Archive for April, 2008

All the information I need

Friday, April 11th, 2008

42-17899516.jpgFor a long time now I’ve envied the stock broker. Not so much for his financial prowess but more for his grasp of information coming in. I liken it to a naval vessel. Each station on the bridge has about 3 or 4 monitors that he has to look at to get all the information necessary to fully access any given situation. Stock brokers usually have a six monitor setup that has different charts and graphs changing all day long.  Call me crazy but this is what my dreams are made out of.

My wife calls me crazy to this extent but I love being emerced in things to do and totally being on top of all of them. One of the reasons that I stopped liking to write code so very long ago is because when I write code I can only pay attention to the code. I was 10 when I first learned BASIC and I would sit and code on my Timex Sinclair (that’s really old school) all day just to make a space ship move across the screen and shoot a laser. Now days my attention span is so much shorter but I juggle well.

Why do network admins always just use virtual screens instead of real ones? I’m typing this blog post right now on my laptop running Linux and I have 4 virtual screens that I always use. I try to keep things like graphics apps, network/troubleshooting stuff, and web browsing seperate most times. However, I think I really need real screens so on one I can do all my social networking and text messaging. Another for productivity and the others just to keep status on a lot of different things.

A video podcast I like to watch called hak5 has a great mantra that I like to follow: “Feed your techno-lust!” I’ll keep you updated if I ever get this going. Also, can someone please tell me what’s on each one of the stock broker’s screens? I’m dying to know.

Follow me! Follow me! I’m naked to the net.

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Like the Pied Piper leading the mice from the village so in turn does blogging go. Everyone has the new opportunity to be able to follow the lives of other people. My life has always been an open book to most anyone that I meet, however, now it’s becoming that way to many that I don’t meet. This blog gives away my thoughts on my field to all that ask. Now, it can do the same with Twitter, blogging, microblogging, photosharing sites, and your social networking sites (i.e. Facebook and Myspace). Follow my everyday adventures and interact with me on what you think. I’ve recently forwarded my Twitter account to my instant messager so you I’m going to get more involved with my personal thoughts on Twitter. Follow me there too. Here’s my info:

Twitter: banksps

GTalk IM: banksps

AOL IM banksps1

Facebook: Look for phillip@banksnetworking.com aka my email address.

I love to hear from all my new friend on the internet and hopefully make more.

Blogging to help your marraige and family

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

We are at a rare crossroads in history that can be manipulated for good family relations. I say this because I’ve recently thought about how my family structure works. My wife is a special education teacher to elementary school children. Today I was looking through her blog like I usually do and thought about something. I comment on her blog and to her in real life. It’s like having twice the amount of conversations with your spouse (since we do talk a lot in person). I definitely recommend that husbands always talk to their wives and vice versa but if your spouse blogs then take an interest even if it’s not in your usual line of interest. I know that my wife also tends to read my blog even though I know that she’s not a techno-savvy person.

All my children started off early using computers too. All 4 of my children started with basic screen drawing at 3 years old. They all wanted to be like me and later on their mother or brothers. In true form my daughter has loved watching my blog-aholic wife type on her blog so much that my wife started her a blog. SHE’S 6! Yes, my wife does all the typing but my daughter tells her what she wants and it’s good family time with them.

My 3 sons aren’t so voyeristic. They aren’t the types to blog (even though it comes with a Myspace page). However, with your teens get to the point that you can be added to their friends list on Myspace. I do that with my sons and all the children at my church as well as neighborhood kids. This way you can watch what their doing a little bit too.

Gimp for a Photoshop guy

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

gimp-splash-24.pngOne of the main areas of open source software that I haven’t tried much but kept my eye on in the last couple of years is “The Gimp.” It’s a staple of most Linux systems even though it is available on Windows and Mac OSX as well. This is the problem for me: I’m the son of a electrical engineer and an art teacher. If there’s one thing that I am somewhat destined to use are graphic applications. Adobe has served me very well in that regard.

The problem is, Adobe must have known they had me and started squeezing the clamps. The software has been getting more and more expensive exponentially. Buying Macromedia then made them the kings of all graphics and multimedia with no sympathy in site for the little guy. (more…)

Diverting your attention to really good software

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

As an avid supporter of open source software I have found myself in a particular pickle. I really want to support open standards for everything I do however, there are a couple areas that open source hasn’t come up with a good replacement for commercial software. For the most part, Microsoft’s software has been the primary target for replacements. Oh, did I say replacements? I guess the politically correct terminology is “Alternatives.”

The human psychology however is something that has to slowly be changed or diverted. The old adage “You get what you pay for” is the prevalent way of thinking that keeps big companies big. As a consultant I have learned this first hand. I’ve offered a similar or better service as a competitor for a cheaper cost and not been taken seriously. The second I charged more I got more business. Open source software shouldn’t need to charge more to offer good value.

I’m not just shouting on my megaphone at you while walking down the street though. I’m putting my headphones on and listening to my own tune. I’m looking at some replacements for commercial software that I use and finding an alternative to pose to myself and my clients. (more…)