Computer Aces

Captain Cookie and the Isle of Tongue

Captain Cookie and the Isle of Tongue cover

In 1998, Bill Yonley released Captain Cookie and the Isle of Tongue to friends, family, and the congregation of New Life Christian Center in southeast Houston. I happened on the CD while browsing through my collection, looking for a CD for one of my sons, and posted a photo of the cover on Facebook. Several of my friends replied to my post asking for a copy. 

Dear Microsoft,

You don’t know me though I have been one of your earliest and most avid users, from MS-BASIC on the original Radio Shack TRS-80s to being one of the original Surface Pro users (I have bought two Surface Pros and two Surface Pro 2s). In fact, it was the TRS-80 and MS-BASIC that got me into the computer industry, but that’s a story of its own and too long for this letter.

The “Perfect Tablet” – Samsung Series 7 Slate

Over a year ago I published an article about the Gateway C140XL Tablet PC, and how it was almost the perfect laptop / tablet for me. It was also the last Microsoft Windows-based PC that I used personally, having since switched to using an Apple MacBook Pro and an iPad to go along with my iPhone. I made a complete switch to OS X and iOS and only used Windows for work and work-related documents. Nevertheless, I kept looking for the perfect tablet, be it Windows, OS X, Linux, or Android.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite + Hack Seagate Satellite

For years I have been looking for portable, battery-powered external hard drive. I do a lot of consulting and always keep backups of my work, so I keep a portable external hard drive with me. I also have an extensive music library that I want to have readily available to access from my laptop and portable devices, but I hate constantly moving music files to my “iDevices” just to keep the selection fresh, and all too often, I’ll want to hear some songs in my collection that I didn’t think to move.

Wait, I could do all of that on iCloud (or any other cloud service), right? Sure, if I want to wait for files to upload / download, and I want to pay for all the bandwidth to move the data – I’m usually on the road or at a client site when I want to move data and I don’t jailbreak my devices anymore – it’s just too much of a hassle for limited benefit and extra instability.

Microsoft Excel – A Developer’s View

I have this love/hate relationship with Excel, especially Excel 2007. I haven’t played with Excel 2010 yet, so this may extend to it as well.

I won’t go into a lot of history here, but I had Visicalc a gazillion years ago, then Lotus 1-2-3 (the text version). In fact in Enron’s early days, I automated some of the curve calculations one of the VPs had built in a version of 1-2-3 running on a Sun workstation using Lotus’ macro language they had extended from the original Visicalc. 

Apple Developer Support – WTF?

OK, I know that some people expect Apple to go to pot with the loss of their main visionary, Steve Jobs, but SO SOON?

I recently submitted an app to the App Store and requested promo codes to enable me to give free copies to reviewers. Every time I tried, I would get an error message telling me to email support, so I did:

Three Rules in Houston…

Several years ago, I joined a software company who wanted to open a branch office in Houston as a base to cover the energy industry. They already had made some sales to energy companies, but wanted someone who knew the industry better to lead the effort. I happened to be tiring of constantly travelling for my partnership, so this seemed like a perfect match.