Month: January 2012

Creating Email Filters in Google Apps

It can be tough to keep track of the dozens of emails we receive each day, and important messages can easily be lost in the more routine emails the inundate our inboxes.  In Gmail or Google Apps, you can create an email filter to automatically “Label” or categorize messages, and have them bypass your inbox.   For this TechBlog Post, I am going to focus on two categories of email I receive a lot of each day:  First, Groupon, Living Social, and Google Offers.  I don’t want to disable these notifications, but I do want them to bypass my inbox where I can review them later.  Second, my school’s listserve, […]

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Zoho Creator – Custom Cloud Database Applications!

We’ve recently tried our hand at devleopment using Zoho Creator, a cloud-based custom database platform. Creator is an example of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), providing all of the nuts and bolts to create a customized series of forms, views, and reports that fit your internal business workflow. For us, that workflow was tracking tickets in our Baltimore Computer Repair Shop at 1414 Key Highway. Since day 1 we’ve experimented with numerous systems, including OSticket, WordPress Ticket plugins, MerchantOS’ (cloud based Point of Sale) built-in workorder system. As with most “off the shelf” products, each is great at a particular workflow model, but falls short in at least one area. For example, MerchantOS […]

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Home Energy Monitoring

I’ve recently been testing a few products that allow you to see your household energy usage in real-time.  There are numerous possibilities for remote monitoring of household energy data, as well as home automation (think being able to control lights and your thermostat from an iPhone app!). The latest test-drive was a product called the Power Cost Monitor by Blue Line Innovations.  It is an outdoor reading unit that you attach to your power meter with a hose clamp.  It can read live energy usage on almost any meter, and in my case it is reading invisible infrared signal blips.  BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric)  installed a fancy new meter […]

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