Thursday, 26 April 2012

Family Guy Live Wallpaper

I thought this looked quite good compared to some of the live wallpapers you can get. Family Guy live wallpaper for android:


Monday, 23 April 2012

Samsung Teaser Today

Samsung has a teaser site that comes with the tagline 'A Whole New Universe'. Surely it's going to be about the Galaxy SIII, but they may be throwing a curve-ball. Anyway it is counting down to Midday today (Monday 23rd April) UK time.

If you are interested check it out here.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cheeky F***ers

We have some staff working far away from campus. They are in an annexe built with lottery money next to a hospice. The hospice has decided to knock this annexe down in order to extend their premises and graciously allowed the university staff to move into one of their old rooms while the building work was being done.

They would not allow the uni staff to use VPN (to access our financial system etc) so we have had to have a new line installed. We visited the site (myself and my manager) and agreed where the line would come into the comms room, that we would provide a switch and would trace the sockets back to the patch panel that needed connecting to our switch.

I was informed the line was installed, which we paid for, so went out to connect the wireless router and switch.

When I arrived I was informed by their Estates Manager that the line had not been put where we had agreed but thy had put it in another room.

Due to this 'change', they wanted us to rewire their existing sockets, install 6 new sockets, drill through their walls to install new cables and attach the switches and routers to the walls in a completely different place to what was agreed. All without any asbestos surveys or risk assessments, or any form of induction on to site.

Now the shock had rendered me almost speechless.

On top of that they were expecting us to provide all the cabling, sockets, tools etc and re-cable their rooms for free.

I have done many cabling jobs in the past, in the schools I used to work in, but I work as second-line support now. All I turned up with was a router, a switch and a Linkrunner. We have contractors that do the work to a set installation standard and we charge £275 per socket for the installation. I also know for a fact that (from the dealings we have with local teaching hospitals) the NHS do the same. This cheeky twonk was trying to get us to do all their network upgrade on the cheap.

For the sake of the staff that are due to move in, I pulled some cables though and put some trunking back up, but setting up the network connection is the extent of my responsibility.

My manager was amazed at my tale when I, finally, hours later returned to the office. Unfortunately the hostname is not showing up on our monitoring kit, I really don't want to go back. I may end up sorting out their plumbing or chopping their trees down for the extension.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Giving you a Cubby?

I know, that pun doesn't really work.

The creators of LogMeIn are launching a new service called Cubby. You can sign up for the beta now and the service provides you with 5GB online storage for your files. Not only does it rival Dropbox with its online storage*, it is also gunning for sync services, like Sugarsync, with its unlimited peer-to-peer syncing between computers. So you could have 20GB of photos synced between your work PC and your home for example.

They have also produced an Android app that should work with LogMeIn ID's. Going to download it an give it a go.

*Dropbox provides 2GB storage for free as standard, but this can be increased up to 18GB by using referrals.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Gadget Show Live

This week I went to The Gadget Show Live at the NEC. As I got in the doors I was pleased to be confronted with just the sort of stalls I wanted to see most, namely Samsung, Sony and LG. Unfortunately though there was no HTC guys there as I was looking forward to trying the HTC One-X.

As all the kids headed towards the game zone to play Star Wars Kinect and Battlefield 3, I got to talk to they guys at Samsung about the Galaxy SIII (as my HTC is constantly playing up) and my other half got to try out the Samsung Galaxy Note. I would love to have seen her use it as a phone as she is tiny :)

Then we headed to LG where I was super impressed by their 3D screens and even more so by the Dual-Play screens. Where two players can play against each other on the same TV, full-screen, providing you are wearing the dual-play glasses (3D glasses with either only left lenses or only right lenses).

The even had an F1 car to add to the realism:

There was a lot of 3D tech on display this year but for me not all of it was good. After the Mrs had loved the 3D sport and nature programs at LG, saying it was the first time she had really seen the merits of 3D, the powered 3D glasses at Sony gave us both headache and were as uncomfortable as I find it when I have been to a 3D movie at the cinema. Certainly not something I would like to do every day at home.

The live show in the 'Super theatre' was pretty good. All the presenters were there and, despite the early hour, all were on top form engaging with the audience. To start with though we were wondering whether kids should have been allowed in as it started like a show at a strip club and the thrusting dance moves competition a little later on didn't help.

Jason Bradbury seems to be a crowd favourite, and with his charm and infectious enthusiasm you can see why.

The show involved audience competitions, a giant crowd Wii-like long jump game (which our team won), remote controlled helicopters, robots and more. After the show we went around the rest of the NEC checking out what was on offer. The only drawback was the prices they don't tell you about until you are there (£8 for parking, £17 for two, rather disappointing cups of jacket potatoes and watery coffee). At least I managed to get an inflatable Android robot from Kenwood (which my son loves):

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dropbox rewards

Dropbox is one of, if not the most used programs I have installed across my various devices. Now it gets even better.

From today users can now earn up to 16GB free storage from referrals, with the reward upped to 500mb per referral. What's even better is if you have already had some referral bonuses Dropbox are providing the reward retroactively, so you will also benefit in increased storage.

If you don't know anybody who might want to sign up... well... I am sure you can think of a way around that.

It's almost as if they are firming up their user base... as if they knew a big competitor was about to enter the market...

Google Drive anyone?

Dropbox for Android:

Apple App Store:

IPT roll-out continues

One of the local hospitals is having a refurb at the moment so some of their teaching staff along with some members of finance and the medical faculty have joined us at the University while the work is being done.

As we had up to 80 staff moving in a short space of time we thought the best way to speed up the move was to swap the switches in the buildings they were moving to PoE switches and provide IP phones. The phone type we decided upon was an Avaya 9608:

The screens are not as high resolution as the phones we have in Computing Services but they are a lot cheaper and have all the features we need. The only problem we found was having to change the settings file to allow the fourth button to be used, for example, for a call pickup group. However, having extra buttons could also be achieved by changing the screen width.

It is a good job I checked the sockets in the buildings before they moved in as these were two that I discovered after taking the face plates off:

So, with sockets repaired and tested, we created a new voice VLAN to enable us to get the number of IP addresses we needed and then created the new extensions by importing a CSV with all the numbers, names, passwords and settings in (call restrictions, voicemails, etc).

Most of the staff moved last week and after looking on our voice software this morning it seems we have reached a milestone. We now have over a thousand registered IP telephones:

Personally I hope it continues. It it much easier to make changes and plan for the future with IPT than with having to move analogue and digital lines all over.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Please use blanking plates when you do this...

We had a report that there was a socket not working. It was quite a critical socket as it was for a new alarm system. So off I went to have a look.

It didn't take too long to find the problem:

Someone had chopped the end of but left the socket, label, everything there for it to be used and not informed us, the voice and data department.

Looking inside the bodge-job of a socket someone has jelly-crimped the blue pairs to pinch for a voice line to another device:

What might have been a good idea was to put a blanking plate on the socket so that the security guys did not put their new system in NEXT TO THIS SOCKET.

Now going to have to re-terminate the socket and then provide a separate line for the voice (if it is still needed). Roll on Cat6 and Cat7 with the re-usable ends and termination blocks.