When your conference room has only 6 power outlets for over 35 laptops, the power octopus or “powerpus” is born: That’s only the most obvious part of the electrical mayhem. Among other things, we had a squid hanging from the wall too. Why two of the power outlets were 8′ off the ground is beyond … Read more

Public Key

Really geeky, but for those that might be interested in same, and to the degree that I understand its usage, here’s my GnuPG public key. Using GPG it can be used to validate messages or data that I “sign”, or encrypt messages such that only I can decrypt them.

Read morePublic Key

Finished: The World is Flat

I have mixed feelings after reading TWiF. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s
an excellent book, and as you’ll see in a moment, I believe it’s an important

The problem, if that’s what you want to call it, is that it didn’t really
challenge me. I pretty much agree with everything that the author is saying. I
found myself thinking, “yep, yer right” over and over again.

The premise of the book is simply that due to our advancements in technology
– most notably the internet – the world is getting effectively “flatter”. More
people in more diverse regions of the planet are being empowered to
collaborate, and compete, in the global market.

Read moreFinished: The World is Flat

Expedia just lost me as a customer.

And it really hurts me to walk away. Unlike most customers, who’d probably have walked away long ago, I have an emotional attachment.

I worked on Expedia. When it first went live, I was the guy who installed the “final bits” in the MSN datacenter where it was housed at the time. My account is one of the first on Expedia. Somewhere within the bowels of Expedia, it’s quite possible that some of my code remains.

And yet, no matter how hard I try, Expedia refuses to take my money.

Read moreExpedia just lost me as a customer.

My Father Turned 90 Today

February 16, 1916. That’s 90 years ago, and the day my dad arrived on planet
earth. Actually, to be more specific, a small farmhouse in The Netherlands.

90 years and many miles later, he’s living comfortably in a nursing home
about 20 miles and 30 minutes from my home. He’s a long time victim of
Alzheimer’s disease. We joke that he has the “good kind” of dementia, because
he’s content, even happy at times, and still has a positive outlook. “We keep
on trying” is something he’s said for many years, and told me once again

Read moreMy Father Turned 90 Today


I’m on the board of a local non-profit agency, Hopelink. There’s a surprising amount of poverty and
families in crisis in what most assume is a very affluent community. Just
because you don’t always see it doesn’t mean it isn’t here.

So, what is Hopelink? The one-sentence version:

Hopelink helps homeless and low-income families get out of
crisis and become self-sufficient.

Read moreHopelink

Finished: Language in Thought and Action

Language in Thought and Action

In recent months I’ve come to believe, strongly, that it is communication,
or rather the lack there of, that is the real cause of 80% if the world’s
conflict. Time and time again it seems like the inability to communicate an
idea clearly, or the inability to truly hear and understand what’s being said,
leads to problems. Be it between family members or nations, in my opinion it’s
failed communication of ideas, more than ideological differences, that lead to

Communication is difficult.

Read moreFinished: Language in Thought and Action

Finished: Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion

I originally picked this up on the strong recommendation of several
entrepreneurs that I work with. The original goal was to learn more about
marketing techniques. I ended up walking away with a lot

What’s interesting about reading this book is how often I found myself
saying “oh, that’s why!” – it explains a lot about human behavior and why we do
the things we do. It explains a lot about not only how we are influenced, but
why … and why it makes sense that it might be so. And of course,
what you might do once you recognize it.

Read moreFinished: Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion

A (Pre) Microsoft Story

Back in the days BM (Before Microsoft), I worked for a small
company in Seattle called International Entry Systems, Inc, or IESI. They
manufactured Z-80 based data entry terminals that were, basically, a
single line display, a keyboard and a data cassette recorder. All software
was loaded from tape. (This was 1980, after all.)

One of the software packages they had available was a copy of Microsoft Basic.
I won’t go into the machinations you might go through to have a working Basic
interpreter that uses a single line (40 character line, at that) display
and a single cassette deck for all storage, but
they did. It was in place, though underutilized, when I showed up.

Read moreA (Pre) Microsoft Story

The Questions You Didn’t See

A sampling of some of the funny, odd or not-so-technical questions I’ve
received in the last year on Ask Leo!. All
questions are complete and unedited – this is exactly the way I get ’em,

The “answers” here are what I wish I could reply with. (I typically do not
respond to these types of questions at all.)

I have a 14′ v shape boat. It has a crack in the front, along the
seam in the middle. Would HTS 2000 brazing work or is there something else that
i should be using?

Two words: Duct Tape (Hey, you ask a computer guy about boat
repair, you get what you get, ok?)

Read moreThe Questions You Didn’t See

Gnomedex 5.0 Thoughts

Spent the last two days at Chris Pirillo’s Gnomedex. Yes, even though my comments last year might have indicated otherwise, I did attend. Chris was nice enough to move it to Seattle for me, so how could I not go? Some of the speakers, in my very subjective order of value/quality/excitement included: Julie Leung on … Read more

Podcasts I listen to

Podcasts: Adam Curry The Chris Pirillo Show Contentious David Lawrence’s Personal Netcast The Dawn and Drew Show Future Tense Leo Laporte Morning Stories on WGBH The Roadhouse: “The finest blues you’ve never heard.” Speechless: Instrumental Music Staccato a Creative Commons music show Though not technically “podcasts” I grab these shows also, using Replay Radio for … Read more

Leo’s World

A couple of people asked what I was up to lately, so here’s a snapshot. Not surprisingly, most can be found on the web… Ask Leo!: besides almost daily posts answering people’s questions, a new initiative to “link to Leo!”, and a new weekly podcast. Dolls and Friends: various bits of work such as an … Read more

Gnomedex Thoughts

I just returned from the two day Gnomedex, a geek conference / gathering / networking session put on by Chris Pirillo, aka LockerGnome. Chris is a friend I came to know through an internet entrepreneurs group we both belong to. (I could name the group, but then I’d have to hurt you into silence.) This … Read more