Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My new employee isn't doing too well!

Well it has been almost two weeks now and for some reason, this past week, what I thought was a relatively quiet week on the homefront ended up being all because my server decided it was going to hang on to my mail instead of sending it. Problem was, it had a mind of its own on which mail it would send and which mail would stay behind in a queue! I believe I have purged the mailbox however I do regret that some of my mail did not get through. I have tried to retrace my steps and see if I could tell exactly which ones but that just seems pointless now since I have made duplicates and have sent more then once. In any case, if you are reading this and wondered why you never received an email response, then you were probably one of the unlucky ones.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

When is a friend not a friend?

I recently had a run-in with a friend, a very good friend, whom I admire greatly. It wasn't really a run-in, it was more like a misunderstanding of trust and feelings. I guess we do take our friends for granted as you feel pretty much at ease when you are with such friends. It is easy to forget that they too have feelings and this being said, it is quite common that one should always place themselves in the other persons shoes, before they speak and not after. Thing is, once you have said it, even if you didn't mean anything by it, it was said, which means you were thinking it. Now how do you get away with making it in to nothing more then a misunderstanding between two friends? I guess this is why we should "think before we speak", even if you are with friends! Too bad my friend didn't think that way. Now I am left with a big void, an area that I am not sure how to go back to without bringing up what caused that void in the first place. Isn't life grand!

I recently hired a new employee--kind of

Early on last week I took the plunge and added a new employee to my staff which currently consisted of myself. Now, it is me and my Microsoft Small Business Server. Even though they make it quite easy to set up and get things going, it isn't always quite that easy. Sure, if you already had a network architecture which involved a server based system, you might be able to get things going in the 15 minutes they say it takes right out of the box, but that wasn't quite the case for me. It was probably more like 20 minutes before I was communicating with my server, but that was thanks to one of my linksys WAP routers. I now have the exchange server working as well, but still tweaking things as I am now down to only 3 critical errors (started at over 100 when it couldn't find internet due to the routers DHCP server being stuck on. Kudos to Microsoft for making things quite simple out of the box. Unlike the SBS servers I was setting up over 5 years ago, using BackOffice , the better part of a day was spent just getting things patched.

Now it will be interesting to see how well I can implement this unit in to my business lifestyle.. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Is it time to change web browsers?

I woke up this morning to one more story/report from zdnet regarding saying goodbye to Internet Explorer, but as I read continued to read this cute anecdote it ended up with the same results.. more discussion about Mozilla's Firefox as the alternative.

Now I have talked about this before, offering my opinion of a few others, and certainly promoted the change to something other then Internet Explorer what with all these problems that are very much because of the browser the user has been using. So I always give a new program a try and then use it for a while, either until I just don't like it, or until I feel it is not the program I would use and then get rid of it. This is no exception with Mozilla's Firefox browser version 1.0 I have tried a few earlier beta versions and didn't quite understand all the hoopla over the "tabbed browser" features, especially when most of the other browsers offer this. Sure I like the "open source" issue so that security should not be a problem since the guru programmers should always be able to work around security issues that do arise as this web browser becomes more popular.

Popularity seems to be the key and to get that popularity it appears the more that is written about it, the more likely you are to download it and try it out. That is, so long as you read the reviews and feel it is worth a try, Being a consultant, I believe it is part of my job to try out all the different versions of software available to do the same thing, such as web browsing, or email or instant messaging. In any case, I have now downloaded and installed Firefox 1.0 which I have used for all of about 30 minutes, I believe I have tricked it out to the best of my ability with what I am given..Knowing that there will be scads of "plug-ins" that I will eventually find and also install. Now to me, this is not what I call a browser I am going to like. Why? Because I like to have most of my features of what I use in browsing at my fingertips. Maybe this is because I have actually already been spoiled with AVANT BROWSER. I have been using it pretty much as my main browser for over a year. Why? Because I too do not like to have to fight the security issues within the Internet Explorer, but faithfully continue to keep it on my task launch bar for things like webpage updates. You see, I use Microsoft Front Page for that and since the websites I work on all have front page extensions, it is very easy to browse to the page, click on the EDIT icon and viola, front page opens and I am ready to make changes. Also the fact that I need to try and stay on top of the changes, I pretty much need to be fluent with all the changes and problems Internet Explorer has since that is still the most widely used web browser.

But I guess that is slowly changing with Mozilla? I'm not sure why, because to be honest, after playing with it in only a short period of time, I am already missing key features, like my "links" bar, tabbed browser functionality (yes firefox has it, but it isn't quite the same as you would find with Avant).

I am not sure by AVANT is not getting the publicity it deserves because from the way I see things, it packs a lot more punch then Mozilla's latest browser right out of the box. It too deals with internet security by simply updating whenever there is a new version available, which seems to be ever few weeks. To me, that is peace of mind, when you can start your browser and have it tell you that there is a new version available and you click "OK" and it takes you to the download site, installs and has you back up and running with the newest version within usually less then a minute. So what is so good about mozilla and why is AVANT not raising more eyebrows? I guess because people just aren't talking about it.. So here I am, talking about it.. Pushing what I believe is the best browser to date, being Avant Browser. Yeah sure, if you want to get away from Internet Explorer, I suggest trying another browser, but do give it a fair trial period. Just because I have played with Mozilla's for 30 minutes and don't like it as much, I am not going to just quite using it. I will continue to try it out for about a month before deciding whether or not I will keep it around as a likely replacement in the big scheme of things. If that is the case, I will need to be up to date on issues so that I can repair them when the time comes. After all, that is part of my job.. To make sure my clients computers are running at top performance and to educate those that are willing to listen to me on the do's and dont's of the internet.

With the added security features of the Internet Explorer and the pop up features, it has given the Internet Explorer more life but I still do not find any browser that compares to Avant. But then, don't take my word on it alone, you must give these new browsers a fair trial. If you do like Avant however, I might suggest passing the word around to your friends, much like what is happening with the rumor mill on Mozilla's firefox.

In closing, one item of interest was the slogan I read from Mozilla as I was downloading the firefox. It read "the fastest browser on earth". Funny.. Because that has been and still is, Avant Browsers claim to fame. I guess this isn't a registered trade mark slogan which means it is up to you to decide just which is the fastest browser on Earth.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Personal Website Changes

Just a quick note to say that I have been updating my personal website. I have created links to my photo gallery which you might find interesting as well.

Stay tuned for more big changes to both here and at TPS CONSULTING.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

When is enough actually enough?

I am sure you have heard the expression "enough is enough". But what is that supposed to mean really? I believe when we say something like this, we are actually saying that we have had enough of whatever it is that you are referring to, but if you are saying that you have had enough of enough, doesn't that mean you are pretty much done with everything? Doesn't that mean you are giving up on everything? Did you not ever get told that you should never give up and always believe in what you are doing? But at what point do you say that you just can't do it anymore? When you look at such things as a Triathlon for example, you see these athletes (triathletes) swimming, biking and then running a physical marathon, not to mention mental marathon only to complete it. For no other reason will you ever see someone do such an event. You can ask them! Sure, the PRO-Triathletes are those that may do it for a living, or have found that they can make a living at this. But why? Because they enjoy doing it and they enjoy it so much that they have gotten good at it and as a result they are winning and for winning, they are usually paid, or at least given the chance to compete in the next triathlon, a larger one.

Living in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, I am blessed with many great things, other then where I live, but one of them is to witness the Ironman Triathlon each and every "last weekend of August". If you have never witnessed this sort of event, you truly must. When you see the determination in all of these people's eyes, you know they are serious and after about twelve hours on the course and you see they are still attempting to complete it, you truly know they are doing it so that they can say they did it. Isn't this pretty much what we are all doing in one way or another.. We are going through each day of our lives hoping that the next day will be even better then the last day. No matter what it is you are doing in life, you always think about the next day, whether it is because you are stressed and hope that things will be better for you "tomorrow" or simply enjoying the day at the beach, possibly on the last day of your holidays, you will be thinking of "tomorrow" and the fact that you are going to be back at work, where you would much rather NOT be.

So why is it that we all can't just find some job that we really enjoy doing, a job where we don't even think of it as a job, but a place for adventure and fun? Probably because we don't put enough "fun" in to the job in the first place. True, some jobs do not require much thinking, but it still requires that somebody does that job and it just so happens to be you, so why not try to enjoy it?

I live my life for tomorrow. Why then, when tomorrow arrives, is it no different then the day before? Now I have to wait for tomorrow .. Again..

This could get boring, constantly waiting for tomorrow.. Any way we can just push a button and it will be tomorrow? Maybe some day, but for now, we have to just keep on believing that the sun will rise and the birds will be singing and the air we breath allows us to keep breathing, and whatever it is we do in that day, we can be thinking of one thing for sure, that tomorrow never comes! It is only something we look to as a way of putting off what we didn't do today.

Maybe I"ll continue this blog when I have more to talk about .. Maybe I"ll just wait until tomorrow... and if you TRULY KNOW ME then you should know the deeper meaning behind this blog entry.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fahrenheit 911 and another 4 years?

I finally watched Fahrenheit 911 and could quite honestly see why the President of the United States is not happy. Problem is, this is journalism at its best and that is pretty hard to snuff completely, especially when it comes from Michael Moore, an already controversial Writer/Producer from Bowling for Columbine. I still don't know why I can't find anything about Michael Moore's latest movie on the Yahoo movie reviews but I do see why George W. was freaked out with the election coming up.

What I don't understand is how he still managed to get in for another 4 years. I mean okay sure, you are a republican and you wouldn't think of switching parties, especially if you don't like who the contender is. Regardless, I still do not understand why anyone wouldn't want to give another person a chance to redeem themselves as President, especially after what has happened in the past 4 years. Just because I am Canadian doesn't mean I don't care about what happens in the United States. I realize how much we need each other (Canada/USA). I just hope both leaders can manage to put the past 4 years behind them and move forward.

My vision for the world of tomorrow is when we may have countries but no borders between any of them anywhere in the world!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Spyware is everywhere, educate yourself

It truly has become the number one job that I deal with on a day to day basis. In fact, I believe it is probably most everyone's job at some point whether it be on a daily basis or less often, which is actually what I see (unfortunately).

With the latest report out from websites with newsletters that go out to possibly millions like this site from CNN.com. It is hopeful that more and more people will realize that it only takes a few minutes (a day) to keep yourself relatively clear of the spyware and problems. I say relatively because they (the hammers) are coming up with new stuff all the time. Do yourself a favour if you haven't already, and visit my TIPS as well as SOFTWARE/SUPPORT where you can download the latest in spyware protection with links to the appropriate websites.