Friday, September 28, 2007

Service companies that aren't

I completely agree with this post.


And perhaps the White House and those in Congress should read it as well. I heard this morning they are considering legislation for the airline industry with respect to on-time arrivals. They only treat customers this way because we keep flying with them. If we stop flying, things will change. And you're all saying "but we need to fly and we don't have any other options". You can choose not to fly with these airlines OR stop complaining about the way they treat you. I know, I do it too but we really don't have the right because we condone it by continuing to fly with them.

And honestly, don't the people in D.C. have more critical matters to concern themselves with.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Financial Information

Why don't banks have RSS feeds. I spend a considerable amount of time writing screen scrapping utilities to get my data out of various banking web sites. Why can't they simply make this information available via a feed? I would gladly pay additional fees for this service.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

S3 as object store

I'm not entirely sure where this is going but these two links appear to be suggesting that S3 could be used as a database for certain applications. I've been playing with S3 persistent objects as suggested in nutrun's post and it is pretty interesting.



Doubt it will be of much use in the immediate future but certainly something to play with and understand better.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mac OSX and gcc_select

I was installing a gem and then trying to run a short test and received this error.

cc: installation problem, cannot exec `cc1': No such file or directory

After a quick Google search I saw the problem appeared to be with gcc itself. I then ran gcc_select and realized I set the version to 3.3 at some point in the past (most likely to install other software) and when I set it back to 4.0, the problem vanished.

sudo gcc_select 4.0

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Generating Value

I saw this over the weekend and thought it was interesting. They were able to generate value for the client well before the actual technology solution was even close to ready. I think we often think of value residing in the end-product when in fact it can be realized much quicker than that through the services delivered.


It also helps the development staff tweak the final feature because they are going through the process iteratively. Good stuff!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

TestXSLT - XSL Processor for the Mac

I needed to update a few XSL templates and decided to look for a processor that would run on my MBP to test the output. I ran XMLSpy on WinXP previously and found it quite useful. Although TestXSLT doesn't have all the cool IDE features of XMLSpy, it's prefect for making and reviewing quick changes.

Download it here!

Branding trumps quality

I was listening to Bloomberg today (podcast) and part of the discussion went along the lines of "craftsmanship doesn't matter as much as the branding". The point was no one cared about the quality and focused on the "brand". This seems completely counter-intuitive. Quality of product and service will always be the most important feature for me!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Email Issue Solved (smtp transport event sink to the rescue)

I was asked to make a small modification to the emails sent out when a new user is registered for an application. In 99% of the cases, this is a simple task. However, I found the 1% that it's not.

This is a rather large legacy application which I have not attempted to recompile yet. Recompile you ask? To change an email? Yep, the text of the email was stuck right there in the code. So to make my minor change, I would have to tackle this and do a significant amount of testing.

So I decided to look for an alternative and stumbled upon the transport event sink in the SMTP server running in Windows 2000 Server. This feature will allow you to register a script to run before the email is actually sent.

How to register a transport event sink for the SMTP Service in Exchange 2000 Server

So I followed the instructions, wrote a little script to handle my changes and went on about my day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Assaf over at Labnotes has a great introduction to an interesting new DB. After searching around a bit more I found this to help get everything installed on my Mac. building and installing couchdb on osx.

I find this interesting because it appears to be highly flexible with respect to the data elements each table contains. Would certainly help in applications where users want to extend concepts with their own attributes.