Sunday, November 20, 2005

My New Blog: blog.hergert.us

I've decided to go purchase my own domain name and set up my own blog, and also add things to it as I go. I don't want to just have blogging, but I'd like to maintain projects I work on, family stuff, pictures, etc. So we'll see how it goes.

It's over at http://blog.hergert.us. So this probably will be my last post over on this blog. I am still tweaking that one to look the way I want. There is so much more ability to customize and makes things your own when you have your own setup. Plus having your own domain really gives you a presence as well.

Oh and by the way, I am using WordPress as my blogging tool with a MySQL database. Wordpress is an awesome blogging tool, its just great! I highly highly recommend it if you want to use a powerful and slick blogging tool.

Monday, November 14, 2005

FolderShare

This site allows you to sync up any two computers as well as share files to friends over the web. Its a pretty cool application. I guess it used to cost a fee, but Microsoft apparently bought FolderShare and now you can get the service for free. I've already begun syncing up the pictures from my Powerbook to my desktop so in the case of a failure on either, I have a mirrored copy of the files I hold deerest.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah

Found this funny Quicktime spoof on waxy.org from when Tom Cruise visited the Oprah show. Its called "Tom Cruise kills Oprah". haha

Flight Patterns

Wow, this is a really sweet page. Its flight plan visualizations from the FAA, its amazing to see all the air traffic in the US. Plus its a neat visualization in itself.

netvibes.com

Yeah, this is sweet. Netvibes.com

This is web 2.0, most definitely. Beats start.com and live.com hands down. Microsoft should be hiring these guys or secretly copying them. Because these start-up guys have better ideas and a better implementation of a portal than billion dollar Microsoft has been able to do.

Yahoo! Local Maps Beta

Yahoo! has come out with a Beta Version of its local maps feature. Its a very neat interface. Its based in Flash. Now, I think this is good because it provides a very neat interface that is very responsive and rich. But at the same time I see it as cheating because I've always seen Flash as not a true web standard and design. I mean, it has its place, but I think they used it so they could quickly jump into the frey of leading map providers (Google Maps and Virtual Earth).

Speaking of leading map providers...what the hell is MapQuest doing in all of this? They used to be my favorite place for maps and now Google and the rest came along and have kicked the crap out of MapQuest. Their interface has changed slightly, but the maps are no where near as interactive as the other competitors. And they don't provide satellite images (Yahoo! maps beta should add that too). I hope MapQuest is working on something big, otherwise they should just shut their doors because their interface right now doesn't hold a candle to Google, Microsoft, and now Yahoo.

Anyways, back to Yahoo! Maps Beta. I really like the little overview map in the upper right of the interface. The fact that you can navigate using it and get a high level idea of what you are looking at is quite beneficial. I think others should copy it. Who can make a better version of it? I love this competition between these guys, its making these map providers create better and better apps. Ahh, to be a consumer in today's tech environment is awesome.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Washington, DC

Got back from my business trip to Washington, DC last week. It was pretty tiring but I enjoyed it. We stayed and trained actually in Arlington, VA, but our hotel was right next to Arlington Cemetery and we were able to visit DC on a few occassions.

We went down there to train on a software product called JRules from a company called ILOG. Its a rules engine based in Java that we plan to use within our company. Pretty neat product. Training was good, learned alot and I feel alot more comfortable with the product. Now the difficult part begins... designing and writing our applications to use it. Using a rules engine kinda changes the way you think about things because its not the same as straight forward programming. Not so procedural, I guess.

Boy did I miss my family. I cried like a baby saying goodbye to the wife and kids. I missed them so much. I hated going away. It was exciting to be going on a business trip, but it sucked leaving family. But I think it made me realize more how much I love them and how much I hate going a day without seeing them.

In the evenings, we tried to get out and go to dinner and see some of DC in the remaining hours of day light. If only we had gone a week later we would have benefitted from switching back to Eastern Standard Time... ah well. So we were able to stop at the Washington Monument, the Capitol, The White House, the WWII Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, and the Lincoln Memorial. We were out until 10:30p that night seeing those places. When we were at the White House we witnessed a protest led by Cindy Sheehan mourning the 2000th American death in Iraq. It was pretty intense with all the people chanting and shouting at each other. Both sides were represented so there was some tense moments. Very interesting.

Overall, I had a good time. Learned alot and was very tired every evening. Washington, DC is a very interesting place and I'd like to visit it again with my family. The business trip was fun too, learned alot about a good product and look forward to using it.

live.com and start.com

Microsoft recently announced the launch of a new site called Windows Live. I read about it above on News.com as well as on Google Blogoscoped. Now will somebody please tell me what the difference is between Windows Live and Start.com? Please!? They are practically the same thing, at least thats what it looks like right now. Little portlets you can drag around, customizable content, changing the number of columns, show/hide, etc. Its all the same...whats going on here? Apparently, this page will have more. It already has an email portlet (pretty neat indeed), and supposedly will have an MSN Messenger portlet as well among other things. So where is start.com going to go? Who would use start.com if Windows Live is the souped-up version of start.com?