Corey's step into the world of Blog publishing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Loose Laptop Screen

I have a Dell Latitude D630 that I purchased a few years ago to use for my MBA. Over the past couple of months, the screen has started to wobble - when I open it up, the screen part of the clamshell wobbles. I remember this being a problem with a lot of older laptops - years ago. But this is the only one that has done it to me recently...

It turns out this is quite an easy problem to solve!

There are four screw-holes that need to be tightened - just snug, not tight - don't strip these.

...and problem solved!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

SaaS - why it is different

Whoever coined the term "software as a service" is a genius. If you are providing some kind of service that uses software as its primary front-end, you're a SaaS provider. Your customers view what you provide as a service, and every time they pay that monthly bill, soon they will wonder what they're paying for every month (yeah, even if it is a "nominal" amount). Your business model might not reflect it yet, but it better soon.

When you're business model is SaaS, you know that you customer can switch away from you at any time. Sure, you build up switching costs and barriers to entry, but certainly there is another provider ready to displace you - and working hard to do it in fact. In order to prevent that customer from walking away, you need to provide a few things, and provide them very, very well.

While SaaS might seem like a panacea for those familiar with enterprise software, it comes with its own set of problems. The SaaS business model is no different, in that your entire organization must be structured to support it. This perhaps means uptime over features (or maybe a few great features over many average ones). While some things are easier, others are harder. Your sales approach changes. The sales cycle changes. Your distribution requirements change. The value proposition is different for SaaS than they are for enterprise software.

So then, how is it different?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Google Easter Egg

TechCrunch has published a new Google Easter Egg that is a countdown to 2010. Wow, neat! Why in the world would Google do this? Seems odd for them to care this much about the turn of the calendar...

...unless they're going to launch their Google Phone right about then...


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Microsoft Bing

BING?? bing?! What is bing? I'm not connecting with the brand. Oh well...

If only it was as cool as pine (pine is not elm) or wine (wine is not an emulator) or GNU (GNU is not Unix) or LAME (Lame Aint an MP3 Encoder)... all cool.

maybe Bing (Bing Is Not Google)??


Pretty soon we'll all get to see.

Link to the site that this post is about

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cloud Computing

We have been doing some work with Amazon Web Services, particularly the Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) services. I'm quite impressed, and excited about what types of innovations cloud computing will bring us in the coming years.

When we first started using EC2, all it really seemed like was a glorified co-located server. You could log in, set up Apache, run a web site, etc. In fact, it was kid of hard, because you had do manage keys, ids, secret keys, keypairs, etc., etc. The cost in time to get going was rather high. The cost in dollars isn't really cheap either. It certainly costs more to use EC2 than it does to get a cheap but dedicated server at a second-tier co-lo provider too.

The real fun starts when you get everything setup. There is so much flexibility! Need another webserver or 10? Easy! Need 500GB of space? Done! Need a few terabytes? Three clicks! Are you doing a major upgrade? Back everything up. Save the virtual machines off to an image. Do you upgrade fearlessly. Finished with all of that CPU and drive space? Release it and stop paying for it.

This is what we gain with Amazon Web Services / EC2. Flexibility and options. A dramatic move from fixed costs to variable costs. These options cost money, but if you need this type of flexibility, it is very cost effective.

Amazon's services are different than Google,, or Microsoft's Azure. Amazon provides drive space and virtual machines. This gives you flexibility, but you still have to manage a lot of the stack. Google's App Engine essentially gives you a Python runtime machine to run your applications in. positions itself as an entire programming platform in the cloud. Azure is a collection of highly-leveragable web services. I'll comment more on them in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Charge your iPod and still listen!

I've been doing a lot of homework lately, and my iPod always seems to be low on juice. Maybe that is what you get for buying refurbished (, but I'd still like to be able to listen to it whenever I'm reading cases, writing papers, etc. Since I usually have my trusty laptop, I'd like to be able to charge the iPod while I listen.

I did a quick search, and there were plenty of of articles about how to do this, including on the Apple site. They all described a way to play songs off of the iPod via your computer speakers while your charged it. Nothing compares to the sweet sound that comes out of the iPod, certainly not my computer speakers or headphone jack.

Today I did some experimenting and discovered a way to play songs on the iPod, through the iPod headphone jack, with the iPod controls, while it charged! Certainly someone else has discovered this - why isn't this the top result on Google?! So, this is how you do it:

Plug in your iPod to your computer.
Wait for iTunes to start, etc.
Open Windows Explorer
Eject the removeable drive that is the iPod
Eject the iPod from iTunes
Play your songs... admire at the iPod... and look! it's charging!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

5 things on Google Docs

Ran across this on the web... I think the original source is CNET.

5 things you can do on Google Docs...

My favorite is the ability to embed google searches in the spreadsheet. However, it is a little problematic, in that you can't do "spreadsheet" operations on your results. Look at my examples below. Also, when I tried googlesearch("united states"; "population"), I received back the population density...

Anyway, cool. How long until you can connect your google spreadsheet to any datasource?

Link to the site that this post is about