Using Gmail for Spiceworks’ Help Desk

Spiceworks LogoIn case you haven’t heard, Spiceworks is a free “network management & monitoring, help desk, PC inventory & software reporting solution to manage everything IT.”  I must admin, I was skeptical at first, but I ending up being very impressed with this software.  The only downside I’ve found so far is the presence of ads within the software; however, you’ll soon see it is still well worth it.  This software also requires Windows XP or higher, and will not run on Linux.  On the other hand, Spiceworks will detect and properly monitor any Linux-based PC on the network.  Below are some of the advantages of using Spiceworks:

  • 100% free
  • Can be used as portal, and help desk (includes full ticketing system)
  • Works with Active Directory
  • Will monitor software, DNS settings, disk space, etc., on all computers within network
  • Network map
  • Will monitor ink and toner levels in compatible printers/copiers
  • E-mail alerts can be configured to send in the event printer ink dips below a certain threshold
  • Compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2
  • …and much more!

Now, onto configuring Spiceworks to work with Gmail:

Within Gmail settings, make sure that IMAP is enabled.

Login to your Spiceworks installation.

Continue reading Using Gmail for Spiceworks’ Help Desk

What is a webjawn?

We are giving in… after many inquiries into this so-called “webjawn,” we’ve decided to give up the state secret.  To understand this word, we must explore its origins.  On the streets of my hometown (Philly), a jawn is anything.  It can be a dime, an ink blot, a VGA-to-DVI adapter, or that little shiny thing on the ground that you think might be worth something until you pick it up, and realize it’s not quite what you originally thought.  Google has a few, more formal definitions listed as well:

Now that we’ve gotten the etymology out of the way, we can begin the fusion between the web and it’s jawns until we get the desired result – a whole lotta webjawns.  Now that the enigma has been dissipated, people will sleep soundly, birds will flock, worker bees will work, and we’ll develop web applications and brand new webjawns.

Zend Framework 2.0 Buzz

Zend Framework logoThe buzz behind Zend Framework 2.0 is growing rapidly everyday, and not without good reason.  Zend Framework 2.0 will utilize the very best of PHP to create a more stable, secure, and better performing framework.  Although nothing is set in stone, listed below are some of the highlights so far:

  • Minimum version:  PHP 5.3+
  • Not backwards compatible
  • Improved consistence between componenets
    • __construct() – Constructors will accept options via arrays or Zend_Config
    • Option keys will not use camel caps or uppercase, but instead will utilize lowercase underscore-separated words
  • Elimination of most singletons
  • Utilization of PHP 5.3 features
    • __invoke() and closures – for use within plugin architecture
    • Namespaces – to help with the super-long class names (Zend_Search_Lucene_Analysis_Analyzer_Common_TextNum_CaseInsensitive comes to mind)
    • goto – to be used when creating Finite State Machines (FSM) and parsers (Zend_Search_Lucene, Zend_Ical, Zend_Markup)
  • Autoload-only for all ZF components
  • Zend_View
    • Allow optional use of streams for systems where short_open_tags are disabled
    • Automatic escaping of variables
    • Use PluginLoader instead of internal system for managing plugins

There’s a lot of great discussion going on within the official Zend Framework 2.0 Roadmap, as well as a general outline on Zend’s plans, so get over there and read up!