Archive for May 2008

Get your PBX at Costco

May 31, 2008

There’s been a lot of press lately about Microsoft Response Point. While it has some great features that last time I looked at it, there was still some critical functionality missing before I would deploy it in most places. The upcoming SP1 is supposed to address most of these but we’ll wait and see what is actually released.

What I do find interesting is that you can now buy Response Point at Costco (thanks for the link Dave)! Now if I made my money on reselling equipment this would be a bummer but that’s not my money maker so this is just great in my mind…it puts it in front of lots of small business owners who go to Costco on a regular basis and will make them want to get a phone system that doesn’t cost $10k for 5 phones. Some will be able to get it to work, others will get confused and call someone in to do the work/assist.

Advertisements

Forget eBooks, I want eMagazines

May 24, 2008

There’s been a good amount of press lately about the eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Digital Reader. The problem with these is the up-front cost and limited selection of titles available for them. What we really be a great way to promote the digital books is to offer digital magazines instead.

There’s the obvious geek factor in that tech magazines would be a perfect fit for this…what geek wouldn’t love to have a digital reader that automatically downloaded the latest edition of all the tech magazines so they could be easily read. Ok, honestly it would just reduce the cluttered pile of magazines in the bathroom, but you get the idea.

There’s the green factor, magazines could still sell their subscriptions but would not have to print the same volume of the actual magazine reducing paper and ink.

Then there’s the additional features that could be incorporated…see an ad or article that’s referenced…it could link directly to it or request more info be sent. How great would that be to be sitting (most likely on the throne) reading and just click to have additional info emailed or flagged on your computer to follow up on.

The eMagazine reader would use a standard format, not one of the existing pain in the @$$ webazine reader apps that simulates an actual paper magazine by making you actually flip pages and show the corners being pulled. Yea, it was cool to see the first time, then it’s just an annoyance having to wait for the page to turn and have to zoom in to actually read what’s on the page because it zooms out every page turn so you can see the whole page. :::sorry, end of rant:::

And to throw in one other idea to sync everything together…it would be great to have it be a Live Mesh enabled device. This way I could not only read the magazines on the reader but on any of my devices: work computer, home PC, etc. Add a proposal I have to review to my Mesh and I can read it later on the reader….one day I hope!

Speed up Outlook by Removing RSS Feeds

May 23, 2008

I don’t use Outlook to view my RSS feeds but when I first switched over to Outlook 2007 I was checking out the features and so I selected it to sync with the RSS feed…and then forgot about it. Over time the number of RSS feeds grew and so did the amount of space they took up and time to sync. So here’s the quick steps to turn off the connection to IE RSS feeds…note that this does NOT remove the feeds but just separates the connection.

  1. In Outlook, click on the TOOLS menu
  2. Select OPTIONS
  3. Select the OTHER tab
  4. Click on the ADVANCED OPTIONS button
  5. Uncheck the SYNC RSS FEEDS TO THE COMMON FEED LIST
  6. Click OK.

Now that you’ve removed the sync, you can delete the feeds in Outlook to clear up the space. You should also see a little performance improvement by not having to sync the feeds all the time.

Running PowerShell from your Mobile Phone

May 22, 2008

While I realistically don’t see myself doing this anytime soon I thought this was a really cool idea…Dmitry has a detailed write up on how to Execute PowerShell Scripts from your smartphone to have the ability to send a PowerShell script from your mobile phone and have it run on your servers back at the office.

I’m a little paranoid of someone sending something that would run against my systems, which is mentioned, but I could see some “somewhat” safe ideas. Perhaps setting up some monitoring or verification scripts that could run to check on the health of systems or report on the status, and have the info hard coded as to where to go. Could be nice to be able to run a quick diagnostic from your phone and have the results sent to you.

Windows Explorer Filter

May 20, 2008

A cool little feature that I apparently missed in Vista that comes in kinda handy, when you have Explorer open and are looking at a standard list of files, you can sort but name, date, type, etc….the standard options. If you hover over one of the titles, click on the arrow that appears you can choose to filter the results in the list. For example you can quickly filter by the date and choose to just see files from yesterday and today, or filter based on the size of the file, or any of the headers you have selected.

In case you’re wondering why I think this is a great little feature, I look at several reports that are transmitted daily, all go into the same folder on a dedicated system. This lets me, very quickly, show just the reports from yesterday and today regardless of the file name so I can quickly spot and open the ones I want.

Slacker Internet Radio

May 19, 2008

Came across Slacker.com earlier this week and so far I’m loving it. I’ve been listening to Live365 for a while now but Slacker seems to have less of the interruptions and the music has been just as good for the channels I’ve been listening to. Have no idea what their business model is (or if they have one) to stay around long term but I certainly hope they do.

Untangling Mesh – Aka RTFM

May 18, 2008

While going through some of the info posted on Mesh I found the one line that made me very happy.

  • The ability to stop synchronizing a folder with your Live Desktop—but still synchronize it between devices in your mesh—is coming soon.
  • This is what I mentioned previously and that  I am really looking forward to. Not only will I then be able to make specific files/folders available anytime/anywhere on my Live Desktop, but I can sync other folders just with my Mesh devices so my files are accessible and backed up. I also came across another bullet item that was great to see…

    Not all synchronization options are available. Some are early peeks at features currently in the works but not up and running yet.

    That explains why there’s option dialogs but I can change the default selection. Overall I’m really excited about what Mesh is hinting at and from the things I’ve heard, I just have to keep telling myself it’s still in Tech Preview status and not fully baked yet.