March 2004 Entries

Fossils on Mars?

Here's an interesting story:  Fossils on Mars?  Salt water oceans?  How many reasons do we need to send people to Mars?  I want to go just to dig for fossils.  This stuff just captures my imagination.

West Wing not so realistic anymore

I just got done watching the West Wing. Ugh. I really enjoy the show, but this season it has strayed from what were somewhat realistic stories. This is starting to drive me crazy. Why? Well, I work in government and I see what goes on and the tensions between issues and how some issues are so complex, no one can agree on starting point, let alone on a common ground. However, in the West Wing earlier this season, one aide to the President, was able to solve social security in a twenty four hour period. ......

Apple Newton Message Pad 130

By the way, I own an Apple Newton MessagePad 130 and boy were they cool. The hand writting recognition is just something you have to see to believe. The big screen can be both very good and very awkward. They were definitely ahead of their time. However, as we all now, they were either simply too big (now approaching laptop sizes) or too under powered. I got mine simply as an addition to my old computer collection. I do need to post some info about the Newton on my website. Maybe I'll get around ......

Apple and the iPDA

Dan Knight of Low End Mac (great site) has just written an article arguing that Apple should create an iPDA, with some of the features of their old Newton line. I disagree. I think Apple has already created their iPDA -- the iPOD. The iPOD can do what most people bought PDAs to do a few years ago: calendar, contacts, notes. It even has some time wasting games, ability to transport files/data, and of course music. Now you can surf the web, check email, etc on modern PDAs, but how good is this experience? ......

Governments starting to use RSS feeds

I think Scoble would be proud of these: Costa Mesa and Utah using RSS.  As a government employee, I know there is a lot of innovation in the public IT sector that doesn't get any publicity so I thought I'd point out a couple of examples of good government.

Mars images capture the imagination

I think these photos are so cool.  I've set a couple as desktops and just the thought this horizon (my favorites) photo is from another planet, well, it's just pretty cool.

Mozilla Firebird

Speaking of open source, how cool is Mozilla's Firebird? There are a few features that I (like everyone else who's used it) think are useful. Tabbed windows, Adblock (I try to block only the overwhelmingly annoying ads -- you know, the ones that take over 1/3 of the page), pop up blocking, and one other feature: open a group of favorites in tabs. This last feature doesn't make the lists too often, but I think it is great. Try this: Create a folder in the bookmark favorites bar. Put a few links in ......

Open source software as a political movement

Clemens Vasters writes an interesting post that repudiates a lot of open source software as a political movement. Don't get me a wrong. I find open source exciting, kind of like when I was a kid (the '80s) and the hobbyist crowd ruled. Coding was pure fun, with no pressure to produce, no pressure to make something usable or economically viable. I couldn't afford to buy much software off shelf, so if I wanted the computer to “do something“ I had to write it. Not that I ever wrote very ......

Something to remember during your next helpdesk call

I read this and thought it was some pretty clever advice.

A common case of code-zombie

I read this and I know exactly what Matt was saying. I've often been disappointed when the end of the work day comes, because I'm right in the middle of something. However, I've found that when I hit a brick wall, it is best to move onto another problem. It seems like the fastest way to find an answer to a problem is to quit looking for it. Several times in the past month, I've found solutions to my original problem while researching a new problem on the net ......

A Whole new Blog

Well, here goes. I'm starting this blog to add my voice to conversation that is the blogging world. I've been reading blogs for a while now and I'm completely hooked on the geek blogs. I'm interested in all things geeky with .Net development in particular. At my day job, I'm part of a two person team and together we develop and maintain our intranet and all internally developed apps. We build whatever is needed. We've been looking into SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Office 2003, and Windows Mobile ......