This blog article talks about “power over ethernet” or POE. Those who are affected by work-from-home arrangements might find it helpful to learn a little bit about POE even if you have not been trained in electrical engineering. This article talks a little bit about POE. Continue reading
In an earlier article I offered some tips for making work-from-home work well for you. Here is one more tip. Make use of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Continue reading
This article talks about things that you can do in your home to get the best possible work-from-home results. Continue reading
It is fascinating to see the various things that companies and organizations are doing in the face of the Covid-19 problems. As one example, my firm’s favorite voice-over-IP telephone company, VOIP.MS, has expanded its tech support hours to 24 by 7 (blog article). And now Comcast says it has reconfigured some of its Xfinity wifi hotspots so that they are available to everyone for free. Continue reading
What follows is a reminiscence about how I learned to write. Be advised that this blog article rambles. Set this article aside for some time when you are having trouble getting to sleep.
The main point of the article, I suppose, is that in general we take too long to think of saying “thank you” to those teachers and mentors who invested in us. And if so, then the only thing we can really do is try to pay it forward and try to be good teachers and mentors for those who come after us. Continue reading
In our firm’s work-from-home setup, everything is Voice over IP (VOIP). This means it is super easy to make it so that a work-from-home employee can have a phone on their desk at home that works exactly like the phone on their desk in the office (blog article). But what is very interesting to think about is that if you have a VOIP telephone system, any employee who wants it can also have his or her office phone extension operating on his or her smart phone. Continue reading
Before we migrated to our work-from-home arrangement, most people in our office had fairly boring looking desk phones. But the group of employees whose job it is to answer incoming telephone calls on our main office telephone number each had a fairly fancy phone as shown at right. Such a phone has what phone geeks call a “busy lamp field”. (In our office we call it a “sidecar”.) When we migrated to our work-from-home arrangement, we decided to splurge and give each employee a phone with a sidecar. Why did we do this? Continue reading
At Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC our work-from-home setup is a work in progress. Yes each person has a phone extension at home that works exactly like the phone extension that is on the person’s desk in the office (blog article). Yes each person has a VPN giving them access to all of the office resources (blog article). But how about some way that each work-at-home person can let the others in the office know of that person’s status? Is there a way that at a glance I can see who is “on duty” and who is “off duty” right now? Is there a way that I can see at a glance whether the best way to reach a person just now is by dialing their office telephone extension or by dialing their cell phone? We managed to work out a free-of-charge way to make this possible. Continue reading
Recently at Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC we shifted to a work-from-home setup. Everybody is working at home. When we were setting up the work-from-home systems, we had several goals:
- a recurring cost of zero for the work-from-home systems
- a very small up-front cost for the work-from-home systems
- replicating at home the functions and systems from the office
Good luck smiled on us. We managed to get our office phones working at home without having to spend any money up front or incur any recurring cost (blog article). We managed to set up VPN access to all of the office resources with no recurring cost and an up-front cost of only about $82 per home location (blog article). These happy results were mostly due to our employees being smart and resilient, along with generous helpings of good luck.
One office function remained, however, to be implemented. We needed to have a setup by which anybody in the office could remotely print a document onto a printer located in the home of anybody else in the office. (So much for our saying that we run a paperless office!) To give one example, if an accounts-receivable person generates a bill to be reviewed by an attorney, what we hope for is that the AR person could with one or two mouse clicks print that draft bill on a printer at the home of that attorney.
Of course what we would hope is that implementation of this function would be cost-free just like the previous two implementations. We would hope to incur no up-front cost beyond the cost of the printer itself (typically about $90 per home for a nice duplex-printing monochrome laser printer), and no recurring cost.
Here’s what turned out to work for us. Continue reading
Hello dear readers. What a relief it is, when so many things that are happening around us clamor for our attention, that we can sometimes return to pleasant and diverting discussions of some of the more important things in life. A chief example for today being the ingredient lists for two beverages that I discussed the other day in this blog article, namely Diet Mountain Dew and Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. Continue reading