e-TECH 2.0

Beginning the Journey

FareWell!!!

Well, I finally did it. I bought my own domain, and a host so I can run my own blog. One thing I am really going to miss though is this

Andreas04 1.0 by Andreas Viklund

Template that I have been using. Unfortuneatly when you decide to go out on your own, and continue to use the free WordPress software, there are some things you give up in liu of functionality. Kewl thing is that I can modify code now, and do some server-side scripting on my site. My own special message, PLEASE! Mr. Viklund, let us have this template!!! I love it.

Oh, incidentally, the person I am hosting with has got an increadible deal going right now….

In addition to getting my OWN domain name, and website, they have an amazing tool called c-Panel which allows you to install and run a WordPress blog from your own website. You only have to click on a couple of things, and BOOM! you are back in business. Another great thing about c-Panel is that it gives you a choice of 4 different blogging platforms, several course management systems, and even DRUPLE! There is alot in this nice little package. The rates are amazinly low, and you can do multiple domains, unlimited subdomains, unlimited e-mails, the works! Man those Peregrine boys know how to make it happen!

So if you are ready to take the next step in your personally blogging world, call my new friends; Drew or Jordan over at Peregrine Hosting.

By the way I won't be updating this site anylonger, but you can see me over at my new home.

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May 3, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Yahoo Invades

For those of you out there who use Skype, will find some competition now in the form of the largest bloat-ware corporation in the business. Yahoo is now robbing from Skype its online presence. Yahoo and MSN has been providing crappy pc-to-pc calls for years. Those of you who do not know what I am talking about, try Skype, you will never go back. I do all my calling with Skype, because it is TRUE VOIP Technology. Not that crappy stuff MSN and Yahoo try to pass off.

In anycase, Skype started the whole revolution and is a TRUE Web 2.0 company. I dont particularly calssify Google, Yahoo and MSN as TRUE Web 2.0 becuase its all proprietary and commercial. In anycase, thats just my dogmatism speaking. Skype has something called 'Sype-Out' that allows you to call a telephone from your PC for less than 0.02 cents per minute,,,or maybe I'm wrong about that. But they have been doing it for some time, years even. Yahoo is just now jumping on the bandwagon with their,,,guess what its called,,,,,you got it, 'Phone-Out'. Can you believe it? They couldn't even be creative and make up their own name. Talk about stealing someone elses online presecence and diluting it. As a person with an acutal marketing degree, I think the Yahoo marketers are extremely un-ethical with this approach, and my already low opinion of them, has just dropped even lower. Too bad I love flickr to much, it appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds. 😉

For those of you who want REAL awesome quality pc-pc free phone connections;

Call me!

(ACtually forget the button, no server-side scripting with a wordpress hosted blog. 😦 )

April 27, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The New Stuff

An unhappy Office Live customer by ZDNet's Richard MacManus — Recently a customer of Microsoft Office Live contacted me with some concerns. Tim MacKay of Medical Technology Associates wrote of his Office Live experiences: "Eight weeks ago I received my beta invitation. At that time I initiated my domain transfer to MS Live. Now, eight weeks later my […]

Hey! They don't call it the 'Bleeding Edge' for nothing! In Learning 2.0 and other directives with integrating technology with academic course offerings it can be tempting to jump in and make drastic changes to your existing systems or business rules. As an early-adopter, I am use to these little set-backs. Consider my first attempt at creating my own blog server on my home system. I knew that periodically my internet provider would change my IP address from time to time. Hence the word 'Dynamic IP's'. But I really did not thing this would be a problem, until my IP actually changed.

It seems that when setting up the WordPress system I did not direct sites 'relatively' and did an absolute model. Many of you may not understand this, but what it basically means is that I inadvertently set up my WordPress system on the IP address I had at the time, so when my IP changed, my system could not find any of the stuff that I had put into it. Lets just say, I gave WordPress a bad map to all my vital information. So, when the map changed, WordPress 'blew-up'.

Now because of this I made an executive decision to host my blogs with WordPress until such a time that I can afford a commercial server from which to start hosting my blog again. Just like the guy with his Microsoft Live experience, bad things can, and often do, when you are on the 'bleeding edge' of technology. But here is the problem with new technologies.

  1. In order for new technologies to be adequately tested there must be a REAL LIVE work in progress. This is called a 'production model'. Its where a company decides a technology has enough merit to make a full scale decision to implement it into their current system. This can be extremely scary but it really has to be done. Yes, yes, we can run test, after test, after test, but in all due honesty we really don't know how the production model is going to perform until is used in a live systems, with real users, and real internet connections. Sure, that new 'Meeting' software looks great, but when they tell you 'Its designed for dial-up', well, maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. You really won't know until you test it with real students, real instructurs, in a real course.
  2. In order for business to progress, and get better. In order for classes, and teacher/student association improve technologically, you need new STABLE software offerings. But to revisit #1 you can't have stable offerings unless the offerings have been tested. So it turns into a kind of 'chicken-before-the-egg' sort of situation.

Now, I empathize with Tim Mackay, and I even understand to some degree his situation, however it's these kinds experiences that are required. Now, in addition to this, what the industry needs is understanding and empathetic knowldege workers. It's this that the technology field tends to be a little, (how shall we say,,,lacking?) not only should the appropriate representatives be understanding, but they should also be knowledgeable, which is what appears to be happening on the MS LIVE project. Not only are the people responsible ignorant of his problem, but they are trying to shirk all responsiblility. This is typical however, one hand pointing at the other. But, when you make a bold move like this, you can bet there will indeed be hiccups along the way.

So, what is the point here? Well, I'm glad you asked. The point is, "Don't Worry Be Happy!". Hiccups and ultimate disasters are inevitable in the Technological world, so we just grin, and try to deal with them the best we can. Of course combine this with moral responsibility, empathy, and more patience than Job, and you will be in great shape!

Happy testing!

April 25, 2006 Posted by | Main | Leave a comment

Deep Thoughts at the Coffee House

Ok, so maybe I didnt plan this surprise trip very well at all. Its a three hour trip to go hang with my friend in Tulsa. But as far as he knows I am showing up tommorrow around 12:00pm in the afternoon sometime. Not being present at the time of my arrival I hang out in the front of his house for awhile, but then it becomes very apparant that I look a little suspicious. I can almost hear the thoughts of the passers by. “Who the heck is he,,why doesn’t he just go inside, is he evading the police?” What makes the situation even worse is that I am a geek, so I have my satellite radio giving off a bright eerie blue color, and on my lap? Of course, it’s my laptop with the screen set on the brightest setting. By the way if you havn’t seen the inside of a car lit by the romantic phosphorescent glow of a LCD screen you are missing one of the most amazing sights. But then again, I’m a geek, so working it the dark is actually fun for me.

Sitting there in my friends driveway waiting for him to come home so we can go to a Barnes and Noble and see what new SQL books have come out, I am checking out the wireless networks available. It’s called wardriving, and while its fun, I havn’t found a real practical use for it yet, unless that is, you are waiting for a friend to come home and you have nothing better to do than hang out in the driveway surfing the interenet on a connection that you dont actually pay for. So, with the pressure of my new-found ‘stalker’ status, I decide to move to a more friendly setting. “Hey!” I say to myself, “There’s a Starbucks!”.

Now, I need to backtrack a little bit here. I know theres a lot of anti-Starbucks folks out there, but when you are studying for a statistics final, and everything that sells decent coffee is closed, you tend to really enjoy the hyper-charged-make-you-stay-up-till-you’re-90-years-old kick that Starbucks nicely offers for $3.95. In fact I think Starbucks is the only place in America where drinking Nuke-Caffeine is legal. So while I was obtaining my undergraduate degree in Oklahoma City, I became addicted to the warm interior and the weird crowd that hung around in them, frantically tapping on their laptops, sucking down over-caffeinated super-brew.

Its ten-o’clock at night, but I think, “So what, I’m on vacation, I can stay up all night if I want.”. In I go, for a Viente sized Sumatra (extra bold) with an extra shot of espresso. Once I place my order I sit down, and start looking for networks to attach to. There are around six to choose from. But none of them want to talk to my computer. I keep requesting an IP address, but the phone is off the hook. I’m getting nothing. Then I see the golden grail, “I heard about these.” I say to myself. “Cool! Its a T-Mobile Hotspot, available at all your friendly neighborhood Starbucks coffee shops.”. So I go to request an IP. The request takes forever and eventually times out. “What is wrong with this thing?” I say to myself. It doesn’t hit me until I open a browser and try the network out. “YOU HAVE TO LOG IN?!” I scream. This really stinks, whatever happend to copy-left and the open-web initiative? I can get free internet access cruising around the neighborhood, but not at a coffee place where all the Beat-niks and hippies hang? This really stinks.

So the point besides lots of ranting and rambling? Well for one it seems that more and more people are securing their wireless networks and wising up to us. Also, I find it hilarious that back in the 60’s, coffee shops were the places you could go to get free stuff. Least of all coffee. Today? Well, let’s just say that the boomers have grown up, and become capitalists, either that or they work for Ted Turner and the Media at large. Starbucks, coasting on the movement started 40 years ago is now charging for all the stuff you could get for free many years ago. Well, thats marketing for you. One thing that I did not mention is that when I was sitting outside my friends driveway I was picking up around 7 networks. All of them were locked down, except one. Incidentally, they were all 2-Wire wireless modems. I have one in my house as well. Great systems, I love them, and so easy to configure if you need to host a webserver, and real easy to lock-down as well. Here is the thing, why is the general populous using the 2-Wire Wireless/modem/router combo box when Cisco seems to be the standard? Not sure, but I got mine back when I was ignorant about things like the industry standard, but I am so glad I did. Everyonce in awhile I get really, really lucky. But then it rains.

Leave a message after the beep.

April 12, 2006 Posted by | Main | Leave a comment

Content Paralysis

One of the toughest things in the IT world is making decisions, especially in the world of higher education. With all the changes happening in the world of content management and the number of choices that are available, it can make the decision making process even more excruciating. As an IT manager, I am completly overwhelmed by this task. There is a lot at stake here, so if you make a bad decision it could mean a lot of backlash and bad feedback.
Right now we use a CMS/LMS or what is popularly known as a Learning/Course Management System. While these offer alot in terms of how instructors can utilized online tools for the learning process, what it all boils down to is a way to handle content. If you already have a LMS or CMS why would you want other ways of publishing content? That is the question. I have several instructors who have their own websites, publish their own blogs, upload their own content, and they barely use the CMS for anything else but course-related stuff. So what is the draw of Podcasting? Well before we can properly deal with the differences between the two, let’s define ‘Podcasting’ first.
Podcasting was originally a name used for downloading or uploading digital content in the form of a file that Apple’s i-Pod understood. Now it means much more than that. Podcasting could mean anything from blogging, audio-blogging, or v-logging (video), and the tools used come in all shapes and sizes on all ends. This is a new trend that has spawned a million techniques, tools, software, and hardware. You dont have to own an i-Pod to take advantage of this content-rich world of podcasting. In fact you don’t even have to have a portable player of any kind to have access to all this wonderful world, you dont even have to own a computer, although you do need access to one, and an internet connection. What lies at the core of this movement, this revolution in publically accessible content driven world is a concept known as Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 is an ethereal idea that Tim O’Reilly (of O’Reilly’s website for uber-geeks) has really taken under his wing, and basically embraces the idea that the internet is our computer, and that our current systems will eventually become thin clients (or dummy terminals) of the internet. It takes power out of the hands and puts it in the hands of the professional consumer or pro-sumer. Where only professionals at one time had access to the tools of the trade now, the commoner can utilize cutting edge technology to produce professional items, in our case ‘Content’. The tools that are used in Podcasting specifically are many depending on your preferences. I will try to attack the toolset in the next session of Content Paralysis.

April 12, 2006 Posted by | Main | 1 Comment

Hello world!

OK, I am having to recreate my entire blog again.  This time I am not hosting it on my home server.  It seems that the PHP in WordPress is not real friendly with dynamic IP's especially when they change.  So until I can buy my own static, or until IPV6 makes its way, my way, then I am going to host here.  Sorry for the disappointment, it will take me a couple of days at least to get this up and running like I want it.  Plus, I am working on a project for my Masters class, so that is taking up some of my time.  Link to follow shortly.

April 12, 2006 Posted by | Main | Leave a comment