# Tuesday, 03 April 2007

Blogging is about writing. Many claim that content is king. If content is king, then the army that protects and defends the king is the written word.

Here are some things to think about next time to put your army to work on your blog.

[Blogging Is About Writing]

posted on Tuesday, 03 April 2007 14:04:12 (Romance Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Here is something you do not see every day:

It’s cruel to even want to watch these videos. You do know that, right? Not just because people are attacked by animals. The added cruelty is you’ll be enjoying an animal attack on a human who only wanted to enlighten you.

[5 Best Videos: Animals Attacking Reporters]

posted on Tuesday, 03 April 2007 13:59:45 (Romance Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 27 March 2007

One thing which annoyed me to no end when I made the switch to FireFox was the missing ability to click Run when I start a download like I could in Internet Explorer. Having to go through the entire process of selecting a place to download the file, then waiting for the download to complete, and finally clicking Open in the Download Manager is just a plain waste of time. Not a problem with the OpenDownload extension which adds the missing Run button to the download dialog.

Download OpenDownload extension (file is missing at the moment so use MozMonkey.com for now). No go run some malware executables off of the Internet will ya? :)

posted on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 15:39:45 (Romance Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 20 March 2007

One of the issues I encountered in my transition to team leader at Vertica is that the number of tasks grew to a number which I was unable to keep organized in memory. Previously keeping everything in memory was an option because it was simply a matter of one task after the other. Now I am faced with many parallel tasks making my old approach impractical. I thought I would share how I go about handling the numerous concurrent tasks using Outlook 2003 and 2007. The main difference between 2003 and 2007 is that colored flags are not available in 2007 so I have switched to using categories instead. Here's how is goes:

The most obvious way of organizing the tasks in Outlook is using the task list which I did but it turned out to be impractical when you receive every task in the form of an e-mail. Also switching to the task list just did not do it for me, I want to have everything available at a glance and the 2003 implementation of the task list did not provide that.

What I ended up with is using my inbox for organizing tasks (each task corresponding to an e-mail). Using categories (or flags for 2003) I distinguish what I need to get done and what others need to get done: High Priority (mine), Work Items (mine), Awaiting Internal (a colleague), Awaiting External (a customer), and Deferred (basically I never get around to these but it is nice to know what I keep pushing in front of me). Each has its own color to make them easily distinguishable at a glance in the inbox.

This way I know not only what I need to do myself but also what members of my team is doing and what I need from our customers. I created the Awaiting External/Internal because I want to keep the ball in my court so to speak. I want to be able to follow-up on a request I have made of a customer and not leave it entirely up to customer to get back to me. The same thing goes for internal stuff. Basically the goal is to avoid a single point of failure. With only a single person keeping track of a task it only takes same person to forget about it and it is gone. My way a number of people need to forget about it for it to disappear; in essence it is distributed task management :)

Additionally I have created a search folder for each of the categories in order to have a nice count of what I have going on. It is a nice reminder of the stuff needing to get done but it also allows me to get my folder organizing on and have tasks residing in other folders without them buried. Right now I do not really need it but it allows me to scale up easily.

Finally I want to mention the To-Do Bar of Outlook 2007 which makes the whole thing make even more sense as e-mails. I simply flag the e-mails I want to deal with at a specific time and it is added to my task list which is available at all times to the right of my screen. Also the e-mails and Outlook tasks are nicely integrated this way.

TIP: Setting up Outlook to do this is pretty easy but I did run into one thing which is not obvious, at least not to me. I wanted the search folders to display total items not just unread items. To do this you need to right-click the search folder and change the radio button from "Show number of unread items" to "Show total number of items". Obvious once you know how.

I would love to hear how you go about managing your daily tasks.

posted on Tuesday, 20 March 2007 16:23:15 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 19 March 2007
posted on Monday, 19 March 2007 09:48:15 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 16 March 2007

Min hustru reddede min dag med følgende beskedveksling på Messenger:

Trine says (12:49):
hej søde
det kan godt være du får p-bøder i tide og utide, men jeg kan et bedre trick...
Trine says (12:50):
nysgerrig?
Trine says (12:51):
jeg låste mig ude af bilen, nede i byen, mens Christoffer sad i bilen! Slå den!!!
Heldigvis var det på Sydbanks parkeringsplads, så jeg kunne lige låne telefonen og ringe efter en låsesmed og hæve de 400 kr han skulle have
Trine says (12:53):
spørg lige om jeg følte mig dum!? Jeg havde trykket låsen ned og stod og tog selen på, og så gled døren i... øv! og min taske var selvfølgelig inde i bilen med nøglen og Christoffer... Hov. Fra nu af bor bilnøglen i min jakkelomme
Trine says (12:55):
Så da jeg stod inde i en forretning og så de fedeste smykker, tænkte jeg at de 400 kr. sættet kostede vist var dem jeg allerede havde brugt på den søde låsesmed, som iøvrigt sagde at det ikke var første gang han havde befriet et lille barn...

posted on Friday, 16 March 2007 14:01:31 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Want to do some good while sending those IMs all day long? Check out this link im.live.com. Simply add a letter code to your Live Messenger name and you're good to go.

i’m is a new initiative from Windows Live™ Messenger. Every time you start a conversation using i’m, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with some of the world's most effective organizations dedicated to social causes. We've set no cap on the amount we'll donate to each organization. The sky's the limit.

posted on Friday, 16 March 2007 12:04:34 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 09 March 2007

For some time I have been wondering why anyone would not use Skype entirely for their corporate VoIP needs. Of course the hosted PBX solutions offer a much more flexible solution but to my mind the main feature missing from Skype is the ability to transfer a call to another Skype user. Looks like we will see this feature in the near future as it is slated for Skype 3.0 with final availability in version 3.5. Skype is becoming even more compelling these days.

Skype 3.0 introduces the long-awaited interface to enable call transfer. Call transfer is being phased in over two releases, and won’t be exposed to users until the 3.5 release. The reason for this phased release is to ensure substantial penetration of Skype 3.0 among users, because call transfer requires that all parties are running Skype 3.0 or higher. Our goal is to enable you to start building and testing great new apps now which will be ready to blow peoples’ minds away when we release 3.5 next year. No more playing catch up with the client!

Skype 3.0 Dev Notes - Call Transfer 3.5

More information about phase one and how to use the API in version 3.0

posted on Friday, 09 March 2007 21:42:50 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Monday, 05 March 2007

I enjoy Google's Gmail and companion products very much but I don't want to spend my entire day in the web browser simply due to the fact that I use Outlook to organize my work day. Gmail in contrast does one thing and one thing only: E-mail. It does this well and I absolutely adores that no nonsense interface the Google engineers have come up with.

I am already getting very good mileage out of Gmail which I use as both backup for my e-mail and webmail. In essence Gmail is my Exchange for free.

What is missing from my free Exchange you ask? Well my calendar of course. Until recently I used Plaxo for synchronizing my various Outlook calendars. With the release of Outlook 2007 I have found Plaxo useless becuase it does not support this particular version of Outlook yet. Bummer.

Google Calendar and CompainionLink for Google Calendar (boy is that a mouthful) to the rescue. Google Calendar in itself is a very cool tool but as with my e-mail I rely heavily on Outlook to get my work done so living in the browser is not on option. CompanionLink for Google Calendar, you guessed it, is a tool for synchronizing Outlook with Google Calendar. It does a two way sync which means that I not only have the Plaxo functionality back additionally I have a web calendar it my disposal.

CompanionLink for Google Calendar syncs other PIMs as well:

Blackberry/RIM, GroupWise, Lotus Notes, Palm Desktop, Palm Hotsync, and a couple of handheld devices.

Having found this product of course I wanted it to run automagically because having to run a tool manually is kind of ghetto and it would last for about 10 minutes before I would get tired of it. So I raced off to the Task Scheduler of Windows Vista to set it up. Only problem was that the thing would pop up during each sync to report status and it would finish off with another popup to let me know that everything went fine. Now imagine that happening every 10 minutes as I initially set it up to do.

Luckily it turns out that you can add a switch to the arguments of the tool to make it run silently. The magic and obviously very secret switch is .... wait for it ... -silent. Who knew?

My calendar is now handily synced with Google Calendar and shared with my wife online so she can know my every move minute by minute :D

CompanionLink for Google Calendar is $29.95 and well worth it even if you only need to sync with Google Calendar. Additionally you get the opportunity to sync multiply Outlook calendars if you desire to so. I know I do.

CompainonLink for Google Calendar

Google Calendar

Google Gmail

Microsodt Outlook

Microsoft Exchange

posted on Monday, 05 March 2007 17:34:14 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback

Finally some hard guidance is available from Microsoft on integration between SharePoint and Commerce Server. Code samples are included but they don't amount to much and the whitepaper clearly focuses on the installation and configuration and not very much on the more interesting problems like how we create dynamic layouts for product definitions, user editing of product data in a unified manner, all the good stuff we are looking into today.

Interestingly Ryan Donovan states that Microsoft has no plans for doing an integrated product which provides both commerce and content management functionality although the grapevine indicated that they did before the 2007 products were launched. His arguments for not doing such a thing are sound but I would have liked to see such a product.

posted on Monday, 05 March 2007 13:21:14 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 01 March 2007

This has been an interesting week for sure. Trine and Christoffer came home this Monday marking the beginning of a new reality for our family. Apparently in this reality Microsoft wants to hire me. I describe this as an alternate reality because it is truly unreal that such a thing should happen to me.

Basically what happened is that as I was driving home with my son from daycare I received a phone call from a Microsoft recruiter who wanted to know whether I was the Søren Spelling Lund who works at Vertica which of course I am. At this point I was wondering how the heck he knew this about me and it turned out that he had tracked me down using LinkedIn so it turns out that it is good for something after all. Following this he described what can only be labeled as "the dream job". He asked me a couple of questions about what I do today and it looked like I was the perfect candidate for what he had in mind. Basically they wanted me for a lead developer position working on support tools for Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) with responsibility for mentoring the other developers in the group and further developing the tools. In other word a subset of what I do today at Vertica.

As a side note I can't help but feel a bit disloyal towards Vertica for actually listening to his proposal but the fact of the matter is that this very situation is a dream come true for little old me, I just never thought that I would actually have to deal with the situation so I was pretty dumb founded throughout the entire conversation. Also when the mothership phones you up you just have to take the call :)

The catch of course is that this would all have to happen at the Microsoft development center in Vedbæk which means that I would have to uproot my entire family and relocate to Zealand. It turns out that I'm not quite ready to do that at this point in my life with all the stuff going on, the move finally over with, and of course our new baby boy. For fun I went and checked the prices on real estate on Zealand and I am pretty chocked although not entirely surprised at what I found. Basically you do not get much for 3 million kroner and what you do get you need to put lots and lots of work into. What a turnoff right there.

Still playing around with the thought of working for Microsoft was a pretty fun excercise to be true and of the way it came about was very cool too.

posted on Thursday, 01 March 2007 22:34:47 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback