Courses by Wire
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Announcements of interest

29 March 2005

Why a Weblog

an epiphany triggered by Robert Scoble's suggestion

A few of months ago(maybe longer -- it was around the time of the Red Couch book announcement), I was talking to Robert Scoble of Scobleizer fame. Robert and I have been friends since 1997 when we were both Microsoft MVPs(for NetMeeting). He, of course, has gone on to be a world famous Microsoft blogger(I am not sure I can really say that with a straight face) and continues to be an all round nice guy(that I can say with a straight face). We were discussing the possibility of using Courses by Wire as a case study for the book he and Shel Israel are writing on weblogs in business. It turns out that they were looking for more local non internet/technical businesses so we were not a candidate.

Almost the first thing that Robert said though, after looking at our then home page, was "Why isn't your home page a weblog?". Well that was an epiphany for me. Why not indeed? I have been operating a personal weblog for a couple of years (mostly as catharsis) and have recently started a MSN Spaces weblog to post pictures on so I did understand technically and personally the issues involved in mounting and operating a weblog but I had not considered it as a marketing strategy.

A weblog seems a perfect way to contact new customers, stay in contact with existing customers generate discourse and generally keep involved for all management of Courses by Wire.

Well it took a while(we are small, I am the sole technical resource and was involved in other projects) but here it is.

Welcome to the Courses by Wire corporate weblog!


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 11:53 Permalink
20 April 2005

New issue of newsbywire

our e-newsletter

Our latest issue of newsbywire introduces our subscribers to this weblog and some new published articles.

To view the latest and archived issues of newsbywire or subscribe to it yourself, go here.


Posted by Pat Sullivan at 13:47 Permalink
29 April 2005

Upgraded RSS feed

The RSS feed(pointed to by the link in the graphic on this page) of this weblog has been upgraded to RSS V2 and now includes proper dates so that aggregators can list dates and times of posting and also includes full postings(instead of the excerpts that were in previous postings).

A general discussion of weblogs and RSS feeds and pointers to more resources on the subject is in the article "What is a Weblog" (Requires a PDF reader)on our articles page.


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 13:39 Permalink | Comments (0)
30 April 2005

New Test Browser Page Package

html page to test browser for Toolbook lesson readiness

I have completed a new round of changes to our browser test package that we use to determine the readiness of a user's browser to run our lessons(especially those created using SumTotal Systems Toolbook). It has been packaged to allow tests to be easily turned on and off. A test for Media Player version (and a short movie to test function and sound levels) and a test for Microsoft Office Animation ActiveX presence have been added.

In addition a feature to allow the results to be emailed to a support address has been added. The package can be downloaded from our website.


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 12:43 Permalink | Comments (0)
11 June 2005

We are finally back!

is Bell Canada the most incompetent ISP on the planet?

We are finally back online after nearly week being down due the indifference and apparent incompetence of our ISP!

It all started on Monday. We had ordered a 1-800 number forwarded to a cell phone to handle a customer support requirement. It was "associated" with our main business line because that was the only way to order it. What Bell didn't tell us was that this "association" would also cause our main business line to be forwarded and would also disable our DSL line handling our corporate website, mail server and number of other online services.

We found this out by surprise when Larry called the corporate number it rang on the cell phone of the person next to him in the car. OK mistakes happen -- the measure of an ISP or communications supplier is how fast they can correct their mistake.

Tuesday -- we managed to get the corporate telephone number back to near normal - at least ringing in the right place. It took until today (Saturday) to get the DSL link back to functioning.

Clearly unacceptable!


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 11:39 Permalink

Toolbook 2004 SP2 released

and a new Toolbook only website

The long awaited SP2 update to 2004 has finally been released.

At the same time SumTotal Systems introduced a Toolbook only website and portal. In addition a Toolbook development weblog has been introduced (if only it had a little more "blogness" - especially an RSS or Atom feed and ability to leave comments).


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 16:53 Permalink
17 June 2005

Updated Demos Page

Our demos page has been changed to include a sample Enhanced Presentation Broadcast created with Microsoft Producer. All other demos have been rerendered with the latest Toolbook 2004 SP2 so that no Java is required to view them.


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 11:39 Permalink
28 June 2005

Upcoming TBCON

A reminder of the upcoming Toolbook User's conference (which unfortunately I will not be attending -- some day I will have to make it there):


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 09:04 Permalink
13 July 2005

Issue 12 of newsbywire

our e-newsletter

A new issue of newsbywire has been sent out to our subscribers. Its topic is on "Assessing Training Effectiveness" and encapsulates our philosophy of developing e-learning solutions. To support this newsbywire issue, three new articles (July 2005) have also been published.

You can subscribe to or view the latest and archived issues of newsbywire from our website.


Posted by Pat Sullivan at 13:22 Permalink
04 August 2005

More Consolidation in the Learning Management System Arena

"Today, we announced that SumTotal will acquire Pathlore, another leader in the learning and business performance management market. The merger reinforces SumTotal’s position as the largest software provider in this emerging market and is expected to provide its collective customers even greater resources for support and product innovation. This is exciting news as the acquisition brings together the market share leader by revenue and the market share leader by customer count. "

SumTotal Systems has acquired Pathlore Software.

Press releases from SumTotal Systems and Pathlore.


Posted by Brian Sullivan at 10:45 Permalink
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