IBM has finally recognised Ubuntu as a first class Linux ditribution.  And it’s about time, as many customers have long used Ubuntu on their IBM machines as the default OS.  Why? What’s the secret sauce of Ubuntu?

First Ubuntu is unashamed and proud of Linux, server side and most importantly desktop-wise.  Ubuntu has a clear agenda and policy, is backed up by Canonical but independent of “political” machinations. No one fears that a takeover of Canonical would change what Ubuntu stands for.  

And that is in sharp contrast to Novell/Suse.  … Continue reading ‘Ubuntu – THE Linux Distribution’


It worked a while, now tickerTXT.org refers to the stupid placeholder page at Gandi.net.

It’s not all bad:

www.tickertxt.org

…works just fine.  Omitting the WWW just doesn’t.  I know, it’s not easy, our DNS management is with Gandi.net, not with Google, though Blogger offers that exact service (or better optional “tick”-selection), see here.

So I’ll have to spend some more time on this grrrhh.  Maybe creating a redirecting webpage for the default tickerTXT.org with Gandi?


Spoiler: this post describes the problem when an Internet domain is is setup for Google Apps AND Google Pages is activated.  If you want to use that domain for Blogger as well instead of the xyzabc.blogspot.com, Blogger refuses to accept that domain with an error message (see below).  (There might be other causes for the error message as suggested here.)

“Another blog is already hosted at this address.”

You wanted to submit something like http://www.mymegadomain.com in the Blogger publishing settings instead of myverycomplicatedname.blogspot.com.

That is the error message that Blogger gave me for a couple of days, though I had done all the requested changes to the DNS configuration.  At first I thought it was temporary, it often takes time for DNS settings to take effect.  Then I tried again, same message, no time to fully investigate, researched a bit, rechecked settings, no solution, no time, mmhh, postboned. And again… until urgency crept in and it had to be solved…

Continue reading ‘Bug and solution – Google Apps / Sites and Blogger using the same domain name’


In the previous post I described how we went from “just buying new DECT phones” and the idea of integrating 2 S0 ISDN” lines, combining them with VoIP and Skype to the discovery of new concepts such as virtual PBXes, also named netPBX or hosted PBX solutions.

I had to let that sink in.  The biggest bummers are: more than one single ISDN feed makes PBX blackboxes such as Belkin or AVM Fritzboxes much more expensive than the classic all-in-one boxes including PBX/WiFi/Router. Those boxes usually only feature a single S0 Basic Rate Interface (BRI)  with a single ISDN line allowing two parallel calls.  Also those wonderboxes usually do not support Skype for phone handsets.  So here is our current thinking for our 2 test cases, the association with a small office and the startup with currently no office… Continue reading ‘PBXploration part 2 – Telephony for SMEs, SoHo, Projects and Startups’


How to  configure your personal gmail to pull and push email of your Google App domain

  1. Allow Pop (and Imap) for your Google App account (settings, forward / pop3 / Imap)
  2. Go to you personal gmail account and click on settings
  3. Add an account
  4. username@yourgoogleappdomain.com
  5. your google app password
  6. do not tick keep password (google mail usually does that anyway), but click the 2 following options
  7. Then Google asks you, if you want to send mail under that domain as well
  8. Click yes / continue /… until the window shows the code verification
  9. Either copy the code and paste it in, or click on the link of the verification mail send to your Google Apps email account.

Voilà

Why ist that relevant?  Well most people would love to combine their email clients, this way for most tasks you only need to access one Google account.  For the company / organisation everything is fine, cause they keep the box and the corporate email, you are happy, cause you don’t always need to login in a hundred times, especially when loading the email to different devices, such as desktop od email oder mobile email.

At tickerTXT we are very virtual and lean, it just happened everyone was already using Gmail and a combination makes things easier.


What have startups, small independant remote offices, branches and even serious longer term projects in common?  A bunch of demanding people with a cause and often very diverse backgrounds and personal technologies.  Members are usually quite autonomous and very mobile.  They often don’t have offices, or if they have, not every member is their on a regular basis.

What do they need?  Common technology (easy accessibility of common infrastructure, such as Internet and web technologies), Communication (Email, IM, SMS, VoIP, twitter, blogs, website), Collaboration (sharing, conferencing, discussion, co-editing, co-producing, coordination).

So here is our pick:

Google Apps (for short term projects where everybody has a Gmail account, Gmail, Google Docs etc may be eough) including Google Sites for project planning and management using RSS feeds of internal changes, external relevant sites, calendar,..

Google add.ons such as RememberTheMilk, maybe in combination with GTDinbox

Twitter is great to send status and info updates of the project, so we recommend to setup a project account to which the group members are invited.  The account is private or public as you wish.  You may want to use it with GroupTweed or something similar for info push reasons.  The RSS of that project twitter account can then be fed to your Google Intranet Site.

CRM / ERP  -Salesforce is now well integrated with Google apps, though we are not sure if they are a great fit for stratups and projects.  Like other CRM tools, it is not cheap and may also be a bit overloded with features for the early stages.  We haven’t yet found a simple and sexy mini CRM which is well integrated with Google Apps.  Etelos seems also a bit too sophisticated.  We are definitely searching for a soltion

Synctools – We all have our mobile computers and phones and want to combine the group features with our personal tools.  This is a ticky part and we are looking into a couple of solutions.  One of the key features for a solution is to be able to sync part of your personal contacts with your group.

Websites – Many startups or projects would like to publish their progress and results.  WordPress.com and blogspot (ny Google) are good places to start asthey both aloow for quite a bit of customisation for no or little money (wordpress asks for 15$ per year to customise the CSS).  Blogspot / blogger is maybe a bit more techy, but with a bit of exploration and hands-on customisation it is more versatile.  For our current startup we have chosen blogger, beause we can use javascript, we can integrate a DHTML customised navigation bar which can unite different blogspot blogs or even external pages.

Google has 2 more website publishing tools such as Google Sites (great for intranets) and Google Pages (a bit simpler and older).  Both are very simple to setup and use, but also have horrible templates and are not yet as flexible as blogger is.  If you don’t care about looks, or blog capabilities, go for Sites.  Goggle Sites is in the very early stage of it’s life cycle and will cetainly become a central swiss-knife like publishing service for Google.

We will add a few apps and solutions to this list and we will pblish a few howtos wich will be used as guides for our startup team…

This post will also be updated with links later on, so keep posted.


The task is supposedly simple: we need a couple of new cordless phones for the office of a non-profit association which looks after a few thousand people.  And a new PBXas well, to make it easier to transfer calls and manage the numbers. Ah and of course it’ll be nice to make use of VoIP, especially Skype which could bring down the cost of national and international calls significantly.

Reluctantly I started to shop around, looked for some nice pice of integrated hardware, all-in-one box, why not throw in the WiFi and router as well, the fewer cables and AC-adapters, the better.

MMmmmhhh.  The typical mainstream high-street stuff is not really impressive.  A few more Skype phones, a few more clever SIP VoIP boxes, but not the wonderbox I was looking for.  So back to the drawing board and coupled with a few ideas, here is what I would love to have:

  • DECT handsets with headset connector or bluetooth, big kys with a nice tactile feel, easy menu
  • Skype integration either via WiFi connection of the DECT handset or some kind of Skype routing of the wonderbox
  • SIP, the VoIP standard which allows the usage of VoIP service providers (and yes Skype is not standard)
  • Easy setup, remote configuration
  • Stuff like VPN would be nice
  • Open address books, which allow sync with personal or LDAP contact solutions
  • CIT, especially with web services like Salesforce or other CRMs, Google Apps, project management, clever tools like highlighting a number on the web or the desktop, right mouse-click and dial using a preferred device, either computer headset, skype handset, dect phone or even mobile phone.
  • Integration of mobile phones (SIP, VoIP clients), sync etc,
  • Virtual office capabilities: voice mail to mail, number/extension for remotely working collegues, active association members (via VoIP, forwarding…), fax to mail
  • Clever, easy and cheap integration of phone conferencing sevices
  • Easy recording (while calling, as well as leaving messages, send messages)
  • Web integration, status, web calls (via Skype VoIP, etc)
  • SMS service for the association, reminders, member SMS info service…
  • Turning the member directory into web based launchpad for inter-member communication, via voice, IM, email, SMS

Just before writing this post, I came across PBXes.com, the virtual PBX, now that is something worthwhile to explore 🙂