Archives for June 2007

Some struggling going on

I’m having some problems with my latest client.  Most of it is out of my control, and even when it seams I am controlling something I am in fact relying on someone else. 

We are in a difficult transition phase.  Moving development from one foreign team to another.  From one US managed team to another.  It is never easy.

This project is pretty far along though.  Makes it harder to catch up.  The new developers cannot learn the code quickly enough to satisfy me.

I’m learning the code myself – I’ve even made some bug fixes.  But it seems really slow going.  It’s been less than six weeks – but it seems longer.  I know it seems longer to my customer.  I can feel them getting nervous.  That’s expected.  They just bet a lot on me, and things seem bogged down.

This is the most interesting part of coming into a project as a consultant – this is where you have to deliver – quickly.  You have everything to prove.  There are much more interesting stages involved in launching a project – but as far as the consulting relationship – this is where it gets interesting.  This is where I convince the customer they were smart in trusting me.  Or where I screw it up 🙂

I’m working hard not to screw it up.  Much of what I do today is invisible to my client today though.  That’s what makes this such a tenuous stage.  I need to always be working, always be moving forward.  And I need to be able to demonstrate that to my client when they ask for it.

I love consulting.  I love the challenges.  I love that no two things are ever the same.

Consulting will either make you very old very fast – or it will keep you young.

Right now it is keeping me young!

AT&T says it’s nearly out of iPhones – Wireless World – MSNBC.com

WTF does this mean?  Are lawyers writing copy for MSNBC now?

And no – I have zero interest in a iPhone.  But I am interested in how it has been marketed.

This story though is confusing, since I’ve seen several reports of ATT/Apple stores having stacks of iPhones today,

Which is it – are hey sold out, or did they overstock?

Who knows. 

While prepaid call charges are more expensive than per-minute charges for postpay customers who pay monthly bills, prepaid customers do not have to commit to keep the service. Postpay customers pay a hefty fee to leave contracts before they expire.

AT&T says it’s nearly out of iPhones – Wireless World – MSNBC.com

Scag Zero Cat Power Mower

I wrote a while ago about this new mower I bought. Now I’ve used it for two weeks.

We’ve had about 12 inches of rain over those two weeks – so it was a combination of too wet to mow, and grass growing too fast not to mow. The PERFECT testing ground for a zero-turn mower!

The first time I mowed, I turned way to fast – I tore up some turf. I’ve learned to slow down on the turns – and I’ve learned that subtlety really pays off when manipulating the controls on this mower.

Even though it has rained 8 out of the last ten days, I have managed to mow my front yard three times in that time frame. Each time I did less damage – each time it took less time.

On my John Deere 42″ cut mower it took me about an hour to cut the front yard – not counting the space by the freeway – I wouldn’t cut that on my John Deere – even the the John Deere as a Spin-steer tractor (basically zero turn) it could get stuck back in those trees. It didn’t have the power to get me out of (or, one might argue, into) some of the places this Scag gets me. So now I am cutting more out front than I did. And it’s taking me less time. It’s a very forgiving mower if you remember just one thing – one important thing!

The roll bar rises about six feet off the ground – behind your back. You can move really quickly on this mower. Having the roll bar catch a tree branch when you are going very fast can flip you over backwards. I haven’t actually managed to do this (yet) but I came close! I’ve since trimmed most of my 45+ trees to above 6 feet – better not to have to remember!

I have an acre, about. The front is pretty open, and the back has a ton of trees – this mower works well in both environments. In the front I can open it up and speed mow. In the back I can zero-turn around even the most narrow areas. This is the advantage of the 36″ mowing deck over the 42″ I had on the John Deere – I can just cut more closely now. And since this mower is MUCH more powerful (and much faster) that the Deere, I end up saving about 45 minutes – about 1/3 the time, by using the Scag over the Deere (for my entire yard). The zero turn “tank handling” steering of this thing really makes a huge difference.

I have no data yet on reliability – it’s too new. But it hasn’t failed me in any way yet – not even a little bit. It is very solid – the metal on this tractor is 3x as thick as on the John Deere. This truly is a work horse. And running into a tree tends to dent the tree – NOT the tractor 🙂

So far I am very satisfied!

T-Mobile "Home Hotspot"

ideaT-Mobile has announced “Make Your Home a Hotspot”.

Basically it is a WiFi wireless outer and a cell phone/WiFi phone combination.  When you are in range of a T-Mobile Hotspot, you don’t use cellular minutes.  When you aren’t, you do,  Cool.

But why not make MY Hotspot available to everyone, if I choose.  And kick me back something if people use my Hotspot for their free T-Mobile calls?

Seems like a natural feature for these hybrid devices – and a way to use the bandwidth of many for the good of all. 

I dozed off and dreamt of Robert Scoble…

Really – it was odd. I dreamt I was at his house and he wanted to play me in the XBOX 360.

I whipped a copy of Tiger Woods 2007 out of my pocket (how it fit in there I don’t know) and said, “Only if you’ll play my game.”

He agreed, and I let him play as Tiger Woods. I was ahead by 7 strokes when I woke up after the fourth hole.

I am REALLY looking forward to this trip to Shreveport next week – I need the break!