Web Ben's Information Station

Thursday, October 28, 2004

PHP DB access with ADOdb

PHP is great, however, if you build a site that uses mySQL and later decide to switch to postgreSQL you need to alter your DB access function calls, which is time consuming.

Instead of hard coding to a specific database use ADOdb, a PHP DB adstraction layer available from here:

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Get published with Lulu

If you've ever wanted to write a book but didn't want the hassle of trying to figure out how to go about begging someone to actually publish it for you just self publish with Lulu here:

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Asterisk PBX

If you want to create your own internal PBX then your best bet is to use Asterisk, available here:

Here's a comment on Slashdot with an idea how to merge VOIP and POTS into an Asterisk system in order to solve the 911 and power outage problems inherant in VOIP: (abbreviated URL for aesthetics)

Free Teleconferencing

Last night the issue of teleconferencing was brought up. I looked into it and found that this company offers free teleconferencing facilities:

Monday, October 11, 2004

Database Administration with phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin

I have always been disappointed with the GUI related bugs in MySqlCC, consequently when I decided to use Postgresql I decided to use phpPgAdmin since it's a web based admin tool that maintains the same GUI interface across different operating systems.

phpPgAdmin is available here:

phpMyAdmin is available here:

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

1-900 with

I've wondered for years how someone would go about setting up a 1-900, charged per minute, phone number. I finally looked into it today and I found that these services are provided by the long distance carriers; MCI, Sprint and, until recently, AT & T. AT & T has dropped out of the market due to excessive "charge back" costs which are inherant in the 1-900 business model.

A "charge back" occurs when a customer denies that they were responsible for initiating the 1-900 number call so forcing the 1-900 provider to refund the fees. This problem caused At & T to drop out of the 1-900 market and also helped to promote a similar alternative, namely 1-800 number services which require credit or debit card authorisation prior to connection.

In general it seems that most of the bureaus that provide prepackaged, turnkey, 1-900 services charge very similar rates. One with a reasonably professional looking website is: