Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Source: Curiouser and curiouser!

For the first time I have realised that I can drive a monitor from my laptop at the same time as using the LCD.  For developing this has lots of obvious advantages and, although not as good as MacOS X, the support is pretty good.   One thing I would like to be able to do though is have a second taskbar running on the 2nd monitor and collecting windows that have been dropped into that screen.  I tried Googling but couldn't find the answer.  Does anyone know if this is possible?

Update: I found Roman Voska's MediaChance site where he offers a free download of a tool which does exactly what I want!  MultiMonitorTaskbar creates a new taskbar on the 2nd monitor.  Windows on the 2nd monitor are only displayed in the 2nd taskbar (neat) and every window now has a button which flips it to the opposite monitor (very neat).  Thank you Roman!

I am already addicted to multi-monitor support :-)

[Curiouser and curiouser!]
7:57:29 PM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

  Saturday, August 02, 2003

UI PowerTips.

The new TweakUI has a bunch of tips; some you know, some you probably don't. Here they are:

Press Win+L to switch to the Welcome screen.

Press Win+L to lock your workstation.
You can switch users without going through the Welcome screen: From Task Manager, go to the Users tab, right-click a user, and select Connect.
Hold down the shift key in the shutdown dialog to change "Stand By" to "Hibernate". Or just press H to hibernate instantly. You can even use the Power Control Panel to configure your power button to hibernate.
To disable the password when resuming from standby or hibernation, open the Power Control Panel and uncheck "Prompt for password after returning from standby" on the Advanced tab.
You can rename multiple files all at once: Select a group of files, right-click the first file, and select "Rename". Type in a name for the first file, and the rest will follow.
Hold down the shift key when switching to thumbnail view to hide the file names. Do it again to bring them back.
When dragging a file in Explorer, you can control the operation that will be performed when you release the mouse button: Hold the Control key to force a Copy. Hold the Shift key to force a Move. Hold the Alt key to force a Create Shortcut.
If you create a file called Folder.jpg, that image will be used as the thumbnail for the folder. What's more, that image will also be used as the album art in Windows Media Player for all media files in that folder.
From the View Menu, select "Choose Details" to select which file properties should be shown in the Explorer window. To sort by a file property, check its name in the "Choose Details" in order to make that property available in the "Arrange Icons by" menu.
To display the volume control icon in the taskbar, go to the Sounds and Audio Devices Control Panel and select "Place volume icon in the taskbar".
Hold down the shift key when deleting a file to delete it immediately instead of placing it in the Recycle Bin. Files deleted in this way cannot be restored.
If you hold down the shift key while clicking "No" in a Confirm File Operation dialog, the response will be interpreted as "No to All".
To save a document with an extension other than the one a program wants to use, enclose the entire name in quotation marks. For example, if you run Notepad and save a file under the name Dr.Z it will actually be saved under the name Dr.Z.txt. But if you type "Dr.Z" then the document will be saved under the name Dr.Z. Note that a document so-named cannot be opened via double-clicking since the extension is no longer ".txt".
Put a shortcut to your favorite editor in your Send To folder and it will appear in your "Send To" menu. You can then right-click any file and send it to your editor.
Ctrl+Shift+Escape will launch Task Manager.
To arrange two windows side-by-side, switch to the first window, then hold the Control key while right-clicking the taskbar button of the second window. Select "Tile Vertically".
To close several windows at once, hold down the Control key while clicking on the taskbar buttons of each window. Once you have selected all the windows you want to close, right-click the last button you selected and pick "Close Group".
You can turn a folder into a desktop toolbar by dragging the icon of the desired folder to the edge of the screen. You can then turn it into a floating toolbar by dragging it from the edge of the screen into the middle of the screen. (It helps if you minimize all application windows first.)
You can turn a folder into a taskbar toolbar. First, unlock your taskbar. Next, drag the icon of the desired folder to the space between the taskbar buttons and the clock. (Wait for the no-entry cursor to change to an arrow. It's a very tiny space; you will have to hunt for it.) You can rearrange and resize the taskbar toolbar you just created. You can even turn the taskbar toolbar into a menu by resizing it until only its name is visible.
In the Address Bar, type Microsoft and hit Ctrl+Enter. Internet Explorer automatically inserts the "http://www." and ".com" for you.
To remove an AutoComplete entry from a Web form, highlight the item in the AutoComplete dropdown and press the Delete key. To remove all Web form AutoComplete entries, go to the Internet Explorer Tools menu, select Internet Options, Content, AutoComplete, then press the "Clear Forms" button.
To organize your Favorites in Explorer instead of using the Organize Favorites dialog, hold the shift key while selecting "Organize Favorites" from the Favorites menu of an Explorer window.
You can organize your Favorites by dragging the items around your Favorites menu. Alternatively, you can open the Favorites pane and hold the Alt key while pressing the up and down arrows to change the order of your Favorites.
To run Internet Explorer fullscreen, press F11. Do it again to return to normal mode.
If your "Printers and Faxes" folder is empty, you can hide the "Printers and Faxes" icon when viewed from other computers by stopping the Print Spooler service.
To add or remove columns from Details mode, select Choose Details from the View menu, or just right-click the column header bar.
In Internet Explorer, hold the Shift key while turning the mouse wheel to go forwards or backwards.
In Internet Explorer, hold the Shift key while clicking on a link to open the Web page in a new window.
In Internet Explorer, type Ctrl+D to add the current page to your Favorites. This and many more keyboard shortcuts can be found by going to Internet Explorer, clicking the Help menu, then selecting Contents and Index. From the table of contents, open Accessibility and click "Using Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts".
In some applications (such as Internet Explorer), holding the Control key while turning the mouse wheel will change the font size.
To shut down via Remote Desktop, click the Start button, then type Alt+F4.
[WebLogs @ ASP.NET]
3:07:57 PM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

  Sunday, July 13, 2003

Very Interesting information.

Source: How to Save the World;


f I had to choose one country other than Canada to live in, I would without hesitation choose Nederland, where I've spent the last few days. This is a country in a world gone mad that makes sense . The people are multi-lingual, well-educated and well-traveled, and have taken the best practices of living from the rest of the planet and applied them to their small but surprisingly uncrowded country. Here are some of the things they do, that we should all learn to do:
  1. Public Transport: It's not perfect, especially around Amsterdam at rush hour, but you can get anywhere in Holland by train, quickly, efficiently, comfortably, and pollution free (the system is entirely electric).
  2. Private Transport: Bicycles are ubiquitous and practical (there are more of them than people in Holland, and they're built well, and for touring, not racing). They have huge bike racks in all public places, and country-wide bicycle paths that make cycling everywhere safe and efficient even with children. There are even special traffic signals just for bicycles!
  3. Energy Conservation: Besides bicycles, Holland is of course known for its windmills, the original non-polluting, renewable energy. Today's windmills are huge, dramatic, and powerful at capturing the wind's energy. The Dutch put up with their eerie noise to save money and the environment.
  4. Building Things to Last: Apartments built over a century ago look new, need few repairs, and are nearly completely soundproof. They still build stuff like this today. Roads last decades, even centuries, without repair. Pay now, don't pay later (and don't add to the mountains of building waste in landfills) is their motto. 
  5. The Cleanliness Culture: The Tragedy of the Commons is less an issue in Holland than elsewhere because the common areas (parks, streets, washrooms) are so clean and neat that no one would dare mess them up. It`s a mindset that reinforces itself. Even the graffiti is art, not defacement.
  6. Intelligent Use of Space: There is no sprawl in Holland, but also no sense of over-crowding, because space is used so cleverly and economically it seems bigger than it really is.park
  7. Keeping an Open Mind: The Dutch are well-read and have strong political opinions, but political debate is a search for compromise and understanding, not the acrimonious, intolerant and adversarial rage of overstatement, attack and extremism that seems to prevail in North America.
  8. Understanding Trade Economics: The Dutch understand that trade deals are logical win-win negotiations, based on who can best do what, not wars to see who can deliver lowest-common-denominator products and services cheapest at any cost. And since the Dutch speak everyone's language, not only do they facilitate trade debates, they control them, to their advantage.
  9. Enjoying Life Freely Without Guilt: It's not uncommon to see a Dutchman walk out of church on a Sunday and go immediately next door to the SexShop. The Dutch aren't hung up on doctrinaire moralities, and while they're very strict about destructive behaviours (assault, murder, trafficking hard drugs), they otherwise live by the libertarian ideal that if it doesn't hurt anyone else, feel free to do it and have fun.
  10. Be Green: Recycle everything. Treat animals with respect. Cultivate flowers and green spaces everywhere. Love nature. Teach people the importance of living in harmony with the rest of nature and of man.

I was just watching, on KLM Inflight News, pictures of the 'progress' of China's Three Gorges Dam project, which is flooding millions of acres of stunningly beautiful land, condemning millions of animals to a watery death (including endangered species), and forcing millions of people from their life-long homes. The fucking Chinese government, a brutal and repressive totalitarian regime that hypocrite Bush is so cozy with, could learn a lot from the Dutch.
[How to Save the World]
2:58:22 PM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

  Thursday, June 26, 2003

Uncensor your Internet access!

"Turn your home computer into a miniature Web server that you and your friends can connect to when your Internet access is censored.

If you are blocked from accessing a Web site, you can connect instead to the Web site running on your home computer, where you will be

able to access a form that lets you type in the URL of the Web site that you want to see. Then the contents of that site will be displayed

to you even though you never actually access the site directly."

Requires Windows 2000 or XP.

[Politics in the Zeros]

7:36:31 AM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

  Sunday, June 01, 2003

arrowChalkboard Paint 307
Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint is a premium quality topcoat that turns any interior surface into a chalkboard. Chalkboard Paint 307

bullet  Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint is a topcoat that turns any interior surface into a chalkboard.
bullet  Goes on easily and is washable.
bullet  Resists spattering during application.

Color Available
 Use: Interior
 Gloss: Eggshell
 Type: 100% Acrylic Latex
 Clean Up: Water

12:05:44 PM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

  Wednesday, April 30, 2003

SharpMT - 1.0 Beta 4 (updated).

For some reason, Beta 3 might have gotten "stuck" on the server. I re-uploaded the file and just downloaded Beta 4 this time - if you downloaded this last night, please check your about box for the Beta 4 version!

Feature updates for this Beta, this time, but there's been a couple of bug fixes as would be expected for a project that's still in Beta. New stuff includes a tracing window for debugging purposes, a new way to set some default values for new posts, and a new registry location. More details below; download it here.

11:33:44 AM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

Just a note to myself about a product for setting up virtual classrooms on the internet with a ton of great features. .


9:34:00 AM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

Source: Marc's Voice; 4/30/2003; 8:20:08 AM

Moral Capitalism. eParty.

One of the better discussions I had at Etech was with Mark Pincus on his idea for an eParty.  An eParty would be a lobbying organization funded by a constituency of civic participants who leverage an emergent democracy system to deliberate and choose issues to support and advance.  What appeals to me about this idea:

  • Its interests will emerge -- a potential governance mechanism that is truely emergent
  • Its driven by easy group forming -- fills a gap in today's politics of infuence to advance otherwise unfundable or short-term issues.
  • The process is the platform -- which fosters substantive debate, civic participation and social capital

The blogosphere has proven effective in influencing the mass media which in turn influences decision makers.  It also encourages direct appeal for email write-in campaigns.  But to truely have an impact on existing political institutions it must represent itself as a constituency and engage in institutional pluralism -- through lobbying on behalf of its constituents.

[Ross Mayfield's Weblog]

Mark Pincus is a moral capitalist.  He's made lots of money, but he hasn't let that get to his head.  He's the kind of guy who wakes up in the morning knowing what's possible - but that it's not ALL about making money.  The power of the people can never be defeated.

So Mark is floating an idea for an eParty.  Check it out.  It's a pretty cool idea.

[Marc's Voice]
9:30:34 AM    trackback []     Articulate [] 

  Monday, April 28, 2003

Source: Escapable Logic; 4/28/2003; 9:36:48 AM

The Flip Side . . .

. . . of last time is the buyer's ethical responsibility to embrace the seller and help extend the seller's skills and reputation. If that's the flip side, then my last rant must have been the flippant side, noting how resentful and impatient we are with a seller's shortcomings, whether real or assumed.

The urge to encourage and cultivate a seller is part of the relationship model that Doc has been championing along with many others. During the period between 40 to 1 B.C. (Before Cluetrain), we assumed that commerce is simply commercial, with buyers and sellers doomed forever to terse, often adversarial salvos. We might call that communication mode expedient. The long decline into mass marketing and the muting of the customer's voice had caused us to forget about the market conversation, or to conduct it sotto voce at best.

Then the Internet clued us that the market is a conversation and money is just the punch line.

Doc reports that, soon after the ink dried, the Clue Trainers started hearing from people whose cultures had not lost the art of transactional conversation. They pointed out that real markets are more than conversations, they're relationships, crafted one conversation at a time, often over decades and generations.

When we realize that markets are relationships, we can recognize that Iraq's Sumerian ancestors invented written language, not to record their ancient myths and epic poetry, but to keep track of market conversations and the relationships developed out of them. At first they were anecdotal, like blogs are today. They evolved like blogs, getting more efficient, connected and data-like until an Italian friar named Fra Luca Pacioli invented double entry bookkeeping in 1494. In a very real sense, double entry bookkeeping was the XML of the Renaissance. (Are the "o", "k" and "e" double-entered in "bookkeeping" just to get the point across? How weird is that?)

We need to be clear: Literature, Ethics and Law are the products of explicit recorded history and explicitness is the enabling technology of market relationships. Like VisiCalc jump-starting personal computing, public markets were the killer app that jump-started money and writing and literacy. Without public markets, trade isn't robust enough to support anything more than ad hoc barter. The agora requires standard pricing of a commodity to act as a medium of exchange (probably grain in Mesopotamia) and writing to support the market experience, where you barter your pig in the morning for grain or shells or coins and then barter them for a rabbit, maize, mead, a trinket and a little hashish to make it all seem worthwhile. When everyone uses the same barter good, it's money, no matter how it's styled.

The agora was surrounded by cafés, foundries for written philosophy, politics, laws. John Bosak famously said that "XML gives Java something to do." Writing gave Hammurabi, Homer, Plato, Aristotle and Solon something to do.

We didn't need literacy to teach the youngsters in Ur about Gilgamesh. Epic poetry retold around the hearth did that more effectively than books ever would. We needed writing only to record explicit market relationships:

<grain_deposit>Farmer Hotep deposited 40 bushels of high quality grain in the South Baghdad Granary on the 4th day of the 8th moon of the 7th year of the reign of Shalmaneser III.</grain_deposit>

Indeed, the first business forms were Cunei-forms; the first data platform, wet clay; the first data managers, priests (we still think of them as priests, which is how they like it). The data was as closed and proprietary as it gets: Farmer Hotep could no more get at or read his record than you can get at or read your Homeland Security profile. The development of agriculture implied, even demanded, markets and markets imply a thin-client form of literacy, just as TV implies illiteracy, email and blogs imply mass literacy and, I would argue, XML implies, even demands, Open Data.

Agriculture was the watershed organizing force that institutionalized slavery and accounting. Daniel Quinn suggested that the Garden of Eden Myth started as the recounting of a barely remembered hunter-gatherer utopia in the lush Fertile Crescent before farming and climate cleared and desolated the middle east.

Explicating the Implicit

As Ross Mayfield noted, it's often good to be explicit. In the case of transactions, Cluetrain gave us a context to be explicit about market conversations. Bloggging tools set us up to record and archive our thoughts and, collectively, to archive our market conversations and suggest their progeny, relationships. What will give us the context to describe and implement market relationships on a global scale? Let's review the evolution of markets (warning: non-researched vague impressions formatted to look authoritative):

Cultural Phase Activities Pricing Data Mode
Hunting & gathering 1. ad hoc barter haggle oral relationship
Agriculture 2. public market haggle oral+ relationship
Mercantilism 3, retail (via distribution) fixed* closed expedient
Mass media 4. retail, mail order, QVC/HSN fixed closed expedient
E-Commerce 5. [4]+ web brochures & review sites fixed closed+ softened expedient
Cluetrained 6. [5]+ data websites + blogs fixed closed+ exp/conversation
Peer Economy
7.  commerce-blogs

* after John Wanamaker
If that's how trading and markets evolve, then we can guess that they evolve to the next stage when the old modality can't scale to meet the requirements of a new cultural phase. Hunter gatherers accumulate no more than they can haul around, and they meet very few of each other. Farmers build granaries and farm-to-market roads and highways and cities with sewage systems. All of those imply coinage and accounting as soon as bartering won't scale to the newly expanded marketplace.

Farmers notice that tea kettles develop a lot of pressure, but they don't do anything with that knowledge. When steam is harnessed, trade routes proliferate, as cotton is moved to the mills in bulk and loomed into cloth to be worn by the newly employed and tightly scheduled loom operators whose wages buy the cotton. ("Got no time to haggle now, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!") Haggling on small items won't scale to an industrial pace, so John Wanamaker instantiated fixed pricing in the 1880s, as Saturn did for cars in the 1990s.

The expedient mode scales great as long as the one-to-many model of clerk-based retailing constrains buyers' choices. But when media frees sellers from the clerk-based low bandwidth model to the high bitstreams of broadcast, many more sellers are selling to many more buyers. The broadcast model may be one-to many, but the seller model is many-to-manymore. Early e-commerce, we know, is just brochureware, so nothing really changes until data driven web sites and email and web logs open an electronic feedback trickle rising to a bit torrent.

That's where we are now, on the cusp of a peer economy. P2P transactions may look like data-backed blogs talking about commerce, like this example. A global market as intimate as blogging is a major disruptor. Should we be surprised that this era's masters are fighting our current scaling crisis without really understanding it? Why should they be any different than their precursors at previous inflection points, movers shaking at the prospect of a new mode for transactions?

Sweet Home, Ali Baba

So here we are, the newest, least subtle culture, back in the Tigris-Euphrates valley where it all started, just as our economy is emerging from the cathedral's gloom, blinking in the bright light of the global bazaar. Obsessing about Iraq and antiquities and cuneiform records and all the rest, reinventing the divine chaordia of peer-to-peer market relationships mediated by value and quality and with asynchronous time enough to care about those arcane, . . . well, qualities. The super market's goods scaled to suburbia but they really weren't goods, just OKs. They were less filling and worse tasting than fresh New Jersey tomatoes and Iowa farm-raised beef. The mass market is re-learning how to spell q-u-a-l-i-t-y and we won't let mass merchandising put our genie back in their bottle.

Now we have all three communication modes at our disposal: Expedience, Conversation and Relationship. We don't want to haggle over commodities but we're experts in prestige and the tools of our trade and we want the good life at great prices. You'll find us over at CostCo, loading paper towels into our Mercedes. Next we'll stop at CompUSA, grooving to our iPod while stocking up on commodity CD blanks to Rip Mix Burn on our tricked-out iMac. Back home, we'll order cut-rate printer cartridges from since CostCo and CompUSA only stock the Epson parts.

In a few more web years we'll order our ripe red beefsteak tomatoes direct from Doc's second cousin in Jersey and marbled beefsteaks from ripe red Gelbvieh cattle on Dick Gholson's farm in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

(If current distribution systems won't scale, someone will scale them for us. Maybe UPS will buy Mail Boxes, Etc. Ya think?)

How will we know about those tomatoes and steaks? The same way we knew about them in the bazaar: Reputation. Reputation, that evanescent characteristic owned by everyone except the person it's attached to. Reputation, the secret sauce of a decommodified life. Reputation, the public knowledge that's too important to be left to private data.

Clue the Data, Maestro

We've not yet developed a clued-in context to help us talk about open data as A Good Thing, or even why it might be. Aside from anecdotal web sites and blogs (randomly linked but otherwise disconnected), there is no user-centric open data yet, where relationship information, reputation, is threaded and mirrored in the mind/data spaces of the seller and the buyer. Consider this stunning fact: There is still no example of public, open data.

Big companies insist on mirroring data for their B2B transactions, often using the EDI protocol or the more pervasive my_lawyers_vs._your_lawyers protocol (FYTP). They can afford the effort to 1) agree to agree, 2) explicate the agreement, 4) staff for compliance and 5) go to court to weasel out of or enforce the agreement. But you and I don't have that luxury and we can't compete with mass merchandisers interpreting our data for us, constrained by business models and data architectures that can't scale to the public forum.

Corporate Agoraphobia

Companies hate public scrutiny as much as agoraphobic hermits hibernating year round. They would never conceive of open data along the Xpertweb model so data for the rest of us is a job for the rest of us. The Internet and FTP and email and the web was built by clued individuals who proved it could scale enough for enterprise. WiFi was built by clued individuals who proved it could scale enough for enterprise. Closed data has proven it can't scale to the Peer Economy, so it's time for some clued individuals to create open public data for the rest of us, where you own your record of our relationship and I own mine and if they're identical, everyone knows the record is valid and so the reputations we build out of our relationship are valid.

What might fuel such a profound shift? What's even more powerful than companies' behind-the-scenes collusion, haggling, defaults and legal maneuvering? Publicity, and its dependent, politics. Publicity is literally openness.

Openness trumps legality, PR, accounting, advertising, good intentions, pricing, litigation and every other mechanism that convinces us it's a good idea to buy over-hyped commodities and sell an hour of our time for $20 so the company can resell it for $60. A single email may be enough openness to bring bankers down who once would have moved quietly on to another firm to do it all over again. When reputation data is too broadly distributed to be hidden and too obvious to be spun, we'll have recaptured the User Interface enjoyed by generations of traders in the stalls of Chaldea, relating to generations of customers, teaching the world how to serve the customer and the bottom line.

Like any relationship, it's a two way street. Gradually we'll remember how to be great customers, embracing and extending seller's customization skills, relating through authentic conversations and coaxing each other into the peer economy, one expert at a time.

[Escapable Logic]
12:05:35 PM    trackback []     Articulate []