Sep 22, 2017

Work Life: VOIP Pass-Through for Dumb Switches

Are you implementing VOIP phones in your office but have certain places where you've got a dumb switch in place providing connectivity to computers, printers, etc? No problem! Here's all you do:

  1. Connect the network cable into the wall jack as you normally would.
  2. Plug the cable from the wall jack into the NETWORK jack on the phone.
  3. Plug a network cable into the COMPUTER jack on the phone.
  4. Plug the other end of the COMPUTER cable into the dumb switch. This gives your PC, printers, etc connectivity to the network!
This setup allows you to still pull your POE from the wall jack to the phone while giving the devices connected to the switch the network access they need via the phone's network pass-through. 

I have tested this on various brands of phones and various brands of POE switching. So far, they have each been able to provide the connectivity to the network needed by the dumb-switch devices while enabling the power and connectivity needed of the VOIP phone.

Hope this helps!

"Computer" jack (on left) goes to Dumb Switch

Connection from phone's Computer jack plugs into switch.
Note: This post assumes you have whatever equipment you need in place for the actual phones themselves (ex: POE switches and/or power injectors, etc)

Jul 25, 2017

10 Years Since My Dad Died

(I started this back in April 2017, but let life get in the way of finishing it. So, I am finishing it now, before another 10 years goes by.)

...10 years...

My Dad passed away on April 28, 2007. That seems so long ago and like yesterday all at the same time. One of the hardest things about him not being here comes from our mutual love of gaming. He and I would upgrade our computers at about the same time, just so we could play whatever the latest game we both enjoyed could run on them.

We had different tastes in games for the large part, but some games we enjoyed playing independently but would share stories, watch each other play, etc.

Dad loved modding. He would get the latest FIFA, NHL Hockey, or just about any other EA Sports game just so he could go online and find the real-world add-ons he could download and install. He especially loved making FIFA as realistic as he could. Back in the early 2000's, he even downloaded the Spanish voice over (more that 600MB over dial-up) just so he could play the game as though it were on Spanish television.

I think of my Dad almost constantly, though I don't express that probably as often as I might should. I don't know the "rules" when it comes to those kinds of things.

If Dad were alive today, he would definitely have a YouTube channel, showing off the latest add-ons, mods, and real-world effects for the games he loved to play. He would probably be putting out "let's play" videos for horror games, too. Man, he loved horror games. By far and away, his favorite was "Clive Barker's Undying." It's pretty tame by today's standards, but back in the day, it was creepy with a good story and jump scares we hadn't seen in games before - or at least not done as well.

Ten years. I know it's hard for some folks, especially when you're young, to fathom how quickly ten years goes by. And, I also know I am suddenly sounding like a very old man here. But, really. You wake up one day and one of your best friends is telling you about something he and you are going to do when he gets back from Iraq. The next minute, you are told he died overnight. The world stops. The world slowly starts again. You close your eyes for a moment and when you open them, it's ten years later.

There are so many times my very first thought about a new game is that I wish I could tell my father.

On a much brighter note, my son loves gaming as well. He and I share stories, play online together, and continue the traditions started between my father and me. My daughter has started gaming a little, too. She prefers the "shared keyboard" type games where we can hang out together, side-by-side, racing, building, destroying enemies.

Ten years really does go by quickly. I miss one of the greatest gaming buddies I ever had.

Feb 17, 2017

Work Life: Using SEER to give instant, easy previews on Windows (the way Mac OS X does!)

tl;dr - Use SEER for Windows for quick previews!

I use all kinds of devices in my day-to-day life. It gets frustrating when one Operating System (OS) provides a feature that I would like to see on others. For example, on Mac OS X, you can click on the thumbnail for a PDF, an image, a video, and a slew of other files then tap the SPACE BAR and get a quick pop-up preview of the selected file.

This comes in handy when you aren't sure what's in the file and just want to take a quick look without firing up the host program. On Windows, there is no quick preview.

Enter SEER (! This handy little program adds that SPACE BAR quick view to Windows! And, it is FREE!

Here are a couple of screenshots to show you what it looks like in action:

Selected file (left) and Preview

Select text directly from preview!

Jan 7, 2017

YT Q&A: What's my favorite car from the 80's?

This question comes from my YouTube channel ( as asked by Seth Jackson:

"What is your favorite car from the 80's?"

Wow. What a great question! The answer is not a simple one. I don't have a one-car, single favorite from the 80's. Rather, I have several that stand out to me that I would consider my "favorites" from the cars produced during that decade.

Mid-80's Corvette:

Being a Corvette fan, I have to say that the mid-80's Vettes certainly had their problems, but the body style was so completely different from what we had seen before, they rank very high on my list. The cars went from curvy, wavy lines to the straight-edge, hard-lined vehicles that define the basic shape of the Vette for decades afterward.

Buick Grand National (GNX):
Holy smokes. This car is the epitome of American Muscle in the 80's. Automobile fans can spot one of these on the road from a great distance away and it will turn heads as it races by. Sleek, all black, pure 80's muscle.

Monte Carlo SS:
The Monte Carlo was basically the little brother to the Grand National - if not in terms of production, then certainly in terms of  look, feel, and desirability. From my memory, it's basically what people might call "the poor man's GNX." I'm sure you can see the resemblance between them.

Porsche 944:
I know. a lot of people are going to say, "What!? You mean the 911, don't you!?" While the 911 is certainly iconic, I always preferred the style of the 944 Turbo. Of course, I have to admit a large fascination with the little guy comes from the hidden/flip-up headlights and the SS-style spoiler on the back.

Ferrari Testarossa:
Holy Heaven Help Us, Batman. This was the beast that set hearts racing everywhere. Kids had posters, it was featured in driving games of the day, and it was the stuff of dreams for teens and growns alike. Sitting still, it looked like it was going 100 mph.

Lamborghini Countach:
You cannot possibly think of the 80's and totally tubular transportation without thinking of the Countach. It was the first super sportscar that me and many of  my friends had seen with the crazy flip-up doors. It looked so futuristic and so fast and, well, so freaking cool.

1984 Cadillac Seville:

You may be thinking, "Why in the HECK did you pick that!?" First of all, this is *MY* favorites list, so I will pick what I liked. Second, I absolutely loved the look of this car with the chopped back end. It was unlike any other Caddy that had come before, so far as I knew. This car had the big, long nose and the short, stubby rear that made it stand out to me. I also loved the two-tone paint job that most of these seemed to have at the time. To me, as a teen, this screamed elegance and modernity.

Others worth noting:
Delorean - Yes, we all know this one from the "Back to the Future" series of movies in the 80's. Though iconic in its own right, it is not really one of my "favorites" from that decade.

Lotus Esprit - This was "James Bond's Car" to most folks in the 80's. It was sleek and wedged like the Countach and the Ferrari. Of course, we all wanted the cool gizmos and gadgets it had on it.

Ford Mustang - Definitely NOT one of my favorites. I hated the design and that horrible idea to come up with the Mustang-II just seemed to amplify everything I did not like about the 80's Mustangs.

Camaro - The only Camaros I liked in the 80's were the IROC-Z versions. At least they had skirts, spoilers, and louvers. And if you don't know, louvers were everything in the 80's. Though, I preferred to spell it "Louvres" instead.

Yugo 45 - There were a LOT of crap cars that came out in 80's. But, the Yugo is one I would put on my "favorite cars that sucked" list. Holy cow. These things were awful. So much so, the street slogan became "Yugo: You Go Faster If You Walk!"