So, I buy a book for a kindle. Can I read it anywhere else? No. I buy a book for my ipad. Can I read it on my nook? Nope! I have shelves of books and when a friend comes over and says, "Can I borrow this?" I can say no but it's my choice. I can also say, "Yes."

But until ebooks provide the ability to share they won't be the next big thing.

The next great app

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We're currently in our annual search for the next great application. Will it be web-based or desktop? Will it be for Apple or PC or both or perhaps some other platform.

Will it really make a difference?

Dial a human

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When you call some service whether its UPS or Orbitz or Cablevision what you usually want is a human. This website tells you how to get to the human that hopefully is there:

Thanks to Heather for this tip!
In the news is the Sidekick fiasco where a service has lost customer's data. And this is just part of what is wrong with the whole concept of cloud computing.

Cloud Computing is the latest innovation. But what is it? Use a browser as a word processor, for example, where your data is stored somewhere on the Internet and you're doing cloud computing. Before the advent of the personal computer all computing was a small version of a cloud. That is, there were servers and workstations tied to the servers and all the data was stored on the server. This was fine if your company had good backup procedures.

But now the data is store somewhere on the internet. You have no control over how it is done and that's the problem.

Again I ask, "Why Clarion?"


I wrote my first program in 1966. It was a very simple program designed to teach me to program. I wrote it in Autocoder for the IBM 1401. By 1974 I had written programs in assembler, and COBOL, in addition. From '74 to '95 I spent a fair amount of time teaching people to program and manage projects and also writing programs.


When I started programming in COBOL in 1970 or '71 I fell in love. I know it's not popular to say you liked programming in COBOL but I did. I liked it because it worked the way I thought about programming. That is, First you defined your data and then you used it to write your program. Also, it allowed the programmer to spend most of his time dealing with the user/client's needs rather than with the computer's needs.

Why Clarion?

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I write custom software and by custom software I mean that I work with companies to create software tailored to the way they do business instead of the reverse. The reverse? Yeah, adjusting the way you do business because the software you use requires you to do things a certain way. And when I write in the Clarion language.

Ok but why Clarion?

In the past I've done work for various Fortune 500 companies. Hell, I've done work, at one time, for the Fortune 1. But these days I focus on small businesses and if you're a small business owner you know you can't afford to pay what the big guys lay out for software.
If Vista is running slow are your machine perhaps it is underpowered. Let's say that when you bought your PC it came with Vista pre-installed and it felt really quick. Over time it had slowed down.

What to do?

Well you could use one of the many Vista optimizer programs but the problem with them is that they require knowledge beyond what the average person has. That is until now.

For years I've believed in AVG from Grisoft. Great anti-virus software except for when it isn't. I'll explain. Recently AVG software has been really persistent about wanting to install the Yahoo toolbar which I don't want, don't use, don't like. So I say no. Yet at some point I always end up with it. Arggh!

Then there is the issue of my remote control software. I support people using a product called Remote Helpdesk-- a great product. But it appears to get blocked periodically by AVG. And then there is RADMIN which we use to remote into our client's machines and which they use to work on their office machines from home. Another piece of great software which AVG vigorously blocks regardless of what you tell it to do.

So it was time to look for something else.
I have two-monitors attached to my computer. You might think that was enough real estate but I also use a Virtual Desktop Manager so that I can run multiple desktops. 

How does it work? Think of your computer's desktop as a page showing icons and giving you a place to run your programs. A Virtual Desktop Manager allows you to have more than one desktop page. My favorite is Goscreen (


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Recently my old phone was dying and I decided to spring for an iPhone. Let me preface by saying virtually all of my experiences with Apple (the corporation... not the fruit) have been less than satisfying. So there are those who know me who would be surprised that not only did I buy an iPhone but that I think it's terrific.

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