Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2004

Well, it sort of works...

I'm not referring to code here. I am referring instead to the Packet8 IP phone I got to try out. I can hear anyone who calls the number crystal clear - well, not quite perfectly clear, but when you factor in that it is a "long-distance" call (all calls from it are long-distance, but long-distance calling is free - international calls are really cheap too), the quality is pretty average. On the other end, however, it really depends on how much upstream bandwidth you have. If people are hitting your web server really hard, for instance, then you leave Packet8 with less bandwidth to work with and therefore some choppiness will happen. This makes me sound like you are on a cell phone or something to the other person. Or worse, like one of those outsourced Indian call centers. At least I don't have a crazy non-understandable-to-English-speaking-people accent. When the upstream connection isn't being used much, it basically sounds just like a regular phone l

The Internet - for free...

Free is generally not something people believe equates to "high-quality." Microsoft charges a premium for its OS mostly because there is little to no competition and they can market basically anything to anyone. They do a good job of that. People can complain about it, but I don't see them doing anything to compete with Microsoft, so until people stop complaining and start doing something about it, Windows will continue to dominate the market. I wrote a week ago on the minimal amount of work that has to be done in the Linux realm to make it succeed. Anyway, I have recently figured out why wireless Internet access has not really kicked off. The problem is that people are relying too heavily on the government to put wireless in major cities. I have a simple solution to the whole problem. Whenever someone buys a wireless router, have two ports - one that is able to be locked down and secured - the other should be open on port 80 only with upstream traffic headed to


Really. I honestly can't imagine what would possess a person to get a cell phone. I just finished looking at a cell phone for people to reach CubicleSoft and can't justify the cost. See, the cell phone is "free," but what you get suckered into is a 2 year agreement to sell your soul. Or at least your kidneys. Okay, now let me make some sense of that paragraph. Basically, I need a way for someone to reach me whenever I turn the doggone thing on. I am not a cell phone fan. In fact, I find them highly annoying. So, naturally, I place little value on something I can pretty much do without. The only reason I would ever use one is if it was cheaper than a land line. In this case, the price I'm looking for is $10 to $15 per month. The first celluar company that offers a plan in this range with at least 600 minutes will own the industry overnight. Everyone else will continue charging $39.95 (just round it to $40 already - it makes check writing a lot simple

Clustered computing

Read this: I have my own opinions about privacy, but frankly, there is such a thing as too much privacy. People inherently want to be famous - they have dreams of being movie stars and splashed across pages of magazines and newspapers. They want their 15 minutes of The problem with fame and fortune is that you have the media up your nose with cameras. Literally. Someone will take a picture of famous-people's nose hair if they think they can get $15 for the photo. Those famous people are probably embarrassed as I am embarrassed for them as nose hair gets shown on the cover of every magazine. Society couldn't stoop to new lows of sleaze? Forget I ever asked. However, in the digital world, what people don't realize is that there is power waiting to be tapped and Google is trying to preempt IBM in this regard. (Microsoft is clueless about this and I wouldn't want them trying to me


Read this and then come back here for what actually happened: Everyone keeps conjecturing this and that about outsourcing and why companies are moving overseas. Well, technically they are not moving, they are just shifting business around to reduce the bottom-line costs. There are a number of reasons businesses may claim they are moving overseas, but there is only one underlying reason: No innovation. Businesses here in states are not innovating. They are not inventing. They are not being creative. What happens when this happens? Think about it for a moment. If you guessed that in order to stay in business they have to focus on reducing bottom-line costs, you have guessed correctly. So, really outsourcing is just one symptom of a huge problem here in the U.S. For lack of a better term, I am going to blatantly call every American lazy. You are all lazy. And fat. So there.

The light is on, but nobody seems to be home.

I recently spoke to someone who works for an energy company in the Lansing, MI area. This person had a very interesting perspective on the software the company uses and it boils down to the whole "buy versus build" debate that seems to be never ending. My take on the whole debate is, "If it already exists and is not going to break the piggy bank, buy." I will give my reasons in a moment. The energy company that I just mentioned has one of the most head-scratching policies that I have ever heard of. It took me almost 5 hours of pondering and a 2 hour nap to figure out what logical thinking there was behind this. Basically, the energy company likes to build their own software if they have the resources to do so. However, when they buy other software packages they request only portions of those packages. This really frustrates the employees who are in the field trying to use the partial package and consistently having it crash. On the surface, my first tho

Microsoft is going to die. Riiight.

Heh. Read this and then come running back here to read what I have to say about the professors who write this sort of stuff: First off, Microsoft is here to stay. Like IBM has re-invented itself as a consulting firm, Microsoft has enough assets to re-invent the company 20 times over and still not go bankrupt and could enter any industry they choose to own. Linuxheads can rant and rave about how great Linux is (see my post yesterday), but that doesn't make the 90% market share suddenly go away - and even if it did go away overnight, Microsoft still has that money. Anyone who says Microsoft is going to die in the next two years is mistaken. Second, educational institutions are generally big, whiny, mooching organizations that throw their weight around just because the general notion is that the budgets there are too small to buy the software. Wrong. Those organizations have millions pouring in every year and they pour a lot of it int

In other news...

Completely unrelated to software development, it was pointed out to me that I bought a completely sealed, and yet very empty Kool-Aid packet. I don't drink the stuff personally, but when I buy it, I usually buy the 8 for $2 or whatever the sale price is - grab a big handful and assume it will taste fine. Anyway, when I go to the store to buy packaged items, I generally assume that the packaged item actually contains the appropriate item or a poisoned item but have never really thought about the possibility of no item. I mean, the possibility is there, but why would anyone bother shipping empty packaging? If you are concerned about your Kool-Aid, feel free to call 1-800-367-9225 and let Kraft know about it. For me, it would cost me and them more trouble than it is worth. It was worth a quarter. If I had paid $5 (US), then I might start getting annoyed. Okay, so I lied. There are a few crystals of the stuff in there - I can hear it, but I'll let someone else open this un

Tips for Software Developers

Okay, while I'm not usually that angsty, the whole Linux vs. Windows thing does get me riled up easily. Anyway, I figured I should balance it out with a much more calm and serene post. So, you are a software developer? Or you think you are anyway. Software developers think they know everything. That is good in some ways, highly annoying in others. However, lately I have noticed that many foreign programmers will come into mailing lists that I moderate (e.g. ) and they will say, "I have a doubt" as the subject line. Then they will doubt again in the body. Several times. It is okay to have the occassional doubt, but doubting every other sentence is rediculous...especially where people post about code they could have run through a compiler asking about their doubts compiling it. If we lived back in 1960-something where compiling a program took hours or a day and had to be scheduled I could understand people doubting a compiler

The way to start right.

Big deal if this is my first entry in the blog. You know how many entries there are out there on the Internet where everyone is like, "ooh! My first blog entrie thingie." They can't even spell "entry" correctly. So, I'm going to start this blog off on the right foot. I'm going to do what I do best - chit chat about software. In fact, I am going to be so bold as to NOT advertise the company I work for ( CubicleSoft ), but rather take the most daring topic public. Yup, that's right. I am going to cover the flame war called Linux versus Windows. However, I am going to do it so well that this hosted Blog will probably be asked kindly by the folks at to shut it down because of being slashdotted. Linux versus Windows. The flame war of flame wars. The discussion of discussions. People have argued and pulled and fought and said both sides are going to die and neither have. Before anyone says anything, I am a product recommender.