Tuesday, 16 March 2004

An Open Letter to Commercial Software Companies
(or, Food for Thought for one yet to be named)

I don’t expect perfection from you. If your software has some issues that make it difficult to implement at a business level, I simply expect you to support the implementation and help me get it done. You best have a damn-good support department – a support staff and managers that respond to emails and phone calls. Not just responding when it’s convenient – I mean responding in a timely manner and following through on any commitments they make. If I have to spend six weeks trying again and again to get your people to help me, you should see the problem without me telling you there's an issue, and without me having to write this letter.

I’m on the edge of firing a software company, one with which I have an established relationship, and only after working very hard to try to be a “reference-able” customer. Sure, the software application has all the promise in the world, but enough glitches to require working through the bumps in the road in order to meet every-day production use requirements. I have been working under the assumption we could get past these hurdles, but what good is that is your people won’t even return email or phone call requests for assistance? I should not have to do any of the work it takes to be a customer that you can use as a reference – That’s your job.

And know this: All the good past experience in the world means nothing when you suddenly drop the ball over and over and repeatedly fail to pick it up, despite the fact that I am standing here pointing at the damn ball. I don’t care how much potential there is in the vendor-customer relationship. If you don’t do your job, you can expect I will not be your customer.

But perhaps most importantly: If you screw up the relationship and don’t make good on it, you’ll have to deal with all the consequences, including the fact that I’ll probably tell people far and wide what a bad experience I had with your company, and how it hurt my business and reputation. Many people from a wide variety of businesses look to me for advice on software and systems, and I tell the truth when asked. So, if it means some bad exposure for your company and product, remember the most important lesson of all – You’ve earned it.

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Tech | Things that Suck
Tuesday, 16 March 2004 18:45:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 15 March 2004

Not that I would know personally, since I don't work there, but many friends and colleagues of mine who are Microsoft employees definitely enjoy it there. All I know is, they get together and play ice hockey. In my book, that really says something. ;-)

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Random Stuff
Monday, 15 March 2004 21:44:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Jim Edelen points to Maxim Karopov's site where Maxim provides a very good description of what SharePoint is and how it's all broken down. At the end of the article there's also a good list of Sharepoint bloggers that have sites with interesting and decent content.

I have not blogged much about this technology in the past few months (in fact the last time I wrote about it was on my old blog), but we are in the end game of a SharePoint deployment and ramp-up at my company. I was involved in speaking at a few of the launch events last year, and we were an early adopter of much of the Office System in this latest version. It's been quite a ride. I'll try to remember to post some experiences here as we continue, but for the developer side of things, I will have to leave that up to Travis and others.

That reminds me - I am looking to hire a developer that knows ASP.net and specifically has some Sharepoint 2003 abilities. If anyone knows someone who happens to be in the Portland, Oregon area (or plans to be) who fits the bill, drop me a line at ghughes-AT-corillian.com (just reformat the email address of course :-)).

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SharePoint | Tech
Monday, 15 March 2004 19:34:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 14 March 2004

This is kinda cool: “Search Google for sites added today, yesterday, within the last seven days, or last 30 days.”


Sidebar cool thing: If you refresh that page, you'll see a bunch of funny modified Google logos. Kept me busy for a little while!

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Sunday, 14 March 2004 10:45:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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KC Lemson, who works on the Exchange team at Microsoft, asks if there are any IT bloggers out there who are actually blogging about IT. She's soliciting links from anyone who does, or from people who know of good ones, to see if it would be worthwhile to put together a list.

I think that's a great idea. There are tons of blogs by developers and about specific products, etc., but not that many that are about IT operations and management. I hope this takes off, and it's already made me think a bit about some things that I could be blogging that I have thus far ignored.

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Blogging | Tech
Sunday, 14 March 2004 10:31:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 12 March 2004

From the logs of the original computer geeks, the actual description of the first computer bug. So, that's where the terms “bug” and “debug” come from.

Moth found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1945. The operators affixed the moth to the computer log, with the entry: "First actual case of bug being found". They put out the word that they had "debugged" the machine, thus introducing the term "debugging a computer program".

In 1988, the log, with the moth still taped by the entry, was in the Naval Surface Warfare Center Computer Museum at Dahlgren, Virginia.

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Friday, 12 March 2004 18:13:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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