Friday, December 21, 2007

Favorite Podcasts

Monday, December 14, 2009

IT Conversations carried a recent panel discussion with Stephanie Hannon and Lars Rasmussen of the Google Wave development team.

This provides an interesting insight into where Wave is in its life cycle and contains a very candid response from Lars to a question from the floor about search capabilities.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

IT Conversations carried a recent interview with Sachin Agarwal and Garry Tan of Posterous.

Posterous is a very simple but powerful blogging platform. To get started, just e-mail anything to and it's posted. They even clean it up for you. For example, if there are multiple pictures, they setup a picture gallery!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A recent edition of Leo Leporte's FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) podcast featured Aaron Newcomb and David Brittle of Sun Microsystem's ZFS team.

ZFS is available in Solaris 10 and reportedly will be in Apple's OS X server edition.

According to the ZFS web page:

ZFS is a new kind of file system that provides simple administration, transactional semantics, end-to-end data integrity, and immense scalability. ZFS is not an incremental improvement to existing technology; it is a fundamentally new approach to data management. We've blown away 20 years of obsolete assumptions, eliminated complexity at the source, and created a storage system that's actually a pleasure to use.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

At the Emerging Communications Conference 2008, Jonathan Christensen, General Manager of audio and video at Skype, speaks about the development of IP communications over the past 10 years, giving a brief history of VoIP. He talks about its evolution from being a technology for geeks only, to a mainstream application, and concludes the talk by discussing the threats and opportunities for the IP communications industry.

Friday, April 25, 2008

History lessons from the master of the browser

Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and co-author of Mosaic, sits down with John Battelle, founder and chairman of Federated Media publishing at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Andreessen talks about his current social-networking site Ning, and the impact of Facebook apps and Google’s OpenSocial.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I always listen to Leo Laporte's podcast Security Now with Steve Gibson. The current edition covers the 2008 RSA Conference. The keynotes were recorded and are available as webcasts.

This one is John W. Thompson, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Symantec Corporation.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

This is a little different. This is the worst podcast I've ever listened to.

This is from IT Conversations. The speaker is Moshe Yudkowsky, President, Disaggregate.

His web page is here but you'll run away screaming before you get there.

Don't feel bad. It won't play for me either. Maybe IT Conversations has put it out of its misery.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This is from IT Conversations. The speaker is David Ulevitch, founder and CEO of is a free DNS alternative that claims better performance and phishing protection. We'll see.

His web page is here and his wikipedia page is here.


Friday, December 21, 2007

This is from The Register Semi-Coherent Computing. The speaker is Jim Barksdale. In the IT community, Jim is remembered as the CEO of Netscape during its wild ride. However, that was just one of his chapters.

I've known Jim since the early '60s. He was my older brother's big brother in Sigma Chi at Ole Miss. I worked for him at Federal Express in the '80s. The first time I was in a meeting with him, he stopped, looked at me and said "What are you doing here?" Obviously, I didn't use my connections to get that job!

His wikipedia page is here.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This is from TWiT. The speaker is Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt, the lunar module pilot on Apollo 17. Harrison Schmitt was the last man out of the lunar module and as such the last man to set his foot down on the surface of the moon. He took the picture known as "Blue Marble."

His wikipedia page is here.


Monday, October 29, 2007

This is from The Register. The speaker is Dave Patterson, Professor in Computer Science at UC Berkeley. He is one of the pioneers of both RISC and RAID. He was instrumental in the development of Sun's SPARC. The talk is not just retrospective but discusses the problems he sees in the future of computing.

His wikipedia page is here.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

This is from IT Conservations. The speaker is Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures speaking at the 2007 MySQL conference. His wikipedia page is here.


Friday, August 4, 2007

This is from TWiT.TV's series Security Now. The guest is Michael Vergara, Director of Account Protections at PayPal. He is speaking about PayPal's product PayPal Security Key. In it he refers to VeriSign's Identity Protection product (VIP).

VIP Authentication Service allows a business to easily issue and/or accept multiple credentials from each user. ... VIP Authentication Service includes a number of options for supplemental factors, including stand alone hardware devices such as One Time Password (OTP) tokens ...
Translated, this means that an RSA token can be used to authenticate with multiple organizations.


Friday, August 3, 2007

This is from IT Conversations' series Tech Nation. Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Greg Papadopolous, the Chief Technology Officer of Sun Microsystems. Sun is celebrating 25 years in the computer industry, and he describes the ups and downs.


Monday, June 25, 2007

This is Steve Wozniak speaking at Google. It's an hour long so get in a comfortable chair. A lot of this is from his book iWoz.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This is from TWiT.TV's series Security Now. The guest is Marc Maiffret of eEye Digital Security. He is speaking about eEye's product Blink Personal Edition.


Monday, April 30, 2007

This is from IT Conversations' series Tech Nation. The speaker is Christopher Jones, Director for Solar System Exploration, NASA. He is speaking about the astronauts stuck on the Space Station after the shuttle Columbia crashed on re-entry.


Friday, April 27, 2007

This is from IT Conversations' series Technometria: Virtualization. The speaker is Bogomil Balkansky, Director of Product Marketing, VMware. I thought it was interesting as he spoke about the penetration of virtualization into data centers and particularly the emergence of virtual appliances.


My intent is to make this a collection of podcasts that interest me (and hopefully you). I have put a link in the column to the right for easy access.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I was in a meeting at work this week and one of my co-workers complained that our company had blocked She said she had a blog there.

I googled her name and found her blog. She's artsy and on it she had a little Flash app from

I went there and got to playing with it.

Here's what it does.

Isn't that cool! Play with it some. Click the buttons. See what it does.

Of course, it's FREE!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Skinning My Mio C320

As I wrote about earlier, I got a Mio DigiWalker C320 GPS at RadioShack on Black Friday.

It's worked real well but I always like to play with things.

The Mio forums are full of threads on skinning various Mios.

I tried to talk myself out of it for a while but I finally found a "must have" feature only available by skinning. Mio normally offers 3 routing options, Fastest, Economical, and Shortest. Most of the skins offer a 4th option of Easy. I wasn't sure what that meant but I had to have it.

The GpsPasSion forums are rich with help on Mios but they are impossible to navigate. I had found a skin submitted by user phi38. Here's a link to it.

Unfortunately, many of the skins are built on top of a Belgian update. When you start MioMap with this skin, you'll get the following error:
FFUIERROR: Unknown command
Script [sc_detectSKU] at tick 0
To correct this is tricky.

Extract the .zip file into a folder. Go to \mio\480_272\ui\default_setup.ui and open it with Notepad. Find the line "HAS_AUS_MAP vIsAUSSKU" and comment it by putting a semicolon in the first column. Save it back and rezip this folder.

To change the skin on a Mio, all you have to do is connect it to your PC via a standard USB cable. It will then appear as a USB drive to Windows. By the way, if you have an SD card in the Mio, you'll also see that as a separate drive.

After you can see the flash drive, rename \miomap\miomap\ to something else, e.g. Then just copy the skin .zip file to the \miomap\miomap\ on the flash drive and rename it to

That's it. Restart MioMap and you'll have your new skin.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Office 2007 File Sizes

My company is planning to implement Office 2007 soon. One of the things I wonder about is the sizes of the various file formats. PowerPoint 2007 will create the legacy .ppt file format as well as the new .pptx file format.

I also get a lot of questions about PDF tools and have performed some PDF file size tests at home.

Today I had a moderate sized PowerPoint deck. It had some graphics in the template and lots of text boxes and maybe a table or two but no SmartArt or animation. It was less than 10 slides.

I had created it as a .pptx file. As I prepared to share it, I saved it as a PDF using Adobe Acrobat 6.0 (I know that's old but it still works). Then getting a wild hair, I also saved it as .ppt and Microsoft's .mdi and .xps formats.

.mdi is a "high resolution, tag-based graphics format. .MDI files are only supported by the Microsoft Office 2003 version."

.xps is Microsoft's new "XML Paper Specification." The wikipedia explanation is here.

Here're the results:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Linux Desktop - Part 2

More than a year ago, I tried to build a Linux ThinkPad 600E without much luck. Here I go again.

I used a 366MHz ThinkPad 600E with 288MB of memory and a 10GB hard drive.

Since I planned to give this to an elementary student, I started with gOS thinking that it would be simple for him to use. It wouldn't boot at all. Eventually, I pressed ESC and got into the line mode and entered some cryptic commands about ACPI. It set at "Loading /casper/vmlinuz..." for over an hour and then hung on the next line. Can't remember what it was and don't want to wait an hour to recreate!

I found this blog entry that promised to walk you through the install of ubuntu on a 600E.

I picked xubuntu and downloaded and burned another CD.

It booted as a live CD and I went through the install. So far so good! Maybe I'd turned the corner.

Then I tried to enable the wireless card to connect to my WPA network. This forum post pretty well describes my next disaster. It's still dead.

I had less problems with Vista.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thanks, Microsoft

The December Microsoft patches held a special surprise for Windows XP SP2 users of Internet Explorer 6.

One of the Critical fixes was KB942615. It appears that this was packaged without the registry addition added in KB942367. Here's a thread from Microsoft's Internet Explorer newsgroup describing it. Here's a Microsoft engineer's comments.

Without this, IE6 crashes sporadically, especially when opening gmail. One comment suggested that it was triggered by pages which validate their login with https:// before the page proceeds to load normally with http://.

Here's a link to a zip file that contains the registry hack from KB942367.

You don't even have to restart your PC. Just close all the copies of IE6 before you apply the registry hack.