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Leadership Tips

One of the worst things about your boss taking a trip is that he or she will likely come back with some great ideas for you to implement, usually from reading an airline magazine (the articles appear between ads for duty-free and skymall items, so they must be right).

To turn that on its head, after my recent trip to India, here is a plan I plan on implementing to become a much more beloved leader...

Microsoft's "Foot Shooting" Windows 7 Non-Upgrade Path

Well, looks like Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot again, this time with the Windows 7 non-upgrade path for Windows XP.

The only way this could be beneficial to users of XP is if MS has decided to extend support, based on the ongoing success of netbooks running XP Home or the success of the "dual license" approach of companies like Dell that are making an extra $100, forcing users to buy XP Pro if they want to avoid Vista.

While Microsoft has traditionally only provided an upgrade path from the most recent version of Windows, ignoring the huge install base of XP (especially if you add in the Vista installs that have been replaced with XP), is crazy.

When you add in problems with driver support, the need for a complete re-install, and the promise that "your existing programs may not work", users might as well starting looking a Apples and Ubuntu!

Google Announces Chrome Operating System

It's (almost) here! Google announces the Google Chrome OS.

What does this mean to you and me? According to Google, "it's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be."

Here are the facts...

Spam Increase in June 2009

Spam Hit!

Anybody else notice a huge increase in spam between June 1 and June 18, 2009?

I have one location that normally processes between 24,000 and 30,000 emails a day, with about 500 to 800 being legit. The messages processed at that location have increased about 10,000 per day until the 16th when it reached about 80,000 messages per day (still having 500 to 800 being legit).

It got to the point where I had to contact Barracuda Networks tech support so they could change some configuration settings and help me adjust the MTA's settings to cut down the number of messages scanned, just so that the inbound message queue didn't get bottled up and swell past 15,000 messages. Since the changes, the barracuda interface itself is much more responsive.

I won't go into all the settings that were adjusted, but I will say that the techs I worked with were very helpful and we are now "weathering the storm" in much better shape than we were before.

We were getting creamed from IP addresses from jp, nz, au, br, cn, etc. We were also getting a ton of messages with bad user IDs. Emails with viruses normally run about 2% of messages, but we started getting a much higher percent with viruses, along with the massive volume increase.

Personal: Surgery and Recovery

I'm preparing for my surgery scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, 2009. This "robotic radical prostatectomy" should cure me of prostate cancer and eliminate the need for any further treatment.

I'll be in the hospital that Tuesday and then going home the next day. If things go well, I'll be back on email and cell phone on Thursday (Friday at the latest). I'll be unable to drive for 2 weeks, but will be working to get back to a normal schedule as soon as it is reasonable. This means I'll be working from home "as tolerated" until around July 7th. From that point, I'll be on lifting restrictions for a few months, but I should be OK to work, other than that.

During that Tuesday and Wednesday, if you need the "please do this whenever you can get to it" kind of assistance, you can just email me or leave a voicemail and I'll get back to you as I can. If I can't deal with an issue from home, I'll be able to schedule a tech visit from my backup team, as circumstances dictate.

Don't worry about contacting me during the two weeks I'm recovering at home. If things go as planned, I should be pretty bored.

I would appreciate it if you would remember me in prayer on June 23!


Poem: The Platypus

Behold the amazing platypus
duck-billed, web-footed, and venomous
seems to have fun
having eggs not live young
more than one can be called
    or just platypus

Dell Introducing the New Inspiron Mini 10

Dell has introduced the new Inspiron Mini 10! Pre-ordering is available now and starts at $399. To get the faster processor add $50. To add a color to the case add $30. To get an optical drive, add $80.

They seemed to have fixed the keyboard problems that the Mini 9 had. They also have gone with a standard 2.5" SATA hard drive at 160gb, which means you can store photos, music, and movies, not just surf the web and check email.

HDMI output and SD/SDHC card slots are included as is a webcam (looks like the optional one that came with the 9). Overall look and design is very similar to the Mini 9.

Battery life is claimed at 3 hours and weight is 2.7 lbs.

Very nice specs, Dell!

ASUS Has a Bamboo Laptop

A laptop made out of bamboo!? Well, that's green (actually kind of tan).

New Project--100 Secrets

I've decided to start blogging beyond my traditional news, tech notes, recipes, and reviews topics and create a blog on a specific topic; 100 Secrets to Changing Your IT World. Over the next few months (or as long as it takes, I guess), I intend to bring to life the 100 best ideas and concepts that I've learned over the years. Ideas that anyone can use to improve their IT (or even non-IT) career.

I hope you enjoy it!

AT&T Offers Free Wi Fi Hotspots to DSL Subscribers

AT&T is now offering free wifi wireless access throughout the US, if you are an AT&T DSL subscriber. For more information, see Access is available at over 17,000 locations in the US (including participating Starbucks and McDonalds) and is included with your DSL plan, if you have anything faster than BASIC service (768k).

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