On NOT being an expert…

I am NOT an expert.  I hope to NEVER be an expert.  You may have heard me say this from time to time, in fact, I find myself saying it constantly.  It may be counter-intuitive, but let me write for a moment about what I really mean when I say these things.   I got my start in computers and technology at an early age.  My first exposure to computers was a Commodore 64 (sometime around age 9, I guess) and I just instantly fell in love with technology; a passion that remains true to this day. Technology is one of those things in life that’s always changing.  There’s always something new to play with, something new to learn.  I find it true that the more I learn, the less I feel I actually know ‘in the grand scheme of things’, and the more I seek to further my knowledge and understanding.  I teach, previously in the classroom as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor (at a local Community College), and more recently in the virtual CBT-arena for the guys over at www.howtonetwork.com, but you shouldn’t take the fact that I’m a ‘teacher’ too much to heart – I just love playing with technology, it’s something that I’m passionate about, and I love sharing my experiences with others.  I enjoy surrounding myself with smart people (far out of my league for sure) so that I can learn from them, and take my understanding of technology ‘just one more step further’, and so goes the cycle.

For me, being a student is more important than being an expert.  I’m a student of technology; a student of the world around us.  I make mistakes – lots of them.  Things that I ‘knew’ for the last decade are subject to change at a moments notice when i learn something else that falsify my current belief set, or current level of understanding – and that’s TOTALLY OK!  If I had announced myself an ‘expert’ 20 years ago when I first started installing network hardware, I wouldn’t know JACK about switching, even LESS about routing, and for that matter – I’d probably come off as pretty stupid in conversation because I was more worried about being an ‘expert’ instead of being a student.

So for me…. I’ll take being a student any day over being an ‘expert’.  But that’s just me…


Music on Hold Sources in CUCM

When I design a Cisco UC environment, I try and keep the Music on Hold configuration as straightforward as possible, using one source for the entire system.   This isn’t always possible, and it’s important to understand the hierarchy of MoH in CUCM if you want to go multi-tenant with it.   There are four places you can configure MoH sources in CUCM, and this is the order of preference (with the Line Appearance taking priority, and  the Cluster-wide Parameter being the selection of last resort.

1) Directory Number / Line Appearance

2) Device

3) Common Device Configuration

4) Cluster-wide Parameters


Google buys Nest

Ok so first off – this isn’t meant to be a Google bashing post, although there will be a little bit of opinion expressed…. I’m not a Nest customer, I don’t own a nest, nor will I be purchasing a Nest anytime in the near future. I’d considered it, but it just never happened, I couldn’t justify the spend when I already have a nice modern digital thermostat. So what’s this post about then? Google, and the future of Nest.

Sure, Google is a huge company with tons of irons in the fire, they’ve done some pretty awesome things in the past (the search engine, gmail, etc). but they’ve done some pretty crappy things too (Google+ is a joke, hangouts aren’t worth a hoot, and some of the changes Google has shoved at Youtube lately have pissed a lot of people off).

So, Google, why Nest? You’re an advertising company. What possible motives can you have other than shoving more ‘content’ that we don’t really want anyway down our throats. I mean, it’s a thermostat. I’m really curious to see what this turns into, but PLEASE, don’t make this another Google+.   I’m going to try and keep an open mind, but I’ve got to be honest – I have my doubts.

So I’ve decided to start blogging again…

If you’re here, you probably know me as @ciscovoicedude on twitter, and have watched me rant and rave like a madman over there, and I can assure you that this blog will continue to live up to that expectation.  This isn’t my first time blogging, in fact, in some form or another, I’ve been blogging for the good part of a decade.  For whatever reason I always seem to lose steam, and the blog falls to the wayside.  I won’t promise that this time will be any different, but I’m back on the horse, so to speak.

I’m not going to really structure the site any one specific way – I’m a voice engineer by day, so obviously there will be plenty of that stuff here.  I’m also a technical trainer, so some of that might flow over here – heck, we might even get into some mini video blogs.  We shall see, no promises…

Peace out for now.

@ciscovoicedude (Twitter)