Saturday, October 25, 2008

Microsoft Installer Transforms for Open Office 3.0

It look like Openoffice has made quite a few changes in the newest version. Some of them being graphical and others being functional. Both of the afforementioned changes I would consider improvements.

There is one change that seems to happen with every version that is very annoying. That is the change of the installer. Every version has the installer change just enough so that if you apply the an older MST and the same setup.xcu to the new installer, like in my previous advice, that things just don't work.

Well the same is true of the new version and it looks like some major changes were written for it. The setup now needs to run completely for things to work.

This is just one of the main reasons Microsoft Office is easier to use.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trixbox is awesome

I need to tell everybody that trixbox is awesome. A few days ago, I set up a trixbox virtual machine in order to route traffic to a SIP application that wouldn't register correctly with a SIP trunking service.

The configuration was very easy, and after looking at a few blogs because I missed the how to section, everything was up and running. Now, I don't want everyone to think that any idiot can set it up, but it is pretty straight forward and there is a lot of help out there on their forums or other places.

The best thing about it is that it runs Asterisk which is compatible with most SIP trunking services out there as well as SIP devices. It also has a nice clean and easy to use GUI web interface. It makes administering it very easy.

I did run into one bug during my short (so far) usage, and that was logging on to download packages. I had the account set up for the trixbox forums and entered that information into the packages screen and it didn't return any errors or display any success. From browsing around the internet, I found out you have to fill in the registration form for the machine and everything will work.

I will hopefully be replacing our aging PBX system with a trixbox system. Because it is awesome.

Monday, October 20, 2008 service

Today I just wanted to post a review of SellVOIP's service. I have to preface the rest of the post by saying "read through the whole post."

Out of the many SIP trunking services I looked at, sellVOIP one was by far the best in terms of features and pricing. They had DID(Direct Inward Dial) numbers in all 50 states and has unlimited minute incoming channels for about $5 a month. Their channels would roll over into a per-minute charge if you went past your subscribed amount. They had an easy to use CDR that I could copy into a spreadsheet to plan for expansions. There was failover routing that could go to voicemail or another PBX. Also the service could be bound to IP. I have to say that this provider made me fall in love with VOIP.

That was great -until- they stopped all support. I had pretty quick support from a person named Alex early on in the service. Timely and he resolved all the problems I had. But at the end, the channels started charging for all incoming calls. I tried to contact their support staff but they didn't respond. This is when I found out there was really no way to reach them but through email. I continued for about a month trying to email them about once a week, all the while searching for a new provider. The money ran out in the account and service stopped.

Their website is still up with links to google checkout to sign up for services. I want to warn anybody thinking of signing up for service, that they might not receive any and just be throwing away money.

I am now working with Thomas Hsieh of SplinterRock who was able to get me an account with Aretta Communications. I'll have to see how that goes. Thanks for the help Tom.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Launch of

I know this won't be big news to probably anybody, but Attention Plus Care has launched a new design of its website. It was a joint effort by Adam Funari and me to bring it all together.

The main changes are:

  • Much cleaner code
    The old design was made of absolutely positioned elements with absolute sized.

  • Much more information
    We added a lot more information and put it in much more intuitive places

  • Updated graphics
    If you saw the old site, you'd know what I meant :)

There are also tools on the back-end for clients and employees to use such as:

  • Checking your schedule

  • Viewing the news

  • Downloading files

  • Providing feedback

If you do happen to check it out, please write back and comment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 3.0 released

Just in case anyone missed it the newest stable version of OpenOffice was just released. Everyone must have already heard as the website is down with only links to the downloads. Version 3.0 should be bringing along some new features that help it compete as an office suite. One of the biggest improvements I am looking forward to is the native office 2007 format compatibilities (docx and the like).

One thing I'm hoping for is that there is an easy way to write a group policy to skip the annoying registration screen for the install. If the past is any indication, that will not be the case and there will be a brand new work around. I'll be installing this within a week and will let people know how it went.