Friday, 03 February 2006

TelegramWithout fanfare or even much notice, Western Union quietly shut down it's telegram service last week. No more ability to send a message for delivery. I kind of liked them, though I rarely used the service. That's too bad. The Internet has grown, evolved, consumed the space and taken completely over.

Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative.

(via Adam Gaffin)

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Friday, 03 February 2006 07:18:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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The Onion has some insight as to how Blackberry users will be forced to cope if the unfortunate shutdown actually ever occurs. As is fairly typical at the Onion, there's some truth behind the satire...


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Humor | Mobile | Tech
Friday, 03 February 2006 06:56:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 02 February 2006

Bubble gumball for auctionJosh Bancroft, who publishes the blog and podcast, posted a link to an auction on eBay for his Nephew's giant ball of chewed gum.

Well, now - that's different.

Josh's nephew, Marcus, apparently has a patient and tolerant mother, as she allowed Marcus to store the gumball in her refrigerator for the past six years while her son grew it over time.

"For you gum manufacturers, this could be quite the centerpiece on your boardroom meeting table or displaying in your reception lobby."

There's bound to be someone out there who wants this thing. Just doing my part for a good cause. Auction ends today! 

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Thursday, 02 February 2006 07:13:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 01 February 2006

Just in case you're, like, dead or something and missed the news on every other blog out there, Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 was released as a public beta yesterday (while I was flying across the country).

So - go get it if you're a beta lover. Or a browser lover. Oh, and you'll have to be running a valid copy of Windows to install the software. The installer provides the opportunity to download and install the MS Malicious Software Removal Tool during the browser installation. Smart move, Microsoft.

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Wednesday, 01 February 2006 22:57:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 30 January 2006

Virtual Servers - gotta love 'em, gotta hate 'em.

If you ever have to support a large number of dev and test servers in your IT environment and have found yourself frustrated with the administrative and technical overhead, a virtual machine architecture might be for you. It's all the rage these days, but (trust me on this one, I should know) there's lots of ways to de-optimize (read: screw up) a virtual machine/server environment. To make it work effectively, there are a few things that you need to know and do to make your environment hum like a well-oiled (virtual) machine.

The problem is, until recently there has been relatively little prescriptive architecture for using virtual environments for specific test environments. In the case of Microsoft Virtual Server, there is now a reference architecture and detailed documentation that you can take advantage of by just downloading the documents:

Windows Server System Reference Architecture Virtual Environments for Development and Test (WSSRA-VE) can help large organizations and enterprises create environments for development and testing that emulate their own production environments. The guidance describes the architectural blueprint, planning considerations, deployment practices, and operational considerations for creating and supporting a virtualized instantiation of the Windows Server System Reference Architecture. It leverages the power of Virtual Server 2005 and automated deployment and configuration tools to minimize the physical infrastructure and logistical overhead necessary to deploy emulations of various data center services.

Like WSSRA itself, the WSSRA-VE is intended to aid users in their own effort to model their operational environment and condense it to a scale that can be representative of the infrastructure integration challenges facing developers and testers of distributed, message-based applications and IT services, and still be inexpensive and relatively economical to build and use throughout a large-scale IT organization.

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Monday, 30 January 2006 19:18:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Mom_airportI had a layover at the Denver International Airport for several hours today, so I called my mom, who lives over near Boulder. She jumped in the car and drove over to the airport for coffee and lunch.

The Pur la France chicken pot pie in the main terminal upper level is highly recommended. And so are those deals where they announce they have over-booked and will give a round trip ticket to anyone who will volunteer to take the next flight. I got lunch with my mom, a free round trip ticket, first class seat for no extra charge on the next flight, and on top of that I am able to work right now in the airport during business hours instead of being on an airplane during the time that counts. So I was able to test a very cool new demo version of one of our security software products and test market it to my mom. She provides good feedback.

I sent her a Logitech Quickcam Pro the other day so we can do video instant messaging and calls with Live Messenger v8, and I was showing her how to use the notebook camera I bought for my end of the connection. That's her right there, snapshot taken with my notebook Logitech cam (which is a great little camera).

Well, off to North Carolina... Then back home to Portland.

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Monday, 30 January 2006 11:25:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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