Monthly Archive: June 2004

AOSD Update

I am doing fairly well.  I track my symptoms, and using that tracking scheme my average symptoms level during the whole flare was 50, during the peak of the flare it was 70 and its now down to 30 and the 3 day average is fairly stable, although there is still plenty of variation during the day and between days.  My mental acuity is still not what it was and I still suffer from fatigue but less weakness as I have done a lot of exercise and so my strength is much improved.  I am finding that the more exercise I do the less pain I am in, provided I take it easy.  I am still taking 10 mg of Steroids and my doc wants me to use anti-inflammatories as well, but I am not keen to take the risk of further side effects and would rather just put up with the pain.


During the last 2 weeks though I have started with really severe, very localised inflammations, in my knee, jaw and back.  The area involved is probably on the size of a 10p piece, but the pain is such that I am …

PowerPoint, putting the audience in control

One of my friend’s posts pointed me to beyond bullets a blog about communications.  It was strange because a few minutes later I came across another link in another feed I was reading so I decided to check it out.  I liked this post on the Presentation Dashboard, an idea for putting the audience in control.  I like this concept very much and have used it myself many times in different forms; here are a few of them:

1.      I have created several PowerPoints that I designed not to be presented but to be emailed out or web delivered and navigated around.  This was done with lots of buttons and links and was very effective.  We also used this idea for training courses

2.      This worked so well that I changed my PowerPoint standard template and so that I created a master slide with index buttons all the way down the left hand side.  Because it was in the master it appeared on every slide.  When I presented it made it very easy to jump around the presentation following up on any topics the audience wanted to discuss.  Depending on which section you were in the appropriate link had a …

It’s when I see something like this that Microsoft really disappoints me!.

I have just been sent details of this InfoPath web application by Microsoft.  I should have been pleased, but I was very disappointed, not by InfoView which seems to be a great way of publishing an InfoPath form so that it can be completed using a web form, but because Microsoft did not ship it!


Microsoft would have got such a different reception and eliminated a lot of trust issues if InfoPath had been positioned as a web form designer, offline editor and aggregation tool, with a complementary web forms interface for those not able to take advantage of the native client.  I can not believe that developed in parallel with the thick client developing the web client would have been that big a deal either.


Anyway Microsoft chose a different route and instead of being seen as producing a great innovative standards based product that demonstrated the best of rich and reach, they chose a route that exposed them to constant criticism over attempting to lock people into Office and Thick Client technologies!


Come on Microsoft examine everything you are planning from the perspective of those who are uneasy about your track record,  …

Goodbye to the Tablet

There is a flurry of debate in the blogs because Peter says, I Still like the tablet.  But I am all out of love, well I have a story to tell about Tablet love as well.


I got my first Tablet, a HP TC1100, in January and it was love at first sight,  I just took to the slate format and at the time forgave the terrible keyboard, (although it didn’t take me long to remember my old IBM keyboard with increasing longing).  I wrote all about my early experiences in my tablet blog.  Well my circumstances changed and I found myself working mostly from home so the mobility benefits I was getting from the tablet reduced and I started to look at the platform more objectively.  These are some of the conclusions that I came to, but I think it’s a pretty personal view so don’t expect any conclusions that I draw to apply to you.


The Tablet didn’t work for me when I was mainly deskbound:


  1. I love screen real estate, before I had a Tablet I had a 1400*1050 resolution ThinkPad A20p, it had a great keyboard …

Tips for using Lotus Notes and GTD methodology.

I recently read Getting Things Done, and wanted to apply it using Lotus Notes.  I struggled a bit and to tell the truth I have not fully implemented it even after a month of playing around.  I am trying again now that I have a new PDA, better synchronisation software,...

The Tyranny of too much choice.

An article in Scientific American, titled The Tyranny of Choice has sparked a considerable debate on the web about the problems faced by western societies as a result of too much choice.  In fact the idea is a very old one, I came cross it years ago but it is not mentioned very often by your every day Happiness literature which tends to talk more about internal changes that people can make to the way they think rather than factors from their external environment.


You can sum up the material prior to this article as follows:


  • The intent of advertising is to make us dissatisfied with what we have

  • If we meet people who have more than we have, or have different spending priorities or saving priorities then we tend to be dissatisfied with what we have


These two factors are the main environmental factors that effect happiness.  In my experience they are even more powerful than having somewhere warm and dry to live and enough food to eat, which I soon got used to.  However some people disagree with this and consider these to be essential, (Hygiene factors in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs…

Writing the living web

I just read a very nicely crafted article describing 10 tips for writing the Living Web.  Essentially its about writing blogs.  As I progressed I wondered increasingly who could have put together such an article and what motivated them to put in the effort.  When I got to then end I found it was Mark Bernstein who is chief scientist at Eastgate Systems, publishers of Tinderbox, a personal content management assistant.  I went straight there to have a look, (so its good advertising Mark!), but unfortunarely its for the Mac only, but they are working on a Windows version.

More integration between WinFS and XML

Jon Udell of Infoworld says in his blog:

Meanwhile I’ve been working on a story about Longhorn, for which I had long and an extremely interesting interview with Quentin Clark, the architect of director of program management for WinFS. I’d like to transcribe the whole thing to post along with the story, when it runs, but the upshot is that Microsoft is planning more and better integration between WinFS and XML — both in terms of data definition and query — than I’d previously heard, which is welcome news

I’m pleased too because it means we are one step closer to the vision of WinFS that I have been talking about in my blog.  Complementary and not competetive to the web.

He then goes on to talk about the different types of search experience:

It seems clear, though, that whatever can be accomplished by means of what I’ve come to call “managed metadata,” we’ll always want that Google effect to be happening in parallel. When asked about the Semantic Web and RDF at InfoWorld’s 2002 CTO Forum, Sergey Brin said:

Look, putting angle brackets around things is not a technology, by itself. I’d rather make progress by having computers understand …

Rich Versus Reach – my perspective

The Rich versus Reach debate is raging in the blogsphere at the moment.  The debate has been very healthy with less of the usual emotional clutter that clogs up most debates that touch on the future of Microsoft.  I am an enterprise guy, with a complex home network as well, which gives me an interesting perspective so I thought it would good to pull some of the threads together.


The debate mainly started with a post by Joel on How Microsoft Lost the API War it’s a good article at the start but then begins to lose its focus and starts to make some bold assertions which are hard to substantiate.  These are partially rebutted by Olivier Travers in his post Microsoft Lost the API War? Not So Fast and more thoroughly by Robert in his post Seven Reasons Why the API War is Not Lost After All, which comes over a bit evangelistic but is still a good contribution to the debate.  Robert introduces a new perspective for me on Avalon where he describes how it may be possible to download XAML directly from the web as an alternative UI experience to HTML …

Calendar Feeds

In this blog, I started to talk about the evolution of subscription beyond news.  Here is a great example of how this might work.  This site describes the RDF Calendar format.  It provides a few examples, (I have added a few as well), of why you migt want to subscribe to a calendar, and includes ToDo list examples:

  1. Subscribe to you travel itinery and have the events automatically added to your calendar, flight times etc, and automatically updated

  2. Subscribe to a list of bugs which flow into your todo list

  3. Subscribe to an event schedule, for example football matches

  4. Subscribe to a favorite TV show

More information is available here

Some of the scenarios are listed below:

One more example of the Personal Information Disaster that is the web today!