Wednesday Feb 15, 2012

"Hard Coded" is an oxymoron

I have come to the realization that to say something was "Hard Coded" in an application is an oxymoron.  In fact, hard coding something just means that typically a developer took the "easy road" by no making some aspect of the application configurable.

 It should be called "Easy Coded".

Tuesday Mar 29, 2011

OpenPTK for Lightweight Provisioning

These days I am working at a customer that is deploying Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Directory Server, and Oracle Waveset.  The customer has many geographically separate sites running Access Manager and Directory server locally.  The work flow activities and user self service occur at a centrally deployed Waveset server at the headquarters.  However, they still want to have the ability to do some provisioning activities even when connectivity between the remote site and the headquarters is unavailable.  The best solution we have found is OpenPTK

OpenPTK stands for Open Provisioning Toolkit.  It is a framework purpose built for light weight provisioning tasks.  The architecture is loosely coupled and flexible enough to support many different types of user repositories.  For us, it is providing a great head start on development of a custom solution for this customer that will be simple to deploy, easy to maintain, and easy to use.

Check out OpenPTK when you are looking for something to supplement the enterprise identity management deployment in your enterprise.

Tuesday Mar 03, 2009

I Updated My Blackberry Software

I have owned my Blackberry for about a year now.  I just realized that I could upgrade the software on the phone!  Well, I guess I knew it was possible but never really tried before.  I run a Mac for my primary machine, so I don't have the Desktop Manager software installed (Windows only).  I do have an old laptop lying around that runs Windows XP, so I decided to give the upgrade a try.  For all you Mac users out there that have not upgraded your Blackberry, you're missing out on some pretty cool features.  My original Blackberry OS was version 4.2.  I have just upgraded to version 4.5.  The new version has quite a few features that I have enjoyed in just the first day since upgrading.

 

  • HTML Email capability.  No more raw HTML in my inbox.
  • Updated graphics in the Calendar
  • Better battery life? Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems better

Check out the full list of new features on the Blackberry site.

Tuesday Apr 24, 2007

Idea for Rental Car pick up

I recently rented a car, and I was struck with an idea that could really improve customer service. Avis Preferred members can give the driver their name when they board the shuttle. The driver enters the name and transmits it to the central computer. The central computer then relays the car assignment back to the shuttle. Then the driver reads the names and slot number assignments to the customers on the shuttle.

The problem is that I have noticed these drivers typically don't speak clearly and the P.A. on the shuttle is extremely loud. Not only is it hard to hear your name and slot number called, it also makes it impossible for other guests to have a conversation on a cell phone.

Now for my big idea ...

Avis needs to allow preferred guests to register their cell phone number with their online profile. When guests land at the airport, they can use SMS Text Messaging to notify Avis of their arrival. Once the car assignment is made, the slot number can be sent back to the guest using SMS Text messaging.

I would really like to send a text message to Avis when I get off the plane, and then have my slot number before I even get on the shuttle.

So, how about it Avis? Do you really "try harder"?

Sunday Mar 04, 2007

ATM Rebate Form

Don't you just hate those fees that ATMs charge? Well, I have my checking account with Compass Bank and they will reimburse those fees! This is something that really attracted me to their bank. I do a lot of travel and so I need to use other bank's ATMs quite often. I incur fees up to $3.00 at some places. Thankfully, I just have to mail in the receipts to my bank and they will credit my account within 10 days. The only problem is that they don't offer an online form to send with the receipts. So, I have created one.

I created a form using Open Office. This is a free suite of applications that is compatible with other major office suites.

Preview the form.

Download the form.

You can see more details about ATM Rebates on the Compass Bank web page.
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