Monthly Introduction January 2007

Welecome to Tech for Non-Profits, the unplugged version of Microdesign Consulting. We feel that non-profit corporations and NGOs deserve the same advantages that technology can bring to for-profit business. To that end, we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding cost-effective ways to bring the benefits of wide-area networks, computer databases, IP videoconferencing and Voice over IP and free and open source software to our clients and friends. Check out our (mostly) annotated VoIP resource guide.

Ongoing projects this month will include our small office PBX using TrixBox and Asterisk. This seems to have gotten off dead center as the past three days it has worked flawlessly with VoicePulse, or internet call provider. I have joined the outreach committee of the Vermont Software Developer’s Association, and we’re working on grant applications early this month to get this group some paid staff. We’re using Backpack for project management on this, and I wrote about Backpack a couple days ago.

It seems to be a personality quirk of ours that our default position is one of optimism and interest when confronted with a new product or new version of an older product. This is especially true if it passes the Five Minute Test(tm), i.e. if I can actually create or do something after fooling with the product for five minutes. The critical juncture is what happens immediately after the five minutes… Does it hold our interest? Does it get incorporated into our daily work? Is it something to recommend to others?

A little about our shop: If you look at previous entries, you’ll see we’ve dated Linux, but are married to Microsoft. We have two Windows XP desktops, 1 Windows XP laptop and a Windows 2003 Small Business Server as our production machines. These have to work every day, and they do. We use these for programming, database development, web development and general office stuff like accounting. We depend on several entities located in cyberspace, including for our web site and eMail, and as host for a couple production web-based applications, and Logmein for remote access to clients for whom we have ongoing network management or software development projects. Oh, and our ISP, Comcast, (only recently changed from Adelphia).

Comments and suggestions are welcome and are moderated, so they may not show up immediatly.

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