November 16, 2002


Russell, over at Infoworld reports:

According to published reports, Office 11 (due next year) won't support Windows 95, 98, or ME. The earliest supported version, per the reports, will be Windows 2000. This means that a substantial number of organizations with pre-W2K systems will have to undergo a serious upgrade path or risk becoming incompatible with new versions of Office.

And later in the article...

By switching to, you regain control over your hardware and software upgrade cycle. You also regain control over your IT budget. If you want corporate support, check out's elder brother, Sun's StarOffice.

Food for thought.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:57 PM

November 15, 2002

Tent of Doom

In yesterday's discussion, I completely forgot to mention jwz's famous Tent of Doom. We're discussing how we might, uhm, spruce up the bullpen at work if that comes to pass.

Suggestions welcome...

Posted by jzawodn at 10:32 AM

November 14, 2002


In my first full-time computer job, I was a sysadmin on a 7 month contract at the University where I was a student. I took a semester off from school and worked full-time. They paid me well. I had an office to myself (with a door), a Sparc 5 and a Mac on my desk.

In my second full-time computer job, I worked for a mid-sized oil company. I sat in an ugly beige cubicle all day. I had one computer. But I got paid more for my time.

In my current job, I live in a grey and yellow cubicle and get paid even more. It's relatively quiet and dark. The engineers around me all like it that way. It's nicer than our older building and older cubicles. There are a ton of distractions. Phone calls, IM, people stopping by, noise in the hallways, etc.

But in my new job, I'll apparently be in a cubicle bullpen or sweatshop as I like to call them. There goes productivity. Apparently the folks at work haven't read and understood the standard literature. I work from home once in a while as it is just to get away from the distractions of the office. Being in closer proximity, with fewer walls, more noise, and brighter lights will certainly make it worse.


I would have thought that as I advance through my career these things would get better, not worse.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:53 PM

November 13, 2002

War Zone?

I woke up early this morning. There were lots of sirens and fast moving, large vehicles outside. I heard a couple helicopters circling overheard. Had there been any gunfire, I would have suspected an invasion. However, living as close to Lawrence Expressway as I do, I knew it was a traffic accident of some sort.

After turning on the radio to hear the traffic report, I discovered that it was a 5-car accident at the intersection of Homestead and Lawrence Expressway. That's about 10 seconds from my apartment by car. Needless to say, I was in no rush to get to work.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:49 AM

November 12, 2002

Secret Business Model

A few folks are talking about the Plaxo story in Wired. Specifically, this part:

When asked exactly how the company intends to generate revenue, the decidedly secretive founder would confirm only that Plaxo is not meant to be spyware or adware.
"We think one of the most clever aspects of what we're doing is the business model, but right now we're talking exclusively about the product launch, not about the business model," Parker said.

Heh. I visited Plaxo to do some consulting. We just focused on the technical stuff I was there to talk about. But over lunch, I asked the "how will you make money" question. I got similarly evasive answers.

I remember telling some folks about that. My thinking at the time was that these people are:

  1. Stupid
  2. Crazy
  3. Hiding Something

I opted for #3. Why? Because I knew they managed to get some cash out of Sequioa. And Mike Moritz is no idiot.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:26 PM

OracleWorld bloggage

A few folks on O'Reilly Net are talking about OracleWorld. But that's all I've found so far. Jonathan Gennick and Derrick Story

Well, there was this /. story too.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:56 AM

November 11, 2002

Are Weblogs Microcontent?

Jon Udell says:

The Google toolbar is an example of a microcontent client. So is Huevos. So, arguably, are the speakable Web services I wrote about in this month's O'Reilly Network column.

So what about weblogs? Granted, I write some long entries now and then, but most of the time they're short. Are they microcontent? Or maybe minicontent?

I would have never really thought about this, but I saw the "Microcontent" headline and figured Jon had written something about how weblogs are type of microcontent. When I read what he wrote, I was a little surprised and disappointed. I thought I knew what he was going to say.

That made me wonder if it makes sense to talk about weblogs as microcontent, minicontent, or something else entirely? They're certainly not the traditional model of "Gee, maybe I should write a web page about foo." I don't think about writing a web page when I blog. But I also don't apply the same thinking and editing that I do when sending e-mail, even though e-mail and weblog entries are both conversational and often the same size. I also don't think about weblog entries the same way that I think about writing magazine articles. There's usually a lot less structure to weblog entries--because they're short, single topic items.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:46 PM

Is anyone blogging OracleWorld?

I haven't seen any yet, but there are too many blogs keep track of. I toyed with the idea of going to OracleWorld, but... well, no.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:46 PM

Google is self-aware

google-self-aware.png Look carefully at the picture to the right. Click to get a larger version. I search Google for jeremy to check that I'm still in the number one slot (as noted earlier). I am. And how does Google summarize my blog?

Jeremy Zawodny's blog. ... Ah, what a difference a few weeks make. I'm once again at the top of the list if you search google for "jeremy". ...

How terribly amusing. Perhaps Google ranks you higher if you talk about it. :-)

I can't help but to think that there's an engineer at Google who reads by blog and decided to have some fun with me. That's the sort of thing I'd do if I worked there.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:24 AM

November 10, 2002

My Work Blog?

It occurs to me that some (many?) of my co-workers may have recently read my previous entry about URL standards. I know this because a lot of people at work have told me, in one way or another, that they read my blog. And it often amuses me that other Yahoo employees learn about what's going on at Yahoo (often trivial things, but still) by reading my blog.

(Well, there aren't that many people have who have done that. But a lot more than I ever expected, which was zero.)

So why not just setup an internal Yahoo-only blog for myself? On the surface, that makes good sense. A couple well-meaning Yahoos (yes, we sometimes refer to each other as Yahoos) have even suggested it recently. But I don't think it'd be effective.

I don't blog because I have to. I blog because I want to. I've been doing it for a long time, as is evidenced by my old journal. Back then I didn't know my journal was a weblog and that people made a habit of reading and syndicating each others'. I had heard of RSS but didn't really think it applied to "personal" content like that. The only reason I started that (I think) is because I always read Alan Cox's diary and thought it was a good idea.

I didn't start a "real" blog until Jon Udell suggested it earlier this year. It was quite amusing. I don't remember the exact series of events, but it went something like this. Adam Goodman (publisher of Linux Magazine) called me up (as he often does) and said, "Hey, home come you don't have a weblog?" I responded, "Huh? What's a weblog?" and he decided to conference Jon in to explain what I've been missing.

Well, anyway, I've probably got the story all wrong. But that's not the point.

The only real change is that I now know I have an audience and can interact them in the ways that bloggers do. I've "met" a lot of interesting people this way. We've all learned from each other and make each other laugh. I doubt I'll ever meet more than a handful of them in person.

My blogging isn't required. It isn't work sanctioned. I say what I want to say when I want to say it. I enjoy it.

What would be the motivation for me to blog at work? The audience is quite limited. That means the "network effect" of blogging would be almost non-existent. We already have a ton of internal mailing lists. I'm on many of them an contribute frequently. The lists are all archived and easily searched. Most folks at work (the engineers at least) know who I am already or at least know my name. Why? Either from my e-mail or the MySQL talks I give.

So what would the internal-only weblog buy me? I'm always impressed by the discussion and insight that comes out of my weblog today. None of it comes from Yahoo employees. I'd be throwing all that away and gaining what?.

As near as I can figure, the only advantage is that I'd be able to write about our "trade secrets" and other stuff that is best not exposed to the public. That's it.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:38 PM