Sunday, December 20, 2009

dealprocessor 1.5 => last of the 1.x series

After much deliberation about this, I am finally going to bite the bullet.  Deal Processor is going to be the last of the installable versions of Deal Processor.

After evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of using Silverlight, I can fully attest that for the client base that we are targeting, being able to offer the COR application as a Silverlight-based application, and then providing a local winforms or WPF application for use by the reps is going to be the way to go.

Look in May/June for more posts about V2, and it's benefits.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

$79 Million dollar government project a waste?

I'm an avid user of Facebook.  A friend's mom put a simple post out on the site saying the following:

We're in a recession with people losing their jobs and homes and our country just spent 79 million on a rocket to shoot a hole in the moon?!

My plan was to never use this blog to do anything political, but this is one that I simply cannot leave go, and I really need to vent the frustrations out with this statement... Oui!

Our country spent 79 million dollars creating jobs.  Keep in mind what it costs to do that, and the amount of resources needed, the facilities, etc.  To explain how the 79 million dollar project created many jobs:

You need to purchase things like equipment, raw materials, facilities, etc to reach the goal.  You also need to pay salaries to the administration that is running it, the "Shop Floor" workers, the maintenance guys, the trainers, etc.

Out of that "paid" money, you are now enabling many companies to now keep their staffs employed and paid.  All of those staffs, and the NASA staff are now enabled to go and umm... how do I say this, pay for necessary human services... (Hair Cuts, Dr's appts, Dentist appts, etc.)... they are then also enabled to go to concerts, restaurants, ball-games, dances, ferry rides, amusement parks... All of the lower-rung "SERVICE" based business.

Now, when you understand that underlying the entire economy are service-based businesses (since a good part of the traditional manufacturing is overseas), you'd understand why the 79 million dollars, pending 78.9 million of it wasn't lining the politicians pockets, was a decent investment.

To put another spin on this... Most of the current recession has been more of a correction in the market for bad decisions over the past years... From what I've learned in the past, no point in time up until recently (past 10-20 years) has there ever been so many foolish mistakes in the US economy... think about how easy it was (no more than 2 years ago) for an 18 year old to get a credit card.  I can recall getting 3-10 offers a month.  Every month as well, I got "checks" with my credit card statement that allowed me to "Access my credit line"

No-one ever told the 18-year old that he'd be paying 22-30% interest, and if he only paid the monthly minimum of $10, he'll never get it paid off, but keep racking it up even if he NEVER charged another item on the card again?!?!?!  This has been discussed on many news programs enough that anyone that has a pulse can reference a report on it by now?!

The funny thing with this is that most of the time, again and again, everyone wants to blame the public school system and/or the government... that someone didn't police the credit agencies.  That the credit agencies were allowed to offer sub-prime loans for housing, etc.

In reality, it's up to the individual to READ THE FUCKING FINE PRINT on the application!  I feel like it's quite ridiculous that at 26/27, I know so many people of my own age that are in debt (outside of student loans) to the point that they can't dig themselves out to save their lives.

To go a bit more globally on that subject, us Americans should take a queue from the Irish... they don't purchase anything until after they can pay cold, hard cash for it... it's just not part of their culture, and us Americans need to learn how to adopt that part of their culture.  We have so much to learn.

Credit is such a sham, and it causes drops in the economy that everyone wants to blame the damn government for, instead of themselves.

one other spin... watch the movie "The Aviator" when he goes to court and is asked about the failed projects.  Very insightful view, and also quite applicable to this subject!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Starting work with Silverlight...

I've been amused by the toys out on the web that have been developed in Flash/Flex and Silverlight over the past few years. Even some as big as the Olympics being broadcasted over the world in part by these technologies... and now, with Microsoft finally releasing Silverlight 3 to the web a few months ago, it has enough "brass" available that someone can build a decent LOB application.

I've been pondering converting dealprocessor to be hosted for many reasons, inclusive of the support nightmares I've already had with only two companies running the software.  My hope is that by having the COR hosted on a web server "in the cloud" somewhere, I can relieve at least one headache for the businesses that will start to purchase the software.  Only time will tell... and it's going to be one hell of a Ride... I can't wait to be able to start posting preview links for the app!

Monday, September 14, 2009

POS 2009 - Timeforge Integration

We're in testing... although I don't see many POS 2009 dealers jumping for joy... most of them are not quite willing as of yet to bit the bullet on this new system.  I hope that things improve for SP1, and that more dealers come on board, or Microsoft will lose a pretty sweet opportunity for third party integration.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Timeforge Integration - First Steps

So, first real step was taken today... to see how long it would take to get the workstation components into the POS interface, to make a homogenious environment for the POS user to update the required data for Timeforge.

In the POS Bootcamp, this is something that took about 10-15 minutes, after all the discussions... after about 45 minutes or so, I finally got things working. It turns out the manifest file gets to be quite picky. In the manifest file, you define the following (according to the POS 2009 Beta 2 SDK Documentation):

assembly="Name of the developer's add-in .dll file"
addInDisplayName="Simple POS Add-in Sample"
addInDescription="Simple POS Add-in sample"
So, I did this, copied it, inserted it into the Timeforge.manifest file, and tried for over 30 minutes to figure out why it wasn't working. Finally, I looked at a few of the other manifest files, and discovered something quite interesting... See if you notice it:


And in case you are wondering, no... it doesn't have to do with the fact that there aren't as many attributes on the AddInAssembly tag. It's all about the capitalization. The POS Beta 2 SDK documentation states to do it the former way, and the way it needs to really be written (as far as capitalization goes) is the way it looks in the latter.

So, I simply made those edits, and away I go now to start the real work on the POS 2009 implementation for Timeforge.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Project - Timeforge Integration

Now that Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 is finally to RTM stage, it is time to begin a new project, and one that I have been looking to work on for some time... integrating an online scheduling software package with Dynamics POS 2009.

When we headed to the POS SDK Bootcamp back in January, 2008, one of the requests I had made was to provide a method that would allow us the ability of creating a custom add-on data entry screen for common entities in the system, like Items and Employees.  Although the development team couldn't quite grasp the concepts that we needed to deal with, they did provide the necessary interfaces, and I look forward to use them shortly.

The package I am looking to integrate is called Timeforge.  It is already integrated with the Restaurant Point of Sale package, Dinerware, as well as other packages that are on the market.  Anthony Presley, one of the founders of Timeforge, was more than glad to have someone offer to do the integration, as it will save him time in hunting down a developer that can handle the intricacies of Microsoft Point of Sale 2009.

So, I look forward to start posting more about the integration, as we hope to have something that is "showable" by the RSPA show next month in Las Vegas, NV. (A trip that I have long been wanting to make)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Update - '09 Goals

Well, it's almost May.... ~4.75 months since I wrote the '09 goals post.

I ahve two updates to give at this point:

Wrap up the Dinerware - Sales Watch... This is technically wrapped up, although I had hoped that POS Leader would have marketed the software Add-on more, and given better feedback so we could truely make it a whizz-bang Add-on that other restaurant POS systems cannot offer.

Re-build the Dinerware Report Scheduler... TBD... things are going well, and I have done significant work to it. The software is now completely re-built, and seems to be functioning well. There is now interest for this Add-on from another Dealer out of the Carolinas, and they are in the process of test-implementing the software now. Hopefully, that will go through, and I can see some revenue come in.

I'm anxious to get through the rest of second quarter, and to run the quarterly sales reports to see how I did this quarter in comparison to last!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Project Getting Ready for a 1.0

Not sure what we will call it yet, but there has been a lot of flack against the idea that Dinerware cannot easily show drink recipes like Aloha or Digital Dining can, so I got aggravated after hearing that another deal was lost in part to not having that feature, so I just spent the past two weeks developing an electronic version of "The Bartender's Bible" which should handle the needs of any clients.

Hopefully, no-one will balk when we present them with the cost of the Application.  Only time will tell.

Once it's out there, and licensed, it will be available for Retail sale (end-users) and Wholesale (resellers) via

Friday, January 9, 2009

'09 goals

I have to laugh as I begin to write this entry.  I look over the past 52 weeks, and realize that they came and left, and I didn't realize that they were ever there.  A day is a mere 24 hours, and they go by so fast that you wish it would contain 36.  Most of my past year was spent doing one of several things... programming, sleeping, driving all over kingdom come, or drinking (as in beer).

As I think about it, it was a fun year, with many new opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I were to still be working at a Corporate job, such as travelling to Portland & Seattle, eating at an underground restaurant, trying an USDA Prime NY Strip steak at Table 31, and learning a whole lot more about life.

The year did have its downturns as well, both parents fell ill, and having to watch them slow down in comparison to where they were at this time last year... facing the music that they are acutally mortal and will not be here at some point in the future, and realizing that I need to set achievable goals for what I want to accomplish by December 31. So, here goes:

Goals for '09:
  • Build dealprocessor COR to be web based, hopefully using Silverlight where applicable to still over a rich-client experinence, but yet have it easily accessible no matter where you are working.
  • Wrap up the Dinerware - Sales Watch project and get that published so it can begin drawing revenue.
  • Re-build the Dinerware Report Scheduler to be more user friendly, and get it to market for the July Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV.
  • Attend the Dinerware Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV
  • Go to RSPA and talk with vendors about dealprocessor, and build a good lead base to go off of for the fall of the year.
  • Clear some revenue on dealprocessor, so that I can continue to afford developing the package.
  • Work with revolutionPOS to develop a decent VAR line so that we may both be able to prosper.
Now, hopefully since I have finally written them down, I can sit here on Dec 31, and look back and go right down the list and say "done, done, done... DONE"  We shall see.