Saturday, November 20, 2004

Welcome to Cratchit.org

Welcome to the Cratchit.org weblog. This is my first post, and my first weblog, so bear with me. Occasionally I'll post articles of interest about some of the projects I'm working on, including usage tips. I maintain a few Open Source projects, the major two being Cratchit.org TimeTool for Windows and VIC CRM. Both of them can be found on this website.

TimeTool is a simple utility for tracking the time you spend on various projects. It's quick and simple, and has the distinction of being, to my knowledge, the one and only tool of its kind that continues to accrue time to a project even when the power to your PC is shut off. This makes it ideal for using on a laptop (or even carrying on a UML data thumb to go from place to place). This one's a fairly slow moving project, but there are some nice features in the pipeline, among them a more robust export to Excel, logging by date, and an XML export to make it easier to tie in to timesheets or accounting software.

VIC CRM is currently the more active project. VIC (which stands for "Vital Information Center") is primarily designed for the small company that really needs to better manage its correspondence, but can't afford a commercial CRM. VIC runs in Lotus Notes and it's getting better every day. As it stands, VIC gives you a very quick and easy way to manage all correspondence, including emails, phone conversations, letters, faxes, and contracts in a single data store. If you're a professional and you have a computer, you really should look at this, and I'm not just saying that because I wrote it. I use it myself because it really is good.

Open-Sourcing this project was the best thing that I could have done for it. The "many eyes" advantages of OSS are obvious, and I should have done this sooner. I'd encourage anyone to take a look at the work that's being done on OpenNTF.org and see for yourself.

So much for the opening advertisement. In the future I'll jump right in and make these posts more informative.

Coming soon: "VIC CRM: Using the Make Document Inbound action"

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