my review of the Voyager (polycom) headset!

I have two cellular phones. One is the work provided and is an Android device. The other is my cellular phone. Recently for my work PC and my work phone, I’ve been using the Polycom Voyager. I am a huge fan of over the ears headphones. The Voyager fits that bill quite well. I also like headsets that offer noise canceling (what I hear) and noise-canceling (what people were calling me to hear).  Since I have a softphone (using Jabber), and I am frequently on either WebEx or Zoom meetings, I often use the headset to communicate with people. The Voyager allows for that easily. First off the included USB key allows you to connect Voyager to your PC.

The other part is pairing, via Bluetooth with your computer. That is accomplished by simply turning on the Voyager, and pressing the power on button to the very top of the slide. That puts the headset into pairing mode, You then capture it with your phone or Bluetooth enabled tablet, and away you go! You can listen to music, take calls, and participate in UC and other Voice over IP conversations like Skype. The important thing for me is easy over the ear abilities of the headsets. I prefer that the headset support over the ear. I know, I should like the in the ear headsets more, I do like the other in the ear headset I reviewed, but that is one ear only (the Polycom 5200 UC).

Voyager is nice as it covers both ears. It also has a comfortable covering over the headset earpieces. I like to walk when I am on calls with my cell phone. The thing about headsets is they get a sweat on them. Part A is are they easy to clean (the Voyagers are). The other part is done they at least breathe and allow some airflow so that your ears don’t get sweaty (the voyagers do). The issue of sweaty ears is probably my problem. I like to walk around outside when I am on my cell phone. I don’t like pressing my phone against my head. Having headsets like the Polycom Voyager makes all the difference.

My rating of the Voyager headset is a solid 10 out of 10!


My review of the Polycom 5200 UC headset!

One of the things I struggle with is the reality of over the ear versus in the ear headsets. I have considered many times. I don’t always like the in-the-ear headsets. Although the Voyager 5200 UC fits snugly in my ear and because it wraps around the ear, I don’t feel like it is going to fall out of my ear. I have a VOIP phone (at work) and two cell phones. I have the Voyager connected to my work computer. I know, as someone that has many times talked to someone, that I thought was talking to me, because of hidden earbuds, I suspect that will happen. But the Voyagers fit nicely and free you from your desk.

A call come in, you can quickly switch to the call. Currently, I’ve used the device in the following:

1. Zoom meeting

2. WebEx

3. Jabber Call

It works exceptionally well in all four. Reasonable noise-canceling abilities also. The setup is straightforward, and you don’t have to install software on your computer. Just plug in the paired USB dongle and away you go.  One thing that I haven’t tried yet but is going to happen is talking on the phone when the other phone rings. I have been on my work phone, and when I got a second call, I was quickly able to put the first call on hold and answer the second.

Overall I am very impressed with the Polycom Voyager 5200 UC. It fits in my ear well, and the overall sound quality is very good. If you are in the market for a multipurpose small earbud based voice system, this one is a good addition to your arsenal.

It comes with a great small case for carrying.

Overall my rating for the Polycom Voyager 5200 UC is an 8 of 10.


follow up on Littlebits, and selecting a digital camera (or not)

Follow up on a previous review is the picture today, the Littlebits R2D2 robot. It was fun to put it together. If you are interested in the Littlebits education products, their website is here http://www.littlebitscom.

A friend of mine reached out the day before yesterday. He was trying to figure out which camera to get. We talked through the process I’ve used in the past, to pick a new camera. He said and I quote “why the heck haven’t you published that.” So without further adieu, my camera selection process.

  1. First, you have to figure out, BEFORE, you look at cameras how much you can spend. This is important!
  2. Consider the following:
    1. The type of pictures I take
    2. The number of pictures I take
    3. What I take pictures of
  3. For me this next one is critical – I need a rugged camera
  4. I like to be able to focus manually
  5. I prefer everything to be automatically focused

These five simple rules help you. First of all, with the recent cameras in cell phones, your cell phone can be your camera. It is, however, less convenient for people that are always on the phone. I can take a picture and talk on the phone at the same time with a camera. It can be done as well with my cellphone, but it becomes less convenient.

If you had asked me ten years ago, I would have pulled a camera out of my bag. Now, not always sometimes I don’t have a camera with me. Now there are many pictures I only capture with my cellphone. But that got me thinking, and I will add some poll questions to figure out if I am alone in this. I will also ask the question on MyLot.

  1. Are there situations where a camera functions better than a cell phone?
  2. Does holding your cellphone and capturing the image on the screen create more movement in the actual picture?
  3. I have a rugged camera because I can’t afford to drop my phone!
  4. While my iPhone has many cool video features, my Olympus and my Canon have much better quality video.

No set answers here just trying to figure things out!


My Review of the Pico home brewing system

One of the things I need to do is finish the Acoustic tiles in the media room in the basement. It is a project that I started three years ago, and finished half of it.

Today, a review of something not many people will find they need. First, let me explain how it is technology, then the review and on we shall move — the product connects to your home Wifi network. Using their application, you can track the progress of your project. It isn’t a 3d printer. It isn’t a printer. It is a system to make your beer. I’ve talked about doing that, make my beer, for more than 20 years. Like the project mentioned above, it hasn’t well been started until Sunday of this past week.

PicoC is the product I have. I backed the product on Crowdfunding, and now that I have had a chance to use it I am really happy.

  1. The product connects to your wifi- that means that your system updates the web with information about what you brew is doing.
  2. Right now my brew is fermenting.
  3. The system is easy to set up and use!

You log into the PicoBrew site and buy the beer kit you want to make. They call the beer a PicoPack. You the type of beer you like, and then away you go!

Once you get to the Wert stage, you add yeast (and a little sugar). 12-36 hours after that (I am 24 hours since adding the years) The process starts fermentation.

Now the reason it is easy – until you add the yeast to the wert, this is a completely automated process.

The product is called PicoC.

Overall my rating is 10 of 10!


Cool Tech Review Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator….

One of the things that were nice about the house we bought in Maryland was a nice Subzero refrigerator in the Kitchen. It was a Samsung, and we loved the frig! Not mind you that it was a family member, just that it was a really good addition to the kitchen. Now, sadly last March the frig gave up the ghost. Died, or whatever that refrigs do when they stop working effectively. For the most part, it was the freezer itself that died. We have a second backup fridge in the garage and were able to save the frozen items. But the fridge was dead. We called the repairman, and they said it would be around 1200 dollars to fix the fridge. Or, we could spend roughly 800 more for a new fridge.

(With the new fridge you also got a 5-year warranty).

We looked at some fridges and ended up staying with Samsung. In particular, we decided to get the new Samsung Family Hub refrigerator.

  1. The refrigerator is adjustable. You can move the drawers around in the main compartment to accommodate different sized items.
  2. It has an ICE and filtered water dispenser on the left side.
  3. The doors are solid, and the refrig alarms when the doors are left open.
  4. The freezer is sub-zero and rolls out easily.

Overall the refrigerator is a great addition to our house. The filter (for water on the door) is really easy to change. The filter we had in the old frig was rather frustrating to change. Overall the unit fits perfect and has lots of room for magnets on the side. My wife doesn’t like magnets on the front of the fridge. They are required to be on the side and occasionally moved to the front.

Overall I give the Samsun Family Hub refrigerator a 9 out of 10!


tech is my life

My review of the Microsoft Surface Studio!!!!

Over the years I have had some computers that I use. The computer that I use the most now is the Microsoft Surface Studio. It is my primary video conferencing computer, my primary blogging, and my blogging/podcasting computer. The Surface line of computers are the computers built by Microsoft. They are OEMed from other vendors, but overall it is a great computer.  There are some configurations for the systems and Microsoft released Studio 2 earlier this year.

  1. It is a touch screen computer that gives you 3o inches of screen space to operate on.
  2. Using it as a Webex, Live meeting, Zoom or Bluejeans client is incredibly easy. It is a nice electronic whiteboard.
  3. It includes the Surface pen – nice addition
  4. Built for Windows 10, no issues in that area.
  5. Decent integrated speakers.
  6. Wireless keyboard and mouse are decent. I replaced the keyboard because I am picky about keyboards.

I’ve been using this system for nearly two years now. It came with a  free three-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. I thought that was cool at first, but realized I don’t use the programs in that any longer. I have used the Windows 10 integrated Hyper-V server to host a VM on the computer. I am running a copy of Windows Server for testing websites and other things. I also have a safe or clean copy of Windows 10 running when needed on the Hyper-V service. Hyper-V is the Microsoft response to VMWare on your computer. It allows operating VM’s. My clean Windows 10 machine is something I have when I am having a connection and other issues.

The thing I’ve found most impressive is the ability to open PDF files sent to me and edit them (not a windows ten feature, using Nuance PDF Pro). I also use Dragon Naturally speaking on the system.

It has quickly become my go to the computer.

  • Intel i7 chip
  • 64 bit Windows 10
  • Comes in 8, 16 and 32 Gigabyte memory configurations
  • SSD drive (1 or 2 terabytes)

Overall I give the Surface Studio computer a 10 out of 10.


Microsoft Surface rocks!

My review of MindManager 2019

One of the products I have used for years is Mind Manager. Mind Manager is a mind mapping product. The image shared with the post today focuses on peeling an opinion and was built in mind manager. The product is something that allows you to show the relationship between concept[tsp.. I know, for example, if we were to map out Virily showing all he connections within the actual software of the site, people would get lost quickly. Mind Manager 2019, is the current version and the product is owned by Corel. Corel has purchased some products over the past few years that makes them a player in the creative space. They own the former Fractal Painter, they own the Pinnacle Video studio, and they own Mind Manager.

Mind Mapping is a useful tool for brainstorming, project management and designing a new solution (after brainstorming). I find myself using Mind Manager frequently. The product released at the end of 2018, and they just released the fir .release about a week ago. There used to be a mobile version of the product, but honestly, it wasn’t easy to use. The PC or Mac version of the product is the way to go. Their website has a lot of templates, and they do have an online integration (cloud storage) for your mind maps. I shared one I made for this review, peeling an onion. Some of the more complex maps I have don’t share well. The other thing that mind maps do well and Mind Manager is the best I’ve found for this is allows you to show connections.

I use it often to map out connections between people and software. Or sometimes I use it when considering options in situations. It is a tool I’ve had and used for a long time. A good friend of mine many years ago, from South Africa, recommended the Mind Manager product. We used it for mapping out various solutions we presented to customers, and I got hooked! Overall this is one of my go-to products.

My rating for Mind Manager Mind Mapper is 8 of 10!