Thursday, 18 March 2004

Now I remember, pretty clearly, why I am not a cat person. Probably also why I (subconsciously) had not committed on my own to this animal.

No real sleep last night, claw marks in my hands (I was nice, they're just small and very sharp), cat pee in my carpet, meowing every five seconds since God knows when last night.

Argh.

At least I have the Internet to figure out how to make this cat happy (if that can even be done - I'm probably naive here, which is just another sign that I am not a cat person).

And before anyone from the we-know-who's-really-in-control camp throws snide remarks, I realize that the problem may actually be that I am not a cat's person. I'm fine with that.

I dunno. Nice little cat, and a very nice gesture, but I just dunno ... We'll see.



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Personal Stories
Thursday, 18 March 2004 06:36:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 17 March 2004

In this day and age, it's not unusual for people who live next door to each other to not have the first clue about who their neighbors are, what they're names are, or anything at all about those people over there that apparently get in their cars and go someplace each morning (probably to work).

It's not that way for me. My next-door neighbors are great people, friends of mine, and pretty fun (sometimes down-right amusing) to spend time with. They have great kids and good hearts. We hand out and do things together now and then. So, I consider myself very lucky, indeed.

Case in point: My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. They wanted to do something nice for me (which is really very cool). So, what did they decide to do?

Well - long story short - I now have a cat. To go with my dog.

Now, before you freak out and cry foul, please relaize a couple things: First of all, I was asked about the whole adopt-a-cat thing a couple days ago. I just hadn't actually committed to doing anything about it. But that's cool. Also, I have been talking about getting a cat for a while now. So this is not completely out of the blue. And the standing offer is that if it doesn't work out, the neighbors will take the cat into their family (and then they'd have more pets than kids, heheheh), so I do have an “out” there.

Hey, but it's an awfully nice cat. Sharp claws, yes - but nice. And she's fixed (apparently yesterday), so no worries about more of the same down the road. And perhaps most importantly, she's alive. Had she not been picked up from the pound by my neighbor yesterday, she'd have been put down by now. So, all in all, it's a good thing.

Truth be told, I've always been more of a dog person, but cats are okay. Besides, I live in the woods, so there's plenty of practical reasons to have a cat or two around the house (Note: one is enough for now ;-))

In reality, it's a very nice - and thoughtful - birthday gift. Pretty darn cool.



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Personal Stories
Wednesday, 17 March 2004 20:13:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 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.”

http://www.freshgoo.com/

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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Tech
Sunday, 14 March 2004 10:45:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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