Friday, March 28, 2008

Tonight's Beer and Blog

Went to my first Beer and Blog in Portland OR today. Reminded me of my days at HotWired - young, techno-literate, single, creative, uninterested in corporate employment. Friendly group.

Scott Kveton demoed an installation of OpenID with Wordpress. Having one username and password on the Internet sounds great - how many usernames and passwords do you have? And I'm interesting in providing better service to our web site visitors. But it's not ready for us. As it is now, if you don't have an OpenID, you'd have to go to another page to select a provider, then create your id there, and then come back to our site. Scott said there are plans to make it easier with less steps. I look forward to that.

Listened to Matt Monroe talk about the surprisingly huge response he's been getting to his photography blog, the Global Photographer. And if you see him, ask him to show you his Visa card - think early Kenny Loggins.

Adam talked about his work at Sounds like a great - virtual - environment.

We talked about the history of Tektronix. Once had over 24,000 employees in Oregon (now it's about 4,000). Once they made just about everything in their products, down to the screws! I love this poster showing the Oregon spinoffs from Tek.

On the way home, I was appreciating the fact that Portland is a warm-bed of creativity and innovation; and I wonder if this society of technogeeks is similar to small creative groups of the past, such as the impressionists Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sisley, Cezanne, et al; or the Algonquin Round Table.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Making Windows Update work in Vista

Windows Update stopped working. "Jay in camborne cornwall" stated on Microsoft technet that the problem is that the Administrator account is disabled, but it must be enabled for Windows Update to work.

However, when you go to the User Accounts control panel and click on "Manage another account", you don't see the Administrator account! An article on shows how to enable the account via the command line.

After following these instructions, Windows Update started working!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Google teleportation

Learned about this at the cnet site. When you do a search, the results might present a search box under the results. When I search for "Tektronix", for example, I see this:

Note the new search box under the listing. If you do a search in that box, it only searches on the site. I'll let you decide whether you think this is a good thing or bad thing for your site. But… if you see this as a bad thing, I believe you can contact Google and ask them to turn off this feature for

Thursday, March 20, 2008

file dropper

Upload 5GB files, get a unique url, and use it to download the file; or give the url to others so they can download the file

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

polldaddy - create and run online polls

Looks like a competitor to SurveyMonkey.

We7 - free, advertiser-supported music downloads

If you don't mind listening to ads, you can download music for free from this site.

YouSendIt - enables transfer of large files

The free service allows you to upload files of up to 100MB and download up to 1GB per month. If your email provider limits the size of attachments - or you just don't want to tie up your email client - this would be helpful.

Roxxer - build a web site on the page

Edit your page on the page. Looks like a good way to allow non-techies to publish. Will be interesting to see if it gains any traction.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Web-based Desktops

I've been watching the web-based desktop applications as news has come out about them. At some point I expect they will get to a level of maturity that companies will start making a big leap, replacing MS Office on their employees desktops with access to one of these. It makes great sense - the employees no longer need powerful pc's, their pc's no longer have to be backed up (as the documents will reside on the server), employees can access and update their documents using any pc anywhere where there's Internet access, and there's a much reduced need to do desktop updates.

In addition, the combination of these apps and SAAS (having these hosted externally and paid for as a subscription, rather than licensed and installed internally) will become more enticing. However, the developers of these apps will have to assure organizations that their service is virtually 100% reliable and the data is secure.

I haven't seen an app that's ready to replace MS Office, but I remain hopeful.

These apps look like good integrations of open source apps in virtual desktop interfaces, and I'll watch to hear more about them.