Tag: Technology

Wired magazine discusses the See-Through CEO

April 9, 2007 Wired magazine has a very good article this month titled the See-Through CEO. Interestingly, two members of our technical team forwarded this article to me this morning. A few gems from the article: The new breed of naked executives also discover that once people are interested in you, they're interested in helping you out - by offering ideas, critiques, and extra brain cycles. Customers become working partners. Google is not a search engine. Google is a reputation-management system. Being transparent, opening up, posting interesting material frequently and often is the only way to amass positive links to yourself and thus to directly influence your Googleable reputation. Putting out more evasion or PR puffery won't work, because people will either ignore it and not link to it - or worse, pick the spin apart and enshrine those criticisms high on your…

Google Desktop vs Outlook 2007

March 27, 2007 Yesterday Scott asked me if Google Desktop Search (GDS) works with Outlook 2007. I just started using the new Outlook so I didn't know. Let's settle this with a screenshot: I did a search in Outlook 2007 and found 2 hits. The Google Desktop Search widget returned 47. Which would you find more useful?

Texting can be better than a phone call

Let's take a detour away from code for a bit. Don't worry I'll stick close to technology. Let's talk mobile phones. I enjoy sending text messages. Texting as all the cool kids say. We could call it what it is, a basic phone to phone instant message. In my opinion texting it is THE killer  communications app for great unwashed technophobic masses flittering here and there away from PCs, away from technology. People who are just being outsideliving their lives. The trouble is people age 25 and older usualy don't know how to do it. It is easy and T9 is your friend. I'll talk more about the how some other time but for now I'll stick to the why.   Most people have a mobile phone with them at all times. If I need to give you a piece of information the simplest most non-invasive way to…

Extending SuperEmailClerk.NET to call your own APIs

March 20, 2007  SuperEmailClerk.NET (SEC.NET), when running in API Invoke mode, will invoke requested APIs and return the results in a reply email. SEC.NET can be configured to execute API toolkits purchased from Dovetail Software, such as the ClearSupport toolkit, or custom-built APIs. This post will walk through creating a custom API in .NET that can be invoked by SEC.NET. The example will be a CreateAddress method. Even though there is an existing CreateAddress method in our Interfaces toolkit, we chose this as an example because it illustrates how to use the AdditionalFields property of the Toolkit Setup objects, which allows you to re-use our toolkits, but with an unlimited number of additional fields being set. Overview of the steps involved: Create a SecApiInvokeExample class with a CreateAddress method Create a SecApiInvokeExampleTests class for our tests Create the tags and subtags and add these to the…

Status Update: Yellow Dot, L, Up Arrow

February 16, 2007   This week I received a status dashboard report from the project manager of one of the customer projects that I'm working on.   One of the areas of the report was Key Open Issues and Risks. Seems like valid information to share. However the actual Status column of this Open Issues table completely baffles me. Take a look:         What does a status of Yellow Dot, L, Up Arrow mean? Or Red Dot, M, Down arrow ?   I'm sure this is some type of professional project management secret code, and I'm sure other PMPs may get it. But I'm on this project (I'm not a PMP by the way)  - and I have no idea what this means! I like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent guy, but this one completely baffles me. I would think, that in a status report, that the status might be…

Users don't *want* to RTFM

February 2, 2007 As I handle a good deal of the technical support calls around here, I'm constantly amazed at the questions that I get where the answers to these questions are in the documentation. My typical mantra has been: RTFM! I've been reading a lot lately on usability, especially in the realm of web applications. Influences include Steve Krug's book Don't Make Me Think, the 37signals book Getting Real, as well as the Creating Passionate Users blog. These readings have been causing me to rethink my mantra, and question my possibly old-school thinking that good documentation prevents support calls. The truth is that users don't want to read the docs - they just want to use the product. Well, that's not even entirely true - they want the product to just do its job, and get out of the way, so the user can…

Dell service tech: I've never heard those beeps before

January 24, 2007 We had one of our developer's workstations fail on startup this week. Upon powering on, it would emit a series of beeps, and then power down.We took note of the series of beeps: 4 beeps, pause, 4 beeps, pause, 4 beeps.A call into Dell support, explain the problem, and they say they've never heard of that sequence of beeps before, so they don't know what that means. The developer even put his cell phone up to the computer and powered the PC on, so that the phone support person could hear the beeps for himself. It was very comical to observe.The phone support person schedules an onsite technician for the next day, but lets us know that he'll only be bringing enough parts to get to the BIOS screen. Additional parts may be necessary beyond that, but he won't have them…
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