Ad - My Personal Review of ReviewMe

I just signed up for a new blogging advertising and revenue service called ReviewMe.  This blog post is actually paid by ReviewMe to actually conduct a review of the ReviewMe service.

I was turned on to the service by my fellow Friend In Tech member Victor at the Typical Mac User Podcast.

The service in a nutshell is a way to link advertisers with a product or service to the blog and podcast world.  Since people's attentions are no longer completely focused on in the print, TV, and radio world, this seems like at the surface to be a good idea.

The big issue for me is will ads like this limit my readership?  My own filter will probably determine frequency and relevance, so I will be gauging what is reasonable and what is not.  If you have an opinion please let me know via email or by comment.

From what I have experienced so far, the ReviewMe service is easy to sign up with.  One thing they don't do that would be nice is something I talked about at the Podango Unconference at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo 2006.

The feature request is that when you are filling out a form related to your podcast or a blog that the service pull that information embedded in your RSS feed.  This way your name, contact email, license, description, etc. could auto-populate the form.  A service like this also needs a "Update my information via RSS refresh" button, but I think that should be pretty straight forward.

All in all I am pretty satisifed with the service, but we will know more 6 months out.


Best Podcast Content So Far (2+ Years Of Listening)

I enjoy every podcast I am subscribed to.  I get value out of every one (otherwise I wouldn't be subscribed). 

But there is one that is hands down better for me (especially where I am at today in my career) than anything else out there.  It is the Manager Tools podcast.

If you manage anyone, or are managed by someone and want to someday change into that role, then you are highly encouraged to subscribe and start listening to Manager Tools.  Once you start, it is my opinion that you'll then want to listen to all the archives (which I am still plowing through).

Best thing is that it can also be also amazingly humorous -- this one is a prime example (yes funny enough in their own focused way to give Mr. Klass a run for his money.).


Trip Summary - "You got 45 minutes"

So I travel on Monday feeling under the weather.  I think I get about 10 hours of sleep on Monday night, and wake up on Tuesday feeling about the same first way as I did on Monday.  A cup of coffee, a series of nose blows, and a really hot shower, get me into an operational mode and cruise through PowerPoint until I have to get to the offices for the program review.

When I walk in, its been changed from 1400-1600 to 1430-1530.  By 1430, it has been changed to 1445-1530, and the main decision makers all have to leave at exactly 1530 to make another meeting in a different location by 1600.  And we have been moved from the conference room with working A/V equipment into an executive office with no working A/V.  So it is just my little Toshiba M400 screen, and quickly printed (ink still wet) handouts.

Then as I start my presentation, I learn that the 1530 exit time also requires the decision makers get interrupted about every 8-10 minutes for 1 or 2 minutes to review some documents that they need to take with them at 1530.  Now that was probably the biggest challenge of all that I have faced so far in the day, because having to rewind/recap before moving on is not something I've really experienced a lot of in the past.

But hey, that is the job, and I got through it in time for questions and decisions.  I'm not even remotely bothered by this type of chaos, but I could  tell others in the room were.  Things like this usually work themselves out in the end.

Bottom-line, the focused feedback when the decision makers were engaged was positive, the financial numbers were not ideal but are all workable, the workload is doable, and all-in-all its probably a great program review because no one is yelling and screaming. Smiles all around the room.  Take it when you can!

I head back to the hotel and fall asleep for 12 hours, and wake up basically feeling the same way as Monday and Tuesday.  The good news is that Wednesday had no hard deliverables or meetings, just a plane trip home in the evening  Which goes pretty well, but I land with a major headache that was cured by a Starbuck's Cafe Mocha and some aspirin.

It is now Thursday morning, and I woke up feeling much better than the other three days that if it was any other week would have been rarely used sick days.  Happy trails are now again on the horizon ... now back to work ...


Forced Travel - Taking One For The Team

I woke up this morning feeling absolutely terrible.  But as time moved on in the day, I got to a point where I figured I could make my scheduled trip (1300 PST flight) to Washington DC for my program review with my sponsor.

Program reviews ... especially when they include details and decisions on Fiscal Year 2007 ... is not something a IT project manager really wants to miss.  But boy did I consider it after I woke up.

The trip turned out to be fine. But I am exhausted and headed for bed.  The good news is that the meeting isn't until 1400 EST so I can sleep in and work on slides from the hotel until around 1100.


Quick Market Survey on MP3 Players

The San Diego Union-Tribune Sunday paper had a good number of non-Apple MP3 players for sale (cash prices listed).  Here is a sample of what I saw:

  • Big Lots! - RCA Lyra 256-MB MP3 Player for $29.99
  • Target - Memorex 512-MB MP3 Player for $58
  • Office Depot - Philips 1GB MP3 Player for $69.99 (with a $30 mail-in rebate offer); Archos 4GB Mp3 Player for $159.99 (with a $20 mail-in rebate offer)
  • Best Buy - Samsung 1GB U2JZ MP3 Player  for $79.99; Sandisk 2GB E250 MP3 Player for $129.99
  • CompuUSA - Sandisk 2GB E250 MP3 Player for $129.99
  • Circuit City - Sony 2GB Flash Digital Music Player for $129.99; Creative Labs 8-GB Zen MicroPhoto MP3 Player for $179.99; and Creative Labs 30GB Zen Vision:M for $299.99

It should be noted that the RCA Lyra also has a SD/MMC slot for expansion storage.  And the San Disk E250 has a Mini-SD slot for additional storage.

Also the only direct Apple iPods advertising that I saw was for the 30-GB Black or White iPod via BestBuy's online store (no price listed).


Is The Strobe XP 300 The Worst Scanner Ever

Is it just me or is the Visioneer Strobe XP 300 the worst scanner ever? 

I can not get the stupid thing to consistently feed a document through to get scanned.  If I have a two page document, I sometimes have to try 20 times to get both of them to be straight and aligned.

Can anyone recommend a good, small, fast flatbed scanner?

P.S. I guess I am not the only one who thinks this scanner sucks.  It only has two stars on Amazon.


Light Posting - Heavy Tagging

Sorry for the light posting.  I've been really swamped.  It is good to be professionally and personally swamped. I don't feel overwhelmed.  Just busy.

I have been come quite a fan of http://del.icio.us/sholden over the last couple of weeks.

Since I use about four different Internet accessible computers during my average day, I was having link history and data repository issues.  I noticed an extension for del.icio.us for Firefox and that has been the catalyst for using it.  How do you use del.icio.us?


Junxion Box Testing - Broadband Wireless Networking

One of my many tasks at work is to try out the latest and greatest in being able to stay connected to Internet no matter where I'm at in the United States.

One of the things I have been wanting to test for a while is the Junxion Box  JB-110b (Ethernet & Wi-Fi LAN) with both support for Cingular/AT&T and Verizon, and on Wednesday of last week it came in.  It works with the 2 Cingular cards I have, and and also the new EVDO card.

So, my intial testing is very positive.  One thing I need to do is check the firewall router option to use one of the Ethernet ports to be on a wired broadband connection like DSL/Cable, and then utilize the broadband wireless card as backup if the main connection goes out.  This sounds great for a continuity of business setup.

Questions? Here is a picture from the back.

UPDATE: It seems like someone at Gnomedex must of had on of these broadband routers.  I noticed recent traffic on the topic from Doc Searls, and Dave Winer.