Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Resurrecting Discovering Identity on Blogs.Oracle.Com

In response to requests that I refresh my Discovering Identity blog that has been lying dormant on since February 2010, I will commence today to satisfy that request.

Discovering Identity

I created this blog on  in May 2005 and updated it regularly until Oracle acquired Sun in February 2010, at which time I switched to self-publishing the blog at  The full archive of my posts from May 2005 to February 2010 is available on this site and also on the site.  From now on, I will publish items of interest to the Oracle community on both sites and address issues beyond that scope on the site.

If anyone has items you would like me to address on this blog, please let me know.


Mark Dixon 

Wednesday Dec 23, 2009

1000 Posts! 1000 Thanks!

The previous post, the Dixon Family Christmas Card, was the one-thousandth post on the Discovering Identity blog.  Many thanks for following, visiting, commenting, and otherwise supporting this ongoing investigation into the science and magic of Identity Management.

One Thousand. Many Thanks.

Thanks to  Charleston Primary School for a great photo.

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Tuesday Sep 01, 2009

Blog This in Windows Live Writer

I just added a Firefox plugin that:

Preview Image of Blog This in Windows Live WriterAdds a button to Firefox which starts a new Windows Live Writer blog post prepopulated with content and title from the current web page. Blog the whole page, or just selected snippets. …

I started this post using the new plugin.  Pretty cool.

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Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sun Blogs!

Yesterday, celebrated its fifth birthday!  Thanks to Linda Skrocki, our fearless leader in the Sun blogosphere, for pointing out the very first post on  It has been an honor to participate in this important part of the Sun culture of innovation.

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Wednesday Mar 25, 2009

Discovering Identity - a Facelift

In May, the Discovering Identity blog will be four years old.  A lot of water has gone under the proverbial bridge since our humble beginnings in May, 2005. With over 800 posts in the bank, it is time for a facelift of sorts.  Hopefully, this new look will be a bit easier to look at, more functional and with better access to the variety of information I contribute to cyberspace.

A few credits are in order.  Many thanks to:
  • My son Dave, a web design genius, who introduced me to the Firebug and MeasureIt Firefox plugins that helped me make sure the HTML was balanced just right.
  • My wife Claudia, for putting up with my late night sessions at the computer.
  • My daughter Angie, mommy blogger extraordinaire, for my new photo.
  • Greg Johnson, Ryan Thrash and SpiffyCorners  for the CSS-enabled rounded corners.
  • Yourminis for the widgets that provide easy access to Flickr and RSS feeds.
  • for the Javascript used to present random quotes.

If any of you have advices or critique, please let me know.

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Saturday Mar 21, 2009

Celebrating 800

No that isn't my age ... although sometimes my kids think so.  It is the number of entries I have posted to this blog since its humble beginning on May 13, 2005.  Now, almost four years later, this post is number 800.

In celebration, I poked around the Internet to see other things for which the number 800 is significant.  Here are my favorites.

The Atari 800 computer was announced in 1978, the year I graduated from college.

Shrewsbury, England, was founded in 800 AD.  That's even older than I am. There were no computers back then. Al Gore hadn't yet invented the Internet ... or global warming.

According to the Urban Dictionary, an 800-pound gorilla is " An overbearing entity in a specific industry or sphere of activity. A seemingly unbeatable presence always to be reckoned with; whose experience, influence, and skill threatens to defeat competitors with little effort. In the software industry, Microsoft would be considered the 800-pound gorilla."  Yikes!

So that's it for my 800th post, to close out another fine day in Mesa, AZ. Not too profound, but a bit of fun for me.

I can only hope the next 800 posts be as enjoyable as the first 800.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday Dec 05, 2008

Blog Reader Overload

Today's Geek & Poke cartoon describes my blog reading situation perfectly!

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Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Blogging with OpenOffice

I just upgraded to OpenOffice 2.4.1 and installed the Sun Weblog Publisher extension, which I used to post this little message.

Saturday Sep 06, 2008

Hope Amidst Tragedy - via the Blogosphere

Three weeks ago, the crash of a light plane in eastern Arizona instantly changed the lives of a young couple and their four young children, who until recently lived just down the street from us. Still in critical condition in a Phoenix, AZ, hospital burn unit, Christian and Stephanie Nielson have a long road of recovery ahead of them. During that process of recovery, we are connected in an active virtual network of mutual hope and support with their family and friends - through the blogosphere.

An article in the New York Times today explores how Stephanie's blog, the NieNie Dialogues, had inspired readers around the world before the accident and how cyberspace is uniting many people across the globe in acts of kindness and hope for this young family. Stephanie's sister's blog provides a focal point for updates about the condition of Christian and Stephanie, announces of special benefit events, and invites people to contribute to their recovery fund.

It was via the blogosphere we learned of last week's coordinated effort to launch balloons in a gesture of hope for this young couple.

We invite all of you to join with us in prayers of hope for Stephanie and Christian.

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Thursday Jul 03, 2008

ScribeFire with Flock

I am experimenting with the use of ScribeFire for blogging. It seems to work well within Flock.

Tuesday Mar 18, 2008

PlusMo - Take This Blog With You

Subscribe to Discovering Identity on your cell phoneIf you glance at the left sidebar on this blog today, you will see a striking resemblance of me on a little phone. If you click on my face, you will be taken to the PlusMo website, and led through a simple process to enable delivery of this blog and many other news feeds to your mobile phone. The PlusMo application was easy to configure, simple to download and a delight to use. If you can stand to see my face as an icon on your phone, I think you will enjoy the service.

Thanks to my colleague Dave Williams for pointing this out to me.

Plusmo uses the IBM Java Virtual Machine on my Palm 700p device. Plusmo runs on almost all J2ME, Windows Smart Phone, Windows PDA, Blackberry and Treo phones.

The Plusmo technology is described in this excerpt from their website: "Plusmo's patent-pending Widget Engine has a tiny XHTML based microbrowser with Javascript and a complete framework to install, provision, render and manage mobile widgets. Plusmo is packed with smart mobile features to enable instant access to all your personalized information. Background downloads, smart synchronization and local caching enable widgets to run offline even when there is no data connectivity. You will also save on network bandwidth with built-in compression and incremental updates."

Give it a try. It's great stuff!

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Thursday Jan 24, 2008

Welcome Gary Olson!

Please join me in welcoming Gary Olson to the blogsphere. Gary, who was recently name as US Software Practice Sales Director, launched his blog, "One Team ... One Fight" today with an inspiring tribute to one of his colleagues who is retiring from 25 years of service in the US Air Force.

May I share the final paragraph of Gary's post:

So, as you end or start your day, two requests:
  1. Please say a prayer or raise a glass to the thousands of men and women who sit guard today as my friend did for 25 years serving our country, selfless and with great resolve.
  2. As the next sun rises or sets, commit to yourself, to your family, to your team...that today YOU are going to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
ONE Team...ONE Fight!

Thanks, Gary, for your passionate leadership!

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Testing Ecto

EctoScott Fehrman recommended that I check out the Ecto blogging editor.  So ... here is my second blog of the day using something other than the old standby Bloggar client I have used for a couple of years.  So far, things seem to work ok, but inserting images is a bit cumbersome.  I had to edit some HTML to put get placement, borders and spacing correct.

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Testing Scribefire Blog Editor

Quite a while ago, I tested the Performancing blog editor plugin for Firefox.  This plugin is now called ScribeFire.   It seems to work well within the Flock browser.

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Friday Jan 04, 2008

One tiny red dot in Mongolia

I added the Visitor Locations widget from ClustrMaps to this blog on December 8th. It is fun to see the cumulative proliferation of red dots aross the world, particularly when I visit the expanded view. My favorite is the red dot in Mongolia, where my son Eric lived the past two years. We thought at first that he was responsible for the red dot in Mongolia, but he came back to the states in November, berfore I added the widget. I wonder who my elusive Mongolian visitor could be?

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Discovering Identity was founded on in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please connect with me in cyberspace at LinkedIn or Twitter.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.


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