May, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    Hey, someone out there might have liked me enough to e-mail me today


    Richard Kuo's Personal Blog : Optimize your life #3 - how to manage e-mail effectively (1/2)

    This was just too good not to share. I can almost feel my team wincing when they read this as my daily dump (of email) on a monday hits some of them. This happens as I tend to switch Outlook off over the weekend and work offline to allow me to concentrate a little more. If I really need to go online I tend to use OWA to quickly check things. What happens is sometimes a LOT of email builds up over the weekend if I have lots of Brain Burps and then when I switch to online it all lands at once. Just my way of working but I am aware of the impact of it and have talked to the team and explained it as well as the working at weekends thing.

    Perhaps it’s time to try a few different things though and this blog entry from Richard Kuo has made me do the first of these – I switched off desktop alerts for email. You know, the email toast. I love it but it’s sooooo distracting that sometimes I think I have attention deficit disorder. Let’s see if this makes a difference.

    The second article from Richard though presents some other interesting approches to managing your email including one thing I tend to do which if file quickly. This is changing though havign seen the way James Akrigg works which is basically to let Outlook do the hard work by leaving it all in one place and making use of the new Instant Search in Outlook 2007. I’m testing this approach for a while but I do still rely on another of Richard’s recommendations (sort of) which is to flag items I need to attend to and then have a search folder in Outlook just for these.

    Anyway, enough reading me…read Richard

  • Steve Clayton

    25 Worst Tech Products of All Time


    We could be here for a long time but here is PC World’s top 5 as discussed by Jack Schofield. We only got 3 in the top 25 so i can’t decide if I am surprised or disappointed. Both perhaps. Bob was always gonna make it though.

    1. America Online (1989-2006)
    2. RealNetworks RealPlayer (1999)
    3. Syncronys SoftRAM (1995)
    4. Microsoft Windows Millennium (2000)
    5. Sony BMG Music CDs (2005)

    I’m surprised Bob didn’t make top 5 but it’s in there at 7 with IE6 right behind it at 8. No surprise to see my old nemesis Real Player at #2!

    There are some interesting dis-honourable mentions too like the Rokr E1 which promised so much and delivered, well very little. Though I have to confess that if this had been a UK list the SPV may have made it on there. Back then we loved it but now the styling is…ummm, quirky!

  • Steve Clayton

    Anna wouldn't approve


    A new resource for aspiring architects has launched – Skyscrapr is the name but bulding buildings aint the game. Nope, we’re talking technology architecture here - though I have to confess it took me several minutes to work out if it was “real” architectre or not as the site has lovely design. They also have a Journal called Architectue Journal which confused me even more. After a while though you figure out that – I mean, real architects would never do a video like this.

    So what’s it all about? Well have you everw wondered what Service Oriented Architecture really meant but too afraid to ask?  (check). Now you can find the complete definition and how it differs from a solution, infrastructure and strategic architects point of view.

    Here’s the blurb:

    “Skyscrapr will offer online training, an acronym decoder, a glossary of terms, our own Archipedia, blogs and even a surprise or two.  So send your brother, sister, cousin, customer, friend. Anyone who has ever wondered what it meant to be an ARCHITECT. Community starts with you!” (just don’t send Anna - she’s a real architect :) )

  • Steve Clayton

    I'll get Akrigg blogging


    In the absence of a blog from Prof Akrigg in my team, I wanted to share some very important info that may have flown under your radar – we’re bringing out a standalone search product! Now, back in the day when I worked at AstraZeneca I remember asking for this so to have it finally arrive 12 years on is sheer progress friends. Seriously though, if you or your customers are looking at other technology for this you may want to hold off for a moment or two. Here’s the official line:


    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for Search 2007

    As a response to customer feedback from the 2007 Office system beta, Microsoft is also announcing a new product called Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for Search 2007. A subset of the complete SharePoint Server offering, SharePoint Server for Search will provide mid-market and departmental enterprise customers with core search capabilities, crawling content in common data repositories including file shares, web sites

    To you and me that means we will soon have a product singly focused on search for your business that integrates with existing investments in Active Directory (it will respect permissions), Sharepoint, Outlook and more. It will even search Lotus Notes out of the box!

    Get the full details in the whitepaper and several other remarkably good papers at the CEO Summit Virtual Press Room.

  • Steve Clayton

    Designing the next U/X


    Wow we hold so many events that I miss ones like this too often: our MSDN group held an event in London focused on next gen user expeirences. I like design – a lot so can’t believe I mised this one. You can grab all of the slideware from the event which focused attention on the new Expression tools. I’m a big user of Photoshop though often in the dark with it so perhaps it’s time to make the leap. How much new software can one man deal with in a week though?  

    I’m busy consoling myself with the new Phaidon Design Classics set but you may want to check out Phil Barrat’s deck about good U/X. I’ll come back to this topic soon as I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about presentations and how poor many of ours are. There is much to learn.

    [tip: if you’re looking to buy the Phaidon books Costco has a good deal on them]

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