
- 2x 12″ Jaycar Response Carbon Fibre Subwoofers (4Ohm DVC, 350W RMS)
Basically being a bit of a car-audio nut, I decided the only proper way to get audio out of the iPad was using digital/optical out and feeding that into a DAC. After seeing some videos demonstrating that this could be done with the bitone and a USB sound card, I purchased both.
After spending many many hours trying to figure out how I could charge the iPad whilst driving the sound card (The camera connection kit has no dock connector passthrough), I discovered my housemate’s Kensington passthrough charging cable– which worked perfectly! (so I promptly stole it.)
This isn’t *the* perfect solution, as you can’t charge the iPad at the full 2A (or even 1A) due to the way the Camera connection kit works. This unfortunately means that the iPad will only charge at 500mA and display “Not Charging” on the battery meter. It does however trickle charge– however under certain conditions the iPad will drain the battery faster than the charger can keep it topped up.
My solution to this was to hard wire the cigerette lighter adapter into the constant 12V rail in the car, which means the iPad will be given 500mA constantly, which means that every time I get into the car the battery is fully charged!
The next significant hurdle was somehow mounting something some 9-odd inches in your dash, which I can assure you wasn’t easy! I had a problem where if I mounted the iPad high– it would block my center air vents, however if I mounted it low it would block my A/C controls.
I ended up getting some custom nylon brackets made and screwing it into the wooden insert my previous head unit had occupied and spaced it out quite significantly. This means I could mount it low enough not to foul my vents, but far enough forward I could still get to my A/C controls. In the event I need to fiddle more, the iPad simply slides up temporarily, giving me better access. It’s not without drawbacks, but it’s the best idea I’ve had so far 🙂
As an in-car unit, the iPad has it’s flaws (it’s obviously not intended for this use)– some touch actions can be fiddly depending on the situation and it would appear that the iPad doesn’t have an ambient light sensor– as it’s often too bright at night and too dim during the day. (iOS 4.2 Beta 2+ now has a brightness control on the app switching bar, which makes this *less* of a problem). Other than that– it’s a fantastic unit. The ability to run Trapster or TomTom on the 9″ screen is fantastic, Video playback is awesome, as well as having all your music cover art as it’s playing.
Well, enough talking– let’s see some action shots! (apologies for the dust, this car used to live in Kalgoorlie)
If anyone wants any further information on anything I’ve done or wants help– leave a comment below!
Favorite iPad applications
Having spent some considerable time browsing through the app store for the iPad, I thought I’d publish the list of apps I’ve found fun, useful or just plain cool.
iPad install progress
Well, my iPad finally arrived on Tuesday and all I can say is… Wow! I love it, time will tell just how useful it will be, but I’ve found myself hardly using my laptop of late! The keyboard is surprisingly good (I’m typing on it right now), the screen is extremely bright and vibrant and boy, is it quick!
iPad Car Install
After watching a guy in the vlogging his iPad install in his car (here), I’ve been inspired to do the same thing. So far, reading and looking about I’ve compiled the following list of bits:
- iPad 16GB 3G (ordered, en route)
- Camera Connection Kit (ordered)
- Cables To Go 22327 USB 5.1 Audio Adapter (ordered)
- 12v -> 5V 2.5A regulator (parts ordered)
- W. iPod Breakout/Extender PCB with 1 soldered connector (http://www.chargeconverter.com/shop/connector.htm?connext.htm)
- Audison Bit One (ordered)
The only thing I really need to look into is the charging, from what I understand of the pinouts, I should be able to supply my 5V to the USB power and the USB audio adapter should bring the data pins high, causing the unit to charge. I’ve emailed the soundman guys to see if they’ve managed to get it working yet.
More posts as bits arrive.
Startups– Exciting! Awesome! Lots of damn work!
If you ever find someone who says that doing your own startup is a good idea, listen to them.. if they tell you at any stage it will be ‘easy’, slap them in the face for me.
While on the surface most startups appear to be easy, usually there’s some serviceable market you want to target, you think “easy, lets build something that services those people.. then it’s profit!” but let me stop you right there and share my story with you 🙂
Web In A Box started as an idea while carpooling on the way home from a previous job (and the business name was thought of on a very similar car trip…). That was nearly 4 years ago now and while Web In A Box is a self sustaining business now– it’s still got a long way to go to be as awesome as those little initial thought bubbles said it would be.
It doesn’t help that none of us worked on it full time (until recently) so progress was.. slow. The initial scope of what we were planning to do ballooned out of control and quickly we realised what we’d gotten ourselves into.
This isn’t to say that the trip hasn’t been extremely rewarding, writing a billing system and building a full hosting cluster around it has been challenging and fun, it’s just alot more work than any of us had in mind at the time.
The main reason it’s taken so long is we’ve generally had a stance of “if we can’t fully integrate it in to our management UI and have it completely automated, we’re not doing it.” which has obviously made certain projects take longer than they’d otherwise take elsewhere.
So, go-on, do build your own startup from the ground up– be a perfectionist, but be prepared for the amount of work involved 🙂
The “Apple Tax”
I was in a local computer store yesterday having to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 for my Mother’s work PC. Imagine my complete shock when I saw the price.. $600. For office.. I was gobsmacked to say the least.
It made me think though, I don’t think there’s as much to the “Apple Tax” as people say.. They often cite the sticker price of the two machines and that’s it. But what about in a configuration you’d actually buy? Add on the software and bits you actually *need* to be productive.. how does it stack up then?
I surfed on over to the Dell website and selected a laptop which closest matches the specs of the base Apple Macbook. I selected the Studio XPS 13 and this is what I found:
Studio XPS 13″ Specs: Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, 4GB DDR3, 500GB 7.2K HDD, NVidia Geforce 9400M, Windows 7, Office 2007 Pro, 3 Year Warranty
Macbook 13″ : Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, 4GB DDR3 500GB 5.4K HDD, NVidia Geforce 9400M, OS X 10.6, iLife 09, iWork 09, 3 Year Warranty.
Pretty close specs– you’ll note the CPU is slightly quicker in the Macbook but the HDD is slower, but I think they’re pretty even.. One thing to note is that the Apple comes with the iLife suite (DVD editing, Photo Editing/Library, Music Composing), while the Dell does not.
The Dell’s final price ended up being $2,196.29, while the Macbook actually came in cheaper at $2,068.00.
Now, the verdict? This was actually what I was predicting– once you add Office and a bigger warranty to the PC, it’s price jumps. The slighly higher cost on the Apple hardware is negated by the fact that the software is significantly cheaper..
As a side note.. one thing I’ve also noticed whilst using my Mac, *lots* of the handy little applications you will buy on your travels are extremely well priced.. I’ll admit I used to pirate software when I was a windows boy, but now I tend to just buy the application, as it’s usually well written and completely affordable.
My thoughts about the iPad
Well, now all the whirlwind about the new iPad has died down, I wanted to make some comments about what I thought about the launch, as well as the iPad itself.
I’ll admit– like a lot people I was initially underwhelmed, but as time went on, I started to get the idea.. The iPad isn’t about the tablet itself. it’s about defining the form-factor and enabling a whole new avenue for application and content creators to do new and exciting things.
The application that *really* caught my eye during the keynote was the MLB application.. now I’m not a baseball fan– but the example this thing sets is awesome. Imagine this as an application for the AFL or Cricket.. watch the game while having instant access to replays or in-game statistics, quizzes etc– or even put little sensors on the their jumpers and have a topological view of all the players on the field at any time.
Another awesome app would be the ability to surf/control your media library and have it play on your Television either through your apple TV or Media Centre.. I know what you’re thinking– “Use one of the media remote applications on the iPhone!”, but that’s not the point, imagine flicking through your movie collection, reading about it and just tapping on it and bam, it starts playing on your TV. You could have one-tap access to the synopsis, reviews, cast information (IMDB)– I think it’s a killer application.
So you can either complain about what the iPad doesn’t have or doesn’t do, or you can be excited and contemplate all of the awesome applications and experiences this device will enable.
Working for ISP’s
I’ve been involved in I.T for as long as I can remember.. I remember writing applications within BASIC at a very young age, hardware tinkering in my early to late teens, on to ISP/Unix system administration with my first proper jobs, now currently sitting in Corporate I.T.
Through-ought my journey, I’ve come across an over-abundance of people who just really shouldn’t be doing I.T–. It’s not that they’re stupid people, they just seem to lack “clue”.
Perhaps clue isn’t really the right word to describe it, but it’s a word a lot of people use. It’s not so much about how much someone does or doesn’t know, it’s more about their processes, their attitude and most importantly their aptitude.
The main problem I’ve found is in Corporate I.T– through dealing with them during my ISP days, through to working for them– it seems to be littered with people who have just enough knowledge and enthusiasm to “get by”. They’re more about playing politics and justifying their own position, than actually working together toward a common goal. You often hear things like “oh, that’s just the way we’ve always done it” when querying some kind of peculiar practice.
In stark comparison the ISP environment breeds clue. It demands complex problem solving skills, often with a rapid time deadline involved. There’s a constant cycle of evolution– you’re always looking for new and exciting ways to improve your existing systems, not only to make life easier for yourselves, but for your customers as well. There’s also a premium placed on efficiency, if your solution isn’t as efficient as possible, it’s likely it won’t be adopted, It’s not that most ISP sysadmin’s are lazy, their time is just at a premium, they’d rather not deal with mundane tasks unless absolutely required. There also seems to be a much greater ‘community’ surrounding the ISP industry, there’s a culture of imparting knowledge, helping each other out (even if they work for a competitor).
This isn’t to say that working for ISP’s is perfect in every way, it’s often quite difficult to break into the ‘upper ranks’ of the ISP crowd– you often have to start yourself at a helpdesk level and slowly work your way up (but trust me, if the people above you realise your potential, they tend to reach out to you and mentor you) and the pay isn’t anywhere near as rewarding as working elsewhere.
But trust me when I say, it’s a million times more rewarding overall.
The clean feed circus
It seems that every day the ‘clean feed’ (the mandatory ISP level filtering being proposed by the Australian Government) debate goes on, it appears that Senator Conroy is promising less and misunderstanding even more. The current justification for implementing this filter is to ‘protect children’.
Given that only 33% of Internet connected households in australia have children in them (http://bit.ly/8rMRRU), why do the rest of us have to have this filter imposed on them?
The common misconception is that the internet filter is to filter illegal content, which is totally incorrect. What’s actually being proposed is to filter what the government class as ‘Refused Classification’ content, which means the content could be completely legal, but because our current censorship laws prevent anything above 18+ classification, anything that doesn’t fit this classification will be refused classification and there-for blocked.
“What happens with illegal content then” you might ask. In the event any illegal content is reported to either the Police or the ACMA, it will be referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for a criminal investigation, with the end result hopefully ending with a conviction for involved parties.
The shame of all this, is the senator has been painting people who are against this filtering scheme as people who are ‘for’ child pornography, which is complete rubbish. Given the filter isn’t even in place to filter child pornography, how could not supporting the filter be condoning child pornography?
The other significant concern is the possibility of ‘scope creep’ which basically means that while the government is only filtering RC content now, how long until they, or another government bow to lobbyists and suddenly any material which is offensive to some political minority is suddenly inaccessible to everyone else? It’s honestly frightening.
Even though the filter is flawed conceptually, it’s even worse when you read about the proposed technical implementation.
In the current guise in the Senator’s report, the filter will be some kind of transparent web proxy/filter, which will only intercept traffic running on port 80 (www) port. If any organisations want to side step the filter, they simply need to either run their website on a port other than 80, or run it as a secure website running on port 443 (which can-not be intercepted by the proposed filter). If you wanted to access ‘prohibited’ content still running on port 80, you could simply use an anonymising service, or even set yourself a proxy server up, outside of Australia. Given that this would take someone with even slim to moderate computing knowledge less than 5 minutes to do, it all seems a bit pointless.
Given the government has pledged over $125M AUD to their ‘cyber safety’ policies, I can’t help but think this money could be much better spent on law enforcement, so you know, they can catch the sick people publishing child pornography