Odd & Ends – What’s happening around GotSpeech Central

2010 MVP Global Summit – Well, it has been about two weeks now since I got back from my Redmond Trip and I’ve had time to recover and regroup. I’m getting too old for 17 hour days in the wrong time zone and redeye flights. On the return trip I went 36 hours without any sleep and it took a few days to recover from that.

But the trip was worth it. I had a chance to connect again with some of my OCS MVP friends and meet some new ones. I also spent 3 days in a classroom with the product team. I can’t talk much about what I saw and heard as everything was under NDA (they really pushed that home this time) but I can say that I’m very encouraged about what the next release of OCS will bring us. I can say this – you should be brushing up on your WPF and WCF skills. I’ll blog more on what the future holds in store for IVR developers as soon as I get permission.

GotSpeech SIP Lab – I blogged before on the lab setup I have in my office. Well that has grown some with the addition of two more laptops, another server and my virtualization server. As I’m writing this I have a full OCS implementation running in VMs along with Speech Server 2004 and an OCS 2007 Speech Server VMs and the processor utilization is not an issue staying well below 30%.

Recently I decided to beef up the telephony side of my lab with several additions. I purchased a DID from DIDforSale (20 simultaneous calls) and a DID from Via:Talk. The Via:Talk DID has two lines and I’ve terminated them into a LinkSys PAP2 phone adaptor so that I now have two more analog lines terminate into my Dialogic gateway giving me a total of 4 analog ports which allows me to handle multiple calls and transfers.

The DIDforSale SIP line terminates into a FreeSWITCH gateway running on a Win2K VM. Of course all the new phone lines get directed to Speech Server. This is working well except that I have the same early audio problem that Brian has. I’ll be working on getting outbound dialing with DIDforSale working and the early audio problem over the coming weeks as time permits.

I have the Brekeke SIP Server installed and I’ll be configuring it also. The goal is to duplicate as many common deployment scenarios as possible.

GotSpeech forum cleanup – If you follow the member stats on GotSpeech you may have noticed something weird this past weekend – the total number of users dropped from 15,000 to 694 (back up to 889 as of this writing).

For about 2+ years now I have been the target of spammer bots setting up user accounts on GotSpeech and the problem got a lot worse in the last few weeks. They can create accounts but they can’t get into the forums so they have only been a minor nuisance. But that changed last month as the database grew beyond my allowed limits and I got charged for the extra DB space. In January I was able to shrink the database and stay below the limit but this time around I couldn’t get the database below about 545 MB. So I contacted OrcsWeb my hosting provider and worked with James to clean things up. after spending several hours last Saturday working with James we got the database size down to 304 MB – well within the limits of my plan. We ended up deleting any users that had never posted to the forums and truncated the exceptions table which hadn’t been cleaned out in several years. The net result is that the user count dropped drastically and now only includes people who have posted to the forums. If your account was deleted then join again and participate this time. That is why the forums are here; so that everyone can gain from other users but if you don’t post then no one gains.

I want to take this time to publicly thank (and recommend) OrcsWeb for all they have done for GotSpeech. Those guys are awesome. They are all geeks and if something is wrong they seem to take it as a personal challenge to get it fixed. Fast and friendly support is the norm for Orcsweb.

GotSpeech Consulting – I now have a new phone number for the business – 904.222.8880 provide by SpeechPhone. This gives me a personal assistant who can locate me wherever I am. And if I can’t take the call it allows the caller to leave a voice message. Pretty cool stuff.

I’m also looking for more consulting work so if you need training, mentoring  or development then give the number above a call. Things have been going well and I have even farmed some work out to other Speech Server developers. The only problem I seem to have is getting people to pay after I do the work. My accounts receivable past due invoices has gotten far larger than I am comfortable with.

GotSpeech Consulting is now a Microsoft Partner and I am pursuing partner alliances with two other companies one of which is located in Europe. The idea of working internationally is cool but I hate long airplane trips – I much prefer working remotely.

Speaking Engagements – I’ll be presenting at the Orlando Code Camp on March 27th which is not that far away. I’ll be presenting two sessions one on Speech Server development and one on OCS development. As you can see from the speakers page there is a great lineup of speakers and sessions – 19 MVPs plus some other great speaker talent. The code camp is free and the speakers are all donating their time and talent. The guys in Orlando always put on a good code camp and it is an easy drive from my house down to Orlando for the day. See you there.