Monday, May 18, 2009

If you build it...they will come....won't they?

OSCAR work is progressing nicely.

LOTS of things had to come together since my last post.

Aart (my programmer partner) has been granted access to the main CVS trunk for OSCAR, and he has some very exciting ideas on modernizing the software to have a much more modern look & feel.  We're going to immediately implement this modern "Mac-esque" look & feel of OSCAR to the Alberta Version's billing page.  It's going to be very cool!

We need to build a larger user base for OSCAR in Alberta - to that end, I'm going to start my campaign through paid ads, demos and through the Drug Reps.  It'll be a LOT easier for naturally suspicious Alberta Docs to have a useable OSCAR to see in demo - so I'm working hard on the UI aspect of a presentation.

Today, I bought Macspeech - which uses the Dragon Naturally Speaking engine for speech recognition input into OSCAR.  I also bought the Revolabs xtag wireless USB Microphone.

I also just learned that there is a firmware update for my Intel SSD drives that I put in my new servers!

Shouldn't be too long before we have a useable version of OSCAR for Alberta.  In the mean time, I'm also renovating my office.  I'm building a nice new LARGE work desk for my nurses (with nice granite counter tops & natural cherry cabinets & shelving, which will have nestled "holders" for the servers and OSCAR I/O computers.  We're also putting in new flooring, new examination room tables, etc., etc.  Should be nice when it is done.

One could argue that I'll never recoup my investment in OSCAR or my new "high end looking" office.  But not everything is about money.  It's also about how you feel when you go to work.  My office environment will now be something closer to what you see on the TV show "Private Practice".  It's nice to feel good about the work environment.....the Chinese have known this for 1000's of years.

I'm also buying the new Xerox multifunction printer, the 4260XM.  It's expensive, but works like a hot damn for faxing, receiving fax to email/ftp and copying/printing/scanning (in duplex).

More soon.....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some progress on Alberta OSCAR

I haven't updated in a while.  To date, my developer, Aart has been very busy and has visited both Vancouver and Toronto to learn more about OSCAR development procedures and to get welcomed into the developers community.

I now have a key fob and password to test our Alberta Billing Module on Alberta Health Service's test server - and we're going to see if we can't get something going over the next month.

The billing interface will be common to all Provincial billing interfaces across Canada - as we would like to not redundantly reinvent the proverbial wheel.

On the practical side of things, I am going to get a 15' Macbook Pro and install Parallels on it with Windows XP to run Dragon's Natrually Speaking speech recognition software.  I'm going to use a Plantronics Blu-tooth  wireless microphone to dictate - directly into the fields of the firefox browser that I'm also going go run on the Parallels-nested Windows installation.

Why Windows?  Well -the only reason is because it is the only OS for which Dragon's mature software is available.  Once it is available in its full form for Mac OS - I'm going to have a little burning party to burn any and all of my Windows OS CD ROM's!

Hopefully, it won't be long.

I now have two mirrored servers that run Solid State 32 Gb hard drives and which consume only about 6 watts of power!  These servers are deadly silent, deadly cool an deadly fast!

The investment in the new intel Solid state x-25 drives was expensive - but absolutely worth it!

I'm planning on being able to use an "Alberta Version" of OSCAR at the Family Medicine Forum in October.....the pressure is on!

To date, my "free open source software experience" has cost about $10,000.  Good thing I don't have any other expensive vices!