• New major functions for Backpack

    There are two new major features available for Backpack that make it even more suitable for getting order in your work and private life:

    First of all, 37signals tonight finally added the long awaited calendar It's a fine addition to the already existing reminders and easy to use. Via iCal, you can connect it to the calendar software on your desktop. Of course it totally fits into the whole "less is more" mantra of 37signals, so don't expect all the bells and whistles of other calendar software.

    Furthermore, celltell now offers voiceNote for Backpack You start by registering up to three originating phone numbers (e.g. your home and mobile number) and the email address of one of your Backpack pages. In return, you get a voiceNote phone number. voiceNote then records every call you make from one of these phones to the voiceNote number and sends the recorded message to Backpack where you can retrieve the sound file later. In other words, your phone and voiceNote for Backpack combined make some kind of networked dictaphone.

    Backpack has already been a great tool for organizing tasks and information so far, but these two additions make it even better. From Germany, I won't be able to use voiceNote (except if I used SkypeOut), but I'll definitely have a look at the calendar.

  • Talk about CORBA

    As a part of the -boot camp- introduction programme our new sysadmins go through, I also give a talk about the concepts of the CORBA middleware architecture. I explain what CORBA is, what its goals are, as well as its advantages and its shortcomings.

    I put the slides of my talk (in german language) online just now.

  • Truth lies in the eye of the beholder

    In a recent poll, 50% of 1,020 Americans declared that they believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded the country in 2003. Last year, it was only 36% that answered this question positively.

    Pollsters deemed the increase both "substantial" and "surprising" in light of persistent press reports to the contrary in recent years.

    It seems that George W. Bushs spin doctors are worth their money. The other possibility is that the average IQ of U.S. citizens is dropping rapidly.

  • Using ZYB.com to sync your phone with Outlook

    In a comment on my blog entry Mobile phone backup with ZYB#c707, John pointed to a tutorial on how to use ZYB.com as a kind of middleware for syncing Outlook and your mobile phone.

    The idea behind TechTag's How to easily sync Outlook calendar with an ordinary cell phone if you can use the ZYB service not only as a backup facility but also as a "shared storage" to keep two phones in sync, why shouldn't it be possible to sync your phone with your Outlook calendar and contacts via ZYB?

    The only problem is how to connect Outlook with ZYB. TechTag tried two different SyncML plugins for Outlook, having more success with the non-free one.

  • Love your IT crowd

    Did you already do some work on your PC today? Checked your electronic mailbox? Surfed the Web? And everything worked? Maybe you just got some reports that your corporate website is running smoothly and page views are growing and growing?

    Well, then maybe it's time that you remember who makes all this possible -- the people working in the background running network cables, installing software, doing upgrades to your hardware and explaining in a soft voice that your printer will function just fine if you actually switch it on.

    Yes, I mean those scruffy people in the basement. The sysadmins.

    Friday July 28th is System Administrator Appreciation Day Think about something nice and give them some love for them sacrificing their spare time and mental sanity for you.