A craigslist story

In the summer of 2003, I stupidly destroyed a laptop (by accidently spilling water on it). A water bottle emptied directly into the keyboard of the laptop (a dell Inspiron 600 M), utterly wrecking it.
Fortunately the laptop was under warrantee. Unfortunately, it had a months worth of work on it, some really first-rate code that I had written and neglected to back up.
I really really wanted that data back. And so I turned to craigslist.

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Hooking small businesses up

My company has been doing b2b stuff in a variety of industries (health care, real estate, insurance) for the last several months. Not the old “lets build an emarketplace and hope for the best” kind of b2b stuff that was popular during the bubble, but the real, hard work of helping companies build electronic bridges with their close business partners.
As an engineer with a web services background, I’m surprised at how much of this work is UI related. Wasn’t XML and SOAP supposed to be a magic elixir that let companies integrate seamlessly with their partners?

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the mac mini as a personal server

A large number of people on the internets are craving the new Mac Mini – the $500 “headless mac”, unveiled at Macworld two days ago – trying to figure out what the business implications are and the role the Mini might play as a home (or car!) based entertainment platform.
The general consensus is that the Mac Mini is the camel’s nose under the tent, a way for apple to rapidly gain entry into the mass market computing space.
One application for a small computer like the Mini is to use it as a personal server (PS). The need for such a device is driven by the increasing size and importance of the digital data that consumers are archiving and sharing, and the trend towards laptop-only, wireless households (which lack the option of using the family desktop PC as a de-facto file server).

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Working together when you’re not

Working closely with people that aren’t in the same physical space is never easy: much communication is nonverbal, and not being able to read body language and facial expression data means that everybody has to work hard to prevent misunderstandings. That hard work slows down communication. The tools for supporting this kind of work ARE improving every day, however.

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