Archive for General

Getting organized

Cheap and simple. Your own mini, inexpensive personal organizer.

PocketMod

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Timocracy

Word of the Day: Timocracy  (noun)

Pronunciation: [ti-‘mah-krê-si]

Definition: Plato considered timocracy government by principles of honor. To Aristotle it was a government in which the ownership of property is a prerequisite for holding office.

Usage: The adjective for today’s word is “timocratic” [ti-mê-‘kræt-ik] and the adverb is “timocratically.” The plural is “timocracies.”

Suggested Usage: We are likely to see a government run by officials all with the name “Tim” before we see one run by officials driven by the love of honor and public service. The costs of political campaigns have reached such heights that we are approaching a timocracy in the Aristotelian sense in US, where only the wealthy can achieve national political office.

Etymology: The ambiguity in today’s word begins with its root, Greek word “time” [‘tee-me] which means “honor” when applied to people and “value” or “price” when applied to things. Now since kratia means “governance,” the compound could mean “governance by price” or “government by honor,” a familiar confusion in politics to this day. A diluted version of the same ambiguity can be found today in the Slavic descendent of the same root, e.g. Russian cena [tsi’na], which means both “price” and “value.”
–Dr. Language, yourDictionary.com

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TeamRemind.com Beta Launch

Yup, we’re finally ready to show this guy off a little bit. The look and feel of it is not set yet and we’re still finalizing a few features but it’s good enough to show a few people and have some people test it out.

We’re already getting some good feedback.

FYI – If anyone out there is building a website, I have a few suggestions. First, design your code to be as simple and clean as you can get. TeamRemind.com flies off the server because of it’s slim HTML code and external CSS and Javascript (which are cached on most browsers). Also, it will be easier to maintain down the road.

Check it out at www.teamremind.com

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Malcolm Gladwell

http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=m_gladwell

Malcolm talks about how there is no perfect Pepsi but rather only perfect Pepsis. He describes how it is important to understand humans have variability. Some great anecdotes. Check out the rest of the site while you’re there.

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Project Management Software

As many of you know, I work for SALEient and we sell a product called Conflux. Conflux comes in a couple different flavours (hosted by us at conflux.ca, your own server that you can put in your office or a dedicated server which is a server in our rack space that you have to your self but it’s on the Internet rather than on your network).

As well, many of you know I also do Internet software development through Sloan Consulting. As part of Sloan Consulting, I’ve worked on a lot of different and interesting projects over the past 6 or so years. Throughout my time developing, I’ve been adverse to using Project Management Software. Mainly, people wanted me to use Microsoft Project and I feel this isn’t a good product unless you have a formal project manager willing to make it work. As a result of my aversion, I’ve now finally chosen to write my own project management software for my consulting work. Conflux has a project management module (called Workflows) but I need something a bit more robust and flexible (and besides, a lot of my consulting clients aren’t using Conflux, yet…)

Here are the major premises of this software.

  1. It should be web-based and easy to use. I like the Basecamp model but I like a bit more information than they allow. As well, if I build it myself, I’ll be able to make changes. I’ve been working with the Python (programming language) Django Framework for the past year or so and I really enjoy it. It’s a great way to build web-based software.
  2. It should do what it is supposed to do and nothing more. I’m not trying to build a million features or move my accounting process onto the web. I just need to track and manage my projects. A project is a lot more than a simple to do list and it’s a lot more than a fancy gantt chart. My software should track what I’m doing and what I’ve done on a project and it should give me some insight into what I can do better. It also should help me communicate about my status to my clients. Lastly, people are people–we shouldn’t call them “resources.”
  3. It should be based on proven practices. Joel On Software has a great breakdown of how to painlessly schedule software development. I’m going to incorporate these ideas. Zel Nadal has some good ideas about why a project management database is a good idea. These ideas are going in as well. Also, this past summer, I worked with the Alberta Department of Agriculture (AAFRD) to scan the types of project management they’re currently using and to work with the Project Management support unit to recommend a more unified solution. It was a tough project to pull off but after many hours of interviews I got through a lot of people. Also, we eventually realized that a government department in Ontario was a leader in this field and we chose to piggy-back on what they are leading the way on. The Ontario Template and the wisdom within are also incorporated here. Lastly, the Getting Real book by 37 Signals has some more wisdom to incorporate.

Well, here goes. I’ll keep you posted. I’m hoping to complete this project in less than 25 hours.

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Web-developer goodies

Take any page that has some images on it, and paste the following into your URL/Address bar:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i

Everyone needs a mod-rewrite generator, right?

http://www.webmaster-toolkit.com/mod_rewrite-rewriterule-generator.shtml

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It’s been a while…

Sorry about that. I’m back to blogging.

First, here’s an interesting email I got about what it is to grow up in the eighties.

You Know You Grew Up In The 80’s or Early 90’s If:
1. You’ve ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
2. You watched the Pound Puppies.
3. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton
4. Girls wore biker shorts under their skirts and felt stylishly sexy.
5. You yearned to be a member of the Baby-sitters club and tried to start a club of your own.
6. You owned those lil’ Strawberry Shortcake pals scented dolls.
7. You know that “WOAH” comes from Joey on Blossom
8. Two words: Hammer Pants
9. If you ever watched “Fraggle Rock”
10. You had plastic streamers on your handle bars… and spokey-dokes or playing cards on your spokes for that incredible sound effect
11. You can sing the entire theme song to “Duck Tales” (Woo ooh!)
12. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
13. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
14. You saw the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the big screen..and still know the turtles names.
15. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
16. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
17. You played the game “MASH”(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
18. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
19. L.A. Gear….need I say more?
20. You wanted to change your name to “JEM” in Kindergarten. (She’s Truly Outrageous.)
21. You remember reading Tales of a fourth grade nothing and all The Ramona books.
22. You know the profound meaning of “WAX ON, WAX OFF”
23. You wanted to be a Goonie.
24. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. ( some of us…head-to-toe)
25. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
26. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
27. You took lunch boxes to school… and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.
28. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
29. You still get the urge to say “NOT” after every sentence.
30. You remember Hypercolor t-shirts.
31. Barbie and the Rockers was your favorite band.
32. You thought She-ra (Princess of Power!) and He-Man should hook up.
33. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
34. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
35. After you saw Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure you kept saying “I know you are, but what am I?”
36. You remember “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”
37. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
38. You ever got seriously injured on a Slip and Slide.
39. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
40. You had or attended a birthday party at McDonalds.
41. You’ve gone through this nodding your head in agreement.
42. You remember Popples.
43. Don’t worry, be happy
44. You wore like, EIGHT pairs of socks over tights with high top Reeboks.
45. You wore socks scrunched down (and sometimes still do..getting yelled at by younger hip members of the family)
46. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
47. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
48. You know what it meant to say “Care Bear Stare!!”
49 You remember watching Rainbow Bright and & My Little Pony Tales
50. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
51. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
52. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool…and don’t even flinch when people refer to them as “NKOTB”
53. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on “Saved By The Bell,” The ORIGINAL class.
54. You know all the words to Bon Jovi – SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
55. You just sang those words to yourself.
56. You remember watching Magic vs. Bird.
57. Homemade Levi shorts.. (the shorter the better)
58. You remember when mullets were cool!
59. You had a mullet!
60. You still sing “We are the World”
61. You tight rolled your jeans.
62. You owned a bannana clip.
63. You remember “Where’s the Beef?”
64. You used to (and probably still do) say “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?”
65 You had big hair and you knew how to use it.
66. You’re still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren’t you!
PASS THIS ON TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS WHO GREW UP IN THE 80s or Early 90s!!!
ROCK ON!!!
I agree that if you recognized this, it’s a bit scary.

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Canadian Economics of Baby Boomers

here’s a great article on the CBC Site.

www.cbc.ca/news/background/canada2020/essay-fortin.html

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Commuting

The CBC posted a story about the commute times of people and that they are rising. There could be many factors, such as more traffic, urban sprawl, etc., but there’s no denying that it’s true.

I generally commute about 40 minutes per day. There are a few days (not many, maybe 2 or 3 per month) when I either work from home or am on the road and therefore no commute time. It would be nice if this were less but it’s not too bad. It’s about 135 hours per year or 3.375 work weeks of time.

I wonder if “commute time” is from door to door or time in the car driving. I like my parking situation but a lot of people have to find a parking space and then walk to the office.

I’d say the biggest issue that one is faced with while considering the amount of time spent commuting in a vehicle is, couldn’t I be doing something better with my time. Sure, some time in the car may be on a cell phone so technically you could be productive while commuting but that’s dangerous. Also, what if you don’t have any work that you can do on the phone?

Personally, I like the time in the car on the way home to decompress from the day. The morning radio is great for entertaining me on the way to work. Maybe that 40 minute per day isn’t a waste after all is said and done.

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Some Gems on YouTube.com

Oh, you gotta see these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDx_6LzfZ5Y (Baseball Manager goes crazy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb5dScAa1yM (Bobby Knight rocks)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzYyahlDaNM (From the fine folks at Rantdog.com)

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