Monday, December 10, 2007

The Hurdle Book

Many people struggle with basic business principles, and it's amazing how even a rudimentry knowledge of enturpernial business frameworks can help in every day work situations. While doing some research on entry level bunisness planning books I stumbled on a link to a free online version of The Hurdle Book.

The site says, "The Hurdle Book was created to help encourage people to empower themselves and to learn the process of business planning to better accomplish their business goals."

Even though I haven't read it, after a quick scan of the pages it seems to deliver.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Console Points Exchage Rates

Both the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii have addtional "live" content that can be downloaded via the internet if you so choose to give your console a network connection. Some of this content is free, but most of the content is paid for with "points" that can be purchased on-line or from various retailers.

The interesting thing about a Points Model is that it abstracts the true cost of what you are buying. The live links above (at the time of this writing) put a Wii point at $0.009495 (a little under a penny) and a Xbox point at $0.01186875 (more than 10% over a penny). Of course you would have to calcualte shipping and/or tax (maybe?) into any equation to come up with a true cost. Then you could look at discounts (i.e. coupons) that could be applied to the overall exchange rate.

Wikipedia has taken a good shot at exchange rates based on average cost of Wii and Live points. I would be interested in seeing the cost to the distributer of these cards and the cost of manufacture, because these are surely devaluing the royalty payments the content owners are getting.

Putting together a good deal on points doesn't look to be that hard. typically carries the Microsoft 4000 Point card for $48.99 no tax, no shipping. First time Google Checkout uses can knock off $10 anything at wich drops the point cost to $0.0097475 which makes buying something like Puzzle Quest (a 1200 point game) to just $11.70 with points to spare. It simple economics--and I'm sure all the video game kids are all about that.

It's amazing that the console manufatures are making their consumers jump through all these hoops. Hasn't anyone learned anything from NetFlix? Consumers like to feel like they are getting a deal not like thier getting ripped off.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bridge Worldwide

My company Bridge Worldwide has been selected again as a top 25 best small business to work for in America and to celebrate we're going on a talent hunt.

Image from our Grass is Greener Campaign

If you think you've got what it takes check out our Careers Page.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Michael Vick T-Shirt (or fun with iron-on letters...)

I had my second fantasy football draft of the season and I decided to make an iron-on T-Shirt with my team name on it. Being the dog lover that I am, I brainstormed some anti-Michael Vick team names and settled on "The ConVicks." In the long run I dropped the name because I felt it might be construed as supportive of Vick (and iron-on letters don't come in upper and lower case.)

But, I still bought all the stuff, and I did want a T-shirt for the draft, so I chose a simple one word shirt--CONVICKTED.

I had an old red "ringer" t-shirt that I had planned on making a Cincinnati Reds shirt out of once they got good. Needless to say it's been sitting in my closet for more than a few years.

First I laid out the letters in what I thought was a pretty straight line using a sheet of paper as a guide.

Nice and clean, but I wanted to give it a bit more of an athletic shirt feel, so I used a serving dish that had more of an elliptical curve to it.

Much better. Now all I had to do was break out the iron. (I hope my wife doesn't read this and realize I know how to use an iron...)

Ironing was a bit tricky. You have to time hitting the letters long enough to get them to stick, but not so long you burn the shirt. I tried about 15 seconds on the front, then turned it inside out for another 5 on the back side.

All said and done, the shirt cost about $6 in supplies and took about 20 minutes. Not too shabby...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Careful, I'm a Persuader

I've been researching psychographics for work projects off an on for a a few years, and I'm always interested in testing and databasing results from psychology tests. Here's a site that does it very well... (Even though it could use a face lift...)

These are my actual results...

Career Inventory Test Results

Extroversion |||||||||||||||||| 60%
Emotional Stability |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Orderliness ||||||||||||||||||||| 63%
Altruism |||||||||||||||||| 56%
Inquisitiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%

You are a Persuader, possible professions include - entertainer, recruiter, artist, newscaster, writer/journalist, recreation director, librarian, facilitator, politician, psychologist, housing director, career counselor, sales trainer, travel agent, program designer, corporate/team trainer, child welfare worker, social worker (elderly services), interpreter/translator, occupational therapist, executive
Take Free Career Test
personality tests by

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

UPDATED: 4 Hour Work Week?

I looked into that 4 Hour Workweek book. Although it doesn’t appear to be worth reading, the idea is starting your own business then off loading the “busy work” to outsourcing firms in India.

This article is shorter and much funnier version of the same thing... Thanks to Marty for the link.


My friend Scott loaned my the book and I plan on taking it with me to the 2008 Game Developers Conference and giving it a good read.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

UPDATE: Remote Desktop causes Unexpected Shutdown in Windows

I replaced my nVidia GeForce 6600 GT with a different video card to see if it helps the issue. I did use another nVidia board--the 8600--which is listed as a Vista ready board.

We'll see if that stabilizes my home system.

See this post for more info...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Modding my old Xbox...

I've been spending some time lately modding my old Xbox with a homemade USB cable. It's actually pretty amazing what people are doing with the oldish first generation Xbox hardware.

Have a looksee... By the way, this is not my video, just a the same software I'm installing... :)

Maybe I'll drop a few pictures as things progress.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

QuickDock 2.0 posted

Not much to say, QuickDock 2.0 has been posted to Yahoo.

Note: I recommend starting completely over by making a fresh shortcut directory and making new shortcuts directly from the .EXE files.

Remote Desktop causes Unexpected Shutdown in Windows

(Worst title for a post ever...)

I'm struggling to troubleshoot Remote Desktop with Windows Vista. It seems that when connecting through the RDP Vista will reset itself with an "Unexpected Shutdown." It works better (but not perfectly) with Themes unchecked, but I don't have any idea why.

This isn't a reported bug, so I'm hoping some one stumbles across this and chimes in.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

QuickDock 2.0

Look for a new version of QuickDock to be posted in the next few days. A majority of the work was done by contributer Art McBain, but I have added a few visual updates for the next release.

The widget is currently pending approval...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vista Gadgets...

Now that I've got Vista installed at home, I'll be looking into development of Vista Gadgets (i.e. Widgets) for useful (or not) desktop items.

Here's the practically hidden development site.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vista Thoughts...

For the first time since Windows 98 I didn’t participate in Microsoft’s beta program for their next big operating system. I figured that I’d get Vista when comes out and not have to deal with buggy software, apps that didn’t work, poor performance, etc. So, the beta came and went (and this time they opened it to pretty much anybody) and I chose to keep plodding away with WindowsXP.

Now, that I’ve upgraded, I’m really surprised how many applications I run on a daily basis that work great in XP but poorly or not at all in Vista. Here’s a short list of what I’ve found so far…

  • Quicken
  • CD/DVD Burners (Nero or Roxio)
  • Audio software (due to a lack of drivers…)

And most of the game software I wrote for Windows 2000 runs with warnings, but anything I wrote using OpenGL (like my rss screensaver for windows) has major issues.

This wouldn’t be so bad, but almost every vendor website that mentions Vista compatibility issues are charging for new releases that are Vista certified. In my case, my DVD drive came with DVD burning software for free, but to simply get my Drive working in Vista I’ll have to spend $40. (Vista, of course has it’s own DVD writing component, but I’ll have to use it more to either condone or condemn it.)

Long story short, if I didn’t have to upgrade Vista so I can support it in my past and future software, I might have waited until I bought a new system.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quick Dock 1.2

Version 1.2 of Quick Dock has been submitted to the Widget Gods for approval. It incorporates McBain's updates as well as a few other fixes. (He added a very cool Drag and Drop for new shortcuts...)

Assuming this fixes the last of the issues, I'll work on some more features.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

rsssaver updated

I pushed a fairly big update to my rss screensaver for windows...
That's right, I skipped a whole version number... This version tackles the big interactivity problem and sets the stage (finally) for foreign characters. Here's what's new now...
  • Hold down the SHIFT key to speed up the current story (fast forward)
  • Hold down the CTRL key to snap the current story to full frame
  • Hold them both to quickly view stories
  • Some additional color palettes added to config

Check it out at

Monday, January 15, 2007

Quick Dock 1.1

I updated Quick Dock to support a custom shortcut directory to fix the issues many people we having (mostly from non-US versions of WindowsXP.) It has been sent to Yahoo! for approval and should be available from this link soon.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Quick Dock 1.0

I had some down time over the holidays, so I worked on an upgrade to rsssaver and started a new project called Quick Dock. Quick doc is a Yahoo! Widget Engine widget to replace your Quick Launch Toolbar with something that looks more like the Apple iDock in OSX.

I'm still waiting on approval before it's available via Yahoo!'s Widget Library, but I'll update this page when it can be downloaded.


The widget is available for download here.