Archive for December, 2013

Review: Logitech H650e USB Headset

December 12th, 2013 3 comments

Logitech H650e USB HeadsetI have to admit that I’m a heavy user of wired headsets for Lync and Skype. This is really due more to the fact that spare power outlets in my office don’t exist. In fact, the fire marshal had better never show up and look behind my desk. Also, I rarely need to move more than a couple of feet from my desk chair. So the wireless benefit is somewhat lost on me. That being the case, I’m constantly checking out new headsets to see which will be the most comfortable and have the best sound quality.

Logitech’s Lync Optimized H650e headset is a dual ear USB wired headset. But not only dual ear, it’s stereo. While I’m not likely to use it to listen to my extensive hair metal music collection through them, it’s a nice touch. The headband is narrow, light, and very comfortable. The padding is soft, but not so soft that I feel the plastic headband itself. The ear cups are also very soft, and remind me of those found on my Bose QC3 noise cancelling headphones. I’ve worn the headset for several multi-hour calls, and it was comfortable throughout. The sound is fabulous.

One cool aspect of this headset is that the USB cable is flat instead of round. This might not seem like much, but take it from someone who routinely has at least four headsets hanging together. This 7 foot cable just doesn’t tangle. And the integrated control head provides for hook and mute buttons – both of which are Lync integrated. Pressing the mute button on the control head mutes the Lync client – not just the headset. There are also volume up/down buttons on it as well.

Logitech H820e presence indicatorThe mic boom is a flexible rubber that’s easily positioned in any angle you need. It has great, natural sound, so I’m told by those I speak to with it. One cool feature on this is that at the end of the boom where it connects to the ear piece, is a presence indicator. This is designed for people who are behind you. They can see your presence and know you’re in a call. One might think that would be evident merely by having the headset on, but I would point back to the headset being stereo. So a user could be listening to non-call audio. It’s only illuminated when in a call/conference/meeting. A neat idea that would be beneficial in a Dilbert style cube farm.

I really like this headset. In fact, my old favorite, the Blackwire 720, has been pushed to standby status as I use the H650e pretty much exclusively. Great sound, comfortable, and a non-tangling cord are all wins. For a list of $89.99 USD, it’s a fabulous unit that should suit most chair jockeys that don’t need to get away from the desk while on the phone.

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Customizing the Lync Server 2013 Meeting Page

December 11th, 2013 5 comments

In Customizing the Lync Server 2010 Meeting Page, I showed how simple it was to update the Lync Server 2010 Meet page with your organization’s logo. Here’s some info for updating the Lync Server 2013 pages.

Here we see the page with the default “Lync Web App” text image.

original LWA page

That test image file is called LyncWebApp_logo.png. It’s a 350×68 pixel 32 bit .png file. You’ll find the image in two folders: one for the external web site, and one for the internal website:

  1. c:\Program Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2013\Web Components\LWA\Ext\Images\LyncWebApp_logo.png
  2. c:\Program Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2013\Web Components\LWA\Int\Images\LyncWebApp_logo.png

If you’re going to swap out the image, it’s much easier if you overwrite the existing file with your custom file of the same name: just backup the original file first. This will eliminate the need to dive into the code that writes the page. Just create a new file of the same size, and save it into the appropriate folders.

The image background is not actually white. It’s a light gray with an RGB value of R:247 G:247 B:247. If you want to match the blue on the left, it’s R:3 G:110 B:202.

Once you overwrite the existing file, restart the Lync Server Web Conferencing service using either the Services.msc tool, or by using the following in PowerShell:

Restart-Service RTCDATAMCU

Once the service has restarted, you can check out the Meet page by creating a Meet Now, and going to the meeting URL on a machine without the Lync client (to avoid having the Lync client immediately attempt to join the meeting, which would close the Meet web page).

updated LWA page

If you’re hard core and want to tweak or completely overhaul the web page itself, the CSS style sheets are available for the external and internal sites at:

  1. C:\Program Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2013\Web Components\LWA\Ext\Styles
  2. C:\Program Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2013\Web Components\LWA\Int\Styles

Just make sure you back everything up before making changed. Also, I have not paid much attention to if these files get overwritten during a Cumulative Update installation. So keep copies handy in case you need to re-apply your changes.