Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Computer Hardware

Feel the Nostalgia! Turn Rotary Phone into a VoIP Handset!

May 31, 2011


Now normally you wouldn't want to use a corded phone to make VoIP calls and be chained to a 6 foot corded talk distance. That is unless of course you want to feel the nostalgia of the early 1980s (and earlier) by using a rotary corded phone to make VoIP calls. Tyler Brainerd found an old Model 500 rotary phone at Goodwill, which he then turned into a handset for his computer.

He explained, "I am a rather heavy google voice user, and I was thrilled when google implemented calling through gmail, except for one thing. I use a desktop, which has only a token crap webcam, and not a decent microphone at all.


Jabra SPEAK 410 Review

April 21, 2011


A couple months ago, Jabra sent me a Jabra SPEAK 410 to review. It got lost in the shuffle of other things I was reviewing. The Jabra SPEAK 410 is a pretty cool USB-based speakerphone device that directly integrates with Skype, Microsoft Lync/OCS, Avaya, Cisco, and IBM Sametime, enabling you to simply press the green handset icon on the device to answer a call or press the red handset icon to hang up the call. This is especially useful if you want to deploy this in a conference room setting.

Google Store Launch? Look out Apple Stores?

April 7, 2011


Rich Tehrani gives his reasons why Google needs to launch what I'll call "Google Store", a direct retail competitor to the Apple Stores located in many malls and cities around the country. Only one problem with this is that Google only sells Android products to consumers. Apple stores sell a variety of products including laptops, tablets, computers, iPods, iPod/iPhone accessories, Mac software, etc.

Google only sells tablets and Android mobile phones. Their software is mostly hosted, including Gmail, Google Apps, etc.


HP G72-C55DX Review

December 21, 2010


The HP G72-C55DX is one of the best bang-for-the-buck laptops you can buy. The HP G72-C55DX sports a huge 17.3" LED (1600 x 900) backlit display and the latest Intel Pentium P6100 processor. You don't break the bank with this laptop since the HP G72-C55DX is available on sale at Best Buy for $449.99! My family and I were looking for a laptop to purchase for my mother-in-law as a gift for Christmas and this laptop certainly fit the bill.

Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB External Hard Drive

December 6, 2010


I was looking to buy a new cheap 2 TB (terabyte) external hard drive on Black Friday to try and get the best deal. Target had a special on the Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB USB 2.0 Desktop external hard drive (model - WDBAAU0020HBK-NESN) for just $69.00! A sweet deal for 2TB! However, when I went to pick one up they were gone and a Target employee told me they sold out in less than 15 minutes.

StarTech.com ConXit Connection Wizard Helps You Find Right Connector for Home Theater, PC, and more

November 19, 2009

Ever get frustrated trying to convert Component to HDMI or convert from one video connector to another because your TV is 10 years only and doesn't support HDMI? Even if you are a home theater guru, the number of converter options and cabling options can be immense and downright confusing.

Well, StarTech.com, a manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity and technology parts, launched the ConXit Connection Wizard, an online tool that helps users find the right converter, extender, splitter, interface card, cable and more. The search tool will help you find the right connector for Bluetooth, BNC, CameraLink, Coax, Compact Flash, Component, Composite, Digital Coax Audio, DVI, eSATA, ExpressCard, HDMI, RJ-11, RJ-45, and more.

This online tool recommends the best products for connecting IT and/or audio-video peripherals after just two easy steps.


Step One - Select the type of connector for the peripheral or device you wish to connect from a drop down list of options.

Step Two - Select the connection type on the host computer or component.








Dell Inspiron Zino HD - Coolest HTPC Ever

November 13, 2009


Dell just launched the Inspiron Zino HD, a small 8" by 8" x 3.5" cubed-shaped trendy-looking HTPC that aims to sit in your living room and become your centralized home media center. Comparisons of the trendy-looking Zino HD vs. the Mac Mini will undoubtedly be made. Colors for the Zino HD include Piano Black, True Blue, Formula Red, Plum Purple, Spring Green, Promise Pink, Tangerine Orange, Green Scatter, Red Swirls, and Blue Lines.

What??? No More Exploding Laptop Batteries?

November 12, 2009

Aww darn, no more cool explosions from exploding laptop batteries! STOBA, a new material technology will steal the joy of seeing your laptop explode from faulty batteries. Boy, it seemed like a week didn't pass without Apple, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Sanyo, Lenova, or some other laptop manufacturer issuing a battery recall due to exploding batteries. Well, apparently STOBA will make consumer electronics safer.

FREETALK Everyman Skype Headset Review

August 6, 2009


The FREETALK Everyman is a foldable super wideband audio "Skype certified" USB headset designed by Skype themselves. Why this isn't called the Skype Everyman headset is beyond me. I guess perhaps why want to market this headset as doing much more than Skype calls. They sent me one for review today so I thought I'd write up my impressions.

When I opened it out of the box I noticed the large speakers and the flexible rotation for additional comfort when wearing it.


WildCharge Wire-free charger for iPhone & iPod touch

June 23, 2009


WildCharge, makers of wire-free charging skins for various mobile phone models today has announced a wire-free skin for the iPhone and iPod touch, which enable the popular Apple devices to be charged instantly simply placing them on the WildCharger Pad™ or on other surfaces that are embedded with the WildCharge technology.

"The market is demanding a move towards wire-free charging, and WildCharge is thrilled to answer that call in adding Apple devices to our lineup of commercially available products," said WildCharge chairman and CEO Dennis Grant. "With the addition of these two designs to our reference design library, both of which are Apple "Made for iPod" and "Works with iPhone" approved, WildCharge is solidifying our position as the leading, wire-free charging developer in the industry."

The WildCharge Skins are durable, protective, form-fitting cases that when placed on the WildCharger Pad, transfer wire-free power from the Pad to the device inside the skin. The soft cases provide the same protection consumers already enjoy from traditional skins, but have the added value and convenience of enabling a wire-free charge. The WildCharger Pad, used in conjunction with the skins, delivers full power to multiple devices, allowing them to simultaneously charge together on the Pad while eliminating the clutter caused by multiple chargers and power strips.




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