Developer Fitness

No, this isn’t something about Fitnesse, it’s really about physical fitness.  Caveat: I’m not a doctor. Another conference under my belt: //Build/.  There seems to be a trend of private discussions at conferences (maybe it’s just me) about the sizes of t-shirts at developer conferences and how the average size is, well, above average. There seemed to be a few conversations about fitness as well, at least in the context of losing weight.  Let’s be fair, being a developer is not kind to the body.  We sit around, usually inside (in the dark) staring at a computer screen (or screens).  … Continue reading Developer Fitness

Taking Customer Support Into Social Era

We’ve entered the Social Era with the advent and popularity of technologies like Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, FourSquare etc.  Supporting a product or service can take customer satisfaction to the next level by making use of these technologies. To be clear, I’m of the opinion that customer support has the ability and responsibility for improving customer experience with a product or service.  My opinion is that customer support should be proactive with regard to supporting customers; customer support teams that don’t believe this need not read the rest :)  The best product or service can be meaningless if the customer support … Continue reading Taking Customer Support Into Social Era

The Era of Usability

For most of the personal computer generation, success of computers and their operating systems have been ruled by people’s ability to do what they needed to do on or with the computer.  We’re starting to enter an era where the success of a computer and/or it’s operating system is going to hinge on it’s ability to reduce usage friction compared to another. We’re entering an era where software has effectively become a commodity—where the majority of people don’t differentiate between the major operating systems or the most frequently used software. To a certain degree computers and computer technology is becoming … Continue reading The Era of Usability

Never Mind Canonical Tags, Let’s Get Content/Navigation Tags. describes that Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have agreed on a “canonical tag”.  This tag basically allows a web site owner to tell search sites where the main page of a site is, regardless of the URL. This is fine, but it only reduces duplicate results.  It does nothing for incorrect results. Google’s algorithm bases its results on content and voting (either explicit or implict), among other things.  The longer content is around the more accurate Google is with results.  New links suffer from not having any of this meta data to help Google rank the content in the results. Many … Continue reading Never Mind Canonical Tags, Let’s Get Content/Navigation Tags.

"Invalid menu handle" Opening Downloaded .ZIP Files (IE6, XPSP2)

I’m working on a new, least-privileges, computer and I ran into a very strange problem yesterday.  If I click on links to .ZIP files in IE and select Open,the file downloads but I’m presented with an “Invalid menu handle” message box. I’m not the person who configured this computer; so, I wasn’t entirely sure what the problem could be.  I had surmised that it had something to do with least-privileges and compressed (zipped) folders’ ability to operate in that type of environment.  I tried Save, instead of Open, when clicking the link but had no problems double-clicking the zip file … Continue reading "Invalid menu handle" Opening Downloaded .ZIP Files (IE6, XPSP2)

Windows Live Messenger Virus Scanner Settings

I recently change to ESET’s NOD32 for my virus scanner and realized that I hadn’t set my Windows Live Messenger to use it to scan received files.  I found this helpful posting that describes the necessary steps:  And those steps are: 1. Login to Messenger.2. Click on Tools.3. Click on Options.4. Click on “File Transfer”.5. Place a tick in “Scan files for viruses using:”.6. Paste the following (including the quotation marks):“C:\Program Files\Eset\nod32.exe” /selfcheck+ /list+ /scroll+ /quit+ /pattern+ /heur+ /scanfile+ /scanboot- /scanmbr- /scanmem- /arch+ /sfx+ /pack+ /mailbox- /adware /unsafe /ah /prompt /all7. Click on “Apply”.8. Click on “OK”.


Dogfooding v. For a company to use the same products that it produces. With the recent release of Windows Vista Microsoft seems to be doing it’s due diligence and everyone at Microsoft seems to now be running Vista.  This is great news for future Vista customers; but what does it say about existing customers–loyal customers who have been using, now previous, supported versions of Windows. That’s what I don’t get about Microsoft.  It’s either current or it doesn’t exist.  Windows XP is now system non grata–it doesn’t exist.  Although it’s “supported” for another 24 months (I haven’t seen the official date; but the policy suggest … Continue reading Dogfooding

Time to replace UPS batteries…

After a few recent power outages in my region I decided it was time to replace the battery on my UPS (yes, it was beeping that the battery was old and I simply unplugged it–I hang my head in shame). I looked into getting a new battery; but, I couldn’t seem to track down anyone locally that sold that type of thing.  I went online looking for batteries.  Of course, the place where I purchased the UPS sold no such thing. (what was *I* thinking).  There are a few places that sell the battery I needed but they wanted about $50-60 … Continue reading Time to replace UPS batteries…

Thoughts on Some Legal Disclaimers

Raymond Chen blogged recently about a disclaimers for a particular prize and it got me thinking about how inane some of these disclaimers are or how inane the circumstances are. Some disclaimers make sense and should be there: “professional driver on closed course” and “don’t try this at home”.  Some examples of the inane disclaimers or circumstances: “Simulated Image”  So, you’re expecting us to accept that your product is so poor that a simulated image on your product (TV, cell phone, etc) in the commercial was necessary? “Results not typical”  Really, you’re bending the truth and concentrating only on the positive … Continue reading Thoughts on Some Legal Disclaimers