Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Send in the Ghurkas

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A video purporting to show the methodical, grisly killings of 12 Nepalese workers kidnapped in Iraq (news - web sites) was posted Tuesday on a Web site linked to a militant group operating in Iraq.

Full story here.

Goddamn barbarians.

New iMac Released

Apple introduced the new iMac, powered by a G5 PowerPC CPU. Unlike the previous iMac (which I thought of as the "iBreast"), this one looks good. It's an all-in-one unit with a 17" or 20" LCD display.

Now if I only had $1300 laying around .....

Monday, August 30, 2004

Just in time

The contractor finally finished installing our new gutters and soffets today, and not a day too soon. We had a brief but heavy rainstorm after dinner.

Now, back permitting, I need to get into the front section of our crawlspace and rip out some carpeting that got wet. Oh boy, I can't wait.

WiMax Redux

Courtesey of Paul Nixon:

WiMax 802.16 is already deployed by several cities with pre-final-standard equipment that provides the highest speed and longest distance service. It is notable that Craig McCaw, the literal inventor of the first national cell phone service that later was bought out and became AT&T Wireless, is now betting the bank on 802.16. He has bought the manufacturers of the equipment, a provider company, and several other companies over the last two years secretly to gain their spectrum licenses. He is not the only one as you will see in the links at the end of this article. WiMax promises cheap and extremely fast ultra broadband speeds, without the security issues that have plagued WiFi since its inception. WiMax equipment and final standards are expected by the end of this year. But the pre-standard companies already providing unlimited 1MBPS throughput services with prices as low as $19.95 a month. WiMax is being first deployed as a MAN for fixed users in homes and businesses. Then next year they will begin providing mobile services for vehicles and travelers, which, when combined with VoIP Internet telephony, may make cell phones themselves obsolete, as well as the landline phone company services.

What is WiMax, backed by Intel, Nokia and the top other 300 or so Technology companies? Here is the Intel White Paper with pics of how it works as well as the tech stuff.
The full article is here.

IMO, the author is well informed although I'm not sure that WiMax is going to supercede all wired technologies to the extent he believes. Plenty of people are well served by DSL, cable, or T1, and for them there isn't going to be a compelling reason to switch over to wireless.

WiMax Redux

Ack, double tap!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Saturday, August 28, 2004

SanDisk Cruzer Mini

The SanDisk Cruzer Mini 1GB USB drive that I ordered from NewEgg arrived yesterday. It's about the size of a pack of Wrigley's gum and is thin enough that it shouldn't block access to the other USB port on my laptop.

The unit came with three, differently colored caps for the male USB connector, and a lanyard. This morning I copied over between 550 - 600 megs of files. This took about 5 minutes using the USB 2.0 port on my Dell Latitude. While backward compatible with USB 1.1, the read and write speeds will be much slower.

Incuded with the SanDisk unit is their CruzerLock app, which can be used to encrypt a portion of the drive.

I plan to leave some free space on the drive in case I need to use it for sneaker-netting files from one PC to another. If I run into any weird issues I'll post them as well.

Friday, August 27, 2004

WiFi Hotspots Keep Users Online

From Computerworld:

News Story by Bob Brewin

AUGUST 23, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) - Public-access Wi-Fi hot spots have become a key alternative for business and personal communications in the wake of Hurricane Charley's devastating rampage across Florida.
Cool. Read the full story here.

WiFi Antennas

While continuing my research about security issues associated with WiFi hotspots, I ran across this site, with information on making cheap antennas to boost your 802.11 signals. Neat stuff!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

WiFi Hotspots

We may be getting into the WiFi hotspot business in some capacity. My boss therefore asked me to look into the security implications of this, as well as the associated legal liability implications. Off the top of my head, I can think of several potential issues we'd need to address, e.g,:
  • Theft of service
  • The insecurity of wireless networks, which in hotspot applications are typically not encrypted.
  • Use by customers for launching attacks (cracking, DDoS).
  • Use by customers for "war spamming."
  • Etc.
These are problems that we can address and are not necessarily insurmountable barriers.

XP SP2 Security Hole

Microsoft's efforts at securing Windows are getting somewhat better, but it still keeps leaving gaping holes open. To wit...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

HP 6110 all-in-one

I would appreciate first hand feedback from anyone who's used an HP 6110 all-in-one unit. My mother wants to get one so before she does so I'd like to be able to warn her of any potential issues.


Oh boy

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to setup a Cobalt Qube behind a cable modem for someone else in my company. We figured it was for some testing purposes but weren't really sure what.

Today I touched base with the person who requested the Qube and found out that she wanted to use it for generating usage reports for senior management.


I explained to her that:
  1. Sun end-of-lifed the box a year or two ago and in the event of hardware failure, we'd be pretty much SOL.
  2. Since it was directly hooked up to a cable modem, it wasn't exactly secure.
  3. Security patches for Cobalt OS aren't likely to be forthcoming from Sun for much longer.
I suggested she talk to IT and see about getting an appropriate solution, and she agreed with me that taking the Qube offline was the best course of action.

From now on if someone comes to us with a request to setup a box, I'm going to find out its intended use, and not rely on anybody's good judgement but mine!

Sandisk Cruzer

One of the things I take with me to client sites is a CD to which I burned various apps, tools, and utilities. Being on a CD, it's handy to carry but not as convenient to update. So, today I ordered a Sandisk Cruzer 1 GB USB "pen drive" from NewEgg.com. This will be just as easy to carry around and the capacity is even greater than a CD, so I can add more stuff.

I'll post a report once I get it and get the chance to try it out.


Yesterday the contractor dropped off the materials for the new gutters and soffets, and should be back today to start installing them. The forecast for today is good and I'm hoping they can finish everything today, or tomorrow at the latest. Then I can go about ripping out some carpet in our crawlspace that got water damaged. Oh, fun.

Good food

Last night Judith, a couple of friends she's known since elementary school, and I went to Reed's in Blue Bell for their Tuesday night special -- all you can eat dungeness crabs for $19.95. As with previous meals I've had there, it was quite good. Kids eat for free at Reed's, too. They are located on PA-73 just west of US-202. Definitely recommended.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


I attended a meeting today with a large equipment vendor who is looing into WiMAX, AKA IEEE 802.16. It was a general information gathering session for both sides. They gave us some insight into where they see the technology developing, while we discussed how we think it'll impact our existing broadband business.

It's interesting stuff but I have to wonder if it's more hype than substance.


Yesterday afternoonI did manage to put together the folding workbench that I bought on Sunday at Harbor Freight. It's not real heavy duty but for my use I think it's going to work well. It'll fold up into a small package so that it's out of the way when I'm not using it, but it will do to hold up a rifle when I'm doing something like mounting a scope or removing a trigger unit.

Made it in

My back didn't keep me at home today, although it sure complained a lot. After going downstairs for breakfast I took 800 mg of ibuprofen because I'd stiffened up overnight. Following breakfast, I spent about 15 minutes on my heating pad, which got me limber enough to come into the office. I'm still taking it easy, though.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Speaking of cutlery...

...one of the best sites I've run across on the 'net with regard to knives is this one. The site's author is a Canadian grad student in physics, and takes a very methodological, detailed approach to knife reviewing. Good stuff.

One of the things he mentions is reshaping edges using a belt sander. I'm going to have to try it out, but I'll do it outside since I don't want the dust inside. I best do it on the back patio so I don't freak out the neighbors.


After about 45 minutes work with files and my Dremel, the machete I picked up yesterday at Harbor Freight now has a usable edge. I'll have to wait to test it, though, since I don't want to take a swing and lay myself out because of my back.

The steel seems to be pretty decent (especially considering the cost). It gave off a nice ringing sound while I ground on it.

Oh hell

My back started acting up again last night. It was really screwed up this morning. I was able to get up, showered and dressed, but after I had to bend to put on my shoes I could barely stand up. So, I'm spending the day at home on a heating pad.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Cheap Tools

You generally get what you pay for when you buy tools, so I rarely buy cheap ones. However, sometimes when I expect light, infrequent use, I'll get something cheap. Today was a case in point.

A Harbor Freight store opened up earlier this month in East Norriton, less than 10 minutes down the pike. HF seems to specialize in inexpensive tools, mostly imported from China. Having become a tool junkie since moving into our house, I took a spin down there today to see if they had anything interesting.

I came home with a folding workbench that's a cheap knockoff of a Black & Decker Workmate. I figure it'll be useful to hold a rifle while I'm working on it. It's smaller than the Stanley folding workbench I already have, which I'll store in the shed.

Along with the pseudo-Workmate, I picked up a machete for use around the yard, and just because I didn't have one. The machete is one of the most important tools used in developing countries. It's used for cutting, digging, chopping, and for defense. (Unfortunately, as seen in Rwanda, it's also frequently used for offense.) Machetes are typically made of easy to sharpen soft carbon steel that will take a keen edge. Also, they are usually inexpensive, affordable to pretty much anyone.

The Chinese machete I bought today would look right at home in any third world country. It has an 18" blade and plain, unfinished wooden handle scales held on with three rivets. The handle is pretty comfortable although we'll see how true that is after I've used it a bit. The balance seems good for slashing and chopping. It came with a cheap canvas belt sheath that looks like it would fall apart if subjected to much use.

This machete is the dullest piece of cutlery I've ever bought, though. If you hold it so that you're looking edge-on, the edge is actually flat. The bevel grinds on the sides of the blade don't meet. So, I'll need to spend some time with a file and probably my Dremel tool to put a usable edge on it.

Oh yeah. I spent a total of $13 and change between the workbench and the machete.

Feedback on running cabling

Some good advice, courtesy of Geoff Timm:


Just had some cable pulling done at Northrop-Grumman St. Augustine, I talked
to the guys from TLA.
Because of new security rules they don't carry knives anymore. A pair of
very strong shears replaces the function.

They also mentioned running into metal grid backed plasterboard. They
didn't know if it was a noise / RF reduction effort, but it made a standard
drywall saw useless.

If you go through drywall, don't forget a GOOD shop vac.

If you end up with modular furniture panels against a wall, check the
corners and see if the installers left an access through the corner pillar
through the wall for access to the bottom cable run.

A couple of strong toothpicks can help set difficult ceiling panels.

Beware of insulation batting tossed on top of ceiling panels for noise
suppression. Think itching powder.

Depending on the climate, insect repellant can be a life saver, or at least
save your sleep.

Always ask employees to leave the immediate area, I'm sure you've heard the
old "Urban Legend" about the electrician, the young lady of considerable
cleavage, the ceiling panel and the large hairy spider.

Geoff Timm
Who never has fun like that, I end up trying to force cat 5 patch cables
under improperly installed modular furniture panels, while the Floridians
are operating electric heaters, because the temperature in the office is
under 78 F!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Who's Crazy?

"25 States allow anyone to buy a gun, strap it on, and walk down the street with no permit of any kind: some say it's crazy. However, 4 out of 5 US murders are committed in the other half of the country: so who is crazy?"

-- Andrew Ford

Network cabling job

One of my clients called me this week. Her business is moving into a new office. It's been renovated but there's no cabling for the LAN or telephones. So, aside from helping move their servers, etc., she wanted to know if I could run the wiring. Running cable isn't my favorite thing to do but one of my good friends is an electrician and does a lot of it, and we've worked together in the past, so I told her I'd speak with him then get back to her.

I lucked out and my friend is available to do this job. We're looking at around two dozen or more drops, including both the LAN and telephone cabling. So, this is going to be a sizable job. The timing couldn't be better -- it's going to go a long way to paying for the new gutters and soffets my house needs.

I put together a proposal and emailed it to her this morning. We're planning to do the job next weekend.

Up and at 'em

We got up early this morning. Alexandra was awake by 0730, so I went down and got here milk, then fixed her breakfast -- a scrambled egg with cheese and a slice of toast. After we all had breakfast I went outside to take care of some yard work before it got hot and while it wasn't raining. We have some fast-growing ivy in front that needed to be cut back, along with some foliage in the back. There's plenty more to cut but that'll have to wait.

Friday, August 20, 2004

KDE 3.3 out

August 19, 2004 (The Internet) - The KDE Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of KDE 3.3, the fourth major release of the award-winning KDE3 desktop platform. Over the past six months, hundreds of applications and desktop components have been enhanced by a community of developers, with a particular focus on integration of components.

Read all about it here.

GMail Notifier

Those of you lucky enough to have GMail accounts may be interested in this. It's the GMail Notifier, and Windows Tray app that lets you know when you have new mail in your account. It currently requires that you run Windows 2000, XP or something more recent (W2K3?) but supposedly versions for Linux and Mac are forthcoming.

What a day

Yesterday's funeral went fine. Getting back and forth from it was a real bear, though. Traffic through New York City always sucks, but it was compounded yesterday by road work along route 440 and the Belt Parkway. The trip up took 3 hours, while the return trip was even longer.

Thankfully, I shouldn't have to go to Long Island again for quite awhile.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Away today

I will be away from the 'puter today to attend a funeral in New York.

Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.


You may have noticed that I added a Sitemeter at the bottom of the page. I decided to try it out after having seen it at several places on the web, including Instapundit. It's quite nice, giving you some very useful stats even with the free account.

One very cool feature of Sitemeter is that it automates the process of adding the counter to blogs hosted by Blogger. By this I mean it does more than generate the appropriate HTML or Javascript to add to your site. Rather, it will actually add it to your site if you supply your username and password. That strikes me as good customer analysis. Many bloggers aren't really techie (or are like me and for something like this, too lazy to be techie), so anything that automates page authoring is a Good Thing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


You may've noticed that I now have links to a few sites listed in my right-hand side bar. To add them, I copied the Blogger template to NoteTab Light and found in the code where I wanted to put the links, then added the code for an unnumbered list. (I tried to post the actual code but Blogger's editor automatically parses it so that the HTML is rendered in your browser.)

I'm no HTML guru but doing this was easy with the help of the HTML "clips" in NoteTab.

Web hosting, again

In my ongoing research into web hosting and email hosting options I'm starting to think that we need to reappraise how we're looking at it. There's no doubt that our current offerrings are behind the times, but I am less convinced that it should all be brought in-house.

For example, competing against web hosting companies like GoDaddy, 1 & 1 Internet, or Pair is going to be quite difficult. They all offer web hosting, email, domain registration, and DNS hosting services at very low cost. Bringing any one of these components in-house would incur large expenses not for just building the infrastructure, but also for supporting and maintaining it. I'm beginning to think that a better approach would be to outsource them, but choose one vendor to do it all. Doing so would simplify things a lot.

Deer hunting

Until I saw the pic I thought this site was a joke. Apparently not. Yup, deer hunting with a 12 pdr. Mountain Howitzer.


Poor Folks

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the

country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be
considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a
creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We
have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go
beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to
protect them."

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen
if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about
what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Daynotes Update

I've come to like using Blogger quite a bit. It's very easy to use and when I post from different computers, I don't need to worry about making sure all my local backups are up to date. As I mentioned previously, copies of my posts are automatically emailed to me. So, I just fired off an email to Brian Bilbrey, webmeister of the Daynotes Portal, asking him to update my link to point here.

Web hosting

I just got out of a four hour meeting with our current web host. I'm in the process of preparing our requirements docuement for the next incarnation of the web hosting service that we'll be selling to our customers, and boy is there a lot to think about in light of how the market has evolved.

Monday, August 16, 2004

GMail trademark issues?

Internetnews is reporting that Google may wind up losing the right to use "GMail" in conjunction with its still-in-beta webmail service. Apparently, a couple of other companies have filed for a trademark registration on "GMail".

Google seems to be committing serious gaffes lately, between the Playboy interview and this. Sounds to me like they need an overhaul in their legal department.

Are they nuts?

According to this story in the NY Post, the Fed is going to start using the Internet for transferring money. As in $1.8 trillion (that's trillion with a "t") per day.


The mind boggles at the potential for meddling with the nation's money supply.

BSD Overview

In my readings today I found this article providing a decent overview of the four main versions of BSD: FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Mac OS X/Darwin. It provides a pretty good background for folks just starting to look at trying out BSD.

FDA Reads Riot Act to Device Makers

From Network World:

AUSTIN, TEXAS - Amid growing concern about security in hospital patient-care systems, the federal agency that regulates medical devices last week announced a get-tough policy to improve equipment safety.

Medical devices such as ultrasound and radiology systems often rely on commercial off-the-shelf software, including Windows and Unix, that requires continuous patching for security. But increasingly, hospital IT administrators are voicing complaints that manufacturers are failing to patch Windows-based equipment quickly or at all, which then fall prey to computer worms. This not only disrupts hospital operations but poses a potential safety hazard to patients.
Read the whole article here.

It's about damn time.

Archiving Blog Posts

Before starting this blog a concern I had was archiving my posts, which are held in some database. I searched for some way to download an archive but there apparently isn't one. However, there is an option to have posts and comments emailed to you as they are added to the blog. I activated that so now I don't have to worry about losing them should blogger go under or change in some manner which causes me to abandon it.

Dragging a bit

I'm dragging a bit today. Last night I went to the wedding of a former coworker and didn't get home until after 2100. It was held at the Philmont Country Club in Huntingdon Valley, PA, and was very nice. The food was excellent, the band was good (if loud), and the bar was open.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

XP Service Pack 2 Initial Impressions

Although XP SP2 hasn't been released for general consumption, in the sense of being available through Windows Update, it is available through MSDN, here (266 meg download). I downloaded it and installed it on my Compaq Presario 710 US laptop this morning. Specs for this box are a 1 GHz AMD Duron CPU and 256 MB of RAM.

Download via my cable modem took about 15 minutes. Since the box was acting sluggish when I tried to maximize Thunderbird and Firefox, I rebooted it before proceeding.

After Windows came back up I navigated to C:\Temp, where I'd dumped the file, and doubleclicked on it to start the update. It first had to decompress the cab file, which took about 5 minutes, then created a restore point and went on to install the SP itself. The whole process including the reboot afterwards took about an hour. If this had been a desktop with at least a 5400 RPM hard disk I'm sure it would've taken much less time, but as always, the laptop's 4200 RPM hard disk and accordingly low disk I/O performance dragged things out.

The box had not been set for Automatic Updates, so upon reboot I was first presented with a screen offering to set this up for me. I let it do this, although I subsequently changed it to automatically download and then prompt me to install patches. I don't like automatic installation of patches.

When the desktop came up I was presented with a Windows Security Center window. This told me the status of the Windows Firewall, Automatic Updates, and my antivirus program (AVG from Grisoft).

I'll need to work with it for awhile to see if SP2 broke anything or if it left my setup mostly untouched. I'll post additional reports as warranted.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Stating the obvious

Today is the one year anniversary of the Blackout of 2003. ABC News just ran a story about how the shutdown of so many fossil fuel powered electrical generating plants caused a marked and immediate decrease in the amount of air pollution.

No shit, Sherlock.

It's too bad that the enviroweenies won't come to their senses and drop their opposition to nuclear power plants. Building new nuclear plants would allow us to clean up the environment and help tell the Arabs to go drink their oil.

Don't hold your breath.

Blog This, II

It occurred to me that by Mozilla or Firefox, one doesn't need the Blog This button in the Google Toolbar for IE. It's easy enough to keep another tab open for Blogger, then copy and paste stuff I'm blogging from other tabs over into it.

See? Another reason Moz/Firefox rules.


A side effect of no longer using my Compaq laptop as my daily computer is that I have become a little lapse in updating all the software -- except for AVG Antivirus -- on it. So, today I upgraded Mozilla, Firefox, and Thunderbird to the latest versions. Tbird looks the same but Firefox's theme is a little different. I went from Mozilla 1.5 to 1.7.2, but the reason I have it on this box is Composer, so I'm not really wringing it out.

Tbird and Firefox continue to impress. Either the full Mozilla suite or the individual apps are the best, easiest way to protect yourself on the Internet. By avoiding the use of IE as much as possible, and not using Outlook Express, you'll really minimize your exposure to spyware and viruses.

Check 'em out at Mozilla.org.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Don't take any shit

"Your papers, please."

Oh really?

Contribute, Part III

We got it working and after a little goofing around, I was able to create this in about 15 minutes. Pretty cool.

Demand for Linux Skills Rising

From Linuxplanet:

Linux Skills in High Demand as IT Jobs Pick Up
Get 'Em While They're Hot

Sharon Gaudin
Thursday, August 12, 2004 10:44:14 AM

Linux skills are a hot commodity today.

More employers are looking to hire people with Linux experience and skills than another skill sets, according to numbers from Dice.com, a major job board for technical professionals.

Scot Melland, CEO and president of Dice, reports that while IT job listings on his site have doubled in the past 12 months, job listings calling for Linux skills have gone up 190 percent. At this time last year, Dice was listing about 25,000 jobs. Today, there are more than 50,000 jobs listed. And a year ago, there were 860 to 900 Linux-related jobs listed, while there are 2,500 listed now.

"The demand for Linux skills is absolutely growing and it's growing faster than the overall demand for tech professionals," says Melland. "It's definitely one of the hottest skill sets out there."

Read the whole article here.

Contribute, Part II

The problem with Contribute appears to be related to DNS problems resolving the hostname of the demo page I'm trying to setup. A tech support rep from the hosting company is looking into it and is supposed to get back to me this afternoon.

Macromedia Contribute

One of the web hosting providers we're considering offers a customized version of Macromedia Contribute to its subscribers as a way of attracting new customers. It's a simple, wizard-driven WYSIWYG site creation tool.

Unfortunately, I can't get it to work. It installs and loads ok, but the site builder wizard doesn't seem to actually create the site. Once you finish going through the wizard the program needs to restart. When I do so, the site I just "created" is nowhere to be found.

A tech support rep from the provider is calling me this afternoon to see if we can fix it.

More GMail

Now that I've sent mail from my GMail account and received a reply, I'm getting a better handle on how it organizes things. One thing it automatically does is group messages into threads, much like you can with a conventional MUA or newsreader. We'll see how manageable this is as I use it more.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Testing GMail

To give GMail's search-oriented method of organizing a mail account a test, I subscribed to several newsletters from Findlaw. Once I get a number of messages from each newsletter, I should get a better idea of how well Google's method works.

New theme

I just switched the theme to make this page a little more aesthetically pleasing.

I've got mail...

... GMail, to be exact. I found out this afternoon that one of my co-workers has a GMail account and a spare invite, so I got hooked up with a GMail account. w00t! My addy is davemarkowitz at gmail.com.

The GMail UI is pretty clean and easy to use. Rather than grouping items into folders, it does "conversations," which are akin to threads in a newsreader. I don't know if I'm going to like this part of it, though.

With respect to the issues that privacy advocates have raised about GMail, I have a simple answer: If you don't like Google's automated system which presents pertitent ads alongside your messages, don't friggin' use it! GMail is a free service that nobody is being forced to use, and Google has been quite up front about their scanning of messages in order to show ads for stuff they think you'll be interested in. There are other, legitimate, privacy concerns to address.

Rock on... errr. off

Judith called me a little while ago to see if I would be ok with having our lawn guy remove the landscaping rocks in our front yard, something we've wanted done for awhile but have been putting off. He's only going to charge us about $100.

My reply? YES.

It's worth quite a bit more than $100 to save my back from moving and then disposing off a mess of landscaping rocks.

After they're gone I'm going to put down topsoil and either grass seed or turf. I'll also see about regrading a bit to improve drainage.

Contract management

This week's Network World contains a piece about a contract managment system for a company, Flowserver, created in-house using Lotus Notes. (I tried to find the story online but it doesn't seem to be on their website yet.)

The story was of special interest to me because at work several contracts previously handled by other people got dumped on our department earlier this year. Some kind of automated system to ensure that we stay on top of things seems like a good idea to me.

Blog This

Hmm. Still looking for a Mozilla equivalent for the "Blog This" button included with the Google Toolbar for IE. The Googlebar extension for Mozilla doesn't appear to include it.

This UI is still pretty cool.


I've been thinking about going to a blog model (cf. the journal model used at my Log O'Stuff) for a little while, so I figured, "WTF, Blogger is free." So here we are. Sign up took about two minutes and the UI appears to be quite easy.

This morning I sent off requests for basic info to a number of domain registrars with reseller programs. One of the larger registrars called me back in about a half hour.

Yesterday afternoon I had an interesting conversation with my boss. He off-handidly asked me what my career goals are now that I'm in my current position. I had to say I'm not sure. I certainly want to get involved with more hands-on stuff and build my technical skills, but there's a little voice in the back of my head saying I should do something with my legal background. Yeah, I'm 36 and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.