Feb 102009

Watch D.O.G.S.

Yesterday for the third year in a row I was a Watch Dog at my sons elementary school.

If you never heard of this program I encourage you to check out their web site. Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) is an organization that was started by Jim Moore in response to the 1998 middle school shooting in Jonesboro, AR. It’s an initiative of the National Center for Fathering and the program goal is:

To help every school in America be positively influenced by the committed involvement of fathers and father figures in lives of their children and students.

As always the administration at my sons school was great. They had my schedule for the day waiting at the front desk when I arrived in the morning. The day was full of attending classes and helping students with various tasks. Everything from reading, spelling test and helping special needs students with getting paper that needed recycling. I also helped in the cafeteria during lunch hour.

I make sure that my Watch Dogs day is on the same day as my sons birthday. That way I know what day I’m suppose to be there and my son loves having his “pappa” there that day. They make sure you have at least part of your day in your child’s class room.

It is very fulfilling to take a day and do this every year. Everybody at the school are so appreciative to you all day. The students, teachers and other personnel at the school love you being there, and they tell you all day.

I encourage you to try this out. Talk to your kids school administration to influence them to add this program if they don’t already have it. I promise, it’s worth it.

Jan 282009

So I have had my two newest gadgets for a couple of months now and I wanted to write my review of them both.

BlackBerry Bold

I got my BlackBerry Bold in early December and I could not be happier. I LOVE the screen resolution on it and I can easy watch movies while I’m on a plane or going on a longer car ride (when I’m not driving of course). It has the same resolution as the iPhone but I think it is much sharper on the Bold.

The browser on the Bold is much improved over the 8700c I used to have. I can browse everywhere and actually see the page, zoom in and click links.

There are a lot of great software out there for the BlackBerry, and I have tried many of them. Some of my favorites include:

  • AT&T Navigator
    Wouldn’t leave home without it.
  • Audible
    I love listen to audio books.
  • Google Maps
    The GPS feature built in makes it really cool to watch the icon move while I’m walking around my house.
  • Facebook
    Great to catch up on peoples status.
  • BlackBerry Messenger
    We use this at SNAPPS all the time, especially at conferences abroad.
  • SlingPlayer Mobile
    It’s great to be able to watch my TV stations at home, included recorded shows.
  • TwitterBerry
    To set my Twitter status.
  • vlingo
    This is probably the coolest one of them all. I can call contacts, dial numbers, set my status on Twitter and Facebook, create tasks and email my contacts by just speaking to my BlackBerry. Try it out, it’s free.

I can’t say enough positive things about my Bold and the only negative would be it’s battery life. I never get more than 1.5-2 days out of it. It does not bother me much since I can charge it in my car, through AC/DC or through my computers USB port.

Macbook Pro

Where to start? I guess from the beginning. I started my professional career in computer graphics back in Sweden many years ago. That was obviously on a Mac. They still are the leader in the graphics, desktop publishing and movie department. After a few years I slowly moved towards Windows based PCs, mainly because of of HTML work but also because of Lotus Notes/Domino. It was just easier to code on a “PC” because everybody else was on one. I have owned many PCs over the years and loved most of them. Then a little over a year ago Rob Novak, got himself a Macbook Pro and I’ve been jealous ever since.

Right before Christmas, in the middle of coding for our Lotusphere sessions, Rob surprised me by taking me to the Apple store and getting me a Macbook Pro. My co-workers definitely know, by me constantly talking about it, I LOVE THIS MAC. It’s small and light, have a great battery time and is just beautiful. I can’t get this thing to slow down either. I usually have quite a few programs running; Lotus Notes with Sametime, Ecplipse with Aptana, Firefox, iTunes, Skype and VMware Fusion running a Windows XP guest that has both Domino Designer and a Domino Server running. They all just run without any delay or waiting. The few times I have turned the Mac completely off I can start all those programs at the same time without much more delay than waiting for them to start one at a time. Do I like it? Yes I do.

Jul 212008

Liz & Rob Novak

Today is SNAPPS president Rob Novak’s birthday. Rocky Oliver created a post where you can write a limerick for him.

Here is my contribution:

A man named Rob was a vegetarian
He was eaten for lunch by a librarian
Said the woman, “Hello!
You’d be tastier, for sure
If you had been salted and septuagenarian!”

Happy birthday Rob.

Apr 182008

I ran across Twubble today. If you like/can’t live without Twitter this is a great tool/website to find your Twitter friends’ friends. It’s written by Bob Lee that works at Google.

If you use Twitter, Twubble can look at your existing friends’ friends and recommend new people for you to follow. It’s a stupid simple idea, but I think the execution and fun factor have won people over.

I wrote Twubble in a couple nights of hacking in bed after the kid went to sleep. I used the latest Google Web Toolkit milestone which supports Java 5 (flawlessly from my experience). I was writing Javascript code (server and client side) for years before I ever got into Java, but I have to say, you’d be crazy to write AJAX apps any other way than GWT nowadays.

Try it out. It’s amazing how many friends you can find by having this tool examining your friends.

Apr 082008

Last night in a very exciting game, Kansas University Jayhawks won the first NCAA basketball championship in 20 years. They came back to tie the game after being down 9 points with only 2 minutes left of the game. In overtime the Memphis Tigers had no chance of stopping KU from winning with the final score 75-68. Lawrence, KS (only 25 minutes from SNAPPS office) went crazy last night and all classes are canceled at the University today. The fans is expecting the team home today at 3 PM.

Congratulations to the Jayhawks for an unbelievable year and your championship. Now I’m off to watch KC Royals home opener.

Feb 052008

As many out there including Adam Gartenberg I have created my own album cover. The instructions are:

  1. Go to Wikipedia’s random article page. The first article you get is the name of your band.
  2. Go to the Random Quotations page. The last four words of the last quote is the album title.
  3. Go to Flickr’s Interesting photo page. Third picture, no matter what it is, is your album cover.
  4. Put it all together to make your album. Either crop it to CD cover size, or just use the raw image itself … the only rule is you’re only allowed to add the album title and artist title.

My random Wikipedia article landed on Battista Dossi, an Italian painter. A great name for a band I think.
My random quote was by L. M. Montgomer, a Canadian novelist that wrote this in 1915:

Anyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn’t can never know what it is. So there is no need of defining it.

My Flickr photo is taken by ©dinamarie originals. A beautiful photo I now have destroyed by adding my band name and album title.

I hope you like it.

Jan 182008

Rob Novak has created a Lotusphere Keynote Bingo card!

As the Keynote (Opening General Session or OGS in Lotusphere land) progresses, you simply check off the items that really do happen. If you find yourself in the lucky position of having a straight line of five, simply yell out “BINGO!”.

You can download the PDF from his site.

Oct 092007

From Rob Novak’s blog, his original posting can be found here.

So – to recap – we found a massive, hairy, evil monster that can cause pain and most definitely fear in most human beings, especially around the office. So naturally, we named it SharePoint. Here is an actual photo of the beast, taken just this weekend.

Sadly this week, we’re going to kick SharePoint out. Turns out it’s too expensive to keep feeding it, and it really needs a bigger box (probably more than one) and more attention than anybody originally thought. It keeps getting bigger and bigger, and we’re honestly getting more afraid of it every day.

We have a lot of fun at SNAPPS.

Sep 202007

Warren and Kitty Elsmore, Troy Reimer, Rob Novak and I had the opportunity to visit one of London’s great buildings Tuesday. The Gherkin, as it’s also called after it’s pickle shape, is London’s sixth tallest building with 590 ft (180 m). It’s located in the City of London in the main financial district. The building was designed by Lord Foster and Ken Shuttleworth and constructed by Skanska of Sweden 2001-2004.

The building is closed to the public but we got to visit the building through Matt White who works as a consultant in the building. We had drinks at the very top of the building that overlooks London with spectacular views. You can see for your self.