Happy Holidays!

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11 Must-Dos for the serious blogger

I got this pointed to me by a colleague on LinkedIn, very good stuff and a must read for bloggers. Now if I could only get an editor or software that fixes my grammar and spelling!  I would have to add “getting involved in a community” to the list.  The fact that places like Planet Lotus and Planet Eclipse exist help my readership greatly and also give readers a place to get more information about a specific topic.

My iPhone saved me almost $60 yesterday!

I went to Herb Phillipsons to buy this jacket and it was $199.  I used my iPhone and the application called RedLaser to see if I could get the jacket cheaper on the internet.  Sure as heck, most of the sites on the internet sold it for the same price but there was one site, BackCountry.com, that had it for $159!  With the Oneida county tax the jacket at Herbs would have been close to $220.  The order on BackCountry totalled $159.16 and will be here in 7-14 days.  I just got an email saying my order has shipped.

What office suite does your kids school use?

I sent an email to our local technology director asking what software the district uses for email and office documents;  I was surprised to here they use GroupWise and not so surprised they use Microsoft Office.  But then I started thinking about this, they are paying for the use of this software!  I am paying for them to use this software through my taxes.  I guess the email can be many options but there are so many services out there that are dirt cheap I don’t know why they would choose GroupWise – I need to dig a little further on that one.

As for Microsoft Office – I see no need for a school district to pay for an Office suite when free products like Lotus Symphony (which is based on Eclipse) and Open Office are available.  Microsoft probably gives schools very cheap licensing but I am sure (but not totally sure) it is not free.

Then I started thinking about the different sites my school district uses to communicate between parents and teachers, they have basically created a “community” online but it is based on 1999 technology.  How cool would it be if something like Lotus Live was used for it?  I don’t know the details around the licensing of Lotus Live but I think this kind of stuff would be a good business opportunity for business partners to go and implement these kinds of vertical communities.

There is an issue though – someone needs to get this idea out there and sell it.  I don’t think the education sector (at the high school level and lower) know too much about these areas.  One way is to educate politicians and have them get the message spread to the various school boards – is this an opportunity for change?

Facebook has Easter Eggs!

From my buddy Mark:

“Go to any Facebook page and click once in a white area just to get a blank timeline to do this with. Press up arrow, up arrow, down arrow, down arrow, left arrow, right arrow, left arrow, right arrow, B, A, then the Return key. If you left-click or right-click, scroll or push any keyboard key after that, a strange shining set of circular rings will appear on your screen.”

fb-eastereggs


Randall C. Kennedy: Why I hate Microsoft Office 2010

This article is a very interesting read.  “Office 2010 is clunky” – that is not a good start for an evaluation.  Randall continues the article with comparisons to Outlook and Office 2007 – makes you wonder if MS did any kind of performance modeling against previous releases? He ends with a brief description of the “Back Stage” feature and how it causes pain because it is not consistent from option to option.

“The idea well has finally run dry in Redmond. Maybe they can borrow a cup or two from their contemporaries down in Cupertino.”

Automating SWT based applications with SWTBot

Many Lotus customers (and Lotus itself) use Rational Functional Tester(RFT) and in many ways RFT does a great job and in many ways it can be just too much for what you need to do.  If you want to integrate UI testing into your unit testing you might want to check out SWTBot.  I have recently started looking at SWTBot with a serious eye.  I plan on playing around with it for our own team use and I also have some team members looking into it to automate their areas.  I would like to get some feedback from the blogosphere and find out if anyone has actually used this or has integrated it into their ant scripts.  The site has a lot of good pages and articles to get you started running pretty quickly.  I think since its Java/Eclipse based it plays well into the “test driven development” model many companies are moving towards and should feel so daunting to a developer.