DDD4 – Update – win an MSDN license!

Registration for DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper 4 is now closed – we’ve got 450 registrations and a full waitlist. This is really cool, thanks to everybody for making this such a great event to plan. It promises to be a super day!

Also, if you are attending DDD4 and want to “take part”, even in a very small way, there are lunchtime activities taking place.

For ten minutes of your time, your could win an MSDN license!

From my earlier post:

We’re hoping to do something different during the lunchtime slot at DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper on the 2nd of December 2006.

Perhaps you can help?

We’re looking for a handful of attendees who would like to talk for 10 minutes on a subject of their choosing, something like a GrokTalkhere’s a good example.

I’m hoping to do one myself if time permits.

More information can be found here:

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GTD podcasts, giving up TV, early rising…

This weekend was fairly productive. Well, productive with the exception of the time spent mashing up various bits of hardware in a failed attempt to install Vista on a test machine – it seems that Promise don’t ship Ultra100 drivers for my aging motherboard! So it looks like it’s time for a newer test machine (All donations will be gratefully received, there’s a PayPal link at the bottom of this post!) I bought my primary desktop via the Dell Outlet, might be time to look there again!

Anyway, here are a few things that I found interesting this weekend:

Getting Things Done – podcasts
David Allen, of Getting Things Done fame, is podcasting. Actually he has teamed up with Merlin Mann of 43 Folders fame. The shows so far are:

Productive Talk on Implementing GTD
Productive Talk on Interruptions
Productive Talk on Email
Productive Talk on Teams
Productive Talk on Someday Maybe
Productive Talk on Patching Leaks
Productive Talk on Procrastination

There’s an MP3 download available, so it’s possible to transfer them to your generic MP3 player and listen to them whilst commuting.

Giving Things Up
I discovered Steve Pavlina’s blog whilst I was looking at Outlook productivity tools (more about this in a moment or two). Steve has a lot of interesting content on his blog. Posts that caught my eye were related to giving things up: giving up coffee and giving up TV. Prior to completely giving up TV, it’s probably worth trying to reduce the amount of TV that is watched first.

Kind of related to giving things up (long lies), I also found his thoughts on how to become an early riser worthwhile reading. It’s a two-parter, the second part can be found here.

Tied in with getting up early, Steve has some tips on how to get when then alarm goes off – how to avoid the “another 10 minutes” procrastination problems!

Elsewhere, I found some good stuff over at Dave Cheong’s blog. Most notably, waking up early and consistently and 18 ways to stay focused at work. Two excellent posts, I wish I could have an office/study as tidy as Dave’s – it takes time and effort, may be I’ll get there.

Personal Development Ideas
This weekend also saw me discover the work of Gleb Reys – the PDI blog. I found this site whilst reading reviews of My Life Organised. Life just seems to be somewhat hectic, I’m spending a lot of time just trying to stay afloat, may be I have to do too much? Anyway, I’ve been looking at software tools that can help me with Microsoft Outlook, David Allen’s GTD work and the 43 Folders filing system. So far I’ve been looking at such tools as ClearContext (as inspired by Omar), Speedfiler (as endorsed by Omar and Scott). I’ve installed both Speedfiler and ClearContext to see if they’ll help me manage (and dispose of) the thousands of e-mails that I’ve got spread over three PST files.

If anybody knows of a good place to buy a good set of the files that make up 43 Folders, please let me know as I’m struggling to find anything that is close to suitable.

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How much is a 1GB USB drive at Amazon?

When I checked my Amazon basket this evening, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this:


It’s nearly Christmas, please excuse what you see in my basket!

I guess they just want it cleared out of baskets as they are probably gearing up to removing it from their listings.

Borland forming CodeGear to focus exclusively on developer productivity

CodeGear – Formerly Borland’s Developer Tools Group – Expected to Become a Separate Wholly Owned Subsidiary by Early 2007

CUPERTINO, Calif.,— November 14, 2006 — Borland Software Corporation (NASDAQ: BORL, www.borland.com), today announced its decision to separate the Developer Tools Group into a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on maximizing developer productivity. The newly formed operation, CodeGear, will be responsible for advancing the four primary product lines formerly associated with Borland’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) business. These include Developer Studio (Delphi®, C++Builder® and C#Builder®), JBuilder® (including the upcoming Eclipse-based “Peloton” offering), Turbo® and Interbase.

The full announcement can be found here:

State of the Nation

It seems New Order were right. Back in 1986 they released the single State of the Nation. Let’s look at the evidence.

Last week I planned to travel to London, on Wednesday to be precise. This would have involved an easyJet flight from Edinburgh to Luton (I chose this route for schedule reasons) and a little bit of train travel. My employer booked both the flight and the train trip on my behalf. We paid £27.50 for the train trip from Luton to Londons Kings Cross Thameslink, which is slightly more than normal as my employer uses a central booking agent. Early last week, on Monday, I learnt that the travel would have to be rearranged as the person I was visiting had an urgent client visit to make in Brussels. So I duly set about rearranging the travel. Imagine my surprise when I learnt that the refund my employer would receive was only £7.20. I hadn’t even travelled. Never mind that, I hadn’t even booked a guaranteed seat. Worse, I’ve made that train trip many times, the train is eight carriages in length (FirstScotRail please take note), it’s never full, I always get a seat regardless of the time of day. So why is the train company so greedy? Purchase a £1000 TV from a big name retailer, take it home, let it in its box, take it back unused and you get a full refund. It’s the same with this particular train ticket – it was unused. It’s a state of the nation.

What’s your crime number?
And today, Saturday, to top it off, I found myself reading Jon Ronson’s piece in The Guardian Weekend, 11 November 2006. Of course, friends and regular readers will be asking the question: “why’s he reading The Guardian?” Well, that’s a question that I’ll leave unanswered, but suffice to say, I had my reasons and they were well-intentioned. Jon was lamenting about the loss of his mobile telephone. Frankly, I would love to lose my mobile telephones, but that’s another posting. Mr Ronson had one of those mobile-telephone-replacement policies that let him “throw it a lake and we’ll replace it free of charge”. Of course, he didn’t throw it in a lake, he just lost it. Mislaid it. Put it down somewhere and forget where he had left it. So he called up the “replacement company”. They asked for “crime number”, the sort that the police issue when something has been stolen. Since Jon had merely lost his ‘phone, he didn’t have a crime number and pretty much refused to get one. However, the guy at the replacement company quietly whispered, “the police don’t mind, it happens all the time”.

So Mr Ronson grudgingly telephoned the police…only to be recognised by the policeman taking the statement. The policeman offered to drive Jon around Moss Side with a view to getting the kids who committed this heinous crime. Despite protesting politely, Mr Ronson ended up spending time in a squad car, driving around Moss Side. The conversation went kind of like this: “It might be him…oh no, it’s not…”. Anyway, without spoiling too much of the original article, Jon ended up panicking about wasting police time. He couldn’t have panicked too much about it, well, certainly not after he had told his mother about it, because he then went on to write an article about. An article that was published today, and read by a presumably reasonably sized Guardian readership; we might surmise that a few enforcers of the law are included in that group. So Mr Ronson got his crime number, even though no crime was committed (apart from his own admission to wasting police time). The replacement company were happy, Jon got his replacement mobile ‘phone. It’s a state of the nation.

Mid-life crisis, when or if?
And to top it all, according to Rebecca Williams, in the same issue of The Guardian Weekend, on the subject of a mid-life crisis, it’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”. Mine must be due real soon now.

DDD4 – Lunchtime Activities

We’re hoping to do something different during the lunchtime slot at DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper on the 2nd of December 2006.

Perhaps you can help?

We’re looking for a handful of attendees who would like to talk for 10 minutes on a subject of their choosing, something like a GrokTalkhere’s a good example.

I’m hoping to do one myself if time permits.

More information can be found here:

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