Daily Archive: August 25, 2004

Why no one wants to save money saving paper

I admit I have written a business case or two in the past that included saving paper.  One actually did make the savings it claimed, but the other like millions of others resulted in more paper usage.  There is a good article on the topic on the Bloor blog IT-Director.com. ...

Flexible Workspace

Back in 2001, I was given the opportunity to create my own team.  It was a great opportunity and I pulled a team of about 30 people together to work on Architecture and Systems Integration projects in the Infrastructure arena.  We hit upon a slight problem though we could not find any space within the existing company buildings in the area.  This presented us with another great opportunity, work from home, or find and design our own office.  This is the story of how we designed our Office and what we learned.

 

  1. At the time, (and still today), my company designs its offices by giving a guy with Visio a template desk and char and an outline of the office and asking him to cram as many desks in as he can.  We actually have a few show case offices where they go to the other extreme, but we had no where near that budget.
  2. Starting with a very small budget and a very traditional culture we set about our search and found a large empty space not far from one of existing buildings.
  3. We spent our budget with great care.  For example …

I have finally made the switch

Having been a loyal user of Radio Userland, with all of its quirks, for 6 months I have finally made the switch over to blogmedia who host the blogware platform.  I did a trial switch over to typepad a month or so ago, but it did not go too well and I decided to stick with Radio.  But yesterday I ran out of disk space on the Radio Userland server and it went like this …

 

  1. So without any notice in my event log, I see that uploads are failing because I have used up my 40MB allocation.  40MB seemed a huge amount for text blog entries, but apparently radio has lots of different renderings and archives it maintains.
  2. I thought this should be easy – tidy up – but this has proven almost impossible to do cost effectively
  3. So I thought I will get more disk space, but it’s incredibly expensive.  For the same price as I pay for 80MB of space on Radio I can get 1 GB on blogmedia.

I really was not keen to change, because of the effort involved but I was so annoyed last night with trying to free …

Happiness and the Olympics

It seems that in an analysis of the expressions on Olympic medal winners faces on the podium the happiest people won gold, then bronze then silver. It seems that the people who won bronze were thinking “I nearly didn’t get a medal at all”, whereas the silver winners were thinking “if only I had tried that bit harder I would have got gold”.  I then got to thinking about how I think in these terms and it goes something like this:

 

  1. I always think about the worst that could happen.  I think through the worst scenario but while I am doing so I look for something good that could come out of it.

  2. I don’t dwell on this worst scenario though, I am quite a positive person so I quickly accept it as a possibility, and then assure myself that its fairly unlikely and move on.

  3. If it’s a repeat of some event that happened in the past I try and remember something good about that event as well.  

  4. Any outcome from that point onwards is then better than the worst scenario that I have already accepted as a possibility, but then set aside and not …

Luck

Just recently I have been reading about luck and whether there is such a thing a lucky person.  It’s a big subject, but two ideas stuck with me:

 

  1. People interact with so many people and things in so many different way these days that statistically “miracles” happen.  If you define miracles as events that have less than a 1 in a million chance of occurring then I read somewhere that most people will hear of one about once a month.  That means that people are going to come across someone being very lucky/unlucky , (perhaps 1 in 10,000 chance events),  pretty much every day just based on chance.

  2. The second idea is much more interesting.  It seems that people who describe themselves as lucky seem to know more people than those that describe themselves as unlucky.  Not surprisingly the more people you know the better the chance that one of those people will be able to help you out in some way, or will know someone who knows someone ….This networking theory although obvious once it’s explained is pretty powerful.

Prize winners at the library

Our local library celebrated its centenary today, there was a fete and a fancy dress competition, my wife loves making costumes and the girls all love dressing up so it’s no surprise that they all entered.  Stephie as Catherine Linton, Jenny as Heidi, Tessa as Mary Poppins and Anna as...

Productivity before elegance

In this article, webservicespipeline.com discusses the rate of adoption of .NET compared to J2EE.  Its conclusions are quite suprising.  It seems that the rate of .NET adoption continues to grow at quite a rate, and puts usage on a par or slightly greater than J2EE.  It puts .NET success mainly down to increaded developer productivity and ease of deployment and management. 

This is signifiacnt for three main reasons:

  1. In the hard nosed business of IT software development, even with all of Microsoft’s woes, when it comes down to making business decisions, many IT companies still seem to make decisions based on rational criteria, and long term strategy and architectural elegance or portability don’t win out in many cases.

  2. There is likely to be a lot of new software developed for the Windows platform

  3. Mono is going to be a pretty important Open Source project

3 Monitors is the way to go!

I have been quite happy with my two monitor setup at home,  but using maxivista I am now able to drive three monitors from my main desktop PC.  This is just great.  I can now have my email in one, my RSS feeds in another, be using Office in another...

Open Document Formats – XML to you and me

This is one of the areas I am going to be looking at so its good news that there has been a recent flurry of activity around it.  here are some of the more important links.  The debate was started by the EC report into this topic which is summarised...