Logitech H820e wireless headset mutes first call when second call rings in

Logitech markets the H820e wireless headset as a business class product at over $100.  It’s primary design is to work with corporate IM products like Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Lync.  Only – it doesn’t work well with either of these products.  After using the product for three months, I can tell you first hand it has two major flaws:

1. If you are on a phone call and a second call rings in, the headset automatically mutes the first call.  Logitech published support article 42284 about this exact problem on 08/31/2014.  No update or resolution – they simply suggest, “If you choose to not take the incoming call, un-mute the current call.”  Well isn’t that helpful.  Imagine you are talking to someone on the phone.  From their perspective …. the line just goes silent mid sentence.  If you can’t un-mute fast enough they will probably just hang up.

2. Every time you return the headset to the charging dock, the microphone gets turned off.  This makes perfect sense, but you would think it would turn back on when you remove it from the cradle.  It doesn’t.  There are two buttons on the microphone boom.  One of them is an official mute button.  The other is the LED light button at the rear of the boom that usually functions as a hook switch (to answer or hangup a call).  When you remove the headset from the dock, the mute button will not work.  You have to press the hook switch button once first to “wake up” the headset microphone.  Once you do that, the microphone mute button works as anticipated.  The end result is that I routinely end up answering an incoming call and the other party can’t hear my audio.  Once on a call – there is no way to fix the problem because the button I need to push will result in terminating the phone call.  The only fix is to hang up, press the hook switch button, and call the other party back.

Logitech is ignoring these problems.  They have outsourced all of their technical support.  I can’t get these issues in front of the software and hardware engineers that need to know about them.  So I turn to this blog, Twitter, and Facebook hoping that someone at Logitech wants to prove they actually give a shit.  If they happen to resolve these issues, I will update this post.  Until then you can safely assume that you should never buy this or any other Logitech for Business product.  Stick with Plantronics.  I wish I had.

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Windows 7, 8, _, 10

So yesterday the world learned that Microsoft can’t count. We shouldn’t be surprise that there will be no Windows 9. After all, this is the same company that brought us “Windows ME” and “Windows Vista” along the way. Anyone else think Microsoft is suffering from Apple OS X envy?

I am still hopeful that Windows 10 will be the next Enterprise Windows we have all been waiting for. I’ve got the technical preview ISO downloaded. Not to decide which machine to install it on. More details and first impressions to follow.


MS14-035: “Windows Internet Explorer 9 Privacy Statement” ???

Yesterday was MS patch Tuesday for June.  I applied all the critical updates (using Windows Update) against my Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit machine.  After rebooting and launching Internet Explorer, a second tab opened up displaying the “Windows Internet Explorer 9 Privacy Statement.”  I was puzzled – primarily because I am running Internet Explorer 10 (not 9).  Today we used SCCM to distribute the same patches to our IT department.  Several people rebooted and reported seeing the exact same privacy statement.  I am trying to determine if this is unique to our corporate image of Windows 7 or something other Microsoft customers are seeing as well.  Thoughts?

Unrelated to the IE issue, we also noticed that this round of updates seems to require a double restart.  We picked up on this more readily since we use Bitlocker in the TPM+PIN configuration.  Anybody else witness that behavior?

Update 06/12/14 @ 9:32 AM – Confirmation that others are seeing this same issue.  Also getting reports of a general “Your browser has been upgraded” message.


Update 06/12/14 @ 10:14 AM – Here is the sequence of events that is causing this to happen:

1. Install MS14-035 and reboot
2. At either post-shutdown or pe-boot, the following registry value is being set:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main] “PrivacyPolicyShown”=dword:00000000

3. Login and launch Internet Explore
4. The browser displays the privacy policy. MS changed the page that is displayed to now just indicate that your browser has been updated. Once displayed, the above registry value is changed from “0” to “1” and not displayed again.

We are going to test forcing that registry value to “1” as part of our GPO to prevent this from happening in the first place. Will report back on the results of our testing.


HP Intelligent Provisioning – “No images are available”

Last week I used HP’s Intelligent Provisioning to deploy Windows Server 2012 to a new DL360p Gen8 server. If you are not familiar with Intelligent Provisioning, it is the successor to the SmartStart DVD we have all been using for many years now. You simply press F10 during system POST to launch the utility. From there, you can simply connect a USB drive with an ISO image of the server operating system you need to deploy. It’s really that simple … except for one thing.

The first time I tried this, everything seemed to work. I browsed to the attached USB drive and navigated through the folder structure to the location of my ISO. The system restarted and appeared to be working. I stepped away. When I came back to check on it, I found a Windows setup dialogue on the screen with a message that “no image are available.” There was nothing else I could do at this point.

I found the answers in a HP video about Intelligent Provisioning on YouTube. The USB device must be a FAT32 volume (and mine was NTFS of course). So I called upon diskpart to re-partition and format the drive with a single 30GB FAT32 volume. I then copied over the Windows Server 2012 ISO image (which is still under the 4GB file size limit of the FAT32 file system). This time it all worked perfectly. I hope this saves you some time on your next server deployment.  If anyone from HP reads this, I encourage you to consider adding a simple text note to the IP screen advising customers that USB drives need to be FAT32.


MATA speak translated to English

So this got posted on the MATA Facebook page today:

We are growing! In order to install the special track work that will allow us to open our new Olive St. line,The McKinney Avenue Trolley will be operating a reduced route and schedule from August 13th. Through Sept. 30th. Trolleys will operate every 20 minutes on our Northern loop ONLY. 7:00 am till 10:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am till 10:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.

This route will serve the West Village and DART’s City Place-Uptown Station as well as Cole Ave. Street cars will turn back North at McKinney and Allen St. Alternate access to Downtown via McKinney and St. Paul is available on DART Bus route 39 which picks up at 2821 McKinney Ave. Where the trolley’s will turn around to head back to West Village.

I took the liberty of developing the following translation:

For six weeks, our entire operation will be reduced to running a loop that is under two miles. We know it’s the hottest part of the summer, but y’all can manage to find your way on a city bus I’m sure. Although we will be covering substantially less distance than usual, we plan to decrease our service interval from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes – hell, everybody needs a paid break, right? That really shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience since we rarely manage to keep our posted schedule anyway. This whole thing is more about our hobby than your need to get someplace on time.


Privacy rights in America

Going forward, you should be scared when courts classify information as “business records”. This is the same term that appears in recently declassified documents pertaining to the FISA and PATRIOT Act. So in addition to gathering metadata about every phone call, now the courts are saying that historical location data about where you and your phone have been is just a “business record” that they can request from telcos without a warrant. Fear of terrorism is the flag we are sailing under as privacy rights are destroyed in our nation. We need to demand immediate changes from congress. This is worth your time.



Cisco 7975G load file name has asterisks?

This particular load file on a Cisco 7975G registered to Call Manager 6.1.5 displays an asterisk at the beginning and end of the file name.  If you register the same phone against a CUCM 9.1 environment, there are no asterisks on the load file name.  Does anyone know why?



Avoid Bagmaster.com – Backorder Hell

On June 9, 2012, I placed an order for a deluxe scoped shotgun case from bagmaster.com. On July 4, 2012, I followed up with an email inquiring about my order status and shipping. The response I received was, “Hello John, your order has been delayed due to a backorder on the rifle case.” That was the entire response. No ETA provided – no apology for the delay.  The product did ultimately arrive.

On January 16, 2013, I placed an order for a deluxe tactical weapons case from bagmaster.com. No email ever arrived acknowledging my order. On February 13, 2013, I followed up with an email inquiring about my order status and shipping. The response I received was, “Hello, Got your order but that item is on backorder really sorry about the delay. Will ship your order next week.” The order didn’t ship out the following week. I emailed again on March 9, 2013. This time I was told, “Hello, Still on backorder it should be shipped tomorrow. Check with me tomorrow.” I waited 24 hours and sent another email. There was no reply. Finally today, March 28th, I got a UPS shipping notice. The product is scheduled to arrive on April 1st. Do the math. It will have taken 75 days from placing an order to product fulfillment for one padded rifle case.

I started buying Bagmaster products in the late 1990’s, but now there are too many other good companies out there to waste your time waiting on these guys. I suggest you spend your hard earned money with another company – one that actually values their customers.  I know that is what I plan to do.


Background Checks

This is intended to be an exercise in critical problem solving. This post (and its comments) are not advocating a particular position. I am simply asking the reader to start with the assumption that we, the people of the United States, want to require background checks on ALL gun sales (including private transfers). What barriers prevent such a law from being effective? Are there solutions to some or all of these barriers?

1. How do you prove that an illegal transfer occurred without first knowing the current owner of every firearm in America?
2. If you could prove an illegal transfer happened, who is held accountable (buyer, seller, other)?
3. What if the government system that authorized the transfer later determines that the buyer was not eligible?
4. What is the penalty for an illegal transfer to the buyer/seller?
5. Is there any legal precedent involving the transfer or sale of other forms of personal property if said property could later be used in the commission of a crime?

** I will review and moderate all comments at my own discretion. Comments that are off topic or inflammatory will not be approved.


in which I wait for Fedex

I am at home today – waiting for a FedEx Ground delivery.  Using my past experiences with FedEx Ground as a barometer, it is unlikely the package will be delivered before 5:00 PM tonight.  I think there is an untapped market that UPS and FedEx could explore.  The amount of time a package is in transit is rarely important to me, but the delivery window is something I always care about.  They could offer a hybrid service that offers ground shipping with a priority delivery window (for an additional fee).  What if I could schedule the delivery for a particular day and time?  They could offer premium rates for popular delivery times (nights and weekends) and discount rates for less popular delivery times.  Anybody ever heard of anything like this?


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