Desert Rocks Music Festival in Moab

Last Sunday and Monday I headed down to Moab, Utah for the Desert Rocks Music Festival.  It was really an amazing experience.  Some friends invited my girlfriend and I to join them to see a band – Kan’nal – out of Boulder, Colorado.

We all piled into their Winnebago on Sunday afternoon, and we took the 4+ hour drive down to Moab.  The event was out in the desert about 13 miles south of Moab at Area BFE.  It was a beautiful site, and the weather was great … not too warm.  We arrived as one of the concerts had just finished, so we broke out the BBQ and got dinner going.  As the sun set (which was incredible) we got our act together and wandered down to watch the Fire Dancers, and then head over to the main stage to see Kan’nal.  I was impressed … they rocked!

For those who missed the concert, in June you can go and see Kan’nal at the Salt Lake City Arts Festival.  I’m going to make sure to be there … it was an amazing performance.

Monday was the typical return trip … we got some sleep, hung out a bit, and then joined the masses of traffic returning to the Salt Lake City area.  It took a while, but was well worth the trip.  I’m thinking of going next year … and maybe even contributing to the Desert Rocks event with an outdoor light show … we’ll see!

Palm bugs that might never get fixed!

As I am completing my divorce, it is causing me to find obscure bugs in various software.  I have a 4 year old son, and I have 50% custody of him.  Part of that arrangement means that I have to share holidays with him on alternating years.  I had him for the Thanksgiving vacation this year, but his mother has him next year.

As a user of a Palm Tungsten E2, and Outlook, I figured that I would set-up the “recurring appointment” in Outlook and the sync that to my Palm.  I learned that it’s not that easy.  The first thing was learning the syntax of the recurring configuration in Outlook.  First I created the “Thanksgiving Vacation” appointment in my calendar, from November 22 at 7:00pm, till November 26th at 7:00pm.  Then, I have to create a recurring appointment that repeats “From 7:00pm till 7:00pm lasting 4 days, monthly on the fourth Wednesday of every 24 months, starting on November 22, 2006 through November 29, 2020”.  Outlook actually deals with this ok … but when I sync to the Palm it fails.

As I dug further into the problem, I found that the issue is that the Palm conduit, or sync software, can’t seem to deal with the 24 month interval.  The error log tells me to “split the appointment” into individual days, however when I do that the appointment sync’s to the Palm on a 12 month interval.  Uh … not quite what is showing in Outlook.

After I spent hours trying to resolve this I finally realized that the only way around this is to “hand create” all of the appointments each year.  Or to go in and modify each of the “occurances” of the recurring appointment to modify them in a way to make them unique and “non-recurring”.

Hello … Palm?  Anyone out there interested in fixing this bug?

The edges of the Internet

This year it has been fun to retest the edges of the Internet. 
What I mean is “How easy is it to get on the Internet from various

In May I took a trip to the Philippines (Philippines Videos)
and was blown away at how easy it was to get Internet access
everywhere.  There were cost-effective Internet Cafe’s all over
the place.  I was there from the 21st to the 31st, and travelled
from Manila to Baguio, to Iloilo and Bacolod, and back to Manila. 
Internet was everywhere.  Cheap and plentiful.

I’m posting this from the coast of Cuba, on the way to Labadee, Haiti.  I’m aboard the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas,
and yes … there is Internet.  In fact, I’m on Wifi sitting in a
lounge on the 14th deck looking out over the upper decks of the ship
toward the distant horizon.  Somewhere out there is Haiti. 
We’ll get there sometime tomorrow morning … I think.

Slowly but surely access to the Internet is reaching everywhere on
earth.  Everywhere.  It was interesting to see that even
cellular is reaching out … there is a Cingular cell onboard the ship
and so I have full strength cellular service and SMS text.

As technology continues to advance, wireless technologies improve, and
business models support it … the edges of the Internet are slowly
going away.  It is inevitable that when something like the
Interent permeates the entire planet … there are no longer any edges
… it simply becomes something that is.

Lame toppings …

The weekend before last, I took my son Sam out to spend some time with
my parents in the Bay Area of California.  While we were there we
also ran around so that he could visit with with my sisters and their
families.  On the Saturday he and I ran down to Big Basin,
one of my favorite parks just outside of Silicon Valley.  We spent
several hours hiking around the immense trees, enjoying the quiet, and
the incredible coniferous forest smells.

On the way back we met up with my sister Susan and her family.  We
ran to get dinner at a local soup and salad place.  As usual they
have the dessert bar, with soft ice cream.  Sam wanted a ice cream
cone, and so we walked up to the machine and I pulled a chair up for
him to stand on … he is really wanting to do everything
himself these days.  He did a good job of filling his cone with
the mixed chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and then asked if he could
get some “sprinkles.”

We walked over to where the “sprinkles” are, and I was surprised that
they only had raisins, broken Oreo cookies, coconut shreds, and crushed
peanuts.  No other choices.  I immediated commented to Sam,
“Oh man … they only have LAME sprinkles!”

Sam  immediately replied, “Daddy … I want lame sprinkles!  I want lame sprinkles!”

To Sam … even LAME sprinkles are better than no sprinkles.  I’ve become tainted with age.  We did have some peanuts, and Oreos.

Where to get Cat5e Cables … Home Depot?

Last month I was working on rewiring my data center rack to install a
slew of new machines. It was on a Sunday afternoon, and I had to
run and pick up some CAT5e patch cables … but where was i going to
get them on a Sunday?

I had a few other things to pick up from Home Depot, and so I went back
to their electrical section and looked around … sure enough they sell
3′, 7′, 15′, 25′, and 50′ pre-made patch cables. Even multiple
colors! I didn’t even want to look at the price.

I was shocked … but in the good way! When I looked at the prices they were just under
$1/foot! I couldn’t believe it. A 3′ patch cable for ~$2.98
… the 25′ was $24.95. I bought enough for my rack, and some

Yesterday I walked into CompUSA to buy a video card … something that
I don’t think Home Depot would have. While there I figured I
would check to see what CompUSA charges for CAT5e patch cables.
This time I was SHOCKED … in a bad way! CompUSA was charging $14.95 for a 7 foot cable in the store!

We have reached an interesting tipping point in computer technology
when I can run down to the local hardware store (Ok … the local Home
Depot!) and pick up a CAT5e patch cable … at a good price.
Technology is continuing to weave itself into our lives … becoming a
more and more natural extension of our lives … leading towards the
inevitable substrate transition …

Philippines Videos

I completed a couple of short, amateur videos of my trip to the
Philippines and put them up on YouTube. The first was just of a
cab ride through Makati to the Manila Airport. The second is the plane flight from Manila to Baguio.

I’ll do a few more … I’m wanting to get back into creating videos.

A kick in the blog …

Man … too many new things since returning form the Philippines.
I’m going to get back into the habit of regular blogging … and I’m at
the Utah Blogger event tonight which is kicking me into gear.

I got home on the 1st of June, and thought long and hard about what I
have been doing with my life. I’ve been working at Agilix Labs and
having a lot of fun, however I realized that I wanted to do more … to
further pursue some Web 2.0 projects. In addition, Agilix is
realigning its direction to more focus on the student and mobilized
learning market … and for now not as much focus on the SDK and
developer community. I made the choice … time to move on!

I’m still going to be working closely with Agilix on some specific
projects, but I am now back out in the consulting world. I’ve
already landed two consulting deals, both which are working on some
cool new technologies and human-oriented services. I’ll be
blogging more about them as I get rolling and into the groove of the
new routines. What is really fun already is working deep in the
Web again … I’m developing in both ‘realms” … AMP and .NET.

The AMP development involves a lot of Javascript and AJAX, and has been
a great learning experience. It also involves a lot of digital
video, and so I get to play back in one of my favorite hobbies …
video editing. I’m not a pro at it … I just like to play
around. I posted my first video to YouTube and am going to be
posting a number of others.

The .NET development is for a social networking site … but
more. It’s actually looking to create a new type of media …
combined media … interactive media. I guess it’s kind of like
true ‘multimedia’ … a new way to deliver a media experience ‘wrapped’
into a single download. What is really cool also is that the site
is already leveraging some of the most advanced Atlas technologies
ffrom Microsoft … so taking the site to new levels of interactivity
and customization.

On top of this … I’m working on my new Software Development
Outsourcing company. The web site is coming quickly, and after I
have now been using a half dozen developers from overseas, I am ready
to share the power of these people with anyone interested.

Anyhow … I’m going to listen and blog about the Utah Blogger conference …

The Trip to Baguio

After spending one day and night in Manila, we headed up to Baguio City
… north of Manila in the Mountains.  We left early and flew
Asian Spirit … in a YS-11
… an old turboprop airliner.  After taking off, we quickly
climbed to ~10,000 feet.  The grey color of Manila slowly began to
be sprinkled with green, and the quantity of green again continued to
grow as we flew north away from Metro manila.

As we continued our flight, the spots of green continued to grow until
we were over a large flat valley with some large winding rivers. 
Various roads – paved and otherwise – cut convoluted paths between
farms, towns, and open ground.  All of these roads seemed to wind
in strange directions with no rhyme or reason.  Below, one large
river wound below us, leaving groups of buildings, and maybe whole
towns, stranded on empty oxbows.  And then the foothills appeared.

It was impressive to see the mountains rise from the valley as a series
of large sharp ridges.  The river winding below us came from a
valley in between some of these ridges, and a large reservior with a
dam had been built to hold back its waters.  The mountains
continued to rise.  And rise!  All of the sudden the
stewardess announced that we were approaching Baguio … and the
mountains continued to climb up towards our altitude.  Below us
there were now a few roads winding up the jagged mountain sides … all
looking like dirt roads.  And then the first towns appeared up in
the mountains.  As we passed over one of the larger ones … now
looking only a few thousand feet below us … I caught site of a runway
cut into the mountains … one end spilling out over a shear mountain
face.  Baguio Airport?

As we now passed that runway the plane began to turn … yep … that’s
Baguio!  I actually shot some pretty good footage of the landing
… amazing mountain with a mix of small homes and big mansions. 
The vacation homes of the upper-class, mixed with the homes of the
average people.  We continued to bank hard left … circling
around to the other end of the runway that I saw … to land in the
direction of the shear mountain face.  As we got lower and lower
there were all sorts of streams and rivers flowing down the mountain,
with waterfalls all over the place.  We continued to decend, and
finally touched down.  We’re in Baguio!

As we exited the aircraft, it was immediately cooler than Manila … by
far!  Nice.  We wandered the parking lot … found a cab …
and headed to Session Road … one of the main roads in Baguio. 
I’ll write more later.

Arriving in Manila

We flew to Manila, from Los Angeles, on Sunday the 21st.  One of
the first things that was nice was the free wireless Internet provided
by the Asian carriers in the LA terminal.  Getting there early we
were able to get our seats (nice big aisle exit-rows!) and then hang
out and get work done.

The Philippines Airlines flight over left at ~10:00pm, so we flew into
the darkness, being chased by the sun.  The flight actually landed
at ~4:00am in Guam for refueling, and then continued its way to
Manila.  We approached the Philippines at daybreak, just before
sunrise.  As we crossed over the first edges of the Philippines,
it was a combination of islands and then the mountains of Luzon. 
The mountains turned into a large flat valley, and then the density of
grey structures began to grow.  Slowly, the grey started to
overwhelm the green and we had started to cross over the outer edges of
Manila.  As we continued to descend, the grey color took over …
it was impressive to see the sprawl of Manila below us.

We landed and got off of the plane, walked into the terminal and passed
through immigration … very uneventful.  We had both packed in
only carry-on, so we had no luggage to claim … instead we headed
right out into the hot and humid air to look for our car.

The first thing that hit me as the humidity wrapped all around me was
the smell of smoke.  Everywhere.  Like a fireplace nearby
kicking out the smoke of burning wood.  I had been told about this
… it was the smell of forests being burned in Indonesia.  Some
of my contacts here indicated that a month ago it was a constant haze
that was almost unbearable.  Even today in Iloilo I am greeted
each morning to the same smell as I leave my hotel room.

I’ll write more later … have to catch the high speed boat to Bacolod!

Blogging from Iloilo, Philippines

I’ve been telling myself each day this week that I was going to post
… and I’m only getting to it right now. I’m sitting in the
Amigo Terrace Hotel in Iloilo, Philippines … and after completing a
whole ton of work, I’m now ready to post. I’m in the lobby
restaurant … on wireless.

I’ll probably break this into a whole set of posts … there is too
much to write about. It’s been a very cool trip so far, and a lot
has changed since the last time I travelled in this region. I’ve
never been to the Philippines before, but when I was with Novell I
visited a number of Asian countries … Singapore, Sri Lanka, Pakistan,
India, Nepal, Thailand … all amazing places. But these trips
were in the early 1990’s and predated the penetration of the
Internet. What a huge difference. I’m floored. The
Internet is everywhere.

So where exactly am I right now? I’m at the hotel here in Iloilo. I’ve been here a few days after visiting Manila … we stayed in Makati … then visited Baguio City. Tomorrow we’ll be heading over to Bacolod for the day … then another day back here in Iloilo, before heading back to Manila and home.

I’ll write more … it’s been eye opening. An amazing trip.