Ed Taekema - Road Warrior Collaboration 2004/3

March 2004
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A blog looking at business communication, knowledge management, scripting tools, OS technology news and other things of interest to mobile tech workers. As I find interesting news this will also contain pointers to thoughts related to configuration managment, change management and general software development.

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Reading Material - Disarming Iraq

I am only half way through the Hans Blix account, Disarming Iraq. Overall, an excellent read. Oddly enough, I had to really hunt at the bookstore in Dallas to find it even though it has only been out a few days. Its a revealing look into the mind of someone who works at the highest levels of world government and walks through the events leading up to the War on Iraq with great detail.

[Political Rant On]

An interesting thought that keeps running through my mind as I read this is something along these lines:

If the war on Iraq was justified by Iraq's material breach of UN Resolution 1441, what happens now that we discover that they in fact had nothing more to reveal? Were they really in material breach? And if not, what is the status of invasion that was supposed to be punishment for the breach?

[Political Rant Off]

Its a good thought provoking book. Go get it and read it ... it'll probably be buried in the politics section of your bookstore if you're in Texas.

posted at 01:17:36    #

TimTam Wiki Editor - for TWiki or MoinMoin??

There have been lots of comments recently about the TimTam wiki editor for Confluence. This looks really slick. Is anyone aware of something similar for wiki tools like TWiki or MoinMoin? I agree with this poster that something like this would make wikis easier to introduce to the general population.

Source: java.blogs Day's Entries
posted at 14:20:32    #

IM in the Workplace

My company is also using IM, although the fustrating thing being on the road is that it is often difficult to get through firewalls etc. The benefits tho are huge. Email traffic does go down, issues are solved, clarified faster, and there is a record of the conversation that a cell phone call wouldn't leave if your IM tool has history. We've even used IM to deploy software patches to field. Instant patching ...

If everyone were on the same IM platform I think the benefits would be huge. While IM can be a distraction, I think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

  • The cycle of quesiton / clarification / restatement of question / answer is much tighter due to the speed of IM.

  • Targeted communication - I can tell who is available so I don't have to span a whole group of people.

The private, always on IRC channel is an intriguing idea ... If there was a way to secure it for road warriors that might be the way to go. I've noticed that groups that use blackberry devices with access to inhouse email tend to use them in a very IM centric way as well. Trouble is, there is no presence indicator to speak of so it isn't quite as good.

posted at 12:36:00    #

I'm loosing it: When googling isn't enough

Pixilated Jon is looking for a more intelligent and useful URI / link management tool. I also initially set this up as a personal wiki but found it too tedious to enter new links in. The requirements outlined in the post are a good start. They are:

  • Requirement 1: Actioning a 'store this URI' should be cheap.

  • Requirement 2: Bookmarked URI's should have meta-data associated with them.

  • Requirement 3: Provide effective search filters.

I've had the same struggle and am now adopting a running mind map in Freemind that allows me to visually manage pointers to important URIs so I can find them easily later. Freemind doesn't seem to have filtering tho which would be cool. I have found the visual grouping of links extremely helpful.

Alternatively, Wirearchy is pointing to a tool called Onfolio that is plugged in directly to IE that looks very much like what you are interested in as well.


Thanks to wouter for the pointer to del.icio.us ... social bookmarking. Very neat. It has a personal rss feed so you can keep tabs on things even when you are offline. Its seems a little slow, but a great idea nonetheless.


I noticed that Mossberg in the WSJ reviewed Onfolio and was quite impressed. You can read the article here (Warning subscription required) or in this alternatate site ... no sub required.

posted at 10:40:48    #

Voice over IP Providers

This is something that I am hearing road warriors mention more and more. I have personally used Skype and am interested in trying out Glophone. Skype has been good and the quality of the sound is pretty amazing but the spam has been quite high. My wife reported that she received 14 calls from people she had never heard of today... This has led us to set privacy settings that are restrictive. Hence the interest in Glophone.

Here are the providers that I am aware of.

  • Skype - free for now and in Beta

  • Glophone - both free and for pay service with local US telephone number

  • Vonage- for pay service

Of course there are voice options in the IM clients as well.


Thanks to Mr. Blog, here is another option. There are a growing numbers of vendors that provide hardware/software voip solutions that are baed on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). To read more about SIP check out the SIPWiki. Here are number of SIP solutions that Mr. Blog pointed out:

I wonder how well these solutions work when travelling. It would be neat if it could somehow work through firewalls and proxies ... so far I have not had any luck with either Skype (doesn't yet support going through proxy servers) or Globphone either for that matter. Most hotels don't seem to do proxies so that should work ok. Please let me know if anyone out there has tried these phones on the road.

posted at 15:18:08    #

the wonders of SSH

Here is a great article on how to setup ssh encrypted tunnels and use Putty (my favourite terminal tools) over the tunnel. Excellent trick for any road warrior's bag.

Source: d2r
posted at 00:26:24    #

Secret to Success: Go for "Just Enough"

If life were lived in a fixed time frame, where success was measured only in the instant you hit the peak, maximized measures would work. But the only fixed time frame we know for sure is death. Everything else is subject to moving targets. If you wish to live with a continually renewing sense of success that really seems worthwhile and lasting on all your success targets, you have to give up the standards of maximization.

Source: elearnspace blog
posted at 18:00:16    #
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