My current employer uses Adobe software to print PDFs from a number of programs, Visio, Project, Word and Excel are prime examples. In a valiant attempt to avoid giving Adobe more money we decided to have a look elsewhere and see what was available for Windows users. It didn’t take long to notice OpenOffice, it has document compatibility with Word and Excel and integrated PDF printing; it’s just not very good. Read on →

Firstly I’m going to disclose the fact I have a Mac, it’s an old G3 iBook which has three very important features, it’s got good battery life, weighs very little and has easy to install and use wireless. This is what I call my convention computer and it gets taken to all the tech events I attend; but thats about it. I had a discussion with a couple of GLLUG members this weekend about laptops and the fact soon emerged that I’m not exactly fluent with the Macs GUI. Read on →

I’ve just finished reading You Need to Be a Little Crazy, a book that puts the life and day to day activities of an entrepreneur under the magnifying glass. The book is a pretty balanced look at the type of people that set up a company under normal circumstances (not a bubble), the down-sides and potential risks are mentioned to deter the casual and uncommitted members of the audience while the author conveys the reasons he enjoys the challenge and tries again and again; even when everything goes wrong. Read on →

For the last year or so I’ve been offering access to a set of RSS feeds for Packetstorm Security, these feeds scrape the latest exploits, files and other similar web-pages. While they were originally for my own benefit they became quite popular and they have a good few hundred people watching them. Unfortunately due to the fact the data is screen scraped from the HTML the feeds have proven to be an annoyance to me whenever the site changed its layout, which wasn’t often enough for me to ditch them but it was often enough to lose me a couple of Friday nights, firstly I’d like to say thanks to all the people that emailed me letting me know they liked them and wanted them fixed and working. Read on →

Crossing the chasm is possibly THE book to read on marketing and selling in tech start ups, I’ve done three of them and it gets really disturbing to sit in the office and say “Oh no, we’re entering chapter two.”; it really is that insightful. One of the basic premises from the book is that technical adoption follows a pattern, firstly you get innovators and early adopters. These are followed by the pragmatists, the conservatives and eventually the luddites. Read on →

I recently re-read the very interesting slides from the How To Keep Your Job presentation, if you’ve never seen them and you work in a technology field then I suggest you spend some quality time with them, they might just save your salary in years to come. I spent a good few years working in an investment bank so this approach sits well with my view of the world, the whole investment and portfolio analogy seems very apt. Read on →

The aim is to, at the least, achieve all these goals. The time allocated is from September 1st 2004 to August 31st 2005. Update: I’ve closed my 2004-2005 PiP early and I’m pretty happy with where it is. I’ll put a newer one up soon. Note: This page is actually getting a surprisingly high amount of traffic so I thought I should add some comments and an attribution. The original idea for a Pragmatic Investment Plan comes from Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt, the Pragmatic Programmers, to be specific the very interesting slides from the How To Keep Your Job presentation, if you’ve never seen them and you work in a technology field then I suggest you spend some quality time with them, they might just save your salary in years to come. Read on →

Just don’t expect to get new customers when your registration process makes US immegration look open and friendly. I was recently looking for a piece of software to handle WSDL generation from Java source code, I had no current long term need for the software, I just needed to see how well the technology worked these days and have a look at a real world example. Now put your business hat on, I’m not currently a sales prospect but if the product does what I want then there is a pretty good chance I’ll come back to you if I ever need it. Read on →

I’ve spent the last few days looking at document management systems, versioning and work-flow applications, while I’m happy enough putting my own scribbles under CVS (I’ve not yet drunk from the Subversion Koolaid) a number of my less techy co-workers need a solution that fits them better. After some digging around I started to eval WebDAV, it’s used by Apple for shared calendaring, MS Word has WebDAV support and there was an Apache module; very promising. Read on →

There are rumblings about Sendmail and it’s future distribution, both it’s involvement in the IETF and Microsoft circus known as Sender-ID and it’s own new license are topics worthy of discussion and attention, a brief collection of useful links can be found at the OpenBSD Journal. I normally don’t get involved in subjects like this until it’s community rallying time (such as European Patents) but I have a vested interest in this one, I’d like to see Sendmail make itself expensive, propriety and (even more) difficult to distribute. Read on →