Running Engineering in a Vacuum

By |October 19, 2023|Categories: Business|

Wouldn't it be great if you could be in a section of an office, surrounded by intelligent people, working on projects that really mattered to you personally, and never having to interact with the rest of the company? I know a lot of people who would consider that a dream job. I would hate it. Don't get me wrong, as an engineer, the first few days would be delightful. Lots of interesting conversations over coffee. Working on engineering projects that are just purely interesting, regardless of how they fit into the company. That sounds fun - for a bit. And [...]

Getting the Weather via an API the Easy Way

By |October 16, 2023|Categories: General|

If you're coding and need to find the local weather, there are a lot of places you can go to get it. Most are complex and require you to create an account, and generally don't offer much. If you're looking for one that's simple and based on GPS, try , which is free for the first 1,000 calls per month and includes sunrise and sunset, too. Just swap the latitude & longitude coordinates for your own latitude & longitude, or if you leave them off, it will use your browser's coordinates. This is just part of a set of [...]

Letting a Customer Out of Their Contract

By |August 3, 2023|Categories: Business|

I've run a few companies over the years, and one inevitably wants out of contact with you. Maybe they're going out of business, or their business has changed and they no longer need your services. To make this decision, you need to weigh some data: What is the value of the contract they want out of compared to your entire customer revenue stream? A small percentage or a large one? What are the circumstances of their situation? Are they going out of business (inevitable) or just wanting a new vendor? Are you ready to ruin the relationship with the people [...]

Everything you could possibly want to know about Internet Email – Part 1

By |May 11, 2023|Categories: Email|

In this series of posts, I'm going to share what I know about email. Over the last 20 years, I've learned to set up, diagnose, and do just about everything with email that you can imagine at any scale. In this series, I'll be talking about email over the Internet, which uses protocols like SMTP and IMAP. I won't be talking about the inner workings of commercial email software like Exchange. Understanding how email is sent As mentioned above, email works with a few protocols, and the one used to send email is SMTP. The idea here is the sender's [...]

Figuring out US TIme zones

By |March 14, 2023|Categories: General|

Twice a year, many people in IT often get mixed up by time zones in the US. Understandably, as it is a little tricky to wrap your head around. Here are some tips when sorting it all out in the US. Timezones in the US change twice a year, in the fall and spring, with an offset of 1 hour in either direction. The exception to #1 are the States of Arizona (most of it) and Hawai'i - they never change their clocks like the rest of the US. In the spring, around March, the US switches to Daylight Savings [...]

Consider Benevolent Dictatorships

By |January 1, 2023|Categories: Business|

I've started, run, and sold a few successful companies. Each one was different from the last one because I was constantly learning. But early on, I took on a management method that I used throughout my career - I ran each as a Benevolent Dictatorship. Now before you go looking it up on Wikipedia, it's a term I used with my own definition. A Benevolent Dictatorship, in my terms, means I was very interested in other opinions on problems as they often brought me to see new ideas. Opinions of others added a perspective that fleshed out details I didn't [...]

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