Archive for General/Site News

Away for the weekend .. New York City

November 10 2007

I am away for the weekend ... actually took 2 days off (Friday and Monday) ... for a wedding. Today will be some time enjoying the city. A Broadway musical and a great dinner. The wedding tomorrow. Home Monday. More info about the musical and dinner over the weekend.

Change your Windows Desk-Top and help some needy kids this Holiday season

November 6 2007

When I do presentations at conferences, many people ask my 'how did you get your desk-top to look like that?' You see, I am not one of those that likes the standard Windows theme ... for XP or Vista. So I use some of the great software products out there that allow for skinning. For me, the Stardock suite of applications, called Object Desk Top is the best there is. This includes the fairly well known WindowBlinds. WinCustomize.com is the site that hosts all of the custom skins for these products. While I typically do not hock for them, they have set up a great holiday program to drive some revenue while helping a great cause. And what is Child's Play? Childs Play is a volunteer-run charity that started in 2003 with the goal of bringing toys, games and movies to kids in childrens hospitals. Think about how dull and depressing a hospital is for an adult, then imagine what it must be like for a kid. Many hospitals have too few toys and games for the children in their care, and tho

I made it home safe ...

October 15 2007

What in week in Malta! I have a bunch of stories to tell ... and you will all shake your head! I will get to that tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure I got a major thank you out there. Thanks to John, Denis, Julienne, Monique, and Joseph of Shireburn for an amazing week! I learned so much, experienced the amazing place that is Malta, and had an all around great time. Special thanks must to go John himself, for sharing his passion and love of Malta with me. What a special place, a place I will have to visit again soon! Thanks everyone.

Journey begins: My trip to visit the Integra folks

October 7 2007

Today starts my first international trip in a while. I am going to visit the folks who make Integra all the way over in Malta. I have a long flight to Rome .. and then a short hop to Malta. I am prepared for the 9+ hours on the plane ... a seat with power, my iPod Touch loaded with podcasts, music, and a few TV episodes. A good book. I will try to blog when I can. Pictures will be in Flickr next week.

Congrats to Megan and Benson!

September 17 2007

Louis,I wanted to wish my good friends Megan and Benson congratulations! They were married this past Saturday in St. Louis, MO. It was a beautiful wedding and I was honored to be one of the 6 best men (the entire wedding party was a Maid/Matron of Honor or Best Man). Benson is one of my game developer friends ... he is out in L.A. working on things for Sony and the PS3. Megan does PR in the gaming world as well. I love Benson like a brother so it was great to bring Megan officially into the 'family.' As we said this weekend, we are all "special" :-). Couple of thoughts from the weekend I wanted to share: 1. I hate rented clothing. Yuck. I wore my own tux shirt that I had made from the Shirt Store. If you ever wanted a custom made dress shirt, this is the place to go. Since all they do is shirts, the tailoring and fit is impeccable. The cost can go from normal ($100) to top of the line ($300+). That being said, my custom made shirts last way longer than anything I ever bought

Congratulations

September 2 2007

It is not a big secret, but today was a very special day in our community. I just wanted to say congratulations and I was blessed to be part of it. May you have many happy years together! Oh, and next time around, no impromptu guests with lawn chairs :-)

Starfish gets the Notes branding!

August 21 2007

Well, Alan posted a few Notes 8 branded pictures. Here is the Starfish logo with the Notes 8 brand: and another in blue: I did not do these ... but love them. Thank you Mystery Graphics Person.

Which Transformer are you?

August 15 2007

I got this from the blog written by Andrew Pollack : I AM67%OPTIMUS PRIMETake the Transformers Quiz

oday is Monday, July 30, the 211th day of 2007. There are 154 days left in the year.

July 30 2007

There Are: 1 day until Babylon 5: Lost Tales - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_5:_The_Lost_Tales 1 day until 300 on HD-DVD / Blueray - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/300_(film) 1 day until Shaun of the Dead on HD-DVD - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_of_the_Dead 1 day until Hot Fuzz on DVD - http://hotfuzz.com/ 3 days until Quakecon 2007 - http://www.quakecon.org/ 4 days until The Bourne Ultimatum - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bourne_Ultimatum_(film) 5 days until SIGGRAPH - http://www.siggraph.org/s2007/ 11 days until Survivor Man Season 2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorman 15 days until Lair for the PS3 - http://www.us.playstation.com/Lair/ 20 days until Brain Age 2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Age_2:_More_Training_in_Minutes_a_Day 22 days until BioShock - http://www.2kgames.com/bioshock/ 23 days until Games Convention - http://www.gc-germany.com/gcinfo_e.shtml 25 days until PAX - http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/ 28 days until Metroid Prime 3:

Lost in Paradise at the Museum of the Field ... a day of contrasts

July 22 2007

Today was a day of contrasts ... I started the day with a meeting for the young executives group of the Field Museum, called the Field Associates. I will detail more why I joined, but this was a programming meeting to plan future events. It was neat to plan a scavenger hunt while sitting under Sue. I ended the day by seeing Symphony X play live. One of the premier power metal progressive metal bands, they play sold out shows in Europe all the time. I do not think they expected a sold out show here in Chicago. These guys are great in concert, but everything I do not like about the band just stands out like a sore thumb. Except for my favorite song of theirs, Paradise Lost, all of their songs could be one long song. They just all sound the same. Ending on the Odyssey was great ... but they only played 90 minutes! WTH! One list ... things that bother me about concerts: 1. Long hair was cool for the 80's hair metal bands. But do we really want to see a guy with reseeding hair and a b

2 Minutes to Midnight ... and thousands of Muggles Cheer

July 21 2007

Last night, I went with Sarah to Oak Park, IL for the official Mugglenet.com party for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. These parties have been going on since book 3, but I was not prepared for this. THOUSANDS of people were there. Shops downtown became shops in the story. The park was filled with Wizard's Chess, Quiditch, and magic lessons. I would say most of the folks under 21 were dressed up, with about half of the folks over 21 dressed up as well. I thought the women, who looked about 25, who thought leather and stilettos was wizard appropriate, probably scared the younger kids :) As the clock ticketed towards midnight ... every bookstore in downtown Oak Park got ready for the lines. And lines like I have never seen. Part of me was like 'this is a bit freaky' but the other part was 'its so exciting to see people so turned up over a book ... and reading!' We got home about 1 AM with the book. I look forward to the wrap up of the story as I read it over the weeke

Security Issues with software and Peacocks

July 20 2007

As I read thru my feeds this morning, I cam across this on the Trillian blog (while looking for a notice about a new alpha release of Astra) ... In response to the URI security vulnerability released this week, we have updated Trillian 3 to 3.1.7.0. Auto-update should be firing for existing users, and you can use our download page to grab a full installer if you are so inclined. We recommend that all existing Trillian 3.x customers download this latest upgrade. As a result, there will be no Astra build this week. You can thank the three geniuses behind the vulnerability report for their professionalism (read: none) in reporting this vulnerability to the vendor before public disclosure. To the rest of #hack: we’re happy to responsibly fix vulnerabilities as they’re found, but would appreciate some advance notice. This is just another example of people finding security issues with software and using it for their own gains. If someone publishes a security risk in softwa

Who we are and what we are known for ... personal branding

July 16 2007

As I enjoy the relaunch and success of one of my favorite childhood properties, Transformers, I feel like a robot changing. I feel like I am in a transformation stage these days. Let me explain. When I am at Lotusphere, people know me at the guy who speaks about Office integration. As a business partner who has spoken for years. As a gamer. As a consultant at PSC. A Beacon Award and Lotus Award Winner. A guy who enjoys food a bit too much :-) But how many of you would recognize me at a client? The guy who is more 'suit' than 'programmer'? An active rainmaker and networker. Someone who is rarely seen without his french cuffs and cufflinks? Jamie McGee barely noticed me when we almost ran into each other on Madison Ave in New York City. Does anyone who reads this blog notice the brand that I want to have vs. the brand that I have? Everyone in our community is known for different things. We all have our own brand. Let's take a look at our community: Ed Brill : Mr all things travel,

Quote of the Day

June 24 2007

The quote of the day ... "Sweep yourself down to the edge of the platform" heard on the Sox / 35th L platform, said by a secruity guard, after the Cubs fans where chanting "Sweep" in glee after the game today ... grrrrr ... only thing worse than a Playstation 3 is a Cubs fan.

Travels and Projects

May 3 2007

By looking at the location, you should see that I am not in Chicago. Some thoughts about my trip: This is my first time in New York City proper in many years ... this city just drips of energy I had a chance to walk up Madison Ave and down Park Ave ... I never had done that and always wanted to. Lots of window shopping :-) Can you believe how small a world it is? Walking up Madison Ave, out steps Jamie Maggie from a cab. He was going to meet a client. We chatted a bit about life, Lotus Developer 2007 / Admin 2007 and Advisor. Good to see you Jamie! I am starting a new project here in NYC. I expect to have more PSC folks joining me. This one should be fun ... lots of fun and fancy Domino web stuff This project is a direct result of the hosting that PSC does for IBM blogs. I am sure Ed loves to hear about that! People who only see me at conferences would be as surprised as Jamie was today ... I am really Mr Suit outside of the speaking circuit The weather is beautiful! I need to blog m

The Ultimate Star Wars Personality Test

April 30 2007

So, what Star Wars character are you? What about you?

Word of the Day - Stellapercacentric

March 30 2007

So Nathan Freeman and I were chatting today ... after I got back from some good therapy and while I was watching some Season 2 episodes of Boston Legal, and I started to get into my "Denny Crane ... I am king of the world ... agree with me or die (as he holds the gun)" moods. Nathan was giving me lots of crap for it and coined the phrase. "Stellapercacentric" translated to "Starfish Centered." Boy, that explains a lot doesn't it! Boy does that describe how I feel today. And yes, I was working at the same time. :-)

Leaving Seattle

March 23 2007

I am sitting in the airport getting ready to board my flight to head home to Chicago. This was an interesting week. I learned quite a bit, saw a bunch of folks I knew (including Greg ... thanks for the chance at the great beer Greg!). I need to let some of it simmer before I comment too much. Gary put on a great week of activity. He heard the things we all suggested and I am sure that will be reflected the next time he runs one of these events. The trip to the MS store was fun ... I got Vista Ultimate for $45! Three games .. two for Sarah for the 360 and 1 for me (Rise of Legends). I also got a neat MS T-shirt. Besides the event, I am glad to leave Seattle behind. I am not sure what is going on up here, but the Spring pollen gave me the worst allergy attack I have had in 10 years! Thanks for the hard work Gary

Thoughts on feeling Green and Seattle

March 18 2007

The day after St. Patrick's Day has me feeling a bit hung over for the first time in many years. I think it was the mixture of alcohols .. beer, captain and diet, Baileys, and then more beer and the Irish Car bomb. Ouch. It was a good night ... I spent it with Sarah, her dad, her brother Pete, his girlfriend Sandy, and some of Pete's friends who live in Chicago. We started at Five Star bar and then went to an Irish bar I can not remember. Saw a very cool bagpipe group .. they rocked. It was a night full of good company, pretty good basketball, and bad tater tots. I am getting ready to board a flight for Seattle, my first time to the city and state. I am going up that way to attend the event that has no real name :-) ... much to Ed Brill 's dislike ... just kidding Ed. PSC is a Microsoft Gold partner, so I need to spend some time getting that business relationship tighter. I also hope to learn some things about Office 2007 ... so much in there that I have not been able to touch. We sh

A reminder for John ... its Friday during Lent

March 9 2007

I am writing this to remind myself it is Lent .. and since it is a Friday during Lent, that means no meat or chicken. I have to be good. Sounds like just another excuse to indulge in some Sushi :-)

Blog Design ... Yes, I look different than Ed now!

March 5 2007

So those of you that use a RSS reader to view my site will not have noticed, but there has been some changes to this site. A couple of things happened: 1. I updated to the IBM Blog 7.0.2 template 2. I got a new theme ... some might say I got my first theme :-) The idea of my old theme was to have the same thing Ed did, so that I could support him. Over time, it became boring and did not represent who I am. So what I did was I found a WordPress theme that I liked. Its called Neat and linked to below. I decided to change the colors to match my starfish logo and recruited help. I changed the basic graphics to use the starfish design to add some flair. First, Steve Castledine imported the Neat theme into his IBM Blog theme converter. He then tweaked it a bit and made it real. Steve has also made some changes to clean up the stuff I broke when I widened the blog entry section. Steve, I owe you many many drinks! Next, I turned too someone with a lot more graphic design ability then I do.

Happy Casimir Pulaski Day!

March 5 2007

In honor of my Polish heritage, I want to wish you a Happy Casimir Pulaski Day! In Chicago, it is a major holiday (Chicago has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw). Who was Casimir Pulaski ? you ask .... the Polish American Center can help you out.

Things may be a bit wacky today and tomorrow ...

February 20 2007

I am going thru a blog update and redesign. Please bear with any wackyness until you see another post. Some fun things coming.

My new favorite drink

February 5 2007

Think Grape Bubbalicious in a bottle .. with a kick

Who do you look like .. Celebrity Edition

January 29 2007

I see these all over mypsace pages, figured I would share mine here ... Interesting ... when I was younger (and a few pounds lighter), people said I looked like Michael J. Fox ... back in his "Back to the Future" days

How do you recover from another Illini Loss?

September 23 2006

You drink Little Red Dress White Wine and watch this movie: :D

The Black Pearl? Is it a pirate ship? No ... its a phone :)

September 12 2006

This picture should say it all ... looks like the 'blackberry as usb modem' is not there, but I just got it. Give me a few days before I say much about the phone. But it is small, light, and super fast.

Remembering 9/11

September 11 2006

Tivo Lifetime Subscribers get ’taken care of’

September 8 2006

With the Tivo 3 coming out very soon (before Thanksgiving is the rumor), those of us with Lifetime Subscriptions on our Series 1 and 2 Tivos have been left to wonder what to do. Since Tivo cancelled the Lifetime Subscription offer earlier this year, why would you move to a new device? This picture tells all So, on top of paying $800 bucks for a new Tivo 3 (thats SRP), you can transfer your lifetime service for 200 bucks. Plus taxes and all that. Worth it? For someone addicted to Tivo like I am, yep :)

Relationships of Stone and Glass

August 5 2006

Today I participate in my good friend's Dave and Erica's wedding. It pleases me to no end to see them getting married and so happy. Dave is one of the best guys around and Erica is perfect for him. Congratulations to both of you! On the flip side, another couple I am close with our splitting apart. It is very hard for me to watch on the sidelines. I just hope they both come out of this ready to find happiness in the future. A happy day and a sad day at the same time.

Changes to the site ...

August 4 2006

Just a quick note about changes to the site: Comments require a valid name, email, and subject to not get automatically rejected Comments that look like the come from fake names will get deleted I am looking into the wacky comments display on IE ... it has to be something in the CSS ... I hope to get it fixed today Just for the record .. this site is not using the IBM Blog template like Jeff Eisen is ... I believe he is the only one using that blog template at the moment I love Vince's OpenNTF 'portals' ... such a great way to support OpenNTF and Taking Notes Thanks for visiting and participating!

Supporting the Community

August 1 2006

One of the things that I love about being part of the Notes/Domino community is the support we give each other. Yes, we can be very hard on each other, but when support is needed ... people are always there. The past couple weeks I have been chatting with lots of people about ideas on how we can support and grow our opportunity. To me, that begins with exposing as many people in the community and those who are not part of it to the resources we have. I was chatting with a couple people, and the idea of a 'window' that we can put on our blogs and web pages came up. Think of Plazes window that Ed has on his page. I brought the idea up to Vince, and he ran with it. He did some killer work here in record time! As you see on the left of my page, you can display applications on OpenNTF.org and the latest Taking Notes podcasts. There is even the subscribe button! Vince added some options so you can pick what to show. Go here to read about what you need to do to put these on your page! This

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July 11 2006

Happy Birthday to me :)

Geek Fest Weekend

July 2 2006

One of my close friends is getting married this summer. He happens to be a physics teacher in the Chicago suburbs. He is part of a group of my friends that fall into the Computer Game/D&D/Board Games group. So, for his bachelor party, he decided to have a gamer's weekend. The party is starting out with an D&D Arena of Death (D&D with 2 teams fighting it out), followed by BattleTech, SpaceHulk, and various board games like Risk and Shogun. Add in food from the best Deli in Chicago (Augustino's) and a Mexican Fiesta of Fajiitas and Nachos, equals a great time. Not sure what time I will go to bed tonight ... Sarah gets back from her parents tomorrow, so I have to be 'normal' by then. Yes, you can call me geek :)

Today might be a day that a few people are on edge ...

June 6 2006

So today is one of the freaking calendar days that people will interrupt in various ways. The date, June 6th, 2006, can be interpreted as 06/06/06. So people are considering this a reference to the number associated with the Devil, 6 6 6. Other's are using the day to celebrate their favorite hard rock band. There is even a creepy, scary movie being released. To me, it is just another day that I get to work :) MSNBC has a great article about the commercialization of Satan. Interesting read. Enjoy the day ... and don't forget to look over your shoulder from time to time :-)

On my way to Vegas

April 7 2006

Vegas Baby, Vegas! :) I am on my way to Las Vegas for the Advisor Summit Conference. Hope to see some of you there!

Check out the time of this entry ...

April 5 2006

The time of this blog post is 01:02:03 04/05/06 ... how cool is that! This will not happen again in my life time, so I had to blog about it :)

ILDDM and the Magic of 600

February 10 2006

I am leaving Kansas City today after a full week of Domino.Doc goodness. I love seeing Domino.Doc put to good use, especially with a focused team, proper configuration, and a good amount of training and documentation. It is the only way for Domino.Doc to be successful. I leave KC with a greater appreciation for BBQ (yum, baby back ribs), the flu going around hotels, and the number 600. I can only imagine how much "600" gets use over the next couple of week. :)

Taking a break after Lotusphere

January 28 2006

I have been in Orlando for over a week now ... and I am just beat. Lotusphere always takes a lot out of me. Sessions, a booth, all the talking, drinking, and lack of sleep usually ends up being me sick for a while after sphere. So this year I am spending 4 days doing nothing. My father lives in Orlando, so I will be at his place hanging out. Friday was sun, dinner with the family, and movies. Today will be more of that, just add in some good sushi. I hope everyone travels home safely (if you were at sphere) and I will be back Tuesday.

New Orleans is Chocolate

January 17 2006

I try not to put any politics on my site ... there is no good way to express political (or religious or sexual) topics without angering someone. I try to keep this site about technical and fun stuff. Reading this quote today, I could not stop from commenting on it. "It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans - the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans." Ray Nagin, Mayor, New Orleans. Woah. I get that I am blessed in my life ... I never forget that. I know that growing up in Upper Middle Class Wheaton, IL was not the hotbed of racism tension or struggle. I have been lucky. I know there are many people out there that are not as privileged or lucky as I am. This is not about that. My thought after reading this is that racism is still present in the US, and it is

Happy Birthday to Ed ....

August 5 2005

Ed Brill ups the age counter today. While Ed and I have a lot of connections in the work place, I want to wish my good friend and semi partner-in-crime a happy birthday. What do you get someone who travels all over the world? How about how to say Happy Birthday in 150 languages. My favorites include La-breithe mhaith agat! or Co` latha breith sona dhut! Or Breithla Shona Dhuit! and nesta data querida muitas felicidades e muitos anos de vida. Have a good day with your daughter! (and yes, for those wondering, I am working this weekend ... got a big ILDDM migration going on ... please send drinks! :) )

"Damn its hot .... But it’s a dry heat!"

July 17 2005

Whoever said dry heat was tolerable (and bonus points if you know the movie) was just out of their mind. I arrived in Las Vegas today for the Advisor Live seminar. It hit 115 today. YIKES! Even in Chicago it was hot ... 97 degrees. Summer is definitely here. I am using the Advisor conference as a mini vacation. I am here until Wednesday. My only obligations is lunch on Monday and a session right after lunch on Wednesday. Can you say chill out and enjoy VEGAS BABY, VEGAS! :) I then spend 4 days in Los Angeles visiting College Bowl and my bud Benson, who works at EA. With all the relaxation time, you might actually see more blogging from me!

Synergy - one of the best Open Source programs I have ever seen

July 14 2005

While not a complete replacement for a KVM, this software is well on it's way. Synergy allows you to have a single mouse and keyboard work across multiple computers. While other software does this, Synergy supports Windows, Mac OS 10, and Unix (X11). Screensavers sync up and unlocking one unlocks them all. You can even do copy and paste across the computers! This is AMAZING software. It still needs work to make it perfect, but anyone with multiple computers on their desk needs to try this.

Put this in the ’What the heck were they thinking’ category

July 11 2005

So I went to use my birthday gift certificate at the Cold Stone Creamery near the PSC Schaumburg offices, and saw they had a bunch of special flavors this month. If you have never been to a Cold Stone (or Marble Slab), they have ice cream and stuff you can mix with it. They have a cold marble stone that the mix everything together. Neat idea and profitable franchises I am told. I prefer the Cheesecake Fantasy (but I do mine with Cheesecake Ice Cream, Gram Crackers, Raspberries, Blueberries) but I always check out the flavor of the month. They have Fruity Cereal, Black Licorice, Oatmeal Cookie Batter, and Tangerine Sorbet. But the one that shocked me was Wasabi Ginger. Oh My God it is disgusting! Now, before any cries foul, I am a sushi freak. I love sushi. I could eat it every day. This is HORRIBLE! Even worse, the featured recipe has it mixed with coconuts! What the Hell! Disgusting and trying to kill me! (I am deathly allergic to coconut milk and meat, mildly al

31 and counting

July 11 2005

Imagine getting a phone call from a friend telling you 'welcome to the 31 to 40 age bracket. Your old!' :)

Hollywood Star does something selfless

May 30 2005

I try not to introduce politics on this site (because everyone has their own opinions), but I wanted to share this story with everyone. Too many people, on both sides of the political spectrum, have gotten in press for talking. Usually the words have nothing behind them. But Denzel Washington put his success where his mouth is. Here is what happened: Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC (Brook Army Medical Center), in San Antonio, Texas the other day. This is where soldiers that have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the States, especially burn victims. They have buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a hotel that soldiers' families can stay at, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled to the brim most of the time. While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses.

I am updating the site a bit ...

April 7 2005

I am updating the static pages, such as the About John, Articles, and Downloads pages to have much more information. The Downloads page is a work in progress, but I plan on having all of the presentations I have given on there shortly. Look for more changes over the next few weeks.

RIP Pope John Paul II

April 4 2005

As a polish catholic, I spent a large part of my weekend watching the television coverage from the Vatican. A man that crossed political and religious boundaries like no other man of the past 100 years, the man who spent the past 12 years struggling with a devastating physical disease is now in a better place. My grandmother saw the pontiff as the hope of the polish people, giving the people of the world something besides bad jokes as the symbol of Poland. My grandmother met the Pope once, and she has been in my thoughts a lot this weekend. I know both are in heaven.

Every well dressed man should have these ...

February 21 2005

Emergency Cufflinks ... put them in your wallet for times you need to fasten the french cuffs on your sleeves! :) I just found this to be a cool gift for a man who actually dresses up ... I happen to be one of them. All of you 'business casual means the dressy jeans' guys just ignore this! LOL

Back amongst the living

February 21 2005

Hey everyone ... sorry for disappearing like that again. I was really really sick the past 10 days. 2 separate trips to the emergency care. I won't go in details, but things are getting better. Back to work today. I am also going to try to get thru some of the blogging backlog I have.

Annual Vaporware Awards

January 7 2005

So Wired has released their 2004 Vaporware awards. I think it is hilarious that Duke Nukem Forever still gets so many emails, even with the Lifetime Vaporware achievement award. Just release the game already! :) So, I thought I would add some of my own ... not all vaporware, but mostly things I wished came out in 2004: The Star Wars Original Trilogy untouched by Lucas A new Apple Powerbook ... give us something more than Bluetooth and Speed bumps! New Mudvayne CD (pushed back to 2005) The Babylon 5: The Telepath War movie A Chicago sports team that can win 50% of their games

Getting back to normal around here ...

December 21 2004

With the elections and school over, my life is starting to get back to normal. I have returned to a day where I can actually do something besides work and study! :) Seriously, my gaming habits are getting some serious attention over the holiday break. Half-Life 2 is almost done (and a review of that is coming shortly), but my big gaming habit is now World of Warcraft. If anyone is playing, I am on the Garona server, Alliance Faction, Human Mage. Man, this game has me addicted ... and I do not like the Everquest style games usually. I will detail my experiences soon. I have also added a few new gadgets to the arsenal, one being a new phone ... the Blackberry 7100t. The Review for that is almost done. I am leaving Thursday to go to Orlando until the 2nd of January. Lots of time doing nothing or playing games is in my future. I do hope to get back to a more daily blogging schedule. You will also see new content on here for those coming from the Notes community as

The journey is over ... and the value of education

December 20 2004

As a few people know, I did not get my college degree when I was the typical 'college' age ... and that decision got me into software development at Artron. And the rest is, as they say, 'history.' But what many people do not know is that the past 2 years I have been working to complete me degree. And as of today, I got the official piece of paper ... I am a college graduate. The degree is a Bachelors of Computer Science from University of Illinois. I am going to participate in graduation in May, to allow my parents to both attend, but its official enough to go on the resume! For those that do not know the history, you can read about the 12 year journey below. And yes, this has been the main reason I have been so silent and distant this year. My thanks and apologies to my friends, family, and co-workers for putting up with me while I was going to school, working, and participating in the 04 election process. So the journey begins during my senior year of high s

Weekend in Austin

November 14 2004

I got to spent this weekend in Austin, Texas for a political event. About 75 20 or 30 something's came from all over the US to meet, network, and socialize. I had never been to Austin before, so I was looking forward to this for a while (and the 3 day weekend!). Austin was a blast ... those Texans sure know how to party. 6th Street, which is the bar scene in Austin (much like Division or Rush Street in Downtown Chicago) is nuts. I haven't partied this hard in a very long time ... now that I am 30 I can not do the 'college party' scene that well. Friday night we went to Pete's, which is a dual piano bar like Houl at the Moon or Jellyrolls at the Boardwalk (a reference to all you Lotusphere folks) ... lots of fun, singing, dancing, and drinking was done. One of my fellow Illinois attendees paid dearly for all the drinking Friday night Saturday morning :). Saturday morning I had a chance to see the Capital building and walk around downtown. Downtown Austin is very interes

Comments on the US Elections ...

November 12 2004

A lot of people have asked me why I have not commented on the US Elections we had on November 2nd, 2004. There are many good reasons. The biggest reason is that I try to stay away from any topics that might get people agitated or angry ... including politics, religion, and sex. Just good sense, even for a personal blog. But since the election is over, I will comment on the facts. And I feel I should probably come clean on my opinions, just to be fair to everyone ... go here to see how involved in politics I am and where I stand. So George W. Bush was re elected. Not only did he win (yes, I know, its not certified everywhere) the electoral college, he won the popular vote by over 3 million votes. Most people do not realize that the last president to win the electoral and popular vote contests was President Bush Senior in 1988. So no matter how you look at it, Bush won. But not only did Bush win, but the Republican counts in both the House and Senate went up. A

VOTE!

November 2 2004

Today is the day that every American citizen can speak their voice and use their rights to elect National, State, and Local candidates. Forget the spin, forget what the media tells you ... make a decision and vote!

DoS attack hits ... do’h

October 7 2004

So some may have noticed that there was a Denial of Service attack that hit some of the PSC websites today. I will not go into details about the specific attack, but it was over 750 connections hitting something specific. Without giving too much away, the server that hosts my site also hosts www.edbrill.com and suitedev.psclistens.com (which is currently off-line) and will soon host another blog (once that person get's their butt in gear). So someone decided to play around. They got lucky ... I was offsite at a client all day and most of our internal IT staff was not around. And they were fairly sophisticated in how they did this. Anyways, we are back to normal. Sorry for the disruption.

The computer situation is improving ...

August 10 2004

So I have been limping along with a 3+ year old gaming computer, and Doom3 just was horrible to play on it. So I ordered a new Dell gaming rig. Which according to UPS, should be here by 3 PM Central Daylight time. I spent last night cleaning up my computer room/office. Got rid of the server/doorstop which was a P75 with Windows 95. I will now have my Dell P3 950 as my server, the new Dell (specs to follow when it gets here) as the gaming and development machine, the Apple PowerBook as the mail/im/rss/document laptop, my old Dell Inspiron 8000 as the test Windows machine, and the work Toshiba for client development. Yummy!

Yes, its true, I enter a new decade this weekend

July 9 2004

Well, since Ed blogged this last year, I really can not duck the truth ... I turn 30 on Sunday. Yes, 30 years ago, I was born in a hospital in Livonia, Michigan. I am actually looking forward to being 30, as it gets me out of the 'twenties' age range. And yes, that means some of you in the Domino community met me when I was 22 ... feel old now? :)

Being a Geek is now Cool?

April 13 2004

This article from Spiked got slashdotted, but I still think its interesting to discuss. According to the article, what used to be consider "Geeky" is now considered mainstream. The biggest evidence they use is Return of the King winning 11 Oscars, including Best Picture. It is interesting, how over time, things get integrated into society and become more acceptable. So the real question is, what does it take to be a Geek and a Geek-friendly society? Be a linux head who writes viri all day? Hmmmmm ....

The real John vs. the ’Lotus John’ vs. the ’Starfish’

April 5 2004

Happy Monday everyone. I had one of those experiences this weekend ... the kind that makes you stop and look at something in an entirely different way. I showed someone this site that is not part of our community or the tech community at all. This person is not a gamer. The person they know as 'John' is pretty different side than the 'John' or 'Starfish' that this site reveals. There are things in my life that I do not reveal on this site on purpose, and others that just do not make it in to the blog entries. But it made me realize how skewed this site was towards my tech/gadget/game/rock portion of my personality. The bigger question I think that I came up with was it wrong to keep those things out of the site, and the answer I came to was not at all. The "John that does Office integration for Notes" in the Lotus community and the "Starfish" in the gaming community are all part of who John Head is as a whole. Food for thought for Monday morning. Oh, and to the 'IM f