So here is a personal list of small ways in which my ordinary everyday daily life has been getting better since the ’90s (as far back as I can clearly remember these things—I am sure the list of someone growing up in the 1940s would include many hassles I’ve never known at all).
Progress is usually debated in terms of the big things like eliminating child mortality, or science & tech: discovering gravitational waves, creating world champion AIs, turning AIDS into a treatable rather than terminal disease, conquering hepatitis C or, curing deadly cancers with genetically-engineered T-cells. But as cool as those big things are, and matters of life-and-death for many, such achievements tend to be remote from ordinary people, and not your everyday sort of thing (or so one hopes). Small stuff matters too. What about the little things in an ordinary life?
The seen and the unseen. When I think back, so many hassles have simply disappeared from my life, and nice new things appeared. I remember my desk used to be crowded with things like dictionaries and pencil sharpeners, but between smartphones & computers, most of my desk space is now dedicated to my cats.
These things rarely come up because so many of them are about removing irritations or creating new possibilities—dogs that do not bark, and ‘the seen and the unseen’—and how quickly we forget that the status quo was not always so.
Limiting myself to my earliest relatively clear memories of everyday life in the mid-1990s, I still wound up making a decent-sized list of improvements to my ordinary life.
Since we are primarily a technology company, I have decided to list how computers have changed over time to improve our quality of life.
With computers, it’s hardly worth trying to enumerate the improvements on every dimension, and it might be easier to list the exceptions instead—if I made a list of a hundred things, someone would chime in with another one I’d forgotten, like easy rental rooms through homestay apps or food delivery apps. But nevertheless, here’s a few:
Cheap: electronics prices keep falling. These days, people whine endlessly online if a RAM or semiconductor shortage (something that happens every decade or so, as the industry has notorious boom-and-bust dynamics) means that they have to pay as much as they did a few years ago for something, but the long-term trends are dramatic.You can buy things like top-end VR headsets or smartphone, which will cost less in real terms than a Nintendo NES did in 1983 or a Sony Walkman cassette player in 1979. Kids in 2020 can’t even imagine having to pay over a hundred bucks for a new copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 —a far cry from paying $5 these days for a great PC game during a Steam sale, or nothing at all for many of the most popular games like Fortnite. the Internet/Human Genetics/AI/VR are now actually things
PBX (Private branch exchange systems), are business-grade, private phone networks. The three+ types of PBX systems are: analog, digital and cloud-hosted. Cloud-hosted PBX is the most popular as of late and offers almost unlimited flexibility.
This blog post is for owners of a business interested in installing a company phone system that offers employees a wide selection of calling, collaboration, tools and mobile features.
A PBX is a business-grade phone system. These types of systems give the added functionality businesses need in a telephone solution, such as being able to offer employee extensions, and they have automated attendants that answer and route calls to the proper people or departments. A PBX uses various communication channels, such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network).
An office phone system is different than residential or cell phone services because of its service offerings; such systems offer features like extension dialing, call conferencing, customer waiting queues, business-hour settings for routing off-hours calls, and hold music.
Key takeaway: PBX stands for private branch exchange and allows businesses to manage multiple calls on a private telephone network.
A PBX system is monitored using a switchboard, which processes the connections between telephones to facilitate a call. This system allows your company to provide multiple phone lines that are connected to a public switched telephone network or VoIP network, which is how calls are sent and received.
A PBX system also controls the many features business phone systems have. Besides allowing for communication with outside callers, a PBX system allows your business s phone lines to be connected so employees can easily communicate with each other.
PBX features are what differentiates business phone systems from mobile or home phones. Here are some of the more valuable features:
Voicemail-to-email: In addition to traditional voicemail service, many PBX systems offer voicemail-to-email, which provides phone system users an audio file or transcript of the message left on their phone.
Auto attendant: An automated attendant gives callers the option of pressing a specific number so their call is directed to the right person or department. For example, the attendant may say, "press one for customer support," or "press three for the legal department."
On-hold music: Rather than clients or customers waiting in silence while they are on hold, PBX systems provide businesses with the option to play hold music. Some systems play preselected music or custom music selected by the business.
Paging: If a worker wants to send a message to the entire team, they can use the paging system to record a message using their phone, which is then broadcast through a system of speakers to all employees or sent to a select group of employee phones.
Presence: This feature allows employees to check whether their co-workers are available or on a call.
Call reports: These types of reports break down your business s call data. It includes information on your company s phone usage, which can be additionally detailed by user or department.
Online management: This feature allows you to manage the phone system via an online portal. Administrators use the portal to add users, set phone numbers, review call reports, create ring groups, and see monthly statements. Employees log into the portal to check their voicemail, view the company directory, and create call-forwarding routes.
Call forwarding: This lets you have your company phone forward calls to another number when you do not answer.
Call recording: This gives users the option to record their calls for playback at a later time.
Call queues: A call queue helps you manage calls that come in simultaneously by allowing you to place them in a line until someone is available to speak with them.
Extension dialing: Callers can plug in an employees extension to reach their direct line.
Ring groups: This allows companies to put employees with similar roles into one group, which is helpful when customers are trying to reach someone within a certain department. For example, if you allow callers to press two for sales, the call will be forwarded to the employees in that ring group.
Call transferring: This option lets employees transfer calls to their co-workers.
Key takeaway: Through a range of features like auto attendants, call queues, and ring groups, PBX users can efficiently field multiple outside calls between numerous employees.
Call us today to see how we can help you set-up a PBX system for your business.