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Messages - johnfdeluca [ switch to compact view ]

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And not so much for website design, but for interior design, painting or faux finish there is an AWESOME piece of software called CBN Selector  You can load an image (e.g., a picture of the living room), frame out different things in the image (the couch, the walls, the floor, the fireplace, etc.), then try on different colors and  styles. Now I am sure many pieces of software do this but the thing with this is that

  • you have so much precision control on the color
  • you can use color chips from all major paints (ben moore, behr, valspar)
  • you can then show complementary colors for accent work

Now, I am likely not the best person to plug this partner is a muralist and decorative paint designer and found this a short while ago and RAVES about it.  He constantly is talking about how much this software helps him to his job.  So if there are any interior or exterior designers or painters out there, give it a test drive and post your feedback & findings here. 

I have no affiliation with the software or company.

I've now used CallStation for a couple weeks on one line and also tried CallSoftPro on another line.  They are both excellent and either will likely well serve most folks needs but I like CallSoftPro better.  It's admittedly more expensive ($50 plus $15 for the web server vs. CallStation $30) and upgrades to purchasers are not unlimited (vs. CallStation's perhaps unlimited upgrades) so while it offers more features, they come at a price.

Here's the CallSoftPro features which CallStation doesn't (correct me if I am wrong) have which I think are compelling:
  • web server:  allows me to retrieve messages from any computer on the internet
  • call forwarding:  if you subscribe to 3 way calling from phone company, this feature will allow the software to try to reach you and connect you with the caller.
  • multiple mailboxes:  allows me to have multiple unique callboxes, each with their own actions (some can take messages, others can call-forward, others can just hang up, etc.  So I have one main mailbox (where unknown callers or those not in my phonebook go), I also have a mailbox for me as well as a mailbox for my partner.  People in the phonebook are directed to one of these mailboxes based on their "profile" in the software's phonebook.  Then each of those mailboxes have a submailbox to try to reach each of us via cell (using the call forwarding mentioned above)
  • customized caller handling:  pretty much mentioned above, but each caller found in CallSoftPro's phonebook can have custom greetings and/or custom call handling so I can control who gets to try to reach me via cell and who gets to leave a message and who gets their message forwarded to my email/cell phone and again, based on caller, email message may be sent to specific email addresses (so if joe calls, send Brian and email and if Mary calls, send me an email).
  • Active-X Support (so Call Soft can interact with other programs like web servers, word processors or applications written by third parties)
  • Run as a Service (so it doesn't require a user be logged onto the will start when the PC boots even if no one logs on.  And it will restart in the unlikely event of the app crashing) or as an App
  • When message is received, CallSoft can call a number (such as your cell) and then play the message
  • Add callers to your phone book based on caller ID name or number (so if you don't know Tony Bagadonuts number, you can still match with caller id based on his name)
  • Lookup caller using the internet (if caller id leaves out name, or if you just want the address, you can right click a name to have it use one of several popular reverse telephone directories on the web)
  • Auto-reboot if modem fails to respond over time (so you can put that PC in the basement and not worry about it)

I think all the CallStation features (and they are great) are also in CallSoftPro including:
  • TAPI Compliant (will share the modem with other apps)
  • Speakerphone (if supported by modem) so no need to use the actual telephone
  • Text to Speech support (so it can "speak" something such as an outgoing greeting vs. recording an outgoing greeting) SAPI 4 & 5 support and various voices available via downloads
  • Have messages emailed to you
  • Check messages remotely via another telephone
  • Answer on Ring n Schedule (allows it to answer call on different ring counts based on a schedule you set up)
  • Caller ID and Phone book support (so when caller id would show "Wireless Caller" for many of my friend's cell phones, if the number is in the software's phonebook, it will use the name found in the phonebook entry......very compelling.
  • Broadcast Caller ID to network PCs
  • Fax support (for sending/receiving faxes including auto-fax detect so you don't need a separate software or tele line to handle faxes)

I have no affiliation with either software product other than end-user.

<edit:  included urls>
Call Soft:

I was referring to Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (comes with Windows). 

Anyway, I'm using VNC now to connect which doesn't pose the problem.  I've been using Call Station for a week or so now and I like it.  I particularly like the CallerID function and the fact that it can broadcast the caller id info to all computers on the network (via a small app on each computer).  And what puts the icing on the cake for me is that it uses its internal phone directory (which you can enter/edit) to determine the callerid name vs what it gets from the phone company.  My cordless phones do not do that so I invariably see "Wireless Caller" on my phone but CallStation (assuming it's got the number from caller id and a matching entry in the phonebook) shows the name I've given that number (as well as speaks the name via Text to Speech or via custom wav file)....pretty cool.

So what's missing from it?  We'll like I said, it's only been a week so I may learn more in time but:
  • I don't see the ability to have separate mailboxes (though it does give you multiple greetings)
  • I'd love it if there were a client app which one/more computers could access messages (though I think I can code a little app to do that if I really need it) or access via a web browser

Regarding CallStation....

I've installed it and particularly like the ability to send voicemail messages via email.  I do this because I have the software installed in an old PC in the basement.  I also really like the fact that it can broadcast caller ID info to other computers on the network.  The problem I am experiencing (and perhaps you can help since you have a lot of experience with the program) is that if I connect to that PC via Remote Desktop Connection (RDC), it ceases to work.  Meaning, I can see CallStation is still running (as it's appearing on my RDC session) and Answer Calls is still checked....and I am remotely connected as same user.  But it stops sending caller ID infor, and stops answering calls.  Is this something you are familiar with?

Free older versions of some useful software, particularly the Directory Opus reviewed on donationcoder.  The only glitch is that the versions are older than current versions.

Once you go to the site to download, make sure you scroll down to follow the instructions to get your free serial for the software....which lifts the trial/demo restriction.

Paragon Drive Copy 8 Personal SE (pictured) is now a free download from It's the best deal we've seen on this drive copying software. Of note, many more full commercial titles are also available for free via download:
Paragon Exact Image 7 SE;
Registry Mechanic 5.0;
eXpert PDF 3;
Serif DrawPlus 5;
Directory Opus 6.2;
Driver Genius Professional 5.3;
Ashampoo WinOptimizer Platinum 2;
Ashampoo Photo Commander 3.5; and
Ashampoo Burning Studio 5.

Screenshot Captor / Re: new version e-mail alert
« on: May 10, 2006, 08:18 PM »
An alternative is to add a feature to Screenshot Captor to periodically check for updates.

Just food for thought on making an awesome tool even better

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