MaePad for the N900 begs for a printer.

I’ve been playing with the early release of MaePad and it’s quite a lot of fun. Like a sketch pad / notepad / finger paint thing. The only thing it needs is the ability to print it out in it’s full glory. And that brings back to the point about the Nokia N900, it really is a computer with a phone app installed. And while you can live without a printer for your phone, having a computer without a printer is missing something.

When having a Fleeting Thought, spell check.

I was thinking, or rather having, a Fleeting Thought and decided that I had a great idea, so I sought to buy the domain, and didn’t realize I’d mistyped the name, so now I’m the proud owner of, 🙂 you can see now, how Fleeting my thoughts have been lately. It actually might work out anyway as the real domain owner of is little more than a squatter.

The substance of the Idea is sound, and I’m building out the Thought now as another project. It’ll be associated with the Twitter Client @fleetthoughts. And when I finally organize my thoughts properly, I’ll write more about it.

Idiotic Small Business Shop behavior

I know there is a recession on, I really do. But there are things to do to cut costs, and there are things that you can do to cut your own throat, and you should never get them confused. I’ve seen a recent example of the later, under the guise of the former. Curry’s in the Ballincollig Shopping Center have chosen to close their shop on Tuesday and Wednesday’s of every week rather than pay salaries to idle staff!

In my past experience with the shop I have often observed 4 or more staff shuffling around their premises with little to occupy their time so cutting staff hours would make sense. But why not shift their hours so at least a fewer staff are on hand on Tuesday and Wednesday’s rather than close the store.

Closing the store is a permanent commitment to earning ZERO sales for two days out of the week. Shifting the worker schedule will not alter the saving earned from reduced staff salaries, while maintaing an open store. Closing for two days of each week will close ANY sale, and will put off ANY future sales from people who will go elsewhere to purchase items.

In other words Curry’s is cutting their own throat!

In this market there are two strategies that you can adopt, reduce costs, and increase customers. Funny, those are the same strategies that you have to employ ALL THE TIME! A recession only makes the urgency more poignant.

And on that point, let me call most Irish shops foolish. Think of a coffee shop or Pub that could offer free refills of simple coffee, how far will that go in earning customer returns and loyalty? Would a shop full of coffee drinkers be more inviting than an empty one? Could you maybe offer them a bit of cake to go with that refill?

What would be the benefit to the shopkeeper to stop charging for WiFi and offer it Free to customers who might like to use it with their coffee and scone? Wouldn’t it be nice to have your office have a meeting in that shop and use the WiFi to conference.

What makes to so hard for the average shop owner to shake themselves out of this ‘Celtic Tiger’, greedy take no prisoners behavior, and get back to being generous with quality customer treatment. (that last, wasn’t a question)

What simple difference could you make to the customer experience that would elevate you in their mind to choose your business over another? (that was a question)

it@Cork are Elitist Snobs!

I just got rejected from a it@Cork meeting. Which reads;

Hello Rxxxxxxx,
Thank you for your interest in it@cork however only staff of member companies can attend the AGM.

Axxxx Rxxxxx
Events and Marketing Executive
Work days: Monday – Wednesday
Tel: +353 21 2307076 Fax: +353 21 2307046

Unfortunately that’s not what it said when I registered to attend. As seen in the following Google Cache page;

Interesting how things have changed without an apology, (see below) The internet never forgets.

What is Waterford Crystal without Waterford?

I have watched the management of Waterford Crystal over the past few years, and have been amazed at how clueless they are about their product. Like most bean counters, they have sought to reduce expenses by pushing production into Eastern Europe and any other place where they could drop the cost of production. They must be insane! It’s the only conclusion that makes sense. They have been behaving as if their product is a commodity item like an automobile, or a toaster.

Waterford Cystal and Wedgewood ARE the labors and works of Waterford Ireland and Wedgewood England! Anything else is a fake, even with a waterford/wedgewood label on it, they are FAKES! Waterford Crystal is a luxury item that speaks to Quality not quantity. It means workmanship that a slow and skilled workforce imparts on each and every cut of the crystal. If you want bulk fakes, go to China!

The marketing of Waterford should be on the Apple model, special, and elegant, Not like Microsoft where ‘good enough’ and high volume turnover is the measure.

Now that the bean counters have closed Waterford, THERE IS NO WATERFORD accept no substitutes!

Companies in the Throes of Death

When companies die, they take many forms from mergers to bankruptcies. But there are none more ugly than those who have arrived at this juncture due to a lack of vision and direction. Management grasps and draws on every resource, from redundancies, part time labor and outsourcing to zero footprint office virtualization. But the ugly bit is the rapid undirected reactionary behavior from which a lack of vision and leadership originally brought the company to the situation in the first place.

An inability to addressing the underlying problem continues to demoralize the remaining employees and creates an atmosphere of despair. The company dooms itself from the rot, which is almost never corrected, as the problem is not cured from the bottom up, but from the top down.

If this sounds like AerLingus, it does, I have predicted that it would be gone within 5 years of it’s privatization and it will happen. But this is also a personal issue, as I am getting a first hand view, again, into the collapse of another.

Apple Ergonomics and Working from Home

While I worked away this past week in an unexpected working from home situation I was proud of the job my MacBook did providing a Parallel’s Windows XP environment to connect to my office in Dublin. But the Mac did not come away unharmed as shown in the following photo.

This is the result of my use of the keyboard to rest my ham handed fists on it while typing on it. It is not the only damage I have inflicted on my MacBook as there is another crack in an exact mirrored position on the opposite palm rest, a crack I believe I committed by squeezing it too hard while picking it up one time some months ago. But it is apparent that this is a weak area of the MacBook, and the plastic is clearly too thin to support my hands let alone my grip, a definite design issue.

While on that thought, I also determined that while typing, the actual design of the edge of the MacBook is also done poorly as it really does have a sharp edge on the lip of the palm area that cuts into my hand, making me wish for a external keyboard. I have gotten very used to the chicklet keyboard layout on the MacBook, but that edge has to go. That however, engaged my memory, the first iBooks that Job’s and company delivered were much more ‘organic’ rounder things than the current incarnations and it made me long for more of that old style design. Maybe in the new MacBooks soon to be released, probably not, so until then, I’m off to find a laptop stand and keyboard.

iPhone/iPod Touch Monopoly

I have been in the market for an upgrade to my iPod and the question of a replacement has been this, should I upgrade my old Palm Vx to a Palm T/X or my first generation iPod (5GB). The candidates have been the Nokia N770 / N800 / N810 series, the iPod Touch and the Palm T/X. I have by this time determined that the Nokia systems, while the most versatile are not completely integrated systems, more hacker devices than finished products. So the choices are down to the Palm T/X, which is getting very long in the tooth, running an aging operating system, or the iPod touch with a revolutionary OS/GUI but no third party applications.

The requirements are relatively simple, WiFi, bluetooth, applications like email, browsing communicating. MultiMedia. And any other things would be optional like eBooks. I have a medium sized iTunes collection, and plenty of Palm apps.

Currently if the rumor that Apple will approve and distribute apps and limit access to iPod/iPhone internals is true, this will be a deal breaker. No iPod Touch!

I have no intention of buying a totally locked in device. If for no other reason than it’s bad monopolistic practice. It will limit what the developers will be able to develop, and turn away some of the most innovative designs. This would be the most stupid thing Apple could do. A proverbial shooting one’s own foot off. It would cripple any development that might be applied, it would make the Palm the only choice.

I’ll wait until Apple announces on Thursday, but this rumor smells too true, so I’ll start pricing Palm T/X’s.

UPDATE: I looks like Apple has screwed it’s self Here! So my Decision to but an unlocked Obsolete Palm T/X is vindicated yet again!

War with Iran, via

I’m reposting an email I received from this morning (the contents of which I mostly agree with).

Dear MoveOn member,

To be honest, I don’t even like to think about the possibility of war with Iran. But here’s the unfortunate truth—plans for an aerial attack have been drawn up.1 There’s nothing stopping Bush from launching that attack any day. And right now the progressive movement’s main strategy for preventing it is simply to hope that it doesn’t happen.

To paraphrase my ninth-grade sex-ed teacher, “Hope is not a method.” We need to do something. There are increasing indications that war with Iran may be imminent. And experts agree it would be a catastrophe.

So today we’re proposing a major campaign to expose the danger of a new war with Iran (see below for details). It’ll cost about $200,000, and if we can raise the money, we’ll start today. Can you chip in $25?

War would be a disaster. Military officials who’ve gamed-out a war with Iran say it’s a very, very bad idea. “Iran would hit back against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and activate terrorist allies in the Middle East, further destabilizing a region already struggling with two major wars.”2 US troops in the region, Israelis and American civilians abroad and at home would all be at risk.

And it’s a real possibility. For months, there’s been a stream of leaks and revelations by former Bush administration officials that paint a scary picture: Vice President Cheney and the neocons are quietly maneuvering us toward war with Iran—just as they did with Iraq.3,4

Now, the New York Times reports that Freedom’s Watch, a $200 million propaganda machine headed by former White House insiders, has started to press for an attack.5,6 And this past week, Bush and Cheney upped the ante with aggressive statements, even invoking the specter of “World War III.”7

Observers across the political spectrum, from Senator John McCain to former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, say the threat is closer than it appears.8,9 And it’s never a good idea to underestimate this president’s capacity for recklessness.

We can’t run the risk that they’re crazy enough to do it. That’s why it’s so important that we make sure policymakers understand the cost of war, and we pressure Congress not to roll over on Iran. If we can raise the money today, here’s what we’ll do:

A number of top retired generals and military experts are willing to say publicly that attacking Iran would be a strategic disaster. We’ll put them on tour to speak to political leaders, editorial boards and big audiences.
We’ll run ads challenging the Bush administration and key presidential candidates—and remind people that the last time we heard many of these phony arguments was in the lead-up to war with Iraq.
We’ll commission polling to show wavering politicians that if they stand up against war with Iran, the public will stand with them.
We’ll run a major grassroots campaign urging Congress to confront the administration on Iran.
None of us know how likely a strike against Iran really is. But I’m going to do more than just hope it doesn’t happen. The signs and signals have become too glaring. We have to act.

Please join in launching this campaign:

There have been a few leaders and organizations within the progressive movement who’ve consistently sounded the alarm on this issue. Now it’s time for the rest of us to join them.

Thanks for all you do,

–Ilyse, Justin, Marika, Matt, and the Political Action Team
Wednesday, October 24th, 2007


1. “Shifting Targets: The Administration’s plan for Iran,” The New Yorker, October 8, 2007.

2. “Cheney Targets Iran,” Rolling Stone, October 18, 2007.

3. “The Redirection,” The New Yorker, March 5, 2007.

4. “The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn’t Want You to Know,” Esquire, October 18, 2007.

5. “Big Coffers and a Rising Voice Lift a New Conservative Group,” New York Times, September 30, 2007.

6. “Freedom’s Watch targeting Iran,” Media Transparency, October 17, 2007.

7. “Nuclear-Armed Iran Risks World War, Bush Says,” New York Times, October 18, 2007.

8. “Cheney Targets Iran,” Rolling Stone, October 18, 2007.

9. Video clip of Sen. McCain in Republican Debate. October 9, 2007.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

The switch from BT to Eircom

This Friday we were informed we were paying for Eircom Broadband, no modem had arrived, and there was no disruption in service from BT. I was expecting a cutoff of service as Eircom ‘switched’ our service. It was expected as I was expecting them to transfer our ‘port’ from BT to Eircom before they started to charge us for it.

So on a lark, I reset my router to use the Eircom username password, and as easy as you please, the ip address of the router switched, and bingo, we were on Eircom. A quick change of DNS addresses and all was back to normal. Except that the domain was Eircom.

A check of the VPN connection, the primary reason for making the switch, and sure enough, a stable connection. Utilizing the same routers, wires and having made no changes to the router setting, I had a stable and useful VPN connection where BT had claimed it was my equipment.

BT, over the last few weeks, had become increasingly unstable with frequent dropouts, and performance issues. Some of this may not have been their fault, but their inability to repair and maintain, were their fault, and the response of their techies’ was unacceptable.

So now I’m Broadbanding from bigbrotherland, and strangely happy about it.

Blog Spam from Corporate Computing

Yesterday I actually thought that the blog spam I had grown accustom to had vanished. But it’s back with a vengeance today, leading me to one conclusion, spammers, or spam zombies were on holiday during the American Presidents day. And that could only mean that the zombie machines are located in corporate America and were turned off for the holiday yesterday.

Interesting, and frightening, as that does not reflect well on corporate infrastructure, Or that spam is an American corporate business model.

UPDATE: As I suspected US responsible for most hacking

Vista’s new lemmings

Having seen the underoverwhelming advertising for Windows Vista, and hearing that as a result, PC sales have skyrocketed (a whole 5% represents a very low sky or a very short rocket). I felt compelled to repost an old favorite, Lemmings, one of the better Apple Ads. And it left me wondering if the surge in PC sales was to buy PC’s before they were loaded with Vista so that people could retain compatibility, and not become yet another victim of Microsoft Beta-2 testing. We did, as we just replaced the wife’s Sony laptop with new HP loaded with XP-Pro. We have tried Vista and determined that it is, really, just an XP service pack, and also required retraining as there was little that remained familiar in the interfaces. So the question arises, if you have to retrain, why not switch. So without further ado, Lemmings;