Monday Feb 02, 2009

Confluence Wiki Tiny URL

Just learned a helpful tip from Igor, Lead Engineer of Every Confluence wiki page has a tiny url that can be found on the Tools --> Info page:

Monday Jan 26, 2009

Have you ever drawn with your voice? Because you can.

This is crazy. Ze Frank, yeah that Ze Frank, created yet an other work of pure genius -- a tool that enables you to draw with your voice. Seriously. Check it out. To the right is a drawing my little niece and I just made. Granted, it's a bit more...uh...abstract than the museum quality pieces that Ze created, but that's to be expected considering the man exudes awesomeness with everything he attempts. I still can't stop watching his bagged sloth video:

Or, listening to his social network love song.

Sigh...[queue googly eyes]...

Sunday Jan 25, 2009

Doodle & Sun

Via the Doodle Blog, this made me happy. Doodle, one of my favorite sites -- & one that I use at least once daily -- is a member of Sun's Start Up Essentials Program.

"The Sun Startup Essentials program is designed to help startups get off the ground fast, at lower cost, primed for rapid growth and success. Sun supports startups with hardware, software, training, and support. The partnership with Sun is an obvious step for Doodle because major components of our technical architecture are maintained by Sun: Java and MySQL."

If you haven't used Doodle to poll meeting/event participants for a meeting time that works for the majority, you must try it out at least once. It's super quick & easy to use.

Saturday Jan 24, 2009

What's on your "Stop Doing" list?

Via Jim Grisanzio's blog, I just read Matthew May's post titled "2009: Don't Just Do Something". As with most people, it resonates especially well with my current place in life (from a career, family and personal growth perspective).

The post examines an individual who's "hard-wired energy level was riding herd over his mental clarity, enabling a busy yet unfocused life."

He received the following suggestion from his professor: "[Construct] a lesson in the form of an assignment she called “20-10”: Imagine that you’ve just inherited $20 million free and clear, but you only have 10 years to live. What would you do differently—and specifically, what would you stop doing?"

An excellent lesson in self preservation by \*really\* focusing on what matters most and should be addressed sooner than later. The "Stop Doing" list is in essence the Yin to the "To Do" list's Yang. We should have both. Every company should have both.

Off to create my "Stop Doing" list...

Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

My Father The Cyborg Part II

For those following the journey of my father's road to battling his Parkinson's Disease (PD) via Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)...

The first and most intense part of the surgery, to wire the brain, on January 5th was a success despite the extreme risk associated with his specific case. The state of his disease, coupled with his age and 20 year old artificial (but in fine working condition) heart valves introduced complexity -- complexity that his anesthesiologist felt extremely uncomfortable with since part one of the multi-hour surgery requires the patient to be awake and locked in a seated, upright position. This positions limits the anesthesiologist's access to airways and ability to perform chest compressions, if the patient needs rescuing. Despite the risk, my father chose to move forward with the DBS.

The second part, performed yesterday, was also a success. This step was to embed the battery in his right shoulder and connect the wiring. Since things went so smoothly, he was able to go home a few short hours after the procedure.

The next part, set for February 3rd, is to enable the battery -- a non-invasive procedure that requires no surgery. The reason for the break in between this step and the above procedures is to allow the brain tissue that was affected during the surgery some time to heal.

Once the neurostimulator is turned on, our hope is that the Parkinson's tremors and muscle stiffness will go away so my father, in conjunction with his neurologist, can begin dialing down his plethora of medications.

It's not often enough that we hear of such amazing medical triumphs. I'm hopeful and inspired by every facet of my father's journey -- your kind thoughts & prayers, the DBS technology and those who've poured their energy into it's creation, the amazing team of exceptional medical experts who have committed so much time and willingness to take risks so my father can experience a vastly improved quality of life, my extended family who doesn't bat an eye to drop everything and focus on what really matters in this life, and my father who looked the risks squarely in the eyes and bravely chose to move forward with such conviction. My family and I are endlessly thankful for all of it.

I'll post another update once next hurdles are cleared.

Sunday Jan 04, 2009

My Father The Cyborg

My father is a walking medical technology wonder. His entry into the cyborg world began in 1987 when artificial mitral and aortic heart valves were implanted to repair damage caused by childhood rheumatic fever.

He has had Parkinson's Disease (PD) for about 15 years. His meds are tapped out, not terribly affective and now require meds to counter the growing list of side-affects from the PD meds -- an ugly, snowballing affect. If all goes well, he will have a neurostimulator implanted, via a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), tomorrow. If successful, the neurostimluator will short circuit the abnormal brain signals that cause his PD tremors and rigidity; which in turn, will hopefully enable him to dramatically simplify his buffet of medications and enjoy a more comfortable, normal life.

Since DBS is a rather new technology (approved by the FDA for treating PD in 2002), it's still considered radical by many. Getting him to this pre-op point has been a long road -- kudos to my Mother for doing so much legwork. Now, we hope for physical stabilization until tomorrow AM so his rock star Neurosurgeon, Dr. Aury Nagy, and the rest of the amazing medical team can do their thing! :-)

A million thanks to those of you who have sent such kind thoughts, words & prayers to a man you may never meet. I am eternally grateful!

More on DBS (it's not gory, but does comprehensively convey the how amazing this technology is):

Wednesday Dec 31, 2008

My Favorite Watercolor

By my 14 year old daughter.

Tuesday Dec 16, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Emoticarolers

Many thanks to the feed readers out there who make this humble blog look popular and to the real humans out there who drop by and visit from time to time. Wishing you all the best!

Thursday Nov 20, 2008

Professing an even deeper love for Wikipedia

I love Wikipedia. I have since the moment I first set eyes on it. I use it everyday. I have it email me informational love notes. I even gave my grandmother a Wikimedia donation in her name for Christmas one year. Her reaction was unforgettable. "What is this? Why didn't you just give me the cash instead?!" So, she doesn't give a hoot about Wikipedia. That won't stop me from loving it. Ever. (Side note: I can talk like that because she doesn't read this blog, but if you run into her, let's keep the re-enactment on the down low.)

So, why the "even deeper love", you ask? Well, as Rafe Needleman so eloquently puts it, "Wikimedia is buying truckloads of Sun servers". Here's why:

"The new Sun platform will enable Wikipedia to enable users to seamlessly upload files up to 100MB. The free encyclopedia is one of the five most popular web properties in the world, with more than 250 million unique visitors each month and a 100,000-strong community of active volunteer editors. Wikipedia uses MySQL as its primary database software. The Wikimedia Foundation is also a Sun Startup Essentials program member, which has enabled it to get high-performance, enterprise-grade systems at attractive startup prices."

As Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, says "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge."

I'm glad Sun will have a part in enabling the delivery of that knowledge in rich media form.

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

GM Goes Viral With Their Message

Wow. GM knows they need to pull out all the stops to ensure their dire message can compete with mainstream media. A few of their key points that I've seen via email, their website constructed solely for this topic and the YouTube video:

  • Their $25 billion request from congress isn't a bailout, but a bridge loan
  • "We can lend $25 billion now...or lose $156 billion later."
  • "What will we do?"
  • "Collapse is imminent if we do nothing."

While there are wildly mixed reviews on the hairy situation, their approach to leverage every communication channel known on the planet is helping to churn awareness of their side of the story...and heated conversation.

Interesting times.

Monday Nov 17, 2008

StarOffice 9 with Mac OS X Support Released Today

Pretty cool news that StarOffice now runs on Mac OS X (in addition to Solaris, Windows, and Linux).

"With the new features in 9.0, businesses get an open standards-based, enterprise-class office productivity suite that is compatible with Microsoft Office but costs significantly less. With its ability to read MS Office Open XML files, support for MS Access 2007 .accdb files and improved VBA macro support, StarOffice 9 is a great option for companies looking to reduce their IT costs in these tough economic times." ~Jim Parkinson, Vice President, Developer, Tools and Services at Sun

Download it here for $34.95 (enterprise volume pricing starts at $25/user).

Congrats to the StarOffice team!

Friday Nov 14, 2008

The world's most well-known puppies

Ah...puppies & video -- the perfect combination to go viral. I first heard about the San Franciscan fur balls from Alec via Twitter a week ago. Since then, millions around the world have tuned into the popular pooches' UStream.TV show and thanks to them being a feature story on the Today Show this AM, they're bound to widen their reach.

The puppies have all been adopted -- kudos to the puppies' family for opting to adopt out the puppies to qualified families. Per the Today show story, UStream.TV plans to send the puppies with a web cam to their new homes. I may just have to tune into the four-legged variations on The Truman Show.

Live Broadcasting by Ustream

Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

Cisco Launch Investigation Videos

In case you missed it, Cisco has been releasing some pretty funny pre-launch videos (the first episode has over 10k YouTube views) -- nicely done guys! The only thing missing is a cameo appearance by Martin Hardee, my favorite Cisco blogger.

If you're interested in the topic of Cisco's coordinated launch communication efforts, be sure to check out Dianna Huff's blog post -- good stuff! I love how Cisco promoted the video series via their blog, Twitter profile, and Facebook page.

And in the "Things that are random" category...

...miscellaneous stuff (no need to try to find the commonality between any of them):

50 things about Barack Obama (I was surprised to hear that he smokes & had a pet ape).

This holiday season's hot toys (I'd better warn Mr. S to start shopping early for my Wii Fit)

I'm not sure when this happened, but MTv shares it's video collection. Now, I can re-enact those "love-sick teen crying on the couch while watching MTv after breaking up" moments in my life when I'm hard up for entertainment:

Gratuitous cat video. Don't worry, it's not paralyzed, just "interesting":


Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.


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