Archives for August 2006

"You’ve got mail" – Uhhh.. you’ve got no job!

Half a lifetime ago I worked for this company – and I enjoyed it.  I was the boss of my own store at 23.  We had fun.  These employees are not having fun.

Radio Shack is NOT making a good move here.  You do NOT lay people off by email.  I’ve had to lay off people before, and it is never easy – but as a boss, it is my job to tell them personally.  By using email Radio Shack management is shirking their duties and telling every one of their employees that “We just don’t care a hell of a lot about you”.

This is shameful, and someone in HR (or yet ANOTHER CEO) needs to get the axe – tomorrow.

This is one of the most ignorant moves I have seen a large company make – and I’ve seen them make a LOT of ignorant moves.

My Radio Shack shopping days are over.

(thanks Deannie!)


Windows Vista build 5552

Miscrosoft gave me a link to download the latest (whatever that means) build today.  And I downloaded it and installed it.

First, when I installed the last build I did it by burning a DVD and installing off a boot from the DVD.  This time I burned the DVD and installed it from within Vista – it allowed me to upgrade my previous install, but not without annoying me first.

When I started the upgrade I had to enter my product key, answer all of the questions, etc… but when I got to actually installing I was told I couldn’t upgrade becasue there were “other users logged on”.

My inital blog post on on installing Windows Vista 5526 is here.  This post builds off that one.

Turns out my XBOX 360 was connected to my Vista machine.  Fine, I thought – I will use task manager and “kill the XBOX session”, and I did that.  But the installer wasn’t going to let me off that easy – there was no “re-check” or “refresh” button.  There was no “back” button.  So I had to cancel the install and start over – re-entering my product key, etc.  Fix this – it’s a stupid bug, and it cost me 15 minutes to get it “right”.

So I restarted the installer, and it installed fine – but with two more reboots than 5536 had.  Seems upgrading needs some optimization since it also took about 80 minutes.

Honestly I don’t see a lot of diffrence between the two builds – but I only have about 20 minutes of experience with this build.

I have some other stuff to do tonight, so I won’t get much time to play until tomorrow – but so far the upgrading needs work (not surprising they haven’t spent much time yet optimizing upgrading from one beta to another) – but fix the issue with “multiple users logged on”


More later,


I should be sleeping; instead I am buying domain names.  I don’t sleepa lot, which may explain the many dozens of omain names I own!

I bought this domain (and was looking for .Org – didn’t know .Com was taken until I bought .Org) because I think it would be a cool project to build a web-wide social ranking site…  see my earlier post on Digg-like ratings for commenters.

I think it would be very useful not just for comments, but for social networking sites, newsgroups, etc to use a common site to post/retrieve rankings of users based on other user’s perspectives.

I imagine there would be a variety of things that would be rates, like (tied to whatever the issue was that the user was rated on at the time):








etc, etc


This post, and the domain are just placeholders so I can remember to think about this more later.  Almost 2am my time, and I need to get up in 4 hours.  And I need to get to sleep before I buy any more domains!


This is too silly, and I can’t wait to sign up

Want to see your XBOX blog?  Read this – I’m signing up in the morning – it was worth a good chuckle!


The Learning Locker

First a quick refresher of this project:

Build a franchise-based free “school store” for teacher’s to “shop” at to get required classroom supplies that the school district can’t/won’t pay for.

Click on the category TheLearningLocker on the right for more details.

I had a busy day today, since a non-related post was linked to by an “A-list” blogger (thanks again, Robert), and my blog runs on an old server fed through my cable modem.  It took a couple converations with my ISP to convince them not to pull my plug earlier this evening.  Since I an under-employed right now, boosting up to business level service just wasn’t an option!

Anyway, back to where we are – it seems the companies that we will rely on for this project actually prefer the idea of small (1200-2000 square foot) “stores” as well.  But they don’t want them stuck back in an industrial park – they want them in a Mall! or in a strip center.  Why?  Branding.  They want their name associated with The Learning Locker in a very public way (One example – “The Learning Locker, presented by XYZ” was a suggestion for the exterior signage). Sure, they expect a lot of advertising in return for what might well end up being a very significant contribution – but what do I care what it says on the building?

So as of now I am going forward under the assumption that this is a retail-based “store” – not Internet based.  We can branch out to the Internet later.  I am assuming I will start with one location, and get all of the legal documentation done for the non-profit, and the non-profit franchising. 

Goal #1 – open the first store in January 2007, here in San Antonio (yes here – mostly because it’s easiest on me to start it here).

Goal #2 – find a way to quickly franchise this so it can spread as fast as rumours that Google is buying Microsoft would spread.  It has to be easy.  And cheap. And reproducible.

I know Microsoft has a Point of Sale system – a local electronics chain uses it (Altex).  I’ve seen the software, and it offers all of the inventory, “sales” etc control we need.  I’ll try to find out who to talk to at MS about it.  I can’t find it on the MS web site.  Hopefully we can get it cheap, or free.  Maybe as part of the settlements MS has made with various states.  Who knows.

I am still working on Point of Sale hardware – but I guess I need to see what the software will be first.

I’m sorry if this seems slow-going. I know a lot of you read this blog just to see what the status of The Learning Locker is – but it isn’t easy muddling though all of these questions, I have to wait a long time for responses to my questions (both to teachers and potential benefactors).  And when I can find some consulting to do, I need to do that.  But it isn’t stagnant – I feel pretty good that it is in motion, it’s just “slow-motion”.

Next week – meeting with an attorney – pro-bono even (at least the initial discussion is).  I have all of the paperwork I need to file for a non-profit in the state of Texas, and hope to get it filed after the attorney reviews it.

Probably no more updates until early next week – I have some other things to manage for the rest of this week.

Thanks much,