Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pay to Play in Philadelphia hits tech work too

While Richmond Computer is in the tech business, every now and then we do projects such as network wiring installation which isn't terribly complicated.

However in the city of Philadelphia, to do so, one must be a union member and pay exorbitant fees to the Licensing and Inspections department to run low voltage wiring. On top of that, a city inspector has to sign off on drawings, then inspect the work when complete. This only adds to the cost of doing business in the city, and no one but the unions and city wins. Not a problem in the suburbs.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

VoIP Coming To Air Traffic Control

As reported in Aviation week, the FAA is considering moving telecommunication systems for Air Traffic Control to VOIP.

While some posters in the article feel this would introduce safety and security concerns, we know VOIP to be a sound technology for the future of telecommunications. Good VOIP systems, such as those offered by our subsidiary, PennTelco, offer backup and redundancies including the ability to redirect calls to alternate numbers in the event that the system goes down.

Visit for more information about our VOIP systems.

Friday, December 9, 2016

We do not tolerate subpar vendors, and neither should you

With the launch of our Critical Express Service, we were reminded of another company that does not take their commitment to customer service seriously. We used to have a small number of clients on HostMonster, whom we have now deemed "HostIdiot." HostIdiot had a major service disruption that is still persisting for over 10 hours as of the time of this writing. In that time, we had accomplished an email migration to GSuite (Google's excellent business class email service), set up a server for a PennTelCo customer, emergency-migrated some domains over to our High Availability datacenter, performed an OsTicket Install, and solved a user's particularly tricky e/mail password issue. Fortunately, all our current hosting customers, as well as our website, are on a dedicated co-located server located in a secure Oklahoma Datacenter that guarantees (via SLA) 99.99% uptime. This means that there is a tolerance of just 1 hour of downtime per year. We had completed the last of our data migrations to this new server location for one of our hold-out customers just days prior! Talk about fortuitous timing. We host our Voice Over IP customers in a similar high-availability Wisconsin or New Jersey Datacenter on dedicated servers that guarantee 99.99% uptime and which has a proven record of 99.995% uptime - less than 30 minutes down - per year. We are proud of this record, and it is part of the reason why we are rolling our our Critical Express Service - more on that later.

HostIdiot also has a slew of other problems that will rear their ugly head in the beginning of January for their customers as well as customers of similar services, such as GoDaddy and HostGator. Due to new Google policies, all websites that are not SSL Secure compliant will be listed as such in Chrome and will eventually face de-listing from Google. Even worse, most websites on the web are not SSL compliant at the moment because of the technical complexity and specialzed server requirements necessary (at the very minimum an SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address). We encourage you to take a look at the informational webpage we set up that will tell you a little more about the issue. We encourage you to engage our services to ensure a smooth transition, as well.

Our express service has a fleet of two aircraft and is priced the same as our ground express services. 
And now for perhaps our biggest announcement. A recent critical emergency service call highlighted to us the need for a new class of service, one that we have called Critical Express. With our Critical Express service, customers experiencing mission-critical downtime with a potential impact to business loss of $1,500 or more can engage with our Critical Express Service team. When you invoke this special service, all our current engagements are placed on hold and your service request is given our top priority by all technicians on call. We direct our tech resources at getting you back up and running as soon as possible.

There is, however, one facet of our service that makes us the only managed IT services firm in the nation to provide it, and that is our air service.  Our Senior Linux and Windows Technical administrator is also an FAA Certified Pilot. From our satellite base in Washington, DC, we can dispatch this technician for extra-critical issues where remote support or driving to the location just won't cut it. We have an available fleet of two aircraft (a Piper Warrior and Socata Tobago), ready to go at an instant's notice! Moreover, our air service is available at the same price as our ground service! This is an incredible value and resource that allows us to service most of the eastern seaboard within mere hours for especially critical remote incidents when remote access just will not do the job. We are proud of this new service, and especially encourage our customers to spread the word to those who might benefit from this sort of service in case it is needed. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Verizon phasing out copper service - Before switching to Verizon digital voice take a look at PennTelco

An article posted on today regarding Verizon's push to phase out copper based phone service provided us a good opportunity to highlight the benefits of switching to our flagship voice service, PennTelco.

Internet based phone service has been on the market for several years and has made huge advances in quality and features. We began offering this service to our customers in 2015. When you upgrade to Verizon digital voice or Comcast's phone service, you are also using IP based phone service.

So what's the difference, and why switch to PennTelco over a communications giant like Verizon? Simple!

First, our service costs less than Verizon or Comcast. Secondly, our service offers more features than both mainstream carriers. While we offer similar features like voicemail to email, features we offer that these carriers don't include:

  • Customized call flow behavior (how do you want your phones to ring? Do you want an after hours "away" greeting, ring only certain phones?)
  • Unlimited number of extensions for different users - available for both home and business customers.
  • Unlimited number of voice mailboxes for different users
  • Automated attendant greeting (press 1 for Bob, 2 for Jim, 3 for Sally, etc)
  • Use your landline number on your cellphone - Forget about call forwarding and no longer worry if you set call forwarding or not - with a simple free smartphone app, you can make and receive calls on your smartphone
  • Portability - Moving but want to keep your number? No problem, take your number and your phone wherever you go. Just plug your phone in any internet connection in the world and make calls using your number.
Visit our VOIP service site at

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Busy Lamp Field (BLF) FAILS with Grandstream GXP2130 phones & Anveo service

Following over 4 months of troubleshooting with Grandstream engineers, it has been determined that the BLF feature does not work when using the Anveo virtual PBX system. The phones fail to display a correct aspect after being in use for a short period of time because the Anveo server uses an incorrect phone ID number when attempting to send a BLF NOTIFY packet to other phones.
We have made Anveo aware of this defect. Unfortunately Anveo's management has shown zero interest in working with Grandstream to fix the problem. Since Anveo advertises BLF as working on one of their YouTube videos, we believe this to be false advertising on their part. View our demonstration video:

  Anveo-Grandstream BLF SMACKDOWN

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Grandstream GXP-2130 firmware defect advisory

We have discovered that BLF does not work properly on the GXP2130 phones due to a SIP compliance issue with the phones. According to RFC 3265 (which governs SIP Event Notifications protocol) permits empty body NOTIFY body. This makes the phones not fully compliant with SIP standards. We would like to see this fixed with a firmware upgrade ASAP.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A recent article on our involvement in supporting the local business community

The Port Richmond Business Alliance: Sticking Up For the Little Guy | BY BEN SMOLIN |

SEPTEMBER 3, 2015 It’s tough out there for a small business owner. You have to find and maintain customers, balance your budget and create a sustainable business plan all at the same time. There are only so many hours in a day and after all that work just to turn a profit, it can seem impossible to find the time to represent and advocate for your business interests. Life may feel like a struggle as you try to to avoid feeling ”burnt out.” This is where organizations like the Port Richmond Business Alliance (PRBA) step in Jon Frey, owner of Richmond Computer (3049 Almond Str.) and president of PRBA, helped start the organization when a group of business owners realized that they had no unified voice to represent themselves. “In early 2014, several business owners in Port Richmond along the Allegheny Avenue and Richmond Street corridors recognized that there was no organization to represent the interests of business owners in Port Richmond and felt that a unified organization could help fill that void and contribute in a positive way to the community,” Frey said. PRBA’s membership consists of businesses ranging from confectionaries to bars to family doctors to computer shops. In order to be eligible for membership, a business must be located in between Castor Avenue, Lehigh Avenue, Cedar Street and the Delaware River. On the group’s website,, they break down their goal into five steps: Establish an organization of business persons representative of the business and professional interests of Port Richmond. Promote and encourage the creation and expansion of businesses in Port Richmond. Establish a business climate favorable to Port Richmond-based businesses. Encourage participation of local and regional business persons and organizations in all things related to Port Richmond business, professional, and industrial development. Unite the business community in Port Richmond and promote a greater sense of business and social unity in the PRBA membership. Frey sums it up much more simply by saying, “The Alliance is focused on bringing business owners together who are interested in actively working to improve the business climate in Port Richmond and make a positive impact on the community.” The PRBA holds a meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at 8:15 AM in the annex at St. Adalbert’s church (2657 E. Allegheny Ave.). Representatives from organizations and groups that may be of interest to Port Richmond business owners come to these meetings to speak to PRBA members about topics that concern them. For example, in the past they have had the city’s commerce department talk about how to apply for loans to improve their storefront and have had SEPTA talk about the improvements happening to Route 15, a trolley that travels through the heart of Port Richmond’s business district. They also help organize neighborhood events like Port Richmond Second Saturdays, put together by Wayne Bullock, owner of Sweets & Treats (3138 Richmond St.) and Vice President of the PRBA. Second Saturdays feature food, local performers, music and vendors from locally-owned small businesses coming out and celebrating the day on the 3100 block of Richmond Street. It’s Port Richmond’s answer to the First Fridays that each month draw crowds to 2nd Street in Olde City and Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. The next Second Saturday is happening September 12. The PRBA is also looking towards the future in their actions. One of the projects the group is currently working on is establishing a scholarship that will benefit students who attend the local parochial schools. The group is organizing a “Taste of Port Richmond” event to raise money for the scholarship. The event will feature neighborhood favorites from 15 local establishments as well as red carpet photos and surprise performances. Tickets for the October 14 event cost $25 in advance or $30 at the door. They also want a say in what the Port Richmond of tomorrow will look like and have a plan for exacting their vision. “In the long run, the Alliance hopes to establish working relationships with other neighborhood organizations such as PROPAC, and the City Planning Commission to be involved in helping shape the future of Port Richmond,” said Frey. Interested in becoming a member of the PRBA? It’s easy! Simply attend one of their monthly meetings and ask a member for an application. Alternatively, you can also download the application here and mail it in. Membership is $50 per annum.

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