Archive for the 'diversions' Category

Two Lives

It seems that you’ve been living two lives. In one life, you’re Thomas (the other) Otter,
solution architect for a respectable software company.
You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you… help your good lady carry out the garbage.
The other life is lived in fashion, where you go by the hacker alias "dfof" and are
guilty of finding virtually every computer geek fashion item we have a law for.



photo credit Marilyn Pratt

From the department of silly walks

In doing my research for the WordPress talk I am doing at SAPTechEd Munich, I came across…

A Compendium of 150 Monty Python Sketches – One Mans Blog

In a slightly related note  the book that James Governor has contributed to, Web 2.0 Design Patterns, is up on Amazon for pre-ordering. Check out that cover – beautiful ploomage.


Catchup Quechup – thinking about invitations

Like Simon and others I too got an invite from Hugh to join Quechup.

I signed up, looked around, saw nothing interesting and cancelled my membership.

It is being run by a company called iDate.  I am not looking for a date, so this service has nothing interesting for me.

Fortunately the email that I used was the email I use for all sorts of things that I want to keep at arms length from my other “serious” email addresses so there was no harm done. I don’t think my signing up triggered that email spam that others have encountered but if anyone did get ‘quechup spam’ from me I am sorry. Delete it and move on.

[UPDATE: Turns out I did spam a few people. Again, sorry about that.]

My style is for these type of socially networking type sites like linked in and facebook is to personalise the invitation with something relevant to the person I am inviting. I will try to remind the person of the connection we share (however tenuous that might be). Most of the time there will be some connection allready via a user group, work connection or other mutual connection so they will know who I am. If I am trying to create a connection with someone I only know through the web I will let them know this in the invitation and make it easy for them to ignore me. That might seem a bit strange but it is a little bit of reverse psychology and a little bit appreciating their time. If I am going to interupt someone with an email to join my network that will potentially have more benefit for me than them I am going to let them know that rather than just sending the standard vanilla invite.

When I receive an invitation that I know is that vanilla invite from a site and I don’t know the person then I will usually challenge them to say why they might want to link with me.

I like Terry Chay approach with linked in Haiku. It makes the invitation fun and I think gives the receiver an way to say no without feeling guilty but makes them more likely to say yes too.

Having said that over the past little while of getting into this social network thing, and by that I mostly mean having a blog, I have been able to make and strengthen some relationships that I would not have otherwise made. For me and this blog at least, that is what it is all about. Making connections with others in the wonderful world of technology.

To come to the party invitations need to be sent. If those invitations come in an underhanded way it makes me wonder what sort of party it is and I am certainly not interested in the Quechup party.

Instead of providing a way of raiding your list of contacts, which should have your security alarm bells ringing. These websites should provide a way to upload a list of emails that you have prepared from a source of your own choosing or secondly provide a way to send a email to contact yourself and a link so the site knows where the connection comes from. Both these options are more secure, more personal and less likely to be indentified as spam. They do however, make it harder for the ‘viral’ aspect of spread than the “enter your webmail password here and we’ll raid your contacts” approach.

My final thought comes from the iDate products page. They are the guys behind this Quechup.

Furthermore, iDate intends to introduce a comprehensive referral and reward program to actively encourage members to promote the site. We believe that this will be part of a cost effective and result based marketing strategy.

Hmm – it seems that by having an underhanded signup and spam process they are getting a lot of bad press and I think they now have their work cut out for them. Not so sure if that has been cost effective.

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It was 20 years ago today

Well not quite today, but this year marks 20 years since leaving school. This week I got the invitation for a reunion on the other side of the planet in two weeks time.

Getting to Australia at any time is a long, long flight and I usually try and make a couple of weeks of it if possible, so this time I am going to pass. I usually laugh at people that say a 13 hour flight is a long flight. It is, but try two of those back to back, with an hour or two at the beginning, middle and end. It’s like being a sardine for a day.

The invite had a section on what was happening in 1987…

Do you remember when –
We won the PSA swimming for the first time (whilst we managed to loose the Head of the River, and the first XVIII failed to register a win all season).

I remember all those silly chants we learnt and I remember that young year 9 swimmer who won everything he entered. Other schools taunted us: “How much did he cost?” How rude of them. I am sure his swimming performance made no difference in his school selection interview. 😉 (Side note an “Aussie Rules” team has 18 players, hence the first XVIII. As I recall, all the good players from the previous year went to the West Coast Eagles.)

Fremantle hosted the America’s Cup.

We lost the cup back to Dennis Conner.

You could play bogball and not worry that someone was going to sue you for physical injury.

There was an ‘R’ and an ‘S’ block.

I remember certain staff doing their block!

Carlton were the VFL Premiers and Hawthorn’s John Plattern won the Brownlow Medal

The West Coast Eagles played their first game at Subi Oval (beating Richmond by 14 points )

Notice the AFL skew here – good to see the Eagles win the premiership last year.

The Midnite Youth Theatre Company formed, followed by a associated UK tour at about the same time as the release of the movie ‘Wall St’.

Hmm, I never made that connection between the two but I do remember playing a small part in the MYTC. Of course that makes it the 20 year reunion for the founding of the MYTC aswell. The Midnite tour was a blast and Tony Howes who is still taking kids on tours of the UK 20 years later should get an award for his services to drama.

Mr Hodgson looked younger than most of the kids he was teaching (and still does!)

Australia wont the Cricket World Cup by beating England in Calcutta.

Some things never change!

Robby Naish was still the Overall World Champion windsurfer.

Bob Hawke’s government was re-elected for a third term.

Was that the famous “No child will be in poverty by 1990” election?

If you wanted to do something contraband, you went ‘down the banks’.

Ahh yes, sweet memories! Not that I was ever down there, I didn’t smoke.

All this was too much for the stock market, let alone Headmaster Tony Hill and his deputy Peter Tooke, both of whom left CCGS at the end of 1987, along with our Sportsmaster, Mr Akos Kovacs, who retired from his PE role.

It was a bit of a watershed year. Kosh was a legend and taught generations of boys with his firm Hungarian style.

All this sort of stuff can tend to make you a bit reflective and could tip one into a mid-life crisis if you let it! It certainly drags some of the memories back and makes you think about the next 20 years. This is a good thing. I certainly have lot to be thankful for and while there are good memories back there and it would be great to catch up with all the guys 20 years on, I am focusing on the next 20. There is far too much going on at the moment to be pining for the good-old-days. The future is bright…

Oh and if there are any people from way back when dropping though London, feel free to get in touch.

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Translating that Drawl

I don’t know where Hayden got this from, but this is very, very funny.

Here is a sample…

RETARD – Verb. To stop working.
Usage: “My granpaw retard at age 65.”

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SAPFacts winner

Have you been following the SAPfacts site? A winner has been declared.  I noticed that Eddy came second with “SAP Stands for Shai Agassi Products“. I submitted “SAP stands for the Shai Agassi Protocol” but was rejected because Eddy got there first. Oh well.

Well done everyone. It was a great bit of fun!

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August 2020

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