A blog aimed at the SMB, written by a long time IT enthusiast turned IT professional.

"Jack of all trades, master of none,
Certainly better than a master of one"

These are my personal opinions.


    Vonage and the Netopia 3000

    Yesterday, I was helping a friend solve some quality issues with his Vonage VoIP line. In essence, he had bandwidth issues: As soon as he checked his email or opened a web page, his voice conversation would start dropping. I could not do too much about that, because he rents some office space from a local business owner where he shares the owners bandwidth with 3-4 other people.

    Unable to change the router (no $$$ and no ownership), I decided to see what the Netopia 3347 could do. QoS? Traffic Shaper? no, something called Differentiated Services (DiffServ).

    It can be found under the ‘expert mode’, Advanced -> Differentiated Services

    Not knowing the IP’s of Vonage, I started playing with the local IP of the Vonage box.  I ended up with the following:

    1. Set the Vonage box to a static IP address (not covered here)
    2. under the DiffServ settings, click ‘enable’ and leave the Low-High Priority ratio to the default 92. Create 2 ’Custom Flows’ by clicking the ADD button to create each flow:
    3. Add a UDP flow, BOTH directions, start port 5061, end port 5062, Cient IP: <the ip of your Vonage box>, Client subnet: <the subnet of your Vonage box>. Select either QOS setting that is not ‘OFF’.
    4. Add a UDP flow, BOTH directions, start port 10000, end port 20000, Cient IP: <the ip of your Vonage box>, Client subnet: <the subnet of your Vonage box>.  Select either QOS setting that is not ‘OFF’.
    5. Restart your router - Don’t forget to select SAVE AND RESTART.

    This was enough to be able to watch a high-def Youtube vid without significant quality loss on the phone… 

    I cannot imagine that I am the first person that wants to do this. However, in searching for Vonage / Netopia / QOS, no clear instructions showed up. If it help you, out there, here you go!

    For more information on what Traffic Shaping and QoS is and how to configure it on routers that support more complete functionality, see http://mollien.net/index.php?main=articles&article_id=24


    Sizing up Connected Real Estate

    Sizing up Connected Real Estate – Does size really matter?

    Today, I’d like to explore how to size the connectivity aspect when exploring the decision to offer (or just use) Connected Real Estate for a Real Estate Project.

    Defining the needs of the target market

    When considering Connected Real Estate, it is important to understand what the target market is and what their requirements for technology are, now and in the future. Are they expected to be international companies that can be expected to rely a lot on international communications? These companies are likely to be interested in VoIP (Digital Telephony) and video conferencing. Are they

    Read More


    Checkvist story: List reset and multiline task import (with mobile) →


    It really takes time to make a noticable change.

    Despite all excitement of working on the next big thing (more on this in a separate blog post), the ongoing maintenance and bugfixes should also take place.

    Type ‘reset’ to reopen all tasks in the list

    Some people have the same set of tasks to…

    Source: checkvist

    The person who knows ‘how’ will always have a job. The person who knows ‘why’ will always be his boss.
    – Diane Ravitch

    Source: inc.com


    "Too Old For Technology?" - Network Connectivity in vintage real estate →

    This is a guest post I did for the Construction Connection newsletter and Blog.

  6.   Cas Mollien in front of 600 Brickell, by Jeffery Newbury.

    Full image link →

    Cas Mollien in front of 600 Brickell, by Jeffery Newbury.


    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

    Specialization is for insects.

    Robert A. Heinlein

    Generalist or Specialist: What does your SMB need most?

    One of the things that I have always seen as a strong point, is being a Jack of all Trades. It has always surprised me how society in the US is determined to pigeonhole who you are and what you do - If I talk about my experience or drop my resume at an employers desk, there is often confusion about where I fit in.

    In other parts of the world it is normal that an IT guy has knowledge of everything including the kitchen sink, as long as it has an IP address. But in the US, specialism is the norm. 

    Read More

    Source: fourhourworkweek.com


    Thinking Cities - ICT is changing the game →

    This is a brilliant piece by Ericsson on what smart cities do for everyday people. It explores some of the possibilities and in its simplicity, create a window where the regular person can catch a glimpse of life in tomorrows city..

    It is 17 minutes long and worth watching.


    Hands-On Pics of the Cisco Cius “phone”

    I was in the fortunate situation earlier this week, to play around with the Cisco Cuis. Unfortunately, the device was not fully connected yet but it is a very interesting development. 

    The Cisco Cius is an “IP-based communications end-point”. Blah. What this essentially means is that Cisco sees the device as a phone first, and everything else later. 

    Read More