On Goals, Persistence and Mentoring

Much has been written of late around the ‘Susan Boyle Phenomenon’ and blogger Penelope Trunk has added her twist, using the song choice as a demonstration of setting goals that are hard but achievable, the delight of the judges when they realised this lady was something special as how mentors (or potential ones in this case) enjoy the success of their charges, and finally – how when you set a big goal, you need to persist – not quit, as only those who stick at it will realise the achievement they first sought.

Most people quit. That’s Seth Godin’s point: That you have to try something big, and you have to accept that anything big and huge requires you to have a dip – a point when you are wondering if it is worth it. And that’s where most people quit. For the most part, you cannot do something big without going through this process.

Sage advice indeed from both Penelope and Seth (who is well worth adding to your reading lists). Read the article here.

Portable Hacking Device for Soldiers

Now *this* is why it’d be fun to work in/with the Military in an innovation (non-lethal) capacity… loads of funding, loads of scope… okay, perhaps not here in New Zealand, but for economies such as the US, the defense contractors must get to play with some awesome toys, years ahead of the technology hitting the general populous…

Portable Hacking Device

Hacking with MSConfig – Speeding the boot process

My laptop is slow to boot – painfully slow. Slow to the point that, after entering my credentials, I’ll go make a coffee or grab an architecture document to review – anything to avoid the minutes of chugging away which occurs whenever the boot scripts are doing their thing and all the Windows background processes are starting up.

This is where fun little tweaks such as those available in the Windows System Configuration editor come in handy. This is a little known tool which allows you to view and edit the things which load during your windows boot. Of course, because you can edit things in the startup files, it doesn’t mean you should. You can probably make quite a mess of your system if you get too free and easy with the clicking via this tool – so make sure you understand what it is you’re telling you machine not to do when if you decide to start unselecting options.

For me, the big one was to change the number of processors available to the startup sequence from 1 to 2 and allow maximum RAM to be utilised. To do this (these instructions assume Windows Vista, but XP should be the same – possibly with different dialogue box layouts), first you’ll need to startup the Windows System Configuration editor – Click Start, Run, and type in ‘MSConfig’. You’ll likely be asked for authorisation/administrative access to run the utility so, assuming you can grant such things, the first screen you’ll see looks like this:

Default System Configuration Screen

Click the ‘Boot’ Tab

Boot Options - System Configuration

And select the ‘Advanced Options’ button

Advanced Boot - System Configuration

And there’s the money shot, change the number of processors, the maximum allowable memory, click OK to save and you’ll be asked to reboot.

Good luck.

Awesome Siverlight / Photosynth Demo

New Zealand Microsoftie Nigel Parker had a demo slot to fill at the WEB09 event and, after a chat with a colleague, decided to use crowd sourced images tagged as New Zealand to promote our beautiful country. The embedded video is the result of his frantic 3 days work where he used these images to present a truly stunning example of what a mix of Siverlight, Photosynth and SmoothStreaming video can do.

NZsynth Demo shown in the Keynote at WEB09 from Nigel Parker on Vimeo.

You can read more of the detail here on his blog, and he’s certainly worth a follow on twitter or friendfeed.

Mad props Nigel – incredibly awesome stuff.