Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Stuff that wafted through my brain

SharePoint as a Whipping Boy

A ‘whipping boy’ is an 15th century term for a boy who was designated to take the punishment when a prince or other such noble misbehaved so that the boy would be punished instead of the prince.  I’m not entirely certain what lessons this taught the young prince but my guess is that it was either 1) other people would be suffer for his mistakes so he should be responsible, or 2) that he would never be punished for anything so he was free to do anything he wanted. It would probably depend on how moral or empathetic the prince was or even if he cared about the boy being punished.  You might be surprised at how a dark ages royal parenting strategy applies almost directly to SharePoint.

SharePoint continues to move itself closer and closer to being the center of the business world and with each new release extends its fingers even deeper into Click to read the full post

Never Stop Learning!

Some recent comments from a member of one of the teams I work with reminded me again of how important it is to always keep learning.  People who think they have all of the answers tend to be the most ill-informed and self-absorbed individuals you will ever find and attempting to open their eyes is an exercise in frustration.  To resurrect some old farm wisdom: never try to teach a pig to sing, it just wastes your time and it annoys the pig.  Let the dinosaurs have their illusions as the world will pass them by soon enough.

If you think you know everything there is to know about whatever field you are in, check again.  Odds are that there is something you’ve overlooked or some aspect to your knowledge that is out of date.  More than likely there are entire fields of study that are closely related to your chosen path that you have no knowledge of. You might not even know that you you don’t know!

If you really are that good at what you do then seek out something where you are utterly clueless but have an interest and study it inside and out.  Preferably choose something that is outside of your professional domain if at all possible.  It is amazing how often completely unrelated disciplines intertwine once you start learning them.  Remember that ‘creativity’ is merely the ability to draw often unrelated items and concepts together for a purpose and the broader your mind, the more things you can find to put together.

Always keep learning, keep your eyes and ears open and never assume you have all of the answers.

Invasion of the Metro Gnomes!

They’ve been sneaking in, one at a time … quietly, so nobody would notice it until it is too late but someone has to speak out.  That’s right, we’re under attack!  One day you are using one of your favorite file shares without a worry in the world.  The next day you log in to see the carnage wreaked by a Metro Gnome

Metro on Sky Drive

While you are still reeling from that, another Gnome attacks your mail as well.

Metro on
Metro on Trillian

One day it is the UI you are used to, the next it is GIANT SPACE-EATING BOXES EVERYWHERE – with 3 heads – that all look like Elvis!

Now, I realize that these are Microsoft properties and that they are doing a full court press to promote Windows 8, including Win8’s Metro UI, so it is expected that these things would happen.

How then do you explain the Metro Gnome that attacked the Trillian Instant Messenger the other day?  Did the Gnomes develope super powers?  Is it Mind Control?  Have they somehow managed to leverage Reaper Indoctrination?

I don’t know the answer but am pretty sure that we’ll all be up to our eye sockets in Metro Gnomes by Halloween – and they will be attacking from more places than just Redmond!

Just moved in!

Hey!  It’s me, I’m back, at least for a while.

I have been out of the blog world for a few years but am back now and hopefully will be able to kick out some decent posts.  They won’t be frequent but should be useful.

The old blog is still is still alive over on VSPug but I will fully move from there in a few weeks.  I am very grateful to the operator over at VSPUG who keeps that site running out of his own pocket!  Hopefully, getting my content off there will help him move a little closer to freeing up some pocket change 🙂

I’ve brought all of my original posts here just to keep everything together but please bear in mind that many of these posts relate to SharePoint 2007, and often even pre SP1.  If you hit something that just ain’t right, drop me a note and I’ll see if I can’t get it cleaned up.

Also, I am new to this blogging software so please bear with me while I figure out what all the knobs, buttons and levers do.  I know not to press the big red one, though.  Big shiny red buttons are always ‘bad’

Hidden Gem in GMail Themes

The other day, our good friends at Google introduced Themes for your GMail.  Big deal you say?  Just some new colors?  Think again.  Specifically think more like DreamScene on the web because these themes change.  I don't know about all of them, but I picked “Tea House” last night and it was a night scene with a pagoda and rather peaceful.  This morning, I check Gmail and the same theme is now bright and sunny!

I've been watching it throughout the day and the sun that is on the theme has been moving across the sky with the time of day.  A very cool approach to theming on the web and it makes me wonder what some of the other themes do.

I realize that something like this won't change the world or help anyone make better widgets but it is a new take on what has normally been a rather boring part of the technology scene and that is refreshing all by itself.