November 22, 2005

The Littons Visit Rhode Island
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Last weekend our good friends Joe and Shirley Litton came up for a nice long weekend to our little state. Ironically, we spent most of our time in Connecticut, but oh well...

The weather was fabulous! Sixty degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. Sadly, most of the leaves were down, but there were a few flaming red trees around in scattered places.

A great time was had by all, including Reboot, who serenaded Joe and Shirley's arrival by squeaking "Duckie" (her stuffed duck toy) over and over.

We took Joe, Shirley, and my mom to our favorite sushi restaurant, Peking Tokyo, in Mystic, CT. The night consisted of ritual Sake bombs (Sapporo beer with a shot of hot sake), and Matt introduced Joe to the famous Peking Tokyo rite of passage: a piece of wasabi tobiko (roe soaked in wasabi).

The rest of the weekend consisted of driving around locally to take in the local scenery, having lunch at Mohegan Sun, and finally, a nice homemade dinner of buffalo/teriyaki tenders and a crackling fire.

All in all, a great weekend! Joe took some pictures of our neighborhood on the way out, and captured this interesting shot of our indian burial ground. What is that glow in the bottom right corner? Exactly, that is the question. A high-res version is available if anyone wants to see it.

The rest of Joe's piccies are available here.

November 06, 2005

Burning Mini's II - Haverhill/Ipswitch, MA
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

I promise I won't talk about Mini's exclusively... well, I'll try!

This saturday Matt, Reboot and I drove up to Haverhill, MA, where another Mini run was taking place.

The weather was perfect, the foliage was on fire, and it was a great day for driving. We drove all around Haverhill and Ipswitch, stopping for lunch at Essex Pizza.

The first stop was at Mini of Peabody, where a shipment of Mini's was arriving just as we were.
Eloise finally got her Union Jack license plate frame.

The next stop was at Russell Orchards and winery in Ipswitch. What a day for the apple orchard! There was a marketplace, some farm animals to pet, free cider tasting, and a fantastic live bluegrass band.

The next stop was at Kimball Farm to visit the Llamas. Reboot really wasn't sure what to make of the llamas.

But then again, if I was a dog, I'm not sure what I'd think if I saw this towering in front of me. But what nice posture!

Finally, we winded back to the farm where we started for a nice cookout and bonfire.

Great people, a great ride, great scenery... a great day all around. Both Reboot and Matt were fast asleep the whole way home. :-)

View the complete day's album here.
There's some more great shots.

November 02, 2005

Lotusphere 2006 - Abstract accepted!
Posted by Jess in Announcements

I submitted the abstract, and it was approved. Yes!!

I will be giving a Pre-Conference Jumpstart session:
JMP101 - Administration for the Developer - Installing and Configuring Your Own Domino Server Playground!

Are you a developer who has only worked with a Domino server already in place? Would you like to learn how to start from scratch and make sure you still end up secure? Or how to create a development server and keep it from messing with your production environment? This session will teach developers who have no prior admin experience how get a Domino server up and running. Learn how to create your own development playground by walking through a complete install and basic configuration of a Domino server. You'll use the Administrator client to create user IDs, use the administration process (adminp), and configure and secure Domino as both an SMTP and web server. We'll review the server tasks you need (and don't need) for a development environment, and we'll show you how to configure your dev server so that it "plays nice" in your production environment. We'll even show you how to create firewall rules to access your server from the Internet. When you leave this session, you'll be able to create a development server of your very own, without disturbing your admins!

I can't wait. I've gotten a few requests from developers wanting to know how to do this. Even wanting to get a server playground up and running at home becomes impossible when you're not sure what floodgates you're opening. It's easy when it's already in place at work, but what about starting from scratch? No one seems to ever think about this. So, I decided it was time to change that.

Oh, more good news. Matt's coming this year, too. :-)

Book Review - Computer Privacy Annoyances
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

Computer Privacy Annoyances

By Dan Tynan
ISBN 0596007752

As someone who gets asked questions about Internet use and safety all the time, a book I had been itching to read was "Computer Privacy Annoyances", by Dan Tynan. According to the cover, the book covers "How to avoid the most annoying invasions of your personal and online privacy."

The quick and dirty? The book gives very practical, real-world examples of how your data can be used, yet the author manages to avoid sounding like a doomsayer... even some of the more scary scenarios don't come off sounding like sensationalism, just honest (and sometimes even apologetic) examples of what could very realistically happen. (I thank you, Mr. Tynan.)

I'll take bets on anyone that doesn’t learn at least ten new things they didn't know about their privacy rights. Mr. Tynan has taken the proverbial "They" and reduced it to the very organizations that "they" really are. Did you know you can request a copy of your FBI files? Do you know who has the power view it? Do you know who is collecting data on you at this very moment and what they are doing with it?

The book's format allows for a surprisingly fast read. Well organized sections such as privacy at home, on the Internet, in public, at work, and even on a federal level allow for quick chapter absorption. In each chapter, the author states the annoyance, and then the fix. This allows for quick skipping over an 'annoyance' that might not annoy you that much.

I did notice that the author made no mention of the everyday information users give out about themselves without even realizing it, such as usernames that contain birthdates and such. But the Internet privacy chapter is only a small portion of the topics covered in this book. In fact, if I had to find one fault with this book, however, I'd say they lost a much larger audience that could have easily benefited from the book by calling it *Computer* Privacy Annoyances.

As a tech professional, if I could get all my clients, users, friends, family and complete strangers to read this book, I strongly believe identify theft could become a thing of the past. And it might even reduce global blood pressure, too. Bonus!

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