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Review –

So I’ve been a consumer for a long time. Lately I find myself going to Amazon (except for other searches – then I am going to Bing 99% of the time – only been to Google once in the past 4 months) a lot.

  • What does customer service mean? Once upon a time it meant the customer was always right. has the easiest and frankly best return solution I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve returned two things to them, ever. Each time the process was smooth and frankly endeared Amazon to me, even more.
  • Selection, wow here is where Amazon shines. Of course the search can be painful at times, but that is as much my issue as theirs.
  • Speed of shipping, its nice to control that. The email notifications are also very nice.
  • Email notifications of things (games and movies in particular) that I might be interested.
  • The “customers who bought this also bought this” banner can be a great tool (or a pain).

I find myself more loyal to Amazon now than I was 2 years ago. That loyalty continues to grow. I may even stop going to Best Buy soon. It simply is so much easier to shop in your Pj’s.



Wilson Cellular Vehicle Antenna (review)

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Review – and discussion on cellular boosters

I bought the portable Wilson Cellular Antenna booster for both cars about 5 months ago. I’ve had one in the house for awhile (we live out of the city so reception isn’t always the best) and a portable one from Wilson before (that is now the basement antenna). So I was intrigued by the new antennas and decided to pick two up.

  • I have seen a consistent 20-25% increase in overall cellular reception with both windows mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7
  • I have fewer dropped calls (although the last one I had was actually with T-Mobile which kind of makes me laugh now).
  • Data connectivity is much stronger (but how much of that is Windows Phone 7?)


  • Easy and simple
  • unbox, place charger in the cigarette lighter
  • Run antenna to outside your car
  • Plug unit in
  • Watch for green light
  • start talking!


It connects to the cellular antenna and broadcasts that in your car so the usage is simple and easy. For the home – it covers about 1200 square feet effectively and I highly recommend the internal antenna which has boosted our signal significantly.

All in all the two different Wilson boosters I have are a great addition if you have weak cellular signals at home or travel in the car a lot.


What does it mean to read someone’s blog?

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Long day yesterday (5 am GMT – to 9:30 pm EST so figure roughly 21 hours in a row with limited sleep.)

I am up and running today but I can feel the jet lag.

From the nearly 1700 blogs I’ve written I have managed to talk about everything that came to me when I was thinking about what to say. I have presented concepts and ideas that burst forth from my brain (some of which are pretty scary). I have reviewed products, I have commented on the thoughts and ideas of others.

I’ve talked about jet lag and listening. Politics and places, things and objects and people. Its interesting (I reviewed a few of my blogs last week in London for inspiration – it was a long week).

I’ve had 32 emails/comments saying how do you post everyday. (well sometimes you post about posting)…

I’ve had over 250 comments.

Each comment is a pearl that both reflects and refracts what I am talking about – all of them precious to me.

I am honored that my daughter reads my blog.
I am honored by each person that reads my thoughts and ideas. There are many people that touch me via my blog and that means something to me. People sometimes come up to me as say I read your blog. It is truly a gift from you to me, thank you.

Time to take a break.



Change is in the air

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Today is the first day of the electronic revolution. Electronic or E-books sold more than regular paperback books last quarter. It is the first day of the new world order Smile

Not being a snot or anything, I suspect most pundits and critics saw a time when this would happen. E-Books have been growing quarter after quarter and everything else has been shrinking.

Many people have the ebook readers now (I’ve tried the Kindle and the Nook (software only) and find them easy to use and carry with you.

But now its official.

So what is the next gadget that will replace something physical? It is my assumption that newspapers and magazines will be assimilated into the e-book craze. So its not that, I wonder what the next great change is going to be.

It is so wonderful to live in interesting times!



Is the reality of the media age created, intentional or perhaps too much?

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The media lens…

I have been thinking about a couple of things lately (Private Cloud and I am sure that one will come up again) and the concept of the media.

When I was a kid I suspect professional athlete’s did some level of the drugs that athlete’s of today do now. I say this so as to allay some concerns about my idealizing the world of 30 years ago. I do not in fact idolize that time.

But I do wonder if perhaps the media lens we’ve turned on those athlete’s (and politicians/actors etc.) may be a bit too much. I can’t help thinking about the number of mistakes I would make if camera’s followed me virtually everywhere.

There is a horrible feeling of why me, why now sometimes that we get in life when we run into someone we really aren’t prepared to run into. Imagine having to live in a glass house where in fact you are going to run into that person, EVERY DAY. Possibly running into that person 10-12 or more times that day.

I guess I have come to the conclusion that the lens should perhaps turn upon itself for a time to evaluate itself. That any news agency publishing information about others, should also openly publish information about its own failures, following its own employees home and catching them unaware as they wander out of the house in the morning to get the newspaper.

The lens is a little tight guys – time to loosen up!



A few architecture random thoughts

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A few random architecture thoughts:

  • We need a pattern’s podcast that focuses on a pattern each week and takes a deep dive into its use and process. Call it architects on architects.
  • How about a pattern’s blog focused on the use and reuse of patterns and the IP around them
  • I would love a functionality roadmap tool – integrating some of the value add of MindManager from Mindjet, but allowing for greater linkage within functionality. IE to do this you need this and this in place and operating first.
  • A tool built to take requirements and map them through the entire architecture as a stand along application you can use. The end state of this tool would be a traceability matrix.

Some of this stuff exists somewhere and I have just not run across it, but the beauty of random thoughts is well they are random.


To cloud or not to cloud is not even the question :-)

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I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the concept of “private cloud” lately. The concept is often presented as “rip” your current solution out as is and dump it into a data center managed by another organization.


  • Increased operational efficiency (the team now managing your solution in theory manages many other solutions and has a broader view)
  • Decreased cost over time
  • First step towards “cloud” enabling your business

The problem is the last bullet, that it is the first step towards cloud enabling your business.

That is the debate that I have been having with myself for more than 6 months now. I have come to the conclusion that the first two are very good reasons but the third is actually weak.

I believe that in fact a Private Cloud “porting” I won’t call it a migration will in fact delay the “Cloud” enabling of an application set rather than enable it.

That is my initial thinking, more coming!



Creating a traveling office

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Over the years I have traveled so much that I’ve had to spend time thinking about how do you make traveling easier. What devices do you have to have for easier travel?

Top Devices:

  • Netbook
  • MP3 Player
  • Video Camera to call home
  • Laptop
  • Sling Device
  • Cradle point Wi-FI router
  • Portable scanner and printer
  • Smart Phone

Top Software Packages

  • Connectify (instant hotspot) with a windows 7 laptop!
  • Office 2010 (productivity)


Its amazing how long the list really is (and in the end how much stuff you still have to carry with you (or maybe that is just me). The amount of gear you have to carry is less now than it was, but there are a number of things you need for comfort when traveling for more than a week!


On the way out of town

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Is there a worse for you (but taste good food) then McDonald’s hash browns?

I will be traveling during the game today – so GO BEARS!

When I travel – I remember how much I love the Kindle! Its really nice to have 8 or more hours of entertainment options so that I am not stuck watching whatever movie they provide for the flight.

The other thing however about traveling is leaving home.

Lots of things to figure out.

So adieu for now…



Some solution thinking

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I am right.

It is an interesting phrase when you think about it. Everyone is right at times. No one can be wrong all the time. But how many conversations do we enable with the “I’m right” polka. A dance that when you think about it really isn’t very effective at all. Yet we do this all the time…

I had a manager once who loved one of the team. No matter how nasty that person was the manager felt they could do no wrong. The rest of the team just pulled away which is what happens when you allow the I’m right polka to happen on a team. That person struggled when they moved to another manager because they were no longer always right. To steal from American Bandstand – “I like, like the I’m right polka. Its fresh and the beat is easy to dance to. I give it a 74.”

Its an easy trap to fall into.

I suffer from the I’m right polka frequently just like most of the people I know (which is probably because we all suffer from I’m rightitis anyway). It isn’t an easy to solve problem but something that takes time and care. So I wonder what the options are for this problem.

  • Pick the hill you want to die on (the you can’t always be right option). My grandfather used to always say to me “is this the hill you want to die on.” This was his way of saying “look before you leap).
  • Is there a value in being right? If there is, be right, but be aware.
  • Give the other person a way out with dignity.
  • Find the connection between you and the idea that is causing you to need to be right

There are times when it is ok to be right. The question is should you ever do the “I’m Right”polka. If you answer every question with because does it matter if you are right?

It’s a process –