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Herman Miller Chairs in Denver - Expensive Chair, Cheap Tables

So, I'm outfitting my office which has me thinking back to all the great articles I've read over the years about offices. There's Joel on Software's 12 Steps to Better Code which is largely just common sense of developer types explained using traditional business language. And Jason Calacanis about how to save money running a startup which is largely more of the same.

Cheap tables and Expensive Chairs (like... Aeron chairs)

Jason's tip that really resonated with me was this one:

Buy cheap tables and expensive chairs. Tables are a complete rip off. We buy stainless steel restaurant tables that are $100 and $600 Areon[sic] chairs. Total cost per workstation? $700. Compare that to buying a $500-$1,500 cube/designer workstation. The chair is the only thing that matters... invest in it.

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July Denver/Boulder New Tech Meetup Overview

This was the first "New Tech Meetup" that I've attended. It was quite interesting. Perhaps more interesting was the before the session I was at "The Cup" in Boulder talking to a VC/Consultant/Entrepreneur type and comparing Boulder to Denver he said something like "The thing about Boulder is that there's more VCs up here so the Entrepreneurs from Denver have to come here."

At that exact moment, sitting in the Cup working on their presentation was Dandyid. Point proven?

Without further ado - my notes on the sessions.

Gnip (Guh - nip)

Used Impress and Ubuntu.

Basically they want to go from the "polling" model (think of all the rss requests that your rss reader makes in a day) to a push model. But it has to be polling, so they will do the polling in one big poll and then share the resulting data with you either by polling or pushing. Their model seems to be like Facebook, but in a B2B way. I'm not sure that I see the problem that they are solving, but they already have several big name partners which means that those big name partners see a business model which is really all that they need.

I like them more now that I see their website: "We got $h*t to pop". Ok, fair enough. They had a real demo - well done. The demo didn't 100% work. Oh well.

Question from the audience: Who saves money? Who spends money? What's the revenue module?
Answer: Uh, this is the new _tech meetup. I'm not a business guy....Let's say for now we're doing this for public benefit._

mobileXware (nice site!)

Used Impress and WindowsXP and they couldn't get the presentation to work. Whoops.

All presentation, no demo (it's hard to demo handheld stuff). Basically it's a fitness guide via cell phone that's for sale now.

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Firefox Extensions that I Use

I use a lot of firefox extensions. You might call me a power user. Yeah, that's right, powerful.

Here is the list of my favorites. They are broken down into extensions that make Firefox better, those that make my general life better, things for "geeky stuff" and things for my life as a web developer/sysadmin/competitve webmaster. Yeah, I'm competitive. My stable of sites is better than yours!

Enhanced Firefox

  • Cute Menus - humans recognize colors and images faster than words.
  • Download Statusbar - I want the information compact, in an overview, and readily visible. I hate new windows.
  • Flashblock - I hate flash. It's amazing how much better the internet is without flash.
  • Google Gears - Since I'm in places without internet pretty regularly, it's nice to be able to get my Google feeds in an offline mode.
  • PageStyle2Tab - again, humans recognize colors and images faster than words.
  • Image Zoom - Firefox lets me zoom text, image zoom lets me zoom images. Duh.
  • Locationbar2 - Prettify the URL bar. Also happens to make it safer by clearly identifying the domain and downplaying the importance of subdomains (i.e. the phisher phavorite is clearly visible as "" as a subdomain of "". Whoohoo!

Enhanced Life

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Security Team Activitiy in 2007 by the Numbers

While the rest of this post looks back at 2007, I'd like to throw some attention to the security presentation at DrupalCon Boston.

2007 was a busy year for the Drupal Security Team. That's not to say that Drupal is unsafe but that security requires a lot of work. The nature of the work makes it hard to communicate exactly what is going on. So here is an attempt to share some information about the past year for the security team.

Releases, Reports, and Discussion

The team issued 37 Security Announcements (SAs), representing more than 100 patches released. Each SA requires at least 1 patch and 2 reviews (review before the patch is made to find other security holes and a second review to ensure that the hole has actually been fixed). Most issues involve multiple patches and multiple reviews. Each also requires the SA to be written and reviewed, the patches to be committed, release nodes created, published, drafts copied from to, and flipping publish/status bits on a few nodes around our infrastructure. All of that work was done 37 times last year or approximately once every 10 days. For comparison, 2006 totaled 32 SAs.

For each issue, there are more problems reported which turn out not to be issues. See Howto report a security issue and My Site Was Defaced ("hacked") What Should I do Now? for more information about how to report issues properly and with sufficient information. You can get a sense for the amount of discussion of security related topics and also of false reports based on the volume of emails to the internal mailing list:

Individual mails to the security team:

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Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

One of the nice things about being on a trip is that it gets you out of your normal habits and gives you more free time for things you don't prioritize at home like reading.

Nikki and I both just finished off The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It was a surprisingly good book - quite a fast read but still thought provoking. I was amazed at how often I agreed with her parents (if you haven't read the book, the central premise is that the parents are crazy). The major conclusion we both drew was, of course, that people can survive from some pretty horrible situations. Some fun sub-ideas were that American mainstream is so crazy that even some nutty individualists are right a lot of the time. And we both agreed that Jeanette Walls writing was stunning. It really puts you into the mind of a child at the age she was in the biography and makes you think of the world with wide-eyed-wonder.

It's definitely highly recommended by both of us. Thanks to Mom Kneser for the gift! We passed it on to our friend Eliana which would probably make Jeanette's mom happy by not just throwing it out ;)

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Google Reader now Searches - I'm a Genious!

According to their blog, Google Reader now searches. Brilliant idea!

Note that I had this idea almost a year ago (my post on searching google reader). More great tips are available for a variety of companies on the old freedbacking link. Ideas like improvements for Google Documents for example.

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