I got my copy of Todd Cochrane's Podcasting, the Do-It-Yourself Guide in the mail yesterday. In addition, my wife's early Xmas gift for me, a backpack case for my laptop was in the mail as well. I'm looking forward to reading Todd's book, and I'm looking forward to having a lightweight way to carry my laptop around with me all the time. It should help me be a little more productive, it terms of giving me the ability to do some things, like answer website emails or write up blog posts or other things that I have been waiting to do in the evening. It's just part one of my overall goal of making better use of my time and prioritizing the things I want to spend my time on. With the part-time consulting gig for my old job and planning for a website launch for the Friends of the Library, free time has been at a real minimum lately, and will continue to be for awhile. I felt like I needed to make some decisions on cutting back on some commitments, but I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I could to maximize my personal productivity before I made any changes.
Now that I'm being more productive, maybe I'll even find time to do a much-needed redesign of the site. After all, I'm not a One-Man IT Department any longer. I'm just a support/training/helpdesk jockey now. (But I couldn't be happier about that, either.) This site definitely needs to be redefined, and my blogging needs to find a "voice" and a direction again.
I've had these sorts of conversations before, but in a smaller company, like everything else, it's usually not as frequent an occurrence as it is now. Anyone who's worked supporting users knows exactly the sort of conversation, and while we all appreciate the fact that the user is curious and wants to learn, we all wish we could say "because I say so" and be done with it sometimes, don't we?
Let me give you some examples:
When I access email through Outlook Web Access at home and someone sends me a link to the corporate intranet, why can't I click on the link and go there?
Why can't I just plug my kid's laptop in the network jack and use the network like I can with my work computer?
Isn't using Outlook Web Access the same as Secure Remote? Why isn't it?
See, you appreciate the fact that they want to understand, but you also know this is not going to be a short conversation. I don't generally mind explaining it to people who want to learn, but sometimes I really have something else I need to be doing. It can be difficult to extract myself from these conversations to get to those other things without coming across as rude. How do you do it?
We’re calling it Dabble, with emphasis on the Db: it’s a database system for dabblers. We’d naturally be happy if professional developers, DBAs, and business analysts find our system useful, but we won’t be satisfied until we have something that works for everyone in the millions of small businesses and teams for whom data management is purely a sideline, a necessary evil of doing whatever line of work they’re really in.
But more than that: Dabble is for everyone that wants to experiment with their data, evolve it, explore it, improve it incrementally and interactively. We like to think that Dabble is to most database systems as finger paints or plasticine are to granite and chisel: something that lets you stick your hands in your data, roll it around, play with it, and most importantly, never set in stone.
I think I'll have to sign up and find out when it's available to play with.
I installed Miranda IM the other day. I liked the fact that I could connect with Google Talk, which I can't do with the free version of Trillian, but I wasn't realy excited about the fact that there's no voice features, which would be kinds nice to have with GoogleTalk. I also just didn't like the feel of it compared to Trillian. Perhaps I'm just not a simple interface guy. :)
Does anyone use the Pro version of Trillian? Does it support voice in a GoogleTalk connection using the Jabber protocol? Just curious.
I am pretty excited by this. A free version of VMWare called VMWare player. At last I can take my existing virtual machines and run them on my laptop, which means I'm more likely to use them more often. Very cool....