Technology Archives

November 17, 2003

Now that's interesting...

Something/someone has gone amuck within I was having such a happy Monday morning, too.

The bright side... whatever it is, I'm not the one who has to fix it.

November 21, 2003

Is your refrigerator running?

Better go catch it!

I wonder if kids still use that for prank calls. Earlier this morning I was cursing the major appliances in this house and happened to remember that old gag.

Our fridge has had a mind of it's own for quite some time. Some days it's warm, other days it freezes everything on the top shelf. A month or so ago the dryer was stricken with the same ailment. Sometimes I reach in to the get the clothes and they are cold and wet. Other times I reach in and it's so hot it literally burns.

The latest casualty appears to be the oven. We used it last night and shut it off. This morning when I was standing in the kitchen I heard the unmistakable "swoosh" of the oven igniting. The knob clearly said off yet the oven had indeed lit. I fiddled with the knob and got it shut off finally.

Every day I ask myself - is this the low point? As bad as it's going to get? Rock bottom? Will today be the day our bad fortune turns to good??

December 9, 2003

Totally disgusted

This day has been so incredibly terrible. It was literally one bad thing after another all day long at work. At one point I was working three computers at once with my laptop balanced precariously in my lap, headset on my head with one phone call, cellphone to my ear with another phone call. Finally got away from that about 7pm and turned my attention to the "blizzard" we were supposedly having. Looked out the window and it was raining. Right now at 9:30PM those ignorant weather people have us under a blizzard warning and it's not doing anything other than spitting a few snow flakes. I can see the grass, the road, my car... there's no snow.

The weather genius just broke in and said "Still waiting on that heavy snowfall and it looks like we won't get it after all." With that announcement, C. lost his composure and went running to his room screaming something like "Dang it! We're gonna end up having school tomorrow!!"

If you'll excuse me, I think I'll go lose my composure now, too.

April 6, 2006


Swiped from Julie

If you're bored, read
My Personal Dna Report.

I am so tired and it's storming. DAAAMMMMIT.

April 20, 2006

More time

I have so much I want to write here but I sit down to do it and anything that makes sense flies right out of my brain. I cannot think clearly with one eye on the clock. Right now I have 15 minutes before I officially must start my work day. I have to throw some laundry in, wash a couple of dishes, let the dogs out again, feed the birds and find something quick for breakfast. In 15 minutes.

I would rather tell you about how lately life has been teaching me AGAIN who my true friends are or tell you how good it feels to make a difference in the life of a child or how hypocritical people can be or how I am searching once again for a church that fits my beliefs or about Todd's first turkey hunt ever and how he got a turkey the first afternoon. I can't though because I'm down to 13 minutes now so must run.

I would like you to go read this about a tragic accident in our local mennonite community. Please read and pray for the family as they go through this terrible time. Ironically, the mennonites have always been the church community that most closely matches my own brand of faith.

12 minutes now. Time flies when you're almost 40 I guess. Have a great day everyone.

January 14, 2007

Damn Sinclair!

Due to a dispute between Sinclair and Mediacom, my cable company, we lost our Fox station a couple of weeks ago. That means NO NFL PLAYOFFS if they are on Fox. Today the Bears and Seahawks are playing on Fox so I can't see it. I am listening to it on NFL FieldPass online which is going to KILL MEEEE!!! I need to see it!

Seriously, this is hell. Pure hell.

January 23, 2007

Keeping track

I've tried out many programs to keep track of my to do lists and completed tasks but none have fit the bill yet. This time management software from Effexis is on my radar now. I installed it tonight and see that it even has a "romance" project where you can prioritize your love life. hahaha

It also has a place to post your dreams and whether you've cancelled, postponed or are actively pursuing a dream. It has a lot of options, too many for me probably, but it seems as though I will be able to delete the things I don't need and add things to suit me. Bonus points for being able to synch it with Outlook and export to Excel.

January 27, 2007

SEO - another acronym

Search Engine Marketing has been crossing my radar screen a lot lately. I've not really embraced this SEO (Search Engine Optimization) stuff. It seems it's here to stay so may as well learn all about it.

This Search Engine Marketing Glossary is quite helpful in understanding all the words thrown around in SEO discussions. One of the terms most are familiar with is "google bomb" or the skewing of search results by millions linking to one page using the same obscure phrase. While browsing around the Apogee Search site this morning I learned that google has taken steps to elimate google bombs. I wonder how many man hours went into figuring out how to do that.

February 12, 2007

Server Monitoring

Our programmer writes little code snippets to monitor our servers and I use an advanced app to monitor various applications that run on servers we manage. If you need to monitor your server but don't have access to a programmer or a budget that affords the more expensive monitors, you might want to try out Simple Server Monitor.

It supports Ping, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP, POP, and custom port monitoring. In the event of failure, it can send an email alert. It normally sells for $49.95 but there is a 20% off coupon until March 31 (coupon code - V20BETA). It runs as a windows service so it's completely unattended.

February 15, 2007

Development tools

Too bad I haven't taken the time to teach Christopher about being a developer. He wants an iPod and I found that eDeveloper Discovery is launching a contest to reward the developer who creates the coolest application with their product. The prizes are iPods. He would probably build some video game cheat code application. Anyway, more details from the press release if anyone is interested.

Or Yehuda, Israel; February 14, 2007 – With the announcement of the free Discovery edition of its eDeveloper™ software, Magic Software Enterprises (NASDAQ: MGIC) is launching a contest to reward the developer who comes up with the "coolest" application. Software applications created with eDeveloper Discovery edition will be judged for their innovation, design, quality, the use of eDeveloper advanced features and the holistic solution created. Amit Ben-Zvi, VP Marketing and Products, says, "We want everyone to be able to experience the power of eDeveloper, and we intend to have fun with this contest. It's always amazing to see how creative people can be, both in the nature and scope of development projects, and in the ways they find to develop and deploy those applications." Entries for the contest must be received by Magic Software no later than April 30, 2007. The winners of the contest will be announced on May 15, 2007 and two Apple iPOD’s® will be awarded. Magic Software’s eDeveloper is a metadata-driven, rules-based platform and application development framework. The Enterprise edition of eDeveloper allows users to create full client/server or Web applications, and service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled applications. The eDeveloper Studio Discovery edition, however, is designed for use by students, new developers, and those developing applications for personal use and is available free-of-charge. eDeveloper Discovery allows developers new to Magic Software’s offering to explore the product’s capabilities to develop and deploy basic Windows client and Web applications. About Magic Software Enterprises Magic Software Enterprises (NASDAQ: MGIC) has been a leader in enterprise application development, deployment and integration technology for more than two decades. The company's service-oriented platform is used by companies worldwide to develop, maintain, and deploy both legacy and new business solutions, while integrating these applications across both internal and external, heterogeneous environments. Magic Software’s platform-independent methodology lets companies achieve agility by quickly assembling composite applications, allowing programmers to create services and architects and business analysts to orchestrate and reuse these services to enable business processes. Through partnerships with industry leaders such as IBM and SAP and more than 2500 ISVs worldwide, Magic Software technology is used by more than 1.5 million customers around the globe. For more information on Magic Software Enterprises and its products and services, visit

Free Podcast

MyPodcast offers Free Podcast hosting. Enjoy unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage and best of all, it's FREE!! The only catch is that there will be ads inserted into your podcast. There's good news there as well as you get a cut of the advertising as your podcast grows popular and attracts more listeners. The site itself appears to be very easy to use and easy on the eyes. It doesn't say how long of an ad you have to run in your podcast but does indicate that you chose the ad and where it's placed. I'm nitpicky about using mailto: links since they are spam magnets so I hope they go to form based contact methods. Other than that, nice site!

February 18, 2007

Databases. blech

I upgrading my MT installation this weekend and finally got around to converting my berkeley db to mysql. I really hate doing database work on my personal time but it had to be done. My increased writing has put a strain on the old system. Ah well, now the hard work is done and only the details remain. The devil is in the details and I can't decide whether to face the devil or go watch the Daytona 500. Decisions, decisions.

Comments may be back on

As a result of the upgrade, I may be able to turn comments back on. I hope so because I missed my comments.

I also miss my IBM ThinkPad. Sorry Mother, but I still cannot stand the Mac. I'm just not geeky enough. If I had my ThinkPad or an equivalent, I could continue working on my site AND watch the Daytona 500.

February 20, 2007

Search engine rankings

When I first started web development ten years ago, there weren't many websites yet. I still remember when the first few commercials mentioning a .com address started appearing on television. Nowadays, it seems every company has a website and a lot of individuals have one or more as well. That's a whole lot of content for the search engines to index.

Since the web is available to the masses, more businesses are using it in addition to, or even instead of, print ads to get their marketing materials in front of the public. In the early days of the web, you simply filled out a form and submitted your site for the search engine spiders to index. As the web grew, the search engines started using better technology to rank and display relvant sites. In response, marketing departments are clamoring to improve search engine placement.

Companies specializing in SEO (search engine optimization) can help drive targeted traffic to the appropriate website. They are also key to helping understand the various rules and workarounds for increasing page ranking. In a web world this large, it's a job better left to the pros.

Basketball madness

I couldn't make it to the regional basketball game tonight as I used up all my gas money going to the toe doc yesterday. Instead I am getting scoring updates via text messaging and relaying the info via email to my boss in Boston. Not only is he a Cardinal alumni, his brother-in-law is the girls' head coach.

FYI, we are in overtime. AAAAAAAAAAAA GO CARDS!! I told Eva to play like she had to get me a day off to go to state tourney again this year.

March 1, 2007

Pretty Business Cards

I still have a box of cards that say Lisa Whirrett - Web Applications Developer, but if I didn't, I'd look at business cards online. They have some really pretty ones and the ones I like are only $4.95 for 250. Maybe I'll take up a second profession so that I can get some. There's lots of cool ones in the sports and fitness category. I'll get in really good shape and become a personal trainer. Hey! It could happen!

March 5, 2007

Before I forget

Every weekend I try to find someone I know little to nothing about and learn more. This past weekend I chose Hedy Lamarr. In addition to being a beautiful actress, she was co-invented the first form of spread spectrum which is used in today's wireless technology. There's more but you'll have to go on your own from here as my lunch break is over.

March 6, 2007

Movable Type tool

If you use Movable Type to power your weblog, I'd recommend the Blog Janitor plugin to clean up and close old comments. Goes a long ways in combating comment spam.

March 7, 2007


Joomla is a CMS (content management system) that is open source and customizable enough to run personal homepages or power corporate websites.

The problem with most open source offerings is you often have to know quite a bit of code before you can jump into changing the look and feel. If you are interested in Joomla, Joomla Templates is a book detailing how to create a Joomla template in five easy steps. I do a fair amount of PHP / MySql work and even though the framework for each is free, having a step by step guide on hand is worth shelling out some money.

The Joomla templates book is available for download as soon as you make your payment so you don't have to wait on the UPS man. You can tear right in and start learning from the 91 page PDF. With the book purchase, you also get access to over 40 prebuilt templates for free as well as step by step instructions for building single column, two column and three column templates. As a paid member, you also get access to a cloud module. A "Tag Cloud" takes a list of your most popular articles and displays them as a cloud, the more popular an item is the bigger the link is to it

March 9, 2007

Cellphone saga

Emily got a cellphone and it kicked off quite the heated debate in our house. We had told the kids no cellphones were necessary for them until they were driving. Otherwise, they are always with us or at the school near a wired phone. So Em gets a phone and boy blew a gasket. I think we may have to revisit our position in order to keep the playing field level.

It used to be that US Cellular pretty much had the monopoly on our area but the market has opened up a lot more recently. Sprint phones have a lot of really cool choices for phones and they do offer service in our area. I don't know anyone who uses Sprint though. I think that is because they don't have a physical storefront that is well known in our area. In rural areas in particular, a lot of folks would still prefer to walk into a mom and pop type store and get that one on one customer service when making a cellphone purchase.

I have looked over their plans and while the Sprint plans are fairly comparable with others on a minutes per plan basis, I don't see any special incentives for text or photo messaging. One of my friends told me yesterday that she went to unlimited texting with her carrier and sent 300 texts the first day. Sprint would do well to take note of that kind of customer and throw them a bone.

Shopping for pretty things

Perusing business cards again and think I will order some address labels. The only ones I have are Dr. Seuss and for some reason, Todd does not like them. The problem is they have too many choices. Selection is good but it makes my decision too hard. They are broken down into categories for easier navigation so that helps.

One really nice feature I just found on the site is pricing. You don't have to browse to a product to get it's price. You can just hit the pricing page and find it all in one location. I found that link tucked away along the top of the page in smaller print. If I weren't a web developer, that might have escaped my attention. I'm not a big fan of small print horizontal navigation. Perhaps it's my eyes. Very old, tired eyes. It's actually just me prefering left or right hand navigation. I'm old school, yo! haha

March 13, 2007

Email Security

Today I had to create a new email account for someone who was overtaken by spam. All it takes is signing up on the wrong webform and look out. Concentric Groupware provides email security by stopping spam, viruses, DOS attacks, phishing schemes, etc. by protecting your perimeter. All of the protection is on their servers so you never have to worry about updating or patching software. You just continue to use your existing email infrastructure such as MS Exchange and they merely analyze your incoming mail before passing it on to your internal mail server.

CTS also provides DNS hosting and groupware tools for team collaboration. I will check those out later.

March 16, 2007

New Advertising Method

I am trying to make some sense of, a new method of web advertising. It seems an advertiser purchases a block of ad space (game piece) then chooses rock, paper or scissors and their choice is affixed to the corner of their game piece. This piece is then released onto the game board or advertising spot and into the game of rock, paper, scissors. Interesting concept but I am not sure if having your ad spot beat it's way to the top of the board means you will get any more exposure or what the gimmick is there.

March 19, 2007


Email compliance is something I've wondered about with the HIPAA guidelines. I do some work for a few health care clients and had to sign forms for HIPPA saying that I wouldn't discuss patients in any way. If I walk through the dining room and note what residents are eating, I cannot tell you that. So how do these strict rules governing patient confidentiality pan out with today's technology? The agencies I deal with simply do not send private information via email and therefore are guaranteed safe.

Borderware offers products to ensure internet security such as content filtering, attachment scanning, and encryption, to name a few.


Anyone use Vonage for voice over IP? My boss and I tossed around the idea a few months back but I basically tossed the idea out. Neither of us have the patience for broken up or dropped calls and I was afraid of that. Just read a review from the "Boonies of Alabama" that said they were pleased.

March 21, 2007

Employee Evaluations

Every one of my job evaluations with my current employer has been done on the fly. Usually at the end of the day when my boss is on the road. We can afford to do this in a relaxed fashion since we are a small shop and give each other feedback pretty much every day as part of our workflow.

Larger companies with many employees could really benefit from software to keep track of employee evaluations. offers a total employee management package to track employee salary and benefits, activities, job performance reviews and attendance records.

March 22, 2007

International Calling Cards

Eva just called a moment ago. It's been so nice having her back in the states where she can be located quickly and can call whenever she wants. When she was in Brazil, I kept us in calling cards so we could talk every week. I don't even remember the name of the service we used but it could get expensive and I could only call her from my home phone.

Pingo offers cheap international calling cards and affordable international mobile phone card calls and the best part... pinless dialing! Wish I'd have known of them sooner. I could never remember my PIN when I would call Brazil so I would have to find my confirmation email with the necessary numbers.

Another bonus: you will receive up to 4 hours of free International calls just for simply signing up for

March 30, 2007

New toys

I have spent my lunch break playing with jv16 PowerTools. It's a suite of tools designed to help manage Windows apps and registry. I used the software manager tool and while it took a long while to build the list, it found and listed things I didn't even know I still had installed. Also tried out the tool for startup management and found the pesky quicken leftover that gives me an error every morning when I turn on the computer. That was very helpful as I could never find that in the registry and I can't just go hacking through the registry of my work computer.

April 2, 2007


Whoa! This is huge news for payperpost bloggers. They are going to start a new promotion for blog advertising called 1k Tuesdays. Every Tuesday this month, they will release an opportunity worth a thousand bucks! That's $1000 guaranteed for whoever snags it. There is not a specific release time but rather a twelve hour window between 12AM and 12PM in which they will let it go up for grabs. That pretty much eliminates me since I will only be able to check the site maybe once between 6AM and 9AM. If they did it on the weekends, I'd be more likely to have a chance.

There is a blogger named Colleen who is the highest earning blogger and this could allow someone else to take over first place. Not me of course but maybe my friend Julie. She has two growing boys and could use 1k for groceries I bet! Maybe Faithie will get it and split it with me cuz we's gots the love. hahaha

May 5, 2007

Protect Yourself

Another thing on the list to show the boss would be online backup. When your business is data, as our business is, you have to protect it as the data is your most important asset I feel better when we have our files backed up at least two ways.

iDrive is an online network drive whereby your online backup area appears as a local network drive. This allows for drag and drop of files you want to copy to your online storage. That level of convenience and ease of use is what sells me. In our busy environment, I would be less likely to stop my work, make an FTP connection and transfer files. Dragging and dropping I would definitely do.

iDrive also features transfer resume on temporary disconnects. This wouldn't be an issue on our T1 at work but would be handy for home users who experience temporary drops. At $99.50 per year for 5GB of data, this would be a tremendous value for the home user who keeps financial records or family photos that would be forever lost in the event of a virus or hard drive failure.

They make use of open file technology so files in use are also backed up. This is very important on the business level. I fought that some last week when transferring data that was being used.

Security is a non-issue as all transfer uses 128 bit encryption. According to the site, "Periodic third party scans and audits are carried out to test the integrity of the infrastructure and applications."

May 7, 2007

Customer Relationships

I don't much about marketing in general but I've had to learn the basics of customer relationship management and how that ties to a company's web presence - specifically, site visitors signing up at a website and what to do with the information that is collected in that process.

AIMPromote automates the behind the scenes tasks of lead management such as setting up triggers and running jobs based on the triggers. This cuts down on administrative time for an employee charged with tracking leads. They also have campaign and visitor tracking to track how users go through your site and if your sales technique to attract them to your site actually resulted in a sale.

May 17, 2007

Distance Learning

I am a huge fan of distance learning since I got my start in web developing that way. The technology has changed alot since I took HTML and various scripting classes via the internet 10 years ago. Now they use Video Conference Equipment to deliver high definition video.

In the public sector, video conferencing would be an awesome replacement to conferences requiring people to travel long distances, particularly since they just raised gas another ten cents here today.

May 23, 2007

Cellphone accessories

One of the many complaints I have about my Kyocera is the battery life. We used to always keep an extra cell phone battery for each phone but neither of us got one with our latest phones. I'm getting a new one now after having to plug my phone in twice to make it through the day.

Finding accessories for my phone was easy since there really arent many but this case with a wrist strap would come in handy. This morning I found myself on the trail ready to run with no pocket to put my phone in. I just carried it in my hand but that could go bad fast.

It's a useful feature to be able to search by cellphone carrier and then by phones available to that carrier. That's handy when shopping for a new phone so you can see which cases and fun things are available.

June 19, 2007


I'm breaking my no blogging during work hours rule to announce that it's official: Google is coming to Iowa! Finally we get something. Thank you Governor Culver and everyone else who worked so hard to bring it home.

June 20, 2007

For Faith

More info on google post

June 26, 2007

Parental control software

This is not a huge concern at our house since our kids aren't very interested in the internet. Being in a house with more than 10 computers makes one immune I suppose. In a household where the internet reigns supreme and children are utilizing it, parents should have some sort of content filtering or blocking software. At this website you can see reviews and prices of the best parental control software ever and make an educated choice regarding your child's protection.

They also review anti-spyware software which is important to all computer users I believe. In my spare time I fix computers for friends and in every case of "my computer is slow" it's been because their kids have been online, downloading music, probably sneaking a peek at porn, and clogging the computer with spyware that brings a computer to it's knees. It literally takes hours to clean a computer of that crap and most real shops will recommend just wiping the drive and starting over. Any of these alternatives are costly - certainly more than $50 or so to protect yourself in the first place.

July 15, 2007

Sharing Files

Since I work remotely from Iowa to Boston, I transfer a lot of files to myself each week. The web service I used to use disappeared so I started using gmail. I don't know how, but sometimes files are altered a bit after they've been a gmail attachment. Nothing fatal for general file sending but In my work, if one line of code picks up an extra linespace, things break.

Now there's a new face in file sharing that will allow me to upload a file and gmail myself the link to pick it up on the other end.

The best thing for me is that I can park files up to 500MB in size. We often handle large zip files. I put a 4mb file up to test and the upload speed was faster than I had anticipated. Another thing I appreciate is that no registration is required to use the service.

The old service I used only kept the file on their servers until I picked it up. Driveway let's you literally "park" your file on their servers where it remains for 90 days after the file was last accessed. You can also share the link with others which will come in handy for parking a file that we all need to look at without cluttering up our servers.

October 11, 2007

Geeky Goodness

XML, cameras, other gadgets and Red Sox all under one roof? Too good to be true? Nope. Check out the XML Aficionado blog. There are some restaurant reviews thrown in there too! And he has a pinball machine in his basement!

Some things not mentioned much on his blog are that he is President of Altova, Inc. and co-creator of the popular Altova XMLSpy tool suite. We actually have used this tool at work. Fun to read about his hobbies and how smart he is in areas not related to XML.

October 19, 2007

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

I've been thinking about making up some Obama magnetic signs for my car but I've yet to get up the guts to put my bumper sticker on the car. (Republican in the house!!) has good prices and an easy to use interface for designing your own sign. Since we develop .net web applications where I work, I am always impressed to see creative sites built in Since you do your own designing, you save on the cost of a designer so your end cost is much lower. I'm going to tell my friend about the real estate signs. It would be fun to make a couple of prank ones for his yard. I am remembering the time my mom and I stuck an "I love horses" bumper sticker on my dad's truck. My dad hated my horses and one had just bit him on the wrist and broke his watch. He was not amused.

October 24, 2007

Got ink?

Today has been a terribly long day and my eyes are about to fall out. Work is kicking my butt but I am kicking back and winning!

Before I forget, I wanted to share a site for finding the best deals on printer cartridges. Ironically enough, it's called Cartridge Finder and it's such a simple site in concept and look and feel but it is quite handy. Not only does it display info about your cartridge but also pulls in pricing from to show you the best prices. From there you can click on the merchant pricing of your choice and go to the merchant site to order your cartridge.

The really cool thing for us is that we don't do much printing so our really old HP printers are still working well for us. I was surprised they had information and merchants available for a printer over 8 years old.

November 27, 2007

Blogger biz cards

Back in the day when the internet was small and this site was big, I used to think about getting cards with my domain on them and leaving them places. I never got around to doing it but now I can since offers
100 FREE business cards. It's a good way to promote your site and if you can't beat FREE! You just have to pay shipping. Check it out!

July 24, 2013

Well, that was weird

I haven't been to this site in years but got an email to please remove a link to a business that I had previously linked to in 2007. They are claiming the link from my website is causing performance issues on their website. Huh?

About Technology

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustLisa in the Technology category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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