Friday, February 22, 2008

Fax Router

OK, so here was the problem...SWI Diagnostics is a mobile company, a small and limited staff mobile company at that. As a result, we rely heavily on technology to help us keep our heads above water. Our work flow for final reports simply wasn't working. The studies themselves were transmited securely enough through a VPN tunnel using a DICOM compliant PACS system, but the technologist's worksheet had to be faxed to the reading physician separately. The radiologist would dictate the study and send the dictation file to the transcriptionist, who would then send the final back to the radiologist for his digital signature. Only then would the final report be sent back to us, at which time we would route it via fax back to the originating physician. It was a nightmare, especially when you're on the road doing studies, as far away from the fax machine as you can get. I needed to be able to route incoming faxes to an email account as a PDF attachment, and there are plenty of Internet fax services out there that will do that for you for a price. eFax is around sixteen bucks a month plus something like seventy cents a sheet. With any volume that solution would quickly add up to more than we were willing to spend. The Fax Services Manager available in Microsoft Server 2003 and SBS will also route faxes via SMTP gateways, but that also seemed like a bit of an extreme since I was running XP pro on every machine in my network. Mixed clients don't work well for Microsoft. So, whats the answer here? Write our own fax router of course. Which is exactly what I set out to do over the weekend. The windows fax console embedded in XP SP2 seemed to send and receive faxes just fine, and it placed the converted tiff file in a directory of my choosing with just a few out of the box configurations. My solution was to develop a windows service using visual studio that would essentially invoke a filesystemwatcher component on the incoming fax directory that I set up during the fax console initial configuration. Whenever a new file arrived in the folder, I would capture the file name and pass it as a parameter to a simple smtp function I wrote to route the file as an email attachment to any address I specified. I used the System.Net.Mail namespace to accomplish this. Also, I used the GMail smtp server since I don't run the mail protocol on my machines. It works great. Our techs are now able to receive faxed orders on their mobile devices, regardless of where they are. I am working on a module to evaluate the fax header information in order to develop routing rules so that I can use the application to automatically send a carbon copy fax to the referring physician as soon as we receive the incoming fax of the final report. This is a huge step forward for our operation, and I'd be happy to post the source code for anyone who might be interested in the router. It is fully configurable and uses a modest xml file to store its connection parameters.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Best Damn Tee Shirts EVER!!!

Cougar Hunter...Thats funny. I'm get 'in dat. Oh, and Americas Hat? Yeah, luvin it like McLuvin.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

DixieLand Delight Tour...The DDT

Dixeland Delight is the story of sports columnist and lifelong UT fan, Clay Travis, who visited all 12 SEC stadiums in the fall of 2006 to truly experience, understand and appreciate college football in the South. The result is an entertaing and if I dare say, even enlightening look at the South, it's football, and its history. Hell you may even learn something useful, like say that Mississippi State fans love their cowbells, or that Auburn tailgaters offer moonshine, and according to Jamie, that Georgia co-eds have fake boobs. Clay’s travels meander over nine southern states, he's smart...a Vanderbilt Law School alum, but he's also funny as hell. Remember, this is a guy who a few years ago went on a pudding-only diet in protest of the NFL not televising games in the US Virgin Islands. His writing style is witty but not pretentious, and he's got an assload of knowledge of SEC football. SEC or not, if you call yourself a fan, pick up a copy of "Dixieland Delight" today.

"Travis grew up a University of Tennessee football fan, and it was clear early on he would remain one for his entire life. That's typical in the Southeastern Conference, where football on Saturdays is about as natural as butter on toast. Travis takes us with him as he chronicles the 2006 season on the SEC bandwagon. Armed with only a copy of the Volunteers' 12-game schedule, he follows the team's path, determined to wing it when it comes to finding game tickets and places to sleep along the way. Travis coins his journey the DDT (Dixieland Delight Tour) and records his impressions one week at time. Summing up his more than 8,000 miles of road traveled, Travis shares his "Lessons from the DDT," 18 nuggets of wisdom such as "No matter what fan base you're a part of, at least 15 percent of your fans suck. Really suck." There's plenty of football in these pages, but it's the irreverent attitude and willingness to make fun of one's own obsessions that give the account its zip." Wilkens, Mary Frances

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Porch for the side entrance

Here is the finished porch we built for the office. This started out as replacing a glass paned raised panel entry door that had seen better days. It was a security problem more than anything else. There was no real door frame, it seemed the frame was built around the door, which was out of square. I actually ruined a good door blank trying to cut it down to fit the opening. I finaly relented and just rebuilt the rough opening correctly.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Jack and Jill bathroom...Finally!!!

So, I've finally finished the bathroom. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Actually, this has been done for some time, I just havent gotten around to posting the finished product. As a testiment to to usefulness of this new layout, I didn't even tidy up before shooting these...I swear. I did move the clothes hamper though. The addition of the linen closet was the best thing we could have done, and converting the space into the Jack and Jill layout between the kids bedrooms was a stroke of genious if I do say so myself!