Friday, March 30, 2007

Trillian: Mystery Product

Trillian, the multi-system messenger program I use, apparently has this really cool new product in development. However, they have taken the Joost approach to releasing things: make it exclusive.

This is making me angry, and I am considering switching back to GAIM, even though I find GAIM clunky and wheezy in it's latest version.

Trillian developers: open it up! Teasing me only pisses me off. By the time you release your hot new product, I won't care anymore.

I already don't care if Joost ever gets released; it's dead to me. Please don't do this with Trillian.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GrabPERF Agent: Need More Locations

My side project, GrabPERF, is looking for a few good measurement locations.

Right now, there are only five measurement locations, two of which are in my basement, on my personal Internet connection. I am hoping, through this pledge drive, to find a number of additional locations. Areas desperately needed include:

  • East Coast, USA

  • West Coast, USA

  • Midwest, USA

  • UK

  • Asia-Pac

  • Southeast Asia

  • Australia / New Zealand

Yeah, I know. I am asking for the world. Can't hurt to try though.

Basic requirements are a Linux box with a static IP address. Additional requirements are documented here.

You can express your interest in hosting a measurement site by filling in the GrabPERF Contact Form or contacting me directly.

Thank you for your continuing support.

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Your Bipolar Cycle is now descending into hell. Please buckle up...

When you are bipolar, you get very sensitive to slight changes in your mood and surroundings. Well, I have been in a foul mood, wanting to sleep a lot. When I get like this, I check my biorhythm, just for a lark.

Mar 27 2007 Biorhythm

Yup, right on schedule.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ugh. Out of presentation shape

I did a six-hour presentation / training seminar today, with an encore for a second group tomorrow.

I now realize how frightfully out of practice I am.

I used to do these kinds of events all the time up until 3 years ago. Tonight, my voice is shot, I ache all over, and it feels like my face muscles are injured from smiling and looking positive.

And I liked it.

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Sweetgrass Farm Winery Trip -- March 16-19 2007

This weekend, we went to Maine and spent a wonderful time with the Bodines at the Sweetgrass Farm Winery. Things are rolling into high gear, and there is fruit in the vats, fermenting into fine wine.

I took the time to take some pictures in their old barn, and around the property.

Blue Rungs

If you like wine and are in Maine, you should definitely look for their grand opening in May

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Print v. Web: Which comes first?

Today, I want to talk about what happens when you aggressively adopt an online strategy, but leave your print subscribers behind.

I subscribe to a great architecture and design magazine, whose name I will exclude from this discussion, with a fantastic and informative online presence. The archive and articles available to subscribers are a fantastic resource for people just beginning to explore this field.

In February, I noticed that they had updated their site with the most recent issue's content and cover. I was somewhat miffed, as my print copy had not yet arrived in the mail. Immediate assumption: print copy lost; request re-transmission.

Today, I checked the site, and all of the content for the March 2007 issue is online. And I don't have my copy of this issue yet.

Based on the response to the e-mail that I sent to the circulation and publishing team, I may be the first person to bring this to their attention.

When you are in the dead-tree print industry, the Web (1.0 and 2.0) are crucial extensions to your existing business model. But the aggressive use of the Web channel to deliver your content to the rest of the world before the print subscribers receive their copies is doing damage to your business.

Subscribers pay extra in order to gain access to your magazine before the rest of the world can get it. This must extend to the Web channel. As a subscriber, knowing that someone can read the contents of the magazine online before I get my chance to look at the print copy is unsatisfactory.

Subscription content infers a level of exclusivity to those who buy the gold ticket. If you give everyone the gold ticket at the same time, then a subscription loses it sense of exclusivity. Then the magazine loses guaranteed revenue. Then the magazine is gone.

Information should be free. I chafe against the subscription gateways as much as the next person. But if you base your entire business on a subscription model, you better not undermine your own subscription business by giving the subscription content away for free.

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New York, New York

Taking the train down to NYC for two days of customer sessions.

If you are looking to collect money from me, I'm dead.

If you want to join me in a meal, +1.508.410.3865 or +1.508.471.3865.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Go to Maine for the weekend...

...and the only injury of the trip happens while we are shovelling out the driveway when we get home. Cameron accidentally hit Kinnear in the face with the sharp end of the shovel.



The ironic thing: he is wearing a t-shirt that read "It's my brother's fault".

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bye-bye Vista

I have one more call to make and then I am going to destroy my system and rebuild it using the local ghost image for the Latitude D620.

Vista has been a pain in the ass, and I am glad to see it go. It was a poorly thought through OS, and it was definitely not ready for release.

I will not be sad to see it go.

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Internet Explorer: Plan to completely support RFC 2616 anytime before the next ice age?

I am writing up a client presentation for next week, and I just realized just how flawed Internet Explorer is. Microsoft claims that the browser is standards compliant. Yet it still doesn't support HTTP pipelining.

And the frustrating part? They won't tell us why. I have my suspicions, which include TCP stack issues and a flawed HTTP handling mechanism that is still based on Windows 95 architecture, but an explanation from Redmond would be nice.

Every (and I mean every) other browser can do this.

Microsoft, it's time you detached your Web browser from your OS, like you've forced everyone else to do.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Vista: My list of RFEs

March 10, 2007

  • When I defragment a disk, I like to know how much is left. It doesn't have to be a graphical cue, but a percentage done can't be hard to add.

  • Why doesn't the right-click work in the message list in Outlook 2003?

  • Can you detect when a program is activated by an actual mouse event, versus a coded mouse event? The Security Theatre warnings are annoying.

  • Parts of OWA don't work in IE7, likely due to some arcane security setting.

  • When I double-click to open a folder, why does Explorer think about it for a few minutes? Or does it just take a lot of smoke breaks?

  • Hey, when you prompt me to determine if I actually want to run a "protected" program, why can't you take that extra microsecond and remember my choice for a couple of minutes. GNOME asks for credentials when you need to run a program as root, and holds those credentials for a while, making some processes that much more convenient.

March 12, 2007

  • Ok, the VPN software I have at work doesn't work, so it's ok to use Outlook Web Access (OWA) over IE7. WRONG. Apparently it's up to the IT department to patch and reboot a running Exchange Server to allow Vista IE7 users to access OWA. Technical people seem placated by this, but I am not. Microsoft, did you think this through. "Oh yeah, everyone loves to reboot their Exchange servers on a daily basis!"

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Vista: The new grey mare ain't what she used to be

So, it was time to re-build my laptop -- 4 months of cruft gets in the way and really slows things down. And since the company I work for has an Microsoft Enterprise License that includes Vista, I took the plunge.

So far, it's ok. Nothing that really rocks my world. And one serious hindrance: It seems that Juniper Networks / Netscreen don't seem to have bothered releasing a Vista compatible version of their Netscreen Remote software. This means I have a serious disadvantage when it comes to working from home.

Other than that, it's the annoyances that bother that outweigh the cool things that impress. I turned of the CPU/Memory sucking Aero transparency and animation, and I am still looking at having to upgrade to 2GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, if I took the time to install Ubuntu, I could have a equally cool interface, higher security, and a smaller memory footprint.

It seems that Microsoft has gone out of their way, in the name of security, to compromise usability. I won't be recommending it for my friends and neighbours.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Design and Architecture Blog: blunderWERKZ Design Notes

I am spending most of my non-work time reading and discovering about modern design and architecture. As a result, I have started a new blog to isolate my thoughts and ideas on these topics.

Come over and join the conversation at blunderWERK Design Notes.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Don't screw with the moose

I often joke that in a train v. moose situation, the train would be the loser.

But I have never heard of moose v. helicopter before. [here]
Instead of slowing down after being shot with a tranquilizer dart, a moose charged a hovering helicopter used by a wildlife biologist, damaging the aircraft's tail rotor and forcing it to the ground.

Don't screw with the moose.

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