SSPAdmin is all grown up now....
May 21, 2006
Well, one of the many excuses reasons I have been quiet around here over the past 6 months has been my work on SSPAdmin. Today, that work finally enters the light of day, as a brand new product.
The Greater Good
November 9, 2005
As someone who spends quite a bit of time in Canadian airports, you can understand how this made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but probably not for the reason you think.
February 26, 2005
Last week, Todd Dominey released the much anticipated SlideShowPro, a flash component for making dynamic, really slick slideshows. After purchase, I wanted to be able to control my photos a little more so I got to work developing a simple PHP/MySQL backend to work with SSP. The result: SSPAdmin.
For just $5 US, you can have an easy to install backend that works seamlessly with SlideShowPro. Visit the SSPAdmin Minisite for more info.
Get to Steppin'
February 25, 2005
After over a year or so of putting it off, Doy and I have finally gotten a project off the ground that we are pretty excited about. It's called Step Away from the Tables and is a web development/design blog targeted at people who do their designing/developing in a church setting. We're excited to be back writing about this stuff again, and I know that it will be good for me to separate some of my ultrageek posts from here, and make this more of a Tech/Sports/Stupid Things I Have Done kind of blog. Sound Good?
November 4, 2004
This is the 59th post here at northoftheborder over the last 10 months or so. In the previous 58, I have steered clear of the impending US election for many reasons, but lest you should think I am indifferent, I present to you an essay on just how much of a political junkie I have become.
Run, Don't Walk...
July 1, 2004
After my recent blazing of IE and Microsoft, you might be quick to skim over this, writing it off as another rant from a MacHead. Not so fast. Do you use online banking? Do you use Internet Explorer to do so? Do you like to send everything needed to access your bank account to a hacker? If not, you better read on.
Let's get right to it. This article from Business Week Online and this one from eWeek say it all. You are not safe handling online financial services with Internet Explorer. Hackers and makers of spyware can implant software on your machine to track your input when accessing online banking, and walla, they have full access to your money. Sound fun? I didn't think so.
UPDATE July 2: More ammo, now the Dept of Homeland Security is recommending you use another browser.
So what do you do? Well, get another browser. Now. There is a problem though, many online banking services require Internet Explorer, nothing else. If that is the case, I would shoot your bank a quick e-mail directing them to the above articles. Most provide an alternative, however, usually Netscape. Some will even work with the best browser out there for the PC, Firefox. Just check with your individual bank for their browser requirements. If you are on a Mac, you have already been through all this and are not susceptible to this bug. Nice isn't it? Who says being on a Mac is more expensive. At least my financial data is safe.
So if no other factor will make you change browsers, this one should. This is serious business now, run, don't walk, to a new browser. And who knows, you might just like it...
June 14, 2004
Is that light at the end of the tunnel? Or is it an oncoming train...
The wedding is approaching quickly and things are about to get real crazy. So I thought I should write before it gets too out of hand. The problem: No topic....
June 11, 2004
Sometimes images tell the whole story. Today the nation says goodbye to Ronald Reagan. Imagine what the world would have said if you had shown them this photo when Reagan took office in 1980. One time adversary Mikhail Gorbachev was one of thousands who paid their respects in the Capital Rotunda Thursday. Later he visited with Nancy Reagan, who told him, "I'm so glad you came."
Lincoln had this same quality. Lincoln was often underestimated and labeled as a less than legitimate thinker. Remember his War Secretary Edwin Stanton and his famous words at Lincoln's deathbed, "Now he belongs to the ages"? Years before he had called Lincoln every name in the book, openly referring to him as "that monkey in Washington". Patience and an understanding of a higher calling helped Lincoln win over Stanton. He knew that the Civil War must be won, and Stanton was the man for the job. There is a lesson in there for all of us.
Reagan learned it somewhere along the way too. With tough love and unmatched determination he eventually won over the then young and cocky Russian leader. He didn't just beat him, he befriended him. There was just something about Reagan that brought that out of people. Try finding this in politics today...
Reagan was my first president and I echo what I have heard many people say this week, he will always be Mr. President to me. Was he perfect? No. A great president? Yes, but that's not for today. Today is to to honor a great man and his contributions to America and the world.
The Best...and Worst
January 16, 2004
Even while in Calgary (or any part of Canada for that matter) I get plundered with news coverage from my homeland, feeding my insatiable hunger for news, news, news. In the midst of it all I couldn't help but notice a startling contrast between two major stories of the week.
Ironically enough, the epicenter of both stories was found in California. In Pasadena, a group of people who probably didn't attend their prom (and if they did, it was stag, baby) drove an oversized remote control car off of a small platform, covering a distance of about two and a half feet. What's the big deal you say? Well, this "rover" was on another planet some 300 Million miles away. Not to mention navigating the spacecraft for months and nailing the landing within 250 meters of their intended target. Think about that the next time you can't find your way out of the mall parking lot...
On the other hand, some of the saddest people in the land gathered in Santa Maria to show their undying support for the "king" of pop. They waved signs, cried, screamed and showed how blinding the light of fame can really be. Mr. Jackson himself added to the spectacle, leaving his court appearance (during which he excused himself to use the restroom without the judge's permission) and doing a little ditty for the crowd. And just to top it off, a private party at Neverland which doubles as an alleged crime scene.
So it came as no surprise that the media coverage was 100:1 in favor of the Jackson story. We love the freaks, the crime, the show. Meanwhile people who dream unbelievable dreams, and do truly out of this world things carry on with little fanfare. So you landed on Mars, did ya? But have you heard Billie Jean?! That's genious!
Pete, Tell us something we don't know...
January 6, 2004
"The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game's greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. It will come as no surprise that like any institution composed of human beings, this institution will not always fulfill its highest aspirations. I know of no earthly institution that does. But this one, because it is so much a part of our history as a people and because it has such a purchase on our national soul, has an obligation to the people for whom it is played-- to its fans and well-wishers -- to strive for excellence in all things and to promote the highest ideals." - A. Bart Giamatti, August 1989
Pete Rose surprised no one Monday, in finally admitting that he had bet on baseball. We knew. We have known for almost fourteen years now. So finally the question moves from, "What did Pete Rose do?" to "What do we do with Pete Rose?"
First of all, the idea that Mr. Rose suddenly had an epiphany and realized, "Oh yea, now I remember, I did happen to bet on some baseball games after all," seems a little far-fetched. As does the thought that his conscious finally caught up with him. More likely, the need to sell a new book in order to feed a gambling habit that continues fits the bill (according to Rose, he has reformed and now only bets legally, and visits to the racetrack have become less frequent). Why not make the admission 14 months ago after your initial meeting with Bud Selig?
But it now begs the question. Is Pete telling us everything? After he has vehemently denied any accusations for the past 14 years, we are now asked to believe him when he says he bet on baseball, but not the Reds. I propose this: Here you have a man that is obviously addicted to gambling, and is accruing massive debt in the process. And give any gambler the chance to improve his odds, he will take it in a minute. So, by betting on his own team, Rose would have the opportunity to have some control over the outcome of his bets. Could he have passed that up? Some would say that his love for the game would have prevented it. I say his love for the game was obviously no match for his obsessive habit.
So the spotlight shifts back to Selig. What will he do? He is now surrounded on every side by prominent persons of differing opinions. Also at stake is his already troubled legacy as commissioner of baseball (e.g. ending the All-Star game in tie). Will he challenge a ruling made by one of the most popular and well respected commissioners of the 20th century, Bart Giamatti? Rose seems most interested in returning to management of a major league team, probably the Reds who are about the only, if not the only, team who would consider him. How this could ever be an option for baseball is beyond me. As Giamatti said in his statement on Rose, "Let it also be clear that no individual is superior to the game". In an era in which baseball has led the way in the ethics of its players over the NFL and NBA, allowing Rose to return to manage, with no clear indication of reform or remorse, would be one step forward, five steps back. And as for the Hall, let him in for all I care...put a big statue out front if you please. But if you do, get ready to review the ghosts of baseball's past, particularly "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.
In the end, I am ultimately reminded of the conclusion of Giamatti's speech: "The matter of Mr. Rose is now closed. It will be debated and discussed. Let no one think that it did not hurt baseball. That hurt will pass, however, as the great glory of the game asserts itself and a resilient institution goes forward."
After all is said and done, does anyone really care anymore? Giamatti was right, we have moved on and baseball has seen great moments since '89. The game will survive with or without Rose around. The generation which spent its childhood idolizing him has grown up to forget his greatness on the field, and become weary of his ineptitude off of it. Even his new book title My Prison Without Bars tries to paint him as the ultimate victim of unfair circumstances. How about turning back in the sports pages and reading about Phillies great Tug McGraw, who died of cancer at the age of 59 Monday. Then lets talk about unfair circumstances.
So go away Pete, we have no need of thee. Live out the rest of your life and be happy, just stop bothering us and the game of baseball.
Read Giamatti's entire statement.